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    • #30020

      So this is my first post talking about this…I guess I just really need confirmation that I’m 1. Insane 2. Overreacting or 3. I really am being abused. Because I do mess up a lot. He’ll tell me to change a certain behaviour of mine that upsets him, and I always forget to. Then he’ll respond with anger, and when I get upset with his aggression over it he responds with ‘but I wouldn’t have had to act like that if you’d have just done the thing you said you’d do’. Which I guess is true. Yet I just can’t shake the feeling that something isn’t right. I really have no idea whether he is abusive or whether his reactions are to be expected when he feels like I let him down. It doesn’t help that this is my first ever serious relationship so I really have no idea what is acceptable in a relationship. So i’ll list some of the major incidents that have happened…

      -The first major red flag in our relationship was when he said if I don’t stop speaking to my best friends (who he says are bad for me), he’ll break up with me
      -He’s alarmingly misogynistic. He’s said that ‘99% of women are w****s’, and I shouldn’t have voted in the EU referendum with my ‘girl brain’, women are here to serve men
      -When I got my exam results, everyone was so proud and happy for me..except him. He laughed and told me that I ‘hadn’t failed completely’ but I failed the ‘higher tier’, because I hadn’t got all A’s.
      -He got genuinely upset when I said I’d break up with him if he killed my pet (details removed by moderator).
      -An overarching theme in our relationship is that I make poor decisions/i don’t think clearly and bad at reasoning, therefore I need to let him make all the decisions for me and do as he says. When I say I don’t want to, he will ask if I agree that I make poor decisions, and it’s true, I have been careless before, (detail removed by moderator) Which.. I guess is true?
      -Tells me that he doesn’t give a f**k about my feelings and from now on, I’m only allowed to care about his feelings because I’m upset too often about the wrong things
      -Gets explosively angry over small things.(detail removed by moderator). He got angry that I hadn’t told him and called me a stupid b***h, a r****d, (detail removed by moderator)
      -(detail removed moderator). He ended up somehow changing the story into (detail removed by moderator) me disobeying him when I didn’t come back with it (this did NOT happen). He asked me how I thought he should punish me for not listening. He said he wanted to inflict severe pain on me so I would never not listen to him again
      -He will get upset over something and not tell me what it is for hours
      -I went to (detail removed by moderator)  with my mum. He asked me repeatedly ‘why would you do this to me’. I know he gets mad when I don’t answer him so I tried to explain why. He wouldn’t talk to me for 45 minutes because he said I hadn’t answered him, when I reminded him that I had, he said ‘yeah but it wasn’t a good answer’. He said that it’s a bad idea for me to go  because ‘my mind is unwell’ and I’m not focusing on improving my life when I’m going (detail removed by moderator).
      -Will ignore me and get mad if I eat something he thinks is unhealthy
      -Told me he wants to ‘break my spirit’ so i’ll submit to him and stop disobeying him
      (detail removed by moderator)
      -He insisted on me deciding ‘who was to blame’ for my (relative removed by moderator) recent death (she got an infection in hospital, he hates hospitals and said if I’d have stopped from going to the hospital she wouldn’t have died). When I cried and shouted at him, he made it out like I was being unreasonable and horrible and I ended up apologising to him. He was also mad at me for visiting her in hospital in case I got an infection ‘if you get sick you’ll have zero sympathy from me’
      -He complained about why I wasn’t learning (detail removed by moderator). I didn’t reply (it seemed ridiculous) and he started screaming at me that my life was going nowhere, I had no goals, made fun of my ambitions etc
      -The final straw was the other night when he said if i didn’t (detail removed by moderator) he would tell my sister that my dad molested me, resulting in him being unable to see his grandkids/destroying our family. (detail removed by moderator)

      I’m sorry for writing so much..,the funny part is that none of this even begins to cover our daily interactions. I’m just so isolated and confused. How can he be so caring and loving and funny and then do these things? It makes me feel insane.

    • #30038

      Hi Equinoxal and welcome to the forum.

      Unfortunately from everything you have written, you are in an abusive relationship.

