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    • #19320
      Escaped not free

      My ex partner has got in touch after I urged I ensured (detail removed by Moderator). There was no physical violence/assault involved. (detail removed by Moderator) However I feel I have been sucked back in to the love bombing part of the cycle. I was vulnerable, missed him greatly and wasn’t strong enough to walk away when he sounded like he genuinely wanted to change. He has promised to get help, started seeing a psychotherapist for the first time after previously promising to do so and not actually doing it. However after two sessions he has said he feels it’s a waste of time that what he really needs is relationship counselling with me so that we can talk about “our problems” and a professional can show him what he needs to work on. After agreeing I would go to relationship counselling after he was attending individual therapy I am starting to hear alarm bells. I have spoken to the prospective counsellor as I wanted to make sure they had experience and could recognise verbal abuse and would not facilitate more of this during therapy sessions. After speaking to him though, he was very understanding and he has basically said that it sounds like my partner displays n**********c qualities and is concerned that I perhaps should not be engaging at all in relationship counselling with him and should do more work on myself to recognise why I feel the need to make a harmful relationship work. While he has agreed to see us if it’s definitely what we want and I continue to see my counsellor through women’s aid to maintain my own mental health with regards to my dealings with my partner it has cast doubts again as to wether or not there is any point. I love my partner, he has many wonderful qualities however I’m not sure he is really taking responsibility for his behaviour / actions and I’m concerned he is trying to show the problems are with the relationship rather than his emotionally abusive actions.
      I often feel with him I am dealing with two separate people, like Jekyll and Hyde and while I want a relationship and future with the guy I fell for the bad person within him is a frightening monster I want to run from. He’s been the good guy again recently but after getting some space I can still see glimmers of the nasty side lurking.
      Can counselling ever help these men if they are commited to change?
      How do you know if they are commited to change?
      Anyone have any experience of this?

    • #19322

      Dear Escaped I have thought about you over the last few weeks, i thought you may have got back together with him. I went to counselling with my ex husband around 4 times in total. Four separate times, at 6 session per one time. So what I’m trying to say is that we had a lot of counselling throughout our marriage with a couple of years in between each period of counselling. Personally, i thought after we broke up, counselling does not fix the main problems it just puts a plaster over it for a while. With myself and my husband our problems were deeper than counselling could solve. Basically we were not compatible and had different views and values, no amount of counselling could fix that. I realized a few years after we got divorced, but at the time I hoped counselling would help us. Escaped, you and I have exchanged some messages on here as we seemed to be in the same boat with the same type of overwhelmingly strong trauma bonding feelings. I just want to let you know that I am now over 4 months 99.9% NC and feel so much better, my pure painful grief and the gaping hole in my heart that we both shared before, is starting to heal. I have a smile on my face and In my heart more and I am having happier days. There is light at the end of the morbidly depressing and empty tunnel I can vouch for that. X*X

    • #19330
      Escaped not free

      Thank you HA. I had actually just been throwing myself into getting back into work after a long time off sick, not helped by the stress of dealing with him. I was managing to go through the motions a bit better. Work was helping. I had been taking steps to look at new properties, getting our house ready to sell then the phone calls started. He would just call and say nothing, used a new pay as you go phone. I knew it was him but still felt it maybe wasn’t, I was maybe going crazy. He then phoned and spoke and after a great deal of insisting eventually admitted it had been him phoning. He then eventually admitted to following me using my phone and more disturbingly had been filming me without my knowledge when I’d been going back to our house to collect things while he wasn’t there. At this time he seemed genuinely disturbed by what he had done and was clearly in a bit of a mess and very troubled. However I do feel since then he has increasingly distanced himself from those feelings and can feel the shifting if blame happening and the denial that it was that bad, basically rewriting history again. Part of me would like to do counselling so that I could sit in a room with someone else listening and tell him exactly what he has done and the effect it has had without him being able to manipulate and squirm his way out of it. Although ideally he would undergo some dramatic change I am stronger now than j was and don’t think this is really realistic. I think u just want to make him face what he has done and see if it actually makes a difference. Don’t think I should though unless he shows more commitment to his own therapy to change the way he behaves. I don’t know….it’s confusing. Very confusing. Made worse by him painting the picture of the potential perfect life that we could have if we “worked through our problems”.

    • #19339

      Oh dear,this sounds like the classic cycle of abuse, watch out for the devaluation stage, you know its round the corner. There are some ladies on here at the moment, Aliceinchains is one, who are in a more or less identical situation to you, you might find it helpful to look at some of her recent posts. Why don’t you re read the HG Tudor books, they are fantastic for this. Myself, Alice and Million Pieces have gone cold turkey to get rid of the bas***ds and we’re getting there despite severe trauma bonding.

    • #19340

      Please don’t fall for his games. Ask him to leave you alone and stick to no contact until you can get your head straight. He won’t respect your request. Won’t respect your boundaries. If you do get back together he will find a way to punish you for what you have done. He has shown you his true colours. Believe him x

    • #19342

      Hiya- if I could silence the feelings in my mind which keep throwing up ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybe if i just’. My ex phoned yesterday, I was then thinking ‘what if he is suicidal’ ‘what if he is sad’, ‘but we does know me so well’, ‘maybe he just wants to be friends’, ‘maybe he is not abusive and this is all in my mind’…. So then I read the list… The list I made of all the things he has ever done to me… The time that he picked me up by my head, the time that he accused me of controlling him when I made him a plate of food, the time he stood in my back garden and called me a f%<€*#g c**t in my back garden so all my neighbours could heard, the time he broke into my filing cabinet with a knife and then blamed it on the kids, the time he found a sock under the bed and then accused me of hiding a mans sock…… And then I think- I don’t think that is how a loving man would treat me. Can I imagine my lovely Dad raising his voice to me or making covert death threats? Would my loving daughter stand over me screaming whilst I curled up in a ball. Nope. No they would be devastated if they thought I was upset. This was control and not love. I always try and focus on the negatives if I start to romanticise about him x*x

