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    • #114456


      I am new to this forum and am here because I recognise I am in a deeply abusive situation. Very long story short; met my ‘boyfriend’ in the local (detail removed by Moderator) almost (detail removed by Moderator) ago. Things moved fast. I had come out of a controlling marriage to a very intellectual but manipulative man and thought I was ready to date again. Boyfriend was charming but full on. Some obvious red flags that I ignored, such as love bombing, engulfing, signs of controlling such as about other men, extreme jealousy and bursts of intense rage within the first couple of weeks.

      My childhood was abusive, with an absent, violent and alcoholic father and a n**********c and deeply selfish mother. I was the youngest child. Overlooked, bullied, ignored and neglected. High achieving parents so no obvious neglect to the outside world. Grew up to become a people pleaser with poor boundaries and intense discomfort saying No or putting myself first. Mother to a little boy.

      Boyfriend I soon realised was job shy and very poor. Asked for money almost immediately which he never paid back.

      Very alpha male in the aggression sense. Turns out he had been in trouble with the law since he was (detail removed by Moderator). Very ready to face up to anyone, especially males. Very sexually experienced and let it be known he could have “any woman he set his mind on”. Not classically good looking but incredibly powerful presence. Very bright, very witty.

      The issue I have is why I am struggling to let him go. He has been abusive in every single sense. Verbally name calling me “c**t”, “w***e” “s**g” etc . S**t shaming me. Jealous, possessive, stalkkerish type. Hounds me when I don’t answer him. Tracks my movements. Screams at me, has physically abused me multiple times, lifted me by my neck, spat at me, almost punched my face, pulled me around by my throat etc. Threatened to kill me, smash my face open, threatened to kill himself.

      Police have been involved at least (detail removed by Moderator) times but he hasn’t (yet) been charged. (detail removed by Moderator)

      My family hate him, my friends hate him, he adds nothing to my life. My health has deteriorated, he interrupts my work for sex and rages if he doesn’t get money for smoke.

      He has essentially lived off me and uses his benefits money for his phone and smokes. IN (detail removed by Moderator) he hasn’t bought a pint of milk for my household. I probably spend £(detail removed by Moderator) a month on him and have bought clothes etc for him. He seems to have a gross sense of entitlement that I was put on this planet to serve him.

      His mother is dead, he doesn’t really socialise and sees his siblings occasionally. Every time we have fought he has used other women against me, threatening to go with other women “today”. I have seen the way women respond to him and he can get them easily. He has a swagger that can be intoxicating and sucks you in.

      At many levels I deeply dislike him. His belief system that I am somehow here to do his bidding and indulge his hatred of women (and pay for the privilege) makes me never want to see him again. Yet when he shows up, each morning, waiting for me to get off the bus, when he cries and shows his vulnerable side, all I see is a lost little boy.

      I think he does know he cannot keep pushing it with me. I have had intense therapy for years. I am a professional with a strong, demanding job and I own my own home. My ex husband was (detail removed by Moderator) graduate and my family mix in good circles. He recognises that as a woman and individual what he is doing goes against the grain of who I am.

      And yet, I keep letting him back. I am almost paralysed with fear about the idea of him just moving on. Sexually it is like he has awakened something in me, where other men I come across now just seem like puppies compared to him. He is raw in his physicality and need for closeness. His desire for sex (as many times a day as he can get) makes me terrified of the reality of him moving on and fixating on another women like that. I’m trying so hard to dig deep and look at what the fear is. My dad was obsessed with my mother. It is what I saw. I never received my Dad’s full attention because he was fixated on my mother. So another woman from an early age was competition to my self esteem and won. I always felt my mother had power and a pull with my Dad that left me on the outside.

      I can only guess that this is the old wound that is hurting. That this man isn’t really emotionally available to me (how can he be, abuse isn’t love, it is control and exploitation) and if I let him go, he will find another woman and yet again I am alone. My dad wasn’t available to me. This man is only really available to me sexually. Emotionally, he doesn’t see me, much less care.

      Does anyone have any practical tips to help shake off the attraction? The need to keep going back to the empty well for validation? To be seen, just once, by this person who isn’t capable of seeing me?

      What can I do to reinforce my boundaries, stay safe, and not be tormented for years about what he might be doing? He lives (detail removed by Moderator) from my house so I am bound to bump into him and it kills me to think of seeing him and being ignored by him. His ex, (detail removed by Moderator), left the area as I believe, but I don’t have the details on why. They were together (detail removed by Moderator) years. He said it was because he dumped her but I wonder, did she move away for safety or because she couldn’t bear seeing him around after they broke up. He has often said she “still wants” him. I know not to believe what an abuser says.

