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Support for those in emotionally abusive relationships:16

(1000 Posts)
foolonthehill Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:58

Am I being abused?

Verbal Abuse A wonderfully non-hysterical summary. If you're unsure, read the whole page and see if you're on it.
Emotional abuse from the same site as above
Emotional abuse a more heartfelt description
a check list Use this site for some concise diagnostic lists and support
Signs of Abuse & Control Useful check list
why financial abuse is domestic violenceAre you a free ride for a cocklodger, or supposed to act grateful for every penny you get for running the home?
Women's Aid: "What is Domestic Violence?" This is also, broadly, the Police definition.
20 signs you're with a controlling and/or abusive partner Exactly what it says on the tin

Books :

"Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft - The eye-opener. Read this if you read nothing else.
"The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans – He wants power OVER you and gets angry when you prove not to be the dream woman who lives only in his head.
"The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?" by Patricia Evans - Answer: Perhaps - ONLY IF he recognises HIS issues, and if you can be arsed to work through it. She gives explicit guidelines.
"Men who hate women and the women who love them" by Susan Forward. The author is a psychotherapist who realised her own marriage was abusive, so she's invested in helping you understand yourself just as much as helping you understand your abusive partner.
"The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing" by Beverley Engels - The principle is sound, if your partner isn't basically an arse, or disordered.
"Codependent No More : How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself" by Melody Beattie - If you a rescuer, you're a co-dependent. It's a form of addiction! This book will help you.
But whatever you do, don't blame yourself for being Co-dependent!


Websites :

So, you're in love with a narcissist - Snarky, witty, angry, but also highly intelligent: very good for catharsis
Dr Irene's verbal abuse site - motherly advice to readers' write-ins from a caring psychotherapist; can be a pain to navigate but very validating stuff
Out of the fog - and now for the science bit! Clinical, dispassionate, and very informative website on the various forms of personality disorders and how they impact on family and intimate relationships.
Get your angries out – You may not realise it yet, but you ARE angry. Find out in what unhealthy ways your anger is expressing itself. It has probably led you to staying in an unhealthy relationship.
Melanie Tonia Evans is a woman who turned her recovery from abuse into a business. A little bit "woo" and product placement-tastic, but does contain a lot of useful articles.
Love fraud - another site by one woman burned by an abusive marriage
You are not crazy - one woman's experience. She actually has recordings of her and her abusive partner having an argument, so you can hear what verbal abuse sounds like. A pain to navigate, but well worth it.
Baggage reclaim - Part advice column, part blog on the many forms of shitty relationships.
heart to heart a wealth of information and personal experiences drawn together in one place

what couples therapy does for abusers

If you find that he really wants to change
should I stay or should I go bonus materials this is a site containing the material for men who want to change…please don’t give him the link…print out the content for him to work through.

The Bill of Rights
bill of rights here is what you should expect as a starting point for your treatment in a relationship, as you will of course be treating others!!

TieredConfusedMummy Tue 12-Feb-13 19:23:57

Arg why does H have to be being very nice atm and 'trying' very hard. It is making me so confused.

Mink H is currently trying, wanting to fix everything, but tbh with you I feel like such a mug when I consider giving it another go. All the things that have happened, all the times he's promised me he'll try, he latest is that he knows it's hard right now, and he is trying very hard, but things will be very different when I graduate and am bringing in more money... It always stems back to money with him. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if he tries his hardest to fix it, I still think that it is too late, the love and wanting to make it work has gone from me sad

Lahti Tue 12-Feb-13 20:03:53

TCM and Mink I feel like a mug for giving H another go 5 years ago when he had an EA and was obviously shockingly nasty to me. However a friend told me today that giving him another chance back then had not been a waste of time, as now I can be completely sure that I need to leave as I now know that I really tried everything.

TisILeclerc Tue 12-Feb-13 20:13:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoraLuca Tue 12-Feb-13 20:22:12

Evening all smile

Maggie you're so nearly there... I do hope all goes well for you. Did he find his driving license in the end?

TCM are you worried about your Mum's reaction to you leaving and that's why you don't want to tell her? You might be suprised, perhaps she can tell that you're not happy but doesn't want to say anything until you do?

I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to make it work any more, especially if there's history of him being nice / not nice / nice / not nice... emotional rollercoaster, it is.

I still haven't moved into my new little house. I am scared, I think.

