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    • #33749

      Feeling really puzzled by some of what’s in this book I’m reading on dysfunctional relationships.

      The author talks about how the problem will mainly be the partner’s attitudes and belief system, and that mental health issues can occur alongside those attitudes.

      They give a checklist of typically disordered behaviour, and then an abusive belief that may present with it.

      I’m just really confused at this because how can you really know what your partner is thinking or what they believe? Especially if the person your partner has presented to you seems for the most part a falsehood?

      Once I said to him that I felt he wasn’t respecting me as a woman, but he always had a comeback, an excuse, or rationalised it.

      I’m quite feminist and my ex and I used to have these long political discussions. He seemed to share some of those values, although I’m not sure if he was “mirroring” me now. But then I’m not sure if he just knew the “right” things to say to me.

      In any case, I know the book is supposed to be like self-help but it’s just got me thinking round the twist about this mental health / attitude distinction and whether you can ever really be sure of what your partner believes. There just seems a lot of overlap between the two.

    • #33972

      People who have true mental health issues take responsibility for themselves.

      Abusive people do not. If we truly want to get better and stop hurting those around us we go and seek therapy and mental health drugs and change our lifestyle.

      I have borderline personality disorder. I am trying to learn how to treat people and keep myself mentally well. Hence why since leaving my abusive relationship I haven’t jumped back into another relationship so soon.

      Your relationship wasn’t dysfunctional. It was abusive. dysfunctional people don’t always want to have power and control over another person but this is what an abuser desires and feel that they are entitled to.

      That is the difference. I have no desire to have any power or control over anyone and I definitely do not think I am entitled to have those things and restrict another person.

      • #33991

        That’s something to think about. I am so confused by him because he was seeing a therapist some time ago. I don’t think it was for very long and he stopped going – I feel like this is partly my fault for a couple of reasons.

        But for the longest time it’s been really difficult trying to get him to help himself. Whenever it came up I recommended seeing the doctor and perhaps going on a course of anti-depressants but nothing changed.

        I think he is seeing a psychologist now, but I don’t know if that’s because his family have intervened and have taken control of the situation, more or less.

    • #33986

      I agree with Sahara. To me, dysfunctional applies blame equally all round (you’re reading the book so maybe it doesn’t say this). However, the relationship you were in was abusive. One partner had power and used it to manipulate the other. They are different scenarios. There is absolutely no blame on your part.

    • #33987

      SaharaD. That is so well put. I’m seeing a therapist who is blurring the lines for me and this is what I will tell her the next time she tries to say he has mental health issues. If she wants to talk about mental health issues, I have lots that he has caused and since I’m paying for her time, it should be spent on my problems lol.

      • #33992

        My counsellor asked me something at our last session that has stuck in my head in a bad way. I was talking about how I was saying I was okay to others when actually I wasn’t. Then I was talking about him, and wondering why he lied to me so much. Then the counsellor asked me “why did you lie” (about how I was feeling). I didn’t like the question at all and told her I couldn’t really compare my motivations to his because they didn’t feel equal to me. She seemed quite annoyed when I said that but I don’t know if I’m reading into it too much.

        Then she said “maybe he’s a big fat liar”. I just don’t really feel like she’s attending to that situation very much, she’s trying to get me to focus on myself but I can’t when I’m trying to resolve this stuff in my head.

    • #33990

      One thing I would also like to add is don’t believe everything your read in a book. You are the one who lived through the abuse. I’ve learned the hard way that some so called experts just don’t have a clue about domestic abuse.

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