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Silent abuse – The mind game by Teresa Cooper

21st Nov 2013 | in

We have all suffered many forms of abuse but the least talked about is “The mind game” otherwise known as the silent treatment; ie deliberately ignored to cause harm to another persons mental well being, sent to Coventry, deliberate sabotage to a persons life or/and credibility and is one of the most harmful methods of abuse used by abusers who feel that

“If they do not use their hands to physically abuse then it isn’t abuse.”


It is abuse to ignore someones needs emotionally and make them feel worthless, depressed and will cause long term damage so much so that in many cases it can lead to the victims physical health being harmed.

To deliberately cause harm to someone by use of the silent treatment, deny a person any emotional care, deny them any praise, starve them of love, affection, compliments, positive feed back, to regularly reject, degrade and deny a person any emotional responsiveness and to ignore a persons needs is mental abuse or also known as psychological abuse. It is repetitive abuse that’s aimed at controlling, diminishing another persons well being in order to hurt, punish, harm or control them.

The silent abuser is able to switch himself off emotionally to the pain and suffering he is causing his victim and will deny he is the problem and he may tell himself or others that he is the victim.

You stop being a victim when you become the abuser

The abuser is capable of closing down all reasonable sense of emotions and turn into a cold heart very fast as he withdraws into his own world without any care for his victims distress . The abuser will behave in society charming, calm, happy, he will be seen by others as a pillar of society, gentle natured, helpful, kind, caring and fool the outside world into thinking he is abused and his partner is the abuser. This is classic of a mental abuser. They will have their partner labelled a mental case whilst he plays the victim and saint and makes her the subject of of every ones rejection by labelling her with an unbalanced mind.

The true victim will be further rejected not only by her abuser but also by his friends, work colleagues, family and others he is likely to meet. The abuser needs to feel in control and he will seek constant approval from those around him and convince them that he’s the true victim. They will offer him advice and he will feed off their pity which will make him feel even more in control as he plays the victim.

The true victims may withdraw from all social activities, work, stop seeing family, they stop being fun, will see everything in a negative light, stop eating which is the start of dangerous health issues, cry alone, send text terror messages as a means to fight back which only gives the abuser more ammunition to abuse her with as he will use that as a further excuse to ignore and make her look bad in front of others. The abuser will happily share the text messages because he wants everyone to see him as the victim. The true victim will stop functioning on all levels as the mind games take over her life. She will find it hard to think of anything else but what is happening to her. The victim will fight with her own mind and struggle to work out if she is being abused or is she truly the problem. The victim may start behaving irrationally from the stress caused by the mental abuse.

Mental abuse is not normally seen by anyone on the outside looking in because they see the abuser as a strong, calm, caring and sincere person and will not be able to see the true character behind the person in front of them that they think they know so well.

Do you really know the person standing next to you?

Out of all the abuse I suffered (I am female), the one part of the abuse I have always struggled with is “being ignored” and made to feel I was in some way, the problem. When I begged for the abuser to stop he didn’t listen and when I sought help, no one listened. The more I was ignored the more it built up an extreme and unlikely intolerance for being “ignored” which has stayed with me as an adult. I left care with that intolerance to the ugly side of human nature that often sees many people misuse the silent treatment to harm others. Some justify this behaviour and kid themselves that it’s in some way an honourable stance to take. Ignoring someone briefly when done to express dissatisfaction is very different to the silent treatment. To ignore someone as a regular means to punish, hurt or upset someone as payback or for whatever reason, is in my opinion and the opinions of experts to be considered, one of the worst forms of mental abuse that exists in human nature. It causes irreparable damage to a person’s mind and will see the victims behaviour change slowly but noticeably when its out of control, especially by others who are close and on the outside looking in. There are times the abuse continues and the victims show now outward signs to those who are close while the mental abuser witnesses the dramatic and extreme behaviour change in a direct response to his/her mental abuse in the “silent treatment”.

