Emotional Abuse


After leaving my marriage of 5 years due to addiction, I am coming to terms that I have endured a good amount of emotional abuse in the duration of the marriage. This was initially surprising to me because he always acted like he was the victim and I the monster. I admit that towards the end, my bitterness led to very harsh words and a very negative perspective of him and his choices. While listening to a podcast, I heard something that resonated with me. They said, like an animal, when they are highly threatened and cornered they act out in a way that is not true to their nature. I am not proud of how I acted towards the end, and I don’t want to give myself an excuse for my action, but I feel there is some truth to this comparison. When I am not feeling threatened and in a dire situation, that is not who I am.
I want to repair my relationship my ex, not necessarily romantically, but for my son. I have been so protective of myself, imagine 40 ft walls. I have my boundaries, I enforce my boundaries, but does it just take time?

I know this post was all over the place, please feel free to comment on any part of it. Thank you.


Hi @Awlee090,
I think there are so many dynamics at play when we’re in relationships with our loved ones and also their substance misuse. I often pictured alcohol as a third party in my marriage when my husband was drinking, because it was that heavily involved and changed things so dramatically.

I think many of us here can relate to this. I’ve said and done many things over the years in interacting with my husband that I am not proud of and it’s helpful to remind myself that like the animal in your example, I was doing the best I could with the skills I had at the time. I also think the example works for those who are struggling as well. I’m certain my husband also felt cornered and defensive (both when drinking and when confronted about it) and he acted in ways that is not a representation of his true self either. Now that we both know better, we do better, but I think having compassion has helped on that journey tremendously. It’s okay for me to not feel proud of how I acted, but I can feel love and empathy for that version of me that was struggling.

I think it’s great that you want to work on building a healthier relationship with your ex and it seems like you’re asking the necessary questions to get there <3


The reason I left my first husband is that I hated the person I was becoming.

We are human and we do the best we can in difficult situations.

I would suggest that you give yourself space and time to heal. Simply do your best to detach from his stuff. And when you are ready you can try to build a bridge. If you put pressure on yourself to build that bridge now you may put too much pressure on yourself. That pressure is what pushed me into behaviour that was not acceptable to me.