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    • #29121

      I’ve known for a while that my “relationship” with a guy has been less than good – he’s sexually controlling, jealous, possessive, manipulative, he messes with my head, I find myself being careful what I do or say around him because I know he’ll get the hump over certain things, every aspect of our friendship/friends with benefits thing is firmly on his terms. He’s never there when I need him.
      He’s tried to goad me into a row more than once, said things to anger and upset me – which he’s admitted to doing.
      There’s a possibility he’s been trying to get me pregnant (he doesn’t know I’m taking the pill, but doesn’t use protection and just uses the “pull-out” method).
      There’s a chance he may have told my ex-abusers family where I am – they turned up in my town days after I broke it off with this guy once. We then got back in contact. He tells me I’m paranoid and have trust issues from that. Well, yeah I am. I had trust issues before that.
      I was ignoring his messages and going no-contact, but ran into him a couple of times recently – he was really nice. He was really chatty to my kid and really good with my kid. It made me see a different side to him.
      I text the other night and asked if he was busy – he replied saying he was but asked if I was okay. The next day he text asking if I was alright and did I want him to come down. He was being really caring and I genuinely thought it was a bit of a turning point so I agreed.

      Whilst he was here we were talking about integrity and knowing where we stand in life, having a solid foundation etc. So I asked him what this is – me and him. He said we’d always be friends, as he promised on day one and that I’ll always be able to trust him, but it’s complicated. He asked if I want more and I admitted that I have for a long time and asked if he did. He doesn’t. He says it’s complicated, that we both have pasts, and then proceeded to use my ex-abuser as an excuse. He says I’m going through too much with my ex and with my upcoming rape trial.
      Of all the excuses in the world. Why that one?! Why use that?! :'(

      He asked if I feel like he’s messing with my head, I said yeah, he apologised and said that’s not his intention. But didn’t stop cuddling me. He just said we won’t sleep together anymore because he doesn’t want to mess up my head – I told him it’s not the sex that does that but he wasn’t listening to that part. He did offer to back off contact and we won’t chat as much but “not completely cutting off contact like you always do”…he kept messaging me last night because I didn’t reply to him after he left.

      I was so broken by it last night, spent hours in tears. But then this morning I feel myself trying to reason it away “Oh maybe he didn’t mean it like that” “Oh maybe I’m overreacting”. I’m so confused. 🙁

    • #29125

      Dear LBP, I think that it helps in situations like this to know what you want, i.e you are happy and can emotionally manage friends with benefits or you are looking for something more serious and committed. From what you have written he is giving huge mixed messages, I suspect to keep you dangling in the background and make sure your there when he wants you (my ex tried this). These mixed messages really do mess with your mind and make you ill. He doesn’t sound like someone worth keeping around. A man who cares and respects you would not want to make you confused & doubtful. I know this now but I didn’t know it when I was in the thick of it as like you I was very confused and couldn’t see the wood for the trees. It was only this morning I was thinking about what I was looking for before I got together with my ex. I wanted companionship, somebody to share my life with, an equal partner who I fancied and loved. What I got what very different though it is difficult to see because they manipulate you thinking you have found someone special & give you the odd crumb. I think it would boost your self worth to tell this one to take a hike!!!! Keep posting we will help you to clarify the situation. X*X

    • #29128

      Lots and lots of red flags there and I think you already know the answer.

      It feels hard to have to admit you are in another abusive relationship and you look for all the reasons why it isn’t. Yet deep down you know you are.

      Been there, its not worth the struggle to stay because you will leave eventually and the pain will be even worse.

      If you don’t want to get pregnant there are other methods to use other than the pill. It is worth talking to someone to find out the best option for you.

      Do you really want to bring a child into this world with a man like this?

      What would be your advice to a friend? If it not he is a fabulous man who will put you first then run. Run now and heal yourself.

    • #29129

      I had red flags within the first month, I should have finished it then, it would have saved me years of mental health problems. It will be upsetting & unpleasant ending it now but this is nothing compared to what you will get if you leave it.