The silent treatment is a form of punishment and control and the person using it to harm another, feels a lack of care, responsibility or remorse and can not or will not communicate as she/he watches the victim slowly deteriorate. Someone who was once a lively, happy and fun person to be around turns into a whole new personality and becomes withdrawn, reclusive or maybe verbally aggressive to the abuser in a vain bid to stop the abuse of the mind. The person dishing out the “silent treatment is FULLY aware of the damage they are doing and they are FULLY aware that all they need to do to stop the abuse is to simply talk to the victim. The abuser will not talk to the victim when in control mode and when he does he will constantly lead the victim into a false sense of security at leisure, only to ignore again.  The abuser will provoke any situation with silence which inevitably triggers off the victim who can never work out what has happened to warrant more silent treatment. Each time the victim finds himself/herself fighting desperately with the abuser in a vain bid to stop her/him giving the silent treatment all over again. Its a catch 22 for most when dealing with a narcissistic personality.

The victims behaviour can change so dramatically he/she is hardly recognized as being the same person. Every time the silent treatment begins the victim is pulled further and further down and the abuser sits back and carries on with daily chores, blatantly ignoring the victim whom is obviously so distressed that no normal thinking individual person could or would sit back and watch such a shocking display of suffering. The victim may withdraw completely, stop talking i.e. friends, stop socializing, stop eating, start drinking, stop working, start text terrorism against the abuser as a defence mechanism of protection but it never works, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and that’s just a few of the side effects of a victim suffering from mental abuse.

The “silent treatment” otherwise named as “deliberate intent to ignore” or “ATCH” which means ‘absent to cause harm’ which is where an abuser completely cuts the victim off and the abuser will not budge. They often acknowledge in their own minds that the victim is suffering but do nothing about it, walk away and simply ignore it.

The latter is a very dangerous form of mental abuse.

I have often heard stories of men ignoring their partner, even after causing such distress that she has taken to self-harm or attempts to take her own life. The mental abuse has weakened her once strong mind into a nerve wrecking display of self doubt and depression. The abuser will hear her calls of desperation and he will empty himself of all emotions and walk away. He will show no emotions as she tries to take her own life. He will convince himself that she deserves it for hurting his feelings by trying to fight back.

Its not often friends get to witness the mental abuse of the systematic silent treatment or mind games from a partner because it is silent. In some cases friends will witness erratic behaviour of the victim but cant quite understand what’s going on because the victim will blame everything but her abusive partner. It is rare anyone on the outside of the relationship sees the suffering of the victim as the abuse often like most forms of abuse stays “within the immediate relationship”. The male abusers friends will only see their charming friend who they all love because he will do anything for them but seldom do his friends or family witness what he is doing to his partner. They will only see the abusers partners displays of distress especially when triggered in a public place or social gathering.

The “silent treatment, ignoring or ATCH” abuser is fully aware of their actions and fully aware they are causing a significant amount of harm to the victim in most cases but there are those who do believe they are the victim. The victim may at times have the odd outburst in front of others or in a public place. The abuser will then inform his family of every little thing his victim/partner does as he seeks refuge in their company and portrays himself as the victim in need of support, because he has a totally “maniac” partner whose lost the plot. He is then seen as the wonderful soul who is good enough to tolerate such a manic person in a relationship.

This form of mental abuse is used more often by the man than a woman but men do suffer this same form of abuse and they too remain silent because they do not want to be seen as imasculine. 

Eventually once the victim has been totally broken down by the mental abuser, she will give up fighting back, beg for forgiveness and beg the abusive partner to forgive her. She may well go to the extremes to try and make it up to her man because she has been slowly drawn in and is now under his mind control. The man will continue to use this method of mind control and ignore, use the silent treatment or ATCH tactics until his partner has been totally exhausted, feels totally helpless and it opens her up to being controlled just so he can get what he wants. Sadly this form of abuse has seen the deaths of women who self-harmed or taken their lives when their cries for help are ignored by the abuser. It can be a consequence of the action.

Self-harm - deliberate cutting or mutilation of one’s own body including ripping hair out, stop eating, stop going out, withdraw from society, cut off hair, stay in bed, over eat or attempt suicide.

The reason I am touching on this subject is because I have seen a number of women email me on facebook who are going through this right now with their Turkish partners or they have just left such an abusive relationship and sit in silence blaming themselves. I also want to touch on this subject because I am a survivor of child abuse and I myself have gone through the mental abuse process and contrary to what people believe, it is not easy to leave such a controlling relationship.

