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    • #132262
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      I’ve considered posting this a number of times but I’ve held off as I don’t believe that what I’m dealing with is abuse. Let me explain….I have been out of my abusive marriage for some time and have been seeing a new guy for a while (obv can’t say how long). He started off super sweet and attentive. I stupidly told him more or less everything about my past so he was prepared in case I was triggered by anything.
      I wont bore you with all of the details but he must tell me he loves me (detail removed by moderator) a day, no word of a lie. He tells me how beautiful I am roughly the same amount of times A DAY! He tells me I am the most important thing in his life (he has children!). We work together and (detail removed by moderator). He expects to spend every lunch break together, every weekend I don’t have the kids. Then there’s the sexual side of things. We sort of got into a pattern of when we were intimate but there was one occasion where I was absolutely exhausted, I told him I was tired, was visibly shattered and yawning my face off but he still expected sex. I didn’t tell him no, I felt I had made myself very clear that I was tired, but I laid there while he got on with it, didn’t move or make a sound, obviously not enjoying it or interacting. (Detail removed by moderator) he tried to make a move again and I just burst into tears – he stopped immediately. He even references that time as saying (detail removed by moderator). He does know that I struggle with sex after issues with my ex. He is jealous of my pet – who is my absolute world and has been by my side through so much. It’s nothing obvious just the odd comment and look, but I know it’s there. The same as when I hug a male friend, the looks are there. Then there’s my kids, we went away and he said(detail removed by moderator) he changed his mind and then got visibly annoyed when my child (detail removed by moderator). He knows I’m super independent but won’t take no for an answer when he wants to carry my shopping or even empty my own bin! (Detail removed by moderator).

      I know I’m probably all over the place, but what do you think? I don’t think he’s abusive and I’m not happy so am obviously going to end it but I get all the luck don’t I? Xx

    • #132263
      KIP.
      Participant

      No it definitely doesn’t sound healthy and just be careful to get all your ducks in a row and end things in a public place or over the phone. No experience is wasted if we learn from it. Another lesson. Onwards x

    • #132265
      Grey Rock
      Participant

      I think you need to trust your gut on this. Maybe make mental (or even written) notes of the red flags as they come up. Whether he ‘loves’ you may not be as important for now as whether he respects you and honours your independence, boundaries,and other people and activities that are important to you. We aren’t obliged to sacrefice people or activities, or to hand over our independence or bodies because someone tells us we’re beautiful or that they love us.

      Have you read the ‘living with a Dominator’ book’? It might be worth a read. Lots of ladies choose to do the Freedom Program to explore their thoughts and feelings around new / future relationships because it can be confusing and scary after surviving domestic or family abuse. It may be worth exploring. I’m finding it incredibly useful.

      GR

    • #132266
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Scarecrow,

      I just wanted to show you some support along with KIP and Grey Rock.

      You haven’t done anything wrong by opening up to your partner about your past. There are lots of red flags here, he is controlling so you are doing the right thing by ending things. It is also concerning that he knew you were tired but still pressured you into having sex, you weren’t consenting and he wasn’t being respectful.

      You have done really well to spot these signs,

      Take care and keep posting,

      Lisa

    • #132270
      Eyesopening
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow, thank you for sharing this, it’s good for us to talk about the red flags. I am on a waiting list for the Freedom Program to make sure I don’t fall into the same trap.
      I’m glad you are going to end it.
      Everything you said is all exactly like my ex.
      I had to tell him to stop saying he loved me all the time. It cheapens the words. Even then they didn’t mean anything. It’s the love bombing stage.
      I saw once on here that we shouldn’t share our past with new partners until we trust them 100% Because it could make us vulnerable..

