This topic contains 33 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  Whoopsie 1 week, 1 day ago.

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  • #110648

    I’ve just been listening to “Healing from Hidden Abuse” on audiobook, and there is a section on the fact that abusers typically sabotage holidays. This is a real issue for me, but I had never realised it was a “thing” for abusers, beyond their normal abusive behaviour / patterns.
    This is following on slightly from the “This is my abuser” thread, but really honing it down to holidays. What does yours do, and do you have a tactic for minimising the damage – on the basis that once we’re away with them we’re kind of stuck with them until we return home and have to find a way of getting through it.

    Mine a) refuses to do anything as “I’m on holiday”. So he won’t hand tickets over, ask directions, plan a day’s activities, look up a telephone number, approach a waiter etc. He stands back and lets me do everything.
    B) insists that I have an innate knowledge of everything. I have to know exactly which check-in desk, driving route, way to the restaurant etc and it is very, very irritating if I have to stop to look at a map. (Which he would never do, see a) above.)

  • #110649

    Hi Lottieblue, I can relate to this entirely. Mine refuses to look at anywhere himself, will not do anything in relation to organising any little detail whatsoever. It is all up to me to organise where we go, how we’re getting there, getting to and from airport, travel money, clothes & meds we might need, passports, insurance, plane seats. He does nada
    What he does do: complain if he doesn’t like anything, go off in a huff and expect me to go trundling after him, expect me to do what he wants to do or will throw tantrum or sulk, bull***** and brags to people about complete nonsense and imaginary achievements of his then expects me to go along with it.
    In addition to this he complains we never go where he wants to go ( but never gives any input), insists I should pay some of his fare as we have to go in school hols because of my work.
    I do love my holidays but it is always a stressful time because of my oh

    • #110751

      @scapegoat mine did the same thing! Anyone he would meet when we were on holiday he would tell bullsh*t stories bragging about things that never happened and i was expected to go along with it. This always baffled me and got me wondering how many things he bragged about to me when we first met just to come across as cool/interesting.
      On the few occasions that we went on holiday he hit me with visible bruises and I couldn’t go to the police in a foreign country which I imagine is why he did it. I’d have been left stranded in different country no chance of me leaving him because where would I go!
      Constant tantrums when things didn’t go the way he wanted. Threats to send me back or to just cancel the trip all together.

  • #110651

    Oh aren’t they weird and downright flaming nuisances. Same with my ex but add to the list: getting hammered daily on the local Illegally brewed moonshine equivalent and pick fights with people and me because I was looking at them / they were looking at me, leaving me alone for HOURS with his family (we always holidayed in his home Country) who I loved dearly but I mean.. hours? When he complained of spending more than 30 mins with my family. Them expecting us to know everything and sort everything, ugh. I didn’t realise it was a thing either.

  • #110653

    Mine is downright rude, never engages with anyone. When you start up a conversation with someone in the lift, cos their kids are the same age, or just chatting to the nice old lady next to you on your four hour flight. None of it. It’s all below him. Lets me do it all (it’s in my nature) but people clearly think it’s really weird – he doesn’t even look up when they ask a question about him.

    He also gives no input about where he wants to go. Until he tells me he doesn’t like my ideas but never until then, so he can tell me my plans are useless.

  • #110654

    Hi Lottieblue

    So funny you mention this. If my ex thought he could be loosing control and as a way to keep me k side (as I know now) he would suggest booking a holiday as it would usually be a few months before it’s almost like he thought once he booked it he could go back to his horrible usual self.

    Once on the holidays he would sit around the pool reading his newspaper or on the phone all day, he wouldn’t have any family fun in the pool etc. I actually felt like I was on holiday alone-every time.

    When it came to showering etc before going out for food he’d sit at the bar constantly texting me telling me to hurry up, He was hungry! He’d also go on daily evening rants about anything he thought necessary, even threw a (detail removed by moderator) at my head once because I was being ignorant!

    Lol and daily he would be on the phone to the tour operater booking flights to go home 😂now i look back I think what a complete idiot! He’d tell me I deserved to be left in a strange place alone. Reckon the heat must get to their heads while on hoiday xx


  • #110656
     Wants To Help 

    Now I had a totally different experience with holidays – with the exception of one holiday, ours were great.

