Surviving An Abusive Relationship

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This article was written by a young person as part of our #YouDeserve: Healthy Relationships Campaign. To find out more about the campaign click here.

People don’t notice when love stops and abusive relationships start. Ideally, people would recognise the signs before it is too late, but many don’t. This is the real-life story of an abusive relationship by a teenage boy who fell in love before things turned sour.

”This was the most haunting time of my life. He put me through so much. He forced me to go to counselling sessions and made me believe I had anger problems”. This is James’s* story. He fell in love with the wrong person. His freedom was taken away from him before he even realised it. Everything started to fall apart when he and Harry moved in together for the first time.

His voice wasn’t important


Unlike his partner, James did all the housework. Harry would force him to do everything for him. His voice wasn’t important; he had no say in things. All he could do was keep quiet and do everything to please his partner.

”Harry was a psychologist, and he used his skills to manipulate and control me. He shouldn’t have used his skills to control me, but I felt so weak, and I couldn’t do anything about it.”


James was never put first and felt sad as Harry would only prioritise his own family. Even his ex-boyfriends were a part of their life. Harry would never respect him and would always flirt with other boys but would still say it was nothing. James was called stupid and was told that he should see a doctor.

”One time, I was studying, and his mother forced me to get a night job. She said, ‘I can make my son get rid of you, and you’d end up homeless since your father is dead’. I was the bad guy for defending myself, and he took her side. Both of them threatened to expose my sexuality to my family, and they had connections that could make trouble for my mum at work.’

“I lost everything”

James was left with no friends or relatives. Eventually, he lost the roof over his head after his partner kicked him out of the house, and he ended up living in different hotel rooms for two months. Eventually, he ran out of money and became homeless for a little while. His ex-partner would always text him, force him to go back home, or threaten that he would tell his mother how crazy her son was.

”I lost everything, my friends, family, a house, a bed… everything. This all happened because of one stupid mistake – my ex-partner.”

James felt so gullible yet so in love. He never had doubts. He followed his heart, leading to heartbreak. He was manipulated and controlled at all times. After all the horrible things that had happened to James; manipulation, controlling, constant mental and psychical abuse, James had finally moved on, moved away from Harry.

The future is happier and safer

James still remembers the past; although he wishes to forget, he will never forget what he went through. Although James wants to keep the past in the past, he still feels heartbroken after everything Harry had put him through.

James moved abroad to avoid all the terror he had to live through. James is now happily living in Cyprus, where he enjoys the hot weather and continues his online university and lives with his mother, where he feels at home.

James is now happy and feels so much safer away from his abusive partner, Harry. He now smiles and wants to succeed in his future career, Journalism. He now looks towards the future with positive thinking.

Getting help

If you’re experiencing similar things to James, then there is help available.

This article is part of the Healthy Relationships campaign. If you would like to read more about the Healthy Relationships campaign and see more content including information and support for young people’s experiences, click here.

If you want help or advice about relationships, or if there’s anything else worrying you, then you can call Meic and speak to a friendly advisor. Meic is an information and advocacy helpline open from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week, for children and young people aged in Wales.


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