Men who have been abused as children physically, sexually or mentally and/or suffered abuse by a parent due to the damaging effects of poverty are well known for using the “silent treatment, ignoring and ATCH” methods to punish and control their partners. These men will convince themselves they are not abusing because they haven’t physically hit the woman and he will convince her he’s very good to her by not saying anything. He will almost always convince himself he’s the victim and show no remorse at all for the suffering he is causing by punishing and controlling someone he claims to love. These men are often found unwilling to contribute to the relationship they are in and show little or no care or respect for their partner . He expects her to hold the entire relationship together all by herself whilst he laps up the comfort of control and does nothing to contribute or support the relationship. He will not show emotions when challenged or he may eventually turn to violence when confronted.

Ignoring a partner may also be a sign of infidelity or a man who is not in control of his own emotions and shuts down. Regardless of the circumstances, mental abuse and the negative power of the “silent treatment, being deliberately ignored or the ATCH” abuse is never the less very damaging for those on the receiving end and needs to be address by either the abuser entering therapy or for the victim to leave the situation.  If the man recognizes he’s an abuser lhe can seek help from a professional help. The victim must seek professional help to get out of such an abusive relationship before she is so worn down it will diminish her life slowly but surely.

When does the silent abuse turn into physical abuse?


This article also relates to men who also suffer this form of abuse by their partners.

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  • On 18th Jun 2012 at 12:33 PM lorraine said...

    Abuse does come in many forms, some people recognize and admit to. some they deny. as you said “hands on” is the most recognized form.. But i honestly believe in adult life mental abuse is worse.

    There have been many times in my life time, that i can honestly say i would rather of had a slap in the face than to be treated with such disrespect, ignored, and left to feel down trodden.
    I know we are all in control of our own lives and minds. yet some people have a knack of coming in to our lives filling us with (what we believed at the time to be) love and hope for a brighter future.
    Once love has taken over, its powers become so strong it holds us to that person in such a manner it feels impossible to walk away from..
    we stand by them through thick and thin..the only problem with this kind of abuser is they never really cared in the first place. so love to them means nothing.. its a no win trap for us.
    They will make us feel useless,convince us we are unwanted by any other, tell us we are damaged goods, yet the love we feel is the strongest drug on the planet, and hold us with in its trap..
    Like any drug escape seems impossible..

    How much can we take ? when do we wake up and walk away ? what is it that pushes us to fight back and leave ?

    In my case it was my children..
    I admit it took a a while. i was the one who was mentally abused, before it turned physical, and for i while i even put up with that, staying silent, hiding the bruises.
    Until the day he turned on my daughter.
    I cant say for sure what happened but i can tell you the beast inside me came to the surface.
    i changed from being the victim, to a strong mother in the blink of an eye.
    i fought back with everything i had all the pent up fury he had left me with. i found the strength to contact the police.
    And he was removed.

    that was only the first step. removing the abuser does not stop the abuse.
    to them its a game they must win.
    he contacted me, declaring his undying love for me. (false) sobs on the end of a phone line as he told me how stupid he had been and how sorry he was. that it would never happen again..

    And as i told him them. ” your right it wont” come near me or my children again and if the police dont get to you first. i will kill you.!
    now 20 years later i am a very strong person. and my advice to anyone being abused in any way. so leave while you still can..there is help out there. take the first step and contact a friend let them know what is going on. the police will intervene if you ask for help.

  • On 21st May 2013 at 09:04 PM Tina said...

    Mental abuse is worse than physical, with physical it seems the scars heal, and with mental abuse the scars are on the inside and never heal.  My ex was very abusive, mentally, he would live downstairs refuse to acknowledge me, and he would then shove me against the wall if he had to deal with anything.  Everything I did was a problem, if he had to acknowledge me.  The silent abuse, became ugly words, and then mind games, making me think I was losing my mind, so that he could leave me without guilt, and take the kids.

  • On 23rd May 2013 at 10:45 AM Emma said...

