This topic contains 17 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Lisa 2 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #71508
     orchidlover 
    Participant

     

    Hi, I am new to the site. I”m not really sure where to begin but will try to explain as best I can.

    On (detail removed by moderator), my husband went out (detail removed by moderator), he said ‘I will be back about 11’ (it didn’t bother me when he came back, I just like to know so I know he is safe and nothing has happened. I went to bed around 10 o’clock, but never sleep properly when he is out and I know he’s coming home. I kept waking up and eventually woke just before (detail removed by moderator), he still wasn’t home. (Detail removed by moderator) He fell asleep and the next day I said to him I was a bit upset that he hadn’t sent me a quick message just to let me know he was going to be so late. I get really anxious about people being late or not turning up because (detail removed by moderator) my Dad committed suicide, it’s left me scared that someone else close to me might do it, totally irrational I know! He told me I was being ridiculous and controlling him, that it was unreasonable for him to text asking for permission to stay out (which is not what I wanted at all) and started to lose his temper. He said a lot of mean things such as I need expert mental help and then told me he wanted a divorce. I was distraught and didn’t know what to do, I had a panic attack but tried to hold it together because we have 3 children.

    (Detail removed by moderator). One of the problems is that this is not the first time this has happened, it happened (detail removed by moderator) and has happened at least 6 times over the last couple of years, its getting more frequent lately though.

    I suffer from depression and am on medication for this and have been for a number of years, in the past 6 months I have been getting really severe headaches that started a few times a month but have got more and more frequent and now I have them every day, I’ve been to see the doctor and they have done loads of tests and have said they believe them to be tension headaches caused by stress and have given me co-codamol to take for them. He told me (detail removed by moderator).

    I don’t believe that the co-codamol is the reason I seem more stressed and anxious it is because I
    do feel anxious, I’m petrified that he is going to tell me he wants a divorce again if something doesn’t go his way or if I say something he doesn’t like. I feel slightly like I’m losing my mind because he blames his actions on me because I have ‘pushed his buttons’ or ‘provoked him’ into saying or doing these things.

    After these arguments he is absolutely lovely, at the moment he is so loving and cannot do enough to help me or for me and buys me little things he knows I like. It’s like he is Jeckyl and Hyde.

    Anyway back to my original question, is this abuse or is there something I am doing that is causing this and what can I do to help it?

    Thank you x

  • #71509
     KIP. 
    Participant

    It’s absolutely classic abuse. Google Gaslighting. Cycle of abuse. Read Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. Contact your local women’s aid and go have a chat with them. I was happy and healthy until I married my ex. Then depression and anxiety followed. Not one doctor ever mentioned the words domestic abuse which I now know was causing my mental health issues. It was one hundred percent my exes behaviour that was causing my mental health injuries. Abuse always gets worse. He loves to see you anxious and what better way than to go straight for your weak spot. I know it’s shocking to accept but educate yourself on domestic abuse. This man chooses to abuse you. Abusers are often cheaters too and when caught out they become aggressive to take the spotlight off their behaviour and focus it elsewhere. Very often on us.

  • #71511
     orchidlover 
    Participant

    He says that I refuse to accept responsibility for any of the problems in our relationship, so I wonder if this is part of the problem. I’m sure that there are mean things that I have said to him that have made him mad or cross at me. For example (detail removed by moderator) when I brought the subject up again to try and see if we can resole it I said ‘please don’t get mad’ and he told me that saying things like this makes him mad and it tells him how I think he’s going to react so he does react this way.

    My doctor today was very helpful, he told me that it sounded like he was being very mean and gave me some websites to look at and has suggested getting counselling, asked me to go back in a couple of weeks to review how I’m feeling, see if we need to look at my medication and possibly change it to help me cope through this period.

  • #71512
     Pasturesnew 
    Participant

    KIP is absolutely right. Some of the things you mention in your first post (e.g. your husband saying he wants a divorce, and telling you you’re controlling him) are things my ex-husband used to say to me. My advice would be to speak to someone at WA. As KIP says, abusers get worse – it happened to me – and they often cheat on you with other women – that happened to me too.
    Always remember you have a right to be happy and safe, and to be your own person. I got to the point where I felt I was walking on eggshells most of the time. The only place where I was truly myself was at work – but he used to phone up and check on me. (I used to think that was because he cared about me and wanted to know how my day was going. I now know it was because he wanted to know where I was all the time.)

  • #71514
     KIP. 
    Participant

    I was put on medication for years for something that I never had. Medication only treats the symptoms of abuse. The real source of your mental health problems is abuse. Until your treat the cause of the depression and anxiety you will just spend years treating the symptoms. Find a counsellor who specialises in domestic abuse. Women’s aid were fantastic and explained the dynamics of an abusive relationship. He’s Gaslighting you. Arguing with an abuser is useless. They twist and manipulate and simply change the goal posts. He’s got your scared now by mentioning divorce. Got you unsettled and now he will expect you to be contrite. The cycle of abuse goes on for decades unless we recognise it and stop it. You did nothing wrong.