      Nicely said GR, I really like this: Whether he ‘loves’ you may not be as important for now as whether he respects you and honours your independence, boundaries,and other people and activities that are important to you. We aren’t obliged to sacrefice people or activities, or to hand over our independence or bodies because someone tells us we’re beautiful or that they love us.

      x*x

    • #132274
      Darcy
      Participant

      Hi beautiful angel… scarecrow,
      This isn’t about being unlucky … we make our own luck and just thinking this has just happened to you is not true … there is a reason that this situation and feelings with a man has occurred again
      It doesn’t matter what kind of guy you move onto after an abusive relationship if the work hasn’t been put into your own needs and feelings you will be reminded of your insecurities again … this may not be as extreme as last time … yet… but if you don’t listen to the whispers they will start to shout at you
      What you are asking him to do by him telling you however many times a day that he loves you, is what you really need to tell yourself. Nothing externally will fill your needs internally … that has to come from you first and foremost … you have to tell yourself, you love you, this is difficult at first but you have to get real with yourself and love every part of yourself
      Once you have raised your own self love and self worth you will become less tolerant to people treating you in a less than acceptable way and not put up with peoples bad behavior towards you
      If you are feeling uncomfortable with anyone in your life or feel they are not hearing or respecting what you are saying, it doesn’t matter what your reasons are, you are entitled to walk away with out explanation
      The fact that you allowed this man to enter your body when you didn’t want him to, says his needs are more important than yours … and I don’t believe this to be true
      The fact that you are even questioning your relationship maybe your answer …
      “if there is doubt…there is no doubt”
      I would guess most of the ladies on this forum in the early stages of their abusive relationship had doubt and knew that at that point they should of walked away … I know I did… why didn’t I? … low self esteem, desperate to be loved even if that was at the expense of my safety … fear of no one loving me again … not valuing myself to be with anyone better than an abuser … they were my reasons
      I know this sounds hard hitting but when these feelings and situations arise we have to look at the core of us … (detail removed by moderator)
      We have to (detail removed by moderator) what we are looking for other people to fill in our lives
      My darling I send you continued love and support
      Darcy xx

    • #132275
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Hi everyone,

      Firstly, thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to my post. I really do appreciate every one of you.

      Secondly, posting it all, writing it all down has helped me a lot, its almost cathartic and it means you cant hide from any of it when it is written in black and white.

      I have done the freedom programme and I am currently doing the Recovery Toolkit programme, which is helping me loads and I would really recommend it to anyone who is able to access it. It is helping me to see that I have a tendency to put everyone ahead of myself, which is good for everyone else but is not good for me. I need to learn to put myself first.

      Darcy, I wanted to thank you as well. Its always hard to give people ‘tough love’, more so over the internet as your intentions could have been taken the wrong way. I am actually grateful for and appreciate the way you worded things and what you said. So much of what you have said resonates with me and has given me a lot of food for thought. I thought I was unlucky but I am unintentionally allowing the behaviour that I feel uncomfortable with to continue and I need to take responsibility for that. I am not saying that he is abusive, just that there are red flags that I think I have been ignoring. I don’t want to be ‘that person’ who see’s abuse everywhere! I already have an ex that will happily tell the world that I have a screw loose, I don’t need another!

      Again, thank you to you all,

      Hugs

      Scarecrow x

      • #132277
        Darcy
        Participant

        Hi Scarecrow,
        I think that’s amazing how you have been so open and processed what is going on… and that you are educating yourself on abuse. Its not always easy to admit we also play a part in these relationships and I thought after I posted, was I a bit a sharp tongued!!
        But I can only speak from my experience and until I evaluated myself, I allowed bad behaviour in my life, and not just from men, friends, family and at work … now I have a higher opinion of myself I require everyone around me to aswell
        Everyone is on their own journey so you always have to be empathetic and remember it is a journey and people are at different stages on their path
        However we have to get real, and it starts with being real to ourselves
        You sound like an intelligent, strong women with awareness of what’s going on … like you said writting it down helps, it unravels things so keep posting and trust yourself … you have all the answers so treat yourself as you would your best friend or children… you deserve the love to … real genuine self love
        D xx

    • #132276
      Eyesopening
      Participant

      Hey Scarecorw,
      That’s why I love this forum, we all learn from each other.
      What’s the Recovery Toolkit?

      But, I’m a little bit confused now, why would you not want to call this abuse? It’s control and manipulation, disrespect.. invalidation.. Why isn’t it abuse?

