This topic contains 24 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  KIP. 2 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #97320

    Been in the relationship (detail removed by moderator). Got argumentative after around a year and he had a very volatile temper. Not violent (can grab me, shove past, block the door but not actually hit me) but loud shouting, intimidating and he’s a big guy.
    Can be lovely then out of nowhere find myself in a huge big scene.
    It tends to be his way or the highway. How the house should be cleaned, how much I drink – I’m my own person and I don’t let him walk all over me and over time gave as good as I got shouting wise. But when I reflect it would be as result of him poking and prodding on something. I hate conflict but I also wasn’t prepared to be his victim.
    I don’t like the change in me. I’ve read why does he do that and recognise he is mr right with a huge sense of entitlement.
    In the last (detail removed by moderator) I have come to wonder if it’s actual abuse as opposed to a volatile relationship. I’ve read about coercive conttrol and narcissistic behaviour. I hate that I recognise it in him.
    Yes he can be so lovely and Charming too.
    Anyway – most recent incident (detail removed by moderator). All day things were fine, better than fine. Then I said I was popping out to (detail removed by moderator) (my ex could have dropped them off but I hadn’t seen them for a while, we have maintained a good relationship and they have been under the weather)
    When I got back I sensed a change in atmosphere – small things like the tone of voice. I tried to act like things were fine. But he then criticised me for having a glass of wine. He said he had been watching my drinking habits over the last 2 weeks and was concerned. He was doing the whole I’m only doing it because I care routine but it annoyed me because I don’t have a drinking problem and felt he was using the glass of wine as an excuse to annoy me. I pointed out that as an Adult I can make my own choices and that I thought his diet was less than perfect too – too much sweets, junk food but that was his choice. I deliberately remained calm. After around 10 mins of this I said that I thought the real reason we were getting into a bicker was nothing to do with the glass of wine and actually because he was upset I have visited (detail removed by moderator). Well of course this was denied and resulted in him sulking off upstairs for the rest of the night. He then left for wrk (detail removed by moderator) without a word, didn’t come home at all that night, got a text saying where he would be Thursday which then turned into a text bicker (I said it was nice that he told me but given he hadn’t the previous night why bother now and that I was getting really fed up with the who constant arguments about nothing that escalate). (detail removed by moderator) finished with him saying well if you want a divorce that’s fine.
    (detail removed by moderator) morning a text suggesting I invite some of my family round for dinner. As if nothing has happened?
    I stay quiet all day then send a neutral text back. He comes in last night we barely speak, I end up on couch for a few hours cause I can’t stand the atmosphere. This morning he hugs me and says he loves me and never wants divorce. He then replayed what happened (detail removed by moderator) – completely missing out his comments about my drinking and how he had been watching me. In his eyes I told him 4 times he was in a bad mood when he wasn’t. That was the problem. I’ve asked him does he not remember the lead up to that and he had said it’s not him with the head problem it’s me. He blames my menopause and hormones and says I forget things and it was all me on Tuesday and if I am going to reinvent the story we are over. He then walked out again.
    He has now gone out leaving me totally totally baffled. I know what happened. I know I walk on eggshells to avoid an argument and only calmly said what I thought was annoying him on (detail removed by moderator) because he was making such a big thing over a glass of wine.
    My confusion is – does he really believe his version of events – in which case he really does have a problem. Or does he know but is deliberately trying to turn it on me.
    Both scenarios are pretty rubbish – i struggle to believe it’s deliberate as that suggests a really cold calculating person underneath and mostly he is not.
    Is he just so wrapped up in having to be right at any cost he re writes things in his head and believes them, genuinely believing himself to be the injured party? And if that’s the case I feel sorry for him but can’t go on feeling that I am always the one at fault.
    We split up for over (detail removed by moderator) over a huge fight as he was getting controlling with my teenagers. Most people were sympathetic to me, including his parents who know how volatile and opinionated he can be. But we gave it another try.
    I now have the awkwardness of a family event on his side today. Do I put on a face and go or do I made a decision and say no more. I don’t want to hurt his family and given they know the history it’s going to be obvious we have issues if I don’t turn up. But he has decided not to attend some things with my family in the past (of course he will conveniently forget that today)
    I think of the last year – he has picked an arguement (or escalated something we have disagreed on until it’s become a arguement) on his birthday, my birthday, Christmas Day. Coincidence? Then smiles and gives me a hug and says let’s stop being daft. I spend the rest of the day putting a face on but inwardly thinking what the heck?
    I don’t know if it’s deliberate or he really doesn’t know what he is doing or has selective memory. I read it’s all part of the game to keep me off balance but I really struggle to accept he can do that yet sti be so kind to me and others at other times.
    As usual – my head is scrambled, I’m frustrated and over thinking everything