  • #71521
     orchidlover 
    Participant

    Thank you for your responses. With my mental health sadly I was ill before he started being mean to me, as I said it started this time after my dad’s suicide but I think looking back that I have suffered with depression most of my life. For some reason something changed and where he was once super supportive and loving he now uses things against me, like kicking someone when they’re down.
    I don’t know if he knows he’s being mean, if it is planned or not, I know he has always had a bad temper, he did when I met him but he NEVER directed his anger at me, this has happened gradually over a period of years and where I used to be able to talk him down from being angry at someone else I am not able to do this when his anger is directed at me.
    He says that he knows he has had a bad temper in the past but that he has learned to control it, but I think that in him trying to control his temper he is actually just bottling his anger up which leads to an ultimate explosion at some point. I genuinely believe if he could find a way of dealing with his anger issues then he could be nicer to me all of the time. But it’s trying to get him to accept that he has an anger issue and get help for it that I have really struggled with.

    • #71526
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Hi orchidlover, your husband doesn’t have problems with anger. Look up addicted to anger or anger addiction. He’s perfectly capable of being civil around others but not you, he chooses to be aggressive, angry, violent around you. My oh is the exact same. Everyday he comes in complaining about some driver or work colleagues, if I disagree, I don’t know what I’m talking about or I’m taking their side!! It gets to the stage you dread them coming home as you’re not sure what mood they’ll be in, now I’m getting told he’s not wanting to come home as he’s sick of the fighting, how I’m always picking fights with him. Knowledge is power, the more you read others posts, the more you’ll see, he’s being the exact same as everyone of our partners. It’s like they’ve all been to the same school and learned how to be abusive. Years ago, their behaviour was swept under the carpet, or put down to their childhood, drink, drugs, whatever. We now know they are excuses not causes. Take care. I’m learning to tell mine to, ‘stop it’! It’s so funny because he literally shuts up as if I’ve slapped him and taken him unawares. I’ve thought, surely is not that easy. I dont do it very often, I really am afraid of what he’ll do next.
      💕💕

  • #71523
     orchidlover 
    Participant

    I also wanted to add, that I am still feeling a bit shocked by the realisation that he’s potentially abusing me, I’ve always made excuses for his behaviour and I’ve realised that his parents also have done for a long long time, his mum likes to blame drink or drugs for the issue but I think that there is some sort of underlying problem and even if there turns out not to be that Drink isn’t a valid excuse for being mean to anyone.
    His mum phoned when I was upset this last time and we talked about what had happened and her answer to this is to arrange this years family holiday with him to give him something to focus on, but this feels to me like I’m saying ‘hey you’ve been really mean to me very recently but lets plan something together for the future’ when in all honesty I now think that unless we can work through this that there may not be a future for us

  • #71524
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    I’m so sorry your husband is using your illness to destroy and hurt you verbally with his threats of leaving. My oh hasn’t really used the d word but says constantly that he can leave at any time or hes been put out of better places than this. This is cruel, it makes you feel worthless, his indifference to whether you’re part of his life is heart breaking, but it’s that, that will eventually harden you to him. We retaliate with words too, kick someone enough, they will get up and fight back, verbally or physically. This in no way means you’re being abusive, though they say we are, we do it to protect ourselves. Have you spoken to anyone at WA yet. I’m glad your doctor sees what is going on. Can you keep a journal of how he treats/speaks to you. You are in no way responsible for his treatment of you. Something happened to him a long time ago to make him behave this way, only he can change. We can’t fix them, we can’t love them enough. Nothing is ever enough fir them until we’re broken, physically and or mentally. Keep strong, keep posting.
    Love to you my friend. 💞
    IWMB 💕💕

    • #71528
       orchidlover 
      Participant

      Thank you for taking so much time to respond. I am going to keep trying to talk to him as I would really like to sort this out and be happy together. I’m sure that something has happened to him in the past but I’m not sure of what, I genuinely don’t believe that his parents ignoring the behaviour has helped though or that this method of them helping now is a good one. I feel it is just reinforcing his bad behaviour (I know this might be me being mean about him and them so I will stand corrected if I am wrong)

  • #71532
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    I’m reading why does he do that encouragement for women involved with angry men and controlling men it’s by Lund bancroft. What your saying above is what I’ve been learning about today. It makes sense once you know exactly what your dealing with. It gives you ways of dealing with your anxieties and emotions. Xx 💕 💕 stay strong and sending you support xx diy 💕

  • #71533
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Think it’s the sequel of his books xx

  • #71537
     orchidlover 
    Participant

    Thank you, these look good!

