9th November 2021 at 8:31 am #133744StuckinturmoilParticipant
Sorry I don’t mean this post to be argumentative but as like lots of women I am self doubting what must be an abusive relationship and constantly asking myself is it me?’
The niggling thought at the back of my head is are we being over sensitive (in the case of emotional abuse as obviously if someone hits you it’s there to see no question)
My husband constantly puts me down and ridicules me and flies off the handle over small things and rages and yells for ages. I am on eggshells all the time. So I know I’m my gut yes it is abuse. But the thoughts I have is the women on here are so supportive if I was creating some of it as like an abuser does he turns it round to me being the abusive one. But what if I am? The supportive people on here would automatically say no it’s not you. But they don’t know for sure.
Sorry for my ramblings. It is getting closer to my solicitor appointment and I don’t know what to do. He had another go at me very recently yelling for ages as he knows I have an appointment with a solicitor coming up. He was saying I was the abuser and I patronise him and cause his angry outbursts. How I am going to to ruin the family because I am over sensitive and I will be making a mistake and regret it.
9th November 2021 at 9:33 am #133747SecretlifeParticipant
My husband has also accused me of being abusive to him. There is such a thing as ‘reactive abuse’, living in the situation we’re all in surpressive and tough, and for me, days or weeks of silent treatment have lead me to explode with anger and frustration many times. Google about reactive abuse as it may help the way you feel. And, don’t forget, abusers never take any blame for their behaviour and actions and they will always make out that everything is our fault, and caused by us. Go, go and see the solicitor, it’s usually very valuable and reassuring advice – I speak from experience here xx
9th November 2021 at 10:00 am #133750WhyohwhyParticipant
I really understand what you are trying to say. With me I think was it my fault because I didn’t put up much resistance. I gave up trying to give my point of view because it never got me anywhere and I chose the path of least resistance. But the more I gave of myself the more he took. There was no compromise on his side. Who knows what would have happened if I had been more resistant to his demands?
On the other side I have (detail removed by moderator).
I think it’s the old saying treat others as you would like to be treated. If you say or do unkind things to your husband then is it before or after he is unkind to you?
Do you demand things from him that is unfair.
Do you read any of the domestic abuse information and see yourself or your own actions?
If you read the full book living with the dominator for each bad characteristic there is a good one, which shows what you can expect from a good relationship.
I think some of us get hung up about abusive relationships, you don’t have to have an abusive relationship to decide to leave it’s fine to leave a relationship because it’s no longer working. BUT if it’s an abusive relationship it is much harder to leave because you know they won’t just let you go and you fear what could happen if you do. The separation won’t be amicable.
Only you can decide if you’re in an abusive relationship but you have to listen to yourself and not what your husband says.
9th November 2021 at 10:17 am #133752ISOPeaceParticipant
Yes reactive abuse is definitely thing and a good point to raise. Abusers also frequently accuse their victim of abuse even when there is no reactive abuse. It’s all part of the gaslighting/brainwashing/making you feel totally confused and doubting yourself. When you’re busy trying to work out if you’re the problem, he is fully in control.
Experts on abuse always point out that abusers virtually never ask whether they might be abusive, so the fact that you’re even asking the question shows that you are very unlikely to be the abuser.
The other really key thing is to consider the balance of power in the relationship. Abuse arises when one person creates or exploits a power imbalance over the other person in order to be the one who’s in control. So ask yourself who ultimately has the power in your relationship. Who gets to make the final decision on things that are important to both of you? Even if you do sometimes, do you get punished for it later on? Do you only get to make decisions when he’s not that bothered about the outcome? Do you modify your behaviour because you’re scared of his reaction or that he’ll punish you? Is it ok for you to stand up to him or is that met with more abuse? Is it ok for you express your anger and your feelings or does he use his power to make it clear that it isn’t ok? – I guess not as he says you’re ‘over sensitive’. Is it ok for you to decide the relationship is over? – it doesn’t sound like it if he yells at you for seeing a solicitor and tries to make you feel guilty for leaving.
I guess the big question is: does he try to force you to put his wants ahead of your own wellbeing? That is abuse. It is always ok to look after your own wellbeing. It’s a basic human right.
Being patronising is not a justification for angry outbursts. Normal people, if they do have angry outbursts, realise it’s not ok and apologise. They don’t try to make the other person thing it’s their fault. Abusers use angry outbursts to show you how powerful they are and to make you think twice about standing up to them.
