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    • #20648

      Hi I am new to the group and my husband left the family home on Tuesday after (detail removed by moderator) years of marriage….whilst I have undergone a traumatic few years, I still love him and am heartbroken. So one minute I can’t imagine not having him in my life as we have had good times and the next minute I don’t like him for what he has done over the last few years. I feel I have been emotionally abused in this time, no affection, respect, acknowledgment, I have felt undermined, by questions are not important and they have been brushed away. He has turned round the question back onto me, I feel gradually I have been ‘rubbed out’, it has been like a dripping tap that I have felt that heavy feeling in my gut on the thought of going home. I know it couldn’t carry on as it was making me ill and I was doubting my own sanity, but the opposite doesn’t seem to be any better. I am just crying every day and I know it is early days but I feel bereft. He wouldn’t allow me to be there with him when he told our children, and I can never accept that…….it has happened so quickly with no thought apart from his own selfish need…….him wanting to be left alone to do what he wants to do. So please for any of you who have been through a similar experience, does it get better and what can I do to help in this. many thanks

    • #20696

      Hi hoodwinked, Welcome to the forum. I am so sorry you are feeling so upset. I think that even when partners are abusers that when a relationship comes to an end there is a period of mourning for want of a better word. You had children together, a life, love at one point and he probably made you feel lots of emotions over the years. You cannot just wipe that out as though it never existed. You have to give yourself time to get over the pain, to come to terms with the loss and to be able to move on. it will get better. for some it is a short time for others it takes a long time there is no set time for that to happen. You will heal at your own rate, hopefully with good friends and family around you? STay strong if you are able to, further down the line maybe you will see that this is a good thing for you and your children and that life can be even better without someone being abusive to you xx

    • #20702

      Dear Hoodwinked, I was in a very similar situation as yourself, emotional abuse. I,m out now,home & dry & he has virtually no more of my head space you I was completely bereft, confused, deeper sad, I was also the person who ended it as I did not like how he treated will find it helpful to read the posts,in joined here (detail removed by moderator) months ago,if you read my posts back then you will see how much we compare & you will see the journey that I have had to get to where I am now, almost total freedom. Xxxxx

    • #20721

      Welcome to the forum hunny,
      Your reactions are the exact same as anyone in a healthy relationship, except this would be harder for you, as you don’t know yourself anymore, he has always controlled you, which in turn you didn’t have your voice to speak,
      It is early days, and you’ll feel alone, and afraid, maybe even wanting him back, because our natural instinct is for love, compassion and company, no matter how destructive it is,
      But take time to grieve for your loss, ( after all you did love them ) but then try and focus on the things you can do NOW, , enjoy your children, take up a hobby, times a great healer, ( know everyone said that), but take it from someone who knows, time does heal, remember and keep telling yourself the past is the past, the future yet to be made, its today that counts, so look after you and I hope your day becomes brighter.


    • #20762

      Hi there,

      My ex walked out and I was in a state- despite all he had done. He gave me intermittent crumbs of affection, mostly being cruel.

      I thought I loved him- but now o see I couldn’t love him in the end, as I learned I couldn’t even like him. It was traumatic bonding.

      I was in so much pain that I never thought I would recover. I became agoraphobic, had panic attacks, couldn’t socialise, etc. I suffered real PTSD.

      I got all the help and support I could.

      (detail removed by moderator) years on, I am much better than I was. I promise, you will get there too. It will help you to reach out to others, women who have been through it and experts.

      I never believed I would overcome the shock. My friend who went through similar promised me I would. Now I am promising you. You will gradually grow in strength and peace. You will see the relationship for what it was- and him for what he is. Distance and time give clarity. But it takes a while.

      The fact he wouldn’t allow you to be there when he told the children: that is horrifically controlling in itself. It was your marriage too. You had every right to be there to listen to how he told them. You are their mother. It was a big thing to tell them. How dare he banish you.

      It was probably similar to my ex- he wanted to give the kids his version, which made him look blameless and innocent. I don’t know how old your kids are, but if you can try to make sure they were told in a way that you would want a child to be told? Give them your version- the one which makes them feel most safe but which protects your name. Speak up and protect yourself. If he is controlling, he will try to brainwash them. You have a voice, you have love and you have morals- a winning combination. He has a mask on which will slip and he is selfish and manipulative- they will grow to know this, if you are trusting and loving in comparison. Make sure that they feel they can share their worries with you and talk about things that concern them regarding him.

      He sounds cruelly controlling. Yes, not allowing you to be there too when the children were told- like erasing your significance and asserting himself over you.

      I promise that you will see him for what he I sand there will be a time when you can’t believe you were ever with a man like that- even though you grieve for him now. You are going on a journey which will end with you finding yourself again and feeling so strong. I promise. 💛

    • #20763
      Main Moderator

      Hi Hoodwinked,

      Welcome to the forum! I am pleased to see that you have already had lots of lovely support and wise words. Please be kind to yourself, it is early days and you are doing brilliantly. It is perfectly normal to miss your ex partner but his behaviour sounds very controlling and abusive. Please give yourself time to heal and get plenty of support from this forum, your local Women’s Aid group and the helpline. You are not to blame for his behaviour, you have done nothing wrong so please keep holding your head high. Anyone who knows you will know the truth and the rest do not matter. We all understand how abusive men can very often be very charming to the outside world and that is part of what makes it so hard to see the abuse.

      We are all here for you so please keep posting as much as you need to.

      Best wishes,

      Forum Moderator

    • #20764

      The fact that he denied you the right to be there when your children were told something so big which would impact on their lives speaks volumes about his character.

      Any normal man with an ounce of kindness, integrity and maturity and respect for you would realise that it was best for you to both be there, to help the children feel your were at least united in some way. He has put his own need for power before his own children.

      He had denied you the right to be a significant part of a huge moment in your children’s lives.

      Abusers do this- they negate is at the moments when we feel the need to feel most empowered and in control- they take that power away from us, leaving us bereft.

      He knew, as a loving mother, you would want to be there to gauge your children’s reaction and comfort them if needed. That was cruel. He was denying you your motherly right.

      He sounds horrible. He sounds like my ex.

    • #20830

      Oh my goodness Serenity and Lisa, you don’t know how much I need to hear those words right now. I stupidly sent him a heart felt email yesterday, I had to give it one last chance to save our marriage. I took an hour to write it, so he couldn’t misconstrue any of the words, I even put a song on ‘remember the days’ thinking he would think back to the good days. Needless to say he did not reply……there was a message on the phone when I got home today from his mum, as she keeps phoning and he hasn’t told her yet, he is telling her on (detail removed by Moderator). So I phoned him to let him know, I asked whether he had read my email and he said he didn’t think I expected a reply. I told him I had put my heart into it, and he said he doubted that and still felt I was trying to berate him. I had confirmed in it that I wasn’t saying he was psychically, or mentally unwell, but his actions were erratic and hurtful at times and I had to hold onto my values otherwise I become nothing. Like a child who hits another child you don’t say “carry on that is fine, it doesn’t matter if you hurt someone”. Then end of the conversation was don’t contact him any-more as it doesn’t help and I said goodbye and put the phone down.
      I can’t explain how humiliated I feel, I fell into the trap again, I feel belittled to the core, de-valued…..I doubted myself again, I had to contact a friend and get her to read the email and see if my mind was playing tricks, ‘is what I write not the same as I think’ she confirmed there was nothing in it that he could have taken offense with and all I was doing was conveying my love and wanting some answers.
      I honestly cannot believe that someone can treat another human being like this when you have been married to them.
      I have now got a worry, as he is very very skilful and clever at what he does, so he is saying to other people “it is all my fault, I can’t keep hurting ? any-more” then he says “as always I will not retaliate in kind, I will however defend my position’.
      I am petrified now because he is so clever, that people including family will start to doubt me. Have any of you felt like this? I am going to the solicitor tomorrow and I am scared of telling everything in-case he manipulates every and makes it worse for me with the children.
      Women’s aid are also going to telephone me this week to support me. I never ever thought I would ever go through anything like this in my life, and my heart goes out to all you other women who are going through a similar situation, so sending big hugs out to you to…..sorry for long message, but feeling very vulnerable at the moment xxxx

    • #20835

      Dear Hoodwinked, I feel so sorry and sad for you. I can empathize as I was in exactly the same situation as this. First of all, as the time passes you will grow in strength, mental clarify and feeling ok about yourself, you really will. Right now you are devastated, feel worthless and used and discarded. I felt exactly the same as i was treated the same. Dear Hoodwinked, i’m a bit further along the road than you are now and can see things a bit clearer. I hope to be able to give you a bit of advice which will help you regain some of your inner strength. It is funny as today, for the first time in weeks i have felt quite sad and have been thinking more positive thoughts about my ex. Thinking about him, that he is damaged and misunderstood and caring about him. It really does make me sad how screwed up his life is, i cared for him and still care that he is ok. I’ve not thought this way for a while. But as I was saying, when I first noticed we were almost at breaking point, i wrote him quite a few really long heartfelt, deep and meaningful emails. I really put my cards on the table, explaining where I thought the problems were and how we could make it work. I put my heart and soul into them. I followed this up with a few text messages telling him how much I loved and missed him. We hadn’t broken up at that point, just not getting on and he wasn’t treating me nicely. I think he might have been seeing someone or had someone lined up. I desperately tried to make it work but it was completely one way. He did not reply to one of my emails aside from one which I didn’t open as I was too scared, I think he finished wth me in that email I will never know. We broke up properly shortly after when we both said that was what we both wanted. Two weeks before he was telling me that I was the love of his life and his soulmate. I can see from your words Hoodwinked that at the moment he is holding all of the power and this is making you feel absolutely dreadful, making you contact him and send him songs and tell him that you love him. I did the same and I contacted my ex 3 weeks ago so I know how the urge to do this comes about. But from an outside perspective now I think it will do you better to stop contacting him, especially the long emails and declarations of love. I’m truly sorry if that upsets you. I regretted chasing and begging my ex, it was one way and I always said if this sort of thing ever happens again i would do it differently. It is natural to want to work it out of you love someone but I would never chase someone again who isn’t putting the same amount of effort into it. Don’t worry about him being so clever with mind games, you can be clever too if you arm yourself with the right reading material. 30 Covert Manipulaton Tactics in Personal Relationships is great. He sounds like he is not respecting you by how he is acting and this is making you feel so awful, its just not right you need to redress the balance, it will do your self worth good. I’m sorry if i have come across a bit bossy, i can very much identify with the dynamics of you and your husband right now as I acted as you did. Basically i was walked over like a doormat and I don’t want that to happen to you. I would turn the tables and let him stew in his own juice if you can. XXXXX (I know that is is not easy, only one hour ago I was visualizing telling him that I love him, I won’t but seem to be holding on still).

    • #20836

      Dear Hoodwinked,

      My heart goes out to you, because your partner sounds a carbon copy of my ex.

      He is also incredibly clever and making people believe things. The manipulation is well disguised. But people do get to know who he is once they know him well enough- and I want you to not fear that he will fool people forever.

      Play the long game. It might take time, but historic colours will seep out with different people over time.

      My ex was similarly cold and clinical And cruel. If a man is controlling in a relationship, he will be controlling at the end and afterwards. As Women’s Aid told me: an abysivenrs man will engage in post-separation abuse.

      I was thinking of how your ex fend dec to tell the children in his own. That was him wanting complete control of the situation. My ex was a control freak. So much so, he kept me ‘sweet’ until the second he left, alternating sbusecwith crumbs of affection, then suddenly told me he was les img one day when I was in the bath. Thus, I was naked and immobilised. Tell about cruel and controlling.

      And he had already tried to manipulate the children- he knew he was leaving and the week before, was cleverly trying to get me to get angry by provoking next being awful
      Out of the kids’earsbot, hoping to make me into some kind of bad guy hoping Iwould react- but I saw right through him and asked him why he was trying to provoke me.

      I was distraught. Like you are.

      Be careful that you don’t let him continue to hurt you. I think my ex left because he’s slept with someone, plus he wanted to go abroad on his own for a (detail removed by Moderator) – again- and just because I stood up for my values ( like you say you need to) and told him it was the (detail removed by Moderator) time he’d gone, he should take the family away as he was a dad and husband, he must have been secretly enraged.