    • #132278
      Bee1
      Participant

      🤗 I send my hugs out to us all, and lovely ladies replying to you here, they’ve supported me too.
      Gut feeling is well worth listening to, those tight, nauseous feelings are what I didn’t listen to back at the start. Because I wanted it not to be so, I forgave and forgave and tried and tried. Hindsight – waste of time.
      Be gentle to you. Take time for yourself and keep rejuvenating. It is amazing isn’t it when you write things down. Shocked myself when I wrote it all out, there was ALOT!

    • #132279
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Thank you x

      Eyesopening I guess as he is completely different to my ex, that I don’t see it. Even with it written down. Am I being naive? X

      • #132280
        Darcy
        Participant

        You are not being naïve my angel, like I said this is a journey and our lessons come at different times
        My abusive ex was stereotypical of what you would expect … however once I left him I met what I thought was this beautiful man, his energy was calmer and he was a successful business man, all above board and extremely handsome. He didn’t shout or tell me what to do, but in his inconsistent behavior with me and unkept promises he ended up hurting me as much as my abusive ex but if a different way
        It was very confusing as he came in a more “groomed” package so my mind wasn’t expecting this behaviour from him
        When I went into this deeper I realised me being with him was me abusing myself … it wasn’t like with my ex when I couldn’t escape the physical abuse. It was about me allowing a man to not be respectful to me as I didn’t have the confidence to walk away … it wasn’t even about me pulling him up on his behaviour … he wasn’t wanting to change .. he was about getting the most return for the littlest amount of effort and unless I valued myself more than I did he would continue to get this from me
        Be gentle with yourself… you are discovering the new you and this takes time
        Like KIP said its lessons, and when we know better we do better
        You have the support of the forum … use that to empower your soul xx

    • #132281
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      I have read your post and the replies with interest as this is the type of behaviour I have been doing some research on. I personally would not call this behaviour domestic abuse at this point, but I can see the Red Flags waving around in his behaviour and it would be enough for me to pull the plug on this relationship.

      This man is showing lots of signs of insecurity and he needs to find ‘someone’ to make him feel worthy and loved. He needs to do lots of work on himself, but it’s unlikely that he will. Through no fault of your own, your lack of feeling towards him will make him feel more insecure, and he is then likely to become abusive via control using the behaviours of the coercive controller.

      This man is trying (too hard!) to show you he is the ‘perfect’ man for you. In his mind he is doing everything he believes a woman wants; showering you with affection, compliments, declarations of love, chivalry, indispensable behaviour. He has decided all by himself that he wants you and he is doing his best to make you want him. He is making you his ‘everything’ in life, and what will start to drive him mad and even more insecure is that he can’t fathom out why you would pull away from him and also need other people in your life. His behaviour is starting to become obsessive, which is a danger sign.
      The signs of him resenting other people in your life, even your children, are there now. Putting you before his own children is a concern too. Due to his own insecurities he fears losing you and being alone again, therefore, every person in your life is a threat to him, as every person in your life who has your attention is attention taken away from him.

      If you have had intimacy early in your relationship this is often perceived as signs of love and long term commitment. Regular sex with you would confirm his worth of being someone you want to be with. Not wanting sex with him on the odd occasion will escalate his feelings of lack of self worth and his insecurities will grow. Therefore, if he can convince you to have sex then this will make him feel secure again. Reluctantly giving in to him won’t matter to him, he needs the intimacy for that connection with you and reassurance of being wanted.

      Be prepared for difficulties when you end this relationship. Insecure and needy men can take rejection badly and often blame you for leading them on, playing games with them etc and they will not always walk away with dignity and wish you well in your life.

      The thing they don’t learn is to work on themselves. If he was more confident and secure in who he was and took his time getting to know you, not rushing everything and letting this relationship develop at a slower pace things could have been so different.

      What else do you know about him? Does he have long standing male friends? Does he belong to a club/group/gym where he goes to on a regular basis with other people? Does he have any interests of his own that occupy his time? If not, this is a man whose world is devoid of interest and he makes his new partner his interest. It’s not healthy.

      I love what @Darcy has said. This is so true and I advocate this myself. I was once needy and insecure too. I tolerated relationships I shouldn’t have because I didn’t want to be alone. It is only by doing a lot of work on myself and changing myself, along with understanding abusive behaviour, the cycle of abuse and CCB patterns that I am stronger alone. A man should complement life, not complicate it!

