Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

When I get scared, he gets worse...what is happening?

Community Member


My BF has recently started picking on me. When I answer a question from him - I'm trying to think at the same time so it's often not as quick or assured as usual....I'm also "thinking on my feet" trying to judge his reaction to my words because I don't want to find myself in an escalating situation which spirals out of control into violence. I'm also confused at what his problem is, going through all the things in my mind of what it could be. And hurt that he is unhappy with me, confused that he's turning on me, frustrated that he's being demanding...you get the picture.

The more intimidated I get, the worse he gets...I end up actually being scared & my words are stuck in my mouth. This makes him even more angry.

What is it called when a person feeds off fear (or uses the discomfort of others) like this?

I'm not sold on his explanation...which is that he believes I'm trying to antagonize him on purpose...it's obviously just a ploy to get angry at me. But why? Control? Power? To punish me for doing something he didn't like?

What's his psychological issue here?

3 Replies 3

Community Member
Sounds like narcissism

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello Chrissystar..

My hubby was the same...Power, control, emotional control, His enjoyment of seeing you looking, feeling vulnerable when he’s around...

I can relate to you feeling hurt, confused, frustrated with yourself...about his behaviour towards you...People like your bf and my hubby thrive on our feelings of inadequacy, fear, hurt, unhappiness...It gives them a sense of power over us....

Absolutely no one..ever should make you or anyone else feel that way...it’s unacceptable and so wrong...Chrissystar being scared of your bf who should love, care for you, protect you, respect you..Is not a way anyone should have to live...You deserve to be happy..respected...and no less..

I lived 38 yrs with a hubby who I believe was the cruelest narcissistic man who ever lived... I loved him...and was scared of him at the same time...it’s no life for anyone...and the memories of what I went through stays with me, hurts me, will never leave me...

Please..Think of you, your physical and mental safety before anything else....look after you..

Im sorry if I spoke to harshly..I just don’t want anyone to live in fear....especially from the one that supposed to love and protect them...

Be kind to you..look after you and stay safe...

Love with hugs..


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear ChrissyStar

I am so sorry to learn of the difficult time you are having. I have no real answers as I am not there with you. I do wonder if you know what sparked all this aggression. I am presuming this has not always been the case.

It is called bullying to terrorise someone into giving answers that fit what he wants to hear rather than the truth. I can appreciate you do not want to make the situation worse for yourself. Has this happened before? It is probably obvious to him that you are choosing your words carefully to stop him having an excuse to continue bullying. If so then this is what is making him angry because you will not play his game.

I take it you have not been able to talk with him about what's happening. Do you feel it would be safe to do this?

Do you have a safe place to go if he does become violent? I think it's important to decide what you are going to do if he gets violent. Do you know what will happen if you answer in the way you used to answer? I also wonder if he gets frustrated because you are so obviously afraid of him. I am thinking of different ways and means but it is you who are in the situation not me. Can you call 1800RESPECT/ Their webpage is https://www.1800respect.org.au/ Their number is 1800 737 732. They will have strategies to help you.