      Why can’t I hate him or get to a place of such anger I never want to see him again? What is stopping that rage at this mistreatment from occurring? (detail removed by Moderator) he showed up and suggested giving him money rather than treating myself (detail removed by Moderator). I said no and it was my money to do as I like. He went quiet and left me alone after that, not even trying to apologise (detail removed by Moderator). He unblocked me just to ask for money. I should hate him for it. Why don’t I?

    • #114463

      Perhaps because you are not a hateful person? See the good in all folk? Have compassion, but yes, you sound highly aware of why you keep returrning for more, the hope he will ‘see you’, and want you for you. Problem is he’s in it for what he can get isn’t he, not available, emotionally or in any other way to you. The man is just a parasite.

      You seem fearful that he will leave, and he knows this, so he uses this to control you, treat you how he likes and get his own needs met.

      There is no magic wand here, believe me if I could wave this for you and all the women on here then I would without any hesitation. You already know that the only real answer is to walk away, and that this has to come from you, you have all the information you need already – you know that it will only ever be more of the same.

      At the heart is your self worth isn’t it, and wanting things to be different, trying to avoid the pain of the reality. Guess in answer to your question re practical help, it sounds to me that you are avoiding reality and the truth of things. Therefore, trying to remain honest and true to yourself, making this your primary focus could help you with a way out. Making a committment to the self, no one can give you what it is you need, only you can do this, so attend to meeting your needs and building the esteem you’ve identified you need. You don’t need validation from others, you need to give this yourself don’t you. Feel I am content being me, I like being me, my life and all the kind, loving relationships I have – to build these things.

      You’re trying to avoid the pain of rejection again, only you’re not are you, because you already know he is rejecting you the person, rejecting a close, loving, kind, respectful relationship with you. There are lots of people in the world who will love you for you, the trick is to put the rest aside, know when it’s time to walk on, while you are with this parasite you are not available to meet those who will love you for being just you, or discoiver your potential, being thje best person you can be, the best friend to others, the best at what you do – kind of stops all this doesn’t it.

      Have the police given you any info on his past relationship? Under Clare’s law? It could be quite telling why she left the area, because she felt there was no other way to get him to leave her alone maybe?

      Of course he will cry and show you he has a vulnerable side, because he has learnt this is what gets him what he wants, imagine you see this from him when he thinks you’re nearing walking away yes? Time and time again.

      You’ve done brilliantly to get the police involved, they now have lots of info so will start to see the bigger picture here, what is going on, especially if they hold info from his previous relationship/s too.

      It sounds like the only way to get rid of him is to go no contact, fully, to sit with some heartache for a while, to pull in your support from others, maybe get yourself a good therapist, go cold turkey and to call the police when he turns up – every time x

    • #114464

      Another thought I had is maybe try to tell yourself you accept he is a womaniser, will have already been with other women while he’s seeing you, it seems he knows this is part of what keeps you there denying this – but do you really want to live with this lie? You do not need to discuss this with him, just allow it in, we already know if the situation arises he will do what pleases him everytime won’t he. He has no loyalty to you. I think if you were honest with yourself you would see this? And do you really want to share sexual partners? Highly like you are isn’t it. The tuth hurts yes sometimes, but it also sets us free. Keep posting xx

    • #114468

      Hi fizzylem,

      Yes and yes.

      One angle he has always pushed and hung on to is his “loyalty”; that he wouldn’t even give another woman an “inkling” with me. Yet, yet, I have seen his need for female approval win every single time. Walking topless in the park in the summer and doing push ups when attractive women were near. Posturing as he walks. Strutting for women. Sunbathing naked in my garden so the (detail removed by Moderator) next door could see. Telling me how he could “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      Female attention is everything to him. The number of times he has said “I could go to another woman TODAY” if I want, using his ex and saying “she wanted me, she still does..”

      I believe that he, more than any other type of man, would bail and cheat as soon as he thought he was vulnerable or losing control. He might well feel he “loves” me in his way, but his need to throw the last punch, have the last word, feel in CONTROL, would mean that he will have been lining up Plan B and Plan C. Of that I have no doubt. He said in a text recently “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      That implies a number of things: (1) he has girls who know his number; (2) they think he is available; (3) he knows the girls in question; (4) those accounts are still Open as back ups. He must be encouraging it, because he’s not discouraging it..

