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My relationship (long sorry)(638 Posts)
I posted on chat about what I now know to be 'gaslighting' that my partner does. I was advised to start a thread in relationships.
Last night I was reading a thread and went to reply thinking 'how would I feel in this situation' then realised that actually I have been many times.
Since then it's like the floodgates have opened and I'm realising just how dysfunctional my relationship is.
I met my partner 6 years ago aged 17. He was my first love, etc.
when we first got together I was confident, sure of myself and my values, and knew what I would and would not stand for. Since then I feel I have lost every element of myself.
He is aggressive in words and actions. He has shaken me at times and once a few weeks ago slapped me. Most of the time he just punches objects- the dashboard in my car for example, so not hurting me.
He will always, after an argument say 'why did you make me say/do whatever'. I always end up apologising purely so I am not making him angry any more.
If there is something I don't like, for example he talks to lots of females, has stayed the night at their houses- he will say 'I don't have male friends, do you want me to have no friends'- and I will end up agreeing with him, or I make a point and he twists it so much I have no idea what I was trying to say in the first place.
He has cheated on me but I forgave him both times and he did seem to change his behaviour but now I'm realising he probably didn't.
He has sex with me knowing I don't want to, he is controlling and insists I see him every day and wants me to do sexual things I am not comfortable with. I have sort of given up saying no so I realise I am to blame for that.
I got pregnant a year ago and he insisted on me having an abortion. I wanted to keep the baby and know that before I was with him I would not have let anyone tell me what I could or could not do but I didn't question him.
Just for some background we don't live together as I look after my DNephew full time. I care for my partners mum but not full time. We have a joint account and loans but no mortgage etc.
There is probably more that I have left out. I am not sure what I am asking. I feel like I am to blame for a lot of this. I can't see a way out, I cannot imagine a life without him, and at the same time all I want is to be by myself. Since the first realisation last night it has all been pouring into my mind- memories I didn't know I had. I feel terrified but also as if my eyes have been opened- but I can't work out what's next.
Sorry for length
Yes I agree. Just telling us is a brave step.
I think because you don't have anything to compare your relationship with him to you don't realise how bad it is.
In a way I was fortunate to have boyfriends who weren't total arseholes they just didn't care about me as much as they should have. I thought that was normal because they were all like that.
I met DH when I was 22 and he treated me with such love and respect that I couldn't believe it would last or be real. We are 17 years down the line and he still treats me like I am some sort of goddess and I treat him equally well.
Your life shouldn't be choosing the path of least resistance. Your life can't be walking on eggshells. You should look forward to seeing him, enjoy his company. You sound like you endure it.
Please, please do not be with this person another day. Clearly there are financial issues to sort out and I guess the loans were all to benefit him. But get out before you have a child with this wanker.
You are being abused in every possible way OP You need to get out of this relationship but you know that yourself. Just acknowledging it is the first step. Lots of very wise ladies on this board have been in your shoes and will give you excellent advice if you are willing to take it.
Life is too short for this
If it helps (it always helps), make a list of all the things you need to do to extricate yourself. You don't have to do them, but just making the list helps. This is a completely different situation but a couple of years ago I decided to leave my safe and normal life and move to a country where I (still) don't speak the language properly.
I did a massive list - everything from rehoming the cats to arrranging furniture storage to giving in my notice - everything. And then I never looked at it again. Somehow just making the list ordered my mind enough to get on with it.
Forgive me if I'm wrong on this but I used to work a lot with young women. A lot were in abusive relationships. Almost without exception they refused to accept that their relationship was abusive, rather they would call it 'having a fight/ Barney' or whatever. Full of excuses about how it wasn't really his fault and how it didn't matter that he'd given her a black eye/ lost a tooth/ broken her jaw/ caused a miscarriage. He'd had a bad time, you see. So don't blame him, he's lovely to me sometimes.
If you meet someone when you're young, maybe have low self esteem, maybe lots of things...it is your normal for all of the above. Your normal, not real normal. Certainly not the normal you'd want to bring children into.
