DiscoverLove and Abuse
Love and Abuse

Love and Abuse

Author: Paul Colaianni

Subscribed: 1,165Played: 36,088


Helping you identify toxic communication, emotional abuse, manipulation and other forms of bad behavior in relationships. Full of tips and advice for your friendships, family, love life and marriage.

Revealing covert abusive communication that takes away your power. Learn to pinpoint the specific toxic behaviors such as narcissistic abuse and verbal abuse before you are dragged in to their game so deep you come out a shell of your former self.

Love and Abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook, an assessment and healing guide to help you evaluate the emotionally abusive and manipulative patterns in your relationship. Download the guide at
78 Episodes
The two sides of emotional abuse are the perpetrator and the victim. Sometimes the victim can't tell if there's abusive behavior or just normal relationship difficulties. Sometimes the hurtful person needs to know what they're doing that's hurtful because they could have been doing it for so long, they don't realize how bad their behavior is. This is a packed episode that goes over the silent treatment, discerning between abuse and normal difficulties, and learning if there can be a relationship after emotional abuse goes away.
There's a point when there has been enough abusive behavior where you decide you're no longer going to stand for it and it's time to take the next right step for you. Don't accept bad behavior for so long that you convince yourself that it's never bad enough.
When you're around those who constantly put you down with hurtful words or threats that they'll never talk to you again or leave you forever, it can become the new normal. Those who try to make you feel like something bad will happen if you don't change into what they want you to be are hoping you don't catch on to their deception to keep you in a fear-based state forever.
If you've considered leaving an emotionally abusive person and feel guilty having those thoughts, you need to make sure your guilt is justified and not implanted or based on a false premise. When guilt seeps in, it can stop you from making decisions that are right for you. Decisions based on guilt can sometimes backfire, and you may find yourself back in the same situation you were before. Try not to make relationship decisions based on guilt. When you do that, it can backfire on you, and you may find yourself in the same position you were in before.
Sometimes in an emotionally abusive relationship, you have a big decision to make. That decision may be to leave, or perhaps you want to stand up and honor yourself. There are a number of decisions to make when you're in any type of relationship. Some of them harder than others. In this episode, I help you visualize what that looks like and how to get there. For the healing and assessment guide for difficult relationships, check out The M.E.A.N. Workbook over at
When a relationship is difficult, it's helpful to have an established baseline of acceptable behavior. If you don't know what is acceptable and what isn't, how can you possibly know if your relationship values are being violated?
Am I the abuser? It's a question I get a lot. In this episode, I want to make sure you're aware of reactive abuse and how you can be pushed to the limit and become what some may see as abusive. However, don't be fooled into thinking you are an abusive person if you were pushed to that limit by an abusive person. Everyone, even the most calm, passive people, has a limit. And almost everyone will break when pushed over the edge.
Sometimes it helps to know what to look for in your relationship and how a relationship is supposed to look when you just aren't happy or are dealing with a difficult partner. In this special episode, Grace with interviews me on her podcast and asks several questions regarding emotional abuse, empowerment, and what a relationship is supposed to look like.
Months can seem like an eternity when you're in a toxic relationship, but what about years? Can you not only survive a relationship like that, but also thrive if you choose to leave it? Is it ever too late to leave an emotionally abusive situation?
Some hurtful behavior can have a secondary benefit to the person hurting you. Some behaviors can cause you to react in such a way that brings the hurtful person benefit. Because of that, they know how to get their needs simply by acting badly. If you want to know why you can never please someone, this episode might help you answer that question.
Emotional abuse has an insidious way of disintegrating the very core of who you are. It's a process that can turn you into a shell of your former self. You can rebuild, but to do so sooner than later will decrease the time it takes to recover a toxic relationship. Even if you are left empty inside, the moment the toxicity is out of your system is the same moment the healing starts.
A mom wrote to me and said that she is blaming herself for not doing the right job parenting her abusive son. Guilt is plaguing her and she wants to move forward. In this episode, I share what guilt and forgiveness are really about. Guilt is supposed to be a short term punishment and a prompt to take action, not a life sentence.  
The very core of who you are is what can get compromised when you are in an emotionally abusive relationship. That's why many victims of emotional abuse say that they became a shell of their former self when they were exposed to it for too long. In order to stay as whole as you can, you need to remember who the most important person in your world is and protect that person at all costs.
You've tried talking with them, expressing your hurt or unhappiness, but they still don't seem to want to change their behavior. If you've done what you can, what is the next step? Emotionally abusive behavior is not something you should live with, but many do. It might be time to consider all your options.
There's a point of either intoleration or breakdown that you sometimes have to reach in order to finally make a decision that you need to make about a toxic relationship. When that moment comes, it can be scary. There can be a lot on the line. In this episode, I talk about what needs to happen in order for you to be in the right state of mind to make the big, scary decisions you might need to make for yourself.
Dealing with a manipulative and controlling relationship is bad enough, but what happens when the person doing the bad behavior is also dealing with addiction? What if the addiction is the reason for the emotionally abusive behavior? It's important to understand your role in an addict's life. Addiction exacerbates bad behavior. Some addicts don't do bad behavior when they're not participating in their addiction. Some do. Where you are in all this is what makes the difference between feeling okay in a relationship with an addict, feeling trapped in one, or realizing you have no choice but to leave.
One of the constants I've seen over and over again in emotionally abusive relationships is when the victim tries harder to please an unpleasable person. No matter what they do or how hard they try, the hurtful and unkind person will remind them in many ways that it's still not enough. For more episodes visit    
What is one of the most effective forms of emotional abuse? When the abusive person takes everything that empowers you away from you. All your tools and resources become their tools to use you and hurt you. When that happens, you feel like there's nothing left for you to do. This is an important episode. I hope you get a chance to tune in. For more episodes, visit  
The first important point in a growing argument might be the most important one that gets glossed over. When that happens, the person trying to express what they're feeling or experiencing might feel invalidated. From that moment on, the point is lost and the conversation can spiral into anger and upset with no closure in sight. If that's happening to you, this episode may help you stop the glossing over so that you don't get left behind in what could turn into a productive conversation. For more episodes, visit  
When you've been mistreated for so long, you may begin to feel less worthy of love and affection. You may start to believe that you don't deserve to be treated better than you are. You might actually start to believe that you deserve bad behavior. You deserve nothing less than love, kindness and respect. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse
Comments (48)


