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    • #142792

      I know I’m posting more than usual here… I think I just need to know if I’m being overly emotional or reactive as my partner keeps telling me…

      I’ve had really strange experiences where my partner has in the past seemingly sabotaged special occasions. My other posts and questions here are more to do with his controlling behaviour – I can’t work out if this is another example of this or if I’m overdoing it. So posting here to see if this resonates with anyone or if it’s more my issue.

      So this time (I’m due to go away for a special occasion with some friends) my partner agreed to take care of my pet. We live together and he committed to this a long time ago. As the time approaches he starts and argument (detail removed by moderator). He then storms out and I’m left there embarrassed. I’m trying not to go into too much detail but it’s a lot of this and he’s very sure he’s entitled to express all of it.

      This is also in the context of a relationship where I do everything around the house on top of my full time job… the cooking, cleaning, laundry… and I’ve expressed it would mean a lot to me if he helped. This hasn’t happened.

      I feel like it could almost emotionally manipulative of me to bring this all up at the time? I’m so tired and upset of being made to feel like a housemaid on top of my full time stressful job. It feels so demoralising to just accept it all. I find it so upsetting that he doesn’t seem to care or make an effort for me when I need something.

      He also said he’d do something (detail removed by moderator) and didn’t or forgot (without going into detail is all connected). The way this has ended is that he transferred money into my account (detail removed by moderator) – now I feel guilty and still upset about they way he treats me. I don’t really want the money (and didn’t bring it up to ask for money), I just want him to treat me with more respect and to make some effort or commit to the things he says he will.

      Is it ungrateful that I don’t want the money? He has already told me (detail removed by moderator).

      The impact of this (and other things in the past) is that something nice for me becomes stressful and I end up feeling like it’s really hard to relax or enjoy my time when I make plans like this…

      Could this be intentional of him? Or just a byproduct of being in a relationship with a lack of care?

      Another sign it feels intentional is that he got annoyed I managed to find a solution and get someone else to take care of the pet… and says (detail removed by moderator).

      I’m so confused and if you got this far down my ramble – thank you for taking time to read it. Writing it out – it feels so silly but the way he is and rationalises his actions and treatment are really affecting me and my sense of what I feel is right or what I’ll accept.

    • #142794

      Your partner is emotionally abusing you. Gaslighting you and not validating your feelings which is really detrimental to your mental health. Ruining special occasions is a typical abuser tactic. Moving the goal post is an abusers tactic, it leaves us spinning. You’re trying to change him when he is showing you the real person he is. You won’t want to accept the truth here (cognitive dissonance). Read Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. All of his behaviour is intentional, just like you and I know what we are doing, he does too. Abusers don’t want us to achieve or be happy and when they see us doing these things, they will sabotage it. Then twist the narrative to blame us. It’s mind blowing damaging emotional abuse and it will only get worse. It’s like the frog in the boiling water, we don’t notice at the abuse comes in drips to begin with and before we know it we’re going crazy, self esteem and confidence destroyed. He’s not the man you thought he was, it’s a painful thing to accept.

      • #142820

        Thank you very much for the recommendations. I feel so all over the place at the moment and the goal posts are constantly changing.

        Even after the whole nonsense last night of commitments being made and taken back – he was adamant he wanted to do some of the (detail removed by moderator). So I tried to accommodate this and loads of spinning out trying to get someone to cover specific days. The goal posts have moved once again because I didn’t seem grateful enough for his “offer”… and he starts acting as if I’m doing something awful and getting visibly annoyed. Of course it’s another path into more conflict and all my own fault for taking the wrong tone and not communicating like an adult apparently.

        I’m now having to rearrange again, cause other people inconvenience and apologise, pay people to (detail removed by moderator) for a time… I want to scream…I’m supposed to be grateful for someone causing so much stress and begrudgingly doing something and dangling it like a conditional carrot to grant me if I’m on my best behaviour and if I’m not grateful enough then too bad for me?

        When I tried to express how upsetting it is to not be able to rely on commitments made and have my boyfriend just simply doing something for me because it would make a huge difference and this is what he said he’d do… he laughed and was telling things like what I’m saying isn’t reality and he’s not retracting offers – just telling me how hard it will be and he will do it as an absolute last resort… even though this was agreed.

        I don’t understand – I would never treat someone close to me I cared about with this little regard – and he’s definitely right… I’m not grateful for his generosity and I do expect my partner to be able to do something sometimes – Not that I do everything for a return, just a little consideration and reciprocation.

