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    • #19061


      I am new on this forum, I have just left my second abusive relationship. I have experienced many years of abuse from two different men and recently my ex-husbands new girlfriend has joined in too. I am a gentle, compassionate person, I don’t have a temper, I am full of empathy for others but I have been put through hell. I have become addicted to negative attachments which has prevented me standing up for myself, I am terrified of the feelings I get when I am not in a relationship. My last relationship ended finally over (detail removed by moderator)ago and I am experiencing a weird cold turkey- even though i for the first time ever put my foot down and walked away. He has been going round my network, turning up at people’s houses, (detail removed by moderator), hacking onto my FB and painting himself out to be the victim. He has supported me for years and now I have just heartlessly cast me aside- no mention of the violence, or the regular verbal abuse, or the control. He phoned me hysterically crying, like he couldn’t breathe- I felt terrible but something it forcing me to keep to my decision. I feel guilty for abandoning him but I am staring to feel angry about what he has done. He knew what i had been through with my first husband- i thought he was my happy ending and it ended up worse in some ways than my marriage. I am mixed between being completely terrified of him and convinced that he will kill me to pining for him and trying to stop myself from contacting him. I think people must think I am mad!!

    • #19067

      So sorry to hear this they can and do make themselves the victim they just are in denial of what they are doing.
      When you leave the abuse can really escalate and they will try every trick in the book to get you back.
      Have you contacted Womens aid for support to leave and how to deal with this they are very very good, sending you a hug, try to stay strong against all of his manipulative tactics which he is he is trying now.
      I have cut emotionally from mine the last (detail removed by moderator)months altho still with him due to diabilites and he comes the stuff saying how he has supported me and why have I ruined the marriage, they take no responsibility at all, mine tried to play the victim earlier this year to the police andhe had safeguarding at social services involved but he told them he didnt need any help , as he knew deep down the truth would come out as I had safeguarding involved as well, he just wanted to make himself the victim to the police to get sympathy and make out is was me . xx

      • #19404

        Your not on your own in experiencing those feelings. My ex regulary smashed the house up deank and smiked weed while telling me I was a nag and if I just let him do what he wanted he would nkt smash the house. He used his temper as a smoke screen to stop me questioning him ans forcing me to accept his behaviour, it got so bad I finally got the courage to phone the police and have him removed. However now he still keeps saying I need to accept my part in the break up, he promises he will get help for hus addictions, fills me with hope and then turns nasty again. Everyday I am in a rollercoster of feeling free, missing him wanting to text him, feeling sick whrn I see him and regretting if I do have contact. Like yourself I find I am terrified of being alone, have an irrational fear I will never have a happy relationship and he is best for me. I havesignrd up to dating sites ans even wrnt on date, then got so scared I deleted my profile account and fell into the depths of despair. I know I am scared and trying to latch onto anyone, I know I need time to heel and I am only going to bring about mpre abuse and hurt but my feelings are so confused. Is all of this my fault? Should I just take him back? He is lovely when he is nice and sonerines I feel no one else could love me like him. I am so confused !!!. Too terrified to make a decision and stick to it

    • #19071

      Dear Alice, I am sorry that you feel this way. I too consider myself a gentle empathic person who is not very good without a man somewhere in my life. I split with my mentally abusive ex four months ago and If I’ve honest since then I’ve been on dating websites, i’m not very good being completely alone. The last two years has been the worst of my life in romantic attachments and still now I feel addicted to him, I’m finding it so hard to understand what happened and to be totally disguarded like this. I feel underneath, when we split and now that I’m fine, happy and ok, but it is like he is not allowing me to feel these things. Like he has the control & is pulling my strings. It is difficult for someone normal, non abusive to understand. Like you Alice, through my dating career I’ve had some abusive partners, fortunately the non abusive ones have been more. Do keep posting as this forum is so helpful. X*X

    • #19074
      Main Moderator

      Hi Alice,

      Welcome to the forum! I am so please to see that you have had some supportive replies. Please do phone Women’s Aid. You have been so strong but please give yourself time to grieve and heal. Ending any relationship is very hard, particularly where there is abuse involved. The Helpline can offer you help and support as well as putting you in touch with your local Women’s Aid group.

      It is very normal for abusive men to be manipulative to try and make you feel guilty. The important thing to remember is that you are not to blame. It is his behavior alone that has led to you not wanting to be in a relationship with him and you may well benefit from going ‘no contact’ with him.

      You mention that you feel that sometimes you feel ‘terrified that he will kill’ you. Please do speak to the Police about your fears. You can phone 101 and they can come and give your house a safety assessment and if he has threatened you they may also be able to take action against him. You may also want to consider going in to a refuge where you can be safe and he can not find you. The helpline can help you to see your options.

