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    • #126629

      I feel i have been going back and forth with this for years. I’m there and I want to leave, i leave and want to go back. I don’t think it helps that he is so subtle with his abuse.
      I’ve read all the books and try to read lots of posts which are so helpful. But i feel like my situation is different.
      I have a journal of things he did to record everything, but everything seems so minor now, especially after reading books or other people’s experiences on here.
      Eg. I’m dozing off and he asks me to pop his spot. I say later. He calls me a ‘lazy cow’.
      Or taking money out my wallet, or leaving all chores to me. Leaving all bills to me but he’s putting all his money into his business which is so we can ‘have a future’.
      We have no children and when we see children & mums telling me , ‘that could be you’, or ‘didn’t today make you feel like you wanted kids?’
      My answer is no because I’m paying for everything and couldn’t count on him financially. He gave me the silent treatment after for 24hrs. I was going on at him : what’s the problem? He told me ‘its time we had kids, he’s ready’ and walked away.

      Help me please x

    • #126630


      Ridiculing me?? Or normal banter..

      At my parents house -‘ omg you can cook’ (special meal i made), looking at me in shock,
      Dad says – well she’s a very cook cook

      At a restaurant with friends – ‘my gf has 40,000 photos, normally i cant eat my meal before she takes a photo’
      My friend – she’s not that bad, she didn’t take a photo today.

      People have to defend me – i have given up getting my back up

      • #126635

        This is classic devaluation, not banter. If its banter then he shares the same useless book of banter as my ex. He’s trying to show you up and embarrass you in front of others and no one’s laughing. Jokes and banter by their definition are funny- but I’d guess he tells you you’re too sensitive about his funny jokes?
        It’s also part of the isolation piece of abuse; he’s making meetings with your friends and family uncomfortable for you so will not want to go see them so much. He wants to weaken your connections with your support network. It’s all very calculated to trap you.
        Please don’t minimise what he’s doing to you; the subtle and insidious nature of what he’s doing shows how dangerous he is, he may be playing a long game here, like my ex was. He waited until I was almost completely psychologically broken before he escalated to violence, and he worked on me for years and years. Be very careful xx

      • #126784

        Thankyou Hawthorn, it means so much to me that you took the time to reply, you really have helped me, if it wasn’t for this forum and the amazing support you ladies show. I don’t think i would of gotten anywhere.
        I feel so overwhelmed.
        I took a few days off work to try to rest, as I am so exhausted.
        I hope I gather the strength to do this.
        I keep re-reading your message to help me ‘wake up’.
        I’ll check out Dr Ramani.

    • #126634

      Hi Eyesopening,
      It sounds like lots of verbal and psychological abuse and gas-lighting, as well as messing with your sleep, keeping you busy with with lots of chores and jobs to do, and financially stretched so you feel trapped and so worn out with day to day life it a struggle to see through the fog of his abuse. It’s totally crazy making behaviour. I endured similar for years before my abuser escalated to physical violence and I saw the marriage for the abusive prison it was and got out.
      Dr Ramani’s videos on YouTube were a great resource for me when I escaped. She really understands the hidden and subtle aspects; the gaslighting, the invalidation, the devaluation, the stonewalling; all the things you describe. I listened to her videos every time I began to doubt my reality about what I had endured being abusive. In fact, the very confusion I felt- was proof of the abuse and the damage it had done to my patterns of thinking.
      One of the most valuable things I have learned since leaving is that it really didn’t need to get as bad as it did for me to be able to leave the relationship. I was miserable with him for years, I just told myself (and everyone else) that I was happy because it never occurred to me that I could leave. Being unhappy is reason enough to end a relationship, but abuse clouds our view of this reality, and we forget what it even feels like to feel happy and at peace.
      There is happiness and peace waiting for you. You deserve so much better than to be chipped away at, criticised and abused.
      Keep reaching out, you are worth it xx