Please take the wise advice of the posters here and get out now. Speak to a local DV advisor, possibly call the police DV unit so they are aware of your situation.
Then get away from this sad excuse for a man. You deserve much better. When you have broken away do consider some counselling to make some sense of all this and help you avoid men who behave like this in the future.
I find it worrying how often you say "I am to blame" or "it's my fault". If you take nothing else away from this discussion, please, please understand that none of this is your fault. Your bloke would be the same with another woman because that is how he is.
In a normal relationship, people still argue but it doesn't end in violence. And in a normal relationship bedtime doesn't end in rape or sexual abuse.
Perhaps you are scared of being on your own but it could be the greatest adventure of your life.
Thank you all so much for taking time to reply to me. Honestly, you are helping in ways I have never been helped.
I need to find strength to leave. I think the idea of writing a list is good. I am not sure how to leave but I need to I think. I want to be by myself I don't want another man around me.
I do think it is my normal I understand what you mean (sorry can't see your name) I don't know any different really.
Except I look at my sisters and brother and their relationships and they aren't like this but I don't think id know if they were.
I don't want to feel like this any more. I fear everything. I can't stop self harming and thought that it was because I am mentally unwell but more I think about it the more I think it's because of how I feel every day.
I do think a lot of it is my fault though because I provoke these reactions In him I think.
A mans perspective here and I am of similar age to you. Listen to the people here and leave ASAP. It is violence and abuse and the fact he is making you think it's your fault and you deserve it is also abuse.
I'm also going to say there's a reason he has no male friends and I'm willing to bet it's because he's controlling and if he tried controlling any male friends he had they wouldn't stand for it.
What do your friends think of your relationship?
No you don't. He just makes out that you do.
Many men carry on like this after you have gone. And you think, god all that time he said it was me, but it couldn't have been!
It really isn't your fault. That's what he has trained you to believe. You are not responsible for the way anyone else acts.
What is it you think you do to provoke him? Do you have your own opinion? Do you ask him why he stays over with girls? Do you disagree with him? Do you - heaven forbid - say something to him about not working and using your money?
These are all quite reasonable questions. In a relationship you should be able to say something your partner doesn't agree with, or ask questions about, for example, their slightly suspicious relations with the opposite sex, without it descending into violence.
He is responsible for how he behaves, whatever you do or say.
A better man would respond to you totally differently, even if you did the same 'provoking' things. You are not responsible for his reactions. He is.
You deserve better and it will be hard to step away because that's the effect of being abused. Being with him has damaged your view of you. To me you sound capable, bright, caring, honest and brave.
Think about talking to someone you really trust in real life. MN will support you whatever you decide, but you may need to begin the process of making it real by talking to someone real..
You do not provoke these reactions in him.
You may week provoke a reaction, but he choses the path of violence. He could equally leave the room, call a friend, breathe deeply, listen to music, go for a brisk walk, or eve decide to listen to your point of view.
But he choses another path.
Call women's aid or email them what you have written so far.
Do not wait until you understand why it happens. You may never, or you will when you have some distance from this relationship.
Be safe too. He may notice you are changing and realising that these behaviours of his are not normal.
Clear your MN history, speak to people you trust in real life.
Massive x-post with chaos.
Imagine you are your best friend and take yourself under your wing.
God I never post on these boards but
You absolutely have done the right thing by coming on here. Bless you, very brave
None of this is your fault. You have to realise that
I don't have anyone in real life, at all.
My sister doesn't like him but we haven't really spoken about it.
Thank u all for your messages. I don't want to self harm again, I don't want to be scared.
I don't know what's next I'm trying to break it into baby steps and I'm not finding it easy to think.
At the moment you are living separately, and you have some financial independence and a job. And he shakes and slaps you, hits you by proxy when he punches your car (a stand in for you), cheats on you and rapes you (because if someone has sex with you and you don't want to and they know you don't want to -and he would know- that is rape) yet you are caring for his mother (did I get that right) and you are paying his debts. He made you abort your pregnancy.
