13th August 2019 at 3:41 pm #85608Anonymous
I’m not really sure where to start and in some ways I feel like a huge hypocrite coming here when I’m sure there are many many other women in greater distress and danger than me but I genuinely don’t have anyone else I can speak to about this who is impartial so I’m hoping someone here might be able to help.
I’m going to keep this short as I could go into pages of detail but I’m not sure if that would help. I think I may be the victim of emotional abuse but I feel like I don’t trust my own mind anymore so I need help to know what is my fault or not?
Been with my OH (detail removed by moderator) Years, married for (detail removed by moderator, (detail removed by moderator) children (detail removed by moderator), eldest child is autistic, I think youngest child is ADHD. I was ‘diagnosed’ with ADHD (recently) (but obviously I’ve had it my whole life!).
“Bad” things OH has done in our relationship / related to our relationship – this is not meant to be a S**T list and I’ll try and be as honest about my own ‘bad’ things too –
– Before with me was in prison for (detail removed by moderator) years (I won’t go into the offence but it wasn’t domestic abuse related) – I don’t know if he has ‘minimised’ his offences. As a consequence social services were involved in both my pregnancies (especially the first one where my child was put on a ‘care’ plan and we got weekly visits for months. We also have continued police involvement at a lower level and I can’t do the job I want because of the DBS regulations.
– Started seeing me before I left my previous (abusive) partner then slept with someone and lied outright about it
– Constantly teased me if I ever felt jealous or insecure
– Controlled (subtly) all the details about our wedding (eloped abroad) and the party afterward at which we didn’t do any ‘wedding’y’ stuff – no cutting the cake, first dance, anything.
– Always wanted (wants) to have sex outdoors, dressed up, sexy underwear, role-play, at work, spanking, a**l, c*m all over me etc. None of which I’m averse too particularly but we have never ONCE had ‘romantic’ or meaningful sex.
– Has never called me lovely, beautiful, wonderful etc. Any compliments are always about my BJ technique, my arse, t**s or something similar. Did once or twice tell me I’m a good mum.
– Texted / sexted (don’t know never found pics) / slept with (couldn’t find evidence but suspect) another woman (detail removed by moderator) for years (detail removed by moderator). When confronted with the receipts of the (hundreds of ££’s) of gifts he bought her, unknown lunch & cinema charges (and this is just with the card I could see the statement for) told me “You’re overreacting”, “she’s having a hard time I’m just looking out for her because she’s got no-one” “she paid me back”, “I felt sorry for her” “she keeps messaging me” (not true I found his emails messaging her and her responses)
– ‘(detail removed by moderator)
– I found emails in his SENT items that he claimed were spam (in his SENT items?)
– I left him and took our kids and he got really angry at me telling me I was out of line not ‘asking him’ about the emails I found so he could ‘explain’ and telling me I wouldn’t stop him seeing ‘his’ children
– Every time we have an argument or I try and bring something up I’m unhappy about it ends up in a huge argument where I either end up apologising or leaving the thing I wanted to talk about unresolved. He gets into a sulk and gives me the cold shoulder for days / weeks
– He never touches me affectionately – holds my hand etc. Its always squeezing my bum or grinding up against me and when I tell him not now – it’s me that’s “not in the mood ever”
– Has always and continues to keep separate bank accounts from me, locks his computer and phone and would never give me access to his iCloud if I asked.
– Uses my FB account saying he doesn’t want his own (I don’t now use mine except for trivial groups)
– Checks my phone and thinks I don’t know – denies it when asked
– Has a ‘dedicated’ office in our house for his work (part time) and yet spends HOURS up there
– Tells me he wants to help with the kids but if I ask I get told “I’ll do it later” or he just ‘forgets’.
– If I stand up for myself tells me I’m being moody and unreasonable
– Tells our kids they are ‘idiots’ or ‘snowflakes’ (detail removed by moderator), constantly jokes that second child was a ‘mistake’
– Behaves completely differently in front of my family and strangers
– Sulks and behaves like a child if things don’t go his way
– Has broken his computer, phone, numerous computer mice, put holes in walls, doors when he’s angry about his football team losing, me asking about / having nightmares about / being affected by his behaviour in the past and asking him questions about it
– Refuses to talk about his ‘affair’ with girl mentioned above and whenever i bring it up loses the plot and goes ballistic telling me I can’t get over it
– tells me constantly that ‘no-one blames you if you want to leave’ and ‘no it’s started affecting your life you just can’t take it’ when consequences have occurred due to his past offences that have included having to uproot our entire life and move hours away.
