Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Can anyone explain my ex to me. Is violence normal with a passive aggressive?

(40 Posts)
VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 14:33:41

I just can't understand him and it's so confusing. I was with him 13yrs. I shuld know him by now. But I really would live to hear what others think. Please bear with me. What I need really I guess, is advice on how to deal with him because he still gets inside my head and can instantly turn my day or even whole weekend into a disaster just by a txt or couple of phonecalls. It's not that I still love him. He just knows how to push my buttons.

This is a bit of a rambly thread, sorry, but I need to work him out so I can finally understand how things I blame myself for were not my fault. That his behaviour was unreasonable.

He had me convinced for so long. I'm not sure I even know myself any more. I feel so drained.

I have to still have contact with him because of the dc and, now we have split I can see his behaviour more clearly. But it still affects me - too much.

I think he's passive aggressive because he can't ever say how he is feeling. I am very straightforward. He knows how I am feeling because I tell him. He seems to find this impossible and would rather:

1. sulk.

2. Plays games eg if he was in a mood he would try and mess something up for me (make me late for work by not having children on time etc).

3. Agree to everything but use his tone of voice to show he doesn't want to do it (he has various ways of saying 'yes' which, after 13 years I can tell what he really trying to say) It was exhausting to live with.

4. Switch everything around. For a long time I was convinced most things that went wrong were my fault. This happens even more now we have split, absolutely everything that doesn't work out for him, is my fault.

5. He can never accept responsibility for his actions. Nothing in this world will ever be his fault and he will always be a victim. We split because he threatened my life with a knife, but this is my fault apparently.

6. He is very sly. He would lie about everything from money to my possessions. My things would go missing and he would say that I should be more careful and shout at me for being careless. But then one day, I went through the bin, thinking I had thrown my hairbrush in the bin by mistake, and I found my make up and my brush in the bin. He said the dc must have done it. He also ran up lots of debt that I knew nothing about because he wanted complete control over the finanaces (he told me I was too much of an impulse spender to be trusted with the money) and then when I found out about the debt he said it was because I took 9 months maternity leave (which I only did because he said we could afford it)

7. Will lie about everything. There is nothing he wouldn't lie about.

I am also confused by the violence, I didn't think passive aggressive people were violent. I thought it was the opposite. They avoided confrontation. But I think he feels that if he isn't getting a response to his PA behaviour (I did learn some tricks on how to deal with it over the years) he would then resort to violence. But the violence was always by fault. I provoked him.

Right you are now all wondering why I was with him. He has everyone (inc himself) convinced he is a lovely kind man. Who is just a victim. He believes one day his luck will change with no understanding why he is in the position he is in. He just feels sorry for himself.

How do I deal with him now we are split? How do I stop him getting in my head? What are the best ways in dealing with PA people?

He doesn't sound passive aggressive he sounds full on abusive , emotionally and physically.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 15:00:32

Have you read the Lundy Bancroft book, OP? Might help you get a hand on the many and varied flavours of abusers. E.g. The 'passive' part of 'passive agressive' does not mean 'non-violent'.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 15:01:06

*handle, not hand.

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 15:04:27

If you met him 50, you would think he is a quiet, shy, laidback man. That is how everybody would describe him.

All of the above went on beyond closed doors. He rarely showed this side to other people - unless he had been drinking. Or he wanted to show me up publically.

It's this discrepancy (between how he appears and he actually is) that is the most difficult to understand.

Everyone thinks it must be my fault that we split. Other than the police, I only told my closest friend about the knife incident. He persuaded me to drop the charges and not tell anyone. Looking back I'm not sure how.

I come across as someone who speaks their mind and doesn't take any nonsense.

So to other people. He is calm. I am fiery.

None of this makes sense to me. For him to be abusive, I would have to be a victim. Yet there is no one I know that would call me a victim. I don't come across that way.

A year ago, I would never have considered myself a victim. That's why he was able to make me believe everything. He convinced me he was the nice one out of both of us and I believed him.

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 15:11:16

I just looked at the Lundy Bacroft book on amazon - looks like what I need.

This sentence made me smile:

He doesn't mean to hurt me-he just loses control." - How many times have I said that to myself?

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 15:15:37

Have you thought about how much contact you have to have with him? Emails about the DC arrangements are essential but calls and texts and chats etc are non-essential. If you distance yourself perhaps it'll help your mind clear?

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 15:22:08

Oh Kali that's a whole other thread. He hasn't got anywhere to have the dc atm. He says he can only afford to rent a room in a shared house.

So he says he has to have the children in the house. And I hate leaving him alone in the house as I can't trust him.

So he comes round. And I feel mean if I say I don't want him here because he has no where else to go with them.

So he txts to arrange that. But then he can just not turn up whenever he feels like it, which upset the dc. Or like on Friday evening, he got the hump and walked out without doing their bedtime. And I'm left to deal with the fall out

OverlyYappy Tue 26-Feb-13 15:22:35

I find no contact works wonders, I tried the 'nice ex' thing for a while to enable STBHX visits with the DC, he used them to play with my mind in every way possible and ignored the DC.

