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    • #166733

      Hi wonderful people!

      It took me a long time to feel confident that I was experiencing abuse. It seems that it’s an almost universal experience to have these doubts.

      My abuser was arrested for what he did to me. The police were disgusted with his behaviour. It doesn’t get much more validating than the police asserting that you’ve had multiple crimes committed against you by this person.

      To those who are on their journey of figuring out what they’re experiencing, I thought I would take a moment to list out some of the things that made me doubt whether I was with an abuser. Read this list knowing that this person was arrested and will likely be charged for his abuse of me. None of these things cancel out or minimise the abuse. If anyone else wants to add their own, we could start a pretty useful resource!

      – He never physically, directly attacked me
      – He didn’t control our finances
      – He was supportive of my career and my future
      – He was not romantically jealous
      – He was an involved father to our son
      – We spent hours discussing philosophy, the world, hopes and dreams
      – He felt like my soulmate and best friend
      – He probably did around half of the housework
      – He always wanted me to be the best version of myself. He supported my efforts with healthy eating, exercise, nice clothes etc.
      – We went on some of the best adventures of my life and laughed and shared and loved the world together
      – He talked a lot about his dislike of sexism and seemed supportive of women’s rights
      – I felt like I could confide in him without receiving judgement
      – I felt completely secure in our relationship; never feared cheating, and always knew that he desired me
      – We moved slowly in the beginning with regards to big commitments, waiting years before moving in together and getting engaged
      – Any time he was angry or aggressive, it seemed to be coming from a place of pain and wounding
      – He needed a lot of comfort, support and reassurance; I didn’t realise how much abuse stems from a place of ‘victim mode’
      – He liked to play at being submissive (how could an abusive controller enjoy the idea of submitting to their partner?!… turns out they absolutely can and it’s part of the same psychology)
      – He went to therapy
      – He (initially) accepted that he had been abusive and wanted to work to change it while respecting my boundaries (this was temporary but seemed terribly sincere)

      I could go on, but the main point is that there will always be reasons to doubt. Even after I accepted that he was abusive, I thought it was ‘nowhere near as bad as what most people go through’. I thought the abuse was technically there but perhaps mild and probably unintentional. The police didn’t even hesitate to want to arrest this man because they were completely appalled.

      Hope this helps someone! Sending all of my love to everyone who is trying to wade through the confusion x

    • #166738

      I think you and I married the same bloke.

      My ex still regularly visits since we share children with one another. Almost every visit is quite pleasant. But also, at every visit, he does something that absolutely reminds me why I left him.

      What always sticks me in the crawl is when he acts like this:

      He talked a lot about his dislike of sexism and seemed supportive of women’s rights

      Since it was International Women’s Day this past week… of course I had to endure him mansplaining it to me.

      • #166870

        @browneyedmum sharing kids with your abuser feels so strange. I can’t seem to be able to completely get rid of the desire to be amicable, even now. When I look him in the eye the urge to be friendly and placating is still there.

        Oh the mansplaining! They’re professionals at it, it drives me nuts. His latest favourite is explaining to me how his friends behaviours are toxic toward their partners.

      • #166873

        IKR??? and I’m like, “Tell me more!” when he talks about what a great advocate for women he is!

    • #166774

      I was just wondering if someone could help me please. A few years ago things as far as I’m concerned things were not right in my relationship. I waited and Waited until I found the courage to contact womens aid. When I contacted them and explained everything they said that his behaviour was wrong and they could see coercion occurring and emotional abuse issues. I was truly thinking of getting my act together and leaving him . I contacted a few places and I had a chance to go . Unfortunately I was a coward and didn’t leave. My life went on and bits of emotional abuse carried on from time to time as usual I put up with it . Once again something horrible occurred where he’s being verbally abusive towards me and I’m hating being in the same spaces as him . There does seem to be a cycle of verbal/emotional abuse ongoing from time to time . Just before Xmas I contacted a local womens aid again due to his behaviour and then once again i chickened out Christmas was due and I didn’t want to spoil anything for outer family who where being invited around for dinner etc . Time moved on and he started again so I got in touch with womens aid again . He’s gone all quiet again . Once again he’s being nice . My head is all over the place. One minute nice the next verbally abusive. I’m now starting to wonder if I’ve done the wrong thing by getting in touch with the womens aid. Is there anyone who could help me please.

      • #166797
        Main Moderator

        Hi Stargazing1,

        You haven’t done anything wrong by contacting Women’s Aid. Abuse can be a cycle of behaviour as you have described and it can be very confusing and exhausting to be around. It can be hard to make decisions as he is continually changing his behaviour. Your local domestic abuse service will understand if you feel ready to reach out again.

        Keep posting to us when you can.

        Best wishes,


    • #166804

      Thank you for the feedback @Lisa . I really appreciate it. The local womens aid got back to me once but I’m still waiting for an appointment to speak with someone. Many many thanks 😊.