      Your partner sounds like an entitled n********t who can’t beat being told no or being told he isn’t right, of being hauled up on his values, or lack
      Of them. He sounds like he deals with his anger by passively aggressively, coldly calculating a horrible exit which he hopes will destroy you- because these malignant n*********s are over sensitive to any criticism, want complete power and monopoly over their family, and they are overwhelmed by negative emotions, are angry underneath- its simmering all the time, even if they ms age to disguise it. They would never admit to it ( instead, they blame you for things) but they are a simmering pot of anger, jealousy and sick envy of other human beings in general.

      The minute you stop hankering after him, he will wonder why and- to get attention again- will probably try to do something to affect you. I had to go no contact. I have kids, but my mum is the contact and go between. Any communication with him is toxic.

      I Amex you stood up for your values. That is because you and I are strong women with values. We aren’t like the Rosemary Wests of this world, who were too weak to stand up to their abusive partners and colluded in their crimes. Our partners hate us because we stood up for what was right, this enraged them- they want to be free to live as immorally as they like and not be limited of hauled up on their behaviour.

      My ex is so sick, when I began to suffer PTSD a (detail removed by Moderator) after he left, shaking and panic attacks etc- he j ew this, and came into the house early one morning and kissed me in bed. When I asked him if he was back, he snorted and aid no, then as I began to cry he made out to the kids ( who had t seen him kiss me) that I was pathetic because I ‘wasn’t over him’! He engineered situations to cause me the most pain- after he had left.

      I bet your partner is in a real power trip, sadistic man.

      I was heartbroken and traumatically bonded to my ex, but onesY I woke up and realised how mentally cruel and evil he was and I began the journey to try to recover. It’s been a long haul, but after (detail removed by Moderator) years I am much better than I was.

      If I can offer any advice: he’s showing you who he really is, the evil
      Man who he doesn’t show in public- Believe him. He is that horrible. Don’t massage his ego any more by pleading with him. I pleaded for a mo th or two and he was vile. One day, I told him I was grieving, and he cruelly spat back that I could carry on grieving. He said this with a Cruel spiteful laugh.

      I had a real beam own when he dumped us. I was a wreck. Now, I can’t believe that I put up with him for so long. I can see him for who he is.

      It will be painful coping with all of this, but i promise you will come out the other side. Just keep talking and reaching out x*x

    • #20842

      Heathyarchive and Serenity I can’t thank you enough for your comments and don’t worry Healthyarchive I don’t think you are bossy……I need to hear these lived experiences right now, because I have doubted/still do my own sanity. I still can’t believe how I have put up with it for so long, like both of you have said. I have read quite a bit about N*********s and it fits his behaviour so well. I think things started to change some (detail removed by moderator) years back, as I went back into Education and University and started to develop my own voice and personality. I asked him once when did he start going ‘off’ me and he said ‘when you started to challenge me’…..I asked him about this sometime later and he denied saying it. It seems that these men go through the same pattern…..I can understand Serenity how you can develop PTSD from this, I feel sick to the stomach, on propranolol for anxiety and sleeping tablets. When I am at work I am unrecognisable to the woman who is at home….I used to dread driving home, at work I am confident, have a voice am respected and valued, the complete opposite to home. I no I have to stop all contact now, otherwise he will ‘rub’ me out and as I am the sole breadwinner now I have to be well enough to do my job, fortunately I am off for the summer, so I just hope that I can build myself up for my start back in September.
      My husband is very clever, when people meet him they think ‘what a nice man’, unless they are people who are connected with me, then he belittles them to and I have lost friends because of him. He sucks up to people to get what he wants, so he has done that at work, and as soon as he has been challenged they become his enemy too.
      I feel humiliated by admitting to myself first but also to others that I have been ’emotionally abused’ and also feel how on earth have I put up with this for so long!
      I take some strength from you both and thank you for sharing your story with me. This forum is a life saver and I am glad that I continued to keep searching, so I found the website. I also hope when the support worker comes to see me that will be the final relief….I used to listen to the song ‘nobody knows’ and it wasn’t until I shared my story with my therapist and I said ‘finally somebody knows’, I now feel by sharing my story here eventually ‘somebody knows how it actually feels’… thank you and sending big hugs to you all x*x

    • #20844

      My goodness I have just come across this website……maybe of interest to you all…..I am still in shock of reading some of it, but it is fascinating….


      • #23333

        Hi, I have just taken a look at the link you gave us, it is absolutely amazing! I have only read a little bit, but that is exactly what I have experienced with my husband who seems to be getting increasingly worse…

    • #20847

      My goodness, Hoodwinked. I have been part of this forum for about 18 months and some of our experiences are very similar here, but your situation is so eerily similar to mine.

      I too am on propranolol for anxiety. Also, Citalopram.

      It’s so weird how you say it changed when you began to assert yourself and develop. My ex was only happy when I was very subservient and shy and when I was working in jobs which were very low paid and low kudos. He began to up his abuse loads when I went back to uni in the evenings when my youngest got a big older and I qualified. I realise now he is so superficial and chauvinistic that he couldn’t cope with me having a good job which I loved. He did everything he could along the way to wreck and sabotage my qualifying- often very covertly and in a cunning way.

      My ex more or less admitted that his problem was me finding a voice. He gave me a ‘warning’ the Xmas before he left, by giving me a present of a book telling me to be subservient. God knows where he found such an old fashioned book. I honestly thought he was joking. Now he wasn’t! Like all psychopaths, he likes to allude to things and be cryptic.

      I am glad you have realised they are in fact psychopaths. I didn’t want to say that in the last post, as I didn’t want to worry you- but that is what they are. The definition of a psychopath is someone who pretends to have a nicer personality than they actually do- or create a false persona to hide a noxious personality. I fell good and proper for his false charm.

      You sound amazingly brave. I too need to focus on my work. We need to provide for our kids. My ex is lying about his huge income and paying me next to nothing in child maintenance. However, I took him on at court and won the house. We can beat them.

      I dont know if your ex was unkind to your kids, but mine was. Horrendously so. Xx

    • #20849

      Sorry for my typing errors in previous posts.

      I meant he left me when I was in the bath….

      His true colours will seep out over time

    • #20854

      Dear Hookwinked, i’m so pleased that you seem to be thinking more clearly and gaining some clarity. We are not mad, crazy, confused and small, we are just made to feel that way. You will see as the time goes on, where you share your thoughts and feelings on here and with your therapist, & read the literature that is available that you will get a much better understanding of what has been happening to you. At the moment I am reading Zari Ballards N********t Free. It is really helpful in explaining why you feel such deep grief, loss and desperation once the person who hurts you so much, is gone. You will find in the coming days, weeks and months that you go through many really severe and extreme emotions, desperately missing, loving and wanting him. Maybe contacting him and begging to get back together, putting all of your dignity and self respect to one side when you do this. Or you will feel fine, happy and positive about the future. Scared, angry, confused and you will have obsessive thoughts where you cannot stop thinking about him and analyzing it all. I’m still doing this now a bit, its much much less than before. I really liked your comment where you said how different you were at work to how you was at home. That just goes to show you the reality of what was happening. I like to think that before I met my ex I was in an ok place, never had serious mental health issues and was holding down a very pressurized job successfully. When we were were together most of the time I felt bizarrely confused, (its called being gas lighted) suspicious, angry and like I was a worthless nothing. Now we have split I am ok again, I have happy days, i feel extremely focused and I am doing well. You will get through this Hoodwinked, there are many facets to emotional abuse, words like Intermittent Reinforcement & Rose Tinted Spectacles, they give you such a greater understanding of what has been going on. Its so nice that you have some time off of work and now have some space, how about taking yourself out a bit, I love going to the coast in the summer. Please do try to read:

      30 Covert Emotional Manipulation Tactics: How Manipulators Take Control In Personal Relationships
      Covert Emotional Manipulation Exposed!: The Underhanded Mind Control Tactics That All Manipulators Use To Take Control In Personal Relationships Kindle Edition
      by John Mentory
      All books by HG Tudor
      All books by Zari Ballard

    • #20855

      I was listening to something last night and it really touched a nerve, for some reason this means something to me…when someone is extremely ridged, that means that they are losing control & you are gaining control.

    • #20859

      Hi both I can’t explain what I am feeling right now….I am amazed that there are other women out there who know what it is like……I didn’t know there was so much information……I have been looking for months and never found anything…..I feel so much connection to you both even though I don’t know you, so thank you. I am founding it hard even to trust family, at the moment, I found out yesterday my sister had contact someone (either my daughter or husband) and she told mum husband is taking all the blame and doesn’t want to hurt me any more…..I feel this is manipulation too, as they then start to doubt me, ‘it can’t all be his fault’……so treading very carefully at the moment until I have seen my support worker. MY main support for me is going to start (detail removed by moderator) so I am hoping that is the time I am going to be able to start fully building back the person I am, find me again, not the damaged me. Thank you again, I am off to the solicitors now, so I imagine that it is going to be very emotional.

    • #21154

      All the above text I wrote seems a bit confused and surreal when I read it back…..not had a great few days….I cant stop crying…..although I know he has treated me horrendously I know I have to let him go and I don’t know how I am going to do that……

    • #21155

      Dear Hoodwinked, I still have days like this now, it’s been (removed by moderator) months. The most helpful resource specifically related to these yearning feelings is called N********t Free by Zari Ballad, it gets into the psychology of these grieving feelingso. Also time is a healer, continuing to share & offload on here .it is called trauma bonding and you will have many up & down & sad emotions,although he was bad.xxxxx

      • #21165

        Thank you Healthyarchive…….it seems to be even worse as he is leaving me for the internet….contacting other women and porn…….for me this feels even harder than him leaving for another women in real life……I feel so belittled by this and feel if only I could accept these things then everything would be Okay, but I have done so much reading over the last few days, that boundaries are essential for a healthy relationship…….I can’t even explain the feelings I have… seems like now he is taking responsibility that its all Okay……he can just dump me….but doesn’t realise how he has treated me for the last (removed by moderator) two years and the long term effect of that on me then and now. I will look at N********t Free thank you……I am only (removed by moderator) in……so I sense I have a long way to go haven’t I? xxxx

    • #21166

      Dear Hoodwinked, I am (removed by moderator) months since the split, I still think about him every day & have not had a day of mental freedom in all of this time. I have to say, as the time goes on the pain lessens.I ask myself if this is what happened with me:I decided towards the end that his behaviour was so disrespectful, I tried to work it out with him & he did not respond, I tried to talk, compromise & sort it out. I decided then that the problems that we had were too deep to fix,i was more or less certain of my decision & i ended it. I felt ok at that point. He then took control of the situation, zoned into the greatest weaknesses I have, being abandoned & rejected & used these to take away my power. That is why despite being ok,ish when split the severe emotional pain since has been engineered based on him finding out my base vulnerabilities,and concentrating on those after we split up.

    • #21167

      I can relate to some of this Healthyarchive, and my heart goes out to you…..yes this is part of the issues, they know our vulnerabilities inside out… like you he knows I have been abandoned and rejected as a child and I suppose why I am feeling so bad is because I am tapping into ‘my little girl’ as well……I draw great strength from you, that whilst it is still hard for you you are (removed by moderator) in and the pain has lessened. We do not deserve disrespect from anyone but particularly from our partners/husbands. He asked me whether I would have him back and him still do what he does and treats me the way he does, and I said I am in a no win situation, if I have him back he will ‘erode’ me and if I don’t I yearn for him (at the moment)……I hope for both of us and the other women on here, we find some self-compassion for ourselves and support from each other in a horrendous situation. x*x p.s. I like your user name, a positive affirmation 🙂

    • #21200

      Dear Hoodwinked, when i was with my ex I always felt these things in the last year we were together: highly confused, used, lied to, manipulated, angry, anxious, on edge, inconvenienced, small, useless, different, unhappy, stifled, unstable, frightened, unable to talk to him. There was also these things scattered in: relief, elation, good sex, hope, openness (from me), honesty (from me).

