5th September 2019 at 7:59 am #87253
I’ve been with my partner for (detail removed by moderator) years, and he has always been selfish. Even in the early days he would cancel plans with me to see his friends, the most significant time of all was when (detail removed by moderator). He said I could stay at his the evening after – I had been in the hospital all night – but then cancelled to see his mates. He started accusing me of having an affair a year into the relationship, and when he would say it sometimes he would make out it was joke, and other times he would say he was serious. This hasn’t stopped.
Now I feel like my opinion is worthless. If I say something that isn’t directly linked to what he is talking about, he will say “what’s that got to do with anything? That’s irrelevant”. I feel he disagrees with everything I say. And if I express when I’m annoyed at something he has said, I’m accused of making him feel he can’t say anything without me getting ‘mardy’. I feel guilty about spending our money, and even though he suggested I keep some of my wage in my bank instead of putting it all in his, when I said I was doing this he replied with “well Where’s my money to spend on myself?”. I asked if I could buy a new top on payday, and I got “sure, but when can I spend money on myself?”. I constantly feel guilty and like I am tredding on egg shells.
We aren’t very intimate and for a while I got the blame. If I didn’t kiss him as soon as he got home from work, or as soon as I got home from work, it was my fault.
At home we will talk about him for ages, but when I start a conversation he barely listens. When we’re not talking about him he just sits on his phone. I feel alone in my own home.
He also tells our daughter she’s not been very nice to him when she doesn’t give him a hug. She’s only a toddler and it should be him showing affection. But if I say anything I get told he’s not talking to me, he’s talking to her and not to butt in. I am also doing a course at the moment but when I try to do work at home he’ll moan straight away – “you’re always on your laptop”, “I might as well go to bed if you’re doing that”, “it’s like you don’t want to spend time with me”. As a result I barely do work at home and have to use my lunch breaks to do this.
In my last job I met someone else. I’m not proud of it but this person made me feel wanted. He actually asked me if I was ok and if he could help when I was feeling down – my partner will turn it on himself when I express my feelings. I was diagnosed with depression a year ago and my partner reacted with anger and accused me of keeping my mental health from him.
I’m no longer in touch with this other person. After I finished that job he wanted to keep in touch and we would meet for coffee. It wasn’t a seedy affair, we never slept together nor met up at hotels, but it was nice and we wanted to see each other. Now I’ve not heard from him in 3 months with no explanation, which has made me feel discarded and used.
I don’t know how to manage my partner’s behaviour. I want it to work and I want to say something but I no he won’t listen and he will just turn it into an argument and make me feel guilty for expressing myself. I feel so empty at the moment and at times I wish I could just disappear. Last night I felt so alone I didn’t want to wake up.
Am I making something of nothing? Is this normal and I’m just being a cow? I need help.
5th September 2019 at 8:16 am #87255KIP.Participant
Please ring the helpline number on here to speak to someone. It takes two to make a relationship work and controlling behaviour like this is definitely abusive. Contact your local women’s aid. They’re a great source on knowledge. Read Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven and read other posts on here to see just how common this kind of behaviour is. Sadly abuse always gets worse. The confusion and guilt you feel is exactly what I felt being with an abuser. It’s crazy making behaviour and nothing you say will suffice. He will simply change the goal posts leaving you even more confused. You need help. I wouldn’t be surprised if this friend who cut contact was contacted by your partner and told to. I was also diagnosed with depression. This is what happens when we live with abuse. We turn our anger inwards. We become depressed when the happiness leaves our life and we are constantly made to feel like a failure. He is causing your depression. Are you receiving counselling. Have you told your GP about the abuse. I was in denial for decades and just didn’t understand that my husband and father of my child would deliberately try to destroy me. That’s what abusers do. They thrive on our destruction. Anytime we feel happy or accomplished, they simply pull the rug from us. You need to work on a safe exit plan and rebuild the confidence and mental health he has stripped from you. Keep posting. You’re definitely in the right place x
5th September 2019 at 9:22 am #87261IwantmebackParticipant
Hi welcome to the forum. Yes it is abuse, very much so. You’ve been very brave in taking that first step by posting on here so well done💞 definately get in touch with WA, they have helped me no end. I dread to think how id be if I hadn’t got in touch with them. I’m waiting to be moved through them to an other area. They are the most amazing organisation and I’ll be forever grateful for their time patience and knowledge.
Best wishes IWMB 💞💞
6th September 2019 at 9:36 pm #87459
You’ve been strong to reach out here and I hope you carry on doing so until you get even stronger. It is abuse but maybe you’re not sure because there are no bruises? Right now you probably don’t know which way is up. You probably doubt your own reality. You feel you can’t do anything right. You feel invisible and unheard. These are all classic reactions to abuse. Please believe that you are not a ‘cow’ and nor are you making something out of nothing. It’s worrying that you ‘don’t want to wake up’ so please reach out to someone to talk. As other ladies have advised WA are there for you.
6th September 2019 at 9:46 pm #87462maddogParticipant
I made contact with WA a long time before I recognised my ex’s behaviour as abuse. I just didn’t get it. Power to you! You will find so much help & support though this with WA. You will be guided towards the specific agencies who can help in your case. Well done for reaching out & recognising the behaviour.