    I am currently on day 16 of silent treatment.  My fiance and I live 200 miles apart currently - not sure if this makes it easier to deal with or harder.  16 days ago we had the most amazing, romantic, happy long weekend together - planning our wedding, big tears from him when we parted and declarations of everlasting love; but the following day, I was shut out. He is incredibly cold, hostile, only talks about himself, won’t speak to me on the phone, will only communicate by text and gets sarcastic if I don’t reply how he would like me to. Today, I have sent him a text telling him that we are finished and asking him not to contact me again. As much as it breaks my heart to do this, I know deep down that in the long-term, it is the easier option. But my friends are very concerned that he’ll be back - I’m not so sure.

  • On 27th May 2013 at 10:31 PM Donna said...

    I’m going into the 4th week of the silent treatment from a co-worker.  I’m surviving because of the most important help for everyone in any abusive situation - support from my friends.  People in any abusive relationship have to search deep inside themselves and find the strength to reach out and tell someone who will understand what is going on and get help.  Never ever suffer in silence.

  • On 29th May 2013 at 08:04 AM Julia said...

    I am again on the receiving end of the silent treatment, we split for around five months after I had taken enough and I started dating again, only then did he want me back….undying love was proclaimed, flowers, meals out, presents, time and ‘love making’ until I agreed to move back in with him and give everything up. Now I am a ‘tart’ for dating others whilst we had broke up, things have come to an ugly head once again after a night out with my friend (after I asked permission) and it was deemed ok, now I never invited him to ‘enjoy’ our night out and he is angry we had a great time without him, I was pictured with an old ‘male’ friend I had not seen for 7 years and thought nothing of it, now I must be ‘seeing him’ as Ive ‘done it’ before(ie date others when split up)Ive been told this picture has wounded him greatly as we looked ‘so cosy’ together on the snap. I had a very uncomfortable weekend as I could feel this coming, as his mood swings began and he just slept a lot and conversation was hard and one sided, he called me from work yesterday to ask what I was doing, he also has keylogger on my pc and laptop/tablet so will be reading this too!!! reads all my private conversations and emails then starts on me again when he doesnt like what he reads, the second phone call was to mention the photo and how wounded he is by it and that we now have no future, yet again, as if I need to go out with friends Im not happy with him. I have nowhere to go, no family and gave up my home to move in here, im ill with worry yet again and my health suffers, I suffer from stress and my stomach is the week area, it hurts so much today from worry. He has no empathy and sex is non exsistant unless I go to him and ‘offer’ myself, this also has to only be in a morning so he can ‘de stress’ before work for a few seconds….... apparently non of his ‘exes’ had a problem with this….....he is now sleeping downstairs, he has also slept in the car to be away from me. it is never his fault, it is always my doing, I look to find companionship with anyone when Im abused like this, then as he reads my private stuff and checks up on me constantly Im ‘in trouble’ again…..its as if he pushes me into a corner, waits for my reaction then feels he was right to abuse in the first place…. crazy making behaviour is a very apt term, I was very out going when I met him, thinner, happier, self sufficient, working….all of which have disappeared but he thinks im just lazy now, he gets irrated if i use a computer game and says I must have a ‘problem’ as I use it too often, hates me social networking, obviously as i have male friends which is totally unacceptable, I have even deleted alot to make him feel better!! but the abuse is never ending, I always do something he feels the need to punish for…...he refuses to accept any blame, and im then punished further by relaying my thoughts to friends online as he sits at work reading everything the next day, then the abuse heightens when he returns home as he has been vindicated once again as ive verbally attacked him to my few and far between friends, Im now cold toward him and he wonders why, he knows why deep down but I feel he never loved in the first place as men like this are incapable of love. I would appreciate any comments, as Im so low and dont really know what to do anymore, Ive no money, no job and no home, just living in dead relationship in a house I cant afford alone, I need to move but cant without money or work. Im suicidal at the minute, as Im backed into a corner with no way out, Ive done nothing wrong but the lump in my throat and pain in my side is like ive committed some terrible crime, other than try to enjoy my life, I had to leave work as my co workers seemed to enjoy sending me to coventry also and bitched about me, im starting to wonder if I give off some ‘vibe’ to be abused? Im a people pleaser, I do anything for anyone, I think these terrible people seek you out and enjoy hurting you Xx. ..... Xxx

  • On 29th May 2013 at 11:09 AM LIZ said...

