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    • #141353

      I am new to this. I have been reading other posts and starting to understand that there is so much similarity with these abusers. Mine is so subtle I have moments of doubting myself. He has even claimed (detail removed by Moderator) that that his behaviour is unconscious. I have been trying to get him out but he refuses, tells me to do what I have to do.
      He finally agreed to move out (detail removed by Moderator) but I have to give him my word that it’s not a ploy to get him out for good. He wants to know if I would consider going to couple’s counselling with him.

      At the beginning of the year when I first realised there wasn’t going to be any respite without a separation, I would have considered this. Then I read ‘Why Does He Do That?’ and I’m worried about putting myself in a difficult position by going to counselling with him. I have told him his controlling behaviour is abuse (was I wrong to alert him in this way?).

      I am starting to write down incidents – dates, what happened, etc as records as I have no concrete proof. Emotional abuse has no visible scars. Just a very muddled up mind that’s constantly second-guessing itself!

      In the last (detail removed by Moderator) weeks, he has admitted controlling behaviours that happened a long time ago but doesn’t see that he hasn’t changed and is still very controlling and manipulative. He says his life was a mess at the time and attributes his behaviour to that. In the last (detail removed by Moderator) weeks weeks, he has tried to blame:

      1. ‘investigation for cancer'(apparently when he had some swollen glands he was being investigated for cancer but he couldn’t tell me),
      2. PTSD (he thinks he developed PTSD after years in an organisation (detail removed by Moderator)). Funny enough, PTSD only came up after I had been reading about it when trying to deal with a childhood trauma (detail removed by Moderator), 3. he now thinks he has Autism. Apparently, he has spoken to the British Autistic Society and he scored (detail removed by Moderator) on the questionnaire and they usually class you autistic if you score 50%. He has said he is not saying autism is the cause of his behaviour but it explains why he has been emotionally absent and prefers his own company. Oh the irony! He won’t leave to continue enjoying his own company. Apparently, he wants to live with his family (me and kids) even though he ignores us most of the time and hardly engages in family stuff!
      I simply stated that autism might be a factor but there is right and wrong. You are a full grown man who knows right from wrong.

      Am I going crazy? Is it possible to be abusive and unaware of it?

      I finally told my counsellor what’s happening and she highlighted all the red flags. She said to try to get as much help as I can from organisations like Women’s Aid. I feel so confused.

      I’m sorry, I came to say hello and I’ve just ended up writing an essay!

    • #141355
      Grey Rock

      Gah. They come out with any old thing to avoid accountability. Mine would insist on me accompanying him to his doctor appointments for all his conditions (whatever the current excuse was). I think his surgery saw through him. They always seemed very guarded when he showed up and I noticed if one receptionist was talking to him another was always close at hand. In the end we went to an appointment with a doctor who was working his last day before retirement. He encouraged me to voice my concerns. He stated in no uncertain terms that my ex was a potentially dangerous man and that I should leave immediately if x y or z happened. That warning stayed in my head and helped me trust myself in my decision to go (well, evacuate really, and stay evacuated) when the time came.

      But yes, PTSD, sleep disorders, unexplained pains, tiredness… All used as reasons to not do anything he didn’t feel like doing Eg working, looking after the house, cooking, or going anywhere that wasn’t for him specifically) and as an excuse for his horrible behaviour.

      GR x

    • #141367

      Even if any of those conditions were the cause, what’s HE doing about it. None of them excuse the treatment you and the kids receive and how does he react after he knows you’re upset? Entitled and blaming you I suspect? Unfortunately what you’re experiencing is very common as it keeps us hooked in- how could we ‘abandon’ someone who is ill, but lovely you deserve happiness too and he’s not providing that and most likely lying to keep you providing. I hope he does leave and give you some space but be prepared for this to be another tactic, mine is still in the property several months later, why would they leave through choice when we give them all they want.

      If he was genuine you’d expect him to show some kind of compassion for causing you upset, if that’s not there but excuses to cover up his behaviour are rife, then I’d say start looking to get out, he won’t change xx

    • #141368

      Welcome to the forum, he knows exactly what he is doing, have you read living with the Dominater, Pat Craven, i found this book very helpful when I was doubting my husband’s abusive behaviour.
      Also, I kept a journal of the abuse (even the abuse I was unsure of, gaslighting, coercive control, sexual control)..