    • #29131

      I don’t really know what I want, on the one hand I love him and want nothing more than to be with him.
      But I also know he’s another perp. I know he is. And I know I need to walk away because of it. He’s no good for me. Whether he means it or not I don’t know but he completely addles my brain and just leaves me feeling confused and emotionally wrecked…

      It would have hurt if he’d just said “No, I don’t want to be more than just your friend…can we just be friends?” but it’s ruined me that he cited what I’ve been through as why. I think it’s an excuse. And it breaks my heart that he’d even use that as an excuse.

      He’s messaging me already today. I’ve just deleted the messages without reading them. I don’t even want to speak to him right now I just don’t know how long I’ll be able to stick to it for – especially as he doesn’t think he’s done or said anything wrong…xx

    • #29132

      There have been red flags all the way along…I’ve just ignored them because we’re not “technically” in a relationship.

    • #29170

      Dear LBP, i’ve just read your posts again. This man is so badly messing with your head and giving you HUGE mixed messages. No wonder you feel so confused. He is having sex with you quite comfortably, but then telling you he doesn’t want a relationship & the reasons for that are because its complicated. So you back off and he bombards you with messages.He is giving you affection (hot) and then being controlling & possessive (cold). There is so much Intermittent Reinforcement going on here (30 Covert Manipuation Tactics in Personal Relationships, free to read on Amazon). This unclear communication, mixed messages & hot and cold behaviour play havoc with your state of mind. It is also called Gas Lighting. There is a thread on here called Can Anybody give any examples of Gaslighting which you may find useful. My ex was a master of lying, mind games, mixed & cryptic messages. He regularly finished with me or hinted at doing so. Gave cryptic messages to unnerve me. Told me he loved me then stopped answering my calls. Finished with me then told me I was his soulmate. Was hostile and cold then warm and affectionate, without explaining why. It all sent me absolutly crazy. This man is playing with you big time I think you need to show him the door permanently. XXXXX

    • #29174

      Hi there. This is not right at all!!!! This man is a monster! He’s trying to see if he’s pushing all of your buttons and he is. As you are a loving, caring person you are telling him the truth and he’s getting off on one. Please try to keep away from this man. Get on the phone to the helpline as soon as you can. This man gets off one by knowing he is confusing and manipulating you. Take a deep breath stand tall and keep talking to us ok? Let your insecurities out to us and not him x

    • #29177

      Yes, i agree with Positive. I’m out now & thinking so completely differently. I’m seeing things so much more clearly now. The absolute wake up call and kick in the teeth for this man is for you to stop contacting him & stop for good. Go 100% contact and try to work on yourself and your child moving forward positively. You will have taken control of this situation. The book No Contact is great for this.

    • #29183

      Totally agree with HA. That book is amazing. This man is horrid I can’t believe what he’s doing to you. He isn’t stupid he knows exactly what he’s doing. Please please talk to us and the helpline and don’t get confused with him pretending to talk to you like you’re in a healthy relationship as I can assure you he’s doing the complete opposite. You can and will do a lot better than this. Don’t beat yourself up about this happening again the world can be a horrible place at time unfortunately there are so many types of bad people out there! The important thing is you are equipped this time round and knowledge is power please remember that xxxx

    • #29193
      older lady

      This is just my view based on what you have outlined. I don’t think it’s you that’s getting confused, i think it’s him that’s stringing you along. It’s all very well having philosophical conversations about where you stand in life but the facts are: he’s not committed to you and he will have sex with you even though he knows (he does know) that you are emotionally attached to him. He is a snake. You deserve better, for all that you have been through and the strength it must have taken, you deserve someone who can be your rock and he doesn’t show that he has the emotional or intellectual capacity or will to do it. To say that he can’t commit because of your upcoming rape trial is very weak of him indeed (he might think it sounds very plausible) but it’s pathetic. Once I was involved with someone weak like this. I discovered that while I was financially and emotionally supporting him through his redundancy experience, he was involved in multiple sexual relationships behind my back. Once i got over the hurt, I realised I had to get hard and decide whether I would continue knowing the ‘relationship’ was now only a sexual one with no future, devoid of any real, deep emotional or intellectual content or commitment. xx

