22nd October 2023 at 6:47 pm #162563survivorandproudParticipant
Hi, I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for (detail removed by Moderator) months. I previously was in a very abusive (emotional and physical) relationship around (detail removed by Moderator) years ago. I then entered a healthy one for (detail removed by Moderator) years but that ended for differing reasons. My boyfriend now is quite forward and direct. But I am starting to see things which I just need advice on.
He is quite playful in his humour and dark. So he will call me names but he’ll joke and it’s played off as ‘banter’ so he will say I smell, that I eat like a monster, that my feet are like flippers. I feel I do a lot for him and his interests and hobbies. I am taking an interesting into one hobby he enjoys and that means it takes up most of our time together. I do feel he doesn’t do the same for me, he wouldn’t go to an activity I wished to attend and doesn’t really take an interest in what I like including watching the films I like. I do feel he is the most happy when it’s what he wants to do but because I just like to keep people happy, I go along with it. I feel the base of our relationship is what he wants to do.
I wouldn’t say he is particularly controlling, but I don’t feel very loved. I feel he just wants me when he wants me, if he has something to do, it doesn’t matter. I was quite poorly not long ago and he shouted at me. I’m quite an anxious person and I rang him when my friend was drunk in the local town and he ended the call saying he didn’t want to listen. He doesn’t like to be hugged all the time so I need nervous when I try to in bed. I am not sure if I’m am seeing this as ‘abusive’ as I’ve been through so much worse and I just feel so lonely and isolated. Any advice is appreciated
22nd October 2023 at 7:14 pm #162564maddogParticipant
He’s being pretty cruel to you isn’t he. He’s calling you things to undermine you and using you to feed his own needs. You don’t need to be mashed to a pulp and raped at knife point to be abused. This man sounds absolutely horrible. A nasty piece of work. And yes, he is abusing you. He’s treating you as you might use a tap or a car. Basically an object that requires no consent and no communication.
Abuse can be apparently subtle. My childhood was abusive and my ex husband abused me in different ways so I didn’t recognise the red flags. Please keep posting. You’re in the right place.
22nd October 2023 at 8:24 pm #162567survivorandproudParticipant
Thank you for this. We haven’t been in a relationship for a long time but I guess I’m just confused he has such nice moments and was so lovely in the beginning. So I question myself as to whether it is ‘abuse’ but thank you for your message I appreciate it
22nd October 2023 at 9:09 pm #162569OctoberSunshineParticipant
Maybe in the first instance try and ask yourself whether you think this person’s behaviour is healthy?
Only because for me I found it a lot harder to label things as abuse when I was in it.
It sounds like you’re doing a lot to meet his needs, but he isn’t very good at meeting your’s. Even when you express some of your feelings, he is quick to silence them, by acting irrationaly.
Where he passing off name-calling as banter, this paves a way to cross your boundaries more and more. When you warn him off, he resorts to saying that you are unable to take a joke. This behaviour is manipulitive and considers to be gaslighting.
Where you said that “you like to keep people happy” and “do whatever he wants to do” as much as this is, what you believe to be a positive quality, it is also the exact quality that is attractive to a person who’s only interest is themselves. It probably also applies to the part where you mentioned that “he wants you when he wants you” this indicates that he only wants you on his terms.
In the part where you said he has trouble hugging you in bed, it could indicate that you may be stepping on eggshells around his problems with intimacy.
It is important in any relationship to remain true to yourself, it does sound like your struggling to be yourself and express your frustrations to work out a feasible solution or compromise, without him either discarding you completely, or verbally attacking you.
If this treatment is happening (detail removed by Moderator) months into the relationship, it is very unlikely it will get better.
Finally just because you have been through worse, doesn’t make the treatment you are recieving here, is any better. Your time, energy and love are better spent invested in someone who would truly appreciate you and fully embrace you as a person as you would them.
As much as it is difficult, it’s probably best to go no-contact and pull the plug earlier on, than to be in it for too long and impact your mental health any further.
23rd October 2023 at 12:22 am #162573maddogParticipant
Spot on, OctoberSunshine. They kick off with the love bombing and the mirroring. They’re not going to reel you in by immediately calling you Fat flapper toes and telling you directly that they actually hate women, and to them, you’re just a tool who’ll do for now. Abusers want to reel you in fast. (detail removed by Moderator) months is no time.
This man is no better than your former abuser. His tactics may be different. If you stay with him, things will become worse. The Freedom Programme run by WA, or Imatter through Victim Support are good ways to start understanding the dynamics of abuse
23rd October 2023 at 3:51 am #162574AloneWolfParticipant
This sounds so much like my ex. We always did things he liked to do, if I suggested anything it would be shut down. He’d say things like “or we could do this…” and I learnt that whatever he said is what we would do. He would frequently tell me that I am lazy and boring and that if I wanted to do something we could but only if we got up early and were ready ‘on time’. One time we had arranged to go somewhere for my daughter’s college project. He said we could all go (gave us permission to go!) if we were up and ready to leave by a certain time. We were ready about 2 or 3 minutes after this time, but it was too late, he massively kicked off and said he was not coming with us. Me and my daughter went but I was on edge the whole time we were there, wondering what consequences I would face when we got back. I couldn’t enjoy it and got very anxious, hurrying my along so we weren’t out too long.
He never asked me what I wanted to watch on TV, he just put on what he wanted and that’s what we had to watch. Me and my daughter used to love watching films but he didn’t, so we weren’t allowed to. He would say it’s not his thing.
He always did what he wanted to do and said I knew what he was like when I met him, he wasn’t going to change. But he stopped me doing what I wanted to do, gaslighting me in the process. He allowed me to do certain things, with conditions and he allowed and even encouraged me to see certain people who he approved of. He did this so he could throw it back at me whenever I tried to tell him how controlled I felt.
He took away everything so I had no joy in my life, and I didn’t have a voice to express what I liked or how I felt.
With the name calling and ‘banter’ (I really despise that word!!), ask yourself how he would react if you did the same to him?
23rd October 2023 at 8:05 am #162586browneyedmumParticipant
Mine started off with “friendly” banter as well. He made it a game of “who could cut the other lower”? But all in jest of course until one time it cut a bit deep and I asked him to stop. He stopped, but then a week later was mourning that we couldn’t “joke around” like we used to.
I do also resonate around how our shared time were all about his interests. Especially in the past (detail removed by Moderator) where he hasn’t been working, so he has all of the great ideas about what to watch on streaming services. It seems to erode on my interests where he has 0 interest, so my interests aren’t worthy of interest.
He also became very aggressively protective of his time out with his friends. Even though he goes out (detail removed by Moderator) times per week to see his friends, if on the odd occasion I have an opportunity to see my friends and it happens to overlap one of his ‘usual’ times, he won’t bend… and in fact, I earn his rage because I’m not looking after his needs.
It started with the banter.
23rd October 2023 at 9:27 am #162594Friends123Participant
I left my partner (detail removed by Moderator) months ago, I am still struggling to decide whether or not it will be taken seriously as abuse as it doesnt seem as bad to me as what other people go through, He did get physical a few times which i have some photo evidence of and mentally he was horrible with name calling and threats. #My dilemma now is that I have just heard he is dating a younger girl and I am not sure whether i should report him as i would hate someone else to feel the way he made me feel but worried it will be seen as me over exaggerating about someone who is just angry and lashes out in the wrong way
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