To say dv is often carried out by people who are 'charm personified'

(165 Posts)
notnagging Thu 14-Feb-13 13:52:19

Just got me thinking. I know people who's partners seem lovely to the outside world but are monsters behind closed doors. That's the whole point. When something does happen people don't believe it.

Merl0t Thu 14-Feb-13 22:11:55

Darkesteyes I found This Charming Man a bit hard to swallow because he wasn't living with any of the women he was abusing. I found it hard to understand why women with their own homes would keep going back for more. MOST of the time women stay with abusers because they've nowhere to go and no money when they get there.

I found the characterisation of an Emotional Abuser in Last Chance Saloon absolutely brilliant,and in fact that book had a profound affect on me. I must read it again.

re some earlier posts: my first serious boyfriend hit and kicked the crap out of me when I was sixteen. My mother's reaction when I escaped and cycled full pelt to get home? She smirked and said 'you probably deserved it'

Thanks for setting that pattern in motion mother.

Stupid fucking cow.

And on being pregnant when I was 29: 'Get rid of it. You'll never love it. It will look like him'

Thanks again mother.

Unsurprisingly, have been NC for several years now.

notnagging Thu 14-Feb-13 22:24:10

Unlikely your mother sounds lovelyhmm
I'm glad you saw through it

treesntrees Thu 14-Feb-13 23:23:04

Don't forget, not all abusers are male.

EvenBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 23:38:40

Some chilling takes here sad
My 'father' was a violent torturer, rapist and paedophile, we escaped when I was 5 so I don't know how he acted to people he wasn't molesting but apparently he was a 'lovely' man and a 'pillar of the community'.
I'm still scared of grey haired men with moustaches. Especially if they golf, and am (completely irrationally) silently convinced that they're paedophiles!

I work in hospitality so have encountered many many men who treat us like scum and working with the general public means I've also served men who have scared the crap out of me just with their demeanour and their vibe, much scarier than the ones who just come in screaming and trashing the place.

EvenBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 23:40:48

And yes, plenty of creepy women too, but without that 'rapey' vibe, I don't mean that jokingly, I just mean a vibe of just below the surface, this person would murder me if they could, which I haven't got off a woman.

Darkesteyes Thu 14-Feb-13 23:51:52

MerloT my ex OM was emotionally abusive towards the end but i kept going back to his flat to be with him because.
a. DH hasnt so much as held my hand for many years.
b. OM would make love to me and hold and cuddle and stroke me afterwards and i found it so hard to let go of that so i kept going back.
I think i should probably read that Marian Keyes book.

Darkesteyes I found This Charming Man a bit hard to swallow because he wasn't living with any of the women he was abusing. I found it hard to understand why women with their own homes would keep going back for more

I didn't live with my abusive ex, the need was to be loved and to feel as part of a couple again.

I had gone from a abusive childhood to a perfect mariage, until i was widowed.

Then i had fuck buddies, which isn't great unless you've got over your childhood.

Friends warned me about my ex, so then i had something to prove. He was the most abusive in situations that i would have had to make a real fuss in, on holiday/trips away, for example.

When we went camping and only took his car, i had to placate him, or phone my son in law to come and get me, all the time still buying into "my attitude" was the problem.

He drummed it into me that if we spilt, how much i would lose, socially. He had isolated me from my friends and family,but took great delight in telling me how everyone thought that i was a crank.

I found out that i had Lupus and had to switch jobs, so there was a vulnerability in me from a few directions.

That is why DV crosses all income groups, it is only stopable by changing your thinking, otherwise you go into an abusive relationship again and again, the woman who my ex is targeting is doing it now, with him.

He has made sure that i have seen his "jokey" posts to her about how she should take him out for a meal etc on FB (i know,i know). She will find out soon enough that he isn't joking, he thinks his company is enough reward and expects to be paid for, unless he has an audience and then the rounds of drinks flow.

MrRected Fri 15-Feb-13 01:06:42

This is my Dad through and through. He is charm personified to the outside world. Beat the crap out of my mother and I all the way through my childhood.

These days he has forgotten. I haven't.

Darkesteyes Fri 15-Feb-13 01:10:03

Birds said

I didn't live with my abusive ex, the need was to be loved and to feel as part of a couple

Totally agree. I know that feeling. i feel that way now and it eats you up. thanks

Darkesteyes Fri 15-Feb-13 01:15:01

So sorry to hear that you lost your husband Birds.

kickassangel Fri 15-Feb-13 01:34:14

Another fallacy is that they just turn violent. More often there is a slow escalation of events, as they keep pushing to see what they can get away with. Once they are confident that they have the victim suitably vulnerable they become more violent. That's why pregnancy can be a trigger, they have a more vulnerable victim

Darkesteyes Fri 15-Feb-13 01:47:32

Exactly kickass but enablers like my DM think its always the womans fault... until there is a death (murder) and then its too late.

MidnightMasquerader Fri 15-Feb-13 02:25:44

This Charming Man was a real eye-opener for me, as someone who thankfully as no experience of DV at all. The way the story unfolds is really clever - it sort of runs parallel to the real life experience; that you have no idea of the outcome when you embark on a relationship with an abusive man. Then you're drawn into the story still with no suspicions, and then little red flags (which you can never be quite sure about in isolation) start waving...