I cut off visits on advice of SW, letting him talk to DS1 on a mobile, he got my bbm number and added me, more messages (was going to jump of bridge etc loved us so much)I deleted him, he started phoning DS1 to get me, it was a nightmare tbh. We/I switched off all contact last year, it's been bliss.

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 15:26:32

He would never walk away from the dc.

Even if I try and sort out official contact (set times and days) he says I am being controlling and using the children as a weapon.

A family member had this. Partner comes across a lovely guy, everyone is taken in by him (except 1 person who had him sussed from the start). It starts with put downs so your self esteem is lowered and you start to question yourself and blame yourself. It gets worse and worse as you start to be able to read what is going to happen and try to avoid it, then they get really angry as they don't have full control and that's when the physical abuse starts.
Absolutely NONE of this is your fault.
His is an abusive and controlling horrible, vile man.
I have no advice on how to get him out of your head. I honestly thing some counselling might help you come to terms with his behaviour and how he made you feel.
Until you can accept that this is NOT your fault he will be in your head.
I'm sure there will be others along who may be able to help with this.
I'm glad you got out in time!

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 15:27:51

The word 'Weapon' seems to be his favourite at the moment. He seems to be shouting as loud and as far as possible.

Dahlen Tue 26-Feb-13 15:31:21

I think you're still falling into the trap of trying to understand him by assigning him labels like 'passive aggressive.' It really doesn't matter. All you need to know is that you don't have to put up with any behaviour you feel is unacceptable from him, regardless of how he's rationalised it to himself or others.

If you read the Bancroft book you'll get a lot out of it I think.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 15:47:32

Even if I try and sort out official contact (set times and days) he says I am being controlling and using the children as a weapon.

Ignore him and do it anyway. 'Using dc as a weapon' a very weak argument that can be countered with 'DC need structure so we must make this routine for them'. It's also perhaps the oldest argument in the book. No one 'official' is going to play the slightest heed to it, and you mustn't either

Official contact in a contact centre.
That's the way you need to go.
He should not be in the house.
His threatening violent behaviour is enough to allow this to be feasible.
Do NOT listen to him. You do what is right for your children.
He would never walk away from the DC
Well you said he does. He just walks out and leaves you to deal with it.
Supervised visits - it's the only way to go!

flippinada Tue 26-Feb-13 16:03:26

You could be describing my XP, apart from the violence (although saying that I was restrained a couple of times "for my own good").

It is exhausting. Don't play his game. I would suggest keeping all contact via email or text, so that you have a record of it - I learnt about this the hard way.

Don't feel you have to have him in your house - you don't.

In response to any attempts at provocation (that's not fair on DC if I can't come round when I want, for example), just say something neutral like "thank you for your email, however ..". Detach, detach, detach.

I also wouldn't hesitate to make things official.

He is trying to bully you. Once you see what they're doing, it's much simpler to deal with.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 16:07:53

Agree with hellbells.

He might splutter and lol at the unbelievable suggestion of a contact centre (and you might too, OP) but that's where his behaviour has led him. Led all of you. He can't be civilised so that's the next step. Ding give him more last chance to do you over, either.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 16:08:59

*Don't, not ding

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 16:59:08

I've txt him about using a contact centre. He's hasn't txt back surprisingly hmm

I know it's all going to end in tears and I'll regret sending that.

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 17:03:33

Victor do some research about contact centres, find out what you need to do, who you need to meet with, what you need to provide and sign. Prepare to apply for an agreement to use a contact centre. Don't just text him! I know it's too late now but you need to slow down and do this properly

Now, get researching.

colditz Tue 26-Feb-13 17:05:31

Stick to it. He threatened you with a knife and the police were called, that is a good enough reason to never let him back in your house again.

And stop protecting him from what he did to you! Tell people! If people ask why you split up, explain that you had to call the police because he was threatening you with a knife!

Nobody knows what goes on within a marriage and everyone understands this except very very stupid people, and why would you care what they think?

VictorTango Tue 26-Feb-13 17:12:25

Right well the contact centre is about a ten minute drive away which is handy. I've had to email them to find out opening times and how to arrange it all.

Though why I've bothered I don't know because he won't use one. I would bet my life on it.

Well if he won't use one then he can't see his DC.
You really have to spell things out for him.
He is still trying to control you and the DC and you need it to stop.
Find out more about the contact centre and take it from there.
Do not let him into your house again!

kalidanger Tue 26-Feb-13 17:21:20

If he won't use it he doesn't get to see his DC.

Have a think about how you threw this at him with no preparation. You've got no idea how it's arranged or how it works but you texted him anyway. I don't feel in the slightest bit sorry for him but I do strongly think you should think about the logistics and consequences your actions before chucking bombs at him. For your own sake. It's up to you to stop the drama.

pinkpaws Tue 26-Feb-13 17:39:56

I hope you can start to see that you must move on and leave this bad vile man behind. I understand how you feel wanting needing to understand him and work out why he can affect you so much. But this is the very thing he wants you to do it means he is still in control . I agree you need to keep contact to as little as possible no more feeling sorry for him or thinking you need to sort out his problems like where he could take the children when he has contact his problem NOT yours time to walk away and keep yourself safe and sane good luck.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now