    I’m a born organiser, and my ex was happy for me to plan the holiday and where we went, he really wasn’t that bothered, so if I suggested a country he was fine with it, and then I researched and booked. Prior to meeting him I’d travelled quite a lot on my own, so I had the passports, the tickets, checked us in at airports and did all the admin side. Once abroad, if we hired a car I was happy for him to drive. Holidays were the only time he seemed relaxed and in a better mood. He never complained about the hotel I’d booked or the resort etc.

    For us, our day to day normal life was awful, but a two week trip abroad every year tended to be really good. I guess that’s why I put so much of the abuse down to his stress at work and long commute, because when he was relaxed with no work he was a different man.

  • #110666

    Great topic!

    I figured something out about my partner after numerous holidays, and even days out, have been ruined by him.

    Out of his “comfort zone” of committing abuse ie. home, I actually think he feels a little intimidated/insecure and definitely worried about what everyone thinks of him. He is also an alcoholic so slight fear of the unknown and “where will he get his next drink” I think come into play too.

    Like a lot of people have mentioned above, I organise everything. Having read Living With The Dominator recently, I have realised he is invoking his Persuader routine and it works every time. It’s honestly sometimes easier just to take over myself, however there’s always the unease that no doubt I’ve got something wrong and he’ll have cause to complain.

    Anyway, we tend to get where ever we are going and for the first day or two (or hour or so on a day trip), you can tell he’s figuring out his boundaries and tends to keep the peace, and definitely “keeping up appearances” in public. However, without fail, Mr Abuser cannot go long without starting something up and, of course, he has all the ammunition he needs because literally EVERYTHING can be a target as I have sorted it all. The hotel, the location, hire car or no hire car, day trips, I’ve sometimes noticed that things I was so sure he would enjoy and I say let’s go there, he’ll sulk or start a row and say no, just to control me. When I ask him what he would like to do, he just turns silent or huffy or asks why I’m trying to control him, it’s “his holiday too and he can do what he likes”! No win situation. Totally agreeing with comments above about not being quick enough to get washed up and go out for food too, that’s a classic here! It is utterly exhausting and we have not been away for a long time now together as I can’t face it…

  • #110678

    THTKY – I’m the same, I’d rather not go away because it’s just not enjoyable at all – does yours know, though, that that is why you haven’t booked anything? Mine keeps saying “I need a holiday” as in “You need to organise a holiday” but I have no desire to do so. I want to say to him “you must be kidding!” And tell him exactly why but he would tell me what a b***h I am and how hard he works etc and all hell would break loose. I’m just keeping going for as long as possible avoiding the issue but I won’t be able to continue for ever…
    We didn’t have anything booked yet for the summer when lockdown started, and now we probably won’t either. I’m just keeping my head down.

    • #110683

      Hi Lottieblue, yes, I sometimes get those comments – very transparent, aren’t they? – but, thankfully, for the time-being, we have a genuine reason for me to stay behind involving our pets (one is very elderly) and I use the fact I don’t want any of them, elderly one inparticular, left with other people. Bless its heart, it won’t be here forever, but despite the fact he thinks I’m pathetic – he has literally said those words! – I’m sticking to my guns. Please stick to yours too, keep strong!!

      As an aside, this pet doesn’t like him at all (it was mine before we got together) and I swear it’s keeping going simply to support me. Pets are very intuitive beings! x x

  • #110694

    Can I just say Lottieblue, the title for your post literally made me belly laugh. I needed this today x

    • #110695

      I am delighted.
      Having listened to the audiobook rather than read it on paper, of course the whole lot enters my consciousness in an American accent.
      My context was very much related to the book, so it seemed the right way to put it! X

    • #110697

      It’s great. I think I have reached that stage now where I can look back on things and laugh, rather than cry. And this headline literally sums it all up for me 😂 also I’ll have to try and have a read of this book, sounds very interesting x

  • #110696

    The sabotaging holidays was one of my many light bulb moments, I couldn’t believe it when I read it in a few books. Every holiday we have had was a total nightmare. The “issues” that caused a massive incident and then always long spells of silent treatment or abandoning me somewhere were so wide and varied I find it hard to even list them. It literally could be anything!! I spent the whole time every time trying to not say, do, look,ask,suggest anything in the hope it would avoid it happening. Always happened no matter what and the last holiday we had we made it to the last 24 hours and I thought to myself, wow.. nope bang out of nowhere (I had been writing everything down by this point) and honestly think he deliberately did something to cause a reaction in me which then led to me apologising and me getting the silent treatment. I think I swore out loud when I read it in the Bancroft book it became oh so clear.

