This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Tiffany 5 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #85054

    Its so hard when they are in the nice/lovey dovey stage. When they act like the guy you so desperately want. However you notice the subtle comments that made you think hmm that sounds a bit odd.

    Mine wanted to have a chat because he still cant believe that i wanted to leave him. I have to lie through my teeth and say that i dont when i just want to scream GO AWAY!

    Its unbelievable how they can change their emotions so quickly.


  • #85058

    To be honest, I am not sure they do really change emotions. The nice lovey dovey stuff is more of a mask that they wear to lull us into a false sense of safety. But once you know what you are looking at it’s amazing how often the mask slips. If there is anywhere safe that you can keep notes (where he can’t read them) then it might be useful to write down every time he slips up and is abusive when he is trying to show his nice face. I definitely found that helped stop me getting reeled back in. (Actually I didn’t realize it was abuse and started a pros and cons style list of good and bad times – but it didn’t take long to realise that even the good times had horrible bitter pills of meanness in them.) It also helped retain trust in my own memory because I had decent notes on what had happened. (I had a lot of gaslighting).

  • #85070

    I started keeping a list of things and jotting down any flashbacks i have about a month ago and I only wish I had done it sooner because when he asks me for specific examples of his behaviour he gets very annoyed when i cant relay the incident word by word even when it could’ve happened years ago.

    One thing I noticed was how he always checks if the windows are open when he starts an argument and if they are he asks me to close them.

    He started again on how I wasnt that nice to him and I didnt want to do things at the weekend and I was like the reason i dont suggest things is because you can be really difficult out and you make me feel anxious driving because of the constant criticism.

  • #85076

    Be really careful in how you are acting towards him. You don’t want him to suspect that you are gathering strength to leave (because if he suspects he will make it harder to do so). Try and keep acting like you used to as much as possible, and try to avoid arguments, unless you think that the argument is safer than (for example) being ina car with him. It might help to read up on the “grey rock” technique, which is advised to people who have to maintain contact with their abuser for any reason (for example about their kids). You basically make yourself as boring as possible to avoid getting drawn into their web. It could be a useful tool before you leave for not getting drawn I to arguments.

  • #85078

    Yeah thats good advice Tiffany, thank you.

    I am just really struggling to keep myself from bubbling over. I feel so guilty for lying to him and pretending everything is okay. I am so upset too about it all. Also the fact that i’ll just leave one day and not have another conversation about it when he’s admitted that he’s so insecure about me abandoning him, just like he believes his mum and dad did when he was younger. I cant eat or sleep properly thinking about how its going to affect him.

  • #85144

    Have you heard the term the FOG of abuse. It partly describes how your head feels trying to see through the confusion of abuse. But it is also an acronym for the three main weapons in an abuser’s arsenal for stopping us from leaving. Those three things are Fear, Obligation, and Guilt. And the amazing thing about these tools is that they basically plant them in our brains, and then we as nice empathetic people perpetuate them ourselves, without them having to continually top them up.

    Personally, mine started off the bat mostly using obligation. He did a lot for me in the early days of our relationship because I was chronically ill. So I owed him because he had looked after him. His main fear policy was along the same lines. He made me afraid that I would not be able to cope without him. Fortunately he kind of f****d this up for himself by using the obligation to make me do all the housework. So by the time I came to leave I felt I had more or less paid off that obligation. And I was also less afraid that I couldn’t make it on my own.

    He started in heavily on the guilt once he realised that I was planning to leave. That he couldn’t cope without me, that he would never date again if I left him (how I wish that was true – just for the sakes of whatever poor woman he ends up with), that he was only acting in the way he was because he was mentally ill. Which led into a new type of obligation. He stood by me through my worst time, so I was obliged to stay with him for his worst time.

    The thing is though, becoming chronically ill wasn’t my worst time. The abuse was. And the only way I could end it was to walk away. I didn’t want to leave him at that point. I wanted to help him. I wanted him to get the right support and stop abusing me. But he had no intention of doing that. He was quite happy to continue abusing me to make himself happy. He felt no guilt about the fact that it was making me suicidal.