  • #97321

    Hi, the simple answer is yes, he knows exactly what he’s doing and he does it when there are no witnesses so it’s calculated for maximum impact. It’s beyond devastating to accept you’re being abused by someone you love and you think loves you in return. Have you read Living with the Dominator? It’s a good book to explain his actions. He won’t ever change but you can change you behaviour to recognise what’s going on and consider an exit plan. Grabbing and shoving is violent and is illegal. Blocking the door is illegal. You’re minimising his behaviour like we all did. Can you imagine a boyfriend of your daughter, sister or mother behaving this way. Google the cycle of abuse. The honeymoon period is designed to keep us trapped in the relationship, always waiting for the next honeymoon period when we think he will change back for good but that man doesn’t exist. It’s a mask he wears to keep you hooked in to the fantasy we were sold in the beginning. Build a support network, women’s aid, your GP, friends who understand domestic abuse. It’s not a volatile relationship when he’s thriving and you’re a shell of a person. Read the other posts on here. You’re not alone x

  • #97322

    Keep a secret journal of all the incidents right from the beginning. I bet you find there have been red flags all along but you just didn’t recognise them. The domestic abuse helpline are a great support as are your local women’s aid x

  • #97323

    Thanks. I’ll order that book. I know there have been red flags – I just wanted to believe it was unintentional and we would learn to rub along without friction.
    He is now saying he will take the blame because he knows it’s “my memory” that’s the problem. I came back on (detail removed by moderator) looking for a fight, he doesn’t know why. He completely dismissed the conversation about my drinking and said that was AFTER I said he was creating an atmosphere.
    I’ve said I am not accepting that, I know what happened and it’s not my memory. So he had left this time “for good” without actually taking anything with him of course.
    So fed up with the energy sapping cycle. I’m standing firm and being strong but it’s mentally exhausting

  • #97326

    It’s designed to be mentally exhausting. It’s not about your drinking or your behaviour or his behaviour. You could be the most perfect partner in the world and he would just find something else to abuse you about. Abuse is what they do. It’s designed to confuse and keep us spinning looking at our behaviour and putting the spotlight anywhere but on his abusive behaviour. The ‘I’m Leaving’ thing is also very common. He’s going nowhere for long. He’s using this as a probe to see how you will react and what mileage he can get from your reactions. Push and Pull. It’s only with zero contact your brain fog will clear and you will see exactly what his game is. It’s extremely painful but the man you think you love is destroying you piece by piece for his own warped gratification. Just focus on you and what you want. Engaging with an abuser is pointless. They will twist and lie and gaslight and guilt trip and frighten us and make us feel obligated to them, when all we want is to be treated in a caring respectful way. They don’t change and you can see he doesn’t want to. He thinks he’s doing nothing wrong. Save yourself and any children you have from years more of this misery.

  • #97327

    I agree he doesn’t think he had done anything wrong.
    And the obligation thing – he brought up something this morning from (detail removed by moderator) years ago I should still be grateful for and be taking into consideration now!

  • #97329

    It’s crazy making behaviour. It drove me to depression and suicidal thoughts so please don’t underestimate the effect this will be having on you. Do you remember before you met him when your were confident and never doubted yourself. I began reality testing almost everything. I spent decades not knowing what he was doing to me. I wish I’d had this forum and women’s aid back then but as a victim we often blame ourselves and it doesn’t help that our abusers blame us too. It’s brainwashing, and programming and they’re all the same. When you read Living with the Dominator your eyes will be truly opened, they even use the same phrases. You’re delusional, you’re frigid, it was just a joke, you take everything too seriously, you pushed my buttons, you knew I’d be angry, if you hadn’t done x I wouldn’t have done y. I wouldn’t want to live without you. If you leave me I’d kill myself.
    I’m sure there are many you could add. All designed to coerce and control. And we just don’t see it coming we are so messed up by their behaviour because we and no one we know would deliberately hurt someone they ‘love’. Trying to get your head round that one is a shocker. Knowledge Is Power. KIP