    • #110699

      My abuser always seemed to wait until we were on holiday to have a full on tantrum. The strange thing is, he would always initiate the holiday to start with!!

      And literally anything could set him off, down to it being too hot or he didn’t like the food. And you can guarantee it would be my fault, always.

      He’s even thrown the odd tantrum whilst we’ve been waking down the beachfront before, people looking while his arms were swinging and going on a full rant about him booking tickets to go home tomorrow!

      Now I think back, luckily I can laugh at his behavior. The joke was on me k suppose for so long but the jokes on him now. You know once a waiter on holiday asked me if my abuser was’fine’. He was doing alot of hand gesturing around his head area. This only confirmed by that point, what I already knew! X

  • #110706

    Mine were mixed. In the early days they were great and even towards the end they were mostly fine (even in normal life my ex wasn’t constantly abusive – it was a roller coaster of good and bad)
    But I did notice latterly there would always be a big arguement the night before with him threatening not to go and me often sleeping on the couch planning in my head what I would do in the morning – only for him to say don’t be silly of course I’m going. And I remember one big incident which ruined a day on most.
    We also used to do a lot of mini breaks – groupon type deals for one night. They were great at first but in the latter years most were totally ruined by a big argument before or during, to the point I stopped looking forward to them or arranging them. Sad, because they could be great and I remember loads of lovely ones.
    I read that part of the book too yesterday and mine totally followed the pattern of also ruining birthdays and Christmas for me in the latter years to the point it couldn’t be coincidence.

  • #110708

    Hi all this book was a complete eye opener for me too. It was like a eureka moment reading it! Holidays were either weeks of him talking about needing one, looking at places, hyping up me, the kids and then when I came to pushing him on coughing up/booking etc because I needed to book time off work/plan etc, him denying he’d even mentioned it – typical gas lighting! Or he would talk about all the places he’d been with his exes (literally everywhere, according to him) and then not want to commit to go anywhere with me. Sometimes we had good times, he sort of seemed to be a better person away from home but then, I did all the driving, planning and arrangements so he just ‘turned up’ basically so that is another form of manipulation in my book – there was no active participation if you know what I mean …… it was entirely dependent on his mood whether we had a good time or not. Last time we went abroad, he just wanted to lie on the hotel bed and watch tv – or spend hours on his phone saying he still had to see to business even he was on holiday. Most of my memories of that holiday are feeling lonely, exploring and being on my own for days on end with awkward evenings with him just acting like he didn’t want to be there – just not being ‘present’. The romance, relaxation and holiday sex we were supposed to have just not materialising unless he had random moments when he seemed to ‘see’ me for the first time and devote all his attention on me which somehow managed to sustain me! Talk about crumbs! Me constantly not wanting to cause a scene. Alot of triangulation when he talked inflated rubbish to strangers about himself that used to take my breath away while I had to sit and nod and smile otherwise he would rip shreds into me when we got back to our room. Sometimes he was so lovely to me and about me when we were with people we had just met and I used to think ‘eh?’ that was when I realised ABUSE IS A CHOICE. He was perfectly capable of making the effort, he just chose not to. Also, same thing at Christmas, just no effort to be jolly or have a good day. It was exhausting, I literally did everything, all the organising, all the catering, all the shopping, all the decorating, all using my hard earned money, with no contribution, and he would just not be ‘present’ somehow – the kids used to say he just clearly wanted to be somewhere else and that was probably true! I just remember feeling sad and desperately trying to make everything perfect while wanting to scream at him. This year for my birthday, he sent my son down the road to buy my birthday card which had no personal message, didn’t wrap my present and didn’t speak to me on my birthday, that was when I knew it was over, to be honest. Zero effort = zero love.

  • #110716

    Oh My! My blood is running cold as I read this. Christmas is what brought the whole thing to a head for me – I tried to tell him I needed it to be different the next time and he went ballistic!! He went ballistic, told me what a cow I was to suggest he had ruined Christmas (which I hadn’t said, I just said it needed to be different) and guess what! He did exactly the same thing (the same behaviour that I had called him on) again. I have got to a point where I am embarrassed and ashamed to have my family in my house to witness his behaviour.
    And birthdays. It is like a deliberate sabotage. So sad. Makes me so sad.

