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Does anyone else feel dismayed by what some people will tolerate in their relationships?

(160 Posts)
Ledkr Sat 11-May-13 08:51:29

Thread about many threads but I sometimes worry that I'm just am old battle axe because when I read some if the stuff on here I'm just shocked at what some people put up with.
I can go early say that if dh went on a dating website, called me names, left me short of money or refused to help with his house or children he'd be out if my life.
Not being smug at all I was in a very subdivide relationship and my exh cheated but both times I got rid.
I'm in my forties so am sad to think that some young women are being raised to tolerate this. Shouldn't it be different now that its easier to go it alone?
Such a pity.

My mother tells me I'm going to be old and lonely all the time. She cannot comprehend that I'd rather be old and alone (not lonely) than be with someone who wasn't right for me/didn't treat me with respect/was abusive.

Lweji Sat 11-May-13 09:30:05

I think the clue is in low level.

It grows over time and it may never seem enough to leave, particularly if you already have children, for example.

I mean, you, OP only left when you felt your life was at risk. Surely the pregnancy beatings were a big clue?

Obviously you are in a different place now. But surely you can understand how some women go on on such relationships, instead of being dismayed?

TheSecondComing Sat 11-May-13 09:30:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cozietoesie Sat 11-May-13 09:30:44

What frightens me is that I can see early semi-warning signs in some of the relationships or attitudes that the youngsters in our family have - and if you try to say something they don't believe you/won't listen to you.

I sometimes worry whether we've really moved on at all. It all seemed more straightforward when they were 10, 11, 12 or so but as soon as they arrived at mid teens it's as if they had to invent everything anew for themselves.

ofmiceandmen Sat 11-May-13 09:32:38

And sometimes it's the incidental stuff, a pinch, and kick in the shins whilst holding the baby or a punch in the chest/stomach in passing. The fact that it's not actually physically painful does not diminish what it does to your self confidence and feeling of self worth. (but that's in the past)
Yes men do go through it too.

Lweji Sat 11-May-13 09:33:39

as soon as they arrived at mid teens it's as if they had to invent everything anew for themselves.

No shit, Sherlock.

That's what being a teenager is all about.
Our old age wisdom is worth nothing.

We have had to learn by ourselves and so do they have to as well.

Ledkr Sat 11-May-13 09:34:00

I was 16-19 with nowhere to go no family help or money. He was a violent individual whom even the police feared.
Until he beat me he'd only ever pulled my hair.
When he beat me I left.
The main injurys occurred after I'd left which is the most dangerous time for a woman.
I have pointed out several times that I am not really talking about dv in this instance.

Exactly TSC. And I never felt the need to have constant texts from someone either. But then, I'm old and I was an adult before mobile phones were invented. So I didn't grow up with the constant texting.

Playerpleeeese Sat 11-May-13 09:35:13

I was in a relationship last year that was, looking back on it now, extremely emotional abusive. Growing up I knew that being hit and cheated on was bad and you should not tolerate it. But the name calling, gas lighting, financial abuse, walking on eggshells, silent treatment, threatning to kill me, pinching me as a joke, the sexual vilonce, trying to cut me off from friends and family....I didn't know what was happening.

I knew something was wrong, but he was a master manipulator and it all always ended up being my fault. I was a mess and a shell of my former self but I couldn't understand why, I mean he never hit me or cheated on me sooooo what was the problem right?

I assumed it was my fault because I was a shit person.
Then I feel pregnant, and joined mumsnet. I read the relationships board in horror I realised what he was. I felt trapped and like I couldn't breathe.
It got worse when I was pregnant, refusing to have sex with me because I was disgusting etc, refusing to do anything around the house, he started on my DS after I became pregnant as well, I think he thought he'd 'got me now' and I wouldn't leave. He knew I wouldn't of put up with that otherwise. However I was so happy to be having his baby, I thought everything would be ok after that. I was kidding myself obviously.

I lost the baby at 14 weeks, suffered complications and nearly died. He again called me disgusting and fucked off.
It was an awful awful time, but at no moment did I wish him back, it was like a weight had been lifted.