  • #97334

    Flipping w****o. Back now. I thought I’d better go to family event, got ready and went downstairs – he is surprised saying he has already cancelled and told his family why.
    So why is he here – sitting watching tv with my son – like nothing is happening??
    Why doesn’t he go?
    He is playing the whole it’s my house as much as yours card (it’s not, I own it and did before he came along)
    Smug self absorbed B*****rd.
    He gets to sit like he owns the place having told his family no doubt a pack of lies with him as the victim. I get to sit here fuming and asking why is he here

  • #97339

    He stays because he feels entitled and he enjoys the high he gets from seeing you distressed. you can bet he’s badmouthing you to anyone who will listen. This is so that when his abuse is exposed he’s got in there first to discredit you. My ex was doing it to my son and step daughter behind my back. Involving my son in his lies and dysfunctional behaviour to save his reputation. Again it’s crazy making behaviour. To just sit like nothing has happened and we feel like the mad one.

  • #97388

    Yesterday I was full of anger at the situation. Today I’m upset and emotional and scared and want to cry.
    After an awkward day of him being all nice in the house with the kids there and me seething inside after getting ready to go to family thing and realising at last minute we weren’t. Uncomfortable – I was going to exclude him from dinner then thought that makes me look the petty one.
    After dinner he headed upstairs we didn’t the speak again until early hours. I’d slept downstairs a while but was cold and uncomfortable. Went up to bed and he hugged into me. Then started trying to initiate more and I said no, I thought that would muddy the waters and I didn’t want to talk just now just sleep.
    So he basically said – so you are willing to throw away everything and that’s that. I said that whilst we had had mainly good tunes I didn’t want to carry in the way we were with Constant bickers.
    He got up and left early hours. I know where he has gone and he will be on his own.
    I just feel drained, confused, scared, it all seems so dramatic and sudden.
    Last time we separated for a time it was for a really obvious thing where he was very clearly in the wrong and what he did impacted on my daughter.
    This time it’s over a bicker about having a glass of wine on a school night because the bottle was already opened!!! Who chucks their marriage away over that?!
    I know it’s much more – it’s the accumulation of many bickers. It’s the suspicion he sees himself as more entitled and gets some sort of pleasure from the drama.
    Then I worry that because I have read the books and googled about abuse I’m looking for things and making mountains out of molehills.
    I’m scared I’m chucking away what can be a good relationship and my plans for a future and it’s because I’m the crazy one.
    I’m doubting myself, I’m feeling like I have been mean and dramatic. I’m thinking yesterday’s family event will never happen again and we can never fix that we just didn’t go. I feel bad
    I’m ranting here because I don’t know what else to do!!!
    I just want to feel content and normal. I’m scared I need to make a decision right now about whether to just chuck it and I make the wrong one.
    I’m scared I’ll regret it as I reflect on the good stuff. I’m scared I take him back and regret it when the cycle continues.
    Does anyone ever really know?
    It’s hard because it’s so difficult to know if it’s actual intentional abuse or just my interpretation and I’m over reacting

  • #97389

    What you describe come from years of abuse. The confusion and the guilt. How many chances have you actually given him. How many times have you taken him back and said to yourself, this is his last chance. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Him leaving is another abuser tactic. You’re supposed to feel this way, to doubt yourself. Nobody in our world would treat someone so badly unless they deserved it? So we doubt ourselves. Thinking it must be me because it just isn’t right that I’d get treated so badly unless it was my fault? Wrong. Abusers abuse and it always gets worse. Try to contact your local women’s aid and meantime don’t dance to his tune. Back off, ignore him and when his mind games don’t change your mind what out for the real nasty him. I know it’s painful to realise the person we love deliberately hurts us but you can recover from this. Keep reaching out and slowly it will all make sense.