      You deserve to feel safe and happy. Please keep posting to let us know how you are getting on.

      Best wishes,

      Forum Moderator

    • #19076

      Ah thank you for your kind words. I am going no contact and it has been (detail removed by moderator) days since I heard from him so perhaps that will be it. What I knew would happen was that this silence would be the hardest part for me to deal with. I feel like an addict coming off a powerful drug- not one I want to be addicted to. I have joined a 12 step love addiction programme to help me withdraw and address this addiction. It is so painful, I am having waves of craving and panic, I feel like I have lost my soul mate, that we had a magical bond. But then my rational brain is aware that I have formed this attachment to perhaps deal with past trauma. So I can see what is happening and I am stopping myself from acting out and phoning him, but it is taking every ounce of strength. I feel like I am fighting for my own life, but my main opponent is myself. I have had a long chat with my Dad about the last to help understand the source of this trauma which has helped. My childhood was very difficult and me and my Dad have had some open conversations about what I went through as a child to help me understand perhaps why I developed this pattern of becoming attracted to and then addicted to abusive men. I am surrounded by a lot of support so I know I am lucky. I am in process of enrolling on the freedom programme which I did after my first marriage.
      A couple of weeks of not treading on eggshells has been nice, I can meet friends without him getting cross and I can talk about things I want to do without having to edit it. I recently started reading a book about (detail removed by moderator) and he got angry saying I shouldn’t be reading books i should be focussing on him. My first husband devalued me and then discarded me by running off with another woman who was stunningly beautiful. I felt so wretched. This second relationship would have ended that way, I already think he cheated- I saw a pretty dodgy message on his phone and when I addressed it with him he just lost it and accused me of cheating. Every time my kids saw their Dad my new boyfriend accused me of cheating on him, even though the kids Dad abused me and I keep him at arms length with the bare minimum of contact. I just couldn’t do right for doing wrong. But sometimes he was lovely- and those are the times that haunt me now and make me question my judgement. Real Jekyll and Hyde stuff. It has really messed with my brain but I am so determined that these drowning men are not going to take me down with them. I have a lovely home with my 2 girls, my ex does not live locally. But this house was my sanctuary after the first round of abuse and for me to let the second abuser into my sanctuary and have him screaming and standing over me when I am curled up is a ball and call me a c%*t and to become violent with me in my kitchen feels like such a violation. He did. It do it around my girls he would wait till they were with their father. It’s over now, I am just a bit traumatised I think

    • #19079

      Dear Alice,

      I have read the posts that you have written and I can see so many similarities between yourself and I, hopefully it will help both of us to share our experiences. Briefly, I am at work at the moment so can’t really concentrate or think properly, but If you have a look on Amazon at 30 Covert Manipulation Tactics in Personal Relationships, together with all books by HG Tudor, all of these are immediately free to read and helped me through enormously during the very early days of our break up. I will message again later when I have more time. Also the film Gaslight which you can buy on Amazon I could identify with.

      I wasn’t with my ex that long, just over (detail removed by moderator) years, we did not live together nor have kids. Mainly we had problems throughout, I was blamed for most of them. (detail removed by moderator) I felt so stressed, anxious and unhappy but all along I thought it was me. I had not had that many long relationships, I put all of our issues onto me as I felt no good at relationships. He never ever once apologized, admitted any wrong doing at all, or was open, honest and kind. Whereas I was all of those things. I felt dreadfully insecure, really really confused, like it was all my fault that I was doing something wrong or that I was so limited in experience I could not tell if suspect behaviours were right or not. I could not see the situation clearly. Further on it was so bad, I’d had enough. His horrible behaviour became more obvious and no longer so subtle, funnily enough it were easier for me to deal with then as I knew that his meanness, unreliability and lying were not me. So then I was able to recognise it and I finished it with him. That was (detail removed by moderator) months ago. At that point, I was sure, confident of my decision and ok. BUT, since then the pain, despair, craving, yearning, desperation, tears and obsessive thoughts have been there EVERY SINGLE DAY, even now, every day, not an hour does not pass that I do not think about him and feel sad. I ask myself if I feel such dreadful craving and feelings because of his actions before, during and post-split. During the relationship we had some good times and I had some special feelings and moments and I think I saw some genuine goodness in him occasionally. We had some really wonderful holidays together, none of which I have ever had before with anybody. I believe he were being genuine sometimes during these holidays and occasionally during our relationship. All throughout he was telling me I was his soul mate, the love of his life and that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. He were saying these things right up until the time we split and at the same time, taking my money, turning up late with no explanation, withholding information, giving cryptic messages etc. Just before our split I was so confused, my mental state was so damaged, I was very mentally unwell. I thought me ending it would be my closure and a time for me to move on. Sadly, the last months have been the worst of all. Whereas I ENDED IT. I believe that he took the control of this out of my hands and has held this control and my happiness in his hands since then. The grief that I have felt has been unbearable, all for a man that was a pretty useless partner if I’m honest, it does not make sense. I feel that I’m a decent person, honest, my own home, and a good career and heart.

