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    • #167557

      Hi everyone,

      I just recently made the first step on my journey to hopefully ending and leaving my abusive relationship, I confided in a chatroom advisor on women’s aid the other day. It’s such an awful feeling because I have known from the beginning this relationship isn’t right, the abuse was so obvious but I was only a teen when we got together and I felt that because I had been jealous and insecure in a previous relationship that perhaps I deserved it a bit, maybe I could even change him given enough time. Now in our 30s and have a child together and starting to seriously consider leaving as I don’t want my baby girl to go through the same c**p I did growing up with an abusive Dad. My abuser is unemployed due to mental health issues, has had therapy for it several times but only seems to help until it finishes and I usually press him to get it in the first place. Has had several periods of very short term employment where he leaves due to one reason or another, aggravates his mental health, can’t physically do it, managers are terrible etc. so now we are on (removed by moderator) (which I applied for him entirely). He loves playing video games, collecting books, (removed by moderator) and spends excessive amounts on his hobbies, which isn’t a problem in itself so much as the fact that he doesn’t bother controlling his spending at all. Even when we had shared jobseekers money a long time ago he would spend most of it on himself, his stuff takes up so much space but as long as he has all his things nicely housed and arranged he doesn’t care. He barely does any housework, some of it due to mental health but also just laziness, even when he does do it makes out like he does it more, wants a medal for it and then complains if he has to do it more than a few times. All admin and responsibility for bills and home management is mine due to incompetence on his part, he won’t even attempt to figure out how to do it because I’m better at these things and he doesn’t know what to do. I bought him a mobile phone once on a contract because I was working and he had no money and I still upgrade it and pay for it to this day.

      It started with him showing interest in me at a place we both went to for music and drinking with friends, I was a bit tentative as I had just left a relationship where I was still a bit attached to my ex. He started ignoring me then I found out he had got with someone else so I was really disappointed as I liked him, then I started seeing someone else but it was a short (removed by moderator) thing because this guy was a type of abusive that I wasn’t falling for. Then suddenly he began talking to me again when his other relationship broke down and we ended up going out, he moved everything really fast, sex on the first night together, asked to move in with my parents and proposed over the next year or so.

      I was in college and everything was ok for the first (removed by moderator) months then I disclosed my sexual past to him in casual conversation and it all started going downhill. He got extremely jealous and angry, started asking me questions about what I did with who, did I still know them and talk to them, did I really tell him everything or was there more? He didn’t say it to me directly but heavily implied I was a $lut. This was all from before even my previous relationship so a couple of years earlier, I got upset and angry and remember telling at him to get out and leave while crying, then he confused me by bursting into tears and hugging me saying sorry and he wouldn’t do it again. Obviously it did. This was a regular reoccurrence until I became numb to it, but still with the feelings of anxiety whenever the topic came up again. He made me delete people off Facebook that I had any sexual past with and got really suspicious of me, he made me stop hugging other men (removed by moderator) (people I had befriended before meeting him) to the point I got so nervous talking to my friends and avoided them. I also missed a lot of lessons as he always said he missed me every day I went in and loved spending time with me. Stupid me. He would even keep me awake if we were having an argument while going to sleep because he wasn’t finished even though I was fed up. I got so scared of bumping into men I knew while we were outside together, I ignored someone I knew once on a bus because I was terrified. Even when we had arguments outside he would keep following me if I tried to walk off and carry on the argument, I literally couldn’t get away from him even before he moved in. He has since apologised for his behaviour in the past and “(removed by moderator),” although I’m less convinced and feel like it’s only because he is so sure of his hold on me that I will do what he wants and because I work in a female dominated job so there isn’t much threat.

      Thinking about it, he even got funny about clothes I was wearing (the type of clothes I wore when we first met and got together) how revealing it was etc. I don’t wear clothes like that anymore really more due to practicalities but I still have had comments when dressing up for nights out without him. I ended up working somewhere an ex of mine worked once and when I told him he was so angry, (Detail removed by moderator). My abuser would visit me at work often, usually for lunch but sometimes when he wanted to vent about something at home as well (very awkward when you deal with the public) (removed by moderator).

      I hated my job anyway due to the anxiety of dealing with customers so I started trying to find another job, eventually getting one I felt was my dream job and things started to get better. I had to take the train to work quite a distance so there was no way he could turn up because he is useless with public transport, so the most I had to do was phone him at lunch and maybe respond to some texts throughout the day. (removed by moderator). He hated that I went to work do’s occasionally because he couldn’t come with, but he would tell me I need to leave by a certain time to come back because he missed me and was concerned for my safety once it got dark and when travelling alone. He would always meet me at the train station closest to home and walk me back, but also complained about it while making out he was doing me a favour. He would get irritable if I didn’t let him know when I was coming back or taking too long to leave and texted me frequently, but I just thought it was normal and better than what he was like before so I put up with it.