I so glad he went, I can't believe what I put up with, it only would of got worse for my DS, myself and the baby.
But I am sad still due to losing the baby, it was much wanted. It's coming up to my due date now, and I'm feeling down about the whole thing. It's such a mix up of emotions I do struggle with it.

But I would never tolerate any of that behaviour again, and now know what to look out for and what's not acceptable. Thanks to mumsnet grin

cozietoesie Sat 11-May-13 09:36:23

Yes, Lweji , I know. But when you see a train wreck about to happen, it hurts to have to stand by, eh?

Lweji Sat 11-May-13 09:39:30

Until he beat me he'd only ever pulled my hair.

This is what I'm talking about.
It's the low level stuff.

Surely there were red flags before.
Surely he didn't just suddenly start being nasty.

PoppyField Sat 11-May-13 09:39:56

Totally support what Cogito said. To see the pattern again and again in threads here is excruciating, but having lived EA, I understand exactly how it can go on for years. It is hard from the outside to see how anyone puts up with such horrendous behaviour, but that's why it is so insidious and powerful. Abuse often grows gradually for years, escalates sometimes, steadily gets worse by which time the victim is brilliantly conditioned to life on the verge of terror.

It is a good point that the abuser will also step it up when his victim is most vulnerable. Directly (hours, days, weeks) after the birth of a child is a typical time - sickening isn't it?

I too desperately want to reach in and short-circuit the 'grisly pantomime' that inevitably plays out... but even when abuse is recognised by the victim there is a lot of stop/start, backwards and forwards... defending the abuser, justifying behaviour etc before they get to a kind of certainty - which is that 'he will never change', 'he knows he is treating you appallingly and that's how he likes it' and 'No he doesn't love you!' and 'Yes, the only way to stop it is to ltb!'. Unfortunately, there's no short cut - every victim has to get there her own way. MN is great help though and it has helped me stick to my course when I have wobbled with all the guilt and blame that gets piled on to me.

Yup and I don't think schools can do much apart from support a culture of respect. So much of how you value yourself comes from family role models, and even if you think you had a brillant childhood you are still possibly absorbing potentially damaging messages about male/female relationships. It certainly affects who you pick. Arrghghgh!

It is shocking to think how many men think they own someone. I wish I didn't feel cynical but it does make you wonder what on earth is going on. I feel a bit like I'm in one of those 50s bodysnatcher movies when the heroine (that's me) suddenly realises she is surrounded, 'Like, who are these people? Oh my god they're everywhere! Is he one? Is he one? How can you tell?'

PoppyField Sat 11-May-13 09:42:36

Oh yes - meant to say, abuse being stepped up in pregnancy is just as common and just as sickening.

moonfacebaby Sat 11-May-13 09:42:59

I think in terms of infidelity, it's often the shock of it that affects how you respond.

When my STBEX had an affair, I just couldn't quite believe it - he was always so loyal & trustworthy - I would have (foolishly) bet all my worldly possessions that he wasn't capable of it.

I was always adamant that if anyone cheated on me, they'd be out of the door straightaway. However, when it happened, I couldn't make sense of it & flailed around, not knowing my arse from my elbow.

After 5 months of trying to stay together, I'd had enough & then booted him out.

The grieving was awful - more for the man I thought he was & the loss of my family & the future I though I had.

Now, a year later after discovering his affair, I know that if any man did that to me again, I would never even attempt to work through it & he'd be chucked out immediately.

Sometimes, I don't think we know how we'll react in a situation of such high emotions until we're actually in it.

And one of the good things about these experiences is that we often end up wiser, stronger & more protective of ourselves.

Lweji Sat 11-May-13 09:46:34

I mean, I'm probably at the level you are now.

I have just dumped someone because some things just weren't quite right.
And it took me a few days to make a decision.

When you grow to understand that you have to work at your relationship, and accept the other person, etc, etc, and particularly when you find yourself somewhat dependent then it's really hard to just dump your partner.
When it feels more difficult to leave than to stay, we, women, tend to put up with it.

It is sad, yes, but I do despair that other women can be dismayed at women who put up with this stuff.