      So as others have said, you are not unlucky. You have dated an insecure man. He will probably continue to do this with the next woman he dates too. If you don’t want to be with him, you need to end it firmly and finally. If you tell him he’s ‘too much too soon’ then he’ll start promising to change. If someone is right for you from the ‘get go’ they won’t need to change.

      You’re doing well with the work you are doing on yourself and learning to recognise these traits and behaviours, so well done x

    • #132282
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hello all,

      I just wanted to contribute to this thread as I can see there is some questioning around the definition of domestic abuse and I felt it might be helpful to offer a perspective.

      It is very important to remember that most abusive relationships follow a specific and similar pattern. What Scarecrow is describing in her post is a very common theme at the beginning of an abusive relationship, which is the ‘love-bombing’ phase.

      As many of you will be aware, love-bombing involves what many people would perceive as the ‘perfect romance’. It often includes being showered with compliments, receiving lots of calls and texts, wanting to spend all their time with us etc. It can actually be very suffocating and we can get swept up in the intensity of it and be very involved with someone very quickly, almost without realising it.

      This phase of the relationship varies very much in length before we start to see more obvious red flags of controlling or oppressive behaviour. Scarecrow mentions some examples of this – being jealous of pets, wanting us to spend time with them instead of colleagues or friends, making us feel bad for requesting space or not reciprocating the intense affection.

      The abuse often escalates very subtly and gradually, we return in our minds to the love-bombing phase as we begin to question the red flags. We might think ‘but they have made so much effort with me’ or ‘they just love me so much’ etc. to rationalise or minimise the red flags, which is a very damaging narrative that is often supported by society and modern media. It can make it very hard then to break away from the relationship at this point.

      Remember that whilst some survivors may not be at the ‘worst’ point of an abusive relationship, this does not mean that the relationship is not abusive or does not have the potential to become abusive. It might be that some people just manage to break away sooner than others.

      Scarecrow – what you’ve described is sexual abuse. This person was aware that you were not consenting and it was unacceptable for him to continue when he could see that you were not responding. You should not have had to cry for him to stop.

      I hope this is clarifying.

      Please do keep posting Scarecrow and let us know how you’re doing.

      Lisa

    • #132294
      Camel
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      I’m so sorry you find yourself here again but you must trust your instincts. As Lisa describes, you are being love bombed. He started off being sweet and understanding and you felt comfortable and secure. But he’s not sweet and understanding any more. Everything you describe is about him, his needs, his wants. He says he loves you more than anyone else, yet he wants you to change. Even if you don’t call it abuse, it’s absolutely not OK to be jealous of your children, pets or work. He’s taking up all your space – physically and emotionally. If you find yourself not mentioning things in case he gets upset – then it’s time to get out.

    • #132318
      Eyesopening
      Participant

      Hi all,

      Hope your all well out there.

      Just want to voice my thoughts,

      I do not think insecurity drives abusers, rather power, control, obsession, possessiveness drives it.
      A non-abusive person may be insecure and their thoughts may be: “I want to spend all my time with her because I’m worried she’ll find someone else”
      Whereas an abusive person is thinking more like: “I need to make sure she’s not doing anything I don’t want her doing because I have the right to do that and she should want to spend all her time with me because I should be her priority”. To get to their main goal, abusers want to isolate you (spend all their time with you or make you feel guilty for not spending all your time with them), to wear you down emotionally and limit any feeling of independence/autonomy. The more you’re with him, the more he works on you, the more you feel weak, helpless and isolated. The abuser is now just where he wants to be. The center of your world.

      I also think that its extremely important to work on our self worth. Especially if you have been in an abusive relationship in the past as these have great impact on our self worth.
      But abuse is terribly complex and I think anyone can fall victim to abuse, however if you have good self esteem that can help you leave sooner. Abusers can be very cunning, clever and amazing actors. So along with self worth, we need to educate ourselves on their tactics/red flags. Particularly if you came out of an overtly abusive relationship, as the covert tactics can be so subtle and hard to notice and slowly built up over time. You can go through a long love bombing stage before abuse raises its head. We need to know every single red flag because as Lisa said alot of red flags can be supported by society and modern media.