      I was in such an awful situation it just could not continue. He confused me as I felt he was trying to communicate niceness but he just couldn’t pull it off. I’m not sure that he was all bad, I may have seen glimpses of honesty and decency during the time we were together which confused me all the more. The book How to Mend a Broken Heart is really good for analyzing what it is you actually miss. I miss receiving text messages from him too. But its not enough. XXXXX

    • #21205

      Do they all go through a similar pattern? I could of again written your comments above….I was totally confused and he used and still does mix my mind up so much I don’t have any clarity of mind….like you I don’t think he is all bad, he has just no empathic response or a conscience, he is only concerned with his own needs, even to the point of having control of the television remote……if I ever said that to him he would be absolutely horrified and say how can I even say that!! I still feel bad when I say these things but I feel it is probably a necessary part of letting go so I don’t get hooked in again and for me to realise that I wasn’t making it all up as he would have me believe…..sending a hug to you xxxx

    • #21207

      Dear Hoodwinked, my situation was nigh on impossible as we were not able to sit down and talk properly. My veiw is that if there is a problem you sit down, be open and honest and talk & listen to each other. Its simple really. Sometimes you might not be able to work it out, but at last you get it out there. With myself and my ex were were unable to sit and talk as he is very closed and just would not talk. He would normally be trying to delve into my fears and worries or hopes and dreams, i think now this was to build a picture of my inner workings so that this could be used against me later. I’m not certain of this, all i know is how I felt at the time & what was happening when we were together. I saw glimpses of him that were kind, gentle, tender and sweet. Glimpses. I hankered after those and would loved to have seen more. This made me more confused, i thought he may have been nice inside it just needed coaxing out. I think that it will do you so much good to read the ladies posts on here we have all been through varying forms of abuse, and are at different stages. This forum got me through the last (removed by moderator) months. Without it the consequences for me and my life would have been severe. I may even have lost my job and got a criminal record. I have a good job that I have held for years, a responsible fairly high profile job. I have never been in trouble with the police. But he got me into such a state I don’t know what I would have done, i think i would have resorted to stalking him, following him, causing a scene, contacting him family. All of these things are so not me. I have never ever done anything like that and would be devastated to be brought that low. Utterly devastated. And i would have self referred for a psychiatric period as an inpatient in hospital and gone off work long term sick. All over a man and his ability to penetrate my mind which is what he cleverly did. But, i’m though and none of that happened, thanks for to forum, i owe this forum so much. XXXXX

    • #21254

      Hi just a short note before I leave for mums, wow… is all getting surreal now, again I could have written your post as my experience. I too am a professional woman with a good job and so scared that I will get to a point where I am unable to work because of severe anxiety. It is the glimpses that keep you attached to them, because I used to think, maybe this time, just maybe and it would be good for a month and then it would all start again……draining…I am sure he is deluded, he couldn’t believe yesterday that I couldn’t have him back with his fantasy world, he can’t see that when he lives in it it alters his behaviour and that is when he is controlling, unkind, doesn’t value/respect and all the rest of it. Because he doesn’t want anything or anyone to get in the way of seeking out his fantasy, so the outcome was we are not compatible and he will discard me. It pulls at my gut when he is just telling people including family that we are not compatible any more and that is why we are splitting up……nice get out!!! xxxx

    • #21427

      …….I am distraught, husband has just been to pick my son up and he said ‘I have made my decision’ so he is going to discard me like a piece of dirt on his shoe…he is going to destroy all of me it feels like…….it seems like he has had his nice little chats with his kids and everything is lovely now he is being a dad after (detail removed by moderator) years, and it feels like they are taking his side (oldest 2 have just rang so they aren’t)……they have no idea what I have had to endure, I feel I am going to loose everything……apparently he is saying that we are not compatible now after (detail removed by moderator) years……and going to try hard with the kids, pity that wasn’t the same for me…..I know I have to let go, but the internal pain of that is horrendous……I said to my daughter losing your loved one in death is absolutely horrendous, but you have a conclusion, the funeral is a start of your grieving and healing, where as at the moment I just see grieving……I feel so alone……but I think that my inner resources will kick in at some point and will contact local groups etc, it is that first introduction and saying you are single…..xxxx

    • #21446

      Dear Hoodwinked, you may find it helpful to look at The Cycle of Loss or The Cycle of Grief online, they helped me when I felt so distraught when I first broke up. Are you sure that this is permanent on his part? not a mid life crisis that he is having?,

      Just before I split from my ex he was making suggestions like he would like to go on holiday on his own and we were hardly seeing each other. We were still in a relationship at that point. I believe now he had met someone or had someone lined up and he wanted to maneuver me into a position where he could pick me up and throw me aside as & when he felt like it, as well as possibly having other women on the go at the same time. Not dump me, just have me on the back burner for a bit. If I wasn’t so outraged by this ridiculous assumption of his i would have laughed. I know that I am not perfect but I would never ever allow myself to be treated that way, never. My mental wellbeing at that point was destroyed due to lies, gas lighting, his secrets and blaming me for everything. That was the final straw really, he was so unreliable, always letting me down, lying, possibly cheating, how awful does it have to get. So I made the decision back then that his personality characteristics were not something that could be worked around and I finished it. Do you think that you could cope with his fantasy world? the online porn and chatting to women? its an individual choice. I knew I couldn’t cope with my ex so finished it. If you are certain this is beyond your coping abilities then you are right to end it. Then you will face the whole new set of emotions, I thought it would be cut & dry after we split but its not. XXXXX

    • #21449

      Welcome hoodwinked to the forum,
      Am empathising exactly how you feel, only difference is I’m still in hospital and only just left, well I haven’t left him, he went to court, and now wants us to get back together, so I as many women here understand.

      I love him so much, and he isn’t always bad, but then I remembered what he did to me, and I feel anger, but the love side is strong, and like you am battling on which way to turn, but been here has helped greatly, because someone on the outside sees a different picture to those sat in the moment, I hope you get through your day, and keep reading and posting, many hugs x*x

    • #21453

      Dear Brokendreams & Hoodwinked, the love feelings and missing him feelings are so strong, almost stronger than the hate feelings. Its becasue you think that you are dependent on them and confuse that with love. Please try to look at N********t Free by Zari Ballard and all books free to read on Amazon by HG Tudor. XXXXX (I have just finished reading Dangerous Personalities by Joe Navarro, my ex fitted the description of a high ranking n********t and I have done well to get out. The other personalities were Emotionally Unstable Personality & Pyschopath. XXXX (if you look up the words Trauma Bonding on here, there is a thread on it, there are some links to websites which deal with the feelings that you will have.

    • #21509

      Hi Brokendreams and Healthyarchive, I feel for both of you and I hope brokendreams you are able to make a choice for you that keeps you safe and a way to move forward. We are all worth so much more, but because we are ‘taught’ and ‘co-coerced’ into believing we are not, we become even more attached. I have read about the trauma bonding and it was very helpful and I have ordered a couple more books the one on boundaries. I have been afraid to keep my boundaries, tried to agree them with him but he did not want them, so I realised that I have to keep my own boundaries. In answer to your question Healtharchive,whether I can live with his ‘fantasy’ world, I realise now no I can’t. I have tried to explain to him, it is not even about what he does on the internet now, it is how it changes him as a person, I don’t even have to know what he is doing, because I know him and he changes completely and in this he treats me awfully, no respect, gaslighting, dis-regard, no value, no kindness and on and on. All that is important to him at that time is his needs to be on the internet, the more he is on the more it becomes an addiction. I have done a lot of research on this, it can be anything, you start off with a little, then that’s not enough as you don’t get the adrenaline rush, so you then have to have more then more and more and more……so it then changes your brain chemistry and how you act, so similar for an alcoholic, drugs, food, what ever you get the adrenalin rush from. (detail removed by moderator)
      I do feel that something is happening for him mentally, his eyes looked awful yesterday and he was still treating me with contempt…….so I do feel sorry for him if that makes sense!! This is what mixes my head up so much……I am sending huge hugs to both of you and I hope the coming days for every woman on here starts to get better and we develop some self-belief and confidence. We do not deserve this 🙂 xxxx

    • #21583

      Dear Hoodwinked, I have just put a post on called Positive resources to help you through this. There are a couple of links there which explained to me the reasons why I felt the way that I did, during the time after we had broken up. The time after the break up is so filled with unfathomable emotions which you just cannot understand. Its psychological and to read and research on it will throw so much light on it and help you. I can fully understand what you are saying about addictions, in particular if your husband has an internet addiction. I believe that I am addicted to the internet, people laugh and cannot understand it. But it is really a problem for me, i miss work or am late for work, i cannot go for half an hour each day without going on the internet, it is quite a severe addiction, I looked into therapy for it once but I think it was cognitive behavioral therapy and quite expensive. These days everything is done online, I think internet addiction is more common than people think. I have been this way for about 8 years addicted to the internet, its the same sort of chemical addiction to drugs or alcohol, that compulsion that I cannot control. It sounds as though your husband has this too. You say that you have made the decision to part based on his behavour over the past 2 years. I think we know in our hearts if something is fixable or not, it sounds as though you have made your mind up. My relationship wasn’t fixable so i ended it. You will have these dark, depressing days but you will get so much help from this forum, if you keep sharing as much as possible your worries and concerns. Sometimes you may not get anybody reply to you, but that does not matter as sometimes just writing things down helps. X*X

    • #21626

      Dear HealthyAchieve……I hear what you say about the internet, and affirm that the internet can be a good tool to keep people connected find research etc. it can be used reasonably or unreasonably. In my husband’s case for me he used it unreasonably, for me emotional affairs on-line is as bad as a physical affair, whilst he was constantly on-line he didn’t have the time to build our relationship. I also knew when he was doing unreasonably things, as his whole demeanour and attitude changed, that is when I would get the gaslighting, the disrespect, no contact etc etc. So my sense it isn’t fixable as he doesn’t want to adjust in any way and I can’t live day in day out with that type of atmosphere, it crushed my spirit day by day. I will also be looking at my process in this in therapy, as if or when I ever had another relationship I don’t want to take anything that I can adjust into a new relationship. He is very clever, I had a word with ???? yesterday and she said he has never said anything bad about me or its your fault, however when I saw he on the the day before, he still treated me with contempt, anger and disregard. So impossible for people to understand as he comes across as such a nice man…… my sense is the only avenue I have for talking about experience is on blogs like this, because then people will ‘know’ and with people who have gone through a similar situation. Will I be able to find the ‘positive resources’ and thank you for all your knowledge an help and support, I hope you have a good day xxxx

    • #21665

      They have a deep hole inside them and are full of hate and envy.

      They can’t face the possible truth that it might be them that is lacking. They need to blame someone else. As we are the closest to them, they project blame on to us.

      My ex is also being Dad of the Year a bit now. Yet when he lived here, he had a real problem with the kids. He told me it was the kids he had a problem with. Yet now he is projecting it all on to me.

      It’s like they can’t face the fact they e failed. They need to blame us.

      He won’t find peace now you are out of the picture-as the saying goes, “Wherever I go, there I am.” He could go and live in the North Pole and would still feel the same mix of anger and jealousy. He’d transport it with him.

    • #21680

      Hi Serenity, you are just what I need to hear at this moment, I am sat here in tears and a rock feeling in my stomach. I had been having quite a good day and no tears, then he has just sent me his new mobile phone number and asking for the passwords for some bills……he never did any of these sorts of things in (detail removed by Moderator) years……so I am so tempted to phone him….I feel that bit by bit he is getting rid of me, he will probably be lapping it all up and being ‘golden boy’ and I am in absolute bits. A support worker from ??? came to see me today and she asked me what I was missing the most and I said I loved him and just wanted him to come and give me a cuddle and she said when has he ever done that and what do I love…. so very confused at the moment……apart from on here nobody understands……people drift even family, I feel so alone, that he is the person who has mistreated me and I am the one still suffering. I know it is early days and I have to lose the bitterness…..the support worker made sense in not telling the kids and say things like “yes have a good relationship with your dad” but at the moment it just seems like he has won again and is laughing in my face. Sorry for long comment Like you Serenity he too said it was the kids and the grand-kids that were the problem but now he is super-dad xx

    • #21685

      Dear Hoodwinked, I am so sorry to hear of your pain right now. This forum is so wonderful for offloading and saying what is on your mind. There were a few things i could identify with with your last post this evening. You said that you feel bit by bit he is getting rid of you. Have you & he actually talked and said what you both want? i.e has he specifically told you that it is over or vice versa? The reason that I ask this is because I felt bit by bit that my ex was getting rid of me, but the words had not actually been said. once the words had been said in a way I felt a slight relief as I knew then what the position was, even if it wasn’t what I wanted. Before this he was doing subtle cryptic things that made me think he was cooling off, but this was thrown in amongst the odd declaration of love, i was so confused. There is a book that I read the week that we split called How to Mend a Broken Heart by Christine Webber. It has some excellent self help tips in there about how to manage those first days/weeks etc. You can buy it cheaply on Amazon. One of the recommendations is strictly No Contact at all for 3 months. If you have No Contact at least you will be spared him hurting you when he calls. Do try to look at the post on here on Trauma Bonding, there are some really good website links on there. You are so raw at the moment, i think it has only been one week hasn’t it? since he left. All of what you are feeling is normal, it will be good to expect these emotions over the next few months during which you will be so up & down. I’m a lot calmer and more clearly now than I was 5 months ago. I was the same then as you are now. X*X

