Love and Abuse

Paul Colaianni

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

Empower yourself by learning to pinpoint the specific behaviors of toxic people before you become victim to their game and come out a shell of your former self.

All Episodes

What's the best course of action when it comes to leaving the emotional abuser? Should you sit them down and have the "the talk", or is talking going to get you sucked into another conversation that causes you to stay out of guilt or being convinced you're wrong? They're likely to convince you of doing things their way so it may not go any differently during "the talk."

Dec 1

31 min 49 sec

When you're in any type of difficult or emotionally abusive relationship, a violation of your relationship boundaries has probably already taken place. After all, you didn't sign up to feel like crap all the time or be unhappy. So is it okay to seek someone outside the relationship when you can't get your emotional needs met within the relationship you're in? I tackle that tough question in this episode.

Nov 12

30 min 15 sec

When you've had enough and you can't take anymore, but you stay and take more, you end up in an endless cycle of love and abuse. If you're afraid to stay because things are bad, but also afraid to leave because you don't know any other way to live your life, it's time to get real clear on what you really want.

Nov 3

19 min 58 sec

How bad does it have to get before you're convinced that the person you're dealing with is never, ever going to change? And how much more hurtful behavior has to happen before you decide enough is enough? Sometimes we are so jaded by and used to emotionally abusive behavior that we forget what being treated with kindness and respect means.

Oct 22

40 min

What happens when the hurtful behavior stops and you are free to be yourself? Does the relationship now go back to normal like nothing ever happened? It can, but it rarely does. In fact, most victims of emotional abuse want the person who hurt them to feel what they went through. They want the abuser to suffer. Is that reciprocal emotional abuse? That's the question I answer in this episode.

Oct 15

35 min 33 sec

Emotionally abusive people usually drain all of your energy. It's rare that they leave the relationship because they get their power from taking yours. There can be two or three main reasons they leave, but no matter what the reason is, there's almost always a trail of destruction behind them.

Oct 7

40 min 26 sec

What happens when you've had enough of the bad behavior and want the other person to leave you alone? In a family situation, that might be easier to do since you may not live together. In a romantic relationship however, that can be a bit harder. What if the other person doesn't want to go? What do you do then? It's time to get clear on what you want so that you convey the right message that cannot be misinterpreted.

Sep 23

39 min 59 sec

Emotional abuse in any relationship is made up of numerous behaviors, many of which can be quite hard to detect. When you're trying to pinpoint the exact behaviors causing difficulties in your relationship, it can be helpful to understand the subtleties.

Sep 14

54 min 1 sec

Every wonderful aspect of you can diminish when you are with a toxic person. They find ways to convince you that you are unworthy and unlovable so that you seek love and worth from them instead of looking anywhere else. It is a manipulative tactic they use to keep you down so that they can also be the hero to bring you up.

Jul 30

33 min 24 sec

If you told a "normal" person they were being emotionally abusive, you'd think they'd back off and re-evaluate their behavior. After all, people who care about you don't want to hurt you. At least, that's the hope. Is there an easy way to convey to them that their hurtful words and actions are destroying the relationship so that they'll "get it" and treat you nicer?

Jul 11

25 min 59 sec

Some people become highly defensive or offensive when they want to hide something from you, or lie to you, or don't want to be vulnerable with you, because it's too scary for them. No matter the reason, their behavior has a purpose and it's usually to divert your attention so that they don't have to reveal something that might make them feel out of control.

Jun 29

24 min 29 sec

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.

Jun 17

40 min 28 sec

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.

Jun 3

50 min

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.

May 18

37 min 28 sec

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.

Apr 30

53 min 54 sec

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

Apr 15

41 min 32 sec

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?

Apr 2

31 min 17 sec

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.

Mar 18

33 min 21 sec

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.

Mar 12

58 min 43 sec

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?

Feb 17

26 min 5 sec

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.

Feb 3

39 min 27 sec

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.

Jan 10

27 min 34 sec

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.  

Dec 2020

40 min 4 sec

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.

Dec 2020

24 min 24 sec

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.

Nov 2020

51 min 11 sec

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.

Nov 2020

51 min 37 sec

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.

Oct 2020

34 min 31 sec

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    

Sep 2020

26 min

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  

Sep 2020

16 min 25 sec

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  

Sep 2020

47 min 40 sec

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

Aug 2020

24 min 55 sec

There are times when you want to share what you learn on this show and others with an abusive person, but is it the right thing to do? This show articulates the behavior in a way that almost anyone can understand, but if the abusive person doesn't want to change or doesn't think they need to change, is sharing this show and other helpful material with them a good idea? I tackle that question today. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

Aug 2020

28 min 52 sec

Those that do and say things to make you feel crazy want you to be in an eternal state of confusion. When you are confused, you are open to toxic injections of control and manipulation. A confused state causes you to be more suggestible. You want to get out of confusion as soon as possible so that they can't cause you harm. Crazymaking, or gaslighting, is one of the more insidious forms of emotional abuse. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

Aug 2020

1 hr 7 min

Simple incompatibilities are common in relationships, but what happens when they lead to emotionally abusive behavior? In this episode, I talk about the potential for hurtful and controlling behavior from someone who may not be able to accept your incompatibilities. They don't want you to be you, they want you to be an extension of them. Love and Abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Jul 2020