  • #97430

    Thanks KIP
    You’ve been a great help this weekend.
    He is trying to reorder events to justify his behaviour. He may even believe his revised version is correct. He is turning what should be minor issues into big bickers, over reacting then blaming it on my behaviour.
    I don’t know why. I’ve read why does he do that and living with the dominator and it’s so hard to pair up that version of him with the good side.
    I wonder if he has a mental illness but then I read he would be like this with everyone, not just me.
    I spend too much time over analysing why he acts in a certain way when I should be focussed of what do I want.
    It’s hard with the brain fog they create. It’s hard when the issues seem so petty and you wonder if it’s you over reacting.
    You wonder how you can change and improve things. Then you wonder why do I have to make the changes when I don’t think I am the problem!!!!
    I wish I had a crystal ball to see to versions of the future – one with and one without him to help me make up my mind!!

  • #97431

    Sadly you just have to read the stories on here to see where your life is going if you stay. But also women leave abuse and return on average 7 times so it shows you the hold and the difficulty in facing the reality. I can tell you that I had to satisfy myself that I’d done everything I could to make it work but it takes two to make a relationship work and he simply wasn’t interested in anything but being top dog at my expense. Something will click for you one day and you will realise what’s going on. He will cross a line and there will be no going back. Abuse always gets worse. Why don’t you go to a domestic abuse counsellor on your own. Don’t tell him but it might help you make sense of why you stay. Why you put up with this dysfunctional abuse. It might make you strong enough to walk off into the 🌅 sunset. Safely x feel free to personal message me anytime x KIP

  • #97443

    Hi headspinning, this sounds identical to the situation I was in for many years, until my final straw was when he pushed my son in anger on the day he was moving out to his dads at which I was totally heart broken that was it for me. It should have happened a long time before that when I found out my daughter had self harmed and she said it was because of him, I feel so guilty I had stayed as she was crying out for help, I didn’t feel I could leave as we have a younger daughter together and I didn’t feel I had anywhere to go as it was his house we had moved into so I just stayed. I have now been out now a few months and so much more relaxed. The only down fall about this is I have to share my younger daughter 50/50 with him so still have contact with him, which he still tries to humiliate/undermine me in front of her but slowly I am teaching her that is not the way to talk and treat people.

  • #97455

    Thanks for sharing that Rainbowdrop.
    One of my worries is that my kids decide they have had enough and just decide to go to their dads to live. We share custody and have an amicable relationship. My kids love me and things are probably not bad enough for them to do that as they wouldn’t want to leave me alone I suspect. But they have gone from being kids who got on well with him and we had fun times to teenagers who at best tolerate him and certainly resent him.
    He had a real issue with my daughter last year which culminated in one night going completely over the top on something and we split up for a short while. He wheedled his way back in and since then has backed off that track a bit, but I always wondered if he was genuinely concerned about her attitude and behaviour or if he was trying to create a divide and another victim to pjayveith. How horrible a thought is that?
    Couple of minor examples of things that happen in the house:-
    He has been up early(through choice) has had a bit more driving than normal on a particular day, so goes to bed around 9.15 (detail removed by moderator) So I either have to just comply and not bake a big deal of it or stick up for being an independent adult with my own choice about bedtime – but know there will be another arguement with him saying how selfish I am being. If the role was reversed I wouldn’t dream of banging the floor, I may ask for the volume to be put down if the sound was travelling but that’s all.
    Another example – I kiss everyone in the cheek when I say goodbye – friends, relatives, kids – I just do. This includes my ex (who, as I have said, I remain on positive terms with). A number of times our paths have crossed together (eg a school concert) and the ex in laws have been there too. To not give my ex a peck on the cheek now after all these years when it’s just what I do in that circumstance would be like making a big bold statement and would create more awkwardness than is really necessary. It means nothing, it’s so minor, my ex does not interpret this as a sign I’m suddenly wanting to get back together, it’s nice the kids see mum and dad are able to get on, it’s nice for our parents. But guess who has an issue? Guess who will be sulking like a kids later? Guess who has told me he doesn’t like it and I shouldn’t do it? Again, I find myself trying not to if he is going to witness it. Am I being inconsiderate to his feelings or is he being contolling to me?
    By not going to bed when he wants to am I being selfish? By giving my ex a peck on the cheek when we are both in the same place and I am doing that with everyone else and have done for years me being inconsiderate?
    Just 2 minor moments but the sun up hundreds of other examples I could think of I am sure.

