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.

Please give me your opinion on this

(34 Posts)
Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 03:28:56

So I have been with DP for about 2 years now, am in my mid twenties. We currently have a long distance relationship but hope to be living together in the next year or so. I love him dearly.

I used to be fairly promiscuous due to low self-esteem and weird relationship at the time. I have not cheated on DP nor felt the wish to, it actually makes me feel sick to think of kissing/sleeping with anyone other than him.

I went out tonight to a club with some mates and had fun. Mates left but I still felt like I wanted a dance so I stayed.

I started dancing by myself and a random guy started dancing near me obviously interested. I was a bit flattered and did not tell him to fuck off but kept dancing as I was before, He shouted his name to me and I smiled and nodded but kept dancing, he didn't touch me or dance close to me but kept in the vicinity and facing me IFSWIM.

I went into another room and he followed, I just danced like I would if I was by myself. Started to get a bit uncomfortable so went outside, met a guy I had a ONS with a few years ago and chatted, caught up with where our lives were nowadays, chatted about our current partners etc. Had a quick hug and went back inside.

Slipped on the wet floor and random dancing guy helped me up. Thanked him and started dancing by myself and he danced nearby. Went to the loo, started dancing again in a different place and he was there again. Felt uncomfortable then saw old ONS guy nearby. Asked him if he was travelling nearby to where I was going (felt he was safe and wanted to minimise taxi fare) and he said he was going on to a different club.

Waved goodbye to him and left without acknowledging random dancing guy. Got in a taxi alone and came home.

I feel like I may have done something wrong either by chatting to ONS guy or not telling dancing guy to fuck off. Feel very weird now I am home. I do not want to do anything against DP but feel like I gave too much leeway to the other guys.

What do you wise women think? Sorry for the essay.

Missbopeep Sun 13-Oct-13 20:07:35

FFS too- something . I did say she had done nothing wrong. My post was more about personal safety. Many other posters have said she has problems with 'boundaries'. I said she has to appreciate that certain behaviours can be read in certain ways. As a parent of a DD her age I'd not condone dancing alone, then going outside alone when some guy was leering. It's about being streetwise- not about morality.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:12:29

OP, please ignore that. You did nothing wrong. A sleazy bloke is a sleazy bloke and you are quite entitled to go about your social life solo without feeling like others' behaviour is your responsibility.

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 17:09:48

Ffs, *Missbopeep. Enough with the signals and invitations bullshit.

Missbopeep Sun 13-Oct-13 16:53:47

OP I hope you are okay but one thing crossed my mind- staying on to dance alone is a club when it's obvious to the leery guy that your friends have gone, could be seen as a 'come-on' signal.
This doesn't mean you have done anything wrong- you hadn't- but it does perhaps show you are a little naive about how your behaviour looks to others.
Going outside alone ( where you met the ex ONS etc) could have also been taken as a invitation to follow you......

Hissy Sun 13-Oct-13 16:47:05

sorry, counselling! <tut>

Hissy Sun 13-Oct-13 16:46:24

My love, you are still suffering the self doubt that an abuser instills in us.

You absolutely WERE a victim of abuse and you absolutely NEED to address this. It won't go away by itself. It really won't.

You are not in a day to day full on relationship, so won't have that external support of normal every day life to help guide you back into normality.

You NEED councelling, the Freedom Programme would absolutely be perfect for you. (I've done it) It's not for hard core cases, not at all. It's not that hard core itself. It isn't the magic bullet you think it might be. It will however show you all the ways your boundaries were violated and will teach you to be kind to yourself, forgive yourself and let yourself heal from the evil that OTHERS did TO YOU.

You are not to blame here, but you are the key to your own recovery. Time won't heal this, nothing heals it. It won't go away by itself.

You are stronger now, you have a life, a DP and you have us. It's time to do what has to be done to make the past STAY in the past.

somehow you are still saying that you are less worthy of a good partner than you really are. Your DP is lucky to have you. remember that?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 12:31:41

I'm glad you've got someone supportive and that people know the full story. Look after yourself, however. That kind of experience casts long shadows.

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 12:02:37

DP knows and my friends know, they all hate Ex with a passion. We still see him around occasionally, he isn't doing well mentally I think but he never was. He drinks an awful lot. My mates were urging me to leave him for a long time before I did.

I actually left Ex for DP, Ex had started a new relationship which he refused to finish and told me I was being unreasonable to be upset about this, jealously was a useless feeling etc.

I met DP who I had known a bit previously and it was like a lightbulb went off in my head, I don't have to deal with this bullshit. I left Ex and never looked back, I told DP about the situation in dribs and drabs over the next few months. DP is the best thing that ever happened to me, he is the opposite of Ex in almost every way. I massively fell on my feet there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:49:39

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you at all. Please don't cry. Yes, it's a defence mechanism to minimise traumatic experiences or try to bury them. Quite normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It's also normal to believe you were a willing participant when you're under the influence of a malevolent manipulative person. You've been really courageous just writing what you've written. I can tell it was difficult. But it was clear from your original post that something very wrong was going on with your perception of a very innocent situation or I wouldn't have kept asking questions.

Have you ever told someone IRL what happened? Does your DP know any of this?

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 11:49:32

I would also urge you to seek counselling.

There is wonderful support here but you deserve dedicated real life support too.

I'm so sorry you've gone through all this and borne it alone for so long.