    • #29195

      Hello, I have a history of being used, lied to, told I am special but basically being used by men. As the time has gone on, in my last relationship it got to the point after so much there had to be a breaking point. I asked myself some questions;

      Is this man contributing as much as I am?
      Do I feel special, loved & respected?
      Is there give and take?
      Does he take me out sometimes and buy me a birthday present & card?
      I do feel good in the relationship?

      I think these basic questions are good to get into the nuts & bolts of what you are dealing with. (minus their charm, words & promises). I totally agree with Older Lady, he is taking you for a complete ride and enjoying the process. Just to let you know that I dumped my last user some months ago, nowadays, I feel calm, I am not being used, robbed or lied to. I make decisions about my future and I feel like a valuable, decent person. X*X

    • #29204

      Ps, my mind is not filled with anxiety, working it out,trying, bending, changing myself. I sleep,breathe & feel better now he is no longer in my life. 😍

    • #29247

      Hi lBP

      how long have we been on this forum together….you and I. You know what I’m going to say so I won’t repeat it. Ever since you left the refuge you have been getting into sticky situations with men. I’m not sure why. May be you dont believe that you are vulnerable and that these men who are nice to you at first, show interest in you as a single mum are viable partners.

      These men are like vultures they can smell vulnerability. They push and push on your boundaries because they know you will give in.

      I date but they don’t come to my flat. I have a separate phone and email for them. so for me it would be no to having contact with them every day, no to having sex without a condom (no trust but you trust them not to give you a STD or STI?)no to coming to my flat, no to knowing I was abused before, no to introductions to my child, no to have deep life conversations with them.

      Since I have been dating not one single man has abused me. It ends at the first bad behaviour so no pattern of abuse.

      One guy I have been dating for over a year and he still doesn’t know my husband tried to kill me and he still doesn’t know where I live or work.

      It may seem strict but its the only way I feel I can protect my heart, mind and spirit.

      Protect yours and your child and get rid of this man who is clearly an abuser. You also need to be strong for the trial without him taking all your emotional energy.

    • #29253

      Dear LPB, I so much agree with all that the other posts have said, your situation breaks my heart as it reminds me of what I have been through pretty much all of my life. I think that a lot of women have a basic desire to be loved, have affection, cuddles, attention, company, a companion to share their life with. They want to feel attractive, desirable and special. I think this is deep down what most women and girls hope to get. So when you come across a man & he is doing some of the things that you deep down really want, i.e holding you, listening to you & offering to visit you, he is meeting some of your needs. So you feel hopeful and happy asking yourself, ‘is this it, does this man love me?’. The cuddle and time spent with you, particularly if it is given at a time that you feel vulnerable is amazingly addictive. You are very vulnerable, a rape trial, former abuse, single parent – he looks into your eyes, tells you he will ALWAYS be a ‘friend’ (i believe that you have known him for a couple of months?) & holds you in his arms. I imagine the sensations that you got at that point were off the scale in terms of making you feel secure. Saying that he will always be a friend is tapping into probably some lonliness & isolation you feel as single parent, its good to have friends at those times isn’t it. Genuine friendships are not something that happen with a man you know for a short period and where this person screws with your head. Real friendships take time to develop and are based on shared experiences, give and take & respect and care. Freely & eagerly in your eyes it is making love, in his its getting laid. This again is feeding into your desire to feel special and wanted. I think that he knows that you are emotionally attached and will drop everything for him so that he can pop round when he fancies, get his leg over, spin you a few lines about you being special but…… He then keeps you in place (on the bac kburner, probably with a couple of other women he is also doing this with) with hot & cold behaviour. You can stop all of this immediately LBP, make yourself start to feel strong, worthy & powerful and put this low life user firmly in his place. You do that by 1000% No Contact Forever. (please read the free to read book which is available immediately on Amazon, NO Contact by HG Tudor). This morning I was thinking about Christmas & New Year, a time that I am vulnerable to breaking Nc & contacting my ex. I said to myself that i am not going to do that, this year nor next. When I thought that I thought that I am holding onto my dignity, I am in control and I am building my power. This is what you can do too. XXXXXXXXXXXXXX (I put a thread on here recently, opportunties for women in 2016, you might want to read it).

