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Emotionally abusive ex's dating habits

(10 Posts)
EnoughOfThis Sun 08-Sep-13 00:40:57

HighCost - Oh how sad, the poor poor relative. May she/he rest in peace.

It was physical abuse in his family, not sexual (although I am starting to wonder if there perhaps could be more to it than meets the eye, given his passion for rape porn!).

Yes I am now their scapegoat, even though I am no longer in contact with any of them apart from Ex. Apparently I am the one with the problems and they are fine?! Yet there is a massive history of physical violence and I'm pretty certain exFIL is still battering exMIL. ExSIL has been in therapy, possibly bipolar (?), and cannot hold down a job. Yet I am the one with the problems?!

Re. Finding the strength. IKWYM sometimes I am so short tempered with the kids, it just gets too much sometimes having so much to deal with alone, trying to maintain some sort of normal life for them while all the while having all that crap bubbling beneath the surface. They have been great, especially DD1, she realises how so incredibly low I was and how far I have come. They seem to take the rough with the smooth, maybe they've just got used to it now but it's no way to grow up.

Ginger - yes exh's strategy was to try to convince everyone I am mentally ill (which if course I have been, but as a response to the situation). The icing on the cake came when out of desperation (he wouldn't leave the house yet behaved like the relationship was over and i didn't exist etc etc) I threatened to take an overdose, I took 2 paracetamol. He then triumphantly called my mum to tell her I'd finally lost it completely, evidence of my madness, she called my dad who promptly called the police. Little did he know I'd already spoken to them (albeit to someone else) and I don't have a clue what they said to him, but whatever it was it worked, he moved out within 2 weeks. When the police came I honestly thought they'd cart me off in a straight jacket, but they saw straight through him.

shock but telling other women to check up on their husbands, that's outrageous! Hopefully you're right and exh's true colours will be exposed someday.

ThehighcostofLying Sat 07-Sep-13 17:11:04

EnoughOfThis - I honestly shuddered at some of the sentences in your last post, too close to home for me sad

Particularly And now I am the one who's controlling (I will come back to that).

STBXH however, has not (and never will) blame his mother, in any way - she is a blessed saint, who gave him 'a loving and secure upbringing' - why then did he and his siblings all bail out on the stroke of 15/16 years of age and move/work at the farthest reaches of the U.K/World from her? In-Laws never took much interest in our DCs, outwith parading them in front of their neighbours occasionally (to uphold the Happy naice Family and Loving Grandparents façade) and they have already attempted to push the eldest (6 years old) into the spare role of family scapegoat (no emoticon for my raw screaming pain regarding that is there?)

Through very confusing, painful, and devastating times, I have become aware that in-laws are Narcissistic to their core - and that my ex was manufacturing (false) difficulties and colluding with them to discredit me (well, the last family scapegoat only went and committed suicide so there was a job vacancy, and I was the prime candidate as I'm not ^one of them^).

Ex is the Lost Child of the family - now completely against me and totally immersed again into their lies and beliefs as he simply cannot accept an alternative to his fantasy family life (his sanity is at stake I know, he cannot, for example, love them but dislike what they do...that is what I'd call normal...instead he has to escalate, collude, ignore evidence/proof, lie, gaslight, me to maintain his mental equilibrium).

The controlling - Ha! Ex says he was controlled by me, another pathetic attempt at excusing HIS inadequacies. Couldn't make a decision to save his life (fear of responsibility/blame) and accused me of "always having a better suggestion anyway" so that's why he (chose not to) didn't make any decisions confused

There is a history of sexual abuse in his family, and alcoholism, and of keeping these secrets at all costs (or to the grave for his relative).

It's so so sad but I suppose I need to take whatever steps are needed to protect DCS now and give them a happy and healthy childhood

^ This ^ for me now is my priority too - I only hope I have the strength.

HoopersGinger Sat 07-Sep-13 17:04:31

It is so hard, but keep calm and the narc will reveal himself to all in the end. Keep your mind free of him as much as you can.

