18th December 2015 at 9:23 pm #6314AnonymousInactive
I’m new here, so firstly hello. I suppose the second thing is that I don’t know if I should be here – I feel like a fraud, especially after reading some other members posts where violence is a part of their daily life – I am blessed that violence has never been a concern for me – but I obviously have other issues which have bought me here. I don’t know if what I’m experiencing is abuse? Am I overreacting? My mum and my best friend both tell me I am being controlled, manipulated and essentially abused, but I want a survivors opinion as I can’t see it myself.
Where do I start? Maybe grab a coffee and sit comfortably as this may take a while.
My partner and I have been together over a decade, we met six months after the breakdown of my last relationship. He told me he loved me very soon after getting together, and I was flattered (especially after the way my previous relationship had ended). We had our first child within two years and I left work because he wanted me to be a stay at home mum and for him to provide for us. I wasn’t happy relying on him for money (no joint accounts just an allowance and he paid all the bills) so I went back to work for a short time. He wasn’t happy but didn’t stop me, just made me feel guilty about leaving our child. I quit after a short while and resumed being a Sahm.
He has issues with jealousy – if I talk about men from work he has a look in his eye and generally his mood turns all sullen and sulky. He denies that he is jealous, but I don’t talk about other men in case I have to deal with his sulking, I hate walking on eggshells. He did have issues with jealousy many years ago, but went to see the dr and was diagnosed with depression. He says that’s stopped and he’s not jealous anymore. Whenever I go out he sulks, it was worse at first and he wouldn’t give me a kiss when I got home, ask how my night had been and would just sulk in the corner. At one point I stopped going out as it was easier then dealing with the mood swings. I am going out everyone and again now, and he still sulks, not quite as much but it’s still there.
I used to have lots of male friends, but he hated them all. It was strictly plutonic and they were like my brothers, he told me they were just using me etc and over the years we have drifted apart. Can’t tell you the last time I saw them – and they were people I spoke to daily and loved – but it was easier to take a side step away from them, then deal with the way he acted around them (moody, rude, didn’t interact) and the sulking afterwards. Man I feel sick thinking about that – how bad have I treated them?
We lived apart for a time (due to work) and i came off antidepressants for the first time in years. Since we have been living together again I’m back on them with a vengeance.
He is almost incapable of saying anything nice to me – everything is a criticism – I’m a r****d for doing this, stupid for doing something else. It’s all said in a joking fashion, but I do feel like my self esteem has taken a dive. I’ve gained a lot of weight since we got together and one thing he does tell me is that I’m beautiful as I am and that I shouldn’t lose weight. I have tried but as much as he says he will
Support me he never really does and I always fall off the wagon. Part of me thinks I sabotage myself as no one will look at me the weight I am and so it stops his jealousy from starting up again. When we were apart he would text me winding me up about a man who fancied me knocking on the door, was i dressing up for him etc etc. It was relentless – even when I told him to stop he continued – it wasn’t until I went crazy at him that he stopped – but then I was too sensitive.
He says that a lot – that I’m getting old, that I can’t take a joke, that I’m too sensitive – but it’s not fun when I’m not laughing and it’s at my expense.
Money wise we are screwed. All I’ve ever wanted was to buy a home of our own. When we were Meant to be saving he racked up a massive amount of debt. When I asked him what it was all about he told me it was none of my business. He says that we never want for anything, if we want something I only have to ask and he will give me the money. I want to be equals, shared bank accounts, shared responsibility for the bills etc – be he says no as it makes no difference. He’s right in that he always gives us things if we need them, but I want to be his equal. I also want to know how the hell he got into such a large debt – but he won’t tell me. I don’t suspect any other women, not his style, but it’s all guesswork anyway.
Since we have been living together again I have gone back to work around our child. I work quite a few hours as he said we needed the money to pay the rent. I was reluctant to give him the money so now I buy all the food for the household. He should have the food money back to pay off his debts, but I don’t think he is.
He has always wasted money – and I’ve never felt able to say no to him as he earns the money while I stay at home. I’ve never said no to him about anything – in all the years we have been together. But now I want us to be more sensible (for our child and its future) he says I’ve changed and I’m miserable and like every other woman alive. He refuses to consider a five year plan for the debt and to cut up his cards.
If I do something he doesn’t like he will call me names (joking), sulk, withold affection, put me on a sex ban etc etc.
Are my mum and best friend making too much of what is c****y behaviour but not abuse?
Need a hug now.
Thank you if you got this far.