      Extreme psychological, mental and emotional abuse. He is an absolutely despicable man. Please contact the women’s aid helpline on on 0808 2000 247 to discuss how to extricate yourself safely from this abusive relationship.

      What ever you do don’t tell him that he is abusive. Then he will realise that his power and control is slipping and that you are on to him and enlightened and he will become worse and even try to physically harm or kill you.

      It’s ok what you are saying to us. Sometimes we write reams and reams because we have no one else to talk to.

      I suggest you have a look at the Power and Control wheel examples of abusive relationships and the Equality wheel as examples of non-abusive relationships.

      Clearly he has established a pattern of abuse which he believes he is entitled to have power and control over you, women, etc.

      Just get out not before it becomes worse.

      He should not be doing anything abusive at all and it doesn’t matter if he is caring and loving and funny afterwards or in between. It is all part of the cycle of abuse.

      (detail removed by Moderator)

      Start reading books and websites on abuse and if you can please go and see your local Domestic Abuse and Domestic Violence support organisation or One Stop Shop for assistance in getting out safely and getting support and counselling to deal with the psychological damage that he has caused.

      You won’t heal or get better unless you leave him safely and getting him out of your life.

    • #30045
      Main Moderator

      Hi Equinoxal,

      Welcome to the forum! I am so pleased that you have had some lovely support from Sahara D. I am sorry to say but your partner is definitely abusive. It sounds like you are only touching the tip of the iceberg with some of the red flags that you mention, and there are many of them! He sounds very controlling and emotionally and very aggressive. You have been so brave to post here and I know that this forum will be very very helpful and supportive so please be proud of making such a positive first step.

      Please do phone the helpline and speak to them about your situation. They will not judge you or tell you what to do but they will help you to see that you have options and help you to work out what is the best route for you. The helpline can also put you in touch with your local Women’s Aid group who can provide you with lots of help and support. It seems to me that your partner is doing his very best to try to isolate you from your friends and family and we all know that domestic abuse breeds in silence so please try to break the silence and talk to your friends and family about your situation. Please know that none of his behaviour is your fault. You are not to blame, no matter how much he tries to make you feel like you are to blame. You sound like a lovely, kind and clever person and you deserve to be happy. He will always try to make you feel less than what you are because he wants you to feel grateful and dependant on him. You are worth so much more so please reach out to some help and support to break away from him as safely as possible.

      We are all here for you so please keep posting.

      Best wishes,

      Forum Moderator

    • #30051


      Welcome to the forum. I fully agree with SaharaD you are in an EXTREMELY psychologically,mentally and emotionally abusive relationship.

      You are able to speak with such clarity about a large number of abusive incidents but your questioning your own sanity.

      As soon as you said “He’ll tell me to change (my behaviour)” to me identifies an abusive relationship. A non abusive person discusses how someone’s behaviour affects them and does not demand someone changes their behaviour to suit their needs.

      Have you heard of the term “Gaslighting”?

      “You’re crazy, that never happened.”

      “You’re too sensitive.”

      “You’re making things up”

      Are these phrases that you constantly hear from your partner that cause you to question yourself? If so, your partner might be using something called “gaslighting” — a form of emotional abuse that causes a victim to question their own feelings, instincts and sanity, giving the abusive partner power and control.

      The term “gaslighting” comes from a 1938 stage play called Gaslight, in which a husband attempts to drive his wife crazy by dimming the lights in their home (which were powered by gas), then denies that the lights change when the wife asks him about them. Once an abusive partner has used gaslighting to break down the victim’s ability to trust his or her own perceptions and beliefs, the victim is more likely to stay in the abusive relationship, because he or she no longer believes it’s possible to survive without the abuser.

      Gaslighting usually happens gradually in a relationship — so gradually that the abusive partner’s actions seem harmless at first. Over time, a victim can be confused, anxious, isolated and depressed, and even lose sense of what is actually happening.

      If you identify with these 10 signs, you’re most likely being gaslighted.

