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They aren't worth it...

(181 Posts)
Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 17:31:58

Why do some women end up in a relationship with guys - have kids with some even - who are not worth it?

I've met women who despite all the warning signals were completely blinded by... lust (can't be love, surely?). These were men who already showed signs of being abusive while dating.

Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?

Not being controversial. Just wondering what goes on in people's head. My head is automatically guided by logic, and I don't know why, but I spot such guys from miles away, and just never tend to like them...

headinhands Sun 17-Feb-13 17:36:31

Men do the same op.

As for why people settle for abusive/neglectful partners there's probably a host of reasons with the upshot being low self esteem stemming from abusive/neglectful parenting, negative role models and so on.

onetiredmummy Sun 17-Feb-13 17:40:03

What a lovely patronizing attitude you have there.

In my case it was that people change. I didn't marry an idiot but his cocaine addiction made him not worth it in the end.

& I don't appreciate your inference that I make illogical stupid decisions . I'm glad for you that you are not plagued by self doubt & have your pick of men, just remember that there are others who sense of self worth is low enough to feel that these men are OK.

Don't underestimate the relentless propaganda aimed at making women pursue and remain in relationships with men. Women are constantly being told that love will conquer all, that a woman is a failure without a man, that 'difficult' men are romantic and special and that they themselves are inadequate and unsatisfactory and need to change (diet, shop more, cook more, open their legs more) and then a man will love them. Society is still based on the premise that every man who wishes to is entitled to own a woman for domestic service, sex and childrearing, and the propaganda is to make women accept that their purpose in life is to be owned by a man.

Undertone Sun 17-Feb-13 18:25:13

Hear hear SGB

babyhammock Sun 17-Feb-13 18:31:01

Perfectly put SGB smile

CremeEggThief Sun 17-Feb-13 18:44:57

Well said, SGB.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 18:45:55

SGB - you might have hit the nail there.

I do think parents should teach their children that being in a relationship is not the be all and end all it is perceived to be. I never felt the need for a boyfriend as a teenager (e.g. would rather be single than put up with someone who was likely going to head the wrong side of the track). I guess being sort of late to catch up on this boy-thing has its benefits. I did have an image of my "ideal man" in my head - who was so God-darn perfect, he'd never have existed in RL... and I naively decided, until I found him, I'd never go out with anyone, lol.

I also always looked up to career-oriented women, who seemed to cope without men just fine...

Lueji Sun 17-Feb-13 18:55:11

Have you met him?

Most of us know that there's no such thing as an ideal man, and are prepared to accept some faults.
Just as long as the important characteristics are there.

Maybe sometimes we are blind to some important faults, maybe other times we are tricked by seemingly good men.

It's not a coincidence that lots of abusive men seem fine to the outside world, and only in intimacy they are abusers. And abuse starts off slowly, constantly pushing boundaries. At some point we are deep in it.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:18:45

Lueji - DH is 90% there. I accept the 10% of faults happily. When my mother first saw him, she said (with rolling eyes) that he just looks like the kinda guy I used to fantasize about as a teen. grin

I don't think the guys you're talking about would have had the patience to stick to someone like me... I do know I've hit the jackpot with DH (though don't always tell him that).

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 17-Feb-13 19:24:21

The trouble is that everyone thinks they've 'hit the jackpot'.... until it turns out they've actually won a deceptively shiny wooden spoon.

'Pride comes before a fall'.... fair warning?

MadBusLady Sun 17-Feb-13 19:31:43

Don't underestimate the relentless propaganda aimed at making women pursue and remain in relationships with men.

This. I have been in a room where one highly intelligent, accomplished woman advised another to "just give it a chance and see what happens, maybe he's a bit shy", about a bloke who I thought was (and later proved himself irrevocably to be) an utter boundary-abusing weirdo. The propaganda gets everyone. The only way to conquer it is to be sometimes seen as a bit anti-social, and not give a shit about that. sad but true.

OneHandFlapping Sun 17-Feb-13 19:38:38

My H was lovely before I became pregnant, and seriously ill. When I needed him, he became a bullying arsehole. Just not all the time. Just enough to keep me in my place.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:43:25

You can test people.

Most wooden spoons often expect girls to look up at them, rely on seeming "amazing" and "charming". Often, they cannot laugh about themselves. They would not be patient enough to put up with me - I do test people rather a lot, so I do know that those who stick with me (friends & partner) are worth it.

Well, OP, in my case it was because I had bonded with his twin daughters and excused a lot of poor behaviour as I wanted to keep them in my life. I preferred to tell myself there were valid reasons for his behaviour and until I had had my first dc the anger and abuse wasn't really directed at me. It still took me another 4 years to have the guts to leave. It isn't as clear-cut as you make it.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 19:50:28

MatchsticksForMyEyes - Yes, children make the equation more difficult. Good that you did manage to leave. What happened to the twins?

dondon33 Sun 17-Feb-13 19:54:05

So you're lucky to have such an automatically logic thinking head.

