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    • #94313
      Escapee
      Participant

      Hi ladies,

      I really need some honest advice….

      I’m so torn. I don’t really know if it’s just how life and relationships are.

      I was with my oh for decades. Yes he is critical, bad tempered, disparaging, manipulative both emotionally and sexually and on rare occasions a more aggressive side will raise its ugly head but he’s also supportive, caring and very generous. I know he would never be unfaithful.

      This week I have watched families relationships with their partners and there’s stuff on both sides that I’m not sure I couldn’t live with but whilst they get cross with each other, they just acknowledge it and move on.

      I didn’t have a very interactive childhood and maybe I just don’t know how to do ‘being in a relationship’. I am very strong and independent but, I hope, loving, compassionate and always there for others.

      My oh is coming to visit soon and I am so confused. I really don’t think he behaves badly on purpose but he does deflect and seems unable to accept responsibility or even accept his behaviour isn’t healthy.

      Is it just me and maybe I’m just not able to cope with a ‘real’ relationship??

    • #94315
      KIP.
      Participant

      I think you’ve just answered your own question. Take out supporting caring and generous which is what a partner is supposed to be (he doesn’t get bonus points for being normal) and what you have left is the real him.

    • #94325
      fizzylem
      Participant

      Funny, as my thoughts have been pondering a similar thing, my mother, she’s done some kind things for me, often with reluctance, but on occassion some really good stuff – although most of the things she has done always suit her one way or another too – are of some benefit to her also. When things dont go how she wants she becomes like a mardy, spoilt, only child – and there is simply no reasoning with her – it’s like there is no logic present and this does matter in the slightest to her. It’s awful to see.

      My thoughts were this, how sad it is that ALL the good stuff can never make up for the bad, the lashing out, the harsh crtical judgements, the selfish and the mean. I wish it did, really I do, that I could some how cancel out the mean with the good stuff. Only I can’t. It is what it is and she is who she is.

      It’s like she knows how she’s supposed to behave and does quite often now as I have clear firm boundaries that she knows not to cross, took me years to get here mind, she knows that I wont respond to her nonsense at all, so I get her nonsense a lot less nowadays, but it still raises its head sometimes and when it does its utterly dreadful – what this tells me is that the support, the good stuff, doesn’t feel real or genuine, and that the angry, spoilt, unreasonable only child is always there, its always just under the surface because this is who she really is. I consider this relationship functioning when it’s at its best.

      Can’t do much about this really can I, bar boundaries and steering clear as often as I can – apart from accepting this is how she is and making sure my children always experience love and acceptance from me – and that’s enough.

      I don’t feel stressed or anxious with friends or my brother, because those relationships are loving, respectful, supportive, true, generous, warm and kind – ALL of the time – we are all free to be. I feel too old now to spend time with anyone who doesn’t make me smile or who leaves me with unease – there’s simply no need for it at all. I can disagree with these people and they do me sometimes as well but that is it, we respect one another’s differences and that we all make our own choices and that’s where it ends. I consider these relationships the ‘real’ ones x

    • #94330
      KIP.
      Participant

      Last year I refused to comply with the demands from my sister, who had always been very supportive during my time recovering from abuse but when I regained my self confidence and simply said no to her, for very legitimate reasons she became incensed. For the first time in my life she didn’t get me a birthday card and absolutely nothing this christmas. She obviously wants to carry on this behaviour and there’s nothing I can do. I’m not responsible for her behaviour. I’ve been abused for decades by a professional so I won’t respond.
      I’m very choosy who I allow in my life and definitely who I don’t. I’m building resilience which was badly needed. So choose wisely who you allow in your life. Only people that bring something to the table.

    • #94337
      Cecile
      Participant

      Boundaries are everything. No amount of an abuser turning on the charm can make up for the damage they inflict. My mother is a master manipulator, her enormous acts of generosity masking a psychopath who still takes pleasure out of inflicting as much pain as she can on people she perceives as ‘weak’. It’s taken me decades to put my own interests first and shove my boundaries metaphorically under peoples noses. I will not accept abusive behaviour of any form from any body and make that known. I am not dependent upon anyone and I know that what I think is true. Sorted!
      At the end of the day we all lose people as we grow older through death, immigration, separation, falling out or sometimes we just don’t know. This happens to EVERYBODY. Those of us not brought up to have any self worth can find it near impossible to deal with losing the company of controlling others, they must have first priority, that is our experience. We all need to revel in being alone and independent and value our boundaries, thoughts, choices and abilities to limit the access to us by the narcissists and bullies.