    • #21692

      Dear HealthyArchive… make a lot of sense and I hope some months down the line I can come across with some sense of me moving forward……yes he kept saying to me on Sunday ‘I have made the decision to leave’ and kept repeating this….not sure why!! I nearly gave in tonight and phoned him, then I wrote the above comment and then my friend called who is going through the same thing, except her ???? is going to USA. So I do feel some ‘ye I did it I didn’t give in’… I am hoping when I feel like this again that I can tap into that feeling…..when I have some time, I am going to do some of reading as suggested…I got a book today on manipulation and it is my life with him to a ‘T’ and I felt sick when I read it and that acceptance of realisation. I am working tomorrow so hopefully that will take my mind off it. It is I think 3 weeks or maybe even 4 today… time fly’s!! x*x

    • #21699

      All of the advice from everywhere is for their to be absolutely No Contact for a while after you split. There is a book by HG Tudor free to read on Amazon which is called No Contact. The Broken Heart book encourages it and nearly all of the other books that I have read. This is because with No Contact gradually you start to think more clearly, less muddled thinking and you see things differently. The breathing space that No Contact gives both of you really cannot be underestimated. You will have such extreme emotions in the next couple of months or even longer. I know that you sent him a song and have thought about contacting him. I did that too, a lot at first. I sent him 4 emails and a text message telling him that I loved and missed him. This was all during the time we hadn’t actually split up, i just felt him slipping away. Once we had actually both agreed to split (i still don’t understand what happened as the week before he told me that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me), but once we had properly split I did n’t contact him for 4 months solid. I sent him one email about a month ago wishing him well & that I hope we can have no animosity and possibly even be friends. he ignored it, i do regret sending that. The contact that you have Hoodwinked is likely to hurt you. The women on here advise against making contact, they told me if i make contact I will be giving up my power. I did give up some power that i had 4 weeks ago when I emailed him, I regret that now. X*X

    • #21777

      Hi Healthy Archive….you have done so well, we live in hope don’t we that they will change and say ‘sorry I realise what I am and what I have done to you’…..but like everyone has said and all the information I have read so far that most likely is not going to happen, because they can’t feel and see reality… you I gave in a 4am this morning and sent a small text saying thank you for sending me your number…..he sent a small text back but I didn’t answer….that was a first another first I haven’t cried today and I haven’t felt the depleting anxiety I have felt, I know tomorrow I could be a blubbering wreck again, but today I am Okay……as I have said this blog has been my life saver……I can’t thank everyone enough and I hope that I can help other people too……I need to continue reading and offering my support……I realise no contact is the key and hoping after the first weeks that it will get easier……hugs to everyone xxxx

    • #21782

      Dear Hoodwinked, I’m not sure how long you were married but I suspect that you together many many more years that myself and my ex. We weren’t married or living together & there are no children involved. We wasn’t together for very long. But he was the biggest relationship that I have felt I have ever had, the one I have got the closest to. That was all maneuvered by him to hook me in though ( I thought he was a con-man when we first met). So my feeling okish after (detail removed by Moderator) months may have been a bit easier for me than you will find if you have been together for years. I know you said it has been falling apart or not good for 2 years. I expect we all manage the break up and difficulties in our own way don’t we. Yes i have wanted so much for him to contact me to talk and for him to say sorry, i wanted that desperately. But I think that even if he did do that I would still not want to be together with him anymore. I thought about it a little bit since we split, what it would be like if we got back together. I have joined some social groups and made some new friends since we split and am enjoying my new interests. I imagined how it would be if he were involved. I would be embarrassed by his rudeness, arrogance and difficulty in not being no. 1. I realized he just would not fit into my life now so I wouldn’t want to get back together. I would have liked for us to have talked though, maybe stayed in touch as friends. I was close to his son & grandson and that was special for me. I hope that you are ok Hoodwinked, this is such a terribly painful time. Is there no way yourself and your ex can work through all of this? Repair the damage done over the past 2 years & move forward together? X*X

    • #21797

      Hoodwinked, no contact really is the key. These small texts are keeping you hooked into his mind games. He’s going to want more control than ever. Just wait till finances and divorce and new partner comes up. I’ve been where you are and my advice is to grab control now. Go no contact. Get straight to a solicitor and get a legal separation date. My ex was already hiding tens of thousands of pounds, he was in the middle of an affair (they never leave unless they have another woman lined up, that’s what makes them so arrogant and cruel). I never believed my ex capable of this kind of behaviour, we were married for decades but all of these abusers act the same. So take control right off him now. This is the kind of advice I got from women on here and it all came true. Don’t let him back in. Close the door now, no matter how much it hurts. Yours saving yourself a world of hurt in the long run X.

    • #21802

      Hi … would have been our (detail removed by Moderator) wedding anniversary this year……so lots of past. some excellent, some good, some not so good and some horrific…..I did try and work it through, offered couples counselling always talked about re-building our marriage, that other people had gone through worse than us and had now got a wonderful marriage. All he talked about was marriages that failed and wanted me to admit that marriages fail, which I did in the end. I have a sense that he has been working his passage out for a number of years, or there is someone else……like my son has said you don’t leave a (detail removed by Moderator) year marriage without a blooming good reason, ……
      I smile as I read what you say about being embarrassed your ex meeting your new friends, the rudeness, arrogance……that is exactly what I feel……are you sure we are not talking about the same man!!! he has lost me friends in the past because of these things, if he felt they weren’t intellectual enough for him or maybe just because he wanted to make it awkward for me…….who knows, I don’t think even he will, as none of it will be in his awareness. I am sad that you were close to his son and grandson, always difficult it is never just about one loss…..I text my sister in law today to say thank you for knowing her for the last (detail removed by Moderator) years and I never wanted my marriage to end and I thought it was for life and wished his family well……I also wanted her to know that it was totally his decision, as I don’t know what he had told them, I didn’t tell her any details, just the fact that he had made the decision……keep hoping that there is some way to move forward….. take care xxxx

    • #21804

      I agree with KIP’s post Hoodwinked, we have been on here a while now and know the dangers of the odd text & email. It is doing you no favours. X

    • #21808

      Dear Hoodwinked, please think about the contact, the contact with the family also falls under the No Contact catagory. I know how tough it is. When he & I first split I had a number of texts with his son’s wife and I regret sending him that last email one month ago as I gave up some of my power. But like you, as we were splitting up I sent him 4 really long emotional emails, I know how hard it is to go zero contact straight away.

      I have joined some fun, healthy and exciting social groups since we split. The people are decent, professional and seem nice. I briefly considered my ex joining me on a day out with them. I would have felt so embarrassed by him, it would have caused me real anger inside but i was not able to express that as it was taboo to do that. He would have turned up really late, no apology, made everybody wait and just be really difficult. Without him there I would have had a nice, pleasant time with nice people. I did not have to think long whether I would have him back.

    • #21816

      Hoodwinked, it takes two people to make a marriage work. I was (detail removed by Moderator) decades with my abuser. There really is a good happy healthy life away from him. I know you’re hurting just now but given time it will pass. You can do everything you want to do with no one to belittle or pick fights or sap your self esteem and confidence. And yes, I have good memories too. If there weren’t good times, I would have left years ago. Nothing grabs their attention like no contact. It’s the ultimate hit to their ego. It says that they are not worthy to be in your life now. They are accountable for their actions and you will not tolerate that kind of behaviour. Yes, maybe he did end it but they are nothing without us, we are everything without them x don’t let him keep you hanging on for when he realises he’s made a big mistake. Show him you can get on with your own life. No contact means no brain washing no mind games no painful reminders no opening old wounds no manipulation. At least try it for a few weeks, it makes the fog of abuse clear quickly. The pain will pass. It’s his loss X

    • #21849

      Thank you KIP and HealthyArchive……I can relate to all you are saying and I think I realise that the no contact is allowing me to be ME!! I am feeling angry today, trying to cut the grass, couldn’t use the petrol mower as I am not tall enough to pull the cord, so borrowed an electric one and I have ruined that as the grass is too long……whilst doing that contacting bill providers and trying to sort them, getting passed from one person to another, whilst trying to do some work from home……whilst he is away burying his head…….so no tears today again I think……there is no way forward is there KIP without them taking accountability and realisation of what they are doing and how they have changed…….my ???? said yesterday when he stayed at her house last week, the first thing he said when he walked through the door was “I need to use the internet and plug my phone in” then went off to sit on his own……so to say he is now going to become this wonderful dad he hasn’t really made a very good start so far…….I hope you ladies have a good enough day today and everyone can say to themselves at some point today ‘Do you know what I AM OKAY’ xx

    • #21852


      Mine said ‘I am leaving. I promised myself I wouldn’t change my mind.’

      A bit like your ex, repeating over and over that ‘he had made his decision’, I think they have almost dared themselves to do it, they are tempted to cause chaos to get a huge power trip, and they are daring themselves to do it.

      Abusers leave when they have found another source of supply ( maybe another woman, maybe something else). They are such bullies, they imagine that if they leave, everything will go their way. Like mine never imagined I would divorce him. He thought I would just pune forever and let him get away with huge financial abuse. They are living in cloud cuckoo land.

      My ex was almost on a high when he left. He got such power from hurting me. I was just a casualty in his need for intimate power. He thought he was above doing any of the drudgery of daily family life; he was so arrogant, he saw family life as too constraining for him. Made no effort, or was very cruel.

      Well, I’ve divorced him and he is still trying to contact and affect me. He also sees the kids. I know part of this is that he has hey that I stood up to him and he wants to punish me, but I do think that he probably realised that the grass isn’t that greener on the other side. I might be wrong, but his lady friend doesn’t seem to be in the scene (not that I care).

      I think they get on such an ego high when they feel empowered fur any reason, like if their head has hit too big through earning good money, or their ego had been massaged through an affair… They start dictating what will happen to your life, your marriage, your house, your future… Like they have ultimate authority.,

      Well, that power is just in their own heads. They do not have the final say over your life, even though they think they do.

      Make sure you stick up for your rights. Also be prepared for him to try to wheedle his way back in at some point. Put up the ramparts. No contact.

      They are sad horrible men with massive who’s that don’t equal their abilities.

    • #21859

      Thank you Serenity…..I am learning so much on here and I feel that is where my power is now coming from….I feel like you they are full of their own importance and if I can prove by cutting the blooming grass and keep the home I hope he falls flat on his face with frustration and dis-belief…..all of that is easy to say I feel when there is ‘no contact’ however I feel when he comes to pick up his stuff or our son, I will wilt into the ‘little old me’ scenario. They are so powerful aren’t they, but I suppose that is because we allow them to be. I hope I can keep my resolve like you Serenity 🙂

    • #21864

      Hoodwinked, don’t wait for him to come for his stuff. I packed his stuff into the shed and changed the locks. Dump his stuff with a relative of his. You do not need to see him or have contact. Drop your son off at a relatives where he can pick him up. Taking back control is what will get you through this. Do it on your own terms now. Cutting the grass yourself is empowering too. It may take you a few times but well done. Keep moving forward x

    • #21873

      Thank you KIP and good advice…..and I did it I cut the blooming grass and I feel so proud of myself…..might be a little thing for some, but for me a big one….shows I can do things…..thank you KIP and I will endeavour to keep putting one foot in front of the other xx

    • #21888

      Dear Hoodwinked, I completely 100% agree with both KIP and Serenity, you’ve got to get tough. Both you and I have sent songs, texts, i sent 4 long emotional emails pouring my heart out when we first split up. I’ve learnt some lessons with this thought & said to myself that I would handle things differently next time. I would try if i loved the person and wanted it to work out, I would try ONCE to talk and work it out. With myself i was doing all of the giving, trying, compromising and making things work, it was massively unbalanced. It was me who kept our relationship alive. He contribution was just sex really. I said that never again would I tolerate something so unbalanced. Also I would cut out the long emotional attempts at contact . It is the best way to act to gain some personal power for yourself Hoodwinked. There is another lady on here her member name is Lover Of NO Contact, she has fantastic tips and advice, she was another lady who’s advice has saved me. XXXXX (well done re doing your grass!) I dont know if this would appeal to you but I have joined some social groups to get out a bit more and meet new people, i can send you a private message with the link if you like. There is bound to be some groups local to you doing things that you like to do. I have joined a hiking and a scuba diving group as these are my passions. X*X

