Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    • #116363

      My abusive partner struggles with anxiety which I think has gotten worse over the years although he says it’s gotten better..
      He let someone down recently with something because he couldn’t cope with going so was upset and cried on the phone to his Mother. Then said it’s not nice of me to not come and comfort him when he’s crying. Which I just found irritating but I’d never say what I really think. That he is just calling up mummy to pacify him so I made an excuse that I didn’t hear him crying.

      I was telling my friend (who doesn’t know the full extent of abuse) about what had happened. I say my only friend because it’s the only friend I speak to regularly. I very, very rarely see any friends but this friend I talk to a lot.
      My friend was very blunt and said they aren’t the right person to talk to about him as they have no sympathy and dont feel sorry for him whatsoever, how he doesn’t bother with therapy etc. I explained I wasn’t expecting them to feel sorry for him but just telling them really.

      I understand I sound like a broken record and it’s certainly not inspiring to be friends with someone who obviously hasn’t got much self-respect to stay with someone who is abusive.
      Now I’m feeling like that’s another avenue of communication cut off because this friend is obviously sick of hearing it and made it clear in their answers.

      An old work colleague of mine was in a strange relationship and I opened up to them about it. One day they just never replied to me.. that was nearly a year ago.

      I started telling a family member recently a way in which my partner behaves, maybe to just test the waters about opening up but they basically just said “It sounds like he’s trying to get his own way” then changed the subject.

      The more cut off I feel by people I am close to the more hopeless I feel.
      To be honest I am upset my friend reacted in that way but then I guess I must sound totally boring and irritating saying the same old sh*t but just never making changes.
      The more of a broken record I feel and the more isolated the more I find myself thinking I should just settle for him.
      I am even fed up of posting on here becsuse I jusr feel like it’s same sh*t, different day for me whereas others seem to be strong enough to get plans in order, make moves to get out whilst I just sit here miserable and moaning.

      Sorry about the rant, just have nowhere else to vent xx

    • #116364

      I find that talking to someone who doesn’t know me helps. I can’t cope with the reactions from people I know. Is there anyone you don’t know that you could talk to. I mean, there’s always us here. Would that be enough for you?

      • #116367

        Hi yes I agree. My friend also said “I don’t know how you cope” which just made me feel so much worse about myself. I think I will just stop mentioning him to this friend altogether.
        Yes I find this forum helpful and really appreciate any replies but just feel like I’m moaning and not changing my situation x

    • #116366

      Different people meet different needs in us; yes it does sound like your friend has worked out that she doesn’t like your partner because he’s awful to you, I’m guessing that she likely can’t wait for the day you leave him. A good friend will always offer emotional support yes, from time to time when this is needed, but there is a limit and a balance, the realtionship can’t all be about being there for someone can it, over time this becomes wearing, there has to be fun times and doing stuff together too, doing nice or caring things for one another, which we often feel unable to to do when in an abusive relationship – I had no energy for this for a long time, so I took a time out. This sid not mean isolating myself further though, it actually led me into building a wider support network.

      This man is toxic, everytime you talk to your friend about him it effects (infects) her too, and it poisons your relationship. She basically feels powerless to do anything and wants it to stop – because she is your friend and she cares deeply for you.

      I used to feel awful afterwards talking to my firends about it, like I’d drank poison, it actually gave me nothing really, often left me feeling worse, thing is, they end up feeling this way too. Eventually I realsied that I need to protect these relationships by not talking about it anymore. I talked to the helplines instead, I got a fab support worker from the local WA, I made friends with some women on here, I used the forum, and spoke to professionals only – I only really spoke to those who get it, who understand, and this was enough, it gave me what I needed and also protected my friendships – which were all there for me when I was ready to pick these back up again – like friends are.

      I think it’s fine to seek the comfort from a friend sometimes, but if starts to be all the time this needs to change, it was never my friends that needed to change, understand, get it, help me, it was me that needed to change, change how I was when with them.

      It actually really helped me in the first stages of healing, once I realised this and stopped doing it, stopped unravelling, stopped justifying myself, stopped going over and over it. It showed me I can take back some control here and that I do have choices. I actually felt much better for not doing it. Not putting this onto my friends. I didn’t switch it off completely, which seemed to be OK and needed, I mean they needed to know how I was, where I am, without the details or going into it. I made sure I kept it to the bare minimum really or I didnt mention it or him at all. I started to notice that if I didn’t say, they didn’t ask, which was also very telling. I also noticed I started to be a better friend again and I liked this, because this left me feeling good.

      It’s about working out who and what servcies meet your needs, you have a range of needs so understandably you need a team of people you can go to, people for health, people that give you practical help, those that meet your spiritual needs, people for fun, to relax with, people to help you process what is happening now, people to deal with him for you, legal advice, people like your hairdresser etc, those you exercise with and so on – all meet some kind of need in you or they help you to meet your own needs don’t they. Sounds like your friend is feeling a bit overloaded, needs a break and for you to get what you need here from others, sounds like you need more professional support and support from people like us, so she can go back to being your friend.

