21st November 2018 at 10:04 am #67371
Hi, I’m new…
My partner is not physically abusive, nor does he cheat, nor does he take drugs or gamble, and for a (long) while I thought that meant what he did was just down to interpretation…
But I’ve learned that my deep feelings of discomfort about his behaviour were because he was being psychologically abusive.
He is controlling – but does it in subtle ways. Never says I have to do/not do certain things, just makes comments that make me feel doubtful about my capability, or acts angry if things aren’t the way he wants. His “energy” is powerful so he doesn’t need to slam doors or punch the table or call me names to make me scared…
And he knows that. Other people find him intimidating too. Including other men.
But he’s also very charming. That powerful energy works both ways…
Over the last few weeks several things have happened that have made me realise all my complaints were really important not to ignore or minimise, which I shared with him and he sometimes made promises to be better or blamed me – it was anyone’s guess… But one thing you could guess, most of his promises didn’t come to fruition.
So, after the controlling, the gaslighting, the shouting and aggressiveness. I started researching and making plans.
I have reported my situation to the police as I know if I decide to leave he may act out, and I might need back up quickly, who I told I didn’t want to involve him unless they felt it was essential, but basically they did an immediate risk assessment and agreed not to take action but to keep my report on file and to give me help preparing to leave and try to put a priority response on my number if I call them.
I have found out where the local women’s aid is, as well as how to apply to the council for housing, and what to do in terms of benefits etc.
I’ve even written a letter that I will leave for him if I decide to go without talking to him first.
I’ve packed a bag with PJ’s and essentials for me and kids in case I need it…
I’m doing all that stuff…
I know what he’s been doing is abusive. Even if it isn’t physical. I know I want to leave.
But now he’s being all insightful and nice. I still want to leave because I don’t feel the same way about him anymore. That may be because I’ve written down all the stuff he’s done – like bursting into the bedroom and shouting at me about money when he knew I was sleeping because I was ill, or recently screaming “shut up” in my face waving his hand at me as if he was close to slapping me.
I read that list from time to time. At first when I read it I kept thinking “so he’s not very sensitive and tells you that you should lose weight but that’s not that bad” or “so what he never spends any time with you, he’s busy” or “okay he can confuse you when he says he didn’t say something you literally just heart him say, then he says he did say it, then didn’t, then he says the thing he said he didn’t say”… “None of that is that bad”…
But it is. Put it all together with his intimidation, the silent treatment, the financial control, and it’s all part of a pattern to control how I feel and act around him. And it’s worked. I am NOT the same person anymore. I’m timid, unconfident, doubt myself, anxious, and I am the loneliest I’ve ever been.
Now, reading the list looks different. It looks like a description of a selfish and unloving man. Reading “why does he do that?” had helped to clarify that.
The problem I’m now having is that he’s being nice.
Like I said I still want to leave, but I feel it’s even more alarming because if I leave without warning it will anger him, and I’ll have to start all over again with me and the kids.
But if I talk to him I might be able to just say I think we’ve drifted apart and I don’t think we should be together. However, while there’s every chance he could be very agreeable, I don’t know that for sure – which is why I went to the police. He may be aggressive and I just can’t cope with that.
(Detail removed by moderator). He may think I’m being especially cruel.
But I can’t stand the thought of staying.
I still have yet to tell anyone other than the kids about what he does and my plans to leave (the kids know because they witnessed one argument that made them cry and feel scared, and we talked about it)…
Why am I suddenly in limbo?
21st November 2018 at 10:33 am #67373IwantmebackParticipant
Hello GlitterPetals, isn’t it amazing that when we write down their behaviour it hits us right between the eyes, exactly what they are.
Im really happy to read that you have actually been to the police, I’ve not managed that(it feels like a betrayal)but i need to do it. Did you phone them or go in to the station. I feel i literally need my hand held every step of the way. It is taking me so long to do what i need to. Do we expect them to change back to who they were in the beginning?
I am nearly ready to go to CAB re what benefits id get. Ive an appointment with WA solicitor next week. I have some money saved I’m clearing out stuff i dont want to take with me, i feel as if im walking through mud.
I think my oh is like yours at work too unless he only says to me he says such and such and doesn’t really. I fear he’ll lose his job due to his behaviour😪 i couldn’t bear him being around all day every day.
We are bonded to them through trauma. Have you read about that too. Probably you have, we read everything we can get our hands on to make sense of ‘why he does that’.
Don’t tell anyone about him, they what you’re planning to do, they could unwittingly say something or their loyalties may lie more with him😏
You are about to do something massive, that’s why you’re in limbo. You sound so like me when i was more me. So organised, it’s the organising that keeps us sane.
Believe in yourself, do you have WA helping you leave. If you can’t get through to the national line call your local one, that’s who are helping me, one baby step at a time.