      No man gets to his age (detail removed by Moderator), living on his wits and using women. He is obsessed with sex, how we do it, how he is a better lover than most men, how he studies women and what makes them tick..you name it. He once said “(detail removed by Moderator)”

      I haven’t come across his type before. I know my mother said my Dad had a voracious sexual appetite and he bears many similarities to my Dad at a physical level in terms of his body shape, tone of voice. His personality is like my brother / mother. A heady mix. The physical reminder of my father, whom I loved and cherished and miss very much. But the emotional unavailability and cruelty of my mother and brother, who both s**t shamed me when I was a virgin and straight A student. I always came away the wrongdoer and shamed just for existing. He is merely a repeater of that childhood narrative. The wound is Not Good Enough. Shameful, dirty little s**t. Worthless and have to beg for scraps of approval.

      I can’t see what else this man brings to my life other than a re-opening of old wounds.

      I then feel angry because it’s like others circle like sharks. A guy on the school run whom I have now repeatedly said I am seeing someone, I’m not interested in a new relationship. He keeps saying “let’s go out” and “let me be your best friend”. I must give off a vibe of No Boundaries because he texts me late at night and won’t take no for an answer.

      I am angry with myself. So angry. I am such a calm, balanced, fair mother with the most incredible bod with my son and I care deeply for those close to me. But nobody seems to have my back besides this parasite as you beautifully put it, or another sexual shark who seems to think it’s a turkey shoot.

      Why, why am I making such c****y choices and decisions? Why am I so poor at looking out for my son and me? I am managing to keep him at bay at the moment, only because of my son and the fact that Social Services are now involved and I don’t want my son exposed to any more bad language or violence. But I should have done it sooner. I feel like a failure as a person and as a mother.

    • #114489

      Hi D, I guess when we feel down or that we are not good enough we project this into the world, when we feel good about ourselves, our lives and others we become careful regarding who we let in because we want to protect it. But you have to acknowledge none of this is your fault, you did not choose your family and you did not sign up for abuse from him. He is responsible for his own actions, you have no control over this hey.

      But what you are starting to recognise is that you need a new way to deal with him and get him out of your life, and how to attract the people into it that are kind, loving and respectful. It’s not easy when you have had a dysfunctional childhood, alot of what we do and what we tolerate is learned and we carry it around for years, often quite blindly. You sound like you are awakening to me, that yes its rubbish feeling how you do right now but you’re on the edge of making those life changes you need that have prevented you from feeling happiness. You can see you have choices now, rather than accepting what is given to you.

      Try not to hang yourself for doing it sooner, what’s important here is it has been done. If you were anything like me then you likely froze for a long time, felt you didn’t know what to do. I used to think this too, why didn’t I call for help sooner, stop it sooner, get out before, but I’ve let that go now because I know now I didn’t know then what I do today x

      • #114491

        Thank you. The most powerful thing you have said and which really hits home is, I have choices. Maybe a lot of us on’t feel that we do? I keep seeing the word “permission” a lot, like we need permission to say goodbye to abuse. That is so telling.

        I used to feel I had to apologise for my existence or justify it somehow. As a child I felt I owed people an explanation for why I was a c**p human being, which meant I overshared my personal life. Tried too hard to explain why I thought I was rubbish. And guess what? People treated me like rubbish. Easy to discard.

        Now, generally I share my personal history with no one (except on here) and feel better for it. I shared it with him and he used it against me. I still struggle with boundaries (clearly) and I’m angry that I can’t give off a stronger vibe to men like on the school run that I just don’t want anything. But this will come in time.

    • #114501

      A lovely woman on here who has become very dear to me shared this with me only the other week…


      When I saw it I was completely struck, as this was me! I was either in one or the next – sounds like maybe you have been too? Can relate? I learnt first not to justify myself to anyone, I could see not long after I threw him out that this was what kept it going, this was what left me wide open to the abuse, because it meant by doing this I always went back for more, another round, the others also help to keep it going don’t they, apologise, defend, explain. I noticed how it made no difference what I said to him, I always got the same, the victim, the blaming of me others and everyone, turning it round, twisting what I’d said, using what I’d said against me, he NEVER took on any ‘personal responsibilty’ – he never heard me nor responded how I needed, how a human being would ordinarily with another human being, with a friend or someone that genuinely cares.