      Maybe it’s not an abusive relationship yet, but he has abusive traits and has been abusive to you. Red flags/tactics to gain power/abuse, it’s all under the same umbrella.

      I believe we make our own luck and I believe you are lucky to be getting out of this relationship early. Now you are equipped with this experience you can avoid it in future.

      x*x

    • #132324
      Same-again
      Participant

      Hi all,

      I just wanted to add to the thread. My thoughts for what they are worth.

      Without a doubt he is abusive.

      I think we shy away from the word rape (I did, and many women do) because it seems too strong perhaps. I think as women it’s often easier to acquiesce if someone is pushing the issue. This is hardwired into us (I think) because if we make a stand we know unconsciously we can’t back that up physically. He pushed past consent and he KNEW it.

      This is dangerous and at such an early stage extremely worrying. Mine started with that type of behaviour and it escalated.

      Think about it this way, if you knew somebody wasn’t responding/wanting/consenting to something you were doing sexually would you continue? No, and I’ll wager that sentence makes you feel uncomfortable like ‘god no’.

      My advice (and I didn’t take it) is run.

      For me, with the benefit of hindsight/knowledge and much pain he’s a wrong un. No doubt at all, for me those red flags are flapping.

      x*x

      x*x

      • #132344
        TiaMaria
        Participant

        Hey EyesOpening, I think so much of what you said is 100% accurate but I do think many abusers are driven by insecurity – or this is one of the drives at least. One of the defining traits of a narc is that there is a severe deep-seated insecurity within them.

        Jealous, possessive, and controlling are classic traits and ownership is definitely a big drive, but why does someone seek to own someone? That is about feeling powerful, and you only need to go to such gross extreme lengths if you feel small and insecure. Obviously this isn’t the ONLY drive but it is definitely part of a whole story.

        In my historic abusive relationship we were really young but I was more sexually experienced and experienced with relationships than he was. He was abusive in all the ways except sexually and it was primarily driven by his jealousy around other guys. In later years when we weren’t together he became popular and “cool” and had girls falling over him. When we got back together he was never physically abusive to me again. He was still abusive but it was very different, and was more about treating me like garbage and gaslighting me.

        I know he has gone on to be physical with other women but his abuse definitely changes between when he feels more adored and powerful than when he feels insecure and small.

    • #132337
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Wow, thank you all so much for your advice.

      I can’t really say too much for risk of identifying myself (not that I think he would even think to read any of the posts on here) but we have been together (detail removed by moderator) now, so it isn’t a brand new relationship.

      I am seeing a lot of red flags, which means i am pulling myself away from him – which means his behaviour is even more clingy as he tries to keep the relationship where he wants it i guess. He is VERY insecure – his ex cheated on him. Although as i typed that i actually thought back to things i have learnt about abusers and how their exes are always ‘crazy,insecure, cheaters’ and so am actually second guessing myself again!

      I was sexually assaulted by my ex – pinned down – but this was different. I think i froze if i am honest as i didn’t move or even interact with him. I didn’t say no, i didn’t fight him off, but if i am honest i didn’t consent either – but it can’t be sexual abuse can it?

      I have done a LOT of working on myself. This programme i am doing at the moment is amazing and quite possibly only provided by my local refuge, but it concentrates on how we change the way we think about ourselves and how we make ourselves stronger so that we don’t (hopefully) enter another abusive relationship again.

      Wants to Help – everything you have said makes so much sense and i have really taken it on board. I need to get my head around it all but i really do appreciate your input.

      Kip,Grey Rock,Eyesopening, Darcy, Bee1, Camel, Same-again – thank you all so much!

      Lisa – thank you. Im sorry if i have caused a bit of controversy over me not considering it abuse (my head is now all over the place while i try to work it all out).