I don’t want to leave but i cannot stay. I can’t look at myself in the mirror anymore, i stay in rather than go out, think that’s why I’m finding it so hard to go to places fir advice. Ive been decades with this man. Don’t end up like me.
Kindness and strength fir your next step
21st November 2018 at 11:03 am #67378TiffanyParticipant
Turning “nice” when we are about to leave us a common tactic. They can sense we have had enough and stop the bad behaviour until we are reeled safely back in. Unfortunately it isn’t going to get better. I would leave then inform him. Ideally with your letter, failing that in a public place. It might be ok, he might be reasons, but you are scared for a reason, and it is best not to take the risk, but just to pack up and go and inform him later.
21st November 2018 at 12:26 pm #67382
Iwantmeback – I phoned them at first. Then they asked me to go in and talk to them. I nearly cancelled the appointment several times. And on my way there I had to stop to go to the toilet several times; I was clenching my jaw shut so tight it hurt, and I was clutching my bag really tight too. When I got there I felt really sick. But they put me at ease and it has been explained that he’s using coercive control and financial abuse which are against the law.
Be warned if they hear that you are at a certain level of risk they might decide to arrest even without your permission- so maybe look at the met website first for info, then only make the report when you are just about to leave or if you don’t mind when they do something. Otherwise an advocate from women’s aid can help you decide when to do things, so maybe wait until you see them.
Tiffany – yeah I think he senses my mind is elsewhere. Also after the last big argument and losing his job, I decided to tell him exactly what I thought was the problem. He said he took it on board, but get a drink down him and he’s back to conspiracy theories and denial and thinking everyone is against him. He very much sees himself as a victim.
I have been called “mean” for telling him he was scaring me! He fails to see the irony in that.
I think he knows he’s abusive and he tries not to be. He can be so loving in between. Respectful and totally supportive… But it’s been many years now, and I know he’ll get nasty again soon.
One thing I do have going for me is that he is very well known on social media and is very attached to his image of being the “good guy with the bad luck”. So I do feel like that may limit how vengeful he will actually be, but equally I will be painted as a lying deserter. There’s no getting away from that. But I just have to accept that.
This isn’t about other people’s opinions. It’s about mine and the kids’ safety and happiness.
I’m getting towards mid life right now. And I need a better life!
Anyway thanks for that advice. I think I will sadly have to leave this house rather than the other way around.
Lord knows when I’ll get the courage to do it, but I’m inching closer bit by bit.
21st November 2018 at 1:53 pm #67390anotherlifeParticipant
Glitter petals, this is so like my situation. I came on here today but put a post about him j.probong his actions and making it hard for me to leave as I haven’t seen him this nice and calm for years. But I can’t forgive everything he’s done and the anxious shell of a person I have become. I can’t tell our local police as he knows so many people and at least 2 of them, I’m too scared to let him ever know what I’m hoping to do or who I’ve told. But I’m at a standstill now as he’s not been this patient and normal with the kids for years and I just can’t do it.
What you have explained is certainly abuse and is in no way your fault. I don’t believe they can ever change, why would they want to, they just want control and power and their own way. You are doing the right things and hopefully will be strong enough to move forward soon. So many of us are still in these relationships when we expected to have left months or years ago.
We all give each other strength, womens aid are amazing and have helped me see things clearly.
Wishing you strength x
21st November 2018 at 2:38 pm #67394
anotherlife – thank you and I wish the very same for you.
23rd November 2018 at 8:43 am #67500MiraParticipant
I know exactly how you feel as it is happening to me now. I have been preparing to leave for a while now and all of the sudden he became nice and caring, my youngest noticed and asked what was happening. I always felt a little bit guilty for leaving but i knew i had no other choices, however right now i am feeling bad and guilty and i thought maybe i should wait and see. My son though sees this differently, he kept on reminding me of what really made me come up with this decisions, and it really helps reading the post that i made about my situation and how what was said in the post is not even the half of everything. So keep strong focus on yourself and do not change your mind. Remember that you gave him enough time to expect changes and it’s not a rushed decision. All the best Mira
28th November 2018 at 6:42 pm #67830Lightning-JetParticipant
That’s the manipulation that makes you hesitate. I experienve very similar, it definitely follows the abuse cycle.
I’ve been going around and around for a long time now. The building up, the b**w out, the apologies and promises then a quiet period. Classic abuse cycle and yet I can’t seem to break out of it.
The nice times make me doubt leaving. They are masters at making us feel this way.
It doesn’t matter how horrible they are, afterwards it’s all hearts and flowers. In reality, its just to keep us hooked. It’s a game to them. A game which I want no part of but feel forced to be in.
You are not alone, one day you will have to strength to leave, I hope we all do!
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