    Honestly, you will hopefully never know what happens after you leave your abuser. Maybe he will be devastated by a further betrayal. But whatever happens will be his fault for abusing you, not your fault for leaving. If there had been any other options you would have taken them. But there aren’t.

    This is not your fault. You can’t stop the abuse any other way. And no one should have to live with abuse. And your partner has had all the chances in the world to treat you better and he’s burned them all. He won’t feel guilt about that. And he will try and blame it on you, because abusers don’t take responsibility for their actions. But that absolutely doesn’t make it your fault.

    If it helps use the mantra that got me out (I changed it in my head whenever I started feeling guilty): “it’s ok to do what is best for me”. Actually it is more than ok to do what it best for you. It’s absolutely vital to do what is best for you most of the time in a relationship – there should be occasional compromises, but they shouldn’t be one sided. And as I said, most of the time you should be doing what is best for you, because in a normal relationship that is best for both parties. It’s only in abusive relationships, where the abuser gets a kick out of us being unhappy that that stops. Squash that guilt down, because he does not want what is best for you, only best for him (and feels no guilt about it). So you absolutely deserve to pursue what is best for you.

  • #85149

    I’m trying not to cry reading that, it always comes back to deep down I know what is right for me and what isn’t and sadly he falls into the second category.

    I might right that mantra on my hand to try and get me through tomorrow. This time tomorrow I will probably be gone and that’s a scary thought. Although he met his Dr and has made the initial steps to get help but I haven’t told him I think he is abusing me.

    I just keep thinking that i’ll be able to watch c**p TV, soppy movies, go out for a coffee on my own with a book, visit my friends and family on my own and even go to the gym without him feeling the need to accompany me or make me feel guilty for wanting independence. He even had the cheek the other day to say that he thinks i’ve changed because I used to argue back with him a lot more when we first started going out.

  • #85152

    You are doing the right thing.

    I remember that comment too. When I’d totally lost the will to engage in the circular ‘arguments’ and he couldn’t use them as reasons to degrade and hurt me. Apparently, that meant I’d become boring, or was hiding things.

    I’d recommend Caitlin Moran’s How to Be A Woman with your coffee. It is funny, touching, outrageous at times, and strong.


  • #85156
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    this is a big step but the best steps you will ever take. its the ONLY way forward. with these men we go round and round in circles and the longer we do the longer it takes us to heal. we also risk developing chronic conditions from the trauma xx your absolutely doing the right thing xx

  • #85172

    You know what is right for you, and you have to do that. You leaving does not prevent him from seeking help. It does not prevent him from getting better. I read quite a lot about how abusers can stop abusing after I left. I guess wondering if anything could have been different. The one thing that every article I read emphasized was that getting help was not a way to get your victim back. That abusers have to seek help for themselves, not because others want them to change. Which is obvious really, because breaking the belief that women somehow owe them something is key in stopping abuse. But it also means that we don’t owe it to them to stay, even if they are seeking help. The right thing for us is still valid. It’s ok that the abuse hurt us too deeply to forgive and forget.

    I am normally the most forgiving and understanding person. I try and see things from other people’s view points. I try and understand their pain, and why they act the way they do. I have been out for a couple of years now. No contact. New partner. Better life than I could have imagined through the abuse. And I still haven’t forgiven my abuser. I have concluded that nothing justifies hurting another person simply for pleasure. Or to ward off your own demons. And I will never forget how he hurt me. After all I still suffer flashbacks, and there are things I can no longer do because of the abuse.

    I couldn’t have healed and moved on if I had stayed with my abuser. Even if he had changed. And I would always have been waiting for the next b**w. Even if it had never come. It boils down to the basic principle of doing what is best for you. And the best thing for me, and for you, is to walk away while we still could and can, and to start over without the abuse. It’s the only way we can heal. And that’s not our faults either.

    Good luck tomorrow, and do what is best for you.

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