I appreciate that Paul is willing to share things from his past, like the emails he mentioned he wrote in 2005-2006, that show his vulnerability and human-ness (if that can be a word!). It brings me hope that I too can be rid of the toxicity I feel in myself from the many years of being in a toxic and manipulative relationship. This podcast is so insanely helpful, I cannot express enough gratitude to Paul!

May 24th


my Young wife I gave her all love m attention n she uttered "u don't really love me this is all a show " broke my heart, I told her it's Untrue how can she neglect my efforts n sincerity. Now I m keeping distance not joking n making her laugh or any informal conversation, so she can realize the VALUE of what I was giving her before. it's been 1 week,.it is so painful to be doing this to my love but I have to so she understand VALUE of what she took for granted. I miss making her laugh, I always ignored her flaws out of love but this time it was direct attack on my sincerity. She is 24 what does she know about love? but a lesson has to be taught somehow for deterrence in future..hope I'm not mistaking..I'll give cold shoulder 2 weeks n then debrief n forgive her yet again, true love is sacrifice n education to the weakest link in relationship -Alan de botton

Jan 25th


Paul, you always make me feel so much better about life and myself. You give me strength in times when I thought I had none left. I appreciate that you put yourself out there all in the name of helping others. I'm not sure if I would've ever found the strength to get out of the bad relationship I was in if I hadn't found your podcasts. I'm forever grateful! Excellent episode!! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜🤎

Dec 16th
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Stu Cook

A wonderful and very helpful episode today, Paul! 👍 I recognise my past self and old relationships in some of the things that you covered today so it's good to see I have grown immensely since then.