  • #97457

    These examples sound so petty but it’s when you add them together then throw in the occasional big b**w out it adds up.
    All interspersed with happy times watching a box set (of my choosing)
    I ask myself do I expect too much and do I not pick and over analyse everything because when we sit holding hands watching my programmes I think I am just blowing the other stuff out of proportion
    He is a hot head who blows up then calms down
    But then the niggling suspicion starts again…

  • #97460

    Hi, my ex did the same. When I’d been on a night out he’s pick on anything to start a fight or even just a bad atmosphere. He wasn’t pleased that I was out enjoying myself so he thought he’d ruin it and also make me think twice before going out again. Think back to when you were enjoying yourself or looking forward to something. Does he pull the rug? Same as the walk. What’s wrong with going for a nice walk? I thunk in his head he’s thinking she’s not telling me what to do. So he tries to reassert control with moods again programming you for next time you might just go on the bike as it’s too much hassle to argue. These incidents are subtle but add up to a huge problem for you x try to keep a journal and don’t be fooled by the happy times. Our brain pushes the happy times to the front so keep that journal so you can see a pattern. Next time you’re happy, watch for his reaction. I remember laughing at a tv programme and caught him out the corner of my eye staring at me. I own you. He said. Little incidents give the game away x stay safe

  • #97462

    Jeckyl and Hyde. My ex could be raging one minute then nice the very second someone appeared. Just shows you the emotions are fake x

  • #97465

    Yes – I have seen before he can be going nuts at me then answer the phone like nothing is wrong.
    I started the journal today and am scoring each day on how I feel from -10 to +10 then noting why.
    It’s amazing how many tines I can remember an argument but can’t remember what started it so the journal will help.

  • #97467

    I will bet the majority of your feelings stem from his behaviour. It was only with my ex I could be reduced to tears and depression. If you took him out the equation the rest of my life was fine. Try to be kind to yourself as it’s incredibly painful to open your heart to the truth. I’d definitely advise you to engage with your local women’s aid for support x

  • #97469

    This could have been written by me. Almost identical and I feel like I am in the same position as you in that I don’t actually believe he does it intentionally. I genuinely think it is ingrained in his personality and he is a clinical n********t. The problem I have is whether or not to stay or whether I can live with it because like you said, he can be great and I love him. It’s a really hard place to find yourself. Keep talking. This forum helps so much xx

  • #97470

    Try to remove all the good stuff and ask yourself if you would put up with someone like this. The good stuff is what keeps us hooked in. It’s an illusion, an act and it will always get worse. It’s a cycle of abuse where we are always trying to get back to the lovely person he portrayed himself as but the real him is a nasty selfish individual who would quite happily watch your destruction. Be aware that these men are entitled and quite often will cheat, steal money, financially abuse, sexually abuse, physically abuse, emotionally and mentally abuse. Nothing is off limits. The longer you stay, the more of yourself you lose. Stay safe x

  • #99365

    A couple of friends have told me that I am a broken women since I moved in with boyfriend and ******(detail removed by moderator) years’ ago. For the first time ever in my (detail removed) years have I been called that, been lied to, had lies told about me, had lies told about my family by *****. How can a (detail removed) year old woman be brought to her knees by this (detail removed) year old? It’s unheard of.
    Gaslighting? I’d never heard of it before I came here.

  • #99391

    Hi restorer girl
    This forum is great for opening your eyes.
    Thanks for commenting on this because it’s actually an old post from me 6 weeks ago.
    It was really interesting to read it again now – it’s horrifying how confused and upset I was. He’s moved out now, and as KIP predicted – he had no real intention of finishing it. It was all to teach me a lesson.
    Well boy has it back fired – my survival instinct has kicked back in and whilst we are still in contact and he is still trying every tactic to lull me into letting him back – I am absolutely refusing to let him back here.

    I’ve had a particularly back few days with his persona changing about 4 tines as he continues to contact me and try to lull me back. No suggestion of what will change of course – that would involve too much effort.

    I wouldn’t say it’s easy – I’m probably back where I started because I allow myself to ft drawn into conversations / and I am now seeing the potential benefits of no contact.

    But when I read my original posts back I know I am making progress, I know I am blaming myself less and I know my survival instinct won’t allow me to roll over again. Xx

  • #99401

    Hang onto that survival instinct. Your brain will be following the pattern he’s programmed it to follow for your own safety but listen to that survival gut instinct, it’s never wrong x

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