This topic contains 11 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  Landy 6 days, 16 hours ago.

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  • #87620

    If so what kind of behaviours did they display? X

  • #87633

    Showing complete disinterest in anything you have to say. For example telling you to hurry up, or get on with it. Eye rolling, scrolling through their ‘phone when you’re speaking.
    Interrupting you to change the subject to something about themselves, or waiting for a pause and then changing it.

    Lots of passive-aggressive behaviours. Pretending they are into something you like, or want to do then ‘forgetting’ and just brushing it off as not having been important anyway. They’re often very smug about things.

    Everything was an insult or criticism of them, and they were a martyr at all times. He was a master of turning something ordinary I’d said around and saying I’d ridiculed him.

    They had very few real friends and were nice to people’s face then talked horribly about them behind their backs. They also thought they were so much better than everyone else. In his case more intelligent, but they can choose all sorts of characteristics to feel inwardly superior about. He never did anything that could be deemed to be reaching out and had no hobbies, no social interaction beyond what I instigated.

    Any compliments were back handed in a very subtle way, leaving me confused as to whether I’d actually been complimented or criticised. He would seek reassurance that he was clever or special all the time too. He would say he was a victim of my behaviour, that I didn’t give him enough love or reassurance, enough physical cuddling, and that I took my bad days at work out on him and caused him stress. Anything to make me feel small and as if I had to raise him up. He used lots of shaming, mentioning things he knew I was sensitive about often and throwing them into a bad light. Anything to make me feel small.

    He questioned everything I said. Shaking my confidence and belief in myself because he seemed so confident that his way, his knowledge was the right one, and mine was not. Somehow, even with evidence he’d make me feel I could be wrong.

    If he gave me anything it would usually be in front of others, so they could see his generosity. He’d big me up in public too, as a way of having people look at him as a nice person, or to make them admire him. It was never about me. He’d always find a subtle way to knock that pedestal over in my ear afterward.

    Those are some of the behaviours.

  • #87635

    My ex was covert as well. The silent treatment, the sulks, the lack of responsibility, the quietly breaking my things then blaming me. Oh yes, the very thin skin. The rages. He treated me as an object as anyone might treat a bike or a shovel or soap. He did things at me including sex. Total lack of intimacy. His words and his actions were completely different. He had a very strange relationship with his mother which he insisted was normal. It wasn’t. She was vitriolic. He couldn’t finish anything. Courses, projects…jobs. He couldn’t process new thoughts and behaved as though he was forever on a hamster wheel of emotion.

    The entitlement was clear. He didn’t have any friends and he made it clear that he didn’t like mine. They were not good enough for his exacting standards.

    The love bombing at the beginning. Although in retrospect he was waving more red flags in front of me than I can shake a stick at it worked. He was a rapist from the beginning. I had stupidly told him that I had been raped and he said he would never do anything like that, that he would always stop, that he would never hurt me. Unfortunately consent wasn’t part of his makeup.

    There was an odd lack of confidence about him and the assumption that people would flock towards him because he was so marvellous despite not knowing he was there.

    He had a ‘friend’ once. When he spoke about this friend, I recognised it as supply.

    His adult children are almost no contact which raises alarm bells.

    I think for me it was the words and actions that got me most. I loved him and I wanted to believe what he said.

    Very slow, very subtle, very damaging.

    There is masses of information on Youtube. My ex ticks the boxes of a covert. The abusive behaviour we describe is based on personality traits and very few people are diagnosed with NPD.

    The name-calling, the imitation of my behaviour.. On and on it goes!

  • #87637

    Thanks for your responses. My ex would sit and pretend to listen but he looked miles away… but he actually knew everything id said…. like he were making mental notes… he used to say we would do something but when it came to it its like he had forgot he had said it… he wrapped up half a bottle of wine for my b day out of his cupboard… i challenged him over it he said he had no idea it were half bottle. Yet when we fell out he said he were going home to drink a full bottle of wine. He said people in society will think hes my psychiatrist. But he said it so calm and smug… he holds people to account for a living hes such an attitude. Every women hes had as left him x

    • #87662

      Hi Maddog. In what way would you say the relationship with your ex and his mother was strange? My ex’s mother smothered us as a family, I felt suffocated! She was obsessed with him saying she missed him and worried that because he had me she wouldn’t see him and then became obsessed with our daughter once she was born. We weren’t allowed the space to grow as a family. She would constantly emotionally blackmail me or him into seeing us. If I didn’t comply I’d be bullied by the pair of them in one way or another! I dreaded any visits as she’d always have something to say about how she thought we or I was intentionally not wanting her around, then I’d be made out to be unreasonable. It was so bad I felt ill at the thought of having to see her. Hated his phone going off Incase it was his mother asking to see us or moaning about how she hadn’t. I always had the pressure put on me to see them. The anxiety was unreal. I just didn’t stand a chance with those pair. I felt like she was the other woman in our relationship as she meant more to him than I did and her opinion mattered and her feelings were always valued. Not mine x

  • #87657

    Ladies, you could be describing my ex partner too!