– told me he will support me with my ADHD diagnosis but hasn’t read any books or ask me how I’m doing or what he can do to help
– when I try to suggest ways to improve our relationship get told “it’s like being at school”, “i don’t want to talk to anyone (counsellor)”, “that’s hippie b******s” etc
– takes the p**s / makes derogatory comments about everything I like – music, films, classes I go to etc etc and when I bring it up tells me ‘it’s just a joke’ and I’m being too “sensitive”
– Will come to ‘official’ meetings for our eldest child e.g school, paediatrician etc but at home I put everything into ‘place’ to try and help our child cope – systems, routines, make all the appointments, etc. I’ve had to work from home and take out DLA and carer’s allowance as I can’t work enough to make any decent money. I go out once a week to a class but other than that I don’t get time ‘off’ from the kids unless I ask for it
– talks about ‘sex’ things we’ve done in the past that I’m positive weren’t with me but when I say this he says “you never remember anything”
“Bad” Things I’ve done in our relationship
– Been jealous and acted childishly about it
– Sexted another guy – I feel like I want to justify this but really it doesn’t matter why I did it except I did
– asked him repeatedly (and I mean REPEATEDLY) about this girl and why he did it – I don’t understand it and he never fully explains it so I’m just left feeling confused
– Have been through his phone, computer, emails, deleted files etc on numerous occasions – trying to find ‘hard evidence’ of his ‘mistakes’ but have never found anything except emails and message threads with texts missing
– Left him whilst he was at work taking the kids (I went back after days)
– Constantly worry that he’s cheating on me (again) and can’t get over the past
– Lied to him about wanting to have sex (a lot)
– Had sex to please him or done things in our sex life that I knew would please him but I’m not really into (including (detail removed by moderator) days after my first child was born even) because I was worried about hi cheating again if I didn’t
– Seen a solicitor about my ‘rights’ and not told him
– Lied to him about how I’m feeling / what I’m thinking / what I want to do just to make my life easier
– gone along with things e.g. parenting decisions, cancelling going out, for the same reason
– have ‘given up’ trying to talk to him about things that are upsetting me or worrying me because it will just end up with an argument or him getting angry at me for something
– hidden things that the kids have done (broken etc) so he won’t get angry with them
– get up with the kids every morning and we creep around being quiet so as not to wake him he ‘offers’ to let me have a lie in but my youngest inevitably ends up coming up to ‘find’ me as ‘daddy shouted’
– I have some really annoying ‘traits’ with my ADHD that must be hard to live with and I accept that but they aren’t any easier for me either! When I talk about putting things in place he tells me that he doesn’t want to live on a timetable, to check lists etc even though those things help me
I’m sure he sounds like a complete arse! If I read that I would think so too. But we get on well (when he isn’t being negative) and the kids enjoy spending time with him. He can be really supportive – eg. when I want to try a different job tells me to go ahead and do whatever training I need, and puts up with constant need to change the furniture, re-decorate, come up with new ‘organisational’ systems.
I think he’s had a bad time in his life which is fair enough but we all have.
Is this abuse or am I reading too much into it? I feel like I don’t trust my own judgement anymore. Sometimes I do get mixed up about time (e.g. think something happened 2 years ago and it was a year ago) but generally I have a good memory and in some instances remember things very clearly – I wish I didn’t!!
Hoping that someone can help me shed some light on what’s really going on and what I can do about it.
I am contemplating divorce but I have a feeling he would use my ADHD against me in terms of me managing with the kids and I can’t bear the thought of not being with them some of the time! They are my life!
14th August 2019 at 7:03 am #85638AlwaysSorryParticipant
Hi there F and welcome to the forum x I’m glad you have found this place x
I think many victims and survivors tend to minimise their own abuse and compare it to someone else, saying they have it much worse. Please know that abuse is abuse, it’s not a contest or competition and any abuse is wrong. And what you are living with certainly sounds so very abusive. Please know you do not deserve that and you are not to blame. One thing on your list that really stood out to me is his ability to completely change his behaviour in public or in front of others – this is such a classic abuser trait because even when they claim otherwise, they are always in control of their actions and they will choose when to abuse you. Gosh it all sounds incredibly controlling and emotionally and sexually abusive. I’m so sorry you have to live with that. He is really following quite a lot of the traits of other abusers, I think a good book for you to read so that you can know it’s not you, would be “Why Does He Do That” by Lundy Bancroft. There is a pdf download version out there somewhere I believe, and it’s a real eye-opener. Many of the things on your list are mentioned in the book.
And then I look at the list you have made for yourself and I feel even sadder for you because all of those things are you trying to change yourself to stop his abuse. But no matter how much you try and change, nothing will ever be good enough for an abuser. He will simply change the goalposts. You shouldn’t have to restrict what you can and can’t talk about, you shouldn’t have to hide things from him, you shouldn’t have to lie – but I completely understand why you do these things, because we will do anything to avoid the abuse. I really struggled with admitting I was a liar, admitting it to myself. I lied to the Police, I lied to my work, I lied to him, lie lie lie and nothing changed. And the reason nothing changes is because they like to abuse us, so even if we change our behaviour to try and appease them, they will just find something else.
I don’t know much about ADHD other than timetables and lists are often very good coping mechanisms. I’m so sorry he isn’t supporting you with this. I don’t think ADHD can be used against you should you proceed with a divorce, in fact I would think this would be good as children benefit from structure as do you so you would be able to provide them with that. I think if you can you should try and call WA when it’s safe to do so as they can help talk through your options and also validate your experience. They won’t force you to do anything, but they can guide you and are really lovely women to speak with x
Keep posting on here as well x
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