      You are not crazy, what your partner is doing (which he is aware of) is designed to keep you in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt), it’s a horrible and confusing cycle of abuse (Google FOG cycle abuse).

      I made the mistake of couples counselling with my very subtle manipulating husband, I regretted it, the therapist was originally for me, i sought the therapist out for support, he then saw her on his own as his needs were apparently greatwr than mine! I bought in to his lie for a while that he was seeing the therapist to help himself. He no longer see’s her, it was all for show. These men are great actors.

      Abusive partners will use anything and everything to remain, they rarely have true intentions to leave when asked. It took me 3 attempts to separate, initially I thought to have some space to process everything (i found it very overwhelming when I woke up and saw/accepted my husband of decades was an abusive man). When he continued to abuse me, via our teenage children, I realised he would not change. I explained why to him and he said I had planned it, that I tricked him into believing it was just a separation for some space and now that I wanted a divorce he had nothing, he claimed to be suicidal, he made up a story about his childhood, he even told me a close relative of his had died. All lies to gain sympathy and continue his emotional manipulation!.

      I have been free of him for some months. I love living without walking on eggshells.
      Take each day as it comes, hour by hour if need be.
      Keep posting ❤

    • #141375

      Thank you so much for your replies. @HereforHelp, I have been asked to guarantee that if he leaves, it’s not just a ‘ploy to get me out’. It’s like couples’ counselling is the bargaining tool. I’m not allowed to divorce him unless I’ve given it another go via couples’ counselling.

      There were tears. He even told me how much he would need to pay to support the boys. I have never brought up financial support. Like you, I just wanted space to process what’s happened and space to heal. I’m amazed that the situation and even the words are so similar! I will not go down that route. Yes, I’ve read Pat Craven’s book and I’m about to book onto a freedom programme.

      You are so right, @bananaboat. In the past, he’s talked about not wanting to be here anymore. At first I was really shocked and I got sucked back in but that only works a couple of times. Now, the story is that me and the boys are all that matters to him. He doesn’t want to leave his home. yet, he has done nothing to find help for these conditions.
      He has never sought help for PTSD or depression and anxiety. Not officially through the GP. He said he started practising mindfulness. The appointment about Autism is the first time he’s ever gone to GP about something that might be wrong with him. Apparently, they never called. How do I even know he actually did make an appointment?

    • #141509

      Couples therapy won’t work with an abuser, he’s just giving himself more reasons to carry on his atrocious behaviour, it’s us that ends up with p.t.s.d not our abusers p.t.s.d causes fearful behaviour, agoraphobia, self harm, nightmares and living on a loop as if the situations are still going on, abusers are chronic blamers they’ll blame anything anyone and everything they can (and yes it’s going include you too)he’s just needing an excuse to encourage you to stay in a toxic situation that only he’s benefiting from, I know you want to feel loved and cared for and you want to see and understand the good in someone but we all did, it didn’t make a difference they are who they are and they’re best left far behind

    • #141510

      In the months since my ex was removed he has claimed he had OCD, now apparently cured, autism – not sure if he still thinks that, and the latest is PTSD. Oh and he’s not alcoholic apparently, it’s controlled drinking …..

    • #141552


      Please don’t be afraid you are in a safe place. Reading your account is like reading my own life bio. I suffered for 1(detail removed by moderator) and in (detail removed by moderator) I left the house with my three kids because leaving a house with only the clothes on our backs and no money or even petrol was safer and less abusive than staying. I’ve been backed 100% by authorities – including the police and he was arrested for coercive control. I couldn’t believe it was possible, that anyone would ever believe me but they have, the law finally protects us. I’m now home, my house is calm, happy, quiet and my kids are thriving. I couldn’t believe I would ever feel free, honestly it’s like a whole new life. There’s and incredible book called Divorcing a N********t – the love, the lure the law. Buy it tomorrow! It will be like reading your own biography. I wish you love and luck. You must do this for yourself and your kids. You will be more than fine. Love conquers all ♥️♥️♥️♥️

