Tagged: Is coercive control
18th September 2021 at 9:23 am #131598
Hello, I am not sure if the last (detail removed by moderator) years of marriage that I was being manipulated (I can’t say abused as husband said that is too strong a word, I was abused as a child so compared to that I do not know if how husband treated me is abusive)
Everything changed when I found he had other bank accounts, one of which had (detail removed by moderator) in (I used to work then we had 2 children so gave it up to look after them, we have a SEN child who needs a lot of support, from me). He gave me money each week, I would have to ask him which I found humiliating. During rows he would say I am mad, that I don’t work (supporting SEN child is a 24hr job which I do without as my child is afraid of dad’s moods) we never knew what mood he would come home in, we started to walk on eggshells around him, I have separated him from fighting other men on numerous occasions (in front of our children) as he has a temper. He hasn’t hit me, he puffs up to me if that makes sense, I feel fight or flight run through my veins when he did that.
I had no access to his bank accounts, him being the main earner, I had to ask him if I needed extra money to cover uniforms or whatever, sometimes he would say how useless I am with money and ask me to write every penny I spent down so I could learn to be better with money, he said it kindly though. He said a lot of things calmly and kindly to me.. very confusing.
So I am mad, stupid, useless. Most people who met him say how nice he is, how lucky I am.
I was very vulnerable when I met him, I was younger too. I have been with him for so long my head is a mess. I have separated, not long ago, he has said he is suicidal, has no money, won’t divorce me as wants me and kids back. I feel sorry for him and so anxious for the future, for all of us. I feel so utterly responsible for all of my family including for him. My daughter has begged me not to let him back home and I haven’t. My other child is so confused as knows there’s something wrong with dad. My husband has never had friends, I do and he resented me seeing too much of them. He would comment on my clothing if I went out. Unless I had sex with him, if i had sex with him I could go and do more so that became an unspoken currency. I hate myself for that. He didn’t hit me. I am so confused as it seems the last (detail removed by moderator) were not healthy and I did that! I decided to marry him and have children, I didn’t see it when I met him as he was so needy, I took on the caretaker role and him the protective role. Please, if anyone recognises abusive behaviour in what I have described please help. I am a mess. Thank you
18th September 2021 at 10:04 am #131599EggshellsParticipant
Welcome to the forum and to our community.
The experiences you describe are some of the most commonly described features of an abusive relationship. You can read about these behaviours over and over again on the forum.
You will also read that people outside of the relationship think these men are wonderful. It’s all a part of their game. If he can be so lovely to other people, then he clearly does know how to be nice – he’s choosing not to be nice to you.
There are a couple of things that might be helpful to you at this early stage.
This is a link that might help you to understand whether or not you are in an abusive relationship. https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/am-i-in-an-abusive-relationship/
Then, please do Google the cycle of abuse. It explains why abusers are sometimes nice to us – to keep us hooked into the relationship.
There are also a couple of books I’d recommend reading. As a first book, “Living with the Dominator” by Pat Craven. It was the first book recommended to me by KIP (a long time contributor to the forum and a solid supporter of survivors). The book describes the many different types of abusive behaviour and it was a real eye opener for me.
Then following that “Why does he do that?” which explores the motives and tactics of abusers.
Recognising that you have been abused is a big thing. It can take time to really sink in and it can feel very shocking. Please take this at your own pace. It takes great resolve to keep him from coming back to you. If you need support, the forum is always here for you.
You can also connect with your local DV charity who may also be able to offer you support. You can find their details here: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/
You don’t need to do this alone. xx
18th September 2021 at 10:09 am #131601HawthornParticipant
Yes what he is doing is abuse and coercive control. He doesn’t hit you because he doesn’t need to, his other abuse (emotional, psychological, sexual, financial) is enough to intimidate and frighten you into submission so he can control you. He will never admit what he is doing is wrong but wil minimise, deny and blame you for his behaviour. Confronting him about it is both dangerous and pointless. Threatening suicide is a common abuser tactic, its how my ex controlled me for years. If he does it again call 999 for assistance. Though he is likely using it to manipulate you suicidality is a medical emergency and cannot be managed by family members or partners.
Do you have support from your local women’s aid? You need and deserve their support. GP can be a good starting point too and can direct you to local services. Please reach out, there are people and organisations who will help you. 🙏
Abusers all use the same tactics, what he is doing and saying to you feels so personal but know it is not, he would treat any partner he had the same way. Google the power and control wheel and the cycle of abuse. Try reading Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. It’s available to read for free on line. Knowledge is power.
You are not alone. Sending strength xx
18th September 2021 at 11:14 am #131604
Eggshells, thank you. Just reading I am not alone means so much. As I have never felt so alone. Xxxx
18th September 2021 at 11:13 am #131603
Thank you for responding. I do not have any other support as I am unsure where to start, I do not know how to word it to my GP. I have 2 helpful friends who listen and keep saying that this is domestuc abuse. I can look up my local women’s aid. The suicide threat had me feeling bound and gagged as my children are worried about him as he is behaving so sadly, depressed and almost meek. He says I am in control, I twist everything, that I call the shots, he has lost everything, his home, wife, children and he has no hope for the future, he said he feels suicidal but won’t do it because of the children yet seems so depressed. He keeps trying to be at home, he will stay longer than I am comfortable with, he has started to touch my arm which I do not like, he is always pushing but in a subtle way.
I am trying so hard to do the right thing yet can’t shake the feelings of responsibility for him. I also find it hard to accept how I got into this situation as I used to be very different, more self assured, confident. My mental health isn’t great, he knows that hence years of calling me mad. It took someone very close to me to question why I kept calling myself mad, when I answered her I said my husbands name and then I realised in that moment that that was not right, since then I have realised there’s so much he has done, harmful yet not physical… not hitting, he has pushed me but (detail removed by moderator) I am going to start reading The Dominator as that’s been recommended. Thank you
18th September 2021 at 2:26 pm #131610EggshellsParticipant
Unfortunately, we do tend to suffer from a freeze, flight or fight response when we’re scared. That is very different from deliberately puffing up to intimidate someone and believe me, he did do that deliberately. It would have been orchestrated to intimidate you.
If you can keep him from coming back, you will start to find you again but it’s a long journey unfortunately and can involve alot of therapy.
You don’t need to worry about him. He is an adult and responsible for his own mental health. You have your children and yourself to worry about now. That is your priority.
The longer you are separated from him the stronger and more together you will feel.
If he does take his own life, it won’t be your fault in any way, shape or form. It is his decision and his alone. To be honest, he’s far more likely to try and hang around like a bad smell until he finds a new victim to prey on.
Put yourself first now and your children will feel the benefit trickling down to them without you even trying.
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