  • #110717

    @lottieblue it’s horrible isn’t it. I had a nice family Christmas Day planned which involved me doing all the cooking and prep for visitors and I was fine with that. The abuser threw a tantrum on Christmas morning because I didn’t want to participate in a (detail removed by moderator) activity with him that would throw a grenade in these plans. I suggested compromise but it was his way or highway. I stuck to my guns – amazingly he dropped his tantrum and acted all nice about 30 minutes before people arrived (he didn’t want to not appear the nice family guy) but the damage was done.


  • #110760

    I would always arrange and pay for holidays, yet at the airport I couldn’t be trusted with the passports/money/check in stuff (he liked to be the man in public)
    On holiday he would moan about anything he could, and of course it would be my fault because I chose and booked it. Everything had to be on his terms…if he wanted to leave the pool and go back to the room we ALL had to go. We had to eat when he was hungry.

    The last few christmases he spent his time off work sulking up in the bedroom. My gifts were never good enough, he Wouldn’t help wrap any of the kids presents. Left everything for me to do. He Wouldn’t help decorate the tree, or any of the indoor stuff, but would happily put lights up outside where the neighbours could see him doing it 🙄

  • #110769

    Complete bundles of joy, aren’t they?

  • #110779

    I didn’t even realise this was a thing! Thank you! Mine always ruins holidays, special days, day trips etc. Ive asked him about it before but I can’t write his reply here but basically it was in my head and I was blowing it out proportion x

  • #110807

    We only went away properly a handful of times. I’m well-travelled and before him managed to navigate the world without incident. With him it was a different story. I generally booked the accommodation and he did the flights. He managed to book flights the day before we had to leave. He re-booked flights but went on the original times and not the new ones. ‘Forgot’ to book luggage for me but remembered to book his own.

    He was like many of you describe – mostly useless and everything my fault. The queues, the temperature, the distance to the gate, the people pushing in, the uncleared tables in the bar, the cost of everything. On one flight he made such a fuss about his seat that they moved us, despite the fact I was running a temperature and just wanted to curl up. In fact, every time I was unwell on holiday he’d leave me, go off to have fun. Accuse me of being sick ‘on purpose’ – that included if I happened to have my period. Thinking back, I would get ill most trips away. Either he was poisoning me or my body was reacting to the stress.

    He got weird about food. If he got it into his head that he wanted (detail removed by moderator) with his breakfast we’d have to walk all over town studying menus. He HAD to have it. We went to a deli once to stock up for a long weekend. He bought so much that even the owner told him he’d ordered enough. We did Christmas away, just the two of us, and he insisted on a (detail removed by moderator). W*F? We had a bus to catch for a timed event once so he decided to cook a full breakfast, starting with the mushrooms and putting the sausages on last. He thought it was OK to put it all into (detail removed by moderator). I still don’t know if he was (detail removed by moderator) or deliberately difficult 🙂


    • #110815

      Camel, my abuser too would occasionally decide he wanted to eat somewhere different, but it would be something very specific and hard to find in the particular destination. We would have to traipse around looking for a restaurant that served it, then if he found it he’d be moaning that it wasn’t cooked right or it didn’t look right. There’s no pleasing some people is there! I on the other hand am quite easy going while on holiday (or vacation 😂) just grateful to be there. But my abuser on the other hand was never happy. Wouldn’t interact with others while on holiday either. He turned his nose up at everything and anything. Looking back now on some of his tantrums he had on his vacation actually make me belly laugh, even though at the time I didn’t find it funny xx

  • #110811

    I had to share the (detail removed by moderator)…

  • #110813

    (detail removed by moderator)!! LOL!!

  • #110817

    Your comments make my abuser seem quite extreme. He literally doesn’t engage. So I might say “where/what do you want to eat tonight?”. I’ll get “I’m on holiday, I’m not making any decisions. Just tell me where I need to be”. I’ll say “how about fish?”.
    I will then have to book and work out how to get there. And, you guessed it, when we eventually get there, it won’t be good enough. He won’t go on about it, there might be a comment or two. But sure as hell the next day it’ll be “as long as it’s better than last night”.
    Recently we were travelling to a weekend away in a city. We had tickets for something and I was looking for a restaurant nearby. I suggested a place we’d been before and he said (detail removed by moderator). Did he help me find somewhere? Of course not. In fact, I didn’t book, decided to wing it, and he walked 3 feet behind me while I tried to find us a table in some place that was acceptable to him.

