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    • #136944

      Hi, everyone.

      I left my multi-year relationship (detail removed by moderator), and I still feel like I’m in the FOG. I don’t feel like I’m over him at all and I am in this cycle of considering going back and then rejecting the idea. This is also partly because I got into a new relationship, and I wanted to move on and make it work, but the chaotic aftermath of my breakup is not allowing this. I feel really bad just to have dragged someone else into my problems and to have hurt them maybe irreparably because of this. Like I myself have become the problem. Of course, I have not at least consciously abused the new partner, but it has been on and off, and the lingering feelings and presence of my abusive ex has caused a lot of hurt and insecurity.
      I don’t feel like I can actually move on. I have thought many times that it’s easier just to go back. I ended up going no contact and blocking my ex for a bit (detail removed by moderator), but the pain was so immense that I got in touch with him again, though this was motivated also by his family.

      While I had wanted to go back to him initially, I feel like I am a bit in limbo now, like I’m remembering all the bad things again. I feel so frustrated with myself because I am stuck, and it’s already been so long since we broke up! I end up feeling really guilty for enabling this dynamic. And I am not even sure things could be better if we did get together again? He seems very motivated, but there are certain things that make me wonder sometimes, and I can’t get out of this analytical mode.

      For context, the abuse in the relationship consisted of:
      – extreme jealousy and control, where he saw potential competition in every guy I interacted with. He even made me (detail removed by moderator)… Even if I liked a photo from someone on social media (not even a photo where they showed up), it could lead to an argument.
      – verbal abuse, with name-calling during fights. He would be very supportive out of them though. It was like two different people. I asked him not to name-call and to have a different form of arguing, and he said that if I hurt him, he hurts me back.
      – manipulation and gaslighting, with him saying I was irrational in arguments if I brought something up. Saying also that we only have each other.
      – isolation, with him nitpicking on my family and friends, saying they wanted to split us up or calling everyone envious.
      – throwing stuff around, though this was never directly my stuff. His cellphone, bag, a plastic bottle, plate… He never threw anything in my direction though.
      – raging in/invading my space when arguing
      – small physical violence, with one push and one hit in the back of the head.
      – … maybe more that I can’t categorise or don’t remember.

      Abuse after the breakup:
      – stalking, with a lot of pressure with texts and phone calls, making me feel guilty because he was anxious and I could ease his anxiety by replying. Also checked my social media and that of the person I dated, to know when we were online. I also came to know recently that he looked inside my house at least once.
      – controlling, wanting to know who I was hanging out with.
      – manipulation and suicide threats, especially one time when, in my house, he gave me an ultimatum to return to the relationship or he would only “leave” like that. Luckily things were resolved another way.

      I know that he has at least had emotionally violent arguments with his mom, namely a few months ago, that nearly led to her calling the police.

      So, I know after this list you are probably convinced of the abuse and that I shouldn’t go back… But I am still unsure! I don’t know if I am crazy. I feel like me distancing myself from him in that push-pull dynamic has made him even more unstable and I feel really guilty for it, especially when all he wanted was for us to be together again. He has always been there for me, and I know I rely on him often for emotional support too. (detail removed by moderator) I’m confused.

      Thank you!

    • #136950

      Please don’t go back, read your list of abuse over again and think about how he made you feel. They never improve, it always gets worse. You’ve done so well to create space and I know it’s extremely difficult but zero contact and run for the hills…❤️

    • #136952

      Ariane, it is so hard… that pull….
      What would your cycle be, if you did go back?

      I have a trauma bond with my husband, it was built up over decades and I feel that pull often, I feel so unhappy but then I really imagine what it would be like if we got back together
      1. Mine would be loving,.caring, happy, attentive, would really love, for ages, months and months of being loved, cared for, conversations, eating out, laughter (oh god I miss laughing)

      2. Then mine would start to become a bit harassed, emotionally detached, he would want sex and expect sex whenever he wanted it or make me feel worthless if I didn’t. Gaslighting would start again (if I ever mentioned something he had done or was doing that was upsetting/scaring me or, if I was annoyed about something he had done he’d say I had twisted his words, got it wrong or he would tell me that I should know he gets his words wrong as he meant XYZ)

      3. Mine would then become aggressive,.secretive, completely emotionally detached,I would be doing everything at home, he would have financial control over again but, it would be worse this time, he would make my life hell.

      If you went back to your partner, what would be the cycle?

      I really hope that you don’t go back ❤❤

    • #136962
      Grey Rock

      Honestly you could easily have been describing my own relationship with my ex. Moving on is hard and I couldn’t have done it without a few things.

      1) going no contact and staying that way. I too did end up back in contact for a time. During thus time I was all over the place again. He swung from apologetic and remorseful to abusive, sometimes ten times in a half hour conversation. He ended up making threats about photos that I was fairly sure didn’t exist and I was so angry that gave me the strength to get back to no contact.

      2) a restraining order was put in place due to his stalking and harassment (direct and through others) after we split up.

      3) support from Women’s Aid (the counseling from staff there plus this forum)

      4) the Freedom Program

      5) (YouTube reference removed by moderator) videos which helped me understand the cycle of abuse better

      6) accepting that healing takes time

      Maybe you aren’t healed enough yet to move on to another relationship. But it sounds like you know what would be in store if you go back. And it tends to be worse and more quickly each time we return.

      Please keep reading and posting on here and give your yourself more time to heal.


    • #136967

      Please please don’t go back. Everything that you have described will only escalate.
      Do the Freedom programme, more than once if need be …. £12 to do it online and you can keep assessing as many times as needed for that one payment.
      Keep safe, keep strong, none of what you describe are the actions of a ‘loving partner’, we get so lost in the abuse it is hard to see the wood for the trees and that is how they want to keep us … in the fog.
      Sending you virtual hugs

    • #137010

      Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for the replies!
      It feels great to be able to talk about this and get understanding and support.