Unfortunately like millions of other 'blinded' girls/women I fell in love, and I can assure you, at first it was love not lust, with a manipulative, controlling, abusive and violent bastard.
Of course he was charm personified at the beginning and until I'd bore his first Dc really, by which time I felt trapped, that was my lot and that I just had to deal with it. I was too young to understand and realise about 'red flags' never mind know how to deal with them. I subsequently went on to have a further 2 more Dc with him too.
SGB makes a hugely relevant and true point in that post.

16 years I endured it, 16 god damn long, fucked up, destructive, hellish years before I got out.
If you seriously think that if I'd known what he had planned for me from the start that I wouldn't have ever-so-simply 'turned my back' and 'moved away'
Then I'm sorry op but your even more illogical than what you patronisingly accuse me of being.

I am still in touch with them, but they are teens now. Had I left when I first knew he had anger problems I don't think I would have been able to maintain the contact with them. I suspect their mum let them continue to visit us as I was the stable influence whilst they were with us.

MrsMorton Sun 17-Feb-13 20:04:29

OP, you have absolutely no idea. That's all. No idea.

badinage Sun 17-Feb-13 20:07:02

A lot of men don't show their true colours until a child is born though at which point a woman is in a vulnerable position having to take at least some time out of the workforce. There are some clues beforehand though e.g. if he shares the domestic workload and can/will fend for himself and others without help. Agree though that a lot of women seem to trade their singledom for far too little - and are too readily prepared to sacrifice their financial independence.

But also experiences change people. If one of the couple suddenly hits the big time in a career and everyone's fawning over them, the whole power dynamics can change on a sixpence. Same for if one of them loses a job. It never pays to be too smug.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:16:23

Of course, they can be charm personified - sociopaths generally are. Not saying you are illogical. I understand that the red flags are often invisible until much later in life when you sort of wise up to them.

Good to hear. Did the twins' mum ever hint at you how he was to live?

I'm just asking why things are the way they are. Can you not ask these days? Maybe if people talked about this issue more, it would happen less? Like the tell-tale signs becoming more obvious to people? But oh well, it would be so much better to brush these things aside...

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:20:21

Agree a lot with badinage.

I'd never want to lose my financial independence. Even if that means not having the kind of maternity leave others are accustomed to (because often, that can hurt a career).

Hitting the big time is indeed an issue for some couples, too...

MrsMorton Sun 17-Feb-13 20:20:27

Have you looked at the EA support thread? Number 17 or whatever it's on now? IMO it's a little rude to have done no research before asking a question like that.

I'm very pleased for you that your spidey sense is so accurate.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:23:08

MrsMorton - I don't go into every single little sub-forum of MN. There are so many, I stick to only a few, and even then only found the "relationship" forum by accident.

snowshapes Sun 17-Feb-13 20:29:00

There is a world of difference between saying there is a need to discuss the warning signs for abusive relationships and your OP which appears to blame the women who end up in them. The former would be intended to be helpful, the latter is at best ill-thought through and at worst, offensive on a Relationship forum where many are posting from and about such Relationships. Epic fail.

Tasmania I wasn't really in contact with their mum. I believed my ex's version of events r.e their marriage. I know differently now.

TisILeclerc Sun 17-Feb-13 20:42:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:45:19

snowshapes It was just a question. You can substitute women for men in my OP... but since this is mumsnet and obviously not dadsnet, I said "women".

Not blaming women who end up in the relationships. But asking why if there were signs before - as in retrospect, there often are - they stuck to the guy in question.

There seem to be many reasons, and one reason I heard in RL was to always give people second chances... something I don't actually believe in as that has has the tendency to result in someone getting hurt.

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 20:46:00

Hey OP, I just hope that if your superiority ever lets you down and you need some help, that there are people around that aren't as silly and judgemental as you are.

The key in your last post is in retrospect Tasmania. The signs aren't so glaringly obvious at the time, I promise you.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:53:14

TisILeclerc If you really have nothing to add - why post??? (In the same manner as you are accusing me of not doing my research before posting.)

Not being patronizing - it's just my way of saying that being happy to be single until the right one does come along is often better than to go out with anyone who's OK, but probably not right for you. That's what I would tell my DC...

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 20:55:55

ArtVandelay - as per my above post. English is not my native language - which happens to be a lot more direct, and can be mistaken for rudeness by Brits it seems (who often talk behind subtle words).

Of course, I can only speak for myself, but to someone who has been in a marriage like mine, an OP like yours makes me feel quite shit. It implies that I have been weak in some way or pathetic for not immediately realising what kind of man I was with and getting away. People's reasons for being in these sorts of relationships are complex and leaving certainly isn't as straightforward as people make out.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:07:14

MatchsticksForMyEyes - I'm sorry for that. Not what I set out to do. It's just that in my culture, we are used to say things in a very direct manner.