So no I don’t think forums add fuel to the fire. Forums allow people to connect and inform and see through the fog of abuse. xxxx
9th November 2021 at 3:21 pm #133773
Fairly standard for it to be turned around and back on to you. Fairly standard for most of the things they say, just need to get a mirror and its likely to be reflected back.
For me, the red flag was when I asked to separate and he refused….
I have the right to decide if I want to be in a relationship with someone or not.
I have the right to decide if I want to be shouted at or not.
I have the right to decide if I want to walk on eggshells every day, or not.
I have the right to not continue with living in a way that doesn’t make me happy.
SO, if you feel he is stopping you from exercising your rights to be a free and happy individual, it is likely you are experiencing abuse. Not the other way around. But that’s not your question is it….
If you feel you are also abusive, then yes, I guess, two people could be being abusive to each other, but if you have kids, and you think you are abusive (I am not saying that you are mind), you are both possibly subjecting your children to a toxic home which they shouldn’t have to be part of….So wouldn’t that be another good reason for ending the relationship, I don’t think it would be breaking up a happy home from the sounds of it.
No I don’t think this forum adds fuel to the fire. I think this forum helps women get back their positive self-regard which is missing from weeks/years/decades/even lifetimes of abuse. By helping women see they are not alone, that these behaviours DO exist, especially Emotional Abuse which is still very unrecognised by society but which is thankfully starting to be recognised more and more. Series like The Maid, and others that don’t look at physical abuse but the psychological aspects of a coercive and controlling relationships. The basic premise of abuse if Power and Control. For the person who is experiencing it it is very likely they have a co-dependent personality and this is how and why they have found themselves in that situation. This forum is made up of women who have experienced the same thing, the same behaviours, and, as its so hidden it is a really positive supportive place
Its standard for someone who is subjected to abuse to listen to anything an abuser says to them and of them because their confidence has been eroded by the experience. And you’ll probably find, already was eroded to a certain degree.
Perhaps it might help to read around the subject of abuse, particularly emotional abuse, I’m wondering if getting more of an insight yourself, might help you understand the situation you are in. They always say an abuser would not even ask if they were being abusive, so I think you can take that as a first indication that you are not. Reactive abuse is real, behaving in what your partner perceives as a “patronising” manner is most likely to do with his inner core child wounds, than how you are actually being. But if you were, I suspect that you are only talking to him in a way that is protective of yourself, and your safety. Its a complex topic, have you tried therapy to unpick it? I too started by asking “Am I an abuser” and it took me to the beginning of the journey of getting out. I had never heard of emotional abuse. SO, there’s a good book list here, theres one on emotional abuse, some great books on Audible, Healing from Hidden Abuse is very good, Covert Passive Aggressive N********t is another. Keep posting keep asking.
Finally, also be very careful about telling him about anything you are doing to exit from the relationship. It is the most dangerous time for a woman, and that is not an exaggeration, I thought it was, particularly as I had not experienced direct physical abuse, but as soon as I was planning to leave, he could obviously sense a change in my behaviour, and reactions, and the abuse escalated, when someone is trying to hold onto power and control and they see it slipping, they panic, be really careful. He won’t ever understand, telling him he’s abusing you won’t make him stop. I promise. xx
9th November 2021 at 4:15 pm #133775nbumblebeeParticipant
I know 100% that my actions are making my husband worse hes more angry more nasty more hurtful I am more scared of him than ever before and yes I did that.
How? By getting a job, by trying to stand up for myself, by not dropping everything and go running when he calls, by having an opinion, by smiling. Do I sound like an abuser to you?
Im finding all this hard way way too hard but theres one thing I do know no matter what he says what he calls me what he does to me I know I would never treat a dig the way he treats me let alone another human. Can you say that?
My guess is you can and its him talking there not you. Look deep within yourself you will find an answer.
With regards to this forum, its the only thing thats keeping me standing right now. Out here I have nobody Im alone in my fight on here I have support understanding and love its all ive got so No no way does it fuel it helps it keeps us standing when all we wanna do is crumble.
Stay strong and good luck with your appointment as others have said better than i ever could read up learn about abuse the cycle the terms the more you learn the more you will understand.
Stay safe xx
9th November 2021 at 4:27 pm #133777Grey RockParticipant
I think a lot of us question ourselves and worry that we’re being unfair or if our abusive partners have a point at some stage or another.
I don’t think abusers do that.