H has always criticised my cooking, to the point where he nearly always cooks now and won't eat anything I prepare. I'm not touching that shit, he says, even when it's something like oven chips and scrambled egg which even I can't mess up! Then he makes himself a sandwich or something and doesn't touch what I cooked. He has been like this for a long time, but I always make enough food for him anyway in case he wants it. If I ask him beforehand what he wants to eat he usually tells me to fuck off and leave him alone. Today I only made enough for me and the DDs shock and as we were eating I heard him banging around the kitchen before marching over and asking where his tea was. He then crashed around some more, saying under his breath what a bitch I am for not making him any food.

I will buy a fridge, but if I wait a couple of weeks till payday I'll be able to afford a better one than if I buy it right now. Anyways, we didn't have a washing machine for about six months once, if you have to do without the appliances for a while it helps you to really appreciate them when you can finally have them.

CharlotteCollinsislost Tue 12-Feb-13 20:55:41

That's good to know, Nora, as we are washing machine-less as of today until the plumber can put in the pipes in the room it's moving to!

Maggie - phew! Well done for the sneaky run. Stay safe, lovely.

a wife and family to come home to - TCM, don't you feel that creates a totally different impression from "a wife and family to enjoy my downtime with"? He doesn't want real people with feelings and illnesses and stuff, does he? Just a pastiche to enjoy as he walks in the door. I remember realising that FW just wanted a big family so that he could smile benignly over the chaos as he walked to his study and then shut the door on it all. And as I've accused him (in jokey fashion) of this more than once and not had a very negative reaction, I guess it's true and what's more, he can't really see anything wrong with it.

Feeling for you, Leclerc, with all your dc issues to try and help them through. The perceived power vacuum is an interesting one - I feel that my dd1 does the same, and I have to remind her (she's 9!) sometimes that I am in the room and as I have not commented on ds's behaviour I must think it's ok, so can she please not try to parent him! I'm not sure how much progress I'm having, but I think slowly the message is getting through. I was starting at very low expectations from her, as my self-esteem is so crappy that I have often sub-consciously thought she must be right if she pontificated in childish fashion about something I should or should not be doing. blush Since I realised this, I've been trying to reassure that I'm the mummy, I'm in control, I love having her help but she shouldn't take over. Sounds quite ridiculous that at some level I didn't believe this myself for some time.

YY charlotte. I felt like he would have been happy to have lived in victorian times-do his own thing and have the children presented to him an hour before bedtime! He only wanted to spend time with us when he didn't have anything else he wanted to do. Quite content to have me visit family without me, but make me feel guilty for having had a roast dinner at their house while he went without hmm. So much so, that they used to send him a portion back so I wouldn't get any earache from him.

CharlotteCollinsislost Tue 12-Feb-13 21:19:17

So entitled! It's so frustrating - I think for years I've been frustrated by FW's entitlement, and thought it was one of those things in a marriage you have to put up with, some odd ideas or whatever. When all along, it was a clear indicator of an abusive mindset.

BreatheandFlyAway Tue 12-Feb-13 21:20:16

Hi everyone,

Maggie so glad you are ok and mission accomplished! You're so right to ignore Mil's texts - someone said upthread it may have been a ploy cooked up between your OH and her - never trust one of their relatives! However nice!

Tomorrow - court. Not sure if FW has remembered! He hasn't mentioned. Do I remind him? If he doesn't show up he will blame me, but he's had the court docs for ages, has been through them with fine tooth comb etc etc - I'm not his mummy that I have to do his coat up and pop him along to court, am I?

Anyway I have papers assembled and should really be making some notes and sorting out my thoughts and requirements but can't get myself to do it. Never mind, I will get round to it at some point this evening, I just needed some down time with a wine and MN to chill a bit - been on the go all day - work, collecting kids, playdate, dance for dd, pancakes at a friends, home, supper, bed - you know how it is!

My counsellor said it sounds like I've had no boundaries. I googled some stuff tonight about healthy intimate relationships and it is so far from what I've had. I clearly need to work out what is/isn't acceptable to me for the future and be prepared to send anyone packing who crosses my boundaries. Easy to type...

BreatheandFlyAway Tue 12-Feb-13 21:39:18

Hi Match yeah that rings a bell with me too, maybe that's the key to why we're with fws - I will do same google! I still want to find the "Normal manual"!