    • #141565

      Hi ALive and Kicking

      Your post is similar to my life. The subtle control and abuse and the doubts and questioning. Although I’m separated I feel I’m getting sucked back in. He says he is making all the effort and sacrifices according to him. Blames depression and illness for not supporting me. So am I wrong then for not wanting to try again!
      He is seeing (detail removed by moderator) therapist and psychiatrist I think too. He feels I’m the only issue now in his life.
      I’m questioning myself now like you. the horrible part is I read posts here and see it for what it is, abuse and horrible treatment, but it’s like I’m almost immune to stuff he says to me and accepts he must be right. AS for years I blindly believed him.
      I’ve been writing incidents down now for quiet sometime and yes I still have the muddled mind. But it helps to read over those things now that I didn’t just imagine it all.

      I do feel my husband is abusive and not aware of it. I think he genuinely feels he is 100% right in what he says. So I’ve found myself sitting curled in almost fetal position now when I end up talking to him because of the constant barage of abuse.
      It is so hard and it is so draining. I really hope you find some relief soon.
      Keep using your supports, keep posting here.
      Sending you strength and love

    • #141866

      Thank you so much for your messages of support. It is so encouraging to know that others are going through the same and I’m not mad. the muddled mind though! It’s actually a thing. Thank you for confirming that. I gradually realised how free I feel when I’m not with him. It’s like my brain actually works instead of second-guessing myself.

      Reading all your experiences, there are so many similarities in the behaviours. @searchingforhpoe, I think the same of mine, that he isn’t aware of it. But surely he knows right from wrong. If I say something you did/are doing is hurting me, then turning the conversation around so that I feel guilty or end up getting the blame for why it happened, is just plain wrong! When I started becoming aware of it, I started saying: (detail removed by moderator). What they’re not aware of is the beliefs that drive the behaviours (entitlement, superiority, etc). I’m sure he is aware of his behaviours. I’ve called him out recently and he admitted it was wrong and apologised. there was no way I could be blamed on those occasions so he apologised. Guess what? He did the same or similar within a week!

      Changing those beliefs takes months/years and trying to do it under the same roof is impossible. It’s their comfort zone. They’re king of the castle. when I read Lundy Bancroft’s Why Does He do That? and he said that only a very tiny percentage actually make the effort to change, it sent shivers down my spine. it gave me an idea of the battle ahead.

    • #141929

      Alive and kicking you can get a divorce without having to go through counselling again. I was told that even if I didn’t agree with the reasons cited he would still get his divorce. Its even easier now as theres no fault needed so you don’t even need to “blame” him.

      I thought marriage counselling had worked for us but in the end it just meant we had the longest ever calm spell then when it did get too much for him (he never got the personal help he was recommended thinking he didn’t need it and I was the one with problem)he turned physical on me. I didn’t realise I was in an abusive relationship til then as it had all been mental.

      My ex thought he was right all the time and everything had to be done his way even that was twice as hard for me. He would never apologise when he’d hurt my feelings in fact totally ignored the fact that he’d shouted absolutely vile things at me.

    • #142992

      All come out it seems with total bull mine would never allow me to drs of course cause he knows theyd see he’s an alcoholic with his purple face. Get so angry 🤬

    • #143071

      I wouldn’t recommend couples counselling. I went and he even said I thought he was abusing me and that he may possibly have hit me but I was always so angry. The counsellor asked me why I was so angry all the time and had I considered how this made him feel? I never went back. I don’t think you can have counselling if he’s abusive. Sorry you’re going through this. I definitely wouldn’t let him dictate how you separate. Sounds like he is trying to control how you leave him

    • #144426
      Waving not drowning

      Oh wow these relies have me chills…. SO similar. Tried counselling and he basically spent 55 minutes talking about himself or what a c**p person I am with the counsellor not managing him properly despite me telling her privately that he was likely a n********t. Still sees her on his own – I assume for narcissistic ego supply and validation for his actions.

      He has tried all sorts of excuses for his behaviour, autism, medication, some kind of illness that means you are exhausted all the time…. Unfortunately none of these actually make you violent and abusive do they? Only you can do that.

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