    Another question, is it possible that he genuinely has no idea that what he is doing is abuse? He seemed really upset that I even suggested it was mean and said he didn’t mean to be mean to me

  • #71550
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi orchidflower, yes it is absolutely positive he doesnt realise he’s doing what he’s doing, it’s been ingrained into his psyche in childhood so much that his behaviour is normal to him. BUT he also knows that by repeating and repeating it,that it hurts and upsets you, yet he still does it. If you tell someone what they say or do hurts you, usually that person takes it on board and doesnt do it again. An abuser NEVER hears what you are saying and even if they stop one form of bad behaviour, anither form takes its place. I’ve tried countless times to talk to my oh, he always turns it back on me, he gets angry because I dont do xyz,or this week he likes xyz,but next week he won’t. So when I give him xyz, because he liked it before but doesn’t now, I’m obviously thinking of someone else who liked it. Nothing makes sense, apart from him having to be right.
    Be careful. My oh is definately being more aggressive to our dogs now than me, but what he’s really intimating is how he’ll do it to me, ive said so to him, that I know he wishes it was me he was hitting instead of them. He’s never denied it.
    💕💕

  • #71552
     EbonyRaven 
    Participant

    I too, would recommend that you read ‘Why Does He Do That’ I’m in the middle of it now, and it answers this question so well.
    It’s not so much that he sets out with an exact plan, or map, it’s more that he really doesn’t care if he hurts you at the time, as long as he can deflect from what he’s done or said wrong, or draw the conversation away from an uncomfortable subject.
    His thought processes are different from ours, he thinks he’s entitled to be right all the time, and no-one should question that as everyone is below him. He will take a thing that he’s done and twist it in his mind to make it anyone else’s fault but his. (Usually it’ll end up being us at fault).
    He’s getting what he needs by being ‘nice’ for the moment, however he’s probably ‘sorry YOU feel that way’. Not actually sorry.
    One thing to look for is whether he genuinely wants to work through it, discuss things reasonably together and listen to your views and challenges as an adult, or if he’s said he is sorry to get himself out of having to do that.

  • #71561
     maddog 
    Participant

    I’m so sorry to hear that your dad killed himself. What a truly terrible thing to go through. (Detail removed by moderator). My own family has endured similar losses.

    It’s not our fault when we witness dreadful things. For a long long time I thought it was. My ex used it against me with as much vitriol as he can muster. He is still trying.

    I don’t think there is an answer to why abusers behave as they do. They find vulnerable people like heat-seeking missiles. I remember thinking a very long time ago that my ex was using the same kind of logic to hurt me as a paedophile.

    Iwantmeback, I hope you are making headway with your animals. My ex is no longer allowed access to the dogs. It has been noted how much calmer they are. I feel safer with them and better able to work with my dog head on. I’m being crushed and have too many wet black noses demanding my attention…

  • #71564
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Oh Maddog, thank you for thinking of me. My furbabies are so protective and all over me like a rash when he’s not in. In fact the 3 of them run to me when he’s too close to me now too, they are amazing. I really hope I can leave him, fir their sakes as well as my own. Even if they can’t live with me in the future, I know they’ll have good homes afterwards. I’ll make sure dogs trust rehabilitate them too, psychologically. He definately should not be allowed dogs ever again, his way of ‘training’ them is abhorrent, though how can the authorities enforce this.
    How are you getting on with your children, hope things are calmer for you. Xx
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #71578
     Lisa 
    Main Moderator

    Hi orchidflower,

    Thank you for sharing with us and welcome to the forum. I’m afraid I’ve had to remove your recent reply as it contained detailed information that could risk identifying you on this public forum.

    You have explained emotional abuse and very controlling behaviour by your husband. It is the firm belief of Women’s Aid that abusive men do know what they are doing when they behave this way, they have control over it, and they choose to be abusive to have power and control over their female partners. This can often be proved by considering if he behaves this way to anyone else, to his friends, or at work? If he doesn’t, it demonstrates that he chooses to isolate this behaviour towards you. He will not take responsiblity for it, instead finding ways to make it your fault. It can be very confusing, you can start doubting yourself, and that is part of the abuse. Confronting him about it is not effective, because he will not admit responsibility, and it can also increase your risk. If he thinks you are onto him, or planning to leave, he will likely change his behaviour to try to retain control. He may become physically abusive.

    This is not your fault, or because of anything you have done. He would behave like this to any female partner. Abusive men don’t show what they’re really like right at the beginning of a relationship, it almost always shows up over time.

    Please consider calling the Helpline on 0808 2000 247 to talk this through in confidence with a female support worker. They won’t tell you what to do, but can talk through your options and signpost you to other relevant support.

    Kind Regards and keep posting,

    Lisa

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