Now imagine how much worse this will get when you are totally dependent on him -you have a child and don't work because you are caring for his mother, your nephew and a baby and him. When he is confident he has you in a situation where you cannot leave -then he will (I suspect) begin to beat you. Because he knows you can't get away. At the moment he isn't going too far because you can walk away.
It is so easy for me to say walk away. I have never been hit or raped in my life. I have worked with women who have been subject to terrible domestic abuse and who have witnessed terrible abuse as children.
Don't risk bringing a child into this relationship. Until you are able to leave do not risk becoming pregnant as if he gets an inkling you are thinking of leaving, I suspect he will start to take steps to prevent you from leaving.
You were a baby when you started your 'relationship' with him. Not much more than a little girl. He has shaped your expectations. he will go on doing this until you don't know what you think/know/see/hear any more because he will tell you one thing and you will start to doubt yourself. If you don't believe me, read some of the other posts on MN from women living for years with an abusive partner, sometimes violent, sometimes emotional, sometimes financial. It is all abuse. This is you. This is your future.
Don't waste your life on this inadequate rapist. Life is ever so short. One minute you're 23, thinking you're never going to get old, then all of a sudden you are nearly 50. Get away and start living your life.
You think, I suspect, that we are not understanding how you have caused his behaviour, and somehow how you started it, contributed towards it. But truly, you have said enough for everyone on this thread to spot the signs that you are in a dreadfully sad and abusive relationship. You think it's all your fault because that's how he operates.
You are obviously kind and caring. You deserve so much better. Take the practical advice on here and make a plan to get rid of this abomination of a human being. Get rid of him. People on here will hold your hand and support you.
Be brave and call Women's Aid. The first step is always the hardest.
Good luck and I will be thinking of you.
I was worrie you had no one. If you had, he would not have been able to drain you so much. The meeting every day, etc. is all about controlling you. I am worried that he would not let you regain your freedom easily.
I imagine you are also fairly isolated and predictable (whereabouts at various times of day) as a carer, which makes it easy for him to know where you are.
You are doing very well.
You are posting.
You are thinking for yourself.
Keep yourself safe. Bid your time. Speak to women's aid. Explain everything, see a counsellor. Do not mention this to him, or say it is because you have anxiety issues. Do not feel foolish involving women's aid or the police. They are out there for you. Yes, some of harder lives, but your call is not going to displace theirs. What about everyone having a better life?
Maybe it will be easy, maybe it won't. But you have started to feel it is not right.
Don't feel like you have to make any decisions now. It must be really overwhelming having all these people saying "GET OUT. RUN!" I know in real life it's not that easy.
But hopefully your perspective will have shifted a tiny bit and you have seen what the reaction is of anyone who reads what you are going through. We are all different, I'm sure. But we've all said pretty much the same.
Keep the knowledge close to you that you have the option not to continue in this relationship. You don't have to be with him, and you don't even have to give him a reason. Just say it's not working any more.
And stop funding the lazy cunt.
Packupyourtroubles - we 'met' before on another post.
Your DN really doesn't need to be around a man like this. Not in a million years. ten million years.
You have a child to look after. You must take action, you simply must get rid of him.
hi there, sweety
you did the right thing posting here and giving more details
tbh, I am utterly shocked at how bad it is
please be reassured by all these wonderful posters that none of this was ever your fault, and all his abusive behaviour towards you has been his choice
these are the people you need to speak to. Just because this man isn't beating you black and blue on a daily basis and breaking your bones does not mean he is not an abuser. Just the threat of it is already keeping you in line and ensuring you submit to sex you do not want. I can't even bring myself to ask what exactly he "makes" you do. I am so sorry.
You need professional help, love. At the moment you are in huge denial, but I sense it is lifting, and you are going to need assistance to see that you deserve so much more than this.
please, call them tomorrow, and just tell them what you have told us. They won't insist you act in any particular way, they will just listen at first
Thank you all
Honestly at the moment I have no words and feel too scared and sad to say anything
But thank you I hope it's ok for me to keep posting about this
As much as you need to
Its your post - do what you need on it
Thank you I am trying to distract myself from hurting myself so I don't want to try and think of anything at the moment
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