9th January 2021 at 6:35 pm #119477
I’m new to the board, just looking for some advice or other opinions on my situation.
I have been married for a long time with one child. My husband has always been slightly controlling- he makes important decisions or big purchases without my opinion, or changing the decor around the house without asking for my opinion on it beforehand. I’ve started to challenge him more on why he continues to do this as I don’t feel he values or respects me. All I get back is him insulting me, swearing at me, calling me crazy or hysterical, that I need help with “my issues” (I don’t have any except him!)and that I’m mentally unstable. He usually does this when I challenge him on something. He also once told me during an argument that the only reason we have one child is because he thought I wouldn’t be able to cope with another. We hadn’t even discussed about adding to our family. He has also gaslighted me on several occasions. He accused me of having an affair, which I never have had, and when I tried to defend myself, he said it was a joke and he didnt really mean it. I should not be so sensitive. (detail removed by Moderator) our boiler (detail removed by Moderator), and I had contacts who would have come out and either fixed it temporarily there and then or replaced it. When I suggested this, he was adamant that he didnt want anyone looking at it because a friend of his is a heating engineer and is more knowledgeable. His friend it turned out is not available until (detail removed by Moderator) to have a look at it, and I was forced to go over to a friends house for (detail removed by Moderator) to have a shower. My husband magically temporarily fixed the boiler (detail removed by Moderator). I believe he did this because I had told my parents who were not happy at the situation. The other thing that has happened is that he bought a (detail removed by Moderator) after I asked him not to buy it as we had other things to repair around the house. He did so anyway, hid it in our (detail removed by Moderator) and then told our son not to tell me because I might be angry. It was (detail removed by Moderator) days before I found the (detail removed by Moderator). He also said to our son, that if he told me, he would be very angry at him for doing so. I told my husband that I had mentioned the (detail removed by Moderator) and boiler situations to my parents and his reaction was as expected- he shouted, called me names etc but I felt worried enough when he was glaring menacingly at me to call friends who were going to arrange for me and my son to stay elsewhere that night. I ended up staying as my son did not want to leave. Hes also been doing other things like taking count of when I’ve had a shower, or commenting on my clothes- saying that I dress up to see other people but not him, and has recently opened up post of mine containing confidential info. He said that was an accident and didnt mean to open my post even though obviously my name is right on the front of it.
Some friends who know my situation have said to me that this is emotional/verbal abuse or at the very least mental cruelty. He has never been physical with me, which is why I find this all so confusing. I’ve already taken some steps to protect myself and my son while I try and figure things out, but I would be appreciative of any advice or opinions others have in this area.
9th January 2021 at 6:55 pm #119478gettingtiredParticipant
Hello Juniper, he sounds like a typical abuser, creating all these problems then accusing you of being crazy, hysterical, mentally ill, dramatic etc. It’s the classic tactics they use.
My partner does the same, all the problems that he creates I can’t complain about because if I do he either kicks off with anger or sulks and plays victim.
It’s still abuse even if he hasn’t ever physically assaulted you. He is also manipulating your son by threatening him to not tell you else he’ll be very angry.
Have you googled the cycle of abuse and trauma bonding? Also, have you been able to reach out to women’s aid or the national abuse helpline for advice/support?
There will be other women on here who can give much better advice than I have but just thought I’d pop on and start off by saying this definitely is abuse and his behaviour is disgraceful. You deserve much better x
9th January 2021 at 8:21 pm #119484EmpoweredhealingParticipant
Control is at the heart of verbal and emotional abuse. Please don’t discount that this is abuse because he’s never been physical. Many emotional abusers never become physically abusive. But all physically abusive relationships starts with emotional abuse.
Patricia Evans books explain this really really well. It’ll help you understand the pathology regarding his behavior.
9th January 2021 at 8:29 pm #119486GreenSapphireParticipant
Hi Juniper, you have very good friends who are right on the money. Yes this is emotional, psychological and verbal abuse. Abuse is not solely about wife-beating or battering as it was known. This is part of the problem I think, most people think it’s when one intimate partner hits or slaps the other that it becomes officially abusive.