    So glad I found this article, having been a victim of this I have to say that for me the experience was so much worse than the occasional physical abuse I experienced with a previous partner. In my case the relationship ended when I reacted in all the ways described above, it really did make me go crazy, the worst part for me has been that I never did find out for sure the reason he decided to ignore me… I have my suspicions about why but he never did come out and say what it was so I never even got the chance to defend myself… so hard to get over a relationship like this.

  • On 7th Jun 2013 at 12:12 PM Alison said...

    I recieved this treatment from my own mother. The longest period of silence was 2 weeks. The longest two weeks of my life. I just wanted to die. The damage she left behind is immense, and still with me today, even though she is dead.

  • On 9th Jun 2013 at 12:14 PM Jenna said...

    I have just divorced my husband of 10 years because of his repeated use of the silent treatment.  I was in a toxic relationship with him, and usually every week he would “pick a fight” with me over something small and then give me the silent treatment for days.  I used to fight back and beg him to talk to me.  Then, I started going to my mom’s to get away.  When I started doing this every Friday night, I noticed there was a sad pattern here to my marriage.  Also, in my absence from the house, he began using verbal abuse and sending me harassing text messages.  Finally, one day, I had enough. I filed for divorce. We tried one counseling session, but he told the counselor that he didn’t have a problem but that I was a nag.  I decided I wasn’t willing to wait around to work this out—life is too short and precious!  I am very sad to lose the dream of “happily ever after,” but I am now free of his mind games and I live in peace.

  • On 14th Aug 2013 at 06:36 AM Adelle Richard said...

    I receive this treatment from my dearest boyfriend, I am emotionally abuse by him. Emotional and mental abuse is worse than a physical abuse, the scars made by physical can heal but the scars made by emotional and mental abuse never heal.I experience being ignored. One day, one of my friend held her birthday party, so everyone of us go with our partners. I noticed that he keep calling a girl’s name but the girl kept ignoring him i was amaze, he left and run away chasing that girl. i was hurt and felt worthless. that time, i am not really in the mood to go their what i want is to go home and sleep but i chose to go then,  I saw him walking with that girl. i get his hand and suddenly I was shut out, I just want to cry. Im so glad that i found this article and post my own comment.

  • On 15th Aug 2013 at 12:12 PM Laserbella said...

    I realy thankful to you because your blog is most informative about the Silent abuse

  • On 16th Aug 2013 at 03:41 PM Ali said...

    I’m in my early forties and my significant other is 50. I’ve dated him for over 4 years and he pulls the silent treatment with me too. He is so good at projecting and trying to make me think I’m crazy and have issues. I do suffer from anxiety but I wonder why? Sadly, I went to open up an attachment to fill a form and his email outlook opened. I saw an exchange of emails between he and this so called friend. Turns out she is a model and now moving into our area and working at a night club. Pretty soon they are making plans to “bump” into one another. He sends me mixed signals all the time. Before he left for his business trip, he had forgotten his phone and he came into the bedroom and kissed me so passionately and wouldn’t let me go. He also had said, “I miss you already!”

    I’m sick and I can’t cope. He has not talked to me since Monday night because I had asked him if he is in this because we will be seeing a couples therapist. He told me he will see Dr. Lori but he was giving up before we even started. He then drifted the conversation into dangerous areas. I was trying to remain on the positive side. But he kept getting really angry with me. That was the day I had found the email.

    I’m in shock and don’t know how to handle this sort of pain. I don’t know how to move forward as a piece of my heart was ripped out of me. damn him…

  • On 16th Aug 2013 at 10:28 PM Aide said...

    I too have gone through the silent abuse treatment. I was always apologizing trying to make sense of everything but after reading so much on silence abuse has confirmed everything I was feeling. I thought I was going crazy, I can’t understand how someone who said they loved me could intentionally do this to me. Reading everything I could find in silence abuse has only empowered to no longer allow this person to continue to abuse me. Leaving him to his own devices and excluding myself from his abuse. Thank you for this web sight it has really been helpful. It’s put things into perspective for me.

  • On 17th Aug 2013 at 12:44 PM Suzie said...

    I cannot believe what I have just read.  Where to start?  You have just written about my husband of 39 years.  I used to be so outgoing, loads of friends, confident.  Now?  A mess. 