    • #21909

      Hi thank you…..I haven’t got time to give a full answer as I have work today then I am going down to my sone…so hoping all that goes Okay… wont be on here again until Sunday, but will give a fuller answer then……hope you all have a good enough weekend x*x

    • #22504

      Hi…..back from my sons, went Okay and had a lovely weekend with my grandchildren. Did the (removed by moderator)  drive which is another first for me…….I agree I have to get tough, I went for my counselling (removed by moderator)  and he said I need to look at why I have allowed him to do this to me……and I went to my GP today and she was pleased of where I had got to in only a few weeks……I did contact ‘him’ by email whilst I was down at my sons, (removed by moderator) , he sent me a one line answer, so sent one back (removed by moderator) , he nearly sent me mad and not wanting to live…….but I was making him sad. I have had no contact since, he is coming to pick my son up again (removed by moderator)  and staying with my daughter……so not good days ahead. I also found out today by my next door neighbour, that she was in the place where he works away and she saw him coming out of (removed by moderator) with another woman, he saw them and he totally blanked them……she didn’t want to tell me until she found out he left…….so I am back to tears and feel even more hoodwinked, a fool, an idiot, why have I allowed him and continue to allow him to control my life. I phoned my sister and there is no understanding of how it feels, just an off the cuff comment ‘everybody goes through this at some point in their life’……I also told my daughter what I now know and she said how do you know it wasn’t a colleague…..I just feel as though everyone is sticking up for him……which makes my pain worse…..and I have an image of him laughing at me saying ‘sucker’ and that is so hard.
      On the plus side I have joined a friendship group and I am meeting a group of local ladies tomorrow for lunch then a different group next week for supper……not sure how I am going to feel, but determined to walk in there with my head held high and enjoy the process. I also intend to join a walking group to. My son thought I am joining groups too soon, that I have to feel the emotions and be with my own experience, they are going through a tough time with illness, but they have each other to support each other…..I can’t do this on my own!! I feel lost again, after I had been doing well…..x*x

    • #22507

      Dear Hoodwinked, things are very mixed still by the sounds of it. I can understand what you are saying about the contact with your husband. The text recently and then this email at the weekend. When me and my ex were still together, not officially broken up but it was so awful and we were just not talking. At this point I sent him 3 long detailed emails, discussing what I thought our problems were, how I felt and how we could resolve it. I put an awful lot of effort into those emails. He did not reply to one. I sent him a message telling him how much I loved and missed him. Again no response. So I can understand the need and urge that you have to contact him. It was only when he and I officially sat down and agreed to split but I almost got my closure and I no longer had the need to make the contact. I’m not sure if you and your husband have agreed to separate? I definitely found it a lot easier after this decision was made. I regret sending those messages now, it seemed to be me doing all of the giving and him doing nothing, it was not equal. I think it is fantastic you cut your grass, drove the long trip to your family’s and have joined the social groups. That is what is needed, so you learn that you can have fun and a life which does not involve him. I’m going on holiday with my new social group later this year, i’m really looking forward to it. X*X

    • #22512

      Dear Healthyarchive…..Yes seems a familiar story, me doing all the running and nothing not even a crumb back…..there was no agreement with separating, he controlled it and just says ‘I have made the decision’ I take it this is because he wants to the end to be in control. He is doing the same with work, he is off sick, he is doing some other work whilst off sick, his company have sent emails saying they can’t contact him as he has changed his phone number, can he contact them to let them know what is happening… he is hoodwinking them too…..he has also just told his family that we have ended because we are just not comparable any more, but his mum phoned me and couldn’t believe it was just that after so so many years, but I said I knew but it was up to him to tell her.
      Sounds good that you are going on holiday and well done you for the things you are doing and the groups you have joined too……it is time isn’t it…..or so I am hoping!! x*x

    • #22570

      These controlling abusers compartmentalise people into little boxes.

      They have a place for everybody, and they spend their time forcing the unfortunate people in their lives to live in that little box. People are meant to do as they are told. If you dare to behave any differently to how they expect- dare to show any rebellion, any individuality- you are abused or dumped.

      We are meant to be mere extras and support acts in their individualist drama.

      They try to control the endings of relationships, just as they controlled the beginning and forced you into commiting too quickly etc. You see, in their eyes we aren’t meant to behave in any other way but malleable puppets.

      The trick is to eventually sort out your basic physical needs and security- home, repayment of debt in a manageable way etc- and to build a basic homely structure away from them that is warm and comforting and abuse free.

      Within that safe structure, you can express yourself with more freedom everyday. Be who you really are, do what you love, practice self-acceptance, parent kids how you wish to….etc.

      Such freedom and not being treated merely as a less important support act or extra is delicious.

      Even if we were dumped for some other person who massages their ego, that person too will be given the role of support act by our abuser. Our abuser will always have the overwhelming need to be centre stage. They aren’t humble.

    • #22594

      Serenity I have read some very interesting information on a similar theme of what you are saying, it makes sense when you read it, but difficult when you are in the early days of living it……I met my group of ladies today for lunch who I have never met……they were lovely but all married, so felt a bit lost again….when I left my irrational thoughts were ‘I don’t want to be doing this, I want my life/dreams of what I thought I was going to have’… is this swinging of emotions that are so hard…..then a met someone I haven’t seem for a long time and brought back my rational head as she is divorced and enjoying a new life with hope and excitement, saying what you have said above, so I can leave the pots in the sink if I want to, I can put the bin lid down if I want to, I can change the garden around and move the furniture and decorate how I want…….so going to do some planning tonight of how I want my house to be!!! 🙂

    • #22596

      Dear Hoodwinked, I was in such a similar situation to you, since we split I have had time to evaluate what happened and have given myself some guidelines for next time. The next time I feel that I am doing all of the giving, trying and chasing and its not equal i will back off and slow down. Like you i was getting virtually nothing back, really it was me that kept our relationship alive when we were still a couple, he contributed sex that was mainly it. It made me feel sad when I read that you contacted him and got a one line answer, my ex ignored me most of the time. I can see from reading your post and also from Serenity’s post, that your ex controlled the ending. My ex controlled our ending, it causes more emotional pain this way I think. Although i’m ok now I still have this niggling feel that he remains in control, I’ve worked hard to manage this aggravation and a good thing that seems to help is practicing the art of acceptance.
      I posted yesterday on the emergence of your self confidence and strength when you live on your own after a bad relationship. I never imagined I could possibly cope living alone, but I had to after a divorce & it a bit like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. You discover, strength, ability & inner confidence that you never knew existed. You have made a start with expanding your social circle. I reckon if you embraced single life you might find hidden strengths within. Please don’t contact him Hoodwinked, you are wrecking your self worth. X*X

    • #22602

      Dear HealthyArchive……It sounds like you have come such a long way since your split, I hear still painful at times but you are able to tap into your self-esteem and confidence…..I think because they control everything it takes away your inner power, and that is de-motivating… is when I think of living alone I get that gut retching pain, so I will have to try and stop thinking about it…..I found out yesterday that he was spotted with another woman a couple of months ago… feel even more hoodwinked!!
      A day at a time for me at the moment……my self worth was destroyed and it is going to take kindness to myself first that is going to restore it x*x

    • #22607

      Ok Hoodwinked. I think these little snippets of contact you are making with him will be feeding his ego, reducing your self esteem, making you feel awful and giving him more power. I know how hard and heartbreaking it is but It would do the world of good to completely cut all contact. It will show him that you are not to be messed with! I like the book No Contact by HG Tudor, its free to read on Amazon. I think my ex was seeing someone else or at least had someone lined up. YOu are an attractive, kind hearted decent women who has tons of goodness to give to anybody. I like to remind myself of my attributes and my ex’s ability to find anybody who could offer what I could. (i dont’ mean to sound big headed, i really don’t). I paid my way, have my own home and independence and we would have had a good life together. Perhaps you should remind yourself of what he has lost. At the moment you feel small, like you are nothing. But that is not true its only because you are down and confused. Your lovely Stay. strong, you can manage this. X*X

    • #22685

      There are so many strong women on here and I read their stories and wonder how they cope….they say mental health issued is the ‘elephant in the room’, now I have experienced my own emotional abuse and read stories of domestic abuse I feel it is this that is the ‘elephant in the room’……it is a big ‘secret’ because people are scared to admit it has happened to them or it could make their situation worse……I feel Women’s aid is slowly getting the message out there……
      You have done so well HealthyArchive, the qualities you have are very apparent and show your passion for answering people’s stories, giving hope and support when you do…….so yes I believe that when we come out of the other side that we can be advocates and support for other women and men who go through domestic and emotional abuse. I did say to him one day before he left ‘I hope you wake up one morning and realised you have lost the best thing that ever happened to you’…….like you that isn’t being big headed, but we could have had such a good life and he threw it all away for his own selfish needs. It is difficult totally no contact as he is coming to pick our son up once a week, so I am sat here totally anxious in case he comes to the door or I see him, I am also worried as he is with our daughter and whether he hoodwinks her too x*x

    • #22728

      I am having a really bad day, I have cried all day, he has been to pick our son up and I have been heartbroken….he took all his clothes today… becoming more final……I sent him an email and spoke to him on the phone offering my all to get support and build our marriage…..he didn’t say one positive thing and still put it on me by saying he left because h e couldn’t live up to my standards…..I still had some hope that things could be turned around so I am heartbroken again……he says the emails don’t help so I know I have to stick to the no contact but I don’t know whether I can do it…..

    • #22735

      Because abusers don’t share our standards.

      As normal people, we expect to be loved by our partner, as well as love them, and for our partner to treat others well too.

      Abusers want everyone to bow to their needs and sa richer their lives for them.

      Rather than admit they are selfish, they throw around vague statements like we have ‘different values’ and ‘we have too high expectations’ etc.

      In other words, they want a relationship where the woman will sacrifice herself and attend to only him- and let him neglect and mistreat her and her children.

      A loving man would take his role as husband and father seriously.

      My ex never admitted his own abusive nature. He only said we had ‘different core values.’

      He was right: I am nothing like him. He is an evil psychopath!

      It will no doubt cause you pain seeing him. Please don’t boost is already huge ego by letting him know the pain he’s causing you. At handover, hand the kids over without looking at him. Space from him is the only way you will heal.

      These abusers feign being victims. But for them to treat others as they do they must be arrogant in the first place. These abusers love themselves. Time for you to love you.

      You are far too good for him.

      My ex traumatically bonded me to him, like yours has. After (detail removed by moderator) years, I don’t miss him- I am just trying to deal with the reality of who he is.

      We are all here for you.

      Please pamper yourself tonight. Engage in extra self-care.

      This man is arrogant, cruel and projects all his faults on to you, like mine did.

      The fault isn’t with you. It’s with him. You did your bit in the relationship- he failed in his part. These abusers can’t have relationships. They only see things from their own self-centred point of view. They can’t ever truly love or care for anyone- all they can do is take from others, and their taking and parasitical sucking of our health and energy never ends. You could be perfect and he’d still not be happy. They are hyper-critical, demanding and never happy. X*x

    • #22736

      PS I realise now that my ex got off on me showing him what pain I was in.

      Any normal person who would feel mortified by others’ pain, horse abusers feel as surge f power in hurting others. This is what malignant abusers are like. My ex is like this.

      They maximise others’ faults and minimise their own. They think people should treat them like royalty. They aren’t realistic.