So I think you’ve done a little bit of preliminary reading up as you understand what gaslighting is and you understand he has used it to manipulate you. I think it is one of the cruelest psychological abuse tactics there is and I remember only too well how I felt when it was once used on me. You really do question your own sanity and feel you’re going mad. You’re not mad and yes he is trying to insinuate you are. You have my full empathy.
Regards your son, your partner is triangulating your child into believing Daddy is sane and normal and Mummy is crazy and can’t be trusted. This is absolutely unacceptable. His father has begun to teach his son in the ways of abuse towards females. This is what this is I’m afraid and this is how abuse is perpetuated from one generation to another like hand me downs.
When abusers accuse us of cheating and being interested in other men etc when we are not, it’s likely that the real cheat in the relationship is him. They often project what they are guilty of onto us. It’s another manipulation tactic and they use it to put us off the scent of their adultery. My ex did this to me. Abusers are known to be insanely jealous and insanely unfaithful at the same time.
The running theme in your relationship with him is he is the big man of the house, the controller, the master, he who must be obeyed. And you are the little woman, the servant, the crazy one, she who must be negated.
I could write much, much more about what you’ve said but I think other ladies will come and speak and help.
You’re not mad, he is abusive and you deserve better x
9th January 2021 at 11:48 pm #119517HawthornParticipant
I’m so sorry you are experiencing this abuse at his hands. It is nothing short of psychological torture. Well done for reaching out here and it is really positive that you have supportive friends that you can speak to and are so insightful. The abuse creates confusion in our brains and makes it so difficult to see what’s happening to us. If you could reach out to your local womens aid they can explore your experience and your options with you. You deserve support. What he is doing is not OK.
If you haven’t read it I would really recommend Why Does he Do That by Lundy Bancroft. Its available to read for free online- I read it on my phone and it was a big part of what gave me the clarity I needed to leave.
Keep posting here too, big hugs xx
10th January 2021 at 7:28 pm #119577
Thank you everyone for your replies.
I havent yet contacted my local women’s aid center but its something that I will consider. I find it really difficult to think or admit that he could be doing this to me as I’ve been with him a long time and it hasn’t always been like how it is currently. But saying that, in hindsight there has been a few things here and there that I let slide as I just thought they were disagreements which could have easily been dealt with and not instances where he was trying to control me. He always says that I am n**********c and that I have a persecution complex and that he’s just trying to help me. I’m starting to think maybe I do have a persecution complex after being criticized so many times for things.
Anyway, I will have a look at all of your suggestions and thank you for taking the time to reply. I’m still working out what to do, but you’ve all been so very helpful. xx
10th January 2021 at 8:10 pm #119579HawthornParticipant
Abusers often tell us most about themselves with what they accuse us of. Its projection. I would imagine that while he has made you think you are the one with the persecution complex, he is the one who will never take the blame or responsibility for any of his actions and is always the victim who you must apologise to. Ditto with the n**********c tendencies.
It’s all very confusing when you are in the midst of it. Try googling the cycle of abuse and the power and control wheel. The type of coercive control you describe is very insidious and we become trapped in the fog of Fear, Obligation and Guilt. Baby steps, consider keeping a journal of his behaviour so you can begin to notice the pattern. Abusers always start off nice to reel us in but unfortunately the abuse always gets worse.
Take the very best care and keep posting xx
16th January 2021 at 9:09 am #119848starqueenParticipant
Just adding here that yes it is abuse. It doesn’t have to be physical for it to be abuse by any means. I’m a survivor of abuse by a family member and he never was physical with me but it was still abuse. I can also recommend Why Does He Do That? reading that book was a total revelation for me.
17th January 2021 at 8:35 pm #119946
So just a bit of an update- I have been in contact with legal to discuss my options before I make a decision. Obviously he does not know this. But hes been acting like everything is okay and being all nice and we can do things as a family. Except he had a go at me the other night for (detail removed by Moderator) and not having consideration for others in the house. It was not late at night anyway. And hes been removing (detail removed by Moderator) that I have chosen or put up and replaced with his. Just very petty things. But this whole thing has made me realise that I want and deserve something better for myself and my son. I have far too much self respect and I wouldn’t let anyone else treat me this way so why do I let him?