    • #126663

      Hi Eyesopen – I agree that this is abuse. Just because it is subtle doesn’t change it and the longer it goes on the more we get used to it. Same as Hawthorne I have found Dr Ramani’s videos so helpful and she gets it, I’ve found watching them that it’s really opened my eyes. Although I’m still here and waiting to leave and today feeling guilty and bad for him while he’s merrily going on with life without a care! I agree on the isolation, I watched a video and it explained that they can isolate us by us doing it ourselves because they behave so badly you don’t want to go anywhere. But the fact your friends and family are sticking up for you shows it’s not right or funny. Also agree with the confusion it causes, it’s huge. It’s been pointed out to me as well about trauma bonding, and you might find that helpful to look at. I know I have minimised and excused behaviours for a long time now and just felt stuck. But now I’ve looked into that it makes a lot of sense. these relationships are very damaging, I know it sounds crazy, but I’d rather have a black eye and at least I would have something to show for it. The mental, emotional abuse is so hard!

      Dr Ramani recommends on every video to have talking therapy, so if you are out is there a way you could arrange something? Maybe use the women’s aid live chat to see if there are any groups you could attend, it might help you in processing what has happened as well. Can you talk to your family and friends? If you’re out and can get the help/support you need then please do. Take care xx

      • #126788

        Hi Soxy, thankyou so much for your message,
        I know how that feels, its been years of me wanting to leave..
        I thought it was hard to leave and take all the important stuff i had, but this is harder, the staying away..
        last time I left I tried two different counselors with the idea that I could work on myself and have help to stay away. But one didn’t work out, the second only told me I had the power to change the situation, if I spoke to him in a certain way or I didn’t take things a certain way. So it confused me even more and I went back.
        Then also that time I had spoken to some friends about how i felt, so felt I couldn’t tell them I was going back and now I don’t speak to them because it’s awkward… so I don’t want to ruin anymore relationships…
        So I’m really cautious about who I speak to.
        Thank god for this forum. Its the only place i have felt understood and able to speak and people can understand….
        I will check out Dr Ramani, I tried to switch off a bit to recharge this weekend but i am supposed to go back next weekend so.. I really need to sort this out soon..
        Thankyou for the support xx

    • #126795
      Living Warrior

      Hi hun, i agree with everything said so far, my guiding light that helped me open my eyes that enough was enough, was a caseworker suggested writing a diary of my thoughts as i had no one to talk to- this was early stages when i thought it was just me being sad for being in a new place and no friends, years later when things got bad, i stumbled across the book and read it, i realised that the abuse had started years and years b4… i wrote myself a letter when i left, telling my future self, why i left, raw and unsensored, and when i did think he would change in the beginning i read it, and i never looked back. they mess with us so much we second guess ourselves constantly. be your own guardian angel, remind yourself when needed, but dont lay focused on the past 🙂

    • #126798

      Like Living Warrior, I had it recommended to me to write out everything and going right back to the beginning. It was an eye opener and even now things come to mind because so much had been supressed, then I read somewhere reading the account as if you were reading about a friend and what would you say or feel? It was good to do. I like the idea of writing the letter to your future self saying why you left, I will remember that one.

      I have read that it is normal for people to go back around 7 times before they make the final move. Keep talking to your friends, because you need the support. It’s a way that these men can isolate us, because we end up doing it ourselves!

      Dr Ramani stresses to find someone who specifically deals with narc abuse, because you can end up being gaslighted by your therapist. Can you do a search in your area for people who specialise in this area, there is also a lady in the UK and I like her videos Caroline Strawson. But at the end of the day it doesn’t matter what we do, you can’t change someone else behaviour. Only they can do it and if they are not even willing to see how they behave is wrong and voluntarily go and get help without having to be told what to do then it won’t happen. I saw this Julia Robert’s quote and it says “Women, you are not rehabilitation centres for badly raised men. It’s not your job to fix him, change him, parent or raise him. You want a partner not a project”. This kinda hit home to me!

      Hope you managed to get some rest and keep coming here and talking, this place is amazing. you can come here and not feel alone! Lots of love and big hugs x

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