I've been warned about this before - e.g. at work, when writing an email here in England, I actually have to beg people to do what is essentially their job (a lot of "please", "if you can" and "that would be so helpful"). If I don't, it's apparently rude. Where I come from, people would think that's insane - because you're spending a longer time writing a paragraph of niceties when a sentence would have been enough. You simply ask...

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 21:09:34

No Tasmania, this is nothing to do with directness and everything to do with smugness and superiority. Trust me, I'm married to a Dutchman and I live in Germany, coping with directness is not really a challenge for me.

But surely, in your culture, there also exists a bit of empathy?!

Lueji Sun 17-Feb-13 21:10:19

I do wish you all the luck with your DP.


I hope the 10% doesn't turn sour.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 21:12:18

You are saying quite clearly that you have all the knowledge about how to avoid abusive men; and you quite clearly do not, or you would know how this happens!

You are just lucky that the 10% of the not-so-perfect bits of your 'everso perfect' H wasn't anything more! I don't think you have the perfect logic for this, that would put you as rather the highest above everyone else wouldn't it, as we trust and believe in people until we find out otherwise. I don't think it reasonable to put my friends 'to the test'?!?!?

If the 10% that some not-so-lucky ladies have witnessed and turns out to be brief glimpses in the extremely well concealed sinister and cruel soul that lurks underneath a very strong 'veneer', is it their fault? That 'they' cannot see somehow where you 'all-seeing' can? and how they 'stay'.

I support the suggestions of research, as I don't believe it to be simply answered in the way you and your logic do.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:13:13

MatchsticksForMyEyes - Re empathy... which is why I said "I'm sorry for that" in my last post.

I don't think the OP merits quite the kicking she's started to get. If you have always been surrounded by generally reasonable people and were brought up by parents who loved you properly and taught you that you were valuable and worthwhile and deserved good treatment, you might find it bewildering that so many other people seem so willing to accept shitty treatment in personal relationships. Because another major factor for women who stay a long time with abusive men is that at some point in their lives someone convinced them of one or more of the following: that they themselves weren't 'good enough' and must always try harder, that they were bad and needed to be punished or controlled, or that men are more important than women and must be placated and obeyed.

What I meant was, if you had the ability to empathise, you would have thought about some of the reasons people are in relationships like these and not posted your OP!

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 21:15:48

you understand that to speak that way in 'Brit' land is rude then?

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 21:20:40

I just hope that you've been on the sherry OP and that normally you are a decent person. Not content with slating victims of abuse you've now moved onto declaring British customs and manners "insane" and advising us how to do it better.

Because the signs aren't always obvious.

Because if you have been brought up to be a nice, obliging, polite little girl, then you are used to people asking you to do reasonable things, and doing them willingly.

Because if you were brought up by nice people, what they 'ask' is reasonable.

So when you are asked to do unreasonable things, you are rather left without the practice to say no, without being not-nice, unobliging, impolite.

It's not a question of not being 'happy to be single' and just falling into bed with the first man that seems 'ok' hmm
It's usually more thinking that you have found your 90% perfect man and then trying to make things work, as I'm sure you would if you and your partner had a falling out.

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 21:25:16

who loved you properly and taught you that you were valuable and worthwhile and deserved good treatment, you might find it bewildering and confusing that someone you love and thought you knew could treat you badly and not realise, until it was too late, the very oh so subtle ways of undermining you until you are scared to have an opinion.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:25:55


That's exactly where I am coming from. The girls I grew up with all fell into that category - with parents often telling them that most guys were not "good enough" (imagine Robert de Niro playing the WASP dad in "Meet the Parents" for whom no guy would ever be good enough for his dd). Hence, they often did not have a boyfriend during high school (until they left home, at least)! And even then, they always remembered that comment and rebuffed most guys. Basically, they'd dump a guy like a hot potato at the earliest sign of disappointment. That's how I would want DC to be.

So for someone like me, it is a bit bewildering, as SGB has put it, that people put up with a lot more than that.

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 21:28:37

second chances - if your H were to foul up, being human an' all, I guess he'd be out the door then?

foolonthehill Sun 17-Feb-13 21:30:05

I wrote a long post, then decided...what's the point? If you don't understand how we end up there then you probably don't want, lucky you, you picked a good-un

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:30:38

ArtVandelay - I'm teetotal. Please read my comment above. SolidGoldBrass gets where I'm coming from.

The "insane" bit was linked to what I have to do at work - basically write a whole paragraph of niceties in an email to ask people to do what they are being paid for... when a quick sentence should really suffice.

NettleTea Sun 17-Feb-13 21:32:44

ahh, but see, maybe you did come from a cuture where chidren are brought up such as SGB expained a few posts up, then you really wont get how fucked up so many Brits are - what with our prudish victorian principles mashed up by overtly sexualising everything connundrums. It's really done us no favours. And generations of uptight parents not sparing the rod, keeping things in the closet and brushing them under the carpet, stiff upper lip, dont talk about what goes on behind cosed doors, children seen and not heard, and good girls quiet and demure. Real mens men, class, entitlement, public schools, knowing your place plus celebrity kiss me quick culture.
Its no surprise really

Lueji Sun 17-Feb-13 21:33:33

My mother was like that, I didn't hook up with anyone until late and yet it turned out to be the wrong person.