      Fast forward to the pandemic. Stress at home at all time high as I am furloughed a lot and stuck with abusive partner (Detail removed by moderator).Relationship seems better again, our own place and space, our pets with us, freedom and independence, things are looking up. Slowly goes back into laziness where he hardly helps or gets out of bed due to mental health, but still I become convinced we should have a baby (after saying no to him multiple times over the years as I refused to have a child while living at home). He says we should do it because there is never a right time, we finally have our own place blah blah and sulks every time I change my mind because “I’m messing with his emotions.” I become pregnant, (removed by moderator), we all seem to be one big happy family for a while. Birth is traumatic, (removed by moderator). We end up asking to move back with my parents for more space and help with the baby. Worst decision of my life (apart from marriage to abuser haha). All goes wrong within weeks, no space because of all the stuff we moved with, takes ages to sort, trying to figure out how to go back to work end of mat leave (removed by moderator). We move again.

      Baby is now becoming a toddler, I return to work while abuser stays at home looking after child as he is unemployed. He can’t hack it, my child is upset and misses me, I slowly feel more guilty and burnt out.(Detail removed by moderator). He words things differently to every single person he talks to depending on how he wants to be perceived, always has. I start to feel better, gradual return to work, straight away abuser can’t cope and neither can child even on shorter days. Has suggested me leaving my job but doesn’t want me to give it up because I worked so hard for it. Refuses to get childcare (removed by moderator) What option do I have left? Obviously only to leave, but doesn’t want me to feel like he made me give it up. I propose numerous solutions but each time he will say if only X could happen it would be fine (removed by moderator).I now feel sure that he wants me to give up my job or keep going until I get fired so it isn’t his fault. I love my child and I would give up my job, but I do love my job too and it would make money VERY tight, he has already expressed that he doesn’t want to give up his spending money to make it work. We will probably end up in debt unless I find another very specific job.

      Did I mention he also says, “I love you” several times a day and gets funny if I don’t say it back? Not in a nice way, more like a “checking you still love me?” Way, he has also said this exact sentence many times.

      When we got together he made me feel odd for my kinks in the beginning so I didn’t push him thinking it wasn’t fair, but then he started getting other fetishes like mine or more extreme, I would always try to participate but usually ended up feeling uncomfortable or upset. As time went on I wanted less and less sex, it became painful and I didn’t know why. He regularly pesters me for sex, if I don’t want it he gets angry and sulky, eventually I will find a way to do it so he gets off my back for another week or so. I have put lots of boundaries in place around things I don’t want to do but he says he respects it and then makes hints about something he wants or makes me do it anyway I’m the heat of the moment, then apologises afterwards.

      And yet, I still feel bad about the idea of leaving him. To fend for himself with no experience of living alone, of separating him from his child, to have no job or friends. I write down all of these things that I know are abuse and make me hate him, but the idea of leaving is so overwhelming I have to stop thinking about it so I don’t start crying.

      I am writing this down so I can offload some of the years of stress I have kept to myself, and to refer back to whenever I waver in my convictions as I can’t risk recording anything digitally or physically.

      Thank you for reading this far if you have. It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this awful situation.


    • #167583
      Main Moderator

      Hi ILoveCats,

      Welcome to the forum and thank you for posting and sharing your experiences with us. Well done for taking that step of reaching out and speaking to someone on the Live Chat service.

      Your partner sounds very controlling while at the same time not really contributing anything to your lives as a family. Try to be kind to yourself, although you might have felt something wasn’t right from the start, it’s so easy to quieten those suspicions or explain away the feeling to yourself. The important thing is that you’re at this point now, starting to access support, considering your options.

      It’s very normal to have guilt when you start thinking about leaving. He is the one who has caused this situation, not you. He is the one whose abusive behaviour has pushed you to this point. You don’t owe him your safety or wellbeing. You’ve mentioned his mental ill-health, but it’s important to see that separately from his abusive behaviours, and he is an adult and responsible himself for both of these things. That being said, it’s okay to take time to feel ready to leave. Do things at a pace that’s right for you. You can get some ongoing support to help you think about your options and plan from your local domestic abuse service.