    • #132340
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Something else i wanted to add, is the constant messages i get – his alarm goes off and (detail removed by moderator)  i have a message in my inbox. I haven’t even arrived home from work and i have a message from him (detail removed by moderator).
      He brings me (detail removed by moderator) at work. He will come to the (detail removed by moderator) to talk to me rather than sending me an email.
      A male friend was (detail removed by moderator) and he made a joke and my normally calm and composed boyfriend said (detail removed by moderator) – that friend doesn’t really message me anymore.
      If I wake up and scroll through (detail removed by moderator), at the weekend for example when he doesn’t know what time I’m awake, (detail removed by moderator)  i get a good morning from him – its like he is waiting (detail removed by moderator) to see when i am awake.
      He professes to love my pet but has made it clear that they can only visit his new house occasionally – he knows how much i love them and won’t leave them on their own for too long.
      He has told me that he wants marriage and us to have our own house together some day with joint bank accounts. I have been very honest and told him i don’t want any of that – for a long time, if ever – marriage especially. He told me the other day (detail removed by moderator). He was offended but i said (detail removed by moderator).
      We were in a (detail removed by moderator) insisted on carrying it for me – despite my protests. Sound super silly but I want to be a strong and independent woman and i can’t with him around.

      Needed to get that all out x

      • #132343
        TiaMaria
        Participant

        Yes that is still sexual assault. A participant in sexual relations needs to be enthusiastically consenting. If you are frozen, not participating, and clearly not enjoying it, he is going to notice that. If he doesn’t stop, that’s sexual assault – rape even, although I can see this may be hard for you to accept.

        I absolutely think that this behaviour is extremely typically abusive behaviour. It is controlling and possessive and he is seeking to take away your independence and isolate you from others. I encourage you to get out ASAP.

        Also, for any future relationships – a relationship doesn’t need to be abusive to be toxic and unhealthy and one which you need to live for your own wellbeing. However here, these behaviours ARE clearly abusive.

      • #132368
        Eyesopening
        Participant

        Get it all out, better out then in Scarecrow,
        You have had lots of great advice. Hope things are clearer now.

        Gosh I remember that one with the bags!
        If he was with me, he would want to carry everything like I was a defenseless weak puppy.
        BUT, he also didn’t mind leaving me to do the weekly shop alone and carry heavy bags up (detail removed by moderator) flights of stairs!
        x*x

    • #132360
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      I read your updates and have to say his behaviour is very concerning and certainly fits the definition of a controlling relationship. I’ve put the definition below

      • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour

      Please use everything you have learned and put it in to practise and start taking the steps to end it. You know this will not improve. You know you cannot ‘help’ him become a better boyfriend by being patient and understanding of his insecurities, sob stories and behaviours. The longer you stay with him the worse he will get.

      He has shown verbal signs of aggression (I read your post before redaction.)

      Some years ago I went on a few dates with a gorgeous guy and it seemed to be going well. He would mention he wasn’t violent and he would use the terminology he was ‘non confrontational’ a few times. Then over a period of chatting on dates he would tell me some stories where he’d had to stand up for himself and threaten someone who’d threatened him. At this time, the story was justified, but I did think to myself “hmmm, that doesn’t sound like someone who is ‘non confrontational'”; he was clearly prepared to use violence if necessary. Then a few days later he told me something else to do with his child and her mum’s new boyfriend. It was very clear he was prepared to be violent to a man he begrudged having contact with his daughter. So after that conversation I didn’t bother seeing him again. When someone talks about violence like that they have it in them to be violent.

      See the flags, they’re waving away, flapping around like mad trying to get your attention!

    • #132410
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Thank you all so very much, I have spoken to the charity who is running the course that i am on and they agree that he is abusive. They cant have me on the course until i am no longer in the relationship.

      How the hell do i end it safely? Still cannot get my head around it being abuse – six months from now it will be obvious but he is so unlike my ex!

      Hugs to all

      S x

    • #132412
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      Are you living together or separately? If together, are you living with him or he living with you? The answer to these questions will make a difference.

      If you were to tell him that you wish to end this relationship because it is not what you want how do you honestly feel he will respond? Do you fear he will physically hurt you? Get angry? Cry, beg and plead for you to give him another chance? Or accept what you say, walk away and wish you all the best?

      Reasons you could give him for ending the relationship are that you do not feel you have much in common any more, you are on different paths in life, you are aware he wants commitment and marriage and you are not ready for that.

