This topic contains 7 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  upsidedownandinsideout 5 months, 4 weeks ago.

  • Author
  • #86941

    I’m a single mum with an (detail removed by moderator) year old. Her Father left when she was (detail removed by moderator).

    (Detail removed by moderator), I met someone and we really hit it off. This isn’t really relevant, but to avoid pronoun confusion, this new partner is a woman. She moved in (detail removed by moderator) ago, having known my daughter from a few months before that. At the time they seemed to really hit it off.

    However, over time my partner became less and less patient with my daughter, and started to shout at her with alarming frequency. When I tried to get my partner to calm this down, she said it was my daughter’s fault because she doesn’t behave and shouts at my partner. I tried to explain that children are very good at giving what they get, so the first step in calming things down needed to come from her. I showed her the 123 magic technique, to give her an alternative.

    Not much changed, and it escalated to swearing at my daughter, frequently, and name calling and character devaluing. I said that this had to stop immediately, and the swearing became less often but not much else changed.

    I begged and begged. Tried talking to my daughter about what was happening. At this point, partner seemed to be holding a lot of resentment towards my daughter, claiming she couldn’t see why she needed to be polite to a child who wasn’t polite to her. To be clear, it’s not as though my daughter was continually disrespecting her, it was more that sometimes they’d get into a fight, and (detail removed by moderator) olds tend to fight dirty when it comes to a verbal slanging match. Sometimes these things were so bad, at the time it felt very necessary to tell partner this wasn’t ok immediately and in front of my daughter.

    At this point, we are arguing a lot (about this and many other things). One night my daughter was being a bit of a monster at bedtime, and got into a strop where she nearly said she didn’t want to say goodnight to Mummy. She caught herself at the last minute, and was just about to say goodnight to me, my partner shouted at her to go to bed without saying goodnight. My daughter was very upset and refusing to go to up the stairs, and so my partner pushed her, really hard, up the stairs. I hit the roof.

    My behavior went a bit crazy at this point, lots of rage and telling my partner to leave me. There were other problems too – I had agreed to financially support my partner so she could study, but we had agreed a small financial contribution instead from her part time work. This only happened for the first two months and then she said she’d buy all the food instead (I still had to buy food, and in the run up to my birthday I had to buy all the food because she bought me a present). She never appreciated me for this, and when I mentioned that she said I never thanked her for buying the food. She was constantly criticised for everything, and never complicated. I noticed her tone of voice was different when talking to me and my daughter, compared with other people. This made me sad.

    I don’t like my reaction to these things. I tried talking to her constructively so many times, but it would always end with me shouting. On one occasion, I threw her clothes out the bedroom window.

    We had one assessment appointment with relate, where they explained to partner that my daughter’s bad behavior wasn’t personally directed at her, it was more like my daughter had found an outlet to express anger with her. My partner then started telling me that this proved her point all a long – my daughter was being unfair on my partner, and I needed to stop it.

    I started to find things unbearable, and the arguments between us really escalated. One evening, as we were about to go to bed, my partner said something really nasty to me (she accused me of (detail removed by moderator) – I promise you this isn’t what I was doing). I challenged this and said this wasn’t ok. My partner ignored me, reading (detail removed by moderator). I pulled it from her hands, at which point she picked up my (detail removed by moderator) and threw it. When she saw it wasn’t broken, she picked it up and hurled it against the wall to make sure she broke it. At this point I started to feel that the physical behaviour towards my daughter may not be a one off mistake.

    Fast forward a few weeks, and one disasterous holiday, I sat my partner down and said whilst she was often great with my daughter, there were some very worrying behaviours. I asked her to look at the NSPCC description for emotional abuse. She said that only (detail removed by moderator) things applied – I said that’s (detail removed by moderator)too many. She then said that this was only someone else’s opinion, not fact. I said I was worried and so, for now, could she make sure she was not alone in the house with my daughter, whilst we try and work things out. This was refused, and resulted in a blazing row. I have to admit I was deliberately provoking her to see what she’d do, because I was worried about my daughter with her.

    After threatening to hit me (my daughter heard that) I said she needed to leave immediately, with enough stuff (detail removed by moderator), or I would call the police, and she could come back when calmer to collect the rest of her things) She left, and has since tried to make me feel bad about throwing her out because she is sleeping in (detail removed by moderator). I asked her to leave at (detail removed by moderator) and she has family (detail removed by moderator).

    She’s trying to get me to carry on going to relate. When I talk to her about her behaviour, she says I did things to her. There was a bizzare incident a few weeks before, where I couldn’t tell my step father anything without her interrupting and talking over me. When I raised it, she said it was my step dad’s fault because he was ignoring her.