I found some stuff on livestrong.com. Nearest thing to a 'this is a normal relationship' guide that I've seen so far. Counsellor bringing me a book on boundaries to my next appointment.

foolonthehill Tue 12-Feb-13 21:51:58

Hi ladies, just popping my head up to alert you to this book as I know some of you are members of Christian churches and communities

resource: Divorce by Frank Retief a biblical but readable and short book outlining the Biblical basis and practical reasons for divorce if you are a Christian.

You are amazing people who are confronting a huge problem in your lives. keep reading, keep looking, keep going and in the end "the truth will set you free".

much love
xxfool

BreatheandFlyAway Tue 12-Feb-13 22:09:20

Thank you Fool thanks smile

FairyFi Tue 12-Feb-13 22:11:37

i'm realising how rubbish I am at boundaries, well I kinda thought I was anyway, but in trying to reinforce that I am mum (last time I checked confused ) all hell has let loose sad - my evening of trying to crack on with studies blown, again. Being shouted at and told i'm rude and horrible. I don't know anything about boundaries (although I do not I'm not shouting screaming and abusing, I've really did learn that one thanks FW!). So annoyed that I'm all cross again now. I'm so laid back about stuff, that I like yours charlotte perhaps I have another 'mum' in da house. confused

Please don't agree with me, even if you think it sad I couldnt take it right now blush. So far I've just managed to settle at a [slightly] later than usual bedtime, peacefully and with friendly chatter with an agreement to talk properly tomorrow - oh gawd where can I hide whilst a real mother takes over??? Cue supernanny.

MrsMorton Tue 12-Feb-13 22:15:28

The whole thing is such a head fuck. I'm at my parents for two nights , in didnt phone before bed last night (massive crime) and tonight just sarky weird texts. I feel like I hate him but tomorrow, sure as eggs is eggs, when I'm sat on the sofa, scared to talk, scared to go for a poo and just sat watching soaps that I hate, I will look at his face and feel such love for him that I will melt.
But tonight I have told my best friend that he is making life hard (not the hows etc just that he is) she made me cry a bit with her reply. My other friend who is my complete rock is away and incommunicado for a week which has really shaken me but I made a promise that I would have moved forwards in their absence and now I feel I have.

Sad sad sad and gutted and just worn down by it all

minkembra Tue 12-Feb-13 22:39:28

fairyfi imo that is what a real mum is someone who cares enough to try and who worries that they aren't always getting it spot on.

As my very wise 5yr old dd says 'well we all think we are not very good sometimes, you try your best and that is all any if us can do isn't it? And to us you are the best'

she is quite a funny solemn thing sometimes. (and a bit morbidshockgrin)

Its the parents that either don't care or who know for sure they are right you need to worry about i reckon.

lahti totally. I am glad I gave it a decent shot too. went about a lot of it the wrong way in hindsight but I did give it a good few chances.

nora re food. grrr. Looking back i now realise a good half of rows we had were in some way related to food. Including the last straw!

breath hope court goes ok.

CharlotteCollinsislost Tue 12-Feb-13 22:41:14

Fi, you sound like a great mother - very patient, supportive, caring, thoughtful. But kids will be kids... And kids who have a f*ed-up role model of parenting to process will be kids who have a ... well, you get the idea. (I hope - not sure I expressed it very well grammatically!)

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 12-Feb-13 23:20:43

Help needed on this thread where OP is getting stick about reacting to an abusive H (imho), some understand, some don't, I've pointed her here.

Now to catch up reading this thread.

FairyFi Tue 12-Feb-13 23:56:29

I really do try, thanks, I do ... but I cannot cope with bedtimes!?!! they
go on forever, and I just get close to get it on time and it all kicks off, and I've lost my bloody study time. I get cross, and didn't let DD finish what she was asking for (although I had corectly anticpated the nature o the request), and very firmly said to go back up and finish getting ready, argue argue shout back , don't tell me what to do, you're rude - because i was short, I wasn't patient and I said, I am telling you because I'm your mum! Its breaking my heart, I just don't know the right thing to say. she won't accept my pathetic attempts at being strict with bedtimes. although its much much better than being up for hours every night as it was till not so long ago. this is where it comes back to the boundaries, I set one, and not for my benefit, and try to keep things the same every night, with homework and dinner and unwinding for bed, etc, and ... oh god, I'm just bloody fed up of doing this alone, with being in the bloody wrong all the time, when he's fecking appalling to her, stresses her to death, she won't talk to him about any real worries or be near him when ill.

o

poor me poor me poor me. Its all a bit pathetic ain't it. I just don't know if I'm making any headway atall. I'm pretty sure I must just be taking it all too personally??!! but then refuse to dismiss her challenges as just me knowing better than her? which I don't think I do. See... boundaries.