18th December 2015 at 11:16 pm #6333LisaMain Moderator
Firstly I want to say that you are definitely not a fraud! Abuse comes in many forms and what you have described is definitely abuse. This is a common problem with emotional abuse that people often have. It is sometimes difficult to know that emotional abuse is actually happening because perpetrators are so good at convincing us it is our fault. This is part of the abuse.
What you have described is subtle control and manipulation. This is not to say it isn’t a serious abuse but merely that your partner is very clever in how he treats you so that you question yourself and have continued to question yourself for many years. Your partner acts in a way that makes you wonder if you are imagining what is happening. This is exactly what he wants. The fact that you lived apart and felt much happier and were able to come off anti depressants is very telling that he plays a huge part in your feeling low and depression.
Have you ever spoken to a specialised domestic abuse service about this? I think that it would help you to speak to someone directly about this. It could help you to understand a little more about what you are going through.
Well done for coming on here and posting honestly about everything, I know that is a difficult first step. The more you can talk openly about this the more you will be able to see clearly what you are going through and that your partner is to blame and not you.
19th December 2015 at 7:37 am #6335KIP.Participant
Definitely abuse. Can you see how by using moods and making you feel uncomfortable, how he then gets you to do what he wants. Like giving up work etc. it’s manipulation. Ask yourself if you would have put up with this behaviour in the early days? Abuse creeps up and becomes our normal. Abuse always gets worse. Apart from that, you are just not happy x contact your local women’s aid. They were great. living with the Dominator is a great book. By Pat Craven. It explains the different tactics abusers use x
19th December 2015 at 7:42 am #6337White RoseParticipant
Hi and here’s a hug (()).
We probably will all read your whole post and recognise parts or all of what you’ve experienced as the same abuse we’ve been subject to too.
Don’t have any doubts. Your mum as best friend are right. This is abuse and I think you probably know it too. You don’t have to be beaten physically to be a victim.
It’s tough when you get to accept it, but you’ve taken a really big step in writing this down.
I’d suggest talk to helpline. They are so heloful. Think about how you can free yourself from the constant belittling and digs and how you can find a way to leave the eggshells behind.
It will be tough now realisation has struck but put yourself and child first. Life doesn’t have to Be what you are living at the moment.
Sending love and hugs and I’m so glad you’re mum and friend are there for you. We all need caring people in our lives xx
20th December 2015 at 4:36 pm #6396AnonymousInactive
I’m so sorry that it has taken me a few days to reply. I think I needed the time to try and process what was said. I am very grateful for you all and for all of your replies. I don’t really know what to do now, but I think that speaking to someone would be a good way forward. I will definitely look into it.
I have started sticking up for myself a bit more since reading your replies. Last night he was trying to dictate to me what I was allowed to buy – and I told him that it was my money and I would buy what I liked. He told me (and jokingly) that if I carried on he would knock me out (showed me his fist), I told him ‘go on then, I’m not scared of you’ and he joke tapped me on the jaw. For the first time there was a hint of fear on my behalf – and I won’t be goading him again.
I don’t think he would actually hit me, he’s never been violent and he knows that I would take out child and leave without hesitation and with just the clothes on our backs, but I’m starting to question how much I know him. Maybe because I know it’s abuse that I am experiencing I am reading too much into things now?
Such a tough situation. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart for the support. It makes me feel less alone.
Huge hugs to you all x
20th December 2015 at 6:25 pm #6401KIP.Participant
You are fearful of your partner. That’s enough of a warning. Listen to your gut. Also, abusers are most dangerous when they are losing control. By ‘sticking up for yourself’ you are playing with fire x he doesn’t believe for a minute that you would take his child. In his mind, that would never happen as he’s in charge. Have you read ‘living with the dominator’ by Pat Craven?
21st December 2015 at 10:30 am #6428Amethyst15Participant
Well done for posting and reading through definitely abuse and that old chestnut ‘too sensitive’ when you try to tackle the abusive put downs. Your last post is more worrying as he is showing some veiled aggression which may escalate. I suffered years of control and manipulation and my ex was very aggressive if things didn’t go his way. The situation with your ex won’t get better – they rarely change(read ‘why does he do that’ lundy bancroft – an eye opener if you are questioning if it’s abuse). It is very hard to think straight when you are constantly subjected to abuse. The helpline can advise you of local support which, in turn, will give you a chance to speak to someone about what’s been happening and what you can do about it.
Keep posting as the ladies on here can really relate to uour experiences and that in itself is a comfort that you are not alone x
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