      I became mindful of how justifying myself to anyone felt, it kind of felt like it tumbled out and then before I knew it I was into explaining as well, I could see how it often likely didn’t make a lot of sense to listener and how it always left me just feeling rubbish – and them too. I guess in simple terms I decided anything to do with him is toxic, so when I talk to others about him I am passing on the toxicity – so I decided not to do it, he became he who must not be named – in the same vein as Voldermort, to remove his power. Felt much better.

      I can see now this is how I ended with it him now, I wasn’t aware of JADE but I had become aware that nothing I say works, and I will always only ever get the same from him back, so I withdrew, decided I was over and out. No point to it, was only going round in circles hey.

      I noticed almost straight away how much better I felt not justifying myself to anyone, as my friends and family were no longer effected so I didnt come away feeling rubbish. I saved talking about it to those on here, my WA support worker, the support services only – and I discovered this met my needs much better. I started to be a better friend again and to like the friend I am again, but I could pour my heart out unabridged to the samaritians or to some of the ladies I have befriended on here whenever I needed this. Works much better for me.

      The very first step was to notice when I started to do it, then it wasn’t long after this that I then started to stop myself, eventually I let it go completely and by doing so my self esteem went up quite a few levels. Can honestly say now I never justify myself to anyone and that feels pretty good as I know it was a huge shift for me in how I operate. The thing is, it also helps me to feel more me again, so it’s not like Ive had to work hard and persevere with it, it was more once I recognised it was dysfucntional and did not serve me, that to not do it served me best – the chnage occurred – and stayed with me.

      It’s also important to stand in your truth – be true to yourself awlays – stop the people pleasing. Like you’ve identified it’s absolutely ok not to share your personal history or personal thoughts with everyone, to save this for those you love and trust, those that you know will give you what you need when you need to talk about this. But it does mean its essential to always voice how you feel and what you think, to be assertive when needed, to act when needed, to not do anything you feel uncomfortable with – to stop and question. Of course this also does not mean you go around saying exactly what you like either though lol, it’s ‘choosing’, when it is one of those times I need to step up here and when it’s one of those times to walk away quietly. Guess it’s about learning to never sit in anything that leaves you feeling angry, upset or uncomfortable, it’s learning to respond to yourself, your thoughts, feelings, beliefs; and if this requires you to express it out loud with someone then to do this, if its raw emotions that need expressing then its support services or those you know will give you what you need, wont judge you, but if it’s anyone else then I have to think carefully first about how to say it with respect and kindness. It can be so hard sometimes to find the right words cant it, so often people choose to avoid rather than say what needs saying, opt for what they falsely believe is the easy option, to leave it, when actually what is really needed is to say it, so often these things come back around from another if we don’t hey.

      Over time if you stand in your truth you know you will take care of you and others, you know you can deal with the world, and overcome all difficulties – eventually – sometimes we get lost for a bit while we’re working out what needs to happen or how to deal with it, but we know there’s always the other side, just got to workout how to get there – to restore peace and balance again – take from it – grow from it it some way x

    • #114533

      So, another day, back in the loop. Last night he came round after my son was in bed and was notably, markedly aloof because I had told him my (removed by moderator) was visiting us for (removed by moderator). In short, she left because of him and his abuse.

      He wanted me to know how bothered he was so cue silent treatment. Another control drama. Then last night he told me I had “ruined his life”. This is an ex convict drop out who didn’t finish school and who has spent a life in crime. Penniless and with no prospects. I have bailed him out, fed him, given him money and clothes and he says I ruined his life.

      I asked if he had cheated on me (men like him need to be the ones to save their egos and cheat first) and as yet he hasn’t even answered. When I asked him to clarify the ruined life comment he started screaming at me again in my kitchen.

      Before making himself an (removed by moderator).

      In my kitchen.

      Still no answer to “have you cheated on me?”

      That’s a game of control to not even answer the question. It’s all about control.

      Then he wants sex. I turn him down, saying I don’t want sex with someone who says I have ruined their life and can’t say whether or not they have cheated. He starts crying, calling me emotionally abusive and saying all he wants is a cuddle. I say I can’t cuddle a man who speaks to me like that.

      Silence. Control tears stop. Now he is quietly sulking in my bedroom.

      I have a full time job and no help with household costs. Sometimes he helps with chores, sometimes not. Yet I’m supposed to have reserves of energy to deal with his incessant, constant, mercurial demands of one sort or another, or read his mind to pre-empt another outburst.

      It is draining. I am starting to hate him.

      I think the one thing that has changed for me over time is getting educated on the type of person he is. I find safety in my computer the way I did with school work when I was young. Even my mother didn’t want to interrupt my school work because my good grades reflected well on her.