I hope that a reasonably chat tommorow, will help clear some of the confusion?! oh gawd...

I'm thank ful she's been so well for some months now, and I'm thankful for many other things going along well, and I might've talked myself round abit.. it was a helpful rant. but need to find my boundaries and stick at them.

BreatheandFlyAway Wed 13-Feb-13 00:04:33

Fi lovely lady, big hugs and lots of hand holding xxx you are doing a great job and you will get there in the end. My two are also playing up horribly with me, saying awful things and treating me like shit at times, I keep having to take deep breaths and remember this stems from fwittery and I am the safe haven they can rail and rant against safely, whereas with fw they walk on eggshells but desperately crave his approval because it's so conditional. It sucks, doesn't it. But we're the good guys and we're doing the right thing, honey.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 13-Feb-13 00:13:38

Fi you are doing fine, it's hard to see that yourself when you are in the middle of it all, but you are.

And don't forget that it's normal for DC to have periods of arguing back - it's part of them becoming an individual.

minkembra Wed 13-Feb-13 00:17:29

fairyhelpful wants are great grin

What is doing my head in tonight is that although i am spending too much time on MN (not big fan if net having spent 7 yrs with someone who spent half their waking time on it) I am finding for now it us helping but everytime i post something i can hear him in my head going 'oh poor you get your mates to come and throw hankies at you tell them all how awful it was and make out i gave you a hard time. its all in your head. ooh better get some counselling etc'
And he is on the net so much i keep waiting for him to actually 'catch me' on here and be furious.
He's not even here anymore but sometimes he might as well be.

Am hoping once it is all off my chest and I stop talking about him I'll stop hearing what he would have said.

Off to watch Miranda. grin it's the little things....

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 13-Feb-13 00:21:05

<throws hankie>

Miranda sounds like a good antidote grin

FairyFi Wed 13-Feb-13 00:24:52

I am stil struggling with his voice in my head, which completely rocked any faith or self-belief in my ability to mother. I give her loads of freedom, to mess, to rant, manage her homework demands and give to her if she needs help with, she wanted to make something at home that she'd made at school (dinner), I'm not someone that hovers and frets over what she's doing and give her independence to come to me if she needs help, but she will not accept this bit where the rules have to come from me. We've had talks about and things have been going well, and I know what it is.. I've just been duped again. Shes worried and this is her pattern, to pick fights until it eventually comes out, but i'll probably have some nights of this until it comes out whats going on. This is her fathers pattern, to never share anything but take his anxieties out on me without explanation, then walks away when I'm in a mess, confused about what just happened, and he's now fine! Is this real, is this a copied thing or some sort of inherited thing, so worried this is going to end badly. I just don't learn! doh!!! the tenacity is very impressive tho sad

thank you fly I will be taking breaths thank you. I dont know how much whispering in ears goes on during contact. yeah, it sucks, and the dynamic is so different when there's only one of us [parents] - not to get me wrong, this is better even so and I have to keep knowing that and drive his wretched bldy voice from my head. R u doing ok in the face of it all, whats happening (if you have the time, inclination and energy to even think about that right now!?).. no worries of course if not, just sending big hugs back to you for your struggles and decisions right now. xxx

FairyFi Wed 13-Feb-13 00:36:36

thanks mINK & Silvery the rant was good, i'm reall ynot use to ranting.... I'm so happy to rant by proxy, but for me, well I never got to rant at him, I was boring if I did sad (although i listened for nights on end about his drunken boss, that was bullying him and how he was going to shop him to the police, and the swearing and endless ranting,, which would all start up again the next night, and a week later - groundhog day) This was the exception to the coming home with a face like thunder and me wincing around all eve. so thats int eh past (important to remember Fi).

I read my post and thought exactly that silvery that these rules are there for resisting particularly now and to be renegotiated, and maybe some are ready before others to decide their own bedtimes/?!?! Only thing is bedtimes are such a problem and have to be adhered to as much as poss because of potential for severe illness resulting.

So, my cat keeps blocking my screen as its rying to get comfortable for sleep, and I'm gonna take my cue and give up trying [to type around him and failing] for tonight. thank you lovley ladies.

I hopethat the lady on the other thread makes it over here, i see some have already posted support and signposts.

love and strength to all (maybe sleep will bring some to me too) xxx

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