My brother almost married the wrong woman too.

Also wishing your dp good luck, btw. smile

On the other hand, my dad has been what I'd call a good husband and dad. For over 40 years. Yet, he lied about something fairly important to my mother before they got married. No doubt you'd have dumped him.
It's not all black and white, you know.

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 17-Feb-13 21:41:07

Totally agree with SGB. I thought I was a failure and worthless because I didn't have a boyfriend when I was younger. Ended up in a three year relationship with a total wankstain who subtley and not so subtley eroded what little self-esteem and confidence I had. It was only when I started my first job and spoke to colleagues about him I woke up to how badly I was being treated and they helped me leave him (it was a small, family run form and we all looked out for each other).
I still look back at that time and wonder WTF I was thinking. But I was young and stupid.

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 21:41:09

Okay, so really all that's going on here is that you think in a particular sort of way and can't get your head around people who think differently - why don't they think like you? Because you so clearly think you are clever and right. So being friendly in an email is a stupid waste of time, letting some man abuse you is also stupid.

I think its a shame you decided to post this on a forum where people come for support though. Couldn't you amuse yourself another way?

KaraStarbuckThrace Sun 17-Feb-13 21:41:58

Sorry just to clarify, my first proper job when I left Uni, so I was 21.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:42:12

FairFi - define "foul up"?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:47:09

ArtVandalay - if people are meant to do their jobs, and are getting paid quite well for it, you shouldn't HAVE to beg them to do it... [hmmm]

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:49:00

ArtVandalay - and I was thinking of putting this into "Chat", but "Relationships" was the obvious place to put it in... because it is about relationships?

Saying please isn't begging though really, is it?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 21:56:52

ScentedNappyHag I say please already - apparently, that's not enough. Hence, the need for a paragraph.

TisILeclerc Sun 17-Feb-13 22:15:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 22:16:46

walk in anothers shoes before judging. tbh I think our culture, or expectations around whats rude (or begging?!?!) are pretty simple to follow to avoid upsetting other's cultural norms within a fairly short space of time.

Working out how men manipulate women into abusive relationships however, would be more tricky and not something thats going to be answered here from some personal assertions from the other side of the fence.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:22:07

TisILeclerc Am I not just challenging an assertion, too?

FairyFi Tbh - I find it rude when people don't do their jobs that they are being paid for (a lot more than the average UK salary, may I say), and on time. But to each their own. No wonder, we have cowboy builders around...

Teeb Sun 17-Feb-13 22:25:46

Following on from SGB earlier post which explained things very well, I would add that women will always have a pressure of a 'ticking clock' re fertility hanging over their decisions. Do women have the time to always think there is someone better or more suitable for them to come along? Can we afford to not give men a second chance if we've already committed months or years to them? If we have the desire to have a family, then I think that will always be at the back of many women's minds.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:29:16

Solid point, Teeb! It's a little annoying that men don't have that problem. Unfair that nature didn't really make us equal...

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 22:29:32

What have cowboy builders got to do with being polite? (leaves thread as its getting surreal) smile

TisILeclerc Sun 17-Feb-13 22:30:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AnyFucker Sun 17-Feb-13 22:36:01

Oh dear

I am reminded of that ole truism "pride comes before a fall..."

FairyFi Sun 17-Feb-13 22:37:39

I don't think you're getting very far at actually learning anything, which doesn't suprise me. Agreeing with fool wasting time now.

TisILeclerc Sun 17-Feb-13 22:41:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:44:30

ArtVandelay Polite is saying please, and expecting the person responsible to do the job they are actually paid to do. It is rude, however, for that person to be paid, not do their job and then expect to be asked nicely to do their job. How do you feel about cowboy builders coming to your home, you paying them a lot of money, but then, you still having to "ask nicely" for them to do their job - and finish on time. How polite would you be to that cowboy builder?

If people volunteered for something, yes - they can expect so much more than a please and a thanks from me. Gosh - I'd get them presents.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:46:08

FairyFi - what's wrong? I agreed with Teeb? What she said made sense?!?

ArtVandelay Sun 17-Feb-13 22:52:03

I simply do not employ cowboy builders, my head is automatically guided by logic and I can spot them from miles away.

(really have to leave smile )

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 22:57:26

Neither do I. But can't change my company single-handedly though, can I?(which isn't a building company)

Good night wine. Leaving this now, too.