      He doesn’t want me to lose my job because where would the money go then?

      I do think seeing things and understanding is key to pulling away.

    • #114536

      You’ve got his tactics down very well D, you can see them for what they are and when he tried to manipulate you and blur the boundaries you stood firm, go you!

      But yes, it’s like a fight isn’t it where you are constantly having to hold the fort (your boundaries) and block him from breaking in! No wonder you feel drained.

      I have to confess I laughed out loud when I read what he said ‘you have ruined my life’, so pleased you can see the absurdity in this.

      Keep learning yes! It’s key isn’t it.

      You really don’t need this man at all D, my concerns for you are that this is wearing you out and that you won’t call time on it until you’re feeling I have nothing left to give. It would be better for you if you could do it before you get to this point because I think we both have a strong incline, and for good reasons, that when you do call time on it this will only really be the beginning of the end and getting rid of him for good will also take time and a fair bit of energy. You are free resource to him with many benefits, so he will do whatever he thinks is within his power to hang on to this for as long as he can. I really do not think it’s going to be easy to shake him off do you? x

    • #114560

      It isn’t easy to shake them off that’s for sure. But you can get help from women’s aid and police. I also went to court and got a non molestation order after we left with powers of arrest. Knowledge is power it is our friend. When we begin to see it for what it is the path becomes clearer not easy but once you have left in time Only then you begin to really see how damaging they have been to us and children. Reach out for support as leaving is the most dangerous time. Keep going x

    • #114685

      You are both right. As long as they feel there is something to gain, they cling on. There is also profound separation anxiety and a desperate need to be ‘in control’ of the ending. My ex husband said a similar thing when I began the divorce. He was controlling and coercive too.

      What stuns me, and which he demonstrated (detail removed by Moderator), has been the total indifference towards what they do. When I met him on (detail removed by Moderator) to buy him food (detail removed by Moderator) because he had none, I had a friend visiting who despises him and could have had him arrested for what he said and did. So I told him not to come to the house.

      He starts on at me (detail removed by Moderator) about her, my choices, how I am betraying him with her, how we had plans to go out drinking and cheating and all this other stuff. When I walked home saying “please leave” he followed all the way to the door and threatened to kick the door down and confront us. I know he then stood outside listening through the letterbox for hours.

      Then again (detail removed by Moderator) when I went to his to retrieve my (detail removed by Moderator) that he had “borrowed”, he tried to stop me leaving. It took me nearly (detail removed by Moderator) just to leave and walk home, again with threats about “if you don’t come and see me later tonight then we are DONE.”

      More threats. More needing to be in control.

      I am trying so hard not to feel pity for him. I am trying more and more to feel compassion for the broken child in me that is being bullied by this (detail removed by Moderator) and for the disruption to my stability with my son. My life was stable before him. I worked hard and made enormous sacrifices in my life to get where I am. I will not let a thug damage me or my son. My mind is fully made up about that.

      What I need to stop is feeling sorry for this guy because he doesn’t feel sorry for me. Not one bit.

      What scares me is just how much he is going to try and cling on and what he will do as the goodbye plays out. Blocking him only makes his efforts worse. Then he follows me on the bus and doesn’t leave. It causes problems for me with my son. He makes threats about if I move on with another guy. Always threats followed by “you know I love you. Why er you doing this to meeee? <<crying>>. Why are you being so cruel to meeeeee?” <<crying>>.

      He cannot see his own actions. To that extent he has a mental illness because how can you claim to love someone and then threaten to smash them in the face?

      This forum is my sanctuary. It really is.

      Thank you for helping in this process. X

    • #114693

      I wish i knew the answer, but he sounds so like my ex. I guess I just got to a point where I couldn’t go on like that anymore. My guess is that you’ll reach that point eventually. Because you know you deserve better, that you can manage without him. It was hard for me to let go and (detail removed by Moderator) years later, I sometimes wish were still together, but the peace I have now could never have happened if I’d stayed with him.

      • #114699

        (detail removed by Moderator) years is a long time to still feel hurt. How long were you together and are you seeing someone new? I am so scared about how long it will take me to get over him. That alone scares the life out of me. I am so scared about the damage he has done and how his words will resonate for such a long time after.

    • #114701

      In the end I suppose it is a choice – yes freedom is hard and it takes time and it comes at a cost we left with a bag but have safety freedom peace – and building a future . Remember how strong you are x

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