This topic contains 11 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Biscuitsandbikes 6 months ago.

  • Author
  • #84074

    Hi, I know I’ve posted before but I guess I’m struggling to come to terms with the ‘abuse’ term and that it’s not all my fault. I’d like people’s perspective on an incident which happened on (detail removed by moderator)

    There was a friends (detail removed by moderator). I’ve been told before these friends think I’m rude (I’m shy and quiet in social situations). I also know he’s shared plenty of personal stuff about me with these friends. All in all, I didn’t want to go.

    I hinted that I wasn’t keen, but really when it came to going…. I just came out and said it.

    I guess my timing was poor. But there was such rage. At me.. At my daughter. Lots of accusatory remarks about how I’ve turned my daughter against him. Saying it was a test to see if I would spend time with him. Lots of shouting, swearing. Telling me I’d made him like that. I took my daughdaughter away from it.all.

    Next day, cold shoulder. Then, the day after… What can I make you for dinner? Lots of kind words.

    I’m so confused.

  • #84075

    This is abuse.

    Did he tell you that these friends think you’re rude? Anyone who knows you will know that you are shy and quiet, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all. It’s wrong of him to share personal details with people about you. I’m only just coming to a realisation how sick it is that my ex told his female friend EVERYTHING about me, even what it was like having sex with me. SICK and not on at all that she should know all this about me and talk to me about it! Why didn’t I think anything of it? Why has it taken me so long to realise how wrong this is? How violating? Because I was living in his reality, not my own. That’s why. I was accepting his reality as acceptable and ‘normal’ but this is not the way people behave. Is it? Sometimes I still doubt but I’m pretty sure this is not ‘normal’ behaviour.

    You have the right not to want to go, especially under the circumstances you describe. His reaction seems completely disproportionate and the fact that this happened in front of your daughter is a huge concern. If he’ll do that to you and to her, what else will he do?

    He then gave you the silent treatment which is not a mature or healthy way at dealing with whatever feelings he had. It’s an abuse tactic in itself. Silent treatment is abuse. Then to act as though nothing has happened?! Abuse again. No wonder you are confused. Anyone would be. This is the ‘gaslighting’, this is the campaign to make you doubt and question yourself and your reality.

    Please don’t question your reality. This man sounds like he could escalate and what he has done to you and your daughter is unacceptable. I don’t know your circumstances, but please leave this tyrant. His behaviours are concerning and disgusting.

  • #84077

    Have you always been shy and quiet in social situations? I only ask because my ex, who abused me in a very similar way to you, by destroying my confidence, it was his behaviour that caused me social anxiety to the point t where I hardly left the house. I couldn’t see it because I was stuck in the middle of the abuse. So, basically he’s saying he has badmouthed you to these friends who he tells you think you’re rude. No wonder you didn’t want to go. But you need to recognise this is abusive behaviour. He is trying to destroy your self esteem and confidence, making you even more dependent on him. It’s twisted logic. Abusing you in front of your child is child abuse. Are you in touch with your local women’s aid. I became a shell of my former self because of his behaviour. I gave up work, hardly left the house and was there 24/7 for him. That’s what he wanted but his abuse never stopped. It’s not you, it’s him x

  • #84081

    Yes, I’ve always been shy in groups of people. He says I’m not shy at all as at work I’m confident but to me that’s easy. I know the subject well.

    I worry my daughter won’t come with me if I go to my parents. She worries about her Dad. Where hell stay, what he’ll do.

    Since I thought something was ‘off’ I have been slowly building my independence… Going back to work. I’m now the main breadwinner. I could survive pretty well on my own if I had the courage to leave.

    He’s right I don’t spend much time with him. His behaviour is more and more erratic and I don’t K ow what to expect so I withdraw.

    And yes he did tell me his friends thought I was rude. I know being shy and anxious does come ac2like that at times. That’s why I think… It must be me. But then I think… I need to accept myself too. I can’t always be trying so hard to be this social bubbly person I’m not.

  • #84085

    Please don’t doubt yourself. You’ve done nothing wrong. Feeling ‘off’ and feeling the need to withdraw are signs. You sound like you have a good sense of your self-worth and know yourself. Don’t let him destroy that any further. He’s already got you starting to doubt yourself.

    Have you spoken to your daughter? I don’t know how old she is but I’m sure you can talk to her in such a way to explain why it’s important to look after yourselves. She may be worried about him. That’s natural, but she should be abused or witness you being abused. It’s harmful. He’s having trouble dealing with things in an emotionally healthy way and you wouldn’t want your daughter to accept this I’m sure. Maybe he can get help although abusive mentalities are notoriously difficult to treat.

    You sound in a strong position to leave if you can get the courage. You must do what is right for you of course, but in your post I saw so many warning signs that I myself ignored x

  • #84087

    Thanks. She is primary school age. I do talk to her sometimes but often reacts to me doing so, trying to tell me Im making a big deal out of nothing. That makes me feel worse. Her Dad will then say ‘look, she’s forgiven me, why can’ t you. You’re ripping the family apart because you can’t let go of things’.

    I guess I worry I will loose it all.

    • #84402

      Hi Biscuits

      I don’t have children but I do remember clearly being an anxious child. My parents used to have explosive rows and me and my sisters would cower in bed and fret about divorce. I too used to worry how my dad would cope on his own with the practical stuff. I mean things like cooking and shopping and laundry, as mum did all of that.