    • #22738

      Hoodwinked, by having contact with him you are leaving yourself open for him to stomp on your heart. My ex was seeing someone behind my back so it gave him this arrogant belief that he could not only treat me with no respect whatsoever but rub my nose in it too. Like he had moved on from decades of marriage to follow the thing between his legs carrying on like I never existed. Posting photos on Facebook. Absolutely no empathy. Well, I changed the locks, went no contact and am moving on whilst he’s now miserable and I believe would crawl back if I didn’t have to get a restraining order. He tried to blame me for his failings, tried to punish me for not worshipping him and running after his every need anymore, to dare tell him I didn’t love him because he kept hurting me. So the first woman who showed him any attention and massaged his ego, he jumped into a relationship. He’s now paying the price for that. There’s no fool like an old fool x have you seen a solicitor yet? My ex emptied the bank account and stole tens of thousands. Don’t think he wouldn’t stoop that low x protect yourself. Mentally, physically and financially x

    • #22745

      Thank you Serenty and KIP I honestly don’t know what I would have done without this blog and your warm support and understanding……today has been like the first day he left, the difference being I was at work the first time so had to get myself together, today I have been on my own and it is that gut retching feeling, I am sure you will know what that feels like, you can’t eat……he came in the house when he arrived and gave me a kiss…… can these men see what they are doing or do they? my head is so skewed I think I am still in shock as Serenity has said to actually believe I am in this position….I said I loved him and can you believe he said ‘obviously not enough otherwise you would have let me contact other women’……they take your heart out and twist it up……I honestly wish I could hate him and it would be so much easier……I think you are right Serenity about being traumatically bonded to him, I do feel as though I have PTSD, I have had to take double propranalol for anxiety today……and still on sleeping tablets.
      Yes I have seen a solicitor KIP and thankfully we have separate bank accounts and debts are in his name. When does the disbelief get easier, I feel I am living a nightmare at the moment and I know everyone on here is probably feeling the same so my heart goes out to everyone…..THANK YOU…..x*x

    • #22747

      Dearest Hoodwinked, I think its time to get tough………………(i’m so sorry, i’m really a big softie and care very much for your wellbeing) BUT, you are in a very bad way so toughness and straight talking is what is needed. During a fair number of past relationships that I have had, including my most recent, it is fair to say I was the weak party. I pleaded, cried, pursued, wrote letters, felt mentally screwed up, tried to make it work and contacted first. Most of the time I was ignored and treated like s**t!!! I remember once it was 3am, I had been dumped and I was heartbroken, i sat writing letter after letter trying to work it out. My most recent BF I done every single bit of the giving and making the relationship work he did nothing at all, apart from contribute sex. I would send him 10 texts, he would send back 3 and that was after making me wait for 2 or 3 days. I noticed that this withdrawing is actually a massive pull, it made me try harder and harder. But all the while my self confidence was gradually being eroded. I felt like less of a woman, inferior, small, belittled and useless. I have not had that many happy moments in my adult life as it seems that I have always been in miserable relationships. My most recent, I crawled and begged big time during the relationship when he periodically dumped me for amusement. Begging him not to leave me, i was devastated, I think he enjoyed this. I think that I had psychological issues around abandonment and he uncovered that, he felt like he had won the jackpot and throughout our time together would hint that he was going to or would actually dump me. At the time of our split I tried a bit with some emails but since then I have to say I have been really good, its totally unlike me. It is thanks to this forum, the advice that I have got and read about and the books on abuse that I have read. Your husband is treating you like a worthless piece of trash it is plain for me and the other women here to see that. I think you should show him, get tough, regain some self esteem and manage this situation like a strong woman. He has been seeing someone else for a while, has been treating you badly for 2 years, screwed with your emotional state and is making you beg and chase him. You are making him feel like royalty with your reactions. In five months I have maintained No Contact 99.5% which is totally unlike me. I sent him one email about (detail removed by moderator) weeks ago but that was only becausue I felt sorry for him and wanted to send him my regards. I regret doing that not. I am not going to contact him or any of his associates ever again now. I think that I might find Christmas & New Year a bit challenging but I will face that when it comes. You can do this Hoodwinked, probably at this moment he is happily wining and dining this woman, as my ex is i’m sure, you are not in his thoughts and he is probably excitedly planning his future. I say Fck him!!!! In 6 months to a years time you will feel differently to how you do now, stronger. We can all help you on here, you need to read all of the guidance and websites, this if my very favourite site on trauma bonding, Another book that so much helped me was called N********t Free by Zari Ballard. I think its free on Amazon. What you are actually feeling is a chemical reaction to the situation. Here are some other links that i like: Distress Tolerance********t-gives-us-up/ I think that you need to make arrangements to not be there when he collects his children, can this be done? you dont need to come face to face with him, its sending your emotions haywire. In my (detail removed by moderator)months of No Contact i’ve changed from the weak chasing, mentally deranged victim to someone with power and control managing my own life. Post every day, 10 times a day if you need to. XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXx I repeat, YOUR HUSBAND IS TREATING YOU LIKE A WORTHLESS PIECE OF TRASH and you are not, he is d**n lucky to have YOU!

    • #22752

      He’s keeping you hanging on for when he finds out the grass is not greener. Yes you are trauma bonded. When I found out my husband was cheating, I caused a scene in the street and then he made me go and apologise to the neighbour!! And I did it! He totally turned the tables. He was the lying cheating rat and I was the one left feeling guilty. I would question the debts. Even though they are in his name, because you are married, his debt is your debt too I believe until a separation date. What kind of a delusional man blames his wife for NoT allowing him to contact other women. He’s gas lighting you. Shocking behaviour. Change the locks and go no contact. It will really give you time to clear your head x

    • #22756

      I 1000% agree with every word said by KIP and Serenity, we know what we are talking about Hoodwinked. Turn the tables on him. Carry o in fact you might have to absorb yourself in developing your independent activities, i love and I have joined 3 social groups now. Maybe get yourself a makeover, have a different haircut, do something drastic. Like redecorate or change the house around. Book yourself a holiday for soon, i always go on holiday on my own, well on my own but in groups of people who are also alone (Friendship Travel, Solo’s Holidays, Onetraveller. Do a google search. I have done at least 10 of these holidays, they are FAB!!!! Read Living Alone & Loving It by Barbara Feldon. Look up some of your divorced friends and maybe suggest a weekend away, Bruges is amazing, plus you get to go on Eurostar. Maybe think about some new outfits our hobbies you’ve always considered. offers hundreds of different activities that will be local to you. The idea is to shake yourself up out of your mindset, distract yourself and all the while you will be feeling better about yourself. Have some fun. XXXXXXX

    • #22775


      KIP has spoken much sense.

      It takes those who have been at the receiving end of these power-hungry and arrogant abusers who specialise in mental and emotional abuse to understand the depth of pain- but also to know the only recourse of action.

      My ex ( like yours, it sounds like) used returning to take the kids out as a real opportunity to inflict immense emotional harm on me. He too kissed me ( but the arrogant man actually crept into my bedroom to do it), whilst behaving as if he didn’t care, like all those years meant nothing….

      They know what they are doing. They act like we are being stupid to get upset- yet they do exactly the things they they know will trigger and hurt us. It’s very cleverly done. M as KIP says, it’s gaslighting. They do exactly the things that they know will disturb you- then blame you!

      How dare he think he still has the right to kiss you! They think that we continue to be their property.

      I once read that psychopaths ‘understand’ human behaviour very well. They can read people well, they know exactly what will trigger people, how they can hurt them the most, whilst feigning innocence. They can read people well, yet they themselves are not human: they don’t have proper emotions or deep feelings towards other people. People are just there to fulfil their needs.

      I agree with KIP they the only way is no contact. However unachievable this might seem to you now, it can be done. I have two kids, but I am zero contact. My mum is third party contact, though since the court contact order there is not much reason for him to use her ( setting a contact order lessens the opportunity for abuse, as things are set in stone; your abuser will have less opportunity to manipulate or blackmail).

      When my ex came back acting all arrogant to pick up the kids, it was like a dagger to my heart. He was acting as if he was ecstatic. It made me sick how he could still love himself after how he had behaved. Truth is, he was ecstatic: he was on a high hurting me. Punishing me for all those times I had picked him up on his behaviour. Punishing me for loving my kids and not only him. Punishing me for daring to have an opinion.

      I too-like KIP- think that my ex’s arrogance in thinking that he could treat me like nothing – came from his ego being massaged by an affair elsewhere. He had always been arrogant and cruel, but suddenly he became fifty times worse. At the same time, like KIP, I had more or less told him that his cruelty had done our marriage much damage. Rather than accept his abusiveness, he did the weak and cowardly thing of finding validation elsewhere, with some other woman, rather than face up to his behaviour.

      I haven’t said a single word to my ex for over eighteen months. If I had continued to be victim to his cruel abuse, I don’t think I would have coped. No contact gave me some power back and a chance to heal.

      My hope for you is that one day he will not seem such a power figure in your life, that you won’t feel so bonded to him and that you will finally see him for the worm he is. I believe you will get there.

      I read a quote somewhere in an article, which made me smirk. These n**********c abusers are so arrogant, but their self-love is way off-scale. It said : “These abusers will still be sitting up at the bar when they are old and grey, still thinking they are God’s gift.”

    • #22776

      PS : Like KIP says, I believe he is trying keep you hooked by hurting you- just in case he finds out that the grass isn’t greener.

      But if you’re like me, the pain he inflicts will have shown you the monster that he is. I divorced my ex out of the blue. He was shocked. Everyone was shocked. I even shocked myself! But staying with him would have been torture- for my kids too. The ferocity of his mental cruelty made me realise how I needed this toxic bully out of my life.

    • #22820

      Oh my goodness how I needed to read all of your posts today, I know I have to do all of the above, I have joined one group and going out for dinner with them next week….I went to the hairdressers but its not much different so going to go somewhere else before I go back to work in (month removed by moderator)…..the holiday options sound good and I will look into them……I was thinking of not being here next weekend then I had this ‘oooo moment’ that said no I have to be here……so I am going to go against by heart and go with my gut and go away…..I know I have to get tough and I am going to read the articles tonight and educate myself a bit more….he is treating me like trash, he doesn’t care a toss…..I even mentioned how this was a pattern, 3 times now he has done the same with work, just thrown them away and he went into this long diatribe that it was all this other person’s fault……I even said to him that I could absolutely ruin his life with the information I know about, but I wouldn’t do that because I have values, values for myself and not vindictive…..of course he took it the wrong way and used it against me……not doubt he will be telling people now that I am going to ruin his life…..I think some of you have said that we keep giving then fuel to use……which I have just done…..he will use it and I feel with our eldest son as he is staying with him when he is working away……so I think I am getting that is why it is important so to have no contact so we don’t give them any fuel to beat us with!!!
      Again he told me off for putting things on social media, again I haven’t put anything against him, just quotes, yet he can say and do what he wants, I found a website he had been on (detail removed by moderator)
      I am going to get on with decorating my living room today, thankfully I bought all the paint before he left so I don’t have to find the money…..then tonight read the articles and look for some more work and look at the holidays…….I am sending a huge cyber hug to all three of you, as although we haven’t met I feel very close to you, thank you, I hope you have a good day and that we can all have NO CONTACT!! x*x

    • #22827

      I’d also like to add that if you’re looking for some sort of explanation or closure from him, it will never come. A post that stuck in my mind. Comparing his leaving with him dying. He walked out that door and died. You will never get closure from him so don’t waste your time and emotions. They are just not wired the same. You are right about them twisting things we say then trying to influence our family and friends. I never mention his father to my adult son but I know his father has said all sorts about me. How I stole money (he did) how I had an affair (he did) etc. It’s called mirroring and it’s unbelievable. If I was you I wouldn’t discuss him with your children. Somehow they manage to twist and manipulate. My worry for you is finances. Please make sure you have a grip on them and legal advice. Even after all the abuse I suffered I never though he’d stoop that low to steal money. Lots and lots of it. Never underestimate them x

    • #22831

      ‘Making them feel like royalty with our reactions.’

      A brilliant way of putting it, HA x

    • #22834

      Historical Rejection: Why the N********t Gives Us Up*********s/

      These websites talk more about getting closure and being left/given the silent treatment they really helped me.

      Yes, please do make sure you are on the ball with regards to debts, assets and money. Maybe its worth a provisional visit to a solicitor for some advice or the CAB. This is the organisation that my work uses with such matters,

      When I first met my ex I thought he might have been a conman trying to get a foot in my door and his hands on my house. He was very forceful very early about moving in. I did so much research then about protecting myself legally should he move in. I still believe he is highly capable of targetting a wealthy widow type of person and conning them out of thousands giving the pretense of love. Fortunatly the b**t**d got not one penny out of me!

      My first independent holiday was one week in (detail removed by moderator) I met a group of 12 other women at the airport, none of whom I knew, plus the rep. I shared accommodation with another lady, we had a beautiful hotel and beach. Another holiday was in (detail removed by moderator) in a 4 star hotel and I had my own room. You can read, mingle, hang out do whatever you want, take a couple of good novels and you have a great holiday. Don’t worry too much about feeling awkward or shy when you start joining the groups, everybody feels like that at first. I have a smashing new year lined up with one of my groups, hiking in the (detail removed by moderator) n*d party on New Years Eve. Good for you Hookwinked this is so much his loss. One day you will be able to turn around to him and tell him to shove it where the sun doesn’t shine! X*X

    • #22877


      My ex more or less said the same thing, but spoke in a cryptic way. He told me – in a blase way- as I was washing up that his best friend was ‘allowed’ affairs by his wife, as long as he ‘hid the evidence.’

