real life

5 women on the moment they realised they were in an emotionally abusive relationship.



Last week, Bachelor alum and Home and Away star, Sam Frost, shared her experience of being in an emotionally abusive relationship for 18 months.

It was a relationship she had ‘no idea’ was psychologically damaging until she began seeing a therapist after it ended.

And it seems it’s an experience that resonates with many women.

Here five women share with Mamamia the moment they realised they were in a relationship that was emotionally abusive.


“I was with a guy who used to always call me ‘crazy’ because I was convinced he was cheating on me. I ended up feeling like I was losing my mind and that I was super jealous or something which I’d never been in other relationships.

“Then one night I just thought ‘screw it’ and went through his phone. I was spot on. He was trying to pick up girls, and seeing other girls, and telling them he didn’t have a girlfriend. Finding out I’d been right all along was so vindicating.”


“He told me he had cheated on me, and I will still upset (obviously) a couple days later, he said the words, ‘Can’t you just get over it?’ And it was the moment I realised that he didn’t care for me or my feelings, he only told me to clear his own conscience.”


“My ex and I were together for six years – we moved from our small coastal town together to the big smoke when I was 20. He was my first serious boyfriend and I fell in love with him. Initially, he was amazing but as time went on, he slowly started to make nasty remarks about my mental state, often calling me crazy or telling me that no one would put up with me so I was lucky he was still with me. I would often try to talk to him about sharing our expenses – I was on a very low income and he was earning double what I was, yet I seemed to be the one always paying for everything. Whenever I would bring it up, he would go off on a tirade, telling me that I really should ‘go see someone’ because I clearly had issues. He would remind me that he was the breadwinner and would try and convince me that I was delusional; that he always paid and I was taking him for a ride.


“In the end, he cheated on me, I cheated on him and we both realised it was just a shit situation (after a lot of tears of course!) I moved on, met my now hubby, had a family and never thought of him again. He met someone new, had a baby, and then called me years later to say he was sorry and he wished he could fix it. I simply replied ‘Sorry, who is this?'”

Watch: Sam Frost shares her mental health battle on 2DayFM. Post continues after video.


“I was in a relationship with this man for six years and it was five too many. We started dating in our last year of high school and we were so happy. When we both finished school, he didn’t like that I made new friends at uni and the cafe where I worked. He didn’t like that my life now had a part that he wasn’t involved in.

“On nights out, he would demand I dress up and then slut shame me, saying I was always asking for attention. When it was just the two of us, things were great but as soon as we entered the outside world, he became possessive and irrational. He began taking drugs heavily with a group of people, including a girl we went to school with. I always got a strange vibe from her but he was so possessive over me that I thought he wasn’t thinking about anyone else.


“All my friends told me I should leave him, and I lost the respect of family and friends by staying with him. The drug use became so bad I tried to leave him, but every time he would reel me back in, saying he needed me and he’d threaten to end his life if I didn’t take him back. This went on for years and finally, I found out he had been cheating on me with the girl from his group for our entire adult relationship. That was the moment a switch went off in my head and I knew we were done. He still called me and abused me for two years after that, even after I had moved on with my current partner.”


“When we first got together he told me he didn’t want kids. I said that was a deal breaker for me, so we should end things now before getting anymore serious. He told me he liked me so much, he was willing to put it on the table for future discussions. He even said that meeting me had made him imagine what a life with kids could be like, we even had one conversation about baby names.

“Once we were a year down the line, in love and living together, I brought it up again and he said he didn’t think it would be good for my mental health (I had previously suffered with depression) to have a baby and he didn’t think I would be a very good mum anyway. That’s when I knew he’d never meant it when he said he’d think about having kids and just said it to keep me around.”

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