I went through the whole thing, he hacked me, posed as me on FB, framed me as a thief, convinced my family I was an abuser and yes, texted nearly every school mum I knew and said I was shagging half a dozen men and could they help him by checking up on their husbands. My social circle shrank considerably.

Eventually, as they always do, he spread his crazy net too wide and exposed himself as the total loon that he is. He has moved on to start family number 3 now and I am sure he tells her the same bullshit he told me about wife number 1. His past will build up though and it will become more and more difficult to portray himself as the victim, even to himself!

EnoughOfThis Sat 07-Sep-13 15:59:57

High Cost "A man who is so damaged by his abusive family that he can only save himself from his pain by sacrificing his wife and children" - I think we are talking about the same man....

EXH was fairly estranged from his family when we were first together, things got much worse after the DCS were born (of course) and his family started trying to get a lot more involved. Something I was never comfortable with as I knew about his childhood....When we first got together I was quite concerned about the implications, but he talked about the cycle of abuse and breaking that cycle. Well he's well and truly come full circle now. Maybe it was inevitable sad

I first noticed it when EXMIL started visiting us on a regular basis, she was the person he blamed the most for failing to protect him and therefore facilitating it. He'd be really moody and off after and then there'd inevitably be an incident of some sort or another. But as time went on, they got more and more involved, initially I (stupidly) allowed it (again they are very charming/convincing), FFS I even let DD1 have sleepovers with them...soon realised that EXMIL was actually totally incapable of looking after a toddler and worst, a narc controller, she always had to have it her way and if she didn't she'd subtly yet painfully let me know.

And now I am the one who's controlling confused

It's so so sad but I suppose I need to take whatever steps are needed to protect DCS now and give them a happy and healthy childhood.

...It's amazing when you hear other people's stories that different people go through the same patterns again and again....A bit like all tiny toddlers will naturally go down the stairs on their tummies. All (Most/some?) abused children go on to abuse their partners.

ThehighcostofLying Sat 07-Sep-13 13:45:54

EnoughOfThis I hear you...my STBXH is (probably) not officially dating yet (but I have a suspicion of his looking elsewhere while we were officially together - from a nasty emotionally abusive comment when I was so low).

My problem is mutual friends/family/neighbours now either not communicating with me, or (imo) avoiding me in an uncomfortable way...I try not to be paranoid, but it hurts.

I live in a very small place and the local currency is gossip sad

Dahlen is right, best to try very hard to not care about what (in your own hellish imagination) is might be being said about you...it's a very hard road knowing the truth and seeing it being manipulated.

I am struggling with this on a day to day basis, biting my tongue for the sake of DCs, and still covering up (unintentionally) for a man who is so damaged by his abusive family that he can only save himself from his pain by sacrificing his wife and children.

In my darkest moments I just want to be out of it all. It is overwhelming at times.

The looking for evidence strikes a chord too, even when you have proof that it's NOT YOU, the long-term damage that has already been done to your psyche is just another fucking mountain to climb. (We should be in yellow jerseys and titled 'Queens of the Mountain' for having to endure this continuing manipulation by such poor excuses for so-called adults).

EnoughOfThis Sat 07-Sep-13 13:19:31

Thanks Dahlen that's just what I needed to hear. So glad I decided to go through it all here first (sorry namechanged) rather than confronting him only to have it spun around on me.

I do need to find a decent councellor. MN should have a list of recommended ones! Friends are wonderful but need to speak to someone confidentially who I can be totally open with (about his behaviour and mine).

EnoughOfThis Sat 07-Sep-13 13:08:15

Yes I have thought counselling and really should.

He has a lot to hide and is very good at stretching the truth. It was an awful relationship, very push pull. He pulled away and ignored/denied my needs as a way of controlling me emotionally/bringing me down...and so the rollercoaster continued sad This led to me trying to control him - mainly trying to stop him going out to prevent his binge drinking episodes. Unfortunately little signs on the computer re porn and cheating led me to further investigations and he sees that as controlling, which I suppose it is in a way however he was supposed to be married to me, so I had the right to know if he was a shit or not!