      You are constantly second-guessing yourself.
      You start to question if you are too sensitive.
      You often feel confused and have a hard time making simple decisions.
      You find yourself constantly apologizing.
      You can’t understand why you’re so unhappy.
      You often make excuses for your partner’s behavior.
      You feel like you can’t do anything right.
      You often feel like you aren’t good enough for others.
      You have the sense that you used to be a more confident, relaxed and happy person.
      You withhold information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain things.

      In my opinion and an opinion shared by most survivors/support workers is that abusers never change and your situation will only get worse.

      Knowledge is power, keep visiting this site and read as much as you can. Post any questions you may have. You will receive some sound advice from members that “Get It”.

    • #30052

      Oh my goodness, sounds so much like my ex!

      He can be loving, caring and funny to keep you there. Believe me, if you did anything to stand up to him, you’d see it was a sham.

      I hope you will find a way of getting away. Women’s Aid were my first stepping stone to freedom.

    • #30054

      Hello there oh my goodness your story sent a shiver up my spine. It must feel like such a relief to finally let it out but you’ve done the right thing! Please take each day as it comes get all the support in place.

      Please please keep everything you decide to do a secret. I tried to leave very early on and he threatened to never let me return! I had no hard evidence of what he was doing just a ‘bad feeling’ but not enough evidence of grounds for ending my marriage and by this time he had already turned my family against me and me against them!!!! Then he upped his isolation and manipulation and moved me so far no one was allowed to know my address or visit me. My own family didn’t know where I lived for years and he then wanted to ship me across to the other side of the country! That’s how I got out. It’s very important he doesn’t get wind of any of this because he will up the abuse up even more (just when you thought it couldn’t get worse).

      The only way you can make this better is to leave. They will not and cannot get better because this is the way that they chose to behave no one makes them behave like this. If I didn’t move I think he would have ended up killing me! He kept saying no one will come for you if you need help you will no where to go and he actually said to my family he is going to move me so far that they would never see me again! This will all be shocking to you but we all have experienced this we know what we are talking about. I promise you are not alone we are with you every step of the way. Please do not confront him about his behaviour you cannot risk your safety xxxc

    • #30058

      “Told me he wants to ‘break my spirit’ so i’ll submit to him and stop disobeying him”

      That IS exactly what he is doing and I’m surprised he has that level of self-awareness let alone admits it. What he is doing and saying is very wrong. He is emotionally manipulative and using fear, guilt and trying to break your self esteem to control you. If you can leave, please do. Show this list to your family and friends. My family and friends really surprised me with their level of support. But I also see signs of him trying to get you to leave your support system. My husband tried the same thing. Don’t fall for it. He doesn’t have the right to change your behaviour either.

      Like another woman said, keep things secret. Write things down and email them to yourself so it has a date on it, it may come in handy later even if just to keep you sane. There are so many details I forget but I’m glad I wrote them down. You are NOT overreacting at all.

    • #30077


      He does have that level of awareness, because as this post proves, many if not all abusers know that they abuse. They either need to do it, to feel powerful, or enjoy doing it- depending upon how malignant and sadistic they are. Horrid, isn’t it?

      Sometimes, these abusers let the cat out of the bag by making relevatory comments like that, or playing word games.


      • #30109

        Yeah, sometimes he has revealed himself to be very self aware of his actions. For instance, the other night when he blackmailed me he said afterwards how ‘messed up’ it was. Which actually makes it all the more confusing to me because he somehow manages to both acknowledge his terrible behaviour while rationalising and justifying it:’I recognise that what I did was wrong, but I wouldn’t have had to do that if you hadn’t done this’. Every time I’m forced to agree that what he did was justified. Feels like I’m losing the plot!

    • #30112

      Thank you for all your kind words and support. I’ve become extremely isolated the last year and being able to finally talk about it to someone and have some confirmation that I’m not just being irrational is such a relief.