      Later on, I’d have been around 13, mum used to corner me when I got in from school. She made me her confidante and went into great detail about how unhappy she was and what was wrong with dad. This went on for months and months until I plucked up the courage to say I loved my dad and she wasn’t being fair expecting me to take sides against him.

      I was lucky to have a wonderful dad who didn’t subject mum to any sort of abuse. (It was just your typical rocky marriage.)

      Sadly your daughter is not so lucky but that’s unlikely to diminish her love for him. I imagine that she’s learned that his love for her is conditional on both of you toeing the line. She’s still so little but already knows that dad doesn’t love her when mum ‘misbehaves’. It’s really no surprise she wants you to play along. Like you, she is a victim of abuse, but she doesn’t have the capacity to imagine things could (or should) be different.

      I think it’s a mistake to talk to your daughter about events and expect her to be supportive. Nor should you take her reaction as her taking her dad’s side. She probably just wants the love of both her parents without the drama.

      I don’t know the ins and outs of custody arrangements but I doubt a court would grant it to the abusive partner. And how much say does a child have about which parent they live with? Do courts really ask kids to choose?

      I think you need answers and advice from legal professionals specifically trained in domestic/coercive abuse. Your little girl deserves to be happy, as do you x

  • #84088

    I would be withdrawn if I was forced to be with people who I’d been told I was rude. Perhaps you should talk to them and say your husband has told you that they think you’re rude and you would just like to clear the air by saying youre shy in groups of people. I bet they never said that about you. It sounds like something my ex would make up to strip my confidence. It’s coercive control. You don’t need to put up with this abuse. Imagine having your own place, your own space for you and your daughter. No more walking on eggshells, being half the person you want to be. Depending on your daughters age, the court usually starts at 50/50 custody however if you can start keeping a detailed journal and speak to your GP about how his behaviour is impacting you, that’s great evidence should you need it x

  • #84090

    Your daughter is defending abusive behaviour. She’s learning from him. And he’s using her behaviour to back up his. Start by saying that his behaviour is upsetting you and it doesn’t matter what her opinion is, the fact is he is hurting you and that’s not acceptable. You don’t need to justify your feeling. You know how it makes you feel and you shouldn’t need validation from him or your daughter. She needs a strong mum who will stand up for herself and show her that abuse is never acceptable. I think you should contact Womens aid. They were great support for me. Have you read Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven? Good place to start x Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That. Also a good read x

  • #84105

    absolutely its abuse. it took me a while to realise what he was doing was abuse. to me abuse was getting hit physically assaulted as i have in the past experienced that. to me the mental abuse is worse lots of people will disagree but i knew were i stood with a slap. it took a lot of courage this week to get out of the relationship im struggling really struggling but this forum is heaven full of angels with amazing advice

  • #84152
     blue eyes 

    Again I am just amazed at the similarities here to my situation. My ex was very friendly with this married couple. He hero worshiped them, especially the woman. I didn’t feel comfortable in her presence, she was snide rude loud, a trouble maker, didn’t say hello the first time we met constantly phoned my ex with requests and demands, tried to limit our time together. He wanted me to hang around with them, he couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to. He wanted me to let her do a beauty treatment on me. It felt so wrong she didn’t like me, she acted like a jealous girlfriend so why would I want to let her anywhere near me? He discussed our relationship with her and she even gave advice on where to take me on dates. Like w*f? He would give her lifts to and from work, cutting short dates and cancelling altogether if she wanted anything. She was always calling people names and made a few digs at me on the few occasions I met her. I am quiet and shy too, I don’t like being in a big group but if I feel comfortable with someone I can talk to them alright. My ex wanted me to go to an outdoor event with them, had it been just her husband and children or even some other girl I would have gone but I just felt sick at the thought of spending time with her. Oh, the poor baby you would think I had personally harmed him and her. The huff and the cross face and the snide comments and insults because I didn’t want to go. He had lost face with them because I didn’t want to worship them like he did. The nasty side started to come out then.

  • #84636

    Thank you for you replies as always.

    I went away for a few days to see a friend and that passed without incident. When I came back there was some guilt laid on ‘your daughter really missed you, she was so sad’. I’d asked her about it and she said she missed me but was fine… After all, she went to the cinema with her Dad and had ice cream! I was pleased she was happy.

    Anyway, for the past couple of days I’ve had tea made for me in the morning and there has been much smiling. Naturally I’m suspicious. So I asked…. Big mistake.

    I need to do more for my daughter at the weekends….I already do! I also make sure she isn’t over scheduled….she has down time. I suggested he may like to take her to see her cousins but… No… We all have to go… Or he goes on his own. That makes it my fault again if she doesn’t get to go. Long story short… His family think I’m miserable and hard work. I’ve always tried so hard with them. We don’t have much in common.

    I feel so utterly beaten. He says he wants to work on our marriage but I just here that as ‘you need to do what I want you to’. I hide a lot to avoid the conflict. I guess I don’t want to be near him anymore, but I look back at the good times and I so desperately want to be held and loved and to know I make someone smile.

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


© 2015 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

Terms & conditionsPrivacy & cookie policySite mapProtect yourself onlineMedia │ Jobs

Log in with your credentials


Forgot your details?

Create Account