      Take care and keep posting,

    • #167591

      Ilovecats well done for reaching out. You’re not on your own. I’m in a similar situation tho my partner has a good job so in the main earner in our house. But I get you so much when you explain all the mental torture going on yet still we feel bad for leaving. I’m still in the same situation but iv gained alot of strength from this forum there are a lot of woman here with great advice I hope u are ok. Xxxx

      • #167596

        Yes thanks for your reply, sorry we share the same burden but glad to feel connected.
        I keep wanting to let other people know about it like friends and colleagues since I accepted the DA was real, not in great detail, but then I get so anxious and bottle it. It feels so risky and embarrassing to admit, it’s a relief to be able to discuss it here. I’m sure I visited this site a few times over the years but now I’ve finally got an account!
        Let’s all keep fighting and surviving together, in hopes of a better future, always reminding myself it’s never too late. My dream is to move into a home with my daughter and my mother and our cat and live their peacefully together. x*x

      • #167614

        Reaching out is scary I did to a friend just slightly it made me feel better. But now I feel like it’s like an elephant in the room than we don’t mention it’s very hard people don’t get it when they are not going through it my friend just told me to leave if only it was that simple I would have years ago. You seem very strong your local woman’s aid may be able to help regarding housing x

      • #167648

        I’m sorry you didn’t get the help and support you needed from your friend 😢 that’s one of my worries that I’ll get the “why don’t you just leave” line, but also that they might make it obvious they know and then he’ll get suspicious.
        Problem with talking to local woman’s aid is that there’s almost no way I could contact them by phone or in person as he is with me all the time. I suppose I should email again mentioning this.

    • #167598

      Will record things as I think of them or am able to here occasionally.

      Claims to love animals as much as me, became vegan after I did even though I didn’t pressure him at all. Makes comments about animals that I wouldn’t because I understand their nature, how can you be so nasty about animals when you love them?

      Doesn’t believe his own relative about (detail removed by Moderator) at the time because they made things up all the time at that age, yet still claims he hates men and is a woman supporter.

      Criticises and insults all my family members to me behind their backs, actually just about anyone I talk to really. They could be the nicest, sweetest person and he will still find a way to say something horrible.

    • #167602

      Hi Ilovevats, I also love cats 😊

      It sounds like your partner has been mirroring you by turning vegan and claiming to feel the same way as you do about animals… mirroring is also part of the abuse tactics x

      Have you read Living with the Dominater by Pat Craven? I found it helpful to recognise abuse.

      Keep posting ❤️ you are not alone

      • #167647

        Thanks I bought, download and read the whole book last night instead of catching up on sleep 🙈.
        I looked up mirroring and now I’m thinking he’s a complete n********t and wondering how deep it all goes 😩.
        Still find myself going, “oh but he doesn’t do those things mentioned in the book, so maybe I’m over reacting?” 😒

    • #167639

      Hi – so many things resonate with me. My ex also could not keep a job, he always either had disagreements with management (because they were rubbish) or had mental health issues which he refused to address.
      He also got us into a load of debt because he couldn’t kerb his spending and because he wasn’t honest with me. He had framed himself as responsible and in charge but it became clear as time went on that I would have to be in charge. So I found myself the bread winner, the person who did all the housework – he did some things occasionally but would need to be thanked and appreciated for everything he did, the person who sorted out all the bills, the providers, who took care of the kids, organised childcare, made sure they had all their school stuff sorted and did a full time job. He wanted a life style that he could not or did not want to provide for and got angry with me if I reminded him of the fact that we didn’t have money for holidays because he wasn’t working. It was never his fault. He was not one of these people who would do anything to provide for their family. In fact, the opposite was true.
      I was also very young and naïve when we got together and I was too far in to be able to get out when I started to realise.
      Anyway, just to say well done for taking these steps.

      • #167658

        This resonates so much with me. I’ve only just realised that I’ve suffered years of emotional and more recently financial abuse.

    • #167646

      So confused and frustrated, now I keep wondering if anything he says or does is genuine, it’s scary to consider that perhaps everything he does is manipulation, even the seemingly good parts of his personality. I have always convinced myself that he is a nice person deep down but has a lot of trauma and baggage from childhood, so I forgive him a lot.

      Recently I have tried to stop myself getting wound up by him so whenever he does something that normally I would get really distressed about I have remained calm and matter of fact. So I haven’t said anything about leaving him or hating him or reminding him about his behaviour and he has seemed upset, it really threw me and I was wondering if he’s changing tactics because the usual isn’t working, it’s hard because I feel like if I don’t comfort him I will look like I don’t care and make him suspicious like he’s testing me, then again I also feel bad for not trying to soothe him. What is this madness.

      It feels hard to explain especially without giving too much information. I’m stuck between trying not to react and protect my mental health but also making him wary by behaving differently.

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