Midwife99 Sun 17-Feb-13 23:00:01

Read Lundy Bancroft's book "Why does he do that? Inside the minds of angry & controlling men" OP. It is written by a man by the way who has worked with thousands of abusive men. In it he explains that these men are extremely charming, loving, passionate & attentive until they have their bait trapped usually by motherhood. Then they change. It's isn't the fault of the women they catch. These women are often vulnerable it's true, but they are not silly, or in lust or in any way to blame for not spotting them a mile off as you seem to be able to. God forbid you ever slip up eh?!

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:08:36

Midewife99 - thanks, will look into that book. I have heard about the charming, etc. part. It's a well-known fact that sociopaths are more often than not charming, successful and popular people. If you think about it, even bullies at school can be charming / popular, and yet cruel to a few selected people. I am very interested in how that happens, and how others fall into their trap!

So, really, round about 9 p.m. this turned into an angst about your cowboy builders? With NO NOTICE?

Wouldn't starting another thread have been clearer, rather than tacking it onto a thread about successful tactics of abusive partners? confused

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:16:08

Leucan - it's because people started to press on with the "being polite" issue.

minkembra Sun 17-Feb-13 23:17:07

I would say your epic foresight somehow did not prevent you from posting this ill judged thread.

Why ask a question when you already know the answer.

But i suspect there is nothing wrong with your foresight and you just get a kick out of stirring it in which case you probably already have a pretty good insight into what goes on in at least and half of an abusive relationship.

Either you are not as wise before the event as you think you are and ,as your post implies, you have very little insight into other people in which case i suspect you would do no better at spotting an abuser than the average or you know exactly what you are doing and what you are doing is pretty unpleasant.

Sometimes i like to be direct too.

SwitchedtoEatingCheese Sun 17-Feb-13 23:22:12

I guess I am the sort of person Tasmania is talking about. In RL I am well educated, have a good job, nice house, not bad looking (trumpet blows!). But my husband was a prize asshole.

And yes, right from the start red flags were there. Initially when I meet him I put his occasional assholeishness down to too much to drink, or tiredness or something. Yes you would think I'd learn but no I went to buy a house, get pregnant, buy another house, get pregnant again, and by this time I felt I had to pretend to my family that he was this nice guy. I guess I kinda felt I had made my choices and should get on with it.

In hindsight I should have shown him the door 15 years ago, but I can't wish I did, as that would be wishing away my children.

Tell you what though, lesson learned, no man will ever treat meet like shit again.

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 17-Feb-13 23:22:41

Tasmania, what have you learned from this thread?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:24:46

Minkembra Readthis comment posted above by SolidGoldBrass who seems to be the only one who got me. It's not the foresight that's missing - more that I was too cocooned from all the problems.

Here's SolidGrossBrass' post:

I don't think the OP merits quite the kicking she's started to get. If you have always been surrounded by generally reasonable people and were brought up by parents who loved you properly and taught you that you were valuable and worthwhile and deserved good treatment, you might find it bewildering that so many other people seem so willing to accept shitty treatment in personal relationships. Because another major factor for women who stay a long time with abusive men is that at some point in their lives someone convinced them of one or more of the following: that they themselves weren't 'good enough' and must always try harder, that they were bad and needed to be punished or controlled, or that men are more important than women and must be placated and obeyed.

Alright, then. To be blindingly simple:

"Why do some women end up in a relationship with guys - have kids with some even - who are not worth it? I've met women who despite all the warning signals were completely blinded by... lust (can't be love, surely?). These were men who already showed signs of being abusive while dating. Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?"

- because people looking for a partner tend to avoid the obvious negatives they've had before. Someone who says; I've never hit you / I'd never shout at you / I'd never swear at you / I'll look after you - sounds wonderful if you've not had it. And then it turns out it's just words. But you don't know that until it's happened. Point out the 'stupid' in wishing to trust someone?

"Not being controversial. Just wondering what goes on in people's head. My head is automatically guided by logic, and I don't know why, but I spot such guys from miles away, and just never tend to like them..."

I'm logical. I'm just not used to people lying to me. It's taken a long time (tanker turning around at sea) to adjust my ideas of 'trust', but I'm not stupid.

Hope That Helps.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:34:04


SGB's posts were really insightful. And so was Teeb's ticking clock comment.

I have learned that I will tell my DC that she's loved, that she can achieve everything she can and that nobody should ever treat her badly. If I ever catch anyone making her feel otherwise, they better watch out.

colditz Sun 17-Feb-13 23:37:35

Because I thought it was my fault. I had been told throughout my childhood that it was my fault my dad lost his temper and hit me, therefore it was probably my fault that my ex did the same. It took me until I was twenty fucking nine to realise that I do not deserve to be hit, not then, not now, not ever.

I booted the ex because he hit me in front of the kids. Not because he hit me.

If you think logic should trump upbringing, why don't people eat all the stray dogs in pounds instead of weeping abut them? Perfectly viable protein, what goes through some people's heads?

DioneTheDiabolist Sun 17-Feb-13 23:46:15

Tasmania, they were great posts. Insightful provision of not just answers, but food for thought.