Dec 9th
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Hi Paul, just wanted to let you know that I LOVE both of your podcasts and am very happy to have found you! ❤️❤️❤️👍👍👍 And to that person writing this letter: he sounds like a very jealous person to me... Greetings from Turkey & Germany 😊 Gülay

Dec 5th
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Stu Cook

Another great episode packed with useful advice for anyone who deals with toxicity in relationships be they romantic or otherwise. ✌️

Nov 21st
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Asha Merkes

I did the hard job of leaving my 16 yr relationship with 4 children it hurts I thank you for this podcast

Nov 15th
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Stu Cook

There's a lot of sound advice here especially for anyone who has dealt, or deals with, toxic interactions. This is something I wish I'd have discovered several years back if only to spare myself the wounds gained from toxic people. But you live, you learn.

Nov 4th
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Stu Cook

Thank you for your insights today. I learned a lot 👍

Sep 26th
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Stu Cook

Thank you for sharing your thoughts on such a sensitive issue. The tips today will help me identify when I'm being gaslit and also when I'm doing the gaslighting so I can break away from the people and habits causing it.

Sep 5th

Stu Cook

Thank you so so much for your wisdom today, Paul! 👍 I have been following your Overwhelmed Brain podcast for a while now and really felt that I would benefit from this one too as I've experienced my fair share of toxicity in relationships and am still healing today.

Sep 1st
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thx for being transparent n showing how to bravely face criticism even though all of it was untrue. It teaches us some people suffering may pass on their pain to others with these untrue hurtful comments. Its such a wrong way to cope with personal problems. You cant find some1 more polite, friendly & decent as paul here n its for free. Therapist/psychologists charge arm n leg for this n Here mr. paul is taking time out of his life to contribute n making conscious effort to ease pain n suffer of people with effective sound advice n sharing valuable experience. imagine a teenager listening in n learning the ups n downs of relationships. Purely valuable, imho. To the complainer, i forgive you for failing to hurt a decent human being. May god ease your suffering for you are obviously suffering.

Jul 1st
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Discernment Queen

Don't feed the trolls. You are doing a great job. I learned so much from you. I've had therapist with a PHD and it was horrible. Thanks so much for helping me mentally. I finally left this emotionally abusive after 15 years.... After I started listening to you. I know it was long overdue. Thank you so much.

Jun 26th
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my prblm is my wife is young23 n stubborn n does not want to learn anything. i want her to learn n become better person. she is oblivious about life..naivwe n she just wastes time entertain herself 24 - 7 on tiktok or youtube. so i m wanting her to change n become responsible so we can grow family n move fwd..

Jun 9th
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Jim Floisand

can you do something on co-parenting with your abusive ex?

Jun 7th
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Aireen Gajilomo

im crying while listening. it hurts but it is true. wondering, when Can I be good enough for him.

Apr 6th
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Rhon Sanders

This soooooo on Point

Jan 9th
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Sheila Tagesen

I listened to these podcasts over and over again it took me almost a year to realize how toxic the relationship I was in and i was the victim of the emotional Abuse. I think they are well thought out and explain things so well. Thank you Paul

Dec 27th
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Gwen Stacy

The way in which you describe manipulation is amazing. Not only do you include a wide variety of situations but you also make a difficult topic easy to understand. It just makes sense when you say it. You are very kind with your words but you provide the insight some of us need. Sometimes I wonder how you know exactly what I'm experiencing, then I realize it's not just me and that gives me hope. Thank you for helping me see the truth in my relationship.

Aug 4th
Reply (2)

Somayeh Ganji

I literally cried listening to the latest episode. Thank you so much for shedding the light on the darkest corners of doubt and fear.

Jul 21st
Reply (1)
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