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 11:42:00

In tears now. sad

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 11:40:35

I've been on MN for years and never posted about Ex before I think because I knew people would be shocked. Its difficult to think about and I find myself justifying why it wasn't that bad, maybe to protect myself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:38:37

This is what I mean about control. Even now you think you were acting out of your own volition when what I'm seeing - and I realise the story is not in depth - is a manipulative, abusive, violent man that steered a very young woman down a particular and highly destructive path, handed her over to a rapist twice and managed to convince her that she was 'free with her affections' and somehow responsible for getting hurt. He made you jump with the drink so he could slap you. He wanted you to hit him so he had an excuse. Being coerced into sex is rape.

And you wonder why you were panicking last night just because someone was kind to you or wanted to dance with you?

You may not want to talk to the police and I respect that but, as demonstrated by all of these celebrity abuse cases in the news at the moment, it's not necessary to have proof of his behaviour. If you give them his name I would bet any amount of money there are others that have come forward and given them the same name.

However, he is not the issue here. You are. For your own wellbeing and peace of I would again urge you to think about counselling.

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 11:28:28

Maybe I should, it sounds so bad when you put it like that but it didn't feel that way at the time. With the 'friend' I wasn't dragged kicking and screaming, I went along with all this.

When he hit me it was an odd situation. I was messing about and put a cold drink against his skin to make him jump (something he had previously done to me). He whirled around and backhanded me across the face. Said it was an instinctive reaction to being shocked.

No way would I go to the police, its abusive behaviour but I couldn't prove it happened and I don't think it would help me at all. I don't think it would count as rape because I went along willingly.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:15:22

Only hit you once? ... He probably wanted you to hit him so he could hit you back. There is no 'only' about hitting... it's criminal behaviour and, along with the other stuff you describe, I'm convinced the police would be interested in this person.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 11:13:09

So he conned you into this 'open' relationship, pimped you out to his abusive (rapist) friend, pretended to be your saviour and then coerced you into repeating the experience? That's not messing with your head, OP, that's straight up sexual abuse and at a time in your life (late teens/early twenties) when you are still working out what kind of person you are. If this is only a couple of years ago, the panic attack you experienced is quite understandable. You should really talk to someone.

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 11:06:48

Ex was kind of bonkers, he only hit me once but he could be quite physically controlling.

A weird thing was when we argued (always about his behaviour). I would go very quiet and not say much, he would get very wound up and repeatedly tell me to hit him. I have never felt the urge to hit someone during an argument, I usually just feel sad, never understood why he wanted me to hit him (I never did BTW).

SomethingOnce Sun 13-Oct-13 10:59:32

Fwiw, I agree entirely with Cog.

Lizzabadger Sun 13-Oct-13 10:59:05

That relationship sounds completely screwy. No wonder you are unsure of boundaries.

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 10:54:00

Its almost the opposite Cogito. I am and always have been very liberal and open minded which I think he exploited.

We had an open relationship where we would sleep with others but not emotionally attach. He was very interested in my dealings with others. The worst example was when he wanted me to sleep with his friend and I didn't (friend was not the most stable person). Anyway he went on about it for months until I gave in. He took me to friend's house and friend ended up hurting me. Ex took me home immediately and I was pathetically grateful and thought he was looking out for me. However he then started going on about repeating the experience and it only took him a few months to get me back there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 10:36:50

Emotional abuse and 'messing with heads' can be just as damaging long-term as the traditional idea of domestic violence. Reason being that emotional abusers exploit the intimacy of a relationship to make you feel insecure about yourself... so insecure that they can control you... whilst at the same time making you believe this is normal.

It really isn't normal to enjoy an innocent evening out with friends - or even by yourself - and come away feeling that you've cheated on a boyfriend. Someone or something is still controlling you by influencing your thoughts and your behaviour.

People brought up in repressive cultures or religions often feel guilty for no reason. Is that a factor?

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 10:14:36

Sorry,by 'minor wobble' I meant I just had a massive overthink (rather than shag someone or something), this is the most major wobble I've had since being with DP. Probably because its the first time I've been out by myself.

I think I'd feel a little fraudulent on the freedom programme, I still struggle to think of my ex as abusive since so many women on here have it way way worse. It was weird stuff as well, he didn't beat me or anything, just messed with my head a bit. Its also been two years since I broke up with him and I'm mostly doing fine. I had 'issues' as a teen which I worked through by myself so I reckon I'll be ok.

Its nice to talk about it on here though. Comforting.

pictish Sun 13-Oct-13 10:04:36

Did you shag either of them? No.
No worries. x

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 13-Oct-13 09:59:44

I'm sure you can work through things yourself but, if what you described above was a 'minor' wobble, I do think you should consider counselling. Abusive relationships are very damaging because they skew your perception both of yourself and of how others treat you. Your DP probably does love and respect you but, if your perception is off and your sense of self is not rock solid, it's very easy to sleepwalk into more of the same.

You might benefit from checking out the 'Freedom Programme'. Good luck

Halfrek Sun 13-Oct-13 09:55:21

Thanks for the reassurance guys. I think Savoy has it spot on that it was the place I used to pick up men so I think in my head I was in dodgy territory even being there by myself.

Cogito is also correct that my last relationship was probably abusive in certain ways and has given me boundary issues. I think I can work through these myself though, this was one of my wobbles and as far as wobbles go this was pretty minor. DP truly loves and respect me which is a big healer.

I posted this when I got home pissed and too wound up to go to bed. Thanks guys.

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