19th November 2020 at 10:13 am #116520
Hi, really struggling to accept the situation I am in, can anyone tell me how do I know what abusive behaviour actually is? And how can we be sure that’s what is happening? Could it ever be just maybe anger or personal issues like mental health that seem to portray as abuse? I know it sounds silly, but I grew up in domestic violence (physical and sexual) so everything else seems normal to me outside of that.
19th November 2020 at 12:01 pm #116522brighterdaysParticipant
I feel like this a lot. I struggle to understand whether I was in an emotionally abusive relationship. Ultimately, the relationship made me deeply unhappy and I knew in my gut that it wasn’t right.
My partner had serious mental health issues so I would excuse his behaviour – but ultimately he was abusive and with time I can understand that. It’s not easy, you will doubt yourself, but I find making a list of the facts helps me – he used to limit my mobile phone usage. That’s a fact and it’s unacceptable behaviour. What are your facts? How does it make you feel?
19th November 2020 at 12:31 pm #116524gettingtiredParticipant
The book why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft explains abusive behaviour really well I found. It lists the general myths of why men are abusive such as their mental health, they have anger problems, they drink/do drugs, they do it because they love us etc and dissolves them all. I still struggle when I’m ‘in the moment’ with my partner and he’s behaving a certain way or saying something, my mind is racing to try and work out if he’s being abusive, manipulative, gaslighting or whatever so I know how hard it is pinpointing the abuse. Would really recommend that book though x
19th November 2020 at 6:21 pm #116541
Hi, thanks for replies, that book looks really good I’m definitely gonna give it a read. For me it’s the mental abuse I feel, makes nasty threats about taking my son away from me, but then leaves the relationship and makes no contact to ask about his well-being or try to see him, I’m left feeling very confused. He can be so loving and kind at times, but is very Jekyll and Hyde, has very nasty outbursts and seems so angry, although I don’t know what about?? It’s very difficult to know what side of him to believe is true. He seems to come from a stable family background and doesn’t drink or do drugs, has been married and had a family before me so I assumed a family man? But doesn’t go to work and contribute to the home in the way you would expect. And is very resistant to open up about any problems of his own, although seems to be very attentive to listen to my own personal struggles with background etc. Can’t work it out. X
19th November 2020 at 6:38 pm #116542
In case you were wondering, he’s defo a wrong un. Please be very careful about what you disclose. THEY love us to disclose our history/secrets/weak spots. Then they use them against you. Mine did. It’s a thing they do I’m afraid.
In some ways the only definition that matters is how does he make you feel?
Does he lift you up and make you feel special…?
Anger & personnel issues do contribute to why people are abusive but it’s ALWAYS A CHOICE. Their choice.
Perhaps if you could give some examples of his behaviour?!
Got to say, the fact that you’re on here and asking the question almost always means YES.
19th November 2020 at 6:44 pm #116543
Also, you probably know this already but your upbringing means you (me too) are so much more likely to experience domestic abuse. Sad isn’t it. We often don’t have clear or strong enuf boundaries and are already struggling with shame/lack of self respect/self blame.
We must present as the perfect victim. D**n. B******s. Sorry Lisa, excuse my language.
P.S. Like the name. Very strong titanium. x*x
19th November 2020 at 7:53 pm #116545
Hi same-again, thank you so much for your replies, really resonated with me, plus feel so alone with my experiences of past so it’s comforting to know other people do know how it feels (although you would not wish it on your worst enemy ) 🙁
Unfortunately I do know what you mean about being more vulnerable to this type of relationship, have had past relationships with a lot worse than what I am going through now, but I think this one is hardest to deal with because I thought it was different. And had done a lot of work on myself previously to try to heal from past. I’m so open as a person and thought at the time of meeting him (this one) that the way to healthy relationship was to open up, so I shared everything. In answer to your question about does he make me feel special etc, at times yes, very much so, which is why it is so hard to accept and not even near to thinking about life after him (too broken) and we have a baby 🙁 but examples of behaviour are lying so much so that I can’t believe a word he says, him borrowing money from me like stupid amounts! And then just not even paying towards bills, but blaming me for making him feel like my house isn’t his house too, even though he never paid any money towards it, or even his share of costs. Seems bizarre to me! x*x
19th November 2020 at 8:07 pm #116547
Also he blamed me for not taking responsibility for his children from previous relationship, but I had paid maintenance on his behalf for years and then got fed up and decided why should I? He would want me to facilitate all his contact with them or he wouldn’t see them at all, so when I said no he blamed me for stopping him seeing them! I could hardly afford the food bill as it was without 2 extra mouths to feed, never did he offer to give me any money I spent on them.