    It is difficult to have friends anymore because I get so terribly distressed by the silent treatment which can last between days and weeks at a time and I retreat increasingly from the world.  I cannot ask anyone round because I never know what sort of mood he will be in.  I, too, walk on eggshells every single day waiting to see if he is actually talking to me or not.  I search my mind for things I have said or done which have caused it.  I am permanently on antidepressants just to cope with living with him.  I have attempted suicide – seriously – twice.  And you are right.  He doesn’t care.  No emotion whatsoever.  I do not know how I am still here because once I was unconscious for 2½ days following a massive overdose and he didn’t call a doctor, just left me. I still wish I had died but my children were devastated.  He does tell me I am mad, maybe I am these days?  Or maybe just mad for staying.

    I have talked to a solicitor about separation/divorce twice and then he starts being lovely and funny and kind to me again; then I stop proceedings.  Actually I am frightened to be on my own because he controls everything from bills to shopping.  Although I have always worked and raised the children, he is the one with the pension pot and yes, I know I would be entitled to half of that plus half the house and savings, but I am 61 and know I would never be able to get a job and have no idea whether I would have enough income to live on once everything is divided in half.  He will not discuss with me what pension and savings we have.

    He hasn’t wanted me physically since I was 41; funnily enough a lot of other men did (and no, I didn’t ever have an affair and I don’t believe he has either).  Following a serious accident 14 years ago when I had to care for him for about 5 years, he has been unbearable.  There was a head injury involved and it exacerbated a bad situation.  If I try to talk about things he gets up and walks out the room.  Whatever I buy for the house (he will never come out and chose things with me), I have to take back; I guess because he doesn’t like whatever it is, but I would be guessing because the silent treatment starts again and I have no idea.

    He has a drinking problem (in that he cannot go a day without drinking).  He tells me it is his only pleasure in life.  If I complain that the amounts go up too much from the normal (beers followed by a bottle of wine), the silent treatment starts, walking out of rooms if I walk in, etc.  I do hate the alcohol dependency but I wouldn’t mind if he drank himself to death, but it’s the money he is throwing down his throat every day!

    But .. I thank you for this article.  I have never read anything like it before and it has made me realise so many things.  Most of all, what a fool to have stayed all these years and waste my life.  I just wish I had the courage to spend my remaining years on my own.

    I am sorry this is so jumbled.

  • On 21st Aug 2013 at 07:13 AM Live streaming News said...

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  • On 21st Aug 2013 at 10:18 PM Hope Atkinson said...

    I suffered from pnd when i gave to my son and my ex mental abused me. Took me away from all my family. Now he has my son and social services are involved am at court tomrow to try to prove my ex made me ill amd he took my son. Really wish women dont go through what i am xxx

  • On 23rd Aug 2013 at 12:51 AM Claire said...

    I hate the silent treatment. My sister’s boyfriend does that to her a lot and she always come to me for help. I forwarded her this article, maybe it will help.

  • On 24th Aug 2013 at 12:59 PM Helen said...

    My mother used to do it to me regularly - it was damaging and hurt dreadfully - and I did do my best to appease her as you described in your writing- but grew up in my teens as a rebellious teenager. As a result my mum and I had a very difficult relationship most of the time she was alive - only making up towards the end. The down side is it opened me up to other abusive relationships.
    The positive side is it helped me to develop better coping strategies, limitless patience, tolerance and to appreciate silence, how to find peace. I became a better observer and gained deeper insight.
    Finally, after years of counselling I have just been discharged from my Psychologist - as a much better person and communicator!

  • On 29th Aug 2013 at 06:38 AM Mack said...

    I am a man that is in a physically abusive relationship with my female partner. She hits me whenever she gets too upset about something. Now tell me, society says i cant hit a woman and i don’t, so when i get physically,emotionally and verbally abused, i just shut my mouth. And if i have to keep to myself for a week i would, do i keep silent to punish her,no, just processing the whole situation and trying to get over it. Society needs to recognize that a lot of men are suffering in silence, while women cry about being abused, even when they are the abusers. Spare me the BS.

  • On 30th Aug 2013 at 05:40 PM G said...

