10th September 2020 at 6:26 am #113367FeatheredgeParticipant
Hi, I am new here and wondered if anyone feels that maybe the partner wasn’t abusive, everyone who has ever offered advice, counsellor, GP, close friends have it all wrong and actually it’s a normal relationship where someone has just made mistakes? I have left my husband after many years together but even several months down the line he wants me back and since day one really I question if I have made the right decision. He is totally broken, totally. What he doesn’t see is me struggling too. I have a new friend and despite being treated better I do wonder if I made the wrong decision and the fact that our love was ‘too strong’ as I do feel I still love him and care for him and want him to be ok. We have kids so I still see him and he begs me to go back and says he will change. He hasn’t shown me much of him changing and yet he also has the ability to see his friends and when I have the kids go to the pub. I am struggling and going out is the last thing on my mind. Is that just a man/woman thing? I have had reason to call the police, his threat to kill me when he has seen I have my friend over to visit but he calms down and this subsided within a day or less and because I know he is just so devastated of course I haven’t called the police. I struggle to see if it was really ever bad enough to leave before and yet when I have reminders of what he was like and how he treated me I think why would I want to go back but the few decades we were together makes me think I gave up and shouldn’t have. I am in constant conflict with every decision. Please help does anyone else feel like this? After several months he has never given up on our love and says he wants me back and he will always love me. It’s breaking me. To see him so hurt as although I was unhappy I didn’t hurt this much. I actually have felt like going back and ignoring everything to make my children and him happy again. I am struggling. My counsellor reminds me what a good job I am doing but even I have have stopped those calls for support as no amount of talking can help me in my decision making. Am I normal? Why do I feel so so so so bad for this and why do I want to hurt someone who still means so much to me? 😢
10th September 2020 at 9:56 am #113371WiseafterParticipant
Hey Featheredge and a warm welcome. So happy you have come on here and posted because many of us have doubts and sometimes we need a reality check. Yes your ex is abusive. Threats, violence, threats of violence and now manipulation as he tries to get you back under control. He may genuinely miss you, I’m sure he does but the ‘love’ he feels for you is about possession, entitlement, domination, intimidation and control. It gets him what he wants and he feels bad when you are ‘his’ – not in his control. He feels good when you are back in his possession. Have you read Lundy Bancroft ‘Why does he do that?’ It is essential reading. One of the key things that keeps us in our abusive relationships with men that don’t respect us is the classic FOG – Fear Obligation and Guilt, so we are super trapped. Sometimes for years. If you have got out, please please don’t give up. When you feel bad, post on here, when you feel like calling him or giving in, post on here. I have made a file called ‘read this when you miss him’. In it I have listed all the things my partner said and did when he was at his worst, including controlling, manipulative behaviours. I also post on here when I feel that urge. Be kind to yourself and remember to take baby steps. You need some time on your own to work out who you are without him and put yourself/your kids first from now on. Speak to your counsellor and be honest about how you are feeling and keep those appointments up. You are not alone. Many of us have severe trauma bonds to our abuser, very strong feelings of love, responsibility and miss them terribly even when we know they have threatened us, made our lives miserable and used us for their own ends. Sooner or later, however, their abusive core self shows itself again and the distance you create helps you see them for what they are. The only way forward is to stay away, go no contact or low contact and concentrate on yourself and your kids future, they deserve better and so do you. x
10th September 2020 at 10:01 am #113373WiseafterParticipant
Also, you are not hurting him by putting yourself and your kids first. He is responsible for his behaviour, not you – you are not to blame. It is not your fault. You are responsible only for yourself and your kids wellbeing. Please believe that.
10th September 2020 at 1:52 pm #113382CamelParticipant
You’ve had great advice from ladies who understand exactly what you’re going through.
I would add one thing. Remember, words are cheap. Always ALWAYS consider what your ex DOES not what he SAYS.
Just from what you say in your post…
He SAYS he’s devastated, yet he has the energy to socialise.
He SAYS he’ll change, but does absolutely nothing. (And anyway, isn’t it a bit late in the day? And if he did change, does that obligate you to forgive and forget?)
He SAYS he loves you, at the same time as harassing you and threatening to kill you.
You wonder why it is he’s more broken than you are. You feel guilty for hurting him. First, he isn’t ‘broken’, not really. It’s all an act, meant to make you feel bad and go back. Second, you don’t feel as hurt as he seems to be, because you know you made the right decision. You might think you’re still in love with him but it’s most likely you’re trauma bonded to him. No one can really love anyone who treats us so appallingly, year after year.
Definitely involve the police from now on. Feeling sorry for a man who threatens to kill you is totally misplaced, quite possibly dangerous.
10th September 2020 at 5:01 pm #113399LisaMain Moderator
First I want to welcome you to the forum along with the others.
The complex and changing emotions you are experiencing at the moment are normal. However, be wary of being made to feel that if you were to go back, he will change.
“He hasn’t shown me much of him changing and yet he also has the ability to see his friends and when I have the kids go to the pub. I am struggling and going out is the last thing on my mind.”
I’ve quoted this from your own post as it really does demonstrate how important it is to remember that actions speak louder than words. Unfortunately, we do not often hear about abusive relationships improving, particularly not if the abusive person is unwilling to accept responsibility or admit to the abuse.
Some organisations offer ‘Perpetrator Programmes’ for perpetrators of domestic violence to access help and support to change their abusive behaviours, but these programmes are only accessible to those willing and ready to change. http://www.respect.uk.net
It is important to remember that the abuser is always responsible for the abuse and there is never a valid excuse for domestic abuse to take place. The perpetrator will very often blame the woman for the abuse, and unfortunately very often a woman begins to believe that she is responsible for the abusers behaviour. The abuser chooses to use violence/abusive behaviour, rather than to behave non-abusively.
It can be difficult after experiencing controlling and abusive behaviour for some time to break free of the relationship, this is sometimes due to the effect the relationship can have on confidence, self-worth and self-esteem. It may be beneficial to seek counselling to help with the emotional side of things.
Some local domestic abuse services offer specialist counselling. You can find details of your local service here. This is a free service where they often have a range of help available, so do use them for any support in general that you feel you need.
Do keep posting to let us know how you get on as this is a place of understanding and support.
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