30 min 32 sec

Every now and then someone you care about makes a mistake and says or does something to make you feel bad. These one-offs are forgivable. They could be having a bad day or perhaps they just had a lot of pent up energy they needed to release and you were just an unlucky target. But what about when bad behaviors are repeated over and over again? You could be looking at an emotionally abusive relationship and it might be time to take a stand for your own worth and well-being. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

Jul 2020

28 min 42 sec

What happens when you create a show about abusive behavior? You hear from people that aren't happy that they are being called out on that behavior. On today's episode, I read a letter from someone that thinks I'm dangerous and should find other things to do with my time. This is a special episode for both the abuser and the victim. For more episodes, visit

Jun 2020

42 min 35 sec

When the toxic relationship has worn you down and taken away your ability to even think clearly, let alone chiseled away at any confidence and mental strength you had left, it's time to pivot your trajectory to rebuild yourself and make healthy decisions. Visit for more episodes

Jun 2020

24 min 31 sec

We can spend so much time hoping the other person will change so that our life will be better, but we end up missing out on a lot of time that could be spent doing what we need to do for ourselves. In this episode, I talk about the elements that make up the emotionally abusive relationship and how knowing both sides, the victim and the abuser, can be helpful to determine the path you need to take for yourself. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

Jun 2020

39 min 17 sec

There is a direct cause and effect when you are exposed to manipulative and controlling behavior. It can take a physical toll on you and cause you to believe things about yourself that simply aren't true. In this episode, I read a message from someone who got out of a twenty-year emotionally abusive marriage to discover his health and well-being suddenly increase. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

May 2020

31 min 17 sec

If someone hurt you, abused you, or wronged you in some way and you're still holding on to upset or anger toward them, how can you let it go and heal? There are some people in the world that we don't want to forgive, but we also don't want to hold on to anger or pain because of what they did. That is the topic of today's episode. Visit for more episodes and The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse

May 2020

22 min 9 sec

Sometimes emotional abuse in adult relationships is the result of childhood trauma, neglect or abuse. Sometimes it's the result of the other person being abusive toward you so in order to get your needs met, you might have to become controlling and manipulative yourself. No matter how it happens, this episodes is about how to learn about and stop the behavior. Love and Abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse at

Apr 2020

44 min 28 sec

Do boundaries work with emotional abusers? I received this question from someone who has tried almost everything to work with her emotionally abusive partner but is running out of options. In this episodes, I analyze the behavior she points out in the email she sent me, and also discuss why therapy sometimes doesn't work with manipulative people (and how to do therapy that does work). Love and abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Apr 2020

54 min 48 sec

Sometimes you just can't figure out if perhaps what you're experiencing is abusive or manipulative behavior. You may even think perhaps you're overreacting or seeing things wrong. In this episode, I analyze an email I received and pick out the specific behaviors that I would call emotional abuse. Love and abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Mar 2020

53 min 43 sec

Why does it always seem like you have to constantly explain or defend yourself with certain people? Are you just not coming through clearly? Do they have trouble understanding? Or is there really something a deceptive going on to keep you under control? Learn the Turn-Around game and how it keeps you from ever gaining ground with controlling and manipulative people.

Feb 2020

42 min 30 sec

When the trust breaks and there is no love left in the relationship, but the emotional abuse stops, is there a chance for it to heal and can the trust be re-earned? I read an email from someone who has healed from being the abusive one and wants my thoughts if the marriage will survive or if it's too late. Love and abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Feb 2020

34 min 55 sec

If you've never gotten triggered by someone's post on social media, you may be one of the lucky few. It's those times you can't help but give your opinion to someone you know is wrong or completely ignorant. What can happen nowadays, especially in a heated political climate, is friends are lost, hearts are broken, and stress and upset reign supreme. In this episode, I compare the Facebook conversation to an abusive relationship and highlight how you are actually inserting yourself into an abusive interaction when you choose to react from a triggered space to someone you disagree with. Lots of similarities to the relationship experiencing emotional abuse. Love and abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Feb 2020

18 min 50 sec

Why don't hurtful people stop hurting? Can the emotional abuser or controlling / manipulative person change? Can your relationship with them be saved? It's an important question I get all too often. Love and Abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook on manipulation and emotional abuse.

Jan 2020

25 min 56 sec

Manipulation originates with the desire to have something and doing anything you can to get it. I explore that topic in today's episode. Love and Abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook on emotional abuse at

Jan 2020

23 min 11 sec

There's something that family, coworkers, friends, and even romantic partners can all have a common: They can sometimes be difficult to talk to. Some have opposing beliefs and values. Others simply want to control you and be right no matter what. Whatever the case is for you, this episode talks about some ins and outs of dealing with challenging people.

Dec 2019

39 min 19 sec

Emotional abuse and controlling, manipulative behavior have no place in a relationship. Whether it's romantic or with a family member or friend, the toxicity of hurtful behavior simply destroys what could be good relationships. There's much insecurity in the emotional abuser, and in this episode I talk about that a lot of other components of emotional abuse. Love and abuse is the official podcast of The M.E.A.N. Workbook at

Dec 2019

55 min 23 sec