    • #29282

      Gosh, so many posts. Thank you all <3

      Sahara, it’s been so long and you’re absolutely right. I’m getting myself into sticky situations since leaving refuge…over and over again, and mainly with this one man. A friend recently said to me “what is it about him that is so great? how wonderful does he really treat you? you think because he doesn’t rape you, then he’s a good guy” and (as harsh as it was/is) she’s spot on. As are you all. For some reason, it’s like if he doesn’t rape me, if he is still around knowing I’m a single mum, if he isn’t physically abusive then it makes him better than my ex? Which is insane and absurd, because a good guy doesn’t do all the things he does…
      I wonder if perhaps I do just want to find a nice guy and settle down? Deep down, perhaps that’s what it is? On the surface I absolutely do not want that, I don’t want to meet any one (I didn’t when I met him) but maybe something deep down desperately does?

      I’ve spent alot of time being down on myself recently, particularly when I discovered my abuser is set to get married and have (another) baby…I felt like, why him? Why does he get to move on and be happy and have someone love him and I can’t do any of those things? Probably sounds a bit silly in all honesty…I know my abuser isn’t trully happy and I have alot in my life to make me happy. -shrugs-

      My boyfriend (? not so sure what to call him really) messaged me all night and in the morning the other day because I didn’t reply. He hasn’t tried since, and I’ve deleted his number and all his messages.

      I’m lucky in respects that I have a couple of whatsapp friends who are there to support me – though I can’t talk to them all the time, they are there to help me through leaving him and also will be there for the upcoming trial. And, of course, the old and new friends on here too. Have spoken to the helpline a couple of times but I don’t like to call them unless I’m really desperate.

      It’s been going on for over a year now…me and him. And it’s like now I’m finally seeing it clearly and for exactly what it is – no rubbish, no clouding. It’s just pants. It’s been the same slow drip-drip-drip that it was with my abuser. I was looking at each red flag as it came up and treated it as an isolated issue as opposed to joining up the dots and seeing it for what it is. It’s been a long 18months…and have a long way to go.

      LBP xx

    • #29454

      Well I’ve spoken with my DC about if I can go back to councelling – I can but it will have to be disclosed to the court 🙁 don’t know if I can do that.

      I don’t feel like I’ve really got a purpose in life right now? When I was growing up my mum used to drum into us how she met my dad young, they got married, had kids and had a long happy life until he passed away. And that was her lot in life. Sort of feel maybe that’s been ingrained into me that that is what I’m supposed to strive for? Maybe that’s why – subconsciously – I seem to cling to the wrong men? No man has ever been interested in a lasting relationship with me, except for my abuser. The wrong men.
      Consciously I don’t want a man, and I want to have a career and stand on my own two feet – get myself a mortgage, get myself a car, give my son a good life. Without a man.
      But deep down, there’s this niggling feeling that I’m almost desperate to be loved? Cause in comparison to my mum I’ve basically failed? I didn’t meet the love of my life as a kid, I’ve never got married, I’m a single mum with no hope of finding, getting and keeping a man. I dunno how to break it either. It’s just this ingrained thing, that goes against everything I consciously believe in??

    • #29456

      Sorry pressed submit too fast.

      I also in a weird way feel like I should be grateful to any bloke who takes me on or puts up with me. Because I’m a rape victim and sex is nigh on impossible? I won’t detail exactly how as I feel that’d be too triggering for anyone reading this. x
      I think with this bloke I put up with alot because he put up with alot too? That probably doesn’t make much sense?