      HG Tudor books plus this forum have successfully got me through 100% No Contact now for  months. He has not contacted me either, he has disgarded me and erased me which has hurt me so much. I’m still battling to get over him and would love to have one day where I no longer think about him. I have put a few posts on here recently which you may find helpful. In my empathetic & caring state (I believe he is damaged & not capable of acting like a reasonable human being) I contacted him for the first time last week just to say hello and that I hope he were well). He ignored it and did not acknowledge my message. I feel heartbroken, disguarded and controlled, if he had replied in a normal friendly way I could have moved on, we both could have. I don’t want him, I have not wanted him at all since we split and I don’t know if I really wanted him when we were together but I might have been scared of him so was submissive, it was all very screwed up & dysfunctional. I am thinking of you, No Contact clears your mind and enables you to begin healing, though the mental damage takes time to work through. I’m very traumatized, I have trauma bonding which you can also read about on the internet.


    • #19096

      Thank you Healthyarchive for your message. I will look at those books. The decision to end the relationship was finally decided by my decision to watch the film, “murdered by my boyfriend”. I think the stark reality of my situation hit home- it was so visual and I could connect with so much.

      I think it will be easier to deal with abuser number 2 as we don’t have kids together. Abuser number 1 will be around in the background for many more years due to the children but I have learnt to deal with him. When he left I was distraught, one time I lay on the floor and held onto his ankles (this the man who kicked a windscreen into my face when I was pregnant). Abuse, emotional or physical wrecks you but when I see my ex now I feel absolutely nothing.

      So that gives me hope for this situation with abuser number 2. I thought I loved my first husband dearly but I see now the cycle of abuse and how he stripped me apart during the time we were together: I can’t imagine ever having loved him. So I know that in time, with exercise , friends , hobbies, mindfulness, being single and just being free I will probably feel the same about the man i am currently trying to get over- even though I ended things with him. I hung in their with number 1 till I was eventually cast aside like a piece of rubbish. This time I have ended things because I finally put up some boundaries. I am not used to standing up for myself so this is new territory. Today started hard but it’s ending ok x

    • #19101

      Dear Alice, your story sounds so much like mine. I ended my relationship with my mentally & emotionally abusive ex. He swiftly took the control by agreeing he wanted to end it. When he told me the time before that i was his soul mate and he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me. Truthfully I’m not sure if i ever genuingly loved him or was with him through fear thinking it was love. When their is abuse around it is difficult to feel things honestly, a lot of the time i dreaded seeing him and felt so much like i was walking on egg shells. I have just gone into the email inbox to see if he had replied to the email I sent him last week. Just opening up the inbox I felt dread, then I saw that he hadn’t replied and I felt relief. Like you, I was threatened 4 or 5 times that he would leave me when we were together. Each time I was distraught, almost hanging onto his leg, and most certainly begging him not to leave me. I remember once I was in such a state I vowed never to let myself get that low again. As you have done with abuser no. 2, i ended it. I half hoped he would pursue me, try to talk, apologize and show even a morsel of interest, i would even probably have accepted being stalked! But he did nothing. Completely erased me from his life, like you, i feel cast aside like a piece of rubbish. You know how it goes now, but be prepared for the coming weeks/months. There were times 3 months ago, the gaping hole that I felt in my heart made me physically ill. I remember writing a text telling him how much I loved him and missed him, i sent it, fortunatly it did not send as i had no phone credit. I deserately desperately struggled (still do but much lesser extent) with longing, missing him, obsessive thoughts, constantly thinking and analayzing, feeling desperate, so desperately wanting to hear from him. I’ve been told by a lot of the women on here this is called Trauma Bonding. I ask my self if his silent treatment/non contact with me was him deliberatly continuing to exert control. It is confusing though as I know when break ups happen in normal non abusive relatonships people go their seperate ways & there is no contact so i’m not sure if this is normal, it does not feel like a normal break up. There is quite a lot available on line about trauma bonding, its a real hardcore mental longing/addiction withdrawal type thing where abuse is involved. I believe if my ex wasn’t so horrible, its possible i would not have had such awful post split emotions. XXXXX

    • #19110

      Yes, he probably loves the fact that you have tried to contact him and is enjoying ignoring your email, knowing it will make you feel cr*p. I think you think you need him, but you don’t. Your life would have been hell if you would have stayed with him. It is a second chance for you to be truly happy. You don’t need him to validate you, you need to validate yourself from the inside. Do you see a counsellor- it could help talk through some of this stuff. I have been to counselling, enrolled on the freedom programme- today I went to a love addiction anonymous group because I have always been desperate and clingy when it comes to men. I think that’s why controlling men worked well for me as I misinterpreted control as love. I am trying boost myself up by doing all of this. I also did some HIIT training which made me feel better. It’s a battle and you are fighting for your own peace of mind. I have no intention of dating anyone for ages.