The Thomas character In Last Chance Saloon was fabulously portrayed as well. And the twist with the insidious Lorchan character.

Spending more time of forums such as this, and reading about DV has helped me understand it a lot more (I used to think I'd leave on the very first punch - oh, the naivety, if only it was that easy)... I know Mumsnet's 'leave the bastard' mentality is often derided, but this is one place women can come and get support, be believed, and be told that they do not have to put up with it.

The flip side is that so many of these charming men do raise suspicions in people close to the absused partner. Hopefully women (and men) aren't more afraid to leave these people for fear of not being believed, because often as not, these 'charmers' aren't as good an actor as they'd hoped...

Sunnywithshowers Fri 15-Feb-13 02:44:31

My first 'proper' boyfriend had a foul temper. No-one was surprised when I said he pushed me around and smashed up my things.

But my XH? Nice guy, would do anything for anybody. But the EA started early. When our friends saw him push me out of a chair he convinced them it was 'all a joke'. It didn't get better. The small things became big things.

daffsarecomingup Fri 15-Feb-13 04:04:22

I had an ex who was charm personified. never any violence, but i had a gut feeling about him, and as someone suggested, nothing in his life was ever 'his fault'.
when we broke up, he began harassing me, and did the usual 'it's her! She's the mad one!" whenever i flagged it. a charming professional, on a board of Governors, volunteered for Victim Support. really really creepy.

and my BF's ex was a narcissitc woman who physically & emotionally abused him. Again, she was charm personified.

scary that these people are out there.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 15-Feb-13 04:44:15

The only thing I would say, is that there is a pattern on Relationships threads, where posters are afraid to leave, because they are convinced everybody they know loves their abuser and will never believe them.

Sometimes, a lot of the time, too often, that's true. But. A lot of the time, it isn't. A lot of the time, the woman's friends and family, the other mothers in the playground, her coworkers - they all privately think the "charming" OH is an obnoxious prick and the reason the OP doesn't see much of them is because they can't bear to be around him and hate watching him with her. But they are too polite to say, after all, it's just a "feeling" they have, you can't go bad mouthing someone's husband to their face.

I just wanted to say that because there might be posters reading this feeling like its hopeless and they will be friendless if they left. Sometimes, yes. acquaintances are totally taken in, but often you will be surprised who comes out of the woodwork and has long suspected the abuser of being a total cock.

Lavenderhoney Fri 15-Feb-13 04:51:32

I had a bf when a teen whose parents used to fight - boxing and throwing furniture at each other. My dm told me to get rid of him as it would come out. I ignored her til one day he was angry at my having coffee with a male friend and he out of nowhere kicked me in the stomach( I jumped back)

I never spoke to him again and he engineered a great deal of sympathy for himself as " I broke his heart" , even though I told people what happened. He used to follow me a bit as well, until dm contacted his parents and the police unknown to me.

Adversecamber Fri 15-Feb-13 10:03:39

Darkest eyes I'm sorry you also have an unsupportive Mother.

I agree about escalation, mine was mardy and grumpy but didn't hit me till we were on honeymoon. Punched me on the arm, enough to leave bruises.

The hold over DV victims can go so deep.

Anyway something uplifting from me, I gave my old wedding dress to the charity shop a couple of weeks ago. I married him in 1987 and have hauled it about for years. I didn't sit in it like Miss Haversham but I just couldn't part with it.

BertieBotts Fri 15-Feb-13 10:16:44

I think that the practicalities of leaving an abusive relationship are nowhere near the hardest thing to overcome or the strongest tie to the abuser. Likewise fear isn't usually the defining force stopping someone from leaving.

Of course practicalities and fear do stop people from leaving but it's a fallacy to say that they are the strongest things. I think we would like to believe this is true because they are easier to solve.

notnagging Fri 15-Feb-13 10:22:31

So true holdmecloser

NicknameTaken Fri 15-Feb-13 10:33:09

I didn't like the Marian Keyes book, but there is a non-fiction book called "Why charming men make dangerous lovers". Someone who is consciously charming you is not engaging with you on an authentic level. They want something, even if it's just to be liked.

Another charming and abusive ex here. I was a bit confused about him having so many friends who are good and kind people, because surely like attracts like. But not always - he is very good at playing the noble victim, and ends up with supporters rather than genuine friends.

I wish I could point you to a website where someone is soliciting funds for a project he is doing (obviously it's identifiable so I can't). The person is clearly a good person and very indignant on his behalf. The website talks about how he has been struggling as a single father since losing his wife - it sounds vaguely as if I was killed in some terrible tragedy. The truth is that I took our dd and went to a refuge because of his abuse. Unbelievable spin.

labtest Fri 15-Feb-13 10:47:13

Years ago I was watching Oprah and a retired police chief was on talking about infamous killers such as Ted Bundy. These men could charm the birds out of the trees which is how they convinced women to get into cars with them. He said to always keep in mind that charm isn't something someone possesses its something they do to you. They are using it as a form of control. Since hearing this I have been deeply suspicious of people who ooze charm.

Merl0t Fri 15-Feb-13 10:53:25

sorry, birdsgottafly, this charming man just didn't ring true for me. As a reader (who'd been through something more similar than the majority of other readers) I just couldn't understand it.

The Last Chance Saloon on the other hand, that was genius.

NicknameTaken, i can imagine. My x has re-written history in the same way. Totally delusional.

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