joeP had a good point about treating others exactly how you want to be treated. Months ago when I was still thinking the ex was normal and I was the screw up.... a friend asked me if i would ever do/say things that he had done to me and the answer was always NO!
It's so helpful to take the things they do (that we make excuses for or minimize) and flip it around and ask if we would be capable of the same thing. puts it into perspective.
He called me nasty names during disagreements like stupid, fucking nuts, bitch, controlling, just like his mother etc. I thought well, it was ok because it was during a fight. But....I was in that same fight and NEVER said anything like that to him.
I don't want to minimize physical abuse ( i've been in that situation too) but for me....the emotional/mental abuse is the most mindfucking experience i have ever encountered. To have the same person compliment and build you up and then degrade and belittle you.....totally messes with your head. You question your own reality.
I remember little things that I never realized at the time were affecting me.
Besides belittling my job....he subtley cut down my appearance.
Once I was all dressed up for a Halloween party and he says " you look beautiful. do you have the slimming pantyhose on that keep it all tight?"
i thought that was "just a joke" but it obviously affected me because the next time i dressed up i made a poing of NOT wearing pantyhose just to prove i would still look good. WTF?? I am 5'5 and 115 pounds....what did I have to prove?
Just goes to show how even there little comments can fuck with your mentality/self esteem.