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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Abuse and the 'water torturer' - help!(36 Posts)
I found an old thread on here regarding an ex who was a water tortuer and wanted to reanimate it but thought it might be too late. I am still in a relationship with my wt, who is getting counseling, but to be honest I am struggling to cope. If there is anyone who understands the extent of wt abuse I could do with some help on how to cope with this impossible situation and
I don't even know what this means. Could you explain please, if you feel able?
Counselling will not help.
Is it a sexual thing? Dare I ask? Are you in danger OP?
Just leave. If he wants to get counselling it's up to him. You've got the rest of your life to live.
Is this the thread you mean?
"This style of man rarely lasts long in an abuser program unless he has a court order. He is so accustomed to having complete success with his tactics that he can’t tolerate an environment where the counsellors recognize and name his manoeuvres and don’t let him get away with them. He tends to rapidly decide that his group leaders are as crazy as his partner and heads for the door."
Good Lord, OP. Bloody leave him. Why on Earth would you want to be with such a crippling abuser?
If you still think there is a future in this relationship, then I would suggest you leave until he's had some more counselling, and until you are feeling stronger, perhaps having had counselling of your own (seperately!). I think you need to get out, at the very least for a while, until you have a real sense for what's normal and acceptable in a healthy relationship, without anyone playing mind games with you. While you stay there it will be all too easy for you both to slip back into destructive patterns.
If you don't think there's much of a future left, then I suggest you leave and run for the hills!
Why do you want to cope with his abuse?? LTB and you won't have to "cope" you can start living.......it sounds horrendous!
I was with a water torturer too, it nearly destroyed me. There is no saving this, how ever much counselling he has. It's his underlying belief system that is the problem, and you cannot change that.
I was so desperate to save my marriage at the time. In hindsight I wish I left much sooner. My life is unrecognisable now. Nobody regrets leaving an abusive relationship. Neither will you.
it sounds similar to passive-aggressive behaviour.
must be hell.
I hope all of you who suffer will get the help you need
how to cope with this impossible situation
What exactly do you want to happen?
The "water torturer" in that old thread was an ex. That OP was asking for tactical advice because she had to deal with him because of their DC. Is that the case with you?
No-one on this board is going to give you tactical advice on how to "manage" an abusive relationship. You will get plenty of advice on how to get your head into the right space to leave, if you want to take it.
I am with a water torturer, OP, there is nothing you can do about them except get as far away as possible before they destroy you. Do you have children together?
You have identified the problem - well done for that. it is the first step towards leaving, which I think is your only option. My bet is that this technique has worked for him for so long that he won't stop - not for long anyway.
these men do not love their partners. they hate them - thinking it is love. They have no respect and treat every argument like a game. enjoying the torture and thriving on it. Do you really want to be the one who is pushing all his buttons? he loves to see you squirm because it makes him feel amazing.
Imagine his face when you walk out the door because it might be the first and last time you see him squirm
If you come over to the emotional abuse support tread you will get plenty of support on how to cope until you are ready to leave him.
Please don't make the mistake of thinking you can change him or even change yourself enough that he will stop.
But do please come to the tread where you will find others who share your experiences and who know exactly what you mean. and you can begin the journey of moving on to a better life.
I've read through this thread and the ones linked to it....it's a relief to read of someone else who is going through this.
I'm going to download the book, read it and come back for advice, please.
OP if I had any advice to offer, it would be this. Don't engage in counselling with him (I made this mistake), he will enjoy using the language of 'therapy' to explain why you are unreasonable/what 'his truth' is/that you are controlling him.
There is NO way to manage while staying in a relationship with this type of abuser, he will never see the error of his ways. The only way to cope is to disengage. You must mentally plug your ears when he talks as anything he says will be only half true and you know whats real yourself.
Sorry for taking so long to reply to this and thank you so much for everyone else who has!
Yes we have a daughter together, another reason why this is so hard. The thing I struggle with the most is the lack of understanding from the few people I have so far confided in. Probably understandable since I struggle to explain it myself! His portrayal to others as this immensely charming calm person is just so complete that I don't think I could say anything that wouldn't just reinforce the idea that I am the crazy one. It's maddening!
It is very closely linked to Passive Aggression and as another poster pointed out I am staying as far away from couples counselling as possible. I know exactly how that would pan out - not in my favour and only a re-enforcement of his behaviour.
Redoubtable - I've got the book at home and it is fantastic. Puts into words all the things you just can't explain or put your finger on. Do you mind me asking if you and your partner are still together?
kirsty, no I am fortunate that he left some time ago. It was a strategy he used to break me and it backfired on him. Lucky me, I doubt I would ever have asked him to leave/left him (embarassment, kids need their father etc etc)
My STBXH is also immensely charming and helpful to all. Very well known, kind, a good organiser, well connected. Not one person would believe that he is abusive. Extremely careful never to abuse in front of witnesses.
I am to read Lundy but I also found this one useful. Wish I had read it years ago.
OMFG !!! That is my exh described perfectly. All these years ( been divorced 11 ) and there he is. Ive spent years trying to describe his behavior and always felt people were thinking I was nuts/exaggerating/looking to justify why I left. It was always me the kids heard shouting,he told them I was nasty and the divorce was my fault.
OMG Im floored
Sorry, didnt mean to hijack but suddenly I feel vindicated
OP RUN,RUN AWAY FAST. It took me years to find myself again after him
Kirsty OMG, I could have written this. I've never heard this expression before, the water torturer. It never quite fitted with emotional abuser, so I couldn't work it out. He's well behind me now, I'm a year on.
There's still occasional emails and texts, he's being lovely, then when he doesn't get the response he wants, I'm a nutter, but I've had therapy and know I wasn't and am not crazy. He's just amazed it hasn't worked on me and he's finding it hard to accept it.
All victims, be aware. And just get them out of your lives.
Theold I can't ever see me with anyone again, still after a year. No doubt in time I'll meet someone I can trust, from a much more advantaged position of experience.
Oh god I'm so confused !!!
I can't work out whether everything is as bad as I sometimes feel, or whether it actually isn't that bad and that I'm just over-reacting, or whether it is just that bad but I am minimising??? Same with thinking it is partly my fault, is it . . . or is this just part of the abuse??? Aargh!
He does seem to be genuinely trying. Has admitted it is abuse and is currently reading the Lundy book. He complete agrees with the section at the back about how cultural values influence men growing up (even I was shocked reading that) and said that he can't deny whats going on when his every thought is written in the book. Also having a daughter I think helps somewhat as obviously he wants the world for her.
I also think that some arguments are my fault. I am so sensitive to the things he does that sometimes I'm preemptively becoming furious when actually he might not have been going to do/say anything? Does that make sense?
theolddragon and monty this is exactly how I felt when I discovered this term. It was my whole life written down with all the things that were making me feel crazy neatly explained. Simply put it made me completely re-evaluate my whole relationship and I am only just coming to terms with the idea of it being abuse. It seems obvious really but I've always thought of myself as a strong person and can't believe how completely I have been tricked into behaving like a victim. The worst bit is not being able to explain to anyone. Who would understand? I can't put it into words myself.
All the advice seems to be to leave but given how new this is to us, and how early on we are in the process of understanding and getting counseling, I feel like I would be giving up without even trying.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.