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    • #20131

      Hi everyone this is my first post, I wanted your opinions about if I am being abused. We’ve been together a few years but only recently married, I had serious doubts about getting married but went ahead anyway. Everything he has done has been in the guise of joking and play fighting – he has insulted me by saying I’m a s**t and I’m stupid, I’m bad in bed, can’t do anything right. He always thinks I’m cheating and checks my phone. He said once that he would kill me if I left him. He gives me ‘dead arms/legs’, will get me in a headlock or armlock, he sometimes bites my lip really hard when he kisses me, he used to whip me with his belt or a phone charger cable (but in a ‘jokey’ way), he would slap my bum hard and be impressed with himself if he left a handprint. He is disrespectful to my parents and makes really nasty jokes about my mum, and when he visits them he just sits playing with his phone. He doesn’t help around the house much but says if I ask him to do stuff he will (knowing I don’t like to ask or nag), when I did leave him a list of chores he only did a couple then said he ran out of time (he’d been on Xbox all day). But all the stuff he does is very rarely, the vast majority of the time he is lovely to me and says I’m beautiful, he is kind and funny. He claims he just has a dark sense of humour. He says he misses me all the time but we are together a lot, it’s quite suffocating. I don’t think I love him anymore, I want to leave. Is it just me being sensitive or is it abuse? Thanks for reading.

    • #20132

      There are a few other things he has done too, I didn’t want to babble on! He will stop me getting up if I say I need the loo, but just for a few seconds. He got annoyed with me when I got my period, we hadn’t had time to ourselves for a while due to family staying with us then when we were alone I came on and he sulked and said its as if I planned it. He got really upset that I didn’t notice his haircut once, and said its because I can’t stand to look at him. He makes me feel guilty by saying he loves me more than I love him, so I am always trying to please him.

    • #20133

      Dear Breakingfree, when you are in the thick of it, it is hard to see things clearly, they call it rose tinted spectacles. Everyhing is a fog, you are being told one thing but experience another, also called gasligting. This forum, the advice, sharing with feelings with the women and reading up with put you straight. All what you have mentioned is abusing, its so difficult to nail it down as you have the niceness thrown in. Thats called Intermittent Reiforcement, you can read up about this in 30 Covert Manipulation Tactics in Personal Relationships. Keep posting and the wome will help you through. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX (my ex was mentally abusive & covertly controlling, i was almost sectioned, i’m now almost free and so much happier)

      Good books to look at are the one i mentioned above, all by HG Tudor and Why Does He Do That?

    • #20136

      Hi Breaking Free,

      My ex used to hurt me under the guise of ‘joking’ – like yours, he used to slap my bum hard, but as time went on, it got harder. He used to flick me with bits of clothing so hard me skin reddened, and if I said it hurt, he accused me of exaggerating. He pinched me and bit my lip when he went to kiss me.

      Thing is, abusers are all different in their tactics. Mine became more covert when we moved nearer family: before that, he was much more physical, breaking furniture etc. When we were nearer family and friends, it became more disguised.

      When they don’t want others finding out, they make out you are mad, imagining it, exaggerating.

      They want 100% control over you, body, mind and soul. They try to isolate you from family.

      Please believe that these behaviours he shows are indications of his controlling personality and his ability to abuse.

      When he is nice and kind, maybe it is as a reward for you ‘behaving’? If you were to say no to anything, how would he react? Are you losing your ability to say no to him about things you aren’t happy with? This is what need to be careful about- abusers making us their salves and us losing ourselves in the process.

      I was married for nearly two decades. He was horrible to me on my wedding day, and from then on it was abuse- sometimes obvious, sometimes covert, disguised…

      But he took my health and my strength. And he has been an abusive father.

      I would say, be very careful. Trust your gut.

    • #20138

      I could never have said no, he would have left me.

    • #20142

      All sounds familiar, small acts of disrespect, I couldn’t even use the toilet in private… Joking” when am I getting a boob job? Incest jokes about my mother and brother.. Constant superiority over everyone else. It’s exhausting more than anything xxxxxxxx

    • #20178

      What you describe is definitely abuse. Physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse.
      Make sure he does not know that you are looking for a way out.