    • #166854

      Hi @stargazing1 I just wanted to let you know you are not alone I can relate to something similar, which has been going on for years. With my circumstances I find he has a verbal outburst at me for whatever reason, I’m beyond caring now and then silence. I’m not sure whether why the silence but then when he decides he wants to engage again, we start again. Most of the times I didn’t want to continue with the horrible atmosphere so I just went along with it, like nothing ever happened. Until the next time. That’s the thing there will always be a next time, in my circumstances. It really stresses you out and you live on your nerves. Like living with two different people. I hope you find comfort knowing your not alone. Take care

    • #166864

      Thank you @Gotthatrite , I really appreciate your feedback it does make me feel less alone . It does stress us out your right . There have been many many times when a verbal outburst has occurred and then we go out to do the food shop etc . I’m not always able to put on a brave face so I won’t always walk around with a smile then we see someone we know and the unhappiness is written all over my face but I don’t say anything. Many many times before I would be told you must forget what’s occurred and move on now it’s all part of being married. So part of being married is being shouted at and made to feel really small and underminded . I can’t wait to speak with the DA person about what’s going on because I will hopefully feel like I’m not going crazy . One of the worse things about all of this is my grown up kids who don’t live at home especially my daughter think I’m over reacting and that all couples fall out but you and I both know this is more than just an argument especially when someone is underminding us and blaming us for everything and then never apologising and saying its someone else’s fault. I honestly feel like I can’t win and that I’m wrong about the whole situation and that it’s all my fault. Let’s just hope after talking to the DA person I stop blaming myself. Thank you again for your support and time it truly is very gratefully accepted. Sending hugs.

    • #166866

      I am sat here posting and thinking to myself am I right in what I’m thinking here . I’ve spoken to womens aid in the past explained everything too them . I’ve been here and chatted and yet I still question myself am I over reacting especially when family members who are not seeing what I see say I’m over reacting. On the day that I was verbally abused I was very very upset. I was sat in the living room on my own not knowing what to do . I tried to see if there was any one from womens aid I could text or message but at that time the service was very busy . I text my daughter and told her what had happened she was very kind which I was very surprised about . A few days passed and I told her (removed by moderator). I didn’t tell her why he was shouting at me and even when I told my son I didn’t tell him everything. The next thing you know even though they had asked if I was ok they where asking if he was ok . Which bit don’t they understand or is it me just over Reacting. I was treated like something someone had trod in I wasn’t being treated like a wife should be . I’ve seen many times before where things have been stated that these people are very good at fooling the public and making the public believe they are the kindest people in the world but behind closed doors they are a totally different person. Hopefully I will feel better once I’ve spoken to the DA person and hopefully I won’t keep disbelieving myself.

    • #166867

      Gosh @GreenHope this is some post. I can almost tick oretty much every box you stated above and yet am full of self doubt.
      Last week I was determined we talked and i told him i wanted to leave he agreed to see a counsellor since then he has been so nice its strained theres this bubble that i fear will burst but so far so good so now im not leaving its me my fault im doing this i want attention im seeing things that arent there but yet i read back at my old posts these things happened they really did I cant help that can I?
      Last week i felt like finally i was starting to float keep my head above water today all I want to do is drown.
      Your post what you did what you say are all incredable thank you for sharing.

      know that reaching out to WA is an incredable brave outstanding thing to do be proud of that sweetie keep paddling as I believe in you and I believe you will find your way. Good luck with them let us know how you get on. Stay safe xx

    • #166868

      Thank you so much 💓 @nbumblebee . You take care of yourself too please. We are stronger together ❤️.

    • #166869

      @stargazing1 It’s almost the nice side of them that does the most damage because it confuses the hell out of us!

      It doesn’t matter how many times you need Women’s Aid, how many times you’ve gone back, they’ll be there for you and they would want you to reach out. Don’t feel like you’ve done anything wrong because you haven’t. This stuff is so so hard to figure out. Your confusion is not your fault. Sending you my love.

    • #166871

      Aww @Greenhope , thank you so much for your kindness 💗 it really is appreciated. At least I don’t think I’m over reacting. I’m definitely going to talk over the phone with Womens Aid and tell them even if a quiet spell is occurring. He thinks I’ve forgiven him but I haven’t I was trying to be positive because in the back of my mind I knew I’d been in touch with them via messages and I knew they were going to get back too me . I can’t thank you enough for your support it means the world to me . I wish nothing but the very best for you now and always ❤️. Sending hugs .

    • #166966

      I could have written this. I’ve just contacted my local WA. I have been unhappy for years but never had the strength to do anything. When I went to join this forum I discovered that I joined 8 years ago which actually shocked me.
      I have moments that I feel I’m over reacting. He’s never hit me but has been verbally aggressive, probably gaslighting me too, making me feel like I’m making things up because he will deny stuff that he has said to me. He says he hates liars but he’s one of the biggest liars I’ve ever met. I’ve mentioned us going our separate ways in the past but he tells me not to be stupid as he’s only there at (detail removed by Moderator) (he’s away for work.) and we’ll go our separate ways when the kids grow up.
      He’s constantly on our daughter’s back & things he says to me are being repeated to her. He was extremely aggressive to her (detail removed by Moderator) & it scared me. It ended with him wrecking a door. She now won’t come home when he’s here.
      Now I think an I overreacting? How can I tear my family apart. I know my son won’t want to leave this house & I can’t prepare him for what’s hopefully ahead incase he tells his Dad. My head is all over the place. I haven’t slept or ate properly since (detail removed by Moderator).

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