  • #110821

    I don’t suppose we ever ask why we go along with it? What would happen if you picked somewhere to eat, went in, sat down, ordered a drink? Didn’t bother to check if he’d followed you in? Didn’t budge if he hadn’t?

  • #111061

    Again this thread is so appropriate to me. My husband ruins every holiday and always has. He picks arguments with me and generally goes in moods and gives me the silent treatment. He gets drunk everyday from about 4pm and becomes more and s more argumentative. I can’t put into words how awful he is. I feet so so sad for my children as all their holiday memories are ruined by him. He also justifies his, moods and sulks. He also ruins birthdays, days out Christmas.
    Why do they do it?

  • #111064

    Mine too. I think because they feel they’re not centre of attention, for some they’re out of the environment where they can safely abuse behind closed doors and then for others it’s because they know it’s something you were looking forward to so they’re going to spoil it. 🤷🏻‍♀️

  • #111073

    Yes holidays are always a nightmare . The day we go he always picks a fault out of something I’ve done /not done or the kids not doing as he wants . It has resulted several times in him ranting then skulking off to bed so I have taken the kids alone. A few days in to the hol he messages says his headache is better, he misses the kids and then turns up. Ok for a day then just moans about me being a control freak if I suggest what we do or indecisive and usless if I don’t . He stays in and has left us places when we don’t do as he says . But he is always nice to everyone else 🤷‍♀️. Then he calls us drama queens and have ruined his holiday
    Then on the return it’s a performance again if we are not ready for the exact time he says and even if we are he finds something to shout about .
    Same on days out , Birthdays etc

  • #111098

    I always do the arrangements – I’m “so good at that stuff and find great places and great prices” – or in other words pop me on my pedestal until I have got all the arrangements sorted because I’m can’t be bothered!

    Holidays start with drinks at the airport and carry on from there. Constantly seeking out where his next drink is coming from. We have had some great trips but there is always one night where there is a big unnecessary incident. The problem is that I never know when its coming so am massively anxious until it happens and then I almost feel like I can relax from the next day onwards. The bragging to strangers about his successes and exaggerated stories of things he’s done or people he knows and I’m just smiling and never ever challenging.

    Birthdays are always ruined various drama or incidents or plans for me are made that that actually are just what he wants to do and I just smile and go along with them.

    The behaviour patterns are just so similar its crazy!

  • #111131

    Oh god. So much of this has resonated!

    We rarely went on holiday together as he seemed to have a preference for using his annual leave to sit in his underpants all day. So many times I’d have time off work and spend it alone somewhere in the UK (I later found out he was tracking my phone so he knew exactly where I was).
    When we did go away it was always rediculously expensive. Taking out a personal loan for five years expensive. Everything that went well was his doing (even if I suggested it or organised it) and everything that he wasn’t happy with was my fault. Quite often it was like holidaying with an oversized toddler. Of course, it was MY responsibility to make sure he’s packed enough underpants and topped up with sunscreen!!!

  • #111141

    I can think of an incident on holiday that sticks out in my mind. we paid to go on a (detail removed by Moderator) together, he was driving. He was going really really fast, I’ve been on (detail removed by Moderator) before and it wasn’t like this. The thud of the (detail removed by Moderator) hitting the water just wasn’t right. He was trying to show off. I told him I was scared and could he show down, he immediately got angry because I was ruining his fun. He told me I had to get off as I was ruining it for him. He drove me back to shore and dropped me off in front of everyone. I pretended like it was ok and I wanted to get off and let him enjoy it. It was only actually a long time after the holiday that I thought, me enjoying the (detail removed by Moderator) was as important as him, we’d paid for this together and I was made to get off. This behaviour was standard across the board tho! He came first. I don’t know how I stuck it for so long and didn’t realise what was happening at the time!!

    He screamed at me at one point that ‘(detail removed by Moderator)’ But it was our first holiday together as a couple so I said ‘considering this had happened with a few different partners did you ever think the problem may be you?’ He was actually lost for words!! I didn’t get many wins in that relationship but that was a small one!!

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