        This kind of thing is so relentless and so constant – I need to make a plan out. I’m so stressed about going away next week and I’m going to try my best to relax once I’ve sorted all this out. No doubt I’m going to spend the whole time thinking about how I’m going to manage it all when I come home and worrying about what kind of mood he’ll be in if I’ve managed to go away and enjoy myself and how he might try disrupt it…

        Maybe this is all a bit paranoid or I’m catastrophising – It doesn’t feel like I am unfortunately

    • #142796
      The Duchess

      I had (detail removed by moderator) birthdays ruined , (detail removed by moderator) Christmas’s & New Years , jealous creatures who are miserable so they want to ruin anything special as they feel left out . More attention on them is the focus not on you . Very much emotional abuse , gaslighting tactics described above . Oh but if it’s something special for them that’s a different story , one rule for you and one rule for them and you do as I say and I do as I please . It’s a very one sided relationship, you are there to cater to their wants and needs , do everything they want , your needs and wants do not matter , as long as they are happy never mind if you are miserable. It’s all about THEM !

    • #142800

      Sorry your having a difficult time my partner used to be funny Xmas and birthdays used to give me money I wanted him to put effort in it never happened and the money he gave was always less than the gifts I bought not that I saw this as a problem but he said(detail removed by moderator) I used to think surly you can think of something without my input.on Mother’s Day I didn’t even get a happy Mother’s Day or a card.when I meantioned it I was told  (detail removed by moderator) gifts for him every Father’s Day I was devastated and said I will not be celebrating Father’s Day with him this year

    • #142824

      I totally get this!! there are some things I know he will complain about now re childcare so i organise people to have the kids and then he acts surprised and like he would have them without a bother! I know if I were to ask him, it would be such a drama!

      The constant shifting of the goalposts is to keep you on your toes so you never know what to expect!!

      • #142840

        Exactly this!

        I’m so sorry that’s happening for you and I appreciate with children it must be much more stressful than with pet sitting.

        It’s so hard isn’t it. How the conflict gets turned around. Being made to feel like you’re being entirely unreasonable for having basic expectations. I mean in your case expecting him to care for his children – it’s mind blowing this could be complained about.

        I’ve noticed recently my partners mood perks up so much after he’s upset me to the point of tears. He came into the house yesterday and acted like nothing happened and was so cheerful, cracking jokes with (detail removed by moderator) after pulling me to pieces and turning all the conflict on me.

        It’s actually a bit scary how fast he switches… I feel like I’m really losing my sense of reality. I’m trying to hard to cope with the constant up and downs I just realised this has been happening on a near daily basis…

        A few other things/friendships have been turbulent for him recently and I wonder if I’ve become a bit of a emotional punching bag to take this all out on.

        Thank you for sharing your experiences. Think I’m going to keep coming to this space until I can get my head screwed on again.

    • #142833

      There’s absolutely nothing you can do to stop this behaviour. You could be the most perfect partner and he would just invent fault to abuse you over and move the goal posts again. His goal is to destroy your confidence, make things so awful,for,you that you give up going away again. Restrict your movements. This he does because he enjoys it. Most likely he will disrup,your trip. Maybe threaten to end things or have some drama going to bring the focus back to him. Talk to,your local womens aid for support. You deserve better and he won’t change. It will get worse.

      • #142841

        It’s horrible to think it’s about control and a need for him to dominate the way everyone’s feeling around him. I’m still unsure whether it’s conscious for him – it often looks reflexive and he seems to be utterly convinced he’s not doing anything remotely wrong and I’m overreacting.

        It does feel like a lose-lose situation. It’s awful to feel resentful of a partner but when so little is reciprocated and so little care is given – it’s impossible to feel ok.

        I’m already thinking of how to drama-proof my trip so he can’t sabotage it more… I can’t describe how much I need this break and I’ve got an awful feeling he’s going to find a way to disrupt it like you say…

        I’ll keep posting me – thank you – your response and everyone else’s make me feel so much more grounded and sane

    • #142837

      Every birthday of mine was either forgotten, he got drunk or he caused an argument. Same for my eldest’s. For his children’s he’d not bother but expect me to go over the top, then he’d spoil it by drinking.

      Any event or night out without him, meant me receiving abuse texts throughout the night, plans for childcare or lifts always cancelled last minute.

      Days out that were planned in advance cancelled the morning of the event for lane reasons, or if he went he’d be miserable and arguments would be caused.

      Christmas, kids had to wait for him to get up then he’d be moody, not give any gifts and hate that the day wasn’t about him. That’s the general theme – if it’s not about them it’ll be spoilt, even if it is about them (like his birthday) I’d never have done enough in his eyes, so again spoilt.