      Now I know he was talking about himself. I just know it.

      These men don’t think of our feelings. They just get angry that we don’t allow them to do whatever they like.

    • #22888

      Serenity…..I am still in disbelief, the more I read the more I see it is/was my life and it describes my husband/ex perfectly….like you say they don’t think of anyone but themselves…..before he left I said what my boundary was about no emotional/sexual contact with other women, so he went away in the huff, thought about how he could get round it and said ‘I will endeavour not to have any contact with any UNKNOWN women’…….how on earth did he think he could get round this, did he think I was stupid? so what about the known women???? I feel so angry just remembering it…..
      I am finding it all so surreal, whilst I have kept busy today decorating, all I have thought about is him, been tempted to contact him but haven’t, just disbelief he has done so much on the house and garden, I still don’t get it…….even though I do with reading all the information……my head is so mixed…..I am just so sad and lonely and I know I have to go through all of these emotions…..
      I hear what you are saying KIP about closure…..I am still struggling to see how to move forward without it, if he had died there would have been a funeral and although I would still have to go through the grieving process, I would have had closure…..I think seeing him yesterday has made it worse for me, I keep saying in my head I love him……but how can I when he has hurt me so much……if only we had foresight, I think if I knew I would end up with a lovely man who treated me properly that would make it all easier, but unfortunately we don’t….I also know that I have to get Okay with ME first….
      I will keep reading and thank you HealthyArchive for all the links you have sent,I am going to look at them now xx

    • #22897

      I have just read the links you have all given me……I feel sick, how could I have lived this life for so so long, I have denied my gut feeling, but he made me believe that I was wrong, it was me….. part of the article said
      The n**********c lover with a n**********c personality will create chaos and turmoil on a regular basis (and on purpose) to keep you in a heightened state of anxiety. He/she will do this even when things are good – and especially when things are good – so that you least expect the kick to the curb
      I used to say this, how come you sabotage things when we are good? such as birthdays, Christmas, holidays, valentines day etc etc……always always spoilt, this got worse in the later years…..something else I could identify with was….’you are messing with my head’ he used to mix me up with words so much that I didn’t know what reality was…..I should have known, he has f…ing hoodwinked me all my life….why have I not done anything……by gut instinct was telling me and I ignored it?????
      He has just used me as a cover, so he could hide the real him and his sordid little life, I have ordered the workbook, I don’t want to waste any more of my life…..I haven’t got that much left to waste……but at the moment I don’t know quite how you recover from a covert n**********c manipulator…..

    • #22905

      Dear Hoodwinked, when I first split from my ex, for at least 2.5 months i could not stop thinking about him. The thoughts were intrusive and I could not stop them. They just kept coming into my mind. I was thinking about him for 98.5% of each day, over and over and over and dreaming about him each night. I tried to stop the thoughts coming but they wouldn’t stop. I found that the more you share on here and read posts, you gain a different perspective. This together with time passing, the obsessive thoughts become less concentrated. At this time i was keeping a journal which I wrote in a lot, wrote a lot on here and read so many abuse books and websites. I will never forget the day that I felt myself smile naturally, and then a few days later I genuinely laughed at a joke in work. The thoughts too were becoming less then. I think of other things more now, like plants that I like and organizing barbecues. Every day still i think about him and our relationship but it is definitely more manageable now, he probably crosses my mind for a couple of hours each day now. You are likely to be obsessively overthinking for some time yet. Back then when I was so distraught any contact would have set me right back. When you have No Contact Hoodwinked, your fragile mental state and ragged nerves become somewhat smoothed. It is a bit like having a deep exhale, some stress coming out of your shoulders and you seeing things slightly more clearly and through your own eyes. When you are developing this calmness, then you have some contact, it sets your emotions haywire. I was severely depressed and in a heightened state of anxiety immediatly after i sent him an email (detail removed by moderator)weeks ago, wondering if he had replied. I felt sick with dread. My former calmer state had been replaced with fear and terror. This is what you will have if you have any contact with him, or some sort of severe negative emotion. You will probably identify with the film Gaslight, poor Ingrid Bergman was married to a covert abuser, i got it from Amazon for £2.49. My ex left me and still does confused and doubting. This has I think caused the over thinking since the split. Why did this happen if he didn’t care sort of thoughts. When I have these thoughts i try to think back to the reasons why it ended in the first place. That normally sorts the wood from the trees. Keep reading and posting Hoodwinked and please don’t contact him. I like No Contact by HG Tudor, its immediately available and free to read on Amazon. You will get stronger. X*X

    • #22907

      ps, i felt very sad, desperately sad and that i still loved him too. I felt really sorry for him believing him to be damaged and unable to act normally. You will have a range of emotions Hoodwinked, sometimes they are different every day. What you may find is that as your mind is processing thoughts and memories which it will do, your thinking changes.

    • #22918

      Thankyou as always Helthyarchive…..I already have a sense of all the different emotions I am going to have…I have been reading a bit more and I actually feel sorry for him…..and I know this could hook me back in again, but I am aware of it…..
      What seems funny to me, I have been going through this for years and never even heard of Women’s Aid, or a n********t or not much about emotional abuse and yet I was experiencing all three of them and there is loads of information on the net…..
      I have decided to do a picture and words about how I feel and will take it to my next therapy session…this may help me in ‘letting go’, a journal will be good to keep, I have kept one of my experiences over the last few months in-case I needed evidence, as you forget, it is also good to read when I feel like contacting him, because it is the reality, not my ‘dream’ of having a ‘soul mate’ who was warm and empathic and valued what I had to say, that was just a dream….
      I am glad to hear that things have got better for you and your replies and attachments to read are very valuable to me, so thank you….I wish Women’s Aid did actual support groups as it would be beneficial to see each other in person too….although there is so many different forms of abuse….xxxx

    • #22919

      Sorry missed the ‘A’ out of your name 🙂 x*x

    • #22925

      I felt a real sadness and sympathy for my ex recently, that is when I sent him an email. It was only short wishing him well and saying that i hope things are going ok and that he is happy. He ignored it. But at that point I felt terribly sad for him. I think that I have a caring nature and I did care about him when we were together. I did/do not believe he is truly happy in how he conducts himself and he struggles with self confidence, his skill lies in seducing women but that is all that he has. I wanted to offer him the hand of friendship. But this did put me back Hoodwinked, the thought of seeing his name in my inbox in response made me feel sick with dread.

    • #22968

      I hear what you are saying and fits with me too…..I have just been reading about trauma bonding and I am understanding it more, although it is hard to acknowledge, when I look back the trauma bonding started before we got married, he did something then that was inappropriate and I forgave him then and got married, I should have kept to my boundaries then and ended it. So for him that set the scene, it gave him the power from the start, what a b****y idiot I have been, to then go through all of these years!!!!
      I have also been looking into EMDR, has anyone had this or heard how successful it is for trauma bonding.xx

    • #22991

      Hoodwinked, I’ve just sent you a personal message if you can navigate your way to it. Top right where it says how are you? Click on that x

    • #23006

      There was a lady on the forum last year who underwent EMDR for her PTSD and said it was very effective.

    • #23018

      Thank you Serenity and KIP I will look more into it…….I feel quite proud of myself, I have been out with my daughter and children, I was so desperate to text him and say ‘it could have been so good’…..its like a drug isn’t it, that intense internal pain, you can’t explain the intensity of it unless you have experienced it and I am sure women reading this will ‘know’….I am getting how this fits with trauma bonding and where I am in the process……I am beating myself up a bit, for not sticking to my own boundaries over the years and being such an idiot, I think I will look at doing some assertiveness training as well. I suppose I have got there because I have never liked hurting people, but now I realise in this I have hurt ME or allowed n*********s to manipulate me….I have just watched the advert for Alzheimer’s on TV and it pulls at my heart every-time I see it..’for the man to keep his promise and love me to the end’….is there any men out there that still do this? xx

    • #23019

      Dear Hoodwinked, i’m pleased you went out with you family and overcame the urge to text him. I know how you feel, at the moment I want to contact my ex too. I feel sad and empty I wish I could properly let go and move on. I have thought about him quite a lot today. I think that is because something on here earlier upset and triggered me feeling sad. Tomorrow is another day. You are doing well. X*X

    • #23031

      Dear Healthyarchive……I am sending you a huge cyber hug… wrap you up in warm compassion…..until you are in a good enough place again to do it for yourself 🙂
      I have seen you have so much strength and support for me and others on these blogs, and I sincerely thank you for that and you are human too, like the above advert for me, there will also be triggers for you, that brings back memories and yearnings!! Be gentle on yourself and yes tomorrow is a new day for us both and maybe just maybe we may not even think of them or if we do we can just acknowledge the thought, let it go and then get on with OUR day :)xxxxx

    • #23032

      Thanks, yes i am feeling quite sad at the moment.

    • #23168


      You will have days when you feel like that, but you will have strong days again.X

    • #23179

      Thanks X

    • #23185

      Hope yesterday was a better day for you HA xx

    • #23187

      Thanks I am okay.x

    • #23222

      Hows it going Hoodwinked? X

    • #23227

      Hi HA……had a good day today, been in at work and went out for a meal with colleagues after, so my mind has been taken off things which is a good thing…..only time I thought about it all was in conversation and found myself saying ‘we went….’ ‘we liked it at…..’ ‘our son……’ which brought back that ooooo feeling, trying to block it from my mind which not sure whether that is a good thing…….so no tears today.
      How are you HA? hope your sadness is clearing a bit today…..warmest x*x

    • #23228

      I am ok today thanks, everybody has good & bad days I guess. I think its natural to say “we did this, we liked that” etc, you were together many years after all and the split is very recent. Are you managing to maintain No Contact still? not more text messages or emails?

      When you maintain NC, you will notice after a while that each moment frees your thoughts, gradually you start to think your own thoughts and see things through your own eyes. It really is a nice feeling. When the snippets of contact happen you continue to be tied into the drama. I have a book that I read when we split, its called How to Mend a Broken Heart by Christine Webber. It recommends at least 3 months zero contact on on both sides. All of the abuse books also recommend NC. Its also got a good chapter in the book about establishing how much you actually like your ex partner. I liked 4 things about my partner, one of those could have applied to anybody and was not specific about him. Liking 3 things about your partner is not enough, it should be 20 things and those things should be really specific to him and not general. I think that I have learned so much about establishing and continuing healthy relationships. X*X (thank you for your kind messages to me)

    • #23231

      I am reading a book at the moment, it’s called N********t Free, the No Contact guide to breaking up by Zari Ballad. It goes into detail about the roller coaster of emotions that affect you post split & why you feel the way that you do when the relationship was unsatisfactory anyway. I think you will like this book Hoodwinked x*x👍

    • #23286

      Hi HA…..yes I have managed no contact…..but feeling is intense today…..I hate this feeling…..I just want to phone him up and him say I realise what I have done, can I come home? I know that isn’t going to happen and if I did phone him my sense would be that he would still manipulate me and put me down…….so fighting these feelings at the moment…..
      I will have a look at these books HA they may help…..I am at work tomorrow so that should take care of that, then when he is coming down at the weekend I am going away so wont see him, although that in its self will be painful too x*x

    • #23304

      I can understand your pain Hoodwinked, I was there and still am, though a huge amount less than before. I think that it is an excellent idea for you to not be there when he comes at the weekend. It will give him something to think about, trust me it will! My relationship was hugely unbalanced and unequal. I did more or less everything to keep the relationship going and alive, i did everything. He did nothing apart from contribute sex and attend holidays that we had. I chased, pleaded and begged when we split up and I did this 4 or 5 times when we were together too. Each time I either got ignored or he happily played with my mental health using manipulation, mind games, lies or withholding of information. I vowed to myself that I will never allow such an unequal situation to arise again. We split up, I said to myself if he loves and cares about me he will walk to the ends of the earth and step on hot coals to show me this. He did nothing and discarded and dropped me, I expect him to be at least on woman no. 5 now. I can see some similarities with yourself whereas you miss yearn and would like to contact your husband. From what you had posted before, things have been going pear shaped for 2 years where you felt belittled and treated badly. He might’ve been seeing another women as he was spotted, he took control by telling your children you were separating, he is ignoring you when you have tried to contact him being nice and trying to talk, he has been surfing internet websites in secret to the point of addiction, maybe dating sites or sex sites? He has been reducing your confidence to nearly zero, messing hugely with your emotions and making you feel terrible. But you want to contact him and say sorry. I can see myself in you so much, this is what I would do, in fact this is what I did do. Its easier to say things from the outside looking in, but I hope that I’m able to offer you some helpful advice so that your self esteem can gradually be raised again. I have happy and positive moments now. I love and enjoy my home & i love my independence. X*X

    • #23340

      Hi HA yes of course you offer me some very apt advice and experience that you have gone through…….it is yours and some others comments that have kept me going over the last two months…..and yes I have to keep reminding myself of how he actually treated me and not the romanised view….
      On the positives, I met another group of ladies last night for a meal and we seemed to get on really well, all were married but on their second, so had a sense of what I was going through, although I have to say we didn’t talk about this much thankfully, there was still that pull when I said ‘we’…..I have finished decorating my living room and moved some furniture round, I have also put fairy lights rounds the fireplace, he would hate that as he didn’t like trinkets or anything nice really……so that feels very good…..
      So at work today and going away with my daughter and kids will be just what I need, I am not saying I wont be thinking of him as he will be with my son, so a bit nervous of wht he might say to him.