    • #94340
      fizzylem
      Participant

      Don’t know if you’ve got kids with this man escapee; I’m long over the neglectful, scary, head wrecking, self esteem destroying childhood my mother gave me – took years of personal development and therapy though – I see now that what she taught me and what I took into my adult relationships, was to tolerate abuse. No more – never again x

    • #94366
      positivelyempath
      Participant

      fizzylem – that is so true ‘what I took into my adult relationships was to tolerate abuse’ I had the same from my mum and only realised through counselling when the counsellor was saying that I have likely gone for men that are familiar in some way to my dad, but I never met my dad so then I thought about my mum and then saw the similarities between her and my husband and everything started to make sense….I was controlled by her guilt tripping, physical aggression and manipulation my whole life until I left home at 19…and I still now would be if I let her….

      Escapee….it is confusing….I have written posts on similar questions. However just remember if something does’t feel right or make you feel good then it isn’t right. Trust your feelings, you are not crazy and just because he can be nice and supportive it doesn’t mean he’s not a bad person. Even psycopath serial killers are nice – look at Ted Bundy. Otherwise they would never get a victim. Trust in yourself. Sending love x*x

    • #94369
      Escapee
      Participant

      Thank you so much for all your wisdom and experiences.

      I know deep down that I need to let go but I’m finding it so hard. And if I’m honest with myself, it’s the old fear of abandonment reasserting itself and the fear of being on my own for the rest of my life. I’m sure it isn’t that scary but it’s like everything I’ve been trying to convince myself since a little girl (that you can rely and trust on others) isn’t true and it really is just yourself that has your back……it just makes me feel sad and very alone.

    • #94378
      Cecile
      Participant

      I am on my own for a few weeks. When I am not conscious of the fact I am alone I am relaxed and happy. Lots of ailments have cleared up, like acne and neck pain and joint pain. No reason other than being away from him as I am eating disgustingly and not getting exercise. I used to be afraid of being alone. Then I thought of the times I have been on my own through my life…..nothing bad ever happened to me. No ghosts or burglars or accidents. I was happy when I was with people. Whereas lots of bad things happened when I was with Him all the time. It’s not so much the actual being alone that is the the problem, I.m.o. It’s the expectation of others that it is a very bad thing, undesirable. But it is far worse to be with an abuser. It is psychologically very lonely and of course they do isolate us from others. There is an absence of tension for me that I weirdly miss. I keep looking around and up, physically seeking his looming presence. I am focusing on embracing being alone but feeling calm. Free to make all the small decisions of everyday life.
      Being alone doesn’t make you sad or happy. It leaves you free to mKe decisions and take up activities and relationships of your choosing that will make you happy, unfettered and unshackled by the restraints the abuser imposes.

    • #94380
      Escapee
      Participant

      Thank you Cecile – there is some very true wisdom.

      I’m not as lonely as I was in the relationship.

      It is my frame of mind that makes me feel happy or sad.

      I am in control of what happens.

      It’s so good to hear that you’re feeling better physically. I hope you don’t have to wait too long before you feel that sense of peace and calm every day.

      I know I’m grieving, still dealing with FOG and going through the process of recovery. I should really be cheering myself on…..I’ve got a new home, I’m going to start a new job, I’m making new friends, I’m fixing my head and my body and I no longer have to put up with abuse.

      Thank you for reminding me that I am who I want to be. X*x

    • #94389
      fizzylem
      Participant

      There are some wonderful people in the world Escapee, people you can trust and depend upon – you just need to find them. When we come from dysfunction we attract others who have also experienced dysfunction – so it is no wonder that many of the women on here, who have experienced an abusive man, also experienced abuse of a kind in childhood – dysfunction.

      This is him not you, you need to be with those who give you the space and freedom to be you as they adore you just for being you; hint* these people often tend to love people and life as well – posess compassion.

      Yes, as you’ve noticed, issues related to feelings of abandonment that stem from childhood can lead us into making poor decisions sometimes – quick fixes – its the fear isn’t it. You need to be free from the fear so you make the best choices for yourself, step foward with your head held high, knowing and feeling this is right for you (which you can always do without ever harming others as well), whereas fear makes you freeze and do nothing, stay put – it helps you to avoid taking responsibilty and quietens the voice that is trying to tell you what you really need here – often because we also dont feel we have any self worth too, so you end up falsely believing this is just my place in the world, beliefs like this need addressing, they are neither helpful or true, are like concrete around the feet.

      Listening to what you need and giving this to yourself no matter how hard this feels sometimes is always the answer, reacting out of the fear will never give you what you need – it’s only ever going to be a side step really.

      Sounds like some quality therapy would be good, as you need to feel ok to be you, feel at peace with your childhood because you know how it shaped you into the person you are today and that is only a good thing; not quite there yet hey – but it can be done.

      When we always respond to the self this leads us into making sound choices and thus we find success.

      Keep building and shaping your support – and find your people – and never settle for anything less than love and respect – it’s really not that much to ask for is it – especially when you give it so freely to yourself and others all of the time x

    • #94403
      Escapee
      Participant

      Fizzylem I could hug you right now x*x

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