2nd August 2022 at 5:18 pm #147924
Does anyone else feel utterly alone dealing with a non-violent ex?
My ex was very psychological and too smart to ever hit me directly. He knew how to be controlling whilst not leaving a tangible trail and how to use for the sake of the children as a tool to get what he wanted, control me, sleep deprive me, be cruel, and so on. I was an absolute emotional wreck and often still am.
I was eventually told it was domestic abuse. When I filed for divorce, he volunteered to attend a domestic abuse perpetrators programme – he didn’t change his mentality, just learned even better how not to get caught and turn the tables on me psychologically. I keep the piece of paper confirming the course because it gives me something to say “you weren’t imagining it”. What evidence I have is probably too old to be of interest to anyone.
Fast forward to now. He knows how to bother me using ‘legitimate’ legal reasons. He knows how to sound threatening whilst not being overtly threatening. No-one can see that he is still being abusive/controlling because it’s a legal matter, a child law matter, etc. Even when he created a document telling me what to do (detail removed by Moderator), there was literally no interest, no help “because it was a child matter” apparently.
In some ways I feel lucky because he’s not a physical danger, but at the same time I am so scared of every email/text because I don’t know what his latest ‘thing’ will be. There’s no help out there – I have tried. It’s like death by a thousand cuts and nowhere to turn to. It’s not bad enough to take seriously but it’s slowly breaking my resilience and enjoyment of the only life I’ll ever have. It’s like being trapped in the relationship again where everyone looks on thinking how perfect but you slowly suffocate behind the glass wall. Now I have left the relationship, to onlookers, it’s all over and he also has polished his outward halo to gleam.
2nd August 2022 at 5:40 pm #147926HereforhelpParticipant
Hi Squiddles, I couldn’t read and run… yes what you describe is emotional abuse, manipulation , control and it is disgusting that he continues.
To people outside it may seem lokebyou have done the hardest part as in by leaving him, it can be far harder post separation as they do continue and usually up their abuse.
I have been in a physically abusive relationship and left far easier as I was younger, it was obvious abuse and I had no ties. My experience or mental abuse is like torture.. drip drip, drip over many many years, I became so used to it, so conditioned, controlled in every way, no physical scars… it still hurts.
Have you tried to talk to anyone in your circle? I thought everyone would think I was making it up and say how great my ex was but I was surprised how many people said they sensed something, didn’t like/trust him.. you may find people didn’t buy into your ex’s act.
I am angry and saddened how you have been let down, when you needed it and deserve help as much as anyone on this forum.
Sending you a virtual hug ❤
2nd August 2022 at 6:00 pm #147927EyesopeningParticipant
Hey, you describe emotional & psychological abuse very well. I was in an abusive relationship but there was no physical abuse, no hitting as such, though there was sexual abuse. I thought everyone wouldn’t understand but people did, they knew something was off with him. I do sometimes wish he was physical to know that 100% sure he was abusive because I suffered so much from cognitive dissonance and doubting myself, but you sound so sure and strong.
I don’t have any advice sorry, I was lucky enough to cut all ties, I cannot imagine for one second having to deal with my ex so I think you must be so strong. but Don’t give up and keep fighting x*x
2nd August 2022 at 9:23 pm #147935TenerifeseaothParticipant
I just wanted to write and let you know that you are not alone, even if you may feel so. I often feel bursts of that and its hard to get your head around, especially with everything else you are battling.
I keep telling myself to focus on what’s next, not what’s coming. Try and remember you’ve done the bravest thing by leaving and from here on out know that it will feel worse before it will feel better. One step and one breath at a time and be kind to yourself.
You’ve got support here and we are routing for you!
Sending hugs xx
3rd August 2022 at 7:00 am #147953
Thank you for your kind replies. I am really sorry about what you have been through and sending big hugs 🤗
I do have some people I can talk to, but I’m also aware it can be a boring topic. TBH I’m bored of it too – I don’t want to think about him. If we didn’t have kids, I would have vanished.
I guess it just feels so endless. I have no choice but to function even if I am a ball of anxiety inside. This week is a good one because I am trying to do something about it.