    • #29457

      Dear LBP, for many years I have searched for someone that I can spend my life with, a companion to go on holidays with, go on dates, share special times, just a regular loving partner. I have searched high and low and the number of dates that I have had have gone into treble figures. Each person that I have been out with has mainly be just wanting sex, or I didn’t fancy them, they didn’t fancy me or they were abusive. The majority of these were just after sex. I’m a normal, regular woman, I work hard I’m independent and have no ties. When I met my last ex (who I’m on here for), I believed that I had finally after over a decade, found my knight in shining armour, the person I had always been looking for, a decent, compatible partner. He turned out to be god knows what, I suspect a conman either after me for money or certainly to satisfy his n**********c ego. I dumped him, I like saying that, I DUMPED HIM! I have found recently that I feel really, extremely lonely & isolated, my normal pattern is just to go out & get somebody else. Its very easy to meet men these days online. But I haven’t as I recognized I am making a mistake and meeting unsuitable men. So I’m now left with my own insecurities which I’m going to have to address ,this is not easy and its very scary. I’m painfully shy and seem to have trouble creating and maintaining friendships, but this is something that I have to own and sort out. Which I will. Life is sweet, calm and reasonably OK away from these horrible men who are bringing us down. You will have your own issues to sort out but this is so much better than ruining your life with someone who makes you think you are mental or rubbish when you are anything but. Stay strong LBP. X*X

    • #29468

      Do you seek any counselling to get to the root of it HA?#

      It’s strange you say that about the knight in shining armour…my abuser was aswell. I was very vulnerable and a bit off the rails when I met him and he “rescued” me.
      This bloke I’ve written about above has helped me get through some horrific and traumatic flashbacks during s*x, he’s held me when I’ve cried. I ended it once because I felt I needed to get through all that on my own, with the help of my therapist. And I did…but when we got back in touch, we made love and I realised I was completely in love with him. But then he started showing more and more red flags. x

    • #29473

      I think when you are vulnerable, coming into contact with someone who shows signs of loving and caring about you is like a powerful addiction, very powerful. As love, understanding, affection & warmth is all that you want when you feel vulnerable. To feel secure and safe. These men i think know that and they know what to say and do to give you those nice feelings. To make love and for him to be so tender and caring at time you are dealing with a rape case, you couldn’t be much more highly charged with needy emotions and he was there ready and waiting. You think you need him and he is the answer but this is just an illusion that has been created on the back of his words, actions and manipulation. (the books I recommend are Fuel, The Devils Toolkit both by HG Tudor & N********t Free by Zari Ballard. I said to myself after I split up, that from then on i would always without fail pay attention to actions over words. The words that came out of my ex’s mouth were like pure gold, his actions were like pure sh*t!!!! I’ve not had counselling yet, I did when I first split up from him as I was so traumatized. But I think now I have some personal issues of my own that I have to try to work through, i will look into counselling if I need it. I’m going to stay man free for a few years, I have never ever been man free in the whole of my adult life so this is likely to present me with some challenges. X*X

    • #29505

      You’re absolutely spot on HealthyArchive…I’m sat here just nodding to your post.
      He did and said everything right, was gentle and loving and seemed respectful. Said all the right words and made all the right actions for me to believe him.

      I’d like to say I’m doing well with no contact – but the truth is I don’t have his number, I don’t want to contact him and don’t want him to contact me, but even if I did, I couldn’t contact him anyway. And he hasn’t contacted me either. It’s easy to go no contact if he’s not contacting me isn’t it?

      I’ve only ever really been in a handful of relationships – but looking back some of them were abusive without me realising. For example when I was a teenager and was involved (not sexually) with men much much older than myself. There was a boyfriend who also raped me…then my abuser. Then another potential abuser – but I got rid of him pretty quick. And now this recent guy. But I think, despite never really being in relationships, there has usually been a guy “around” if that makes sense? I’ve always thought I’ve been pretty independent and have spent a fair time being man free…but I’m not so sure? There’s generally been a guy about that has caught my attention?

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