And thank you starqueen for your comment. I will take a look at the book recommendation. xx
17th January 2021 at 10:31 pm #119955IwantmebackParticipant
Hi Juniper, welcome to the forum, admitting to ourselves is the hardest thing to do, but posting on here you’re one step closer. I was with my husband for nearly (detail removed by Moderator) decades. He’s ruined my life and my children’s lives(they’re not his) they have relationship issues and substance abuse. A lot of what your husband is doing is projection, when he accuses you he’s actually giving his confession. He may not have done anything, but wants to, so in order for him to go ahead, he has to believe you are as well. These relationships are all about power and control.
Start keeping a journal of his erratic accusatory behaviour. Once you’re out, and you will get away, it just seems impossible in the early days. Once you’re out, you’ll read over them and wonder how you stayed as long.
The terminology is trauma bonded and living in the FOG of abuse, fear, obligation and guilt. I’m finding the obligation part the hardest to distance from, but each day I wake up in my own house is anither day not living with him.
Keep posting and reading others posts, knowledge is power. Keep the lines of communication open with friends and family, even have a safe word that if you call or text them they know to call the police or come round. These men rely on our fear of this becoming public. Coercive behaviour comes with a jail sentence now. And he will be find out one day, mine has recently messed up big style. So much that outsiders see him for what he is. I’m hoping the police will be involved, though I’m already having nightmares about going to court and giving evidence against him, but I think that’s just fear.
18th January 2021 at 4:25 pm #119980Newyear2021Participant
Hi everyone I’m fed up can’t even wear my hair down like I used to incase another male looks at me
19th January 2021 at 2:03 am #120020IwantmebackParticipant
Hi newyear2021, welcome to the forum, it takes a lot of courage to post on here so well done in doing so. There’s no rush to open up, just keep reading others posts and maybe download a few books.we recommend why does he do that by Lundy Bancroft and the verbally abusive relationship by Patricia Evans. Knowledge is power, and if you haven’t got away from your oh yet you will do, when it’s right for you.
Take care IWMB 💞💞
20th January 2021 at 10:22 pm #120137
Thanks @IWMB for your reply- I’ve been keeping a journal of sorts- mainly just keeping a record of any incidents that happen. I usually do this as soon as I can because my husband twists everything around and then I’m usually so confused about what’s happened that I’m afraid if I dont write it down asap that I’ll forget whats actually happened. My family live in another country but they are aware of what has been happening. I’m fortunate to have some great friends who all I need to do is text them and they will come to my house if I need them. I’m so sorry for your experience too- I cant imagine what going to court would be like. I have an appointment with legal in the next few weeks and at the moment I’m constantly questioning myself whether its something I should be doing. Some days I’m really good at making plans and sorting things out and then other days I want to put my head in the sand and forget that anything has happened. Especially now when he’s being so nice to me. Then I read back all the stuff that I’ve written down about what he has said and done and I just dont know anymore. I’m quite a logical, confident person usually and being this confused has really done a number on me. I know only I can make the decision as to whether I stay or leave, but I wish someone would just tell me what to do.
@newyear2021- welcome to the forum. I’m a new addition to the board too, so cant provide you with any good advice I’m afraid but I can totally relate to your comment. My husband accused me of having an affair (which I haven’t) and has or was at one point keeping track of when I showered, did my hair and how I dressed. I’m sure hes still doing this but he hasnt made any direct comments to me recently. I’ve decided to start doing my hair and wearing it how I like and wearing nice clothes in order to make myself feel better regardless of what he thinks. Each time I do this it makes me feel that I’m getting a bit of myself back. And if it causes an argument I just write it down in my journal. So please keep posting when you can. I’ve found this forum very welcoming and a wealth of information. Take care xx
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