4th March 2016 at 9:23 pm #10947DuckParticipant
My ex has reacted very badly to me leaving him, even begging me to stay. I sometimes get a day or two when he doesn’t contact me, but as soon as I need to contact him for a practical reason (e.g.: getting my belongings from his house) it opens the floodgates and he bombards me again – phone calls, texts etc. When I tried to get some stuff this week, I refused to talk to him so he took it away from me to stop me leaving and I had to get his family involved. Since then he seems to have got the message to leave me alone, but is still annoyed that I’m getting more belongings soon.
He had control over me in the relationship, through his dependence on me, violence, abuse, aggression and making me feel trapped (sometimes literally trapping me in the house). I know it’s still all about control – trying to get me back, pleading, saying he’s changed, taking my stuff, ignoring me when I need him to cooperate – but what makes them act so crazy?? Why is it so important to have control over me???
5th March 2016 at 5:43 pm #10997LisaMain Moderator
Thank you for your post. Your question is one that most survivors of abuse ask themselves. Whilst it is technically possible for an abuser to change their behaviour, it is extremely difficult to do and therefore happens very rarely. In order to change abusive behaviour the abuser needs to voluntarily enrol on and complete an accredited perpetrator programme; we would advise separation at this time. Unfortunately perpetrator programmes are often not successful and can sometimes have negative results; actually leading to increased abusive behaviour. In the vast majority of cases abusers continue their abusive behaviour and it normally gets worse. Most commonly when you separate from an abuser they will go on to abuse someone else.
The question of why he is doing this is not an easy one to answer because really there is no justifiable reason for someone to be abusive. An abuser chooses to use differing types of abuse in order to have control and to feel powerful. The societal inequality between men and women plays a huge part in the abuse of women by men. It might really help you to read the book ‘Why Does He Do That?’ by Lundy Bancroft.
However it’s also important to recognise that you can use a lot of energy trying to work someone else out, and you may never get a real answer, so I really suggest using that energy to focus on yourself. I know that’s easy to say and harder to do.
It is normal for abuse to escalate around the time of separation, as it sounds like it has for you. Because he has lost some control he is desperately trying to regain some. The most effective way to reduce the impact of this is to have absolutely no contact with him as soon as you feel you can.
When you are getting the rest of your belongings please ensure you do so in the safest way possible, preferably by using a third party.
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