The very fact that you’re concerned about this suggests to me that you are very unlikely to be an abuser
9th November 2021 at 7:59 pm #133788StuckinturmoilParticipant
Thank you all for your comments. I have suffered more abuse today. I think like you say he is getting worse knowing I have an appointment. I had hoped in some way he would finally realise I am serious about ending it and say he would try (even though I know it’s unlikely he would change but just some words that we would be ok). The way he yells at me is so awful I stand there with tears rolling down my face and he just carries on.
Yes I grew up with abuse too. My parents were both abusing. So when i met my husband as a teenager and he worshipped me I thought he had been sent from god a clever good looking lad who adored me. I think he has got away with being so mean to me as I still thought he adored me but he doesn’t. My happiness doesn’t matter to him.
Yes the children witness the arguments. They are old enough to know that the marriage is bad. But they love us both.
It’s such a shame. We are blessed. Have good jobs a nice house and we are healthy. What a waste.
9th November 2021 at 9:07 pm #133792
@stuckinturmoil, nothing is a waste, everything is a learning experience, I know it feels tough right now but you’ll get through this, it will get better. It is a shame, it really is, I still feel that for what has happened to me, and our family. I could have written your post which is why I responded in so much depth, I wanted to reach out and offer some advice from a quite a long while out now, maybe it can help. There are so many patterns to all of our experiences, its really helped me to understand that. Same too, a lot goes back generationally when you look at the stories. Its not that unusual, or that unbelievable when you start to think about it, all the different actors, all learning from each other, because that’s all children do, is learn from what they see around them. So we learn to put up with a lot more than maybe someone who didn’t grow up in a family where similar dynamics played out, on whatever level, even not an extreme. Another really good podcast to listen to is Caroline Strawson, she does a 15 minute sort of bitesize intro to all different aspects of abuse, everything, she’s easy going to listen to and explains a lot in relation to her own experience, it helps to put it into perspective, all of it.
I’m so sorry for what you’re going through, its horrible and you don’t deserve it, no-one deserves not to be happy in their relationship, home and family. My ex used to do that too. I started recording it without him knowing, because when I went to bed and thought about the terrible outbursts and the words I couldnt work out how it had all happened again, I wanted to understand had I really said or done something that “set him off”, was it really me? When I listened back I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Sometimes I also put it on video without him knowing, propped the phone up in a weird way but when I listen or watch back it is chilling now, the longer the time has passed, and the more he is distant, and the relationship is distant it is very very frightening to see his face contorting in rage, or even hatred, dismissive hatred often, its worse now than when I was experiencing face-to-face and that is saying something. What im trying to say is we’re resilient, we have to be to survive, that is what we’ve learnt to get by and its what makes the being, in the hear and now possible, its a normal reaction to when we are in danger. Look up the FOG of abuse, and also the 5 trauma responses, Fight, Flight, Freeze, Flop or Fawn – then have a think about when you were young how you might have learnt to behave in a certain way. It helps to unpack it, It helps to stop you feeling responsible for what has happened to you, and that is it, it has happened TO you, not BECAUSE of you. Some mantras that help, that one is a really good one, and JADE, Don’t Justify, Argue, Defend or Explain, you don’t need to. x*x
9th November 2021 at 9:15 pm #133793
And I meant to say, children do love both their parents, in time when they grow into adults they can work it out for themselves as adults with adults lenses, who knows, maybe if you did separate they would be ok and still be able to see both of you but without the tension and bad marriage and the arguments in their day-to-day lives. If you play that tape forward, what does it look like for you, and what do you think it might look like for them? Its another really helpful way to frame what you want to do, what you really want, and what could be possible in the future. I know I just broke down from the new Disney ad The Step Father…I was blubbing away thinking I just want my kids to have a really kind man around, who loves me, who is kind to me, and who walks about with the laundry basket…(haha, there is a scene in it of that and its what set me off…how weird is that??!)..x*x
9th November 2021 at 9:44 pm #133795SecretlifeParticipant
All the responses above are really helpful and informative to me, particularly at the moment as I’m struggling. I will be reading them over several times. And this is why this forum is essential. Emotional abuse is something that few understand, until you are in the thick of it. So many women, like us, are living miserable lives. This forum provides not just understanding, but knowledge. This knowledge clears the smoke away and enables us to see the real abuser we are living with. We can then make choices about the rest of our lives. I don’t know how I would have survived without this forum, it changed my world and is helping me move forward to a better life. Thank you to everyone for all the support given.
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