      I have only heard about the Freedom programme recently, but I think I’ll be able to join some sessions soon.
      Also, I have been on a deep dive of Youtube videos about this (though I have been as well when the relationship ended), and I feel myself getting stronger with each one. Sometimes I feel like they are not very nuanced though, and I think that’s a result from also this gaslighting or mental gymnastics that we do to try to justify things.

      I actually met up with him recently in person, with very clear boundaries set for that (e.g. public place), and I was surprised by how detached I felt… It makes me feel uncomfortable too, like I want to compensate for that somehow.

      I guess I want to rush this recovery/resolution as much as possible because I’m so mentally exhausted, and it does feel very despairing and lonely. But I’ll try to take it one day at a time.

      Thank you again, lovelies!

    • #137524

      Hello ladies

      I was thinking back to this post today because sometimes I can’t quite believe I have been abused, or that I belong in this group. I watch/read/hear about such terrible experiences everywhere that it just seems that I’m looking back and exaggerating my own. Like maybe I’m too stuck on moments and things, but that overall it was a good relationship.
      And it’s also funny, because in my list I forgot the financial abuse aspect, where I supported him for quite a while, often coerced to because he could be so intimidating and entitled about it.

      I guess I’m just wondering where I fit in all this, and just wanted to share these thoughts.

      Thank you for all your replies <3

    • #138175

      Please don’t ever go back, although I can totally understand why you want to.

      He will continue to try to get you back. For years to come maybe.

      Sending love.

    • #138346

      I just read your list of abuse before break up, that is exactly how my husband is. I never thought it was abuse or wrong and just forgave next day thinking it was just because we were arguing and I was being over sensitive .

    • #138358

      None of is want to believe it i dont ever.
      But in order to heal to get stronger to leave i guess we have got to admit and believe that these loved ones these people who are supposed to love care and support us actually hurt demoralise belittle,and confuse us i could go on couldnt I?
      Its too hard some days to accept and we just want to hide under a blanket and pretend its not happening.
      But you did face it and you left.
      Read and read and read again your list you cannot go back to that you deserve so much more.
      After a month of calm today my husband came home shouting moaning picking on me for going to work then id cooked a curry he wanted chinese hes bored thats my fault i dont wanna do anything with him anymore I am now stepping very carefully keeping things calm before bedtime as that when he always gets the worst. And this is a good day a quiet calm time. Thats what this life is like remember?? You dont want to go back sweetie you need to stay safe and now look after yourself.
      This is your time now. Xxxxxx

    • #138361

      Hi Ariadne,

      One thing that i wanted to say after reading your post is that everyone’s situations are different and are as bad as each other. There is no ‘better’ form of abuse then another.You fit in it as a victim and questioning this is, i believe, a part of the healing process. The truth is that it is all so hard to believe that we accepted such treatment, that the person we loved could be so Jeckyl and Hyde. They use the good times to suck us in and to plaster over the cracks left when they are being abusive. They know exactly what they are doing and they do it intentionally. The only thing you have done is fall for an extremely good con-man.I thoroughly recommend the freedom programme – it made so much sense. You can do it online for about £12 but i have made lifelong friends from doing it as a mixture of zoom and in person. I think the ‘living with the dominator’ book is actually free on Amazon if you have Kindle Unlimited – so worth a look at what the course is all about.

      Anyway, Im rambling.

      Keep posting

      S x

    • #138394

      Thank you everyone for your continued support <3
      It is really difficult, it’s like two different people sometimes. Or like I am being too sensitive!
      I find myself reading your responses many times, so that I can get some more strength.
      I have started the Freedom Programme, and it is really helpful, thank you!

      • #138429

        Huge well done to you for starting the program took some courage that did wow good for you I hope it gives you the strength and understanding to stay out sweetie.
        Keep reading keep learning most of all keep being kind to yourself. Good luck x*x

    • #138423
      The Duchess

      I actually got shivers reading your list of abuse , everything you describe exactly happened to me , even after I broke away from him . Read your list is this a happy, loving relationship to go back into . Good luck with the freedom program, you are doing the right thing , go forward in your life and don’t ever look back , it’s not you remember this , it’s what they want you to believe, it’s their manipulating behaviour to think all the issues are yours etc , it’s their tactics to keep you in the relationship. Stay strong & free xx

      • #138646

        Thank you for your message @The Duchess, it is a really good point, it can be as simple as not feeling happy in the relationship. Take care of yourself as well <3

    • #138620

      I too got chills reading your list, Ariadne, he was the same. I might try the Freedom Programme myself, thank you Scarecrow for letting us know about the online version 🙂

      • #138645

        Hi @Cosmicasca,
        I’m also doing it online, and I have been liking it! Hope you benefit from it.

    • #138649

      Hey Ariadne, so glad you are re reading your post and not going back, keep moving slowly forward lovely x
      I became too overwhelmed with the legal side of my situation (detail removed by moderator). Today, I came on to this forum, not sure why as I haven’t been on here as much as felt too low.
      What I am trying to say is, your post bumped up, I saw my own reply to your situation and I realised I have been waiting for him to contact me today about our children, to ask how they are, and to save me as I feel i am drowning in it all (trauma bond, I can feel the pull and I hate it).
      I found the Freedom Programme really helpful from week 3 (the first 2 sessions I wasn’t really accepting his behaviour as that bad. The group is face to face which is massive for me to go to as my confidence is on the floor but I shall slowly build up and I am looking forward to my next session.
      You will too, you already are moving forward no matter how difficult it is you are Ariadne ❤
      Don’t go back, it will all start again and from what I have read on here it is always worse once we go back xx

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