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    • #147502

      I seem to go through periods of when I feel sure I need to leave my husband and other times I feel I was wrong and want to try to work things out with him.
      It seemed like he had changed his abusive behaviour and for many years I thought we were happy. A few years ago he changed overnight, to being more critical and distant. It seems like he just wants to live like a single man in some ways but still wants a sexual relationship with me. There have been casual conversations about separation but he doesn’t want to leave. Also he won’t commit to either course of action. I keep trying to talk to him about things but it’s like he doesn’t listen and seems to twist things, and then I lose my train of thought and forget what I have said. He just gets defensive and blames me for making him look bad. I thought it was normal for couples to stay together at a social event, when one person does not know anyone, but I was snapped at for suggesting this. In the end I did not go to that particular thing, and I feel that was the plan he had in the first place.
      I keep wondering if it is me that is causing the problem, and my parents seem to side with him so I can’t really talk to them.

    • #147510

      He won’t leave, you’re his supply and you’re ‘trained’ to react how he wants. If he’s living like a single guy but got you waiting at home, he’s having his cake and eating it. It’s so common with abusers because they see themselves as better than us, entitled to do whatever they want. Our feelings? Who cares. Our hopes / plans? Not interested. I’d also bet he didn’t change overnight, but it would’ve been very subtle, drip drip dripping of change which we wouldn’t notice until one day/fight and then we think (or are made to think) it’s our fault, what did we do to make him change and what can we do to turn him back? Nothing and sadly he’ll never listen or engage in a conversation with you about why/how or what to do next. If he does talk to you it’ll be to gaslight and twist any issues back into you – it’s your fault he does x/y/z. It is normal for couples to at least look out for one another, even if they don’t stick together at social events but I bet all of us have similar stories of where we’d been left – you see how an abuser looks to others is way more important than how we feel, cue performing infront of others, which in turn makes them like him and allows him to put us down, say no one will believe us over him / no one likes us. You’re also describing the rollercoaster that is the cycle of abuse here. I don’t know how new to the forum you are but there’s tons of lovely help here – try books like Lundy Bancroft’s ‘why does he do that’ and Pat Craven’s ‘living with the dominator’ as these really open your eyes to what you’re living with xx

    • #147512

      Hi Velvet-ribbon

      The twists and turns that you describe are designed to confuse you. I started recording conversations with my ex to see if he was gas lighting me. Listening back over our arguments was very enlightening. I could clearly spot the twists and turns designed to deflect focus away from the truth of his behaviour. I’d also hear him say something, then just minutes later I’d hear him deny saying it. (This is what I was originally looking for).

      I’d recommend getting a digital voice recorder. They’re small so you can pop it in a pocket. Find somewhere secure to store the recordings. By pure luck, I recorded my ex admitting to crimes that could potentially put him in prison. He later denied saying it!

      It’s really frustrating. These men are manipulators and liars. Being able to listen back helps to give clarity and take some of that frustration away.

    • #147524

      Thank you so much Eggshells and Bananaboat for your replies. Now I realise I had been hoping that people would say what I’m experiencing was my fault or nothing abnormal. It has been passed down through the generations. I feel so sad for my children that I brought them into this, they are already affected and have emotional problems. I can only blame myself for this. Thanks for the advice about digital recorders. I had thought about trying to record conversations on my phone but it seemed tricky to do it without making it obvious.

    • #147527

      My lovely, I know exactly how you feel. I also blame myself for the abuse my sons suffered. Telling you that this is not your fault is easy. Getting you to really feel that is much harder. It isn’t your fault or mine that our children were exposed to abuse. It is the abusers fault. I didn’t even know that what my children and I were experiencing was abuse. I grew up with an abusive mother so this behaviour was normal for me. Yet still I feel guilty.

      Once the realisation of abuse starts to settle, you can start to plan how you are going to protect your children.

      I sense that this is all a bit of a shock for you. Take some time to process and try not to let it overwhelm you. Take it one step at a time.

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