      If you value this relationship then do what is needed to nurture, love and protect it, it doesn’t mean it has to end. It means she can not help you in this department that’s all, that it’s likely gone on for too long. I imagine she would love nothing more than to have you back x

      • #116368

        Thanks fizzylem, I really appreciate you taking the time to comment. The problem is I haven’t even told my friend the full extent of the abuse.. only how his anxiety makes him selfish and how he doesn’t contribute etc. So it’s not like she knows the whole story and how abusive he can be. I also actually don’t really talk about him a great deal. I understand I shouldn’t put it on my friend though so will stop mentioning him at all. I dont have a local womens aid strangely and a local charity I contacted for help said they couldnt help me because I wasnt at risk of immediate violence. I tried counselling through the NHS but they said their services cant help because of it being an abusive relationship. I’m trying somewhere else next week so hopefully I might get some luck xx

      • #116618

        thanks for this thread – can relate a bit – think this is beauty of this site – can say how you really feel, get stronger inside so dont rely just on yr friend who might not fully understand and might hv their own problems …Might allow room for listening to her troubles too?

    • #116372

      I should have added, yes it takes time to find the ‘right’ kind of support. When I felt I wanted to talk things through, express how I felt I used to call the helpline, the samaritains or victim support. No wait required, someone can respond to your need as and when you need it. These services are all completely confidential, and because you don’t know the other person on the end of the phone, it means you don’t need to filter what you say, so you can let it all go. I found this really helps when trying to make sense of things and it met my emotional needs, especially when I needed an out pour!

      Yes the NHS can’t help, consider there is a risk, can’t really support you to be in an abusive relationship, especially if there is violence. They recognise that until you leave him there will be no improvement to your mental health – and improvement is what they need their clinical measures to show; even though you really need an ear and some guidance right now. It is better to seek the help from a specialist service, people experienced in working with DA.

      Keep going, we are fairly or completely isolated in the begining, so it takes time to shape and build a support network; and it’s a bit like interviewing for a post, it can take a few goes to find the best person for the job. The trick is to not give up, take a break when you need yes, of course, can ve tiring, but know this is only a break until you can pick it up again x

    • #116393

      Hey GT, it sounds like it’s important to you tell this friend, if she’s your closest friend, and if not to tell someone, it’s different if she has not been your emotional support regarding this for a long time. I found it tough teling my friends and family, but this is needed, some were supportive straight away, others, it took them a while to give this. Those that came onboard eventually did so when they were ready and thus asked the right questions. It was only once these family members did this that I realised I stopped feeling so alone with it all / had been dealing with it alone mostly for a very long time. Guess people have their own stuff going on as well sometimes too huh. I had one friend who doesn’t have any experience of abuse in any of her relationships, a super kind human being, not a judgemental bone, she was the only person I know that didn’t need to understand abuse, have any experience of it or any working knowledge of it, the exception to the rule if you like, all she did was try to understand me and this felt amazing; often her sheer unwaivering support bought me to tears, which was v much needed. Guess when we are non judgemental we can truly hear and understand folk hey, regardless of whether we have a shared experience or not.

      Tell your friend; but try not to hang her if she doesn’t give you what it is you need – some people are equipped and others not so much, doesn’t mean she doesn’t care for you if she gets it a bit wrong; sometimes we need to shape our support, show and tell others how exactly they can help us x

      • #116528

        Thanks so much for your replies fizzylem, I’m not going to speak to my friend about it anymore. I made the mistake of telling a family member a small detail about the financial abuse going on and they responded kind of angrily thinking I’m being mugged off and saying I need to change this. again although they’re only trying to help because they care about me I just find it more stressful in a way because then it’s like someone else isnt happy with me and wants me to sort things out. I need to reach out to a charity who I tried calling last week but who were closed at the time but I keep putting it off. I just can’t seem to face it at the moment and I’m worried that will keep me trapped. Maybe I’m just not quite ready yet, I dont know xx

    • #116611

      Yeah you need support and to remove all pressures, your head is recked enough. Call Victim Support and the WA helpline for now, honestly, it will help, you need people to help you to process what’s happening and to work out how you feel, to be your support, and if you feel overly emotional call the Samaritians, they’ve always been great everytime I’ve called, it’s not just so you can express yourself, its likely your head gets full and you go round and round, they help you to work out what next, the ‘one’ next step for you, which is super helpful. There is no pressure from any of these helplines. You can do this, it will stengthen you if you do x

    • #116684

      Hi GT

      Sadly, yes, she probably is tired of hearing it. Everyone has limited patience. No one is a saint. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. Only that she feels helpless and yes, probably frustrated.

      I’d ask yourself what you hope to achieve when you open up. Great if you want advice. Not so great if you just want to offload. There’s a real danger of the friendship becoming unbalanced if the daily calls have turned into a moan-fest.

      Might it be better for you to keep a diary instead? You’d be able to look back at what you’d written too. You can’t do this with conversations.

      When you’re ready to act, no doubt your friend will jump at the chance to offer practical support.

    • #116711

      Thanks everyone x
      My friend apologised for snapping and said she had had an argument with her partner so was in a bad mood with men in general. My friend has had their fair share of issues in her relationship that we have spoken about in the past and I dont mind at all. I dont really speak about mine but when I have I can imagine it makes her feel a bit helpless so I’ve decided to stop mentioning it so as not to burden her/make her feel like she cant help. xx

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs


Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account