Sometimes making coercive control an offence feels like a bit of a false fairy tale. Apparently it’s a crime and understood now. Finding legal help that “gets it” seems hopeless. Police aren’t going to be interested – no bruises, it’s a legal matter not a police one, etc. This makes me cross, not just for me but others that just can’t get solutions once they leave.
That said, I would leave a thousand times over. If anyone reading this is about to make the leap; my moaning about him now pales when I imagine still being stuck under the same roof. He’s an absolute [choose your own word] but I don’t have to navigate a day under the same roof as him. x*x
3rd August 2022 at 9:06 am #147959MellowParticipant
Hi I’ve just left a mainly emotional abusive relationship there was a few violent occasions but very few in a decade gap probably 4 attempts and I feel i instigated them not sure. any hoo I know how it feels thinking it’s not as bad or it dosent point to abuse abusers do get smarter and use their knowledge to do this like you’ve talked about the therapist or courts he’s turned around to abuse you.i noticed mine get smarter at hiding his passwords etc and the thing he does most is he twists words to make it look like your fault or tells people something what has happened but his version mixed with a small amount of truth so it seems it’s not made up he has so many tactics.even makes it look like your the abusive one also the way they operate only you may understand what he’s doing or see it as smarmy.i noticed this recently with my ex and the children and his reactions the children think daddy is being nice but I can see right through him.
Example :when he thought I bought the kids something new he was acting excited for them but I knew that wasn’t excitement the way he responded he was really unhappy I was buying this new thing because it showed I was financially stable and had moved on an outsider can’t see it and well you can imagine in court it’s nothing he wants the best for his kids but all I could hear in my exs response is jelousy and upset I was moving on.
My ex had a coercive order aswell nothing came from it but they do take it seriously now.what helped me was writing things down and going back to it to prove what he’d done
3rd August 2022 at 10:48 am #147965lionessinthedarkParticipant
Thanks for sharing @Squiddles, I can definitely relate to what you’re saying. I have no proof of what he has done to me and the things he says/does nowadays don’t look overly suspicious to other people. From afar it looks like I left and things surely moved on by now, new partner, new life, etc. But I’ve never been able to fully ‘recover’ (lacking a better word just now) from the events, because I am desperately trying to keep things afloat. I’ve had to fight so hard to get to where I am today, but now I realise how I am still trapped and he still controls a lot of things and I agree, it grinds on my resilience too. I still have to question his behaviour, check what I say or do in case it gets to him through our child etc. So, yes, I also am 100% glad I left, because staying would have been much worse, but life after leaving is not an easy path to walk either…
5th August 2022 at 7:07 am #148057
Thank you so much for your replies and sorry for the slow reply. I am also sorry that you have these horrible people in your lives (and glad that you got as away from them as you can).
I did try the police once but his latest antics at the time looked like a civil matter to them (even though elements of it were telling me what to do). Looking at one bit of older evidence, the policeman said my ex sounded like he was being a bloke!
I have decided to create a nerdy spreadsheet with incidents over the years to see what it will look like and if it could be useful if he starts again (though I suspect it will look too low level to a police person, it might be helpful if I need it legally). It’s going to keep me busy for a while 😆
6th August 2022 at 5:50 am #148107cakepopsParticipant
I can totally relate to this. Years out of the relationship, but having children together is just a never-ending horrendous nightmare. My ex is like a chameleon, so he manages to find ways to ingratiate himself with all the people that matter and have influence over my/our kids lives. He lies constantly, but even when caught out with serious lies there is no negative consequence so he keeps doing it. In fact in many ways the system encourages him to do this.
To the outside world he is a wonderful loving father, but our children are struggling with his controlling behaviour too now, which is the worst part of it all.
Sometimes I forget how bad it is when we were in the same house, and you are right it is much better even though the ongoing post separation abuse is horrendous. He used to keep me up all night regularly with his arguments, accusations, paranoia… It was utterly relentless. At least now I don’t have to physically see him.
8th August 2022 at 4:53 pm #148192Grey RockParticipant
I’d suggest getting Women’s Aid on board with this. They were pretty good a encouraging the police to remember the laws around Domestic Abuse when the uniformed police got forgetful. Thankfully CID dealt with my case for the most part and they were much more proactive and intelligent. The local police constables seemed to be taken in by his BS and almost seemed to feel sorry for him, I swear! So scary and frustrating.
Take care Lovely.
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