      I had the ‘I’ve put money in your bank’ thing too, that I was ungrateful for not wanting it. It’s so they can say to others ‘I gave her this’ and make us into the bad guy in their narrative.

      Keep posting, don’t worry about that. It helps you see what is happening and know you’re not alone x

      • #142843

        The money thing feels so manipulative doesn’t it? I immediately felt like I wasn’t entitled to any of my upset and hurt because that’s how he was acting. Telling me I need to say thank you (Like I’m a child) and not grateful enough. This was minutes after a horrible argument where he treated me terribly. It’s not the first time he’s tried to fix things with money but it’s the first time I haven’t given it back (As I can’t be bothered to deal with the drama it will start). Now it feels like he’s bought me off to make it harder to speak up about how it’s all feeling.

        I’m also sorry to hear how unkind and abusive your ex-partner was. Having special occasions ruined or even not trusting that it won’t be somehow spoilt is such a s**t feeling. He is the same with birthdays including his own (And was adamant I needed to make lots of effort for him, even though he makes minimal effort for mine).

        It’s even been the case where I’ve been visiting his family (In the middle of nowhere for a significant period of time) and he’s made it so uncomfortable it’s been torture… Starting horrible conflicts with me which I felt I had to hide and having arguments with his family and putting everyone on edge.

        I don’t know whether you’ve experienced this… those rare occasions when it seems like you’ve had a nice evening (introducing to someone over dinner or something) – for the complaining to happen afterwards about how boring it was or how much he didn’t like someone. It’s so relentless.

      • #142870

        Oh yes!! He’d be the perfect guy on a night out/meal/wedding or whatever but then get home and complain about everyone, say they were boring or didn’t know what they were on about. I got to the point I stopped going to things so I wouldn’t have to invite him – another way to control us and make us lose friends. I had a significant birthday before we split and I dreaded it for months because of him.

        Like you, for my birthday or Mother’s Day I wouldn’t expect anything and my dream gift is a homemade card, but he’d get nothing then say ‘I’ve put money in your bank’ if I said anything (or didn’t say thank you) all hell would break lose and yup I’d get demands to return it, plus more usually. He never thought he owed anything for bills or food so it was usually demands to return the pittance he’d paid or withhold it too.

        As for the family part, mine’s family were awful and although not remote/rural I felt trapped until he gave permission to leave. The dad was abusive and controlling, the mother was the most self centred person I’ve ever met (hyacinth bucket if you remember her!!), the siblings also displayed red flags to their partners and one never used my name in the entire lengthy relationship. I spent the whole time being compared to his ex. They also tried to separate adults and kids and would stop me trying to look after mine whilst there, but sorry no that’s not happening. They expected me to sit and not talk pretty much. I’m sorry you’re experiencing similar, it’s a truly tough life when you’re in the midst of it! His family have ghosted me and that’s really helped me to see their behaviour in true colours since. x

    • #142845

      Switch your phone off when you’re away. Yes he absolutely knows what he’s doing. I bet he does it when no one else is there meaning he’s in total control.

    • #142849
      Grey Rock

      It’s absolutely his controlling behaviour. Mine was the same. From birthdays to coffee dates to work courses I had to go on (he actually texted me a suicide threat halfway through the day one time when I was (detail removed by moderator) so I made excuses and left. Found him drunk and (detail removed by moderator) on my return. He got up to (detail removed by moderator) in what I think was supposed to be an aggressive gesture, but that made him (detail removed by moderator). I remember looking at him and thinking ” why the f are you staying with this??”. Of course, it was because I was fearful of repurcussions if I left, and a misplaced sense of responsibility for his welfare. (The book Out Of The FOG helped me with that – F.O.G. being Fear Obligation and Guilt).

      But yes. They don’t see relationships as equality and caring for each other. It’s about training us to do their will, regardless of whether the means or the ends of this is detrimental to us.

      Your mind is trying to make sense of all this, but your gut is well ahead of you and telling you that this is all about control. When we’re with these men we’re too close to get a good look at the whole scenario in a lot of ways. Like standing a foot away from a cliff face at the bottom and trying to judge how big it is. The last thing they want is us to take enough steps away and get a good look at the whole picture. Expect more nonsense to break your will, wear you down, and ultimately stop you going and enjoying your time away from him.

      Oh, and I suspect that the reason you don’t want that money is that you know he’ll hold it against you in the future. If so, you’re probably right. But you know what, he sounds just like my ex, so likelihood is that he’ll find plenty to hold against you anyway, so it might as well be the money 😉. Mine paid me back money he owed me once (and only once). My goodness, you’d think he’d donated it. He never worked and rarely paid for anything. He charged me rent even though he didn’t actually have anything to pay on the house we lived in and still expected me to pay for the food and holidays. At the time I let it ride because it wasn’t worth the stonewalling or arguments (depending on how he saw fit to punish me).