    I am a man and I have suffered the exact, almost to the word!! on this kind of abuse. I’m no longer in the relationship after it having repeats of us getting back together. I woul be lead into the false sense of security of having her back and us moving on then she would do it again first it seemed like once a month then it became more frequent 2 weekl then weekly, always with the affirmation she only wanted to be with me and it was forever. Always doing the cold withdrawal and ignoring me then even times where she would just get on with chores and things as if I wasn’t there and I was clearly distressed continuous silence and ignoring me. The last and final time we got back together she did it right in the middle of making love just stopped for up left the room came back and silence and ignored me. I have only recently stopped messaging her I always thought we would get back together again. It is only now I have realised when she has told me she has taken my messages to the police and filling a harrasment charge against me. She always made out I was the problem she always dented her behaviour and never apologised. She would arrange to do things with me then let me down last minute another building of hopes to crush them. I always wanted to work things out we even went to counselling but she gave up because she made me out to be the problem but the counsellor explored things with her also once it got to in depth with her she stopped it and said it wasn’t working because we’d had a couple I rows after that she instigated. I continued going on my own thinking I was still the problem. Through the counselling It confirmed my emotional reactions were natural to this kind of treatment when I was involved emotionally with her. I am now faced with the possibility of a criminal record because of this kind of abuse and the my ex girlfriend turning it round to make me look bad again. My reactions to her treatment towards me was always used to make me feel bad. She ground and ground me down. I struggle at work.. I messaged her to tell her I loved her and that she should seek help to work our why she does it, to stop doing it. I wanted her to communicate with me listen and acknowledge her behaviour and her responsibility to it. I wanted her to realise and say sorry and learn something. I think they call it crazy making. That is how I feel i can’t understand why someone would treat someone like that and I want her to realise how harmful it has been and to feel something some kind of remorse and have some kind of compassion towards me and empathy and understanding of how it made me behave. She blamed me for everything. I gave everything and she expected everything. I got nothing I really needed in the relationship. What makes her do it why couldn’t she see and stop? Why doesn’t she have genuine feelings. I worry what she has actually been through to have to be like this. I’ve written this to free myself of it to tell the world to release my frustration and suffering of almost being trapped and tricked into loving someone for it to actually destroy apart of me and my belief in people. What is this need to be loved yet not want to give it back to someone.

  • On 31st Aug 2013 at 06:54 PM Graham said...