You have been given the answers you requested, so why do you keep coming back to this thread?

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:51:31

colditz - what you just mentioned is one of the things SGB mentioned. Thanks for sharing.

It has become clear to me that "logic" is relative, and formed by experience. If you've always been treated badly from a very young age, then you don't question it, if someone else does the same when you're an adult because that's the norm for you.

You can have the other extreme, and have mum & dad's little princess who expects every single guy to treat her similarly later on in life. Not many guys will be able to live up to that.

Tasmania Sun 17-Feb-13 23:53:47

DioneTheDiabolit - I am going off it now - as I planned to several posts above. I was just trying to be polite, and reply to people, including you.

minkembra Sun 17-Feb-13 23:58:58

tasmania it seems you think victims of abuse don't share your intellectual skills but believe it or not i can read. So don't need you to repost SGB for me. thanks.

Don't know where SGB got so willing to accept shitty treatment from though. very insightful.

add patronising to smug.

So SGB agrees with you. oh well, you must be right. Between the two of you you have it all worked out well done. Have a bouquet thanks

What next? perhaps you could ask rape victims why they were so careless. of course not because that would be ooutrageous.

minkembra Mon 18-Feb-13 00:00:56

And for the record there was nothing wrong with my parents or my childhood. go figure.

I must just be stupid.

Noonelistens Mon 18-Feb-13 00:01:04

Because the abuse is turned on slowly slowly over a period of many years.

There aren't any warning signs to begin with. You think you've found the man of your dreams.

But gradually so as you'd hardly notice it just starts. It happens so slowly you don't notice. Very slowly the changes become normal.

You go onto have children. After being together for 7 years in my case. Things gradually get worse. But the comments are only 'helpful' and 'because he loves you'.

Then you find MN for breastfeeding advice. You start to read active conversations. You stumble across the relationships page. You read about EA. Your blood runs cold. It is you on there. You refuse to believe it but now the scales are off your eyes you can see everything.

But by now you are in too deep and you are scared of losing your child to your H. Your head tells you to go but your heart says stay. Plus your abuser is not stupid. He senses when you start to detach and becomes charming and lovely and you think that maybe it will be ok this time.

You will never understand Tasmania if you've never been there. I see this as a highly educated woman with a well respected job who is highly regarded at work. The people I work with would never imagine what goes on behind my closed doors.

And I was brought up in a loving family with loving respectful parents.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:04:34

noonelistens I believe you

Noonelistens Mon 18-Feb-13 00:11:35

Thanks AF So do all the lovely ladies on the EA support thread. And one day hopefully soon I will leave. I know I don't need to explain or justify myself to anyone, but Tasmania's black-and-white and almost flippant attitude has made me so angry.

The line 'Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?' sums up her startling lack of understanding completely.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:13:08

Indeed, NL

I am glad you have the EA support thread...fantastic bunch of gals over there

snowshapes Mon 18-Feb-13 00:18:50

I think the question you are asking is configured wrong. The question should be why do men abuse women. SGB went some way to answering that when she talked about social expectations. Midwife also mentioned Lundy Bancroft 'why does he do that?

The fascinating thing about Bancroft is he talks about inequality between the sexes, hell, I think he maybe even mentions the word patriarchy. Men abuse women because society abuses women. Reading Bancroft's warning signs, a lot of these would have been normal expectations of marriage a century ago.

Women do not experience things in a vacuum. Men do not act in a vacuum. If there was genuine equality between the sexes, there would be less abuse. I think so at least.

That apart, I stand by my view it is a ill-judged question on this forum, given the number of women who have felt compelled to defend their position and experience.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:19:43


Thanks for your input. That is very, very scary. I know I'll never understand without having been there, and hopefully never will.

Did you ever confess to anyone in RL - and if, how long did it take you?

I can see now that if you're in that situation, you must have the feeling of being lost, and not knowing what to do. One of those deer-in-the-headlights moments of life. It can be embarrassing to go to people you actually know, who may also be friends with DH (as it tends to happen once you're in a relationship). You may not want to lose face in front of colleagues either. I think the only people I could turn to would possibly be my family - which in my case would be crap since they are in a completely different country.

And now that you mention it, I did (and do) know men who are very charming indeed, and who girls run after - and I know that while they are OK as friends... they can be emotionally abusive as partners (not sure about this, but that's what I gathered, from all their ex-girlfriends). Often, it's because they know that their charm (and oftentimes, their looks) attracts so many girls. Male friends often used to tell me, "He's a good mate, but not one you should date." Asking for clarification was often met with silence or raised eyebrows. Gosh - you often turn a blind eye to these things when you're not the one affected!!

snowshapes Mon 18-Feb-13 00:21:42

Sorry my post was to the OP, not you NL. Took me too long to tap out on phone. I hope you do get out. It is not your fault.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 18-Feb-13 00:28:13

Tasmania, so far your attempts at social niceties have brought you back to a thread you wished to quit, not once but twice.