      Have a good day HA and thakyou again for my reminders and advice xxxx

    • #23377

      I have totally failed, I contacted him on the phone tonight on the way back from work, a song a thought, then contact!!! initially I was just going to ask him if he could (detail removed by moderator)while he is down and I am away, then I got all emotional and started crying, I asked him if anything had changed and he said no, so I got angry and said I didn’t understand, he never explains anything to me, he only throws questions back at me, it just got more and more emotional on my part, no emotion on his part (no surprises there then). He then tried to convince me that it was my thinking that was skewed regarding his porn and other women on the internet and said there was plenty of women who thought this was all Okay, but (detail removed by moderator) I wouldn’t accept it. In the end I put the phone down on him.
      It didn’t get better when I got home, I sent him a long email, (detail removed by moderator) I have played right into his hands haven’t I? given him more fuel for him to use and say what a mad woman I am……I have gone right back to where I was, what an idiot, it is because he is coming down again, even though I am not here, I know he is at the house and with our son and I am now scared that he will now use this new fuel to tell both of our sons!!

    • #23384

      Dear Hookwinked, try not to be hard on yourself about this contact. Its not surprising you have wanted to contact him, you have been together, married for so long, have children and grandchildren. Plus there has been no decent respectful closure or understanding for you. All of these make it understandable to desperately want to contact him to try to get the answers that you need. His issue from what I have read is that he wants free reign to look at internet porn, possibly other websites (online dating? extra marital affair websites? these do exist, and online sex website?) I’m guessing this is what he wants?, and he wants you to agree?…
      If i’m right and this is what he wants, I know what I would do but I guess its up to you to decide if you are willing to compromise your wishes and beliefs for this. Have you asked yourself if you can truly tolerate what he wants? for the sake of your marriage.

      My view is that online porn, dating websites, harmless chat sites and all other websites which are similar will not stay with just computer chat & viewing, it will progress into meeting up with women. Then that will progress into affairs etc. I had a suspicion just before we split that my ex wanted the green light to see other women. I knew in my heart that I would never had allowed that so i ended it with him. He treated me like an old piece of garbage, I think he would have kept me dangling while having a number of affairs, over my dead body!!!

    • #23389

      No I don’t want all of that HA, that doesn’t show respect and value for the other and I hear you never got that either……I have just had an email back from him and I have made him sad again…….I can never go back to him I know that, but just so so hard!! xx

    • #23391

      I know. Its hard, some days you will have such deep heartache, its like a physical pain inside, making your hollow, it feels like your insides are being pulled out. I had this for a while, i felt so heartbroken. I couldn’t eat, sleep, think clearly or freely. I kept going over and over and over in my mind every little thing that had happened. But I tell you what, you will find that these dark times become overshadowed sometimes with normal run of the mill times or happy times. Very gradually as your heartbreak is so severe at first. I will always remember the first day that I smiled, a natural smile. And then I laughed, a good belly laugh, and I stopped thinking about him as much. It felt great. What helped me break through the most awful, doubtful heartbreaking time was after I contacted him and he ignored it, this was about 5 weeks ago. That response sort of like gave me a closure which I needed. All of the abuse books advise against any contact but in my instance it helped me. I will say though, that after the initial feeling of elation that I had, I regretted contacting him and I still do now. I felt like I gave away some of my power. Take care Hoodwinked, you are doing great. Maybe start reading some of the short books available on Amazon, Zari Ballard is my favourite author on dealing with what we are discussing. X*X

    • #23430

      Thank you HA….I hear your wise words and understand that I am still in early days…..he says he acknowledges his flaws, he doesn’t get that that isn’t enough, its like me saying I acknowledge I am over weight and because of this unhealthy, but if I don’t do anything with that acknowledgement to get healthier, then it doesn’t do anything they are just empty words. He also said he didn’t say anything about me as he values me, again this isn’t how loving relationships work, we hear what other people say through open communication, then we can either measure and adapt what is said with our own values and thoughts and adapt our behaviour and actions, especially when we might be hurting someone else……if he doesn’t tell me how can I do this, or even apologise for things I may not be appropriate in. So again I feel empty words and not taking responsibility, a cop out. Going away for 3 days so hoping some joy in that xxxx

    • #23666

      I am back from a lovely few days with my daughter and grandchildren. Whilst I had a good time it was also emotional as the place we went to I had been there with my husband a few years ago so brought back memories. So some tears also……he was with our son….I gave in again and text him, saying I was sad…whilst he sent me a text he didn’t mention anything about my being sad….I did some reading around what was happening for me and realise that I still have to develop my own boundaries even when we have separated, as if I show that I would possibly have him back, the message I am giving him is ‘You can still manipulate me and I am desperate’ so it gives him power back again……so far I haven’t replied to his last text….but only a few days.
      One thing I am unsure on and some of you may be able to give me some advice on this…..his mother telephoned me again tonight unsure what is happening and concerned about me….I didn’t reveal anything to her, she suggested I telephone his sister, so I did…….I didn’t tell her exactly why he had left and said I would leave that up to his autonomy when he saw her, but did say that his actions had not been appropriate and he had hurt me greatly, I acknowledged that she was his sister and her alliance was to him, I was simply stating some of what had happened, that I still loved him and would work 100% at working on the marriage…..however, I feel totally guilty now, Am I setting myself up for a big fall? Should I not be telling anyone what the situation has been? Totally confused on this……how do I start to heal unless I am honest with what has happened, or have I got it wrong? should I keep it secret still? I am not wanting to castigate him, but am saying that his actions and behaviours have not been appropriate and they have hurt me deeply…….am worried now that I have done the wrong thing!!

    • #23694

      Dear Hoodwinked, I am pleased that you had a good time away with your family. The family dynamics of my last ex’ were not that I could have spoken or confided in them. He told them lies about me, they would have not listened or believed me and were not really friendly with me throughout the time that we were together. So I could not have confided in them. His whole group of family and friends gave me the cold shoulder when we split. I think it depends what your relationship is like with his family into whether you can confide in them. I’m not sure if it is a good idea if you do that.

      My last relationship was so unequal, i kept it alive and he just attended for the ride. I suffered from severe psychological problems due to what went on and still do now somewhat. I would never enter a relationship again where I did all of the giving and didn’t get equal measure back in return. Your relationship sounds unequal, it is upsetting how you are always the one to be contacting him, telling him that you are missing him. He doesn’t appear to be doing similar actions and this will reduce your self worth. I contacted by ex, for every 5 texts I sent him I got 1 back and then that was 3 or 4 days later telling me he loved me, just to keep me dangling. I realize that it is easy for me to say but if you can stick to not contacting him this will give you inner peace and strength. You might like this book ‘How to Mend a Broken Heart’ by Christine Webber. This book recommends 3 months No Contact on both sides. That period of time brings you both to a better more neutral mental position for you to review what has happened. Alternatively i like No Contact by HG Tudor. X*X

    • #23872

      Thank you for suggesting these resources HA…I have received today ‘Stop spinning start breathing – workbook’ so hoping this will support me…..had my counselling yesterday and there was a few light bulb moments….like you say an unequal relationship and I haven’t acknowledged this and how it has always been part of our marriage….my sister has been today and even more light bulb moments….it seems as though I have been totally blind to what the relationship has been like and how he is now… say he is now going to be a ‘golden dad’ there is no offers of support financially not even for the children…. I just wonder whether other women have felt as though they have been ‘blind’ to their partners actions and then it is like a bright light has been put on and you see what they are like with clarity?…although more aware it is still hard to not feel the longing and loss!! xx

    • #23873

      The longing & loss and after affects of abuse carry on for some time, as does the heartbreak. But you start to feel better in time & see things more clearly. At the moment I still feel a bit fuzzy about my ex, not totally convinced he is evil through & through, if i were this would help me to move on. It all takes time, its great that your going to counselling. I was blind to my partners actions as he were manipulative and into gas lighting in a big way. He confused me and made me feel things that weren’t factual. He got inside my head and psyche and turned it inside out, i’m still suffering a lot now. Take care Hookwinked. X*X

    • #24292


      I was Okay ish this week and he has just been to pick XXXX up, when he came back he came in the house and said “can I eat my dinner here and make a cup of tea, do you want one”……then he was telling me he has put in for a house in XXXXX where we had the caravan and everything is going to be lovely, he is enjoying his freedom, so I lost my control at this point and said had he ‘hoodwinked’ people up there to…….

      That then started the manipulation and misconstruing what I said, he said he wasn’t going to listen to me saying things about him, and I tried to show him by an example that I can never condone his actions or behaviours to me, it would be like having a known sex offender sat and his victims saying “its Okay doing what you did” it could have been any example I used and he got up and said he wasn’t going to be compared to XXXXXXXXX……he even corrected me on his mothers age…….he wouldn’t listen to me, he twisted everything I said……. I hate what he does to me, he gets me so twisted up with his words, I doubt myself, I can’t stand it……I tried saying ‘do you know what it is like for me, my lived experience’ I said a few words then he butted in and said ‘it is the same for me’…..well actually it isn’t you can never have the same experience as someone else and he hasn’t been emotionally abused, it is me who has and I KNOW, it doesn’t matter how he manipulates what he says, I KNOW……

      I have told him to take all his things out of the house next week……I could end up loosing XXXXXX too……as he see’s his dad being the reasonable one and me being the mess…..

      I just can’t stand it. I was doing so well…….he hasn’t changed one bit……Mr reasonable who twists and twists until I doubt my own clarity of mind…..does he really expect to walk in here and both of us to sit down like old friends over a cup of tea, when he has destroyed my life? he said why don’t I ask him when I am struggling with something rather that go to someone else!!!!!! then he twisted a comment I made last week……I said “I could destroy his life if I wanted with the information I know about him, but I wouldn’t because of my own values and love for him”……so today he twisted it by saying “last week you said you would destroy my life how do you think I feel about that’……then I said yes but what was the last thing I said, that shows my love for you because I haven’t…….so I am sure he will only be telling people the first half and not the second…….I feel so so unsafe…….he makes me so so angry, then I shout or cry and that is what my son hears and he doesn’t here any of the manipulation from his dad….so sounds like I am the bad one……..

    • #24323

      Hoodwinked, get rid of his stuff, change the locks and go no contact. Hes going to use the contact he has with you to upset you and make you out to be the bad one. How dare he come round and make himself a cup of tea. There are consequences for his actions and he should find out that you cannot treat someone like he has and just carry on like nothing has happened. With my ex even after i caught him cheating he just carried on like nothing much had happened, absolutley no empathy or remorse. Just gas lighting, taunting. Dont allow him to carry on furher abusing you x

    • #24364

      KIP they never see/accept their consequences for their actions do they!! I have a sense the words ’empathy and remorse’ isn’t in their language structure, so they wouldn’t understand what they meant…..they seem to be blind to any of their actions……he even manipulated how he came into the house, so he came into the house first and said can he have his dinner here and my son was behind him, so he knew that I wouldn’t say no when he was behind him, as I didn’t want to cause any distress to him……he will win I just know he will……particularly with the children……maybe not all of them, but he will win with some of them… you can never escape with no consequences….I am so at a loss today!!! xx

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