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    • #18556

      I think I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. It’s not as severe as some of the stories I’ve heard. Reading Lundy bancrofts book I think he is mr right. Being religious he doesn’t really swear but the worst names he has called me are cow and said I was being a b***h. And he isn’t jealous. But early on in the relationship he made sure I always answered my phone quickly and got cross if I didn’t. The things he does are quite subtle but they do fall into the pattern. Such as double standards- it’s ok for him to make me wait if I want to go out (he’ll get cross if I say I want to go now) but if I want to go I must just wait for him and not hurry him or he’ll get cross. He asks me to make him tea/snacks even though I’ve said a number of times that I don’t like him asking me. He criticises me for tiny things and makes a big deal out of them. If i disagree he gets cross. When he gets cross he stomps about and slams doors. I always had doubts about the relationship but was confused. After I heard about emotional abuse it explained a lot. Even so because he can be kind and in some ways generally seems decent I often doubt whether it is abuse or not and I feel bad to bring it out in the open. I feel bad to tell him (with the help of others) that it’s abuse. In some ways it seems to have improved eg- he hasn’t driven angrily for a long while. Does anyone else relate? Anyone else in a relationship where the abuse not really really extreme? Did you feel bad for him?

    • #18557

      He also raises his voice, rolls his eyes and huffs when cross and tells me to shut up. Ie ‘what part of shut up don’t you understand?’ When I calmly tried to explain why I didn’t like something.

    • #18565

      Hi and Welcome jellyonaplate, what you describe is abuse , it does not have to be physical , there are many many forms of it and to have him be nice in between is classical , google the cycle of control and you will see that they are nice to keep you hooked into them.
      I did not see clearly that I was in an abusive relationship until a couple of years ago and its been decades, we excuse them, they confuse us by being nicer.
      Call the helpline and speak to them at Womens aid , they are really understanding and kind and will help you to see what is going on.
      Also read the posts on here an you may see the same patterns. You may see the abuse as not extreme because he is not hitting you etc, but over time emotional abuse chips away at your self esteem and you become a shadow of who you were it can be very very subtle and often escalates and gets worse. Some people say that verbal and emotional leaves more scars than physical.
      A lot of what you say on here is him trying ot control you. Driving angerily is a classic thing they do and they also change tactics. Keep posting and reading and contact WA your local branch may have an outreachworker that you can meet up with in secret to help you x*x

    • #18567

      I wonder if it’s not any worse because you back down. The threat is there, keeping you in check. You know if you were to disobey, it could get worse. It’s the overhanging threat send control that is so damaging.

      Abusers often show covert abuse or passive aggression, until you stand up to them, and they up the abuse.

      But once abuse is there, it’s there, whether it’s overt, covert, obvious or subtle, and it’s not healthy.

    • #18574
      Main Moderator

      Hi Jellyonaplate,

      Welcome to the forum. I am so pleased to see that you have already had some supportive and helpful posts. It is great that you have found the forum and that you have already started to get information about abusive relationships. We know that information is power and it will help you to feel stronger.

      Please do try the helpline as soon as you get a safe opportunity to call. It will help you to understand what you are experiencing and they can help you to get in touch with your local group for support and advice.

      We are all here for you so please keep posting to let us know how you are.

      Best wishes,

      Forum Moderator

    • #18582

      It’s abuse and the main thing to understand is that it can and will escalate into much worse if you don’t leave now.

      Telling someone to shut up is one of the most disrespectful things a person could say. Its like saying you don’t have a voice or don’t deserve to be heard.

      He doesn’t want you to have a voice, just to do as he says. That’s not a relationship.

      Him being nice is all part of the cycle of abuse that causes trauma bonding.

      Leave him.

    • #18585
      Peaceful Pig

      Hi Jellyonaplate, covert emotional abuse can be very harmful over time, partly because it is so hard to recognise the control and intent behind it and so we internalise it all the more deeply believing we are the problem. My ex was very calm and cold in his abuse, using weird old fashioned words to insult me, a lot of it was confusion and rejection. He also is a master at getting others to take responsibility for him and everyone else saw this charming, funny, affable man. So yes, I felt very bad for him and continued to take a lot of responsibility for him for a long time. It also took me along time to realise and accept how controlling and abusive it was because it didn’t fit the stereotype. Abusers will do as much as they need to get you under control but no more because they want to get away with it. I’m sorry but they are that callous. I hope you manage to get some support to leave him and be careful not to let him know your thoughts about this. Good luck xx

    • #18590

      Hi Jelly, your partner sounds identical to what my ex was like. At the end of the relationship I felt so confused, mentally off balance, deeply anxious and troubled. My base personality is none of those things and I could not specifically pin point why I felt like that. I thought it was all me and issues within me, i was at fault. I did some reading which helped me enormously, as did being open and sharing your thoughts & experiences on this forum. this behavour cuts deep, please do be careful how long and how deeply you are involved with him. I split with mine (details removed by moderator) months ago and still now I am suffering mentally as a result of knowing him. I believe they are clever at getting into our minds and hooking themselves in. My one once said to me “you are never getting rid of me” I wondered at the time what he meant. Now i am beginning to see. We do not see, speak or have any contact on either side in any way any more. however, he is hooked into my mind and I cannot get him out. I cannot move on. I ask myself if his behaviour and words have done this. The books that I mentioned were all immediately available and free to read on Amazon, 30 Covert Manipulation Tactics, an excellent book for covert, subtle mental & emotional abuse. Books by HG Tudor. Also Invisible Chains is good. Also, try and watch the film Gaslight with Ingrid Bergman, its good. I brought it from Amazon and watched it on Iplayer. X*X

    • #18608

      Thanks so much ladies for the support and encouragement. It’s confirmed what I was doubting. It’s amazing the amount of denial we can have. That’s what I’m trying to break out of now so I can move forward.

    • #18609

      I saw someone on another post (sorry I can’t remember who) said that the 30 tactics book can be read for free. I can’t see how to get it.

    • #18613

      Its available free to read on Amazon kindle. This book got me through the early stages, i could identify with nearly every page.


    • #18660

      Thanks healthy archive. I read the 30 tactics book from cover to cover in the park today- what an eye opener. The bit that helped most (and shocked most too) was the bit about human rights.

    • #18666

      I’m re reading it again, my ex emotional abuser has his hooked so deeply embedded into me despite no contact, this book is really helping me to understand why. I highlighted so many paragraph’s and words that he did. Ohter books that I could resonate with are all written by H G Tudor, again free to read on Amazon. X*X

    • #18690

      I’ve also read the 30 Covert Tactic’s book today. The bit that struck me most was when it talked about intimacy in relationships and that “intimacy means that we can be who we are in a relationship” I’ve said for a long time that I just don’t feel like I’m being me when I’m with him. I’m being who he wants me to be.

      I have a lot of regret or shame over things I’ve done or allowed to be done to me in order to please him or stop him being angry. Recently these memories come back to me out of nowhere and I think I just don’t understand why I allowed myself to be treated like this. I’ve done things that I just cannot forgive myself for.

    • #18695

      Jelly & Moonflower, my only advice is be really careful how deeply you are getting involved with these people are read up all you can, I love the HG Tudor books. Every day I think about my ex, i don’t feel that I can move on. I spoke to someone today and she said to me that he holds the key to my happiness or misery and only him. That is true. He has completely dropped me out of his life, blocked me and dropped me, as have his family and friends. This is excruciatingly painful. Just one friendly text from him would unlock my prison. Emotional abuse cuts deep and lasts for many months even if you have no contact any more.

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