Now, you are a logical person. Why would you make a decision and go back on it, not once, but twice?confused

I'm with noone. Lovely parents, brought me up to cope with every intellectual challenge going, but no experience of emotional inadequacy. I didn't know what I was dealing with. I didn't know how to challenge. You don't abandon a whole history because of one off comment. Or two. Or three.

Low grade, persistent, endless comments that have you on the back foot almost permanently. Until it turns physical and then it's almost a relief that you have something tangible to point at. Except it was only the once. And in exceptional circumstances. By which point you're so far away from being able to protest about generic 'respect' you're buggered, frankly.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:32:44

DioneTheDiabolist Can you just stop with that? I do like reading about what others have to say. If you don't want me to return, then maybe you should stop asking questions directed at me??? confused

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:33:24

tas, have a look here

the boiling frog analogy will explain some very simple things to you

any time you want to make a proper feel free

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:36:07


I do apologize for having offended people. That wasn't what I wanted.

Never heard of the boiling frog - but it does make sense from what I've read above.

badinage Mon 18-Feb-13 00:39:38

I'm with Snowshapes here. The question isn't why do some women get sucked in and stay, but why do some men do it?

Survivors of abuse don't fall into neat little boxes either; I've known women who've come from stable and secure childhoods who've ended up in this position too.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:39:55

no, no

an apology for your ignorance would be much, much better

I could tell you to fuck off, and then apologise for offending you. Wouldn't mean much, though

a little humility goes a long, long way

which is why your Op was so very badly received

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 18-Feb-13 00:41:11

Tasmania, I don't understand. You say you are leaving the thread. I ask my questions with no expectation that you will return.

Yet you do. Why?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:49:24


It's not ignorance. It's more that I've been cocooned from this problem. If it had been ignorance, I wouldn't ask about it.

If you told me to f*ck off, and apologize afterwards, it would be fine with me. But I understand that we are all different. While I may have reacted more like SGB others are obviously more sensitive to the problem.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:50:27

DioneTheDiabolist Because I don't let myself be chased away or bullied by you?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:52:26

It is ignorance when you spout "solutions" for something you have no experience of

and take your tongue from up SGB's arse, it's getting a bit embarassing for you

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:52:33

DioneTheDiabolist And I am free to always change my mind. I can say I'm leaving, and not do so. It's my decision, not yours. Get it?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:54:10

Well, Any - considering that SGB was one of the few people who did not resort to your sort of words, I rather like her... so maybe let it be?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 00:54:36

And when did I ever offer "solutions"??

Lueji Mon 18-Feb-13 00:55:41

Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 00:56:12

Why don't people just turn their backs on them, and move away?

is your memory failing you ?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 01:09:59


Have you seen the question mark? It's obviously a question? Have you seen teh word "Why"?

Had I said: "You guys should just turn their backs on them, and move away", now that would have been a solution.

But I guess I guess even the use of words like "why" and question marks are no longer what they are meant to be?

Loads of people ask "Why don't people do this or that?" It doesn't often mean that they are offering a solution. It's just that they might deal with it in one way, and want to know why others deal with it in another way - which to them may not sound logical.

As said, I'm quite direct and straightforward. A question is a question. I don't offer solutions via a question.

YNK Mon 18-Feb-13 01:16:01

10 years ago no one involved in the hellish aftermath of my ex's departure could get their heads around the terrible accusations he made about me. He tried to lose me my children, my family, my home and my job (to no avail, thankfully).

He made accusations about me being addicted to drugs, being a prostitute, having MH issues everywhere he could. People only realised what he was like if they came into his sight's that this behaviour would turn on them if they disagreed.

He was phoning my doctor, dentist, police, work, hell even my mother. The court welfare officer came under a 6 month investigation initiated by him for 'equal rights' of all things. The welfare officer is now the head of the County Cafcass and remembers it as a learning experience for him.

Incidentally, I knew he was abusive but I was extremely fearful of him. In the end I called him out on an ultimatum (one of many) and i agreed he should leave as I simply could not be made out to be responsible for his obvious unhappiness. I wished him well at that time but it was still over a year of berating me when he actually left. The problem got much much worse 2 years later when I tried to separate my finances from his.

According to you OP I am to blame for all this?????? I should have known better???? FFS have a word with yourself!

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 18-Feb-13 01:45:08

OP, being cocooned from something usually means not having any experience of it. In other words being ignorant about it.
I have some relatives who are in this position about quite a lot of things.
I tell them to shut up and listen to people who know.

DioneTheDiabolist Mon 18-Feb-13 01:46:21

Tasmania I get it. But then I survived a LTR that after 8years became properly abusive.

Do you get it?

Even in a small way?

Lueji Mon 18-Feb-13 02:13:18

Strictly, the way you worded the question says that they should just turn their backs on their partners and move away.

This kind of question gives a solution. What you perceive as a solution.