    • #19345

      All advise from proffesionals in DV say NEVER ever have joint counclling, they will just use it to focus on you and most councelors do not a clue about Dv . Mine has kept on and on at me to have joint councelling for our “marriage problems ” which are not marriage problems its abuse. We had some joint many decades ago ans he just played on her sympathy and lied and focused on me then i tried again twice and the last time I walked out of the room as he sat so self righteous lying and i will never do it again. Could be he doesn’t like the councellor looking closley at him alone and he is wanting to project it onto you.
      If you google Respect they recommend perpertrator courses all over the country , he could attend one of those, see how he reacts to that one.
      Do yo have Lundy Bancroft book, why does he do that , in there he has a list of signs of real and geniune change also there is a website I will PM you as the moderator will take it off here.
      Very few men do make permanent changes itsvery hard hard work for along time they have to be out of denial of what they are doign and really want to take responsibilty for their behavior xx

    • #19349
      Escaped not free

      Thank you ladies,
      It’s so good of u all to give me your words of support. I think it would have been easier for me if the things he said and did had been more clear cut but it was a very subtle but in the end daily managing down that by the end of us being together left me numb. He’s said he didn’t realise just how bad it was until he read what I’d written about our relationship. Said he was deeply ashamed and had let me down so badly. I can see exactly where it comes from, his mother is incredibly controlling to the point his father is a nervous wreck of a man who couldn’t decide what to have on his toast without a nervous breakdown if he didn’t have her to tell him. No surprise that she has gone mad when she found out he was seeing a psychotherapist. Other did however tell her that if it meant she didn’t speak to him then he would live like that but he couldn’t live with being this way anymore and causing this pain. I want to believe in him but I’ve just been there so many times, not as bad as this or as far as this before. The counsellor I spoke to that he has said he would go to is actually very clued up on verbal abuse and has said if it’s what I really wanted he would set very definite ground rules and it would be made very clear that the behaviours he had displayed are not acceptable in any context of a living relationship. It’s wether or not he will actually listen and make the necessary changes he says he is committed to doing. He has taken on a six month let on another property and said he understands it’s going to take longer than that for me to begin to trust him again, so he’s not trying to get back home yet. I would like the chance to get some things off my chest and if it doesn’t make a difference I feel it would at least give me some closure. Not sure though. Invulnerable because I love him and I keep remembering the great times on the tears we e had of which there were loads. The bad times however were extremely bad. Thank you ladies. I’ll think about everything all if you have said. I will also keep my guard up. X*x

    • #19350

      He manipulates you perfectly.
      You said he filmed you secretly. This means he even stalked you.
      There is enough research that abusers do not change.
      It is very humiliating for a n********t to be left by the partner, almost impossible for him to cope with such an event.
      Do not believe that he will listen to you and understand you when you tell him in front of a counselor which impact his behavior had on you.
      He will just pretend.
      What you will not know is that he will be very angry inside about what you are going to say. When you think that things improve and you fall for his pretense you will get a surprise.
      He has an agenda to fulfill.
      Take care. x*x

    • #19356

      I went to counselling with my most recent ex, we went because I had jealousy problems. I admit i did, but he were a ladies man with women hanging around him everywhere. But I admit I did have jealousy problems and these had an impact on our relationship. I can never forget him manner & attitude when we were in the waiting room and in the session. It was pure unadulterated arrogance and internal satisfaction. It was shocking. It was as if he had reached the peak of his goal, to reduce a women’s self esteem to its very depths.

    • #19499
    • #22605

      I tried couples counselling and feel like an idiot. He told me everything is my choice and the ‘control’ is just my perception. I couldn’t give a reason as to why I feel controlled and said its from years of having an expectation and repurcussions. He pointed out this is therefore learnt behaviour and therefore I am responsible for any change! He told me my husband doesn’t make me nervous sad or anxious, but rather I’m depressed and need to take anti depressants. I told him I can’t as I already feel like hurting myself. He told me ‘well that’s a bit drastic’. No it’s not! It’s proportionate to how I feel. I feel so let down

    • #22631

      I just wanted to add that my husband and I went to couples counselling after he blackmailed me to do so, so
      I was reluctant. Initially I found it empowering to have someone else there, I felt safe and I was able to explain a lot that I hadn’t been able to do so before however, I soon started to withdraw again because he couldn’t keep our discussions limited to the counselling and kept trying to talk it over in front of the kids. In The end I had a private session with the counsellor and explained my side
      Of things and she was brilliant. I now see her on my own and although I am not sure she gets the emotional and subtle controlling abuse, she certainly supported me with his contemptuous outbursts. I feel better for seeing her alone – he said stuff in couples that he back tracked on as soon as we were out of the office. To him it was just another game i think.

    • #22707

      We have sessions alone too but he seems to spend the session trying to tell me that things are because of my husbands childhood and tells me nothing I’ve told him sounds like abuse. Even when I told him my husband physically hurt me he didn’t seem able to move away from supporting my husbands view point. Me and my husband have both said we will separate but he tells us things like childcare will be too difficult. The whole session is everything my husband wants to hear and I don’t feel equal. I told him I will get support from women’s aid from now on – which is something I didn’t want my hudband knowing!

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