      If your gut instinct is telling you that ending this is not going to be easy then you can start by distancing yourself from him and having other commitments of an evening after work and at weekends. If you are not living together this will be easier. As you distance yourself (and try Grey Rock) you will learn from his responses how this is going. Does he get more clingy, controlling and insistent that he sees you? Does he start turning up unannounced? Does he follow you around more at work? If these behaviours are apparent then these are indicators that ending the relationship is not going to be easy.

      You could apply online to the police for a Clare’s Law request to see if there is a pattern of behaviour that has previously been reported by other women he has dated. You will be asked for a reason on the form why you are applying for a Clare’s Law request and you can type that you are looking to end a controlling relationship and need to know if there are any safeguarding concerns around leaving, such as violence, harassment or stalking. Please be aware though that if you mention you are asking for a disclosure because of abuse they will ask to speak to you about your current situation so that they can record it as a domestic incident and record any offences you disclose. If there are concerns that come up during the checks, the police can help with safeguarding advice when you end the relationship and help manage any risks.

      The fact that you work together could be either a pro or a con. If he wishes to keep his job then he will accept the relationship is over and let you move on. On the other hand, if he starts harassing and stalking you and it makes it difficult for you to go to work then he is at risk of losing his job as your employers will also need to safeguard you. If he loses his job due to his own behaviour then this could make him worse towards you; in his eyes he will blame you for losing his job.

      I wish you luck and a safe exit xx

    • #132420
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Thank you Wants to Help,

      I think he will just cry and beg me not to end things. I think the only reason I haven’t done it so far as I know he is going to cry, he is a VERY emotional person. Not sure how it will go, I’m not scared of him – without sounded stupid – I don’t want to upset HIM. I need to think about me, not him. It is going to make work difficult but I’m looking to leave anyway.
      Xx

    • #132426
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      I was sort of expecting that could be the response you are likely to get, so as you have identified yourself, he is going to pull at your emotional heart strings and make you feel really cruel and callous for ending it with him!

      As long as you are expecting that is his intention then you need to mentally prepare how to deal with it. Be clear what you tell him, don’t ease the pain for both of you by giving any false hope (eg. well let’s just take a break for a few weeks and see how it goes), don’t give him any expectations that if he ‘changes’ in any way you will reconsider. Don’t drag the ‘it’s over’ conversation for any longer than you have to in order to show you care how much this news has hurt him, or keep explaining your reasons so that he has a chance to counter them with solutions. Don’t tell him at your place, you need to do it somewhere where you can leave once you have told him, and preferably in a public place.

      Pre plan the time and location you intend to tell him and how long you expect this to take, then tell a friend of your plans and that you will check in with them at a certain time to tell them you have told him and you have left and are safe. If you haven’t checked in with the friend by a certain time then ask them to try and make contact with you, and if they can’t reach you they need to come and look for you or let the police know they can’t reach you. This may all sound a bit extreme, I’ll send you a PM too.

    • #132485
      Lisa
      Main Moderator

      Hi Scarecrow

      You’re right that you need to think about yourself now. I just wanted to also suggest that you don’t have to end things face to face, as it would be safer to do this on the phone or through a message and then you can block him to avoid any contact.

      You may also find the information in our survivors handbook helpful: https://www.womensaid.org.uk/the-survivors-handbook/making-a-safety-plan/

      I hope you manage to find a new job soon if you are thinking about leaving your current one, it sounds like the right thing to do and will help you to move forward.

      Take care

      Lisa

    • #132497
      Scarecrow
      Participant

      Good Morning,

      And thank you to everyone.

      I know what i need to do, i just need to find the right way to do it. We work together so there is no way that i can avoid him, but it has to be done and I want it to be done. I feel myself cringe every time he comes near me, which is horrible. I need to stop being a people pleaser and worrying about how he is going to feel and start worrying about how I feel, I have to learn to love me before anyone else. And you know, being single was awesome for me, I enjoyed the freedom, not having to consider anyone else feelings (except the kids and the dog of course) but i could come and go as i pleased and I didn’t have to make sure i text someone goodnight so as to make sure they weren’t practically crying the next day!

      Anyway, thank you all so much for your advice and your time, I really am grateful. I will keep you all posted,

      Love and hugs,

      S xx

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