Many questions are more than just questions. And that's why the police have to be very careful in questioning, not to lead witnesses and so on.

Lueji Mon 18-Feb-13 02:18:46

Loads of people ask "Why don't people do this or that?" It doesn't often mean that they are offering a solution. It's just that they might deal with it in one way, and want to know why others deal with it in another way - which to them may not sound logical.

Actually, when people ask those questions, they usually don't mean to know why the other doesn't do such and such. They are actually offering such and such as solutions.
Nobody really expects an answer as to why the other won't do such and such.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Mon 18-Feb-13 02:28:47

Actually I've re-read your last post OP and realised that some of those relatives have that same attitude as you.
I think they are kidding themselves.
I also think they are twats.

TisILeclerc Mon 18-Feb-13 08:40:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 08:58:26

Like with many things in life op, it is luck that you have not been in an abusive relationship, not your marvellous amazing skills in picking a partner. Most people do not experience abuse in relationships, therefore, to not experience abuse in a relationship is the normal experience for the average person. Logic would tell us as much.

I agree you are asking the wrong people. Instead of asking why women put up with abusive relationships, instead why not ask why in 2013 people are getting away with abusing their partners and children? Your whole premise is based on the presumption there are evil abusive men that women such as yourself spot a mile off and avoid, leaving less aware women to be their prey. Should we not try and develop a society where no men (or women) are abusive and if they are they are it's with a big neon sign pointing it out rather than letting others rely on their spidey senses to protect them?

plinkyplonks Mon 18-Feb-13 09:27:31

Tasmania - I honestly don't think you have anything to apologise for. You are not obligated to read every post in the forum and understand every single woman's choice before posting on here. Nor should you be berated for not understanding the complex and baffling choices that other women make when choosing a partner - I know why I choose my partners in life, but I can't possibly expect you to know I choose them if I don't tell you.

Some of the poor choices of bad relationships I've seen or been part of come down to low self esteem, previous history of domestic abuse (sometimes mimicing their parents relationship), bad judgement, being easily manipulated, limited life experience, craving the highs and lows of emotionally charged relationships, first love's - not knowing they deserve better. There are lot's of things - but mostly in my experience, it's not realising I can be part of a happy, loving, drama free relationship.

snowshapes Mon 18-Feb-13 10:32:43

>> Nor should you be berated for not understanding the complex and baffling choices that other women make when choosing a partner - I know why I choose my partners in life, but I can't possibly expect you to know I choose them if I don't tell you.<<

And therein lies the problem. The way the OP is phrased makes women feel that they have to explain/justify why they have been in relationships which turn out to be abusive, in other words, explain deeply personal information which has led to great hurt, so that the OP understands why they didn't just turn their backs and walk away. That is the problem with this thread. No-one, but no-one, should feel they have to explain to the OP why they didn't just walk away.

And I apologise for bringing it to the top of the board again.

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:32:47

but there absolutely is responsibility for 'wading in with the size 9's' into a world of immense pain & torture where women are in living hells, terrified for their lives and their sanity and end up sometimes losing the ability to communicate or leave their houses and suffer huge mental/emotional/physical torture. This is not the subject of light banter, or a right to hear the reality of how this happens, only to dismiss these women as somehow complicit (because they are not logical or intelligent enough somehow to 'get it', or they must have had bad parenting - as countered by the OPs insistence that her parenting protected her) I think we've heard all the counter-evidence to that here too. She will have the answer she wants. Still demonstrating no sensitivity (there's that wonderful logic again) for the issues that these women have bravely shared on here and biasing the women actions always. Someone earlier said quite clearly 'Why do men do that', not 'why are the victims allowing it'

I think enough has been said on here for the OP to realise she, and others, that have not gotten into these relationships, should be counting themselves lucky rather than trying to 'understand' why they didn't, and why other women 'don't simply walk away'. Was I asking to be raped - why didn't I just walk away! Maybe I should have shouted 'no' louder, or not have spoken this person at a party, or accepted drinks. do we blame the perpetrator or the victim???? As maybe the victim brings it all on themselves? hmmmmm.........

Her logic defies even herself, its not so good if she can't see what everyone else is seeing in these posts.

It is because it is so terribly, awfully misunderstood that people feel they can take a stance like this.

If we were to replace the word 'abuse' with rape in the OP, would that be very obviously different somehow?!

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:34:12

the above was prompted by your posting Plinkyplonks

I don't think it's victim-blaming to mention that women who have grown up with parents who are controlling or toxic, or at the very least keep telling them that men are more important than women, might be easy prey for an abuser. One of the things often discussed on MN is that being in an abusive relationship longterm can lead to DC recreating the abuse patterns when they grow up and form couple-relationships of their own.

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:41:41

how about the OP telling us the specifics of what to spot and how to avoid the tactics of an abuser?

So that we can all learn and be grateful for her superior upbringing and logic.

btw, I'm stupid and have no idea about anything so I deserved my abusive relationship (which is