And he decided to sell his car without speaking to me about it (think he needed to make cash fast) and once his was gone he assumed he would be using mine when he needed a car, saying we only have one car as a family, I thought no we don’t, I have a car and you sold yours. But he never saw it like that.
19th November 2020 at 8:36 pm #116550
Titanium, get out. RUN.
Me too – honest, open. With normal people that isn’t bad.
I know. Horrid. They are. Sorry.
You aren’t alone.
Big hug to you/and me. W*****s. Excuse the language.
Titanium – take care and good luck. x*x Be your namesake.
19th November 2020 at 8:42 pm #116551
P.S. No, I would not wish it upon my worst enemy. The fact that we (women mostly) suffer this is a sad indictment on society in general.
Oh, hear me. I’ve been doing the pity party for a few weeks. Nice to hear me sounding more rational. x*x
19th November 2020 at 9:03 pm #116553iliketeaParticipant
Hi, I’ve just bumped a post that might be useful to read through. “This is my Abuser”. Loads of good advice above. xx
19th November 2020 at 9:25 pm #116554WaterspriteParticipant
Hey titanium – it’s abuse 😢 ….again 😢 ….same for me 😢 They see us coming. He won’t change in my experience they get worse.
But we are finding ourselves we are more than brave and we’ve survived so much.
I’ve run and I’m never going back. They shoot me down but I don’t fall I am ….
Sending strength and understanding to you x and same-again I hear rational X
19th November 2020 at 9:40 pm #116557
Thank you so much to all these wonderful replies, I’m feeling so much inner strength from reading these, big hug to everyone and good luck to you all too on your journeys. x*x
22nd November 2020 at 1:07 am #116668CamelParticipant
You describe him as being ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, that ‘it’s very difficult to know what side of him to believe is true.’ The reality is, he doesn’t have a good side and a bad side. He’s the sum total of all his behaviour. There isn’t a good man hidden inside a bad man. If anything, he’s simply a bad man who plays at being a good man just enough to keep you.
It’s telling that even now you describe him as a family man – simply because he was married once. The fact is, he does absolutely nothing for either family. He doesn’t pay maintenance or arrange visitation. He threatens to take your child away and walks out when it suits him.
And take a hard look at how it came about that he lives in your house and has never paid his share. How soon after meeting did he get himself comfortable? What excuses did he give you for not paying his way? How did it happen that you spent years paying to support his other children? He really has got it cushty.
Where does he go when he abandons you? Does he engineer arguments so he can walk out? Is he leeching off another woman somewhere? Do you ever get to say how wretched his lack of contact makes you feel?
You mention that he never opens up about his own problems and I would suggest it’s because he doesn’t have any. He’s a waster, unhampered by responsibility or a conscience.
Being frank about your past traumas was brave but probably ill advised. You told him everything and he told you nothing. Knowledge gave him power. He knows what scares you. Ask yourself how it is you believe he’s attentive to your issues.
It’s a mistake to minimise and excuse his behaviour as ‘just’ anger or mental health issues. Neither causes abusive behaviour. It’s not possible for you to fix this man. Nor is it your responsibility.
It must be heartbreaking for you to have worked on your issues, only to fall straight into another trap. That’s the thing with abuse – it creeps in disguised as something else entirely.
I think you would be wise to get him out as soon as possible. He’s sucking the life out of you.
22nd November 2020 at 11:06 am #116675FudgecakeParticipant
If you’re asking that question then it is abuse.
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