      When I tried to end my relationship with my 2nd abuser he attacked me and I thought I was going to die. It became very clear that he was an abuser. But sometimes with emotional abuse, they turn your own emotions against you and use them to torture you and you don’t realise it’s being done . It’s sick! You don’t need someone like that in your life. You want to be treated with love, care, trust and respect. X

    • #19111

      Dear Alice, like you, I ended it as he was abusive and I were putting up boundaries. He has given me the silent treatment/abandoned/rejected/ignored me totally since that day. The pain in my heart and soul since then has been unbearable whereas I know with no doubt I would never even consider getting back together with him. His silence is like a continuous knife going into my heart. Today I was thinking about our times which seemed genuine & special, i wish I understood him. There are two other members on here I identify with, Million Pieces and Escaped Not Free, you might want to look at some of their posts as they may help. Also with the HG Tudor books, No Contact and The Devils Toolkit are so good. They get right into the abusers mind and methods and help you to understand what has been going on. XXXXXXX

    • #19112

      Hi Alice, yes I knew all along that I would never put up with an abuser long term, I would while i’m sussing them out and working out what to do, but I wouldn’t put up with it for years. Fortunately for me his behavior became very obvious that he had questionable morals so it were easier for me to deal with. When we were together the silent treatment and ignoring me were his thing i think he got pleasure in deliberatly making me wait. He did it to other people too. I did pay quite a lot of money for counselling when we first split, I find this forum much more helpful to be honest, together with self help books and time being a healer, plus No Contact. With my ex, subtly, gas lighting and blaming me were his thing too, I felt that I was losing my mind. the books that I’ve mentioned all go right into details with this creepy behaviors. I didn’t realize it was being done either. Please can you give me any links for the love addiction group or other addiction groups you have joined as I think I will find them helpful too. I do wish you luck, your abusers silence is hurting you like mine is me. You have to find a way of managing it, I have managed fairly ok for 4 months. In the books there are whole chapters on Silent Treatment, withholding, and something called Intermittent Reinforcement which keeps you mentally hooked in with their Jeckyl and Hyde behavour. X*X

    • #19121

      It is weird though- worse in the mornings when I wake up. I keep reminiscing about the place where he is from and his family, and all the good times- all the things that kept me there. But at the same time I am having flashbacks of the fear and abuse. I love/loved him very very much. He had mental health issues and I tried so hard to help him. I literally tried everything. But the abuse just got worse. There were early signs I guess even in the initial honeymoon- he even told me he had been I involved in abusive relationships before, but at that moment, the handsome tall amazing man I saw before me was so lovely and far away from being abusive that I just thought it was great that he had told me. Even though I had been through abuse before it took me a long time to recognise it again- I guess I didn’t want to admit that my fairytale ending was not a fairytale ending.
      The group I went to was sex and love addicts anonymous or S.L.A.A which is for people who are either sex addicted (which isn’t me) but also for people who are addicted to emotional attachments or “Love addiction”. I went to a meeting yesterday and I might go to one tomorrow. I have only felt OK in a relationship or in pursuit of one and that is bad because ending a relationship therefore becomes very hard- so I ended up accepting appalling behaviours just to avoid the feelings triggered in me (like the ones I am having now) when I think I have lost someone.

      I always think the video to Katy Perry’s song “wide awake” is a good visual reminder of the journey out of an abusive relationship where often you are saved by your inner child….

      I hope these feelings of sadness that I have now pass quickly. I hope he doesn’t phone me anytime soon as I think I would struggle to ignore the call, despite the risk.

      I will also look at the other survivors posts that you mentioned x

    • #19123

      Thank you for the details about S.L.A.A, i will look them up. Since we split and even very recently I have felt how much I loved him still, i have had a chance to think and feel he has mental health issues due to being brought up by an abusive step dad. I have given him a lot of thought and feel that he is damaged & this made me feel sorry for him. As you go through the withdrawal a whole range of emotions will come up ranging from love, hate, revulsion and pity. I have recently questioned whether I did love him or if i were just reacting to some behaviour he were doing as I was scared. Also trying to cope with his silence and rejection made me have love feelings as I felt some sort of a loss. I’m not convinced it was love. I would not recommend responding to any contact that he makes. HG Tudor, NO Contact is great to read. X*X

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