Playerpleeeese Sat 11-May-13 09:46:54

It is shocking to think how many men think they own someone. I wish I didn't feel cynical but it does make you wonder what on earth is going on. I feel a bit like I'm in one of those 50s bodysnatcher movies when the heroine (that's me) suddenly realises she is surrounded, 'Like, who are these people? Oh my god they're everywhere! Is he one? Is he one? How can you tell?'

This ^^

Since my ex left and I joined mumsnet, I see relationships in a completely different light, I am horrified about the things that go on around me. I try to say, but they just think I'm 'man hating' and 'off men at the moment'.

It needs to be spoken about more

TheRealFellatio Sat 11-May-13 09:50:44

I don't need reminding. I was relocated by the police at 19 with ds1 and ds2 disabled from ex beating me when pg.

confused Can you explain that sentence?

Are both DS1 and DS2 disabled as a result of the beatings, or just DS2, or is it you who is disabled from the beating?

In fact, whatever the answer is, if this man was beating you before your second pregnancy then I think you are not really in a position to be questioning why other young women put up with such shit in their relationships!

PoppyField Sat 11-May-13 09:51:36

At least an affair - although wrenching - is something you can recognize as a deal-breaker. Same as being hit is unacceptable - but even that's only been absorbed by our culture quite recently. That's the trouble with the manipulative, gaslighting, pinching, 'just joking' abuse - we are not trained to recognise it and difficult to tell when it starts and finishes. It's much less easy to know what is going on and react.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 11-May-13 09:52:40

" 'Like, who are these people? Oh my god they're everywhere! Is he one? Is he one? How can you tell?'"

I remember a 'just for fun' works pool tournament we held at the local pub one night. One of the women I worked with... lovely person... brought her DH along and he spent all night loudly coaching her from the sidelines. "YOU WANT THE TOP POCKET"... "BIT OF SIDE ON THAT CUE-BALL"... "HAVE YOU CHALKED YOUR CUE LOVE?"... "NO NOT LIKE THAT" etc. After an hour or so of this 'advice' the rest of the women & a few of the men in the room would have happily shoved cue, rest & triangle up the man's arse.... sideways. She didn't seem bothered at all.

Dismay about covers it.

Badvoc Sat 11-May-13 09:53:56

Dh and I were talking about this yesterday after seeing a news report on the American kidnappings.
Why do some people think they own or control others?
Is it something that could/should be picked up at an earl age?
Are those boys who bully girls at school going to turn out like that?
What is their home life like?
Do they just copy what they see everyday?
sad

cozietoesie Sat 11-May-13 09:54:44

I wonder how many women have spent years listening to 'You do know that this car has five gears do you?' Low key and insidious.

Smudging Sat 11-May-13 09:59:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ledkr Sat 11-May-13 10:02:10

fellatio this thread was never about dv I have had to explain myself several times.
I was with a man from 16 got pg with ds1 no violence thus far. When I was pg with ds2 he beat me at 6 months causing prem labour and ds to have cp Bd renal failure (he is waiting for a transplant now) I never returned to him from the hospital.
Over the next few months he repeatedly broke into my houses raped and beat me until the police relocated me until he went to prison.
It was 27 yrs ago so the law was not particularly helpful and refuges were awful places.
Is that enough detail for you? Why the aggression?

northlight Sat 11-May-13 10:34:58

Ledkr - I hope a kidney becomes available soon. I am so sorry for the horrors you endured.

It seems to me that many abusers spend time at the beginning of their relationship establishing a 'template' as a decent, loving, normal human being. When the abuse begins and is slowly ramped up, the victim, since they actually are a decent, loving, normal human being, sees the abuse as an abberation. Victims then spend a long time trying to fix the situation so they can have their original 'good' partner back.

However, there seems to be a distinct lack of stories about people who have gone through abuse and come out the other side with a normalised relationship.

An abuser is an abuser is an abuser - because that is their object in life.

diddl Sat 11-May-13 10:41:29

Well it seems a step back in terms of keeping hold of your man at all costs imo.

I can see how someone without support might put up with more & for longer.

I was pushed down the stairs-well I happened to be standing at the top of the stairs when pushed.

It was the first time, but the being pushed was enough & I was lucky enough to just be able to move back in with parents.

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