6th September 2019 at 10:41 pm #87471
I am confused, because sometimes I think that this is all part of a relationship, surely people have arguments. I just dont know because he will admit when he has done wrong and will apologise. For example, he doesn’t really like my friend because she can be a bit of a know it all and when we have organised a party lately he has told me not to invite her. But then I think he has seen that is wrong because he says I can invite her if I want, though I said I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing so knowing he doesn’t like her.
And he doesn’t know about my friendship that has now disappeared with no explanation. If he did he probably would have left me. I had a friend when we first met who was male and I knew through mutual friends. We would go to the pub together with other friends and it was a laugh. But then my partner said he suspected I had a crush on him and I stopped being friends with him. Also, when we first met, I had a pen-pal in America who I had planned to go visit. I had been saving my wages for a year. My partner told me that if I went then we would be over. Recently he told me he still resents me for thinking it was normal to go and stay with another man in a foreign country, and that is the reason why he has always accused me of cheating.
6th September 2019 at 11:19 pm #87476CopperflameParticipant
The way he is treating you is definitely emotionally abusive and I’m glad you’ve found this forum for support. KIP has given you some very wise advice and contacting WA is a very good start to getting some support. I would recommend you read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft, which gives an excellent account of the myriad of controlling, coercive and abusive tactics that abusers use. Also Google domestic abuse/emotional abuse/controlling behaviour, as there are lots of websites out there which describe abuse.
Unlike physical abuse, emotional abuse can be hard to recognise, because sometimes it can be quite subtle and all you know is that something is not right. Abuse affects the way you feel and a classic symptom that you describe is that you feel you are “walking on eggshells”, because you are worried about his reaction. Another symptom is you often feel guilty, even when you’re doing something perfectly legitimate. Feeling confused is another symptom, because the abuser plays mind games and messes with your head (a tactic known as Gaslighting) As KIP says, depression is very common in women who are experiencing abuse too. Feeling alone in the relationship is another common symptom, because the abuser expects you to meet all his needs while discounting your needs. Abusers are very self-centred and feel entitled to your undivided attention, hence while he’s happy to talk about himself all the time, he isn’t interested in what you have to say, thus making you feel your opinion is worthless.
Accusing their partner of cheating is something many abusers do, but abusers who make these accusations do so because they are usually cheating themselves and assume you’re doing the same!
Both of my exes were emotionally abusive, but with ex No. 1, it took a while for it to sink in that the way he was treating me was abuse. Ex No. 2 used slightly different tactics and was very manipulative, so it took me a while to recognise that he was abusive too.
Take care and keep posting.
6th September 2019 at 11:57 pm #87478
Yes, it’s normal for couples to argue but their arguments look and feel completely different.
Normal couples respect each other’s point of view and are prepared to listen and discuss. They don’t insult, accuse or belittle. They don’t bring up the same old issues to score points. They don’t sulk, storm out or ignore to inflict hurt. Normal couples arguments have a clear ending. There might be a compromise (not always from the same side) and apologies and hugs.
How do you feel after one of your ‘arguments’? Do they come from nowhere? Do you always know what you’re arguing about? Is anything ever resolved?
In normal relationships power is shared and each partner is allowed to have a history, their own opinions, their own interests and friends and are allowed to make mistakes without fear of punishment.
7th September 2019 at 12:21 am #87483
I’ll just add that you’ve mentioned the close friendship twice. I can’t comment on why he’s disappeared without warning but I do feel your sadness and pain. Don’t feel bad about how close you got. It’s perfectly normal to seek out those people who make us feel good about ourselves. It would also be perfectly normal if you secretly dreamt that the friendship would lead to more. You say you feel used and discarded but it seems to me that he gave you something wonderful – he made you feel lovable again. See this as his gift to you.
13th September 2019 at 1:51 pm #87934
The advice and support I have received on this forum is overwhelming, thank you.
I’m starting to notice things more and more. For example, i finished work late the other day, which is something that annoys him and his excuse is childcare arrangements, but this particular day he had our daughter so I didn’t think it would be a problem. So I rang to let him know and he sounded happy when he answered the phone, but as soon as I said I’d only just left he went “oh well I best go then”. When I asked him why he said that our daughter was tired and she had been trying to stay awake to see me. I knew this wasn’t true because it was nowhere near her bedtime – I was only an hour late leaving. But it made me feel guilty and I hate telling him I’ve left late because I know he will always have a go. It made me wonder how other partners react to their other half leaving work late. What is the normal response? And the other night he kept saying things that made me uncomfortable. One of his things is to say I’m being mean to him, and when I said I don’t like it when he said that he told me it was only a joke and am I going to get offended to everything he says. And despite me saying I don’t like it, he still continues to do so. I wonder if I am just over-sensitive and need to lighten up.
13th September 2019 at 4:48 pm #87940EscapeeParticipant
You are not being oversensitive or need to lighten up, he is playing with your head.
Mine used to get really angry if I was even 5 minutes late from leaving work – this behaviour is normal for an abuser too.
I agree with the other ladies…..he is being emotionally abusive and messing with your head. It is not you; it is not your imagination. Some of us got caught in this cycle of abuse for decades and it really messed you up….. getting out is the best thing you can do for you and your daughter.
Thinking of you and sending hugs xxxx
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