      Like others said, try not to talk to him too much and turn off your phone so you can be free of the barrage of texts or calls while you’re away. Maybe tell a white lie and tell him there’s no signal where you’re staying if needs be.

      Take care lovely x*x

      • #142871

        Ditto here for paying for everything and being expected to be grateful for him repaying what he owed or contributing to household bills. I agree, take the money, turn your phone off and relax. He’s going to play up anyway, might as well enjoy your break!

      • #142894

        Thanks for your reading recommendation – I’ll definitely take a look. I’m so sorry to hear about your experiences and glad he is now an ex* partner.

        I resonate with so much in your comment. It’s mad isn’t it once you start speaking to people how universal some of these things are (Of course everyone’s experience is unique and I wouldn’t want to compare).

        You’re very right – having your gut tell you something you might not want to look at or have the energy to deal with is probably what’s going on for me. It seems like it’s becoming clearer as the weeks go on and I’m trying not to be too hard on myself about how long it’s taking me to see what I need to do/Get the courage to be open about what’s happening here (Writing out my thoughts on here has really helped). Those moments when you get a glimpse of perspective and are able to ask yourself “w*f am I doing here?” – feel so surreal and impossible to match with the stories you tell yourself about everything being ok or just a bit “intense” or “up and down” as I tell my friends and family.

        I also had a moment a while ago when I was visiting a family member who was unwell whilst he said was feeling suicidal. I don’t know if I really doubted that he was feeling that way (which was really hard to manage) – but the way I was held responsible for it (It was expressed that he was feeling this way due to the relationship and I was “terrible” for going to see my unwell dad) and the emotional blow back was so so unreal. It was awful. He does struggle with his mental health and it was horrible to hear him say this… But it was just so constant during that time that he was feeling so low and I didn’t know when it was ever OK to do something for myself or someone other than him. We were also in a time where we were deciding whether to stay together or not and he was persistent in having talks about our relationship whilst he was saying he felt suicidal. That feeling of not being able to say anything critical about his behaviour in that time without feeling like a monster was so suffocating.

        I just don’t know how to think. I know the way he treats me isn’t the way you are treated by someone who loves you. I think I’ve got the the stage where I can accept he doesn’t really (at least not in the way a healthy person does). It’s been such a head f**k and I’m so scared of looking at it all. I know ultimately I have control of my wellbeing and I’m responsible for my choices and whether to stay or go. I also know if I leave my demons are going to be having a field day with telling me how worthless and unlovable I really am if I really look at what’s going on (I think this is the thing to be working on ultimately)… It’s actually a huge part of the reason I got a pet recently because I was really craving simple connection to something to feel less lonely. I’m wondering how stupid this might have been now it makes it a bit more complicated to find somewhere else to live and quite a bit more pressure on a day to day.

        Reading this back it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and sounds a bit tragic doesn’t it – This relationship has got me really worried I’ve adopted some Victim mentality story or just having a massive pity party… I know so many women on here have it so much worse – so I really do appreciate anyone who has already responded to me. I’m looking forward to some of this perspective that’s been eluding me for so long.

        I hope you and everyone on here is healing or on their way. No one deserves to be feeling stuck in some of these situations I’ve been reading about on here.

        Thank you again for your insight and kindness, it’s really so generous of you. Think I’m going to take the advice off here and make sure I turn my phone off enough to give myself time to relax x

    • #142911
      Waving not drowning

      My situation is incredibly similar.

      We are at the point where birthdays, holidays, Christmas, Easter, nights out, and even nights in that are supposed and planned to be ‘nice’ are ruined. Even our anniversary was spent not talking to each other after a massive blow up.

      It’s so exhausting and relentless, and I too find it REALLY hard to believe it’s happening or in the moment when I am sad, remember life before this starting happening.

      • #142915

        Thank you for coming here to share and I’m sorry to hear you’re experiencing something similar. I do believe there will be a time where the realisation will be too much to deny and hopefully we will be in a place where we are feeling strong and supported enough to make the best decision for ourselves.

        Sending lots of hugs and just wanted to say I get it and you’re not alone. I’ve been finding that trying to connect to the things that were important to me before this relationship has really helped recently. Maybe it’s something you can reconnect to as well. Everyone is more than the sum of their experiences and I have a lot of hope things get better.

        Stay strong x

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