    I feel like I drive my partners crazy and that I am abusive. I feel like my expectations of a relationship are too high and I put partners under to too much pressure to make me happy, although I do have a strong belief that partners do not need to make me happy because that’s my job, but they shouldn’t make me unhappy


  • #86944

    Few mistakes in my post – was super emotional. “She was constantly criticised for everything” should have been “She was constantly criticising me for everything “. Hope it all makes sense.

  • #87003
    Main Moderator

    Hi Upsidedownandinsideout

    Welcome to the forum.

    Firstly i just want to say that you certainly do not sound like the abusive one in this situation, from what you describe your partner sounds emotionally and financially abusive and very threatening.
    How she behaved towards your daughter sounds completely unacceptable and emotionally and physically abusive, no matter what age a child is, it is not ok to blame the child for a bad relationship between them.

    You have definitely done the right thing by ending it, try not to let her make you feel guilty and i would not recommend any couples therapy as it does not work when domestic abuse is involved. If you feel you can i would encourage you to cut contact with her as this will give you the head space to reflect on the relationship and you may start to see things more clearly.

    Contact your local domestic abuse service for support and find out about your local Freedom Programme as these things will help you to understand the dynamics of the relationship in more detail.

    Take care and keep posting


  • #87060

    Thank you. That gave me the strength to close off discussions about couples counselling. She had booked us an appointment and the thought of going made me feel physically sick. What was I going to do, raise the abuse in front of her to the counsellor? She’s really hurt and I feel dreadful for doing this. I have to remind myself, I HAVE to do this to protect my daughter.

  • #87065

    Hi there upsidedownandinsideout, welcome to the forum. I agree with Lisa 100% you do not sound like the abuser at all. You are standing you’ve ground and protecting your child. This person is a grown up and as such should behave as one. My oh(who I’ve separated from) went to councelling you show me he could change, invited me to go too. Against my better judgement I did, and all it did was prove that he was abusive, so much so that the councellor and his boss contacted me to ensure I was safe! In couples councelling if you still don’t feel you can be open and honest and if you are but they aggressively use it against you in some shape or form, your partner is abusive. They will say anything to shift the blame from themselves. I think your initial reactions and gut instincts are extremely strong and that you should listen to them. These people are very good at emotionally manipulating us and blackmailing to an extent too. I’m sure it’s Patricia Evan’s who wrote the emotionally abusive partner and this takes in all partners and genders. Again welcome to the forum, keep posting and reading others posts, it really will give you the support you need as no-one get it unless they’ve been abused.
    Love and light IWMB 💞💞

  • #87072

    Hi Upsidedowninsideout,

    I agree entirely with Lisa and Iwantmeback that your partner sounds very abusive and you are not the abusive one in this relationship. In all abusive relationships there is a power differential where the abuser holds all the power and disempowers you by using an arsenal of controlling tactics to keep you in the one-down position. Sometimes when feeling frustrated by the abuser’s behaviour or during arguments, the abused partner can react and behave in ways that they wouldn’t normally do. However this is a very understandable reaction to the abuse and doesn’t make you an abuser.

    The way your partner has been treating your daughter is, as Lisa says, completely unacceptable and amounts to physical and emotional abuse, which is very distressing for your child. You’ve mentioned that your partner seems really hurt, but think about all the hurt and emotional pain she has inflicted on you and your daughter. Abusers are by nature very manipulative, and I doubt she’s feeling as hurt as she makes out. Rather, I suspect she’s manipulating you by causing you to feel guilty. I very much doubt that she feels any guilt or remorse about the way she has treated you, because abusers are not only very self-centred, but also lack empathy. It’s all about them and their feelings, never yours.

    Leaving an abusive relationship is really hard and you’ve done very well to set that boundary because you need to protect your daughter. You neither need nor deserve all this pain in your life.

    Love and light, Copperflame.

  • #87101

    Thank you everyone. I’m completely plagued with guilt over my behavior.

    We argued when taking a road trip because she wasn’t being very empathetic when it looked like my bank account had been emptied by fraud. She called me pathetic and mocked me. I snapped, felt like I couldn’t have her with me at the moment, so I handed her her things and told her to make her own way to where she needed to be. I almost immediately relented because I worried about her being safe.

    She told me I was wrong for putting my daughter first. I threw her clothes out the window and told her to find the special **** who would put a partner before a child, because they were welcome to have her.

    On several occasions I told her I was done, and wanted her to leave. She said that made her insecure.

    I have dreams that I tell my therapist these things and he tells me I’m a dangerous person and he can’t work with me anymore.

    I read this back to myself and part of me thinks “well good you didn’t put up with what she was doing”. But the guilt over them in completely crushing.

  • #87124

    Arggh – now she’s on at me about a prescription for a serious illness she has. She wants me to put the repeat in, collect it for her and post it. I agreed to do this, but I noticed it wasn’t even due. Am I being unreasonable saying that whilst I’ll do what I can, she ought to sort this out herself by speaking to a pharmacist?

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account