All I know is, he has lost a lot and it's obvious to other women that he's probably fucked up hugely. However, he'll do anything to make himself look like the victim. He says I was controlling, always keeping tabs on him and preventing him from seeing his family - which I never did I just didn't want to be involved with them anymore as they were a nightmare.

I honestly don't give a fig about who he dates now, it over for us and as long as it doesn't effect my children I don't mind. TBH I'd prefer it if he did move on then he can go about making someone else's life a misery. I know also I need to move on as he'll feed off my pain for as long as it's there (I've known him for years and years and he's done this to someone else, funnily enough the abuse got worse for me when she started a family and got married as she'd finally finally moved on).

I know the only way to stop it is to move on. I suppose I have to let it go, even if he is spreading filth about me to all and sundry. Let people work it out for themselves. I have been through so much, the last thing I need is a bunch of silly gossips passing judgement on me based on one person's side of a story.

Dahlen Sat 07-Sep-13 12:50:52

I think it's very common for abusers to operate some sort of smear campaign against their Xs. Part of the abusive pattern of behaviour is being unable to take responsibility for their behaviour and wanting everyone to like them and feel sympathy for them. It's where the "my X was an evil bitch" mindset comes from.

The thing is, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It is far better to develop the ability to not care. I know that's easier said than done and I know the injustice of it all really stings. sad

Start off by reminding yourself of the facts: You, and everyone who knows you and whose opinion counts, know the truth. That is all that matters. Everyone else can bumble along in their delusional world. Apart from when they see you, they won't spare you a second thought at other times anyway because everyone is always far too wrapped up in their own lives. The thing with people like your X is that they eventually tend to trip themselves up. A few contradictions here and there, another failed relationship with another "psycho", other elements of irresponsible behaviour - all these things will eventually expose him for what he is to anyone who is interested enough to take a look. I'd be very surprised if some people hadn't already worked this out anyway, despite what he may or may not have told them. Don't forget that regardless of what he's telling people, you're the one leading the stable life and raising your DC while he's out dating a succession of women and living the fast life.

By all means, have imaginary conversations in your head with your X, these women he's dating, and anyone else who you think is passing judgment on you. Set them straight but tell them why their opinion doesn't matter. Eventually your heart will catch up with your head and you'll find yourself really not caring what anyone else will think. Keep it to the inside of your head though. Any attempt to actually do this in person will simply hold you back from moving on and take valuable energy away from rebuilding your new life.

Good luck.

Viking1 Sat 07-Sep-13 12:31:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EnoughOfThis Sat 07-Sep-13 12:01:11

Found out last night that said exh is dating women locally and therefore spreading lies about me. He would have to do this in order to cover up the truth of what happened in our relationship as he is basically a shit.....the thing is I have noticed a funny vibe coming from a few women who I don't know but do cross paths with locally. I even overheard one lady at the local pool say "those are kids", she seems perfectly nice but won't look me in the eye. Other people have gone suddenly cold on me...etc

This has been going on for a while, I have spoken to him about this but he assured me he is not dating women who live nearby. He lied (something that comes very naturally to him)....Last night, out of curiosity I managed to track down his details on a dating website, I made up the profile but told the truth about where I lived. I was more interested to see what he'd written about himself apart from anything. Anyway, within 6 hours he'd messaged me so he clearly has no geographical boundaries when it comes to his dating habits.
He's put me through so much...moved right next to my kids school so I had to walk past where he lives every day, now moved again (after I put my foot down) he's still only three roads away but won't leave the area. Kids are settled in school, it would be a huge upheaval to leave.

I can't confront him as he'll spin it round and blame me for looking. I some of you will slate me for looking but I had a very strong hunch and have done for a while.

Hopefully most women will have their bullshit filters on, but being a narc he's very charming, convincing.

He says on his profile how much he loves his kids etc, yet he's sent their mum to hell and back...what do I do? Nothing? Hold my head up high and take it? I'm not sure if I can be that strong.

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