      However..some doubt does still remain in my mind as he honestly can be the most loving partner a great deal of the time. It’s just when he’s angry he is abusive. It feels like living with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

      I think the blackmailing was a wake up call for me though. I’m now making plans to leave but I’m weary as we’ve broken up too many times to count and somehow every single time we get back together. Even when I’ve begged him to let me go because I didn’t want to be with him anymore, he told me he wouldn’t let me leave. The crazy part is that he’s started making plans for me to move in with him/get married and have children etc. If anything he’s become more serious the more our relationship has deteriorated. I wish there was an end in sight …

    • #30140

      Hello equinoxal,

      Everything what you described SCREAMS of abuse. Your post actually made my blood boil. Not only he is abusive, he is a horrible person.

      When you say he can be really loving – no. It’s very easy to play at love, which is part of their strategy to keep you from leaving. If you feel that something is wrong, then it is. When you are truly loved you don’t have doubts and bad feelings about a person you’re in relationship with. I learned that hard way.

      I am very surprised at how confident he is in abusing you. How much power he thinks he has over you. Please leave him. This person doesn’t deserve a minute of your precious time.

      I can totally identify with your inexperience. My abuser was also one of my first major relationships, the first person I ever moved in with. Within a month I got a few red flags – like a cold shoulder or he got easily offended at something other people wouldn’t consider offensive. I had a bad feeling but I suppressed and ignored it. With no previous experience of either serious relationship or any kind of abuse, I naively believed that inside he’s a nice person and deserves a chance. Had I been able to recognize the signs I would have fled.

      Picture yourself in 10 years time: married, with a child. I can assure you that his behaviour will escalate once you’re legally ‘his’ (they think in terms of possessing I find). If you’re unhappy now, where will you be then? Completely under his control, worn out and trapped. Extremely worried about impact of his abuse on the child, which is a major concern.

      My daughter is very little but already I am seeing some unhealthy behaviour in her and I hate my husband now with passion – you don’t want this for your baby, or for yourself.

      You deserve much much better.

      Please keep in touch.


    • #30158

      Apple is quite right.

      Abusers see marriage as ownership and a way to trap you; their abuse escalates when you are pregnant and when you have children.

      It’s not worth giving them the benefit of the doubt and thinking they will change. Marriage, babies- all the things in the future which are meant to provide you with joy, they will use as an opportunity to bury you.

      If he can be so despicably cruel now, that cruelty won’t just disappear. It will
      rear its ugly head all the more when the abuser is put under pressure ( when he has to share you with a child, put a child first, etc).

    • #30330


      Absolutely, Serenity. Please Equinoxal, do not even entertain the thought of starting a family with this vile creature.

      Like Serenity says, once they have to share you and witness your affection towards your child, they behaviour will get much worse. And it would be a very unhealthy environment for a child anyway.

      Funnily, my husband was very caring during my pregnancy – there were no incidents to speak of. But after our daughter was born I had a hell of a time. I so wanted to enjoy it but felt extremely suffocated thanks to him. He played a great daddy and completely took control over our baby – he knew better because he had had the child before (so that made him automatically an unrivalled parent), he was condescending and patronising, overriding my decisions, etc. He hated when the baby woke up at night (when she was still in our bedroom) and often would jump out of bed, swearing and yelling at me to do something NOW! I ended up quickly taking her into another room and stood there shaking (I was already sleep-deprived and more so than him), not knowing what to do. Baby and I were both distressed and I felt like a bad mother for making her feel that stress. It wasn’t long before he slapped me in front of her – she saw it and I didn’t think she would understand because she was too little – but she started crying. Children are very sensitive to these things.

      Him having been more serious about settling down with you is him getting ready to snap the trap – you’re just to take your final step in it, if you marry him.

      Please take care & let us know how you’re getting on.
      Apple x*x

    • #30340

      eqinoxal – good luck with your plans to leave him, you need to get away from this man as soon as you possibly can. I know you said you have broken up before and got back together. So as part of your planning please include ‘no contact’ and start preparing for that as well. You will see from reading posts on here that going no contact with your abuser is the only way to break their hold on you. Its a really hard thing to do but my goodness it is the most effective way to see them for what they really are and move on with your life.
      Best of luck x*x