    Don’t know about you but I didn’t realise a lot of it WAS abuse. I can see now though, making me worry and feel sorry for him but putting me down at the same time. Saying I did nothing for him etc, then in the next breath I was the best thing ever.

    He has hardly any friends which I now see as a red flag but can’t help feeling guilty he’s on his own

  • #87761

    Between you, you have described my ex. It was so subtle it took me ages to realise what was happening and it is difficult to explain to others as each trait then taken on its own sounds like nothing. When put together thought it makes life very unpleasant. The things that I related to were looking at his phone, not looking at me when I was talking with him, interrupting when I was speaking, telling me he had similar qualifications or interests when he didn’t, that I was ridiculing, criticising or insulting him. He had very few real friends and didn’t like my friends. We were never invited round to friends for dinner; this was always my fault and not never because he always talked about himself and interrupted others all the time. He would use people until he no longer needed them and then be unkind about them and made it difficult for me to maintain friendship with them. He sulked and never took responsibility for anything and never said sorry. he was very think skinned. His behaviour was always my fault. I made him do or feel things. He would tell others how marvellous I was but always to make him look good. He did the same with our children and used their successes to make him look good. He didn’t like my friends and I had to ask if I wanted to meet with them. He never finished anything be that gardening, housework, decorating etc. He would buy random presents at Christmas or birthday and then tell me that he knew I had always wanted it. He had a strange lack of confidence but hid it to others. He too had an odd relationship with his mother. I don’t think I was every good enough. They were always round at our house and stayed too long. He could do no wrong in her eyes. I either never chatted enough with his parents or allegedly spoke to much. I could never get anything right. It has taken my a long time to appreciate and accept the nature of the abuse and that was what it was.

  • #87767

    I’d mention something from a conversation we’d had or something that had happened (good, bad or even innocuous) and he’d look at me, all bewildered, and tell me it didn’t happen, that I was ‘imagining things again’, that I was ill and needed to rest, etc etc.

    If I tried to challenge this the mock sympathy would slip and he’d get gradually more aggressive, positioning his behaviour as a reasonable response to my argumentativeness. And when he lost his temper he’d just come right up to my face and point at his head while screaming ‘you’re a l*****c’.

    He used to take me to the doctor and get me to try and explain our arguments to them while he sat in the background pretending to be empathetic and tired. He wanted them to tell me I was sick and the sad thing was I ended up so confused and so worn-out and diminished that sometimes it worked. He positioned himself with me and with everyone as my carer when the only thing wrong with me was my relationship with him.

  • #87806

    Great question – so so covert – this list probably doesn’t even sound like abuse:

    So much attention at the start

    Wanting to be with me a lot

    Wanting us to have a shared vision

    Buying me presents I didn’t want

    Telling me he loved me, but me not feeling loved

    Not being present or doing anything of real benefit for me

    Telling me how great he was

    Telling me how great other people were

    Telling me he was sad (playing victim), and brining the mood down

    Never praising me or asking me how I was

    Asking me to help him with things he could do himself

    Changing the subject if I spoke about my stuff

    Taking forever to get me a painkiller or similar

    Taking up more physical space that he should have for his size

    Always ‘winning’ arguments by saying confusing things

    I COULD GO ON WITH MANY MORE OVERT THINGS BUT ACTUALLY IT IS THE COVERT STUFF LIKE THE ABOVE THST CAN BE SO DANGEROUS BECAUSE IT MAKES US QUESTION OURSELVES AND PREVENTS US SEEING THE ABUSE. Thank goodness my therapist so quickly worked him out which gave me all the information I needed to get out. No more abuse!!

  • #87807

    So many similar things here,

    His mum is what it think has stumped his emotional.development
    I never get nasty or argue with my own family.but his mum has pushed me quite a few times with her criticism and demand for respect !

    As he control and realise I will.never take out another loan or borrow.monet from my parents for him ever again he ramped up the scare stories – drug dealers were going to carve him up or his classic one lately – he will kill himself … But then will sort something out and be far from suicidal.within a day or two ..

  • #87813

    The covert abusers are the most dangerous. My ex was waving red flags all over the place from the beginning. What he said about his mother didn’t match with what he did about her. She had vented her vitriol on me and he sought to protect her. This confused me. She was awful. I understand his father was quite the misogynist, and my ex worshipped him. This is as far as he would let me know. He used to say his upbringing was completely normal and his parents were fine and all was good. His mother was certainly toxic, and she may have smelled a rat in her son.

  • #87845

    God no. Mine was violent and aggressive and in the end he didn’t care who saw, what he did to me

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