      Get in touch with your local Women’s Aid and let them know that you are in an abusive marriage. They can help you make a plan how to get out of it.
      If you are scared it may even be advisable to go into a refuge, so that he cannot find you.

    • #20224

      Thank you all for your replies.
      HealthyArchive – I have read up on gaslighting, intermittent reinforcement and have downloaded the book you mentioned and a couple of others. There is so much that is recognisable it’s scary. Can’t believe I didn’t spot it before.
      Serenity – Yes he always says I’m exaggerating or to ‘man up’or that I’m no fun, if I say he’s hurting me.If I was to say no to him, he could react in several ways, sometimes he is understanding and willing to compromise (although there will later be an excuse why he can’t help me/accommodate my feelings after all), or he will sulk and give me the silent treatment. It’s easier just to make him happy and put myself last. I definitely have lost my identity.
      Booboobeedoo – Such horrible jokes, how can he think they are funny? Very much a superior attitude with mine too, always has to be right.
      Ayanna – I have started to reach out for help, I called the helpline and got some good advice. To see what you have told me – that it is physical and sexual abuse as well as emotional abuse – and to also hear that from the counsellor on the helpline, is so shocking to me, how did I let this happen, it is like I haven’t realised for all these years that I’m being abused, yet if it was happening to a loved one, I would have noticed straight away and told them to get out.

      Thanks again all of you, it is so heartening to hear that you have managed to escape your partners and are building brighter futures. All the best to you all xxxxxxxxx

    • #20231

      Hi breaking free, I have been abused for decades and I did not realise until about 4 years ago that it was abuse and only really saw the extent and reality 6 months ago, we get used to living in that way, they do it gradually and subtly and we cannot see what is happening to us. They are nice at times as well so to confuse us.
      They contradict and brain wash us to think that they are not the problem as well, so good that you have come on here and have spoken to helpline. it will all validate what is happening to you its painful and its a shock when you realise but you can work thro it, read plenty of books as well you will see more and more x*x

    • #20379

      Hi breaking free
      I am new on here too – just a couple of posts but reading yours made me think of the times my husband would not allow me to get up in the morning if he thought it was too early and he tells us all when to go to bed. If I want to stay up later he sulks or accuses me of getting up to no good. I would dread going away because we would always have ‘making love’ in the agenda and as my periods are irregular I would start to panic and fret about coming on because he would get in such a bad mood about rejecting him and the convenient timing of it. I never realised these behaviours should be added to the list of the ways he has made me subservient and intimidated. I hope things work out for you – I am still trying to sort myself out but Thankyou for your post as it has opened my eyes a little farther .

    • #20524

      Hi all,

      It has been a big week, I had to leave earlier than I had planned. The bank sent a letter to him to say I had changed the address on our joint account (I had only requested to change my single account), they had assured me this wouldn’t happen but it did. He wasn’t angry he just cried when I said I didn’t know how I felt, and he said he never would hurt me intentionally. I told him everything he had done and said how can he not think he was hurting me? I said we need a break as he was so distraught (I couldn’t bring myself to say I wanted to leave forever). He said he’d do anything I wanted to keep me. Later on he said he’d never let me go and it felt like he was going to trap me, so I panicked and packed a few bags the following morning and sneaked out. I have been staying with various friends all week, he still thinks it is a break. He seemed so gutted when I emailed him to say I had gone.
      Thanks godschild and tuppance for your messages.Godschild – I still feel as if I was wrong to say it’s abuse as he has not reacted how I thought he would. I feel bad for him but don’t want to return. Tuppance – I really hope you manage to escape your situation. Call the Domestic Abuse helpline, make a plan to leave and don’t let on to him that you are thinking of going. Wait until you are far away before you contact. That’s what I had planned but it didn’t work out, but I was very lucky it didn’t end badly for me.
      All the best x*x

    • #20526

      this sounds like my ex, very childish and immature without a grasp of proper adult emotions. I think if you stay it will get worse 🙁

    • #20528

      also, you should complain to your bank, they put you in a potentially dangerous situation

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