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    • #106313
      Wants To Help

      Once we’ve had a life with an abusive man it is very hard to understand what life is like with a decent man. We are so used to being treated like s**t, put down, insulted, assaulted, had our decision making taken away from us, told who we can or can’t associate with etc, that when we meet someone who does care about us, wants to nurture us and enhance our well-being it is soooooo bizarre, sometimes we don’t know how to react!

      Thought I’d share an experience, post abuse, of a decent man I dated that left me most astonished, I’d have never thought it possible?!

      I’d been dating this guy for a few weeks and some girlfriends invited me for a night out in the city to join them for a meal and drinks at a nice restaurant. My new guy encouraged me to go. I wanted to go, but it was quite a distance to the city and I didn’t really want to drive as it would have been nice to
      have a few glasses of wine. I had the option of sharing a taxi home but getting there was the problem.

      My first astonished moment was when my new guy offered to drive me to the restaurant and drop me off!

      The second was when he told me to have a lovely evening!

      During the evening, which was lovely, the dessert menu arrived. I was indecisive between two choices, when I received a text message from my new guy asking if I was having a nice time? I replied it was lovely, but I was now having a dilemma between the chocolate cake and the strawberry cheesecake for dessert. “That’s a tricky one… why not have both?” was his reply.

      OMG! I couldn’t believe it. My abuser would have forbidden me to have any dessert as ‘I’d get even fatter and end up like my fat sister’. So I was totally taken aback by a man who was suggesting I have both and not refer to my weight at all. How was this possible?!

      At the end of the night, I shared a taxi home with the girls, and got a text a short time later from my new guy saying “no pressure, but if you can’t get a cab then call me and I’ll pick you up.” I text him to thank him and let him know I was safely home. And they were the only texts I had off him all evening. No continuous “where are you now?” “who are you with?” “how long are you going to be?” “it’s about time you came home” texts. I was actually allowed to have a night out with friends without question at all.

      To someone who has never been in an abusive relationship they would never understand that little story.
      To those of us who have, you’ll know where I’m coming from.

      So ladies, it is possible to have these nights out. They do exist. We can have some independence and freedom without negative consequences, we are entitled to that. Not all men are abusive. There are some nice guys out there. We just have to get rid of the abusive guy we seem to ‘depend’ on so much first.

    • #106324

      Thank you. That is really hopeful to read. I went to a couple of sessions of the Freedom programme at the very start of the Realisation phase (until my IDVA said it was a bad idea and I should go when I’ve left…). When I was there, they had this tiny card you could put in your wallet.
      One side Mr Wrong, The other Mr Right.
      Mr Wrong – An Abusive Man
      Smashes things
      Calls you names
      Makes you feel ugly and useless
      Cuts you off from your friends
      Stops you working
      Never admits he is wrong
      Blames you, drugs, drink, stress etc
      Turns the children against you
      Uses the children to control you
      Never does his share of the housework
      Never looks after the children
      Expects sex on demand
      Controls the money
      Threatens or wheedles you to get his own way
      Seduces your friends, sister, anyone
      Expects you to be responsible for his well-being

      Mr Right – A Non Abusive Man
      Is cheerful
      Tells you you look good
      Tells you you’re competent
      Uses your name
      Trusts you
      Trusts your judgement
      Welcomes your family and friends
      Encourages you to be independent
      Supports your learning, career etc
      Admits to be wrong
      Is a responsible parent
      Is an equal parent
      Does his share of the housework
      Accepts that you have a right to say “no” to sex
      Shares financial responsibility
      Takes responsibility for his own well-being and happiness
      in short…..
      Behaves like a reasonable human being

    • #106337
      Wants To Help

      I love the Mr Wrong and Mr Right list. I bet so many ladies on here can’t put ticks against the Mr Right list, but we’ll get a clean sweep across the board for Mr Wrong.

      I like the Freedom Programme, I did something similar to it, found it very helpful. I’m surprised your IDVA advised you not to complete yours?

    • #106350

      It was with a different agency so not sure if it was a political move on her part. I self-referred because there was a waitlist for the IDVA and I was desperate for some help and insight. She just said it would interfere with her work with me and she’d preferred if I went after I had left him, and that it might be traumatic for me. She was right in a way, some of the women’s stories were really hard to listen to and also did make me feel much more scared as all the behaviours had escalated to physical over a long space of time. It was brilliant though and the peer to peer part of it was the best. Just seeing and listening to other women tell their stories, like this forum, is so valuable in making it real.

    • #106398

      That was nice to experience, right? That’s how it should be. Not wanting to pour rain on it here though, “but” please do be careful ladies. Because being nice isn’t hard for them in the beginning as we all know. And predators do smell us, they know we are fresh out of whatever. They just know. I have a little boundary scenario that goes something like this…

      There is a long road to where I live. So he has to come down that road and no complaints about it, plus he has to be invited, do not just show up. And not giving you my address either so if you show up, I’m calling the police. No driving me home either for quite awhile…

      Then okay, you got to my place, but there’s a gatehouse. You have to pass muster there meaning that if I like you thus far, I will do a background check on you, verify employment, etc. After that is done, okay, come into the yard/garden out front…

      That’s where we talk, get to really know each other on a deeper level, do some things together, I meet some of your friends, you meet some of mine and that’s it. No further for a bit.

      Then okay, you can come into my living room. That’s where I might invite you over to my house, if I have children, maybe meet them. But no, we’re not going on outings together like we’re a family because we’re not. I ferret you out first before you get the chance to charm my children and get to my heart strings that way. I am dating you, they aren’t.

      Then, you can come into my kitchen, which is the heart of my house and we’ll spend quite a bit of time here getting to really know each other by watching one another, not so much talk but let’s see how you cook. Let’s see what your recipes look like in life. The TLC you put into what you do. Let me observe you when you think I’m not looking. Let’s see if you can wait and be patient because I’m not desperate and in no hurry to be sold to at this juncture in my life so you can chill your jets. And no, I have no need to tell you all about myself and all my hurts and history because it’s really none of your business at this point and I don’t really know you yet or trust you so no, you’re not getting all that from me. I will be selective in what I share.

      So if all goes well after all that, then we might move up to the bedroom but don’t think you’re going to move in after that happens either. No quick sell here. It could be nice and all that but doesn’t mean I’m yours forever just because we get intimate either.

      I’m a strong woman. Been through the mill. I have boundaries now. If you don’t respect them, then regardless of how cute you are or whatever, you need to go.

      We enjoy what is wonderful and nice and we soak it up but we are not easy targets now, right ladies? Be spoiled, love the attention, compliments, love being a woman. Absolutely but at the same time, wear your hard earned wisdom very very well. It’s a jewel to be cherished and respected. Men who are worth their weight in gold, don’t rush us, they don’t slime us because they have boundaries, too and they are willing to wait for something very special. They like slow dances….respect the need for them. Bottomline here is I am doing the interview, not you.

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