    Im a Man & my recent ex girlfriend used this exact treatment on me. Shutting down and cold heart, It was repeated time again. Once I moved in. Initially on monthly intervals then two weekly then every week over a period of 6 months after I had moved in. She would lead me in to a false sense of security then suddenly shut down close off and use the silent treatment ignoring when I expressed upset and confusion, or confronted anything, her silence then continued not acknowledging me or any empathy or understanding to my shock or it even felt like my existence. She would stay silent continuing with chores as if I wasn’t even there. I would get upset first then anxious then angry. As soon as I got angry that was when she started putting me down calling me abusive and a physcopath. Always saying I had a problem. I suggested counselling because I wanted it to stop I wanted the issue to be resolved, I loved her, we did this together as I took what she said that I was the problem literally probably because of the amount of times she’d ground me down & told me. During the sessions it was explained the stages of abandonment we all are programmed with for survival initially starts with being upset, then progresses to anxiety then eventually anger. Once the counselling got to in depth and became about how we both communicated and it was not just about me and me being the problem. We had arguments afterwards and she soon quickly said the counselling wasn’t working. It then had to stop. It happened again and once more it was me who had the problem. I actually left her through frustration, because even after the counsellor said if my girlfriend acknowled the upset in the initial stages and responding with loving and caring responses then it would not progress to anything. In the counsellors words my upset was a request or need for some love and understanding. I left &lived; with my parents and because she still said I was the problem I started to go on to counselling on my own. It was through the counselling I realised my reactions were natural to the behaviour I was being subjected to. I came back to her on the condition we would make it work. After two weeks she said she loved me I was what she wanted and it to be forever. I would be lead into false security then she would literally turn. My reactions almost became predictable this time pushed to a different level, as I let her have her silence and didn’t react, her silence lasted 4 days, then when she finally spoke it was something totally irrelevant to what I thought she’d fallen out with me about.  She hounded me saying I couldn’t be trusted & put me down, she got the reaction she wanted eventually. I couldn’t believe it was happening again and she still did it. I would be upset and question why do you do this. Silence and nothing! I would persist wanting to know what made her do it? I couldn’t understand her motivations. She never took responsibility or apologised or saw how she behaved caused the issue. It was always blamed on me and me being insecure. The counselling helped me regain some belief in myself and I stood up to her more and explained how what she did caused the reactions she got from me. Total denial from her that she did anything. This was when we kept splitting up then getting back together she would lead me into false sense of security again, tell me she only wanted me and it was forever. Again doing the same thing. She never took responsibility for her actions or accepted they would have consequences. The last and final time she did it was right in the middle of sex she reacted suddenly stopped and left the room saying nothing then returned and was silent. Ignoring my shock ignoring my confusion ignoring what I questioned I did wrong. Again upset, what did I do? Why?  nothing from her, I then was anxious, what did I do? Why? nothing from her, this was it “she” ended the relationship this time. Even in counselling she was made aware of the stages of abandonment and how any person reacts to a loved one who is no longer there, which is exactly what it is like when you are ignored not responded to and get no warmth or emotional response.
    She had already started the technique of not replying to texts for hours, but when ever i was with her always replying to messages she received. She would ignore calls, we live in a world where people live with their phones by their side. This was another gradual thing, she never behaved like this before I committed to her and rented my house out and sold my furniture to live with her. It was like a switch as soon as I was in her house, in what she could of only thought was her clasp, it began and worsened. As soon as I was In any vulnerable position she used it against me. Since the last time we split I have obviously been messaging her and telling her I love her and sorry for what I did, asking what I did, still thinking I was the problem also still thinking we would patch things up again like we did, and it would be back together forever, I thought she would realise what she does, I even suggested she seek help counselling to over come it or even at least work out & understand why she does it. I had already got used to her not replying.  I have now been told she has informed the police and will be placing a harassment charge against me. Another thing making me out to be bad to put me down to hurt to basically for me to take all the responsibility. I have heard this type of abuse is also known as “Crazy making”. I’m not crazy I was genuine and believed that what she said with trust and as her word. It is clear that her actions contradict all of this and there is no sign of compassion, warmth, respect, understanding, empathy or any basic responses to love. I do not understand why anyone would live their life, waste their time without any good intentions and genuine, authentic or reality, truth in what they say or do. My only way of getting round what I’ve been through is to think she must of been through some seriously bad experiences to need this control to ease her fear and increase her self esteem. I can only say now, it’s her problem and I need to stop caring. But I can’t help wanting to tell her to go and deal with it stop this really bad destructive approach to life. Happiness is not created by this sort of behaviour, if you are the abuser or the abused. There is no way they can be genuinely happy to have to do that! I fortunately can live with myself,  and I know I will peacefully be doing that for a long time. I have peace in myself and know my negative reactions were in defence to an emotional situation with someone who i was emotionally involved with and it was natural survival intuitive responses to abandonment. Instinct is telling you something. I knew this which is why I suggested counselling together. If a relationship is right there is no need for this behaviour. Respect, love, trust & empathy, compassion & understanding breeds enjoyment. Life is to short to be controlled by anyone. Nothing is more valuable than freedom & independence. With a centred person you can have all the positive things and experiences. My focus Is on positive people in my life and my two sons & time alone to centre. Kindness by some people is seen as a weakness. I know it is a strength some people will never have. Anybody reading this should recognise their strength and realise that some people do not deserve your kindness find people that will respect it. Some people cannot be helped, they need to help themselves. Until they admit they have a problem they never will. It is like an addiction to them. Like any addiction it needs to be acknowledged as a problem before it can be healed. I wish everyone luck & love who read this article they obviously have been searching for peace & understanding and want an answer to it. Trust what your instinct is telling you. We fight for survival. If you are finding yourself always compromising always backing down always apologising you are not in a mutual loving relationship with respect. If you feel alone why not be alone. There are always more people in this world and many forms of support who want to help and can help you get over something like this. Start living your life. Don’t live a life controlled by another. Be proud of what you did for that person for love don’t regret it. Value your strengths and your kindness.

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