    • #30341

      A lot of this sounds like my ex before we split up. Even after we split up he would try and control what I was doing but it was always justified. For example he wouod say I don’t want you texting other men because if you are on your phone you aren’t watching our son. Or yiu can’t date because I don’t want my sons mother getting a reputation as a w***e.
      I don’t think my ex has any self awareness, unlike yours who seems to. Mine was much more like a child he is like a child now trying different tatics to get his own way but without any awareness there is anything wrong with that.
      I wouod agree you need to leave him, the abuse for me started when I went back to work after having our son. It started as little things, like name calling in jest or he would accuse me of engaging in threesomes withco workers but always “in jest”. If I took offence I wass being too sesnitive. Then before I knew it I was having to have a drink to find the courage to ask him to go out because I knew what a battle it would be.
      I know he can seem nice, my ex can be charming and wonderful and its so hard to feel the same anger with them when they are being nice as when they are being horrible. I still can’t deal with that part of this, it causes me to agree to things I don’t want to.
      I am finding it easier to veiw it in the light of my ex is not a bad person he engages in bad behaviour but the fact he is a good person generally does not negate that bad behaviour.

      • #65645

        Hi there, my husband is so proud of the fact that we dont stop each other going out, that if needed the other will take/pick them up. Hes only ever said no once, the other times it has been whats not been said, or how hes acted/spoke when ive came back home. It got to the stage id be checking photos to make sure i wasnt too close to anyone, didnt look too drunk, plus i found i always clock watched. I no longer go out. (Detail removed by moderator).  No matter how much i lost it was never recognised but the pot belly i had, whuch after having babies is understandable, that was always remarked on. I no longer go to pilates (chronicpain plays a part too) i know for my own health i need to go out but i cant find the energy. Im struggling eating food period so going to a slimming class is a waste of time.
        Why do we get so lost, its inescapable at times

    • #65271

      Thanks for all these validating survivor story’s shared …… I’m still currently accepting my experience & I guess once I can find the words to share or write about my experience, I’m then going to share my feelings / experience….. I find being a victim of a toxic abuser difficult enough to come to terms with , I find it even harder to address the toxic behaviour …. it’s hard to write about something you don’t understand….. I find it quite sad that victims have to work on themselves & educate themselves on abuse to heal from it …. but the abusers never try to fix or heal themselves …. they just find another victim to abuse or blame for there abuse …..
      I wish everyone on here all the best in there healing from evil or toxic poisonous people ❤️❤️❤️

      • #65299
        Main Moderator

        Hi Broken dreams not chosen dreams,

        Welcome to the forum and thank you for posting. I am pleased you found us so I hope you find the forum a supportive place to be. When you are ready to share with us we will be here for you.

        Best wishes,

        Forum Moderator

      • #65646

        Hi there, admitting to ourselves is really hard to do. You are a strong beautiful woman, ALWAYS remember that. Ive started a leaving fund, knowing ive money behind me is empowering. Its not much yet, plus my husband doesn’t control what i have or he gives, in fact hes really very generous. But what he does is cast up tho in his eyes he doesn’t. Keep yourself a diary of what he says, how it was triggered, even your responses, also how it made you feel.
        Best wishes and welcome to the forum. There is many ladies here with such good advice plus you can vent how you are feeling on a bad day to. Xx

    • #65653
      Twisted Sister

      Just to say, this thread is two years old on the end of a very long thread of someone else’s.

      Is it possible Lisa to cut and paste the new thread onto its own post?

      Dear Broken dreams not chosen dreams

      It can take a really long time to see your way out of the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) at the same time as being gaslighted and blamed until eventually you have to somehow normalsie it all just to survive each day!

      When you are ready is when you are ready. It helps to post here and talk of your exp3ienxes s your brain can start to process why you feel this way despite all the denials.

      We’ll help all we can its brave of you to post and its a huge step on the road.

      Warmest wishes ts

    • #65682
      Main Moderator

      Hi Twisted Sister,

      It is possible to move threads by using the ‘Split’ button, however this would be down to the original poster to do this. It looks like Broken dreams not chosen dreams did reply due to reading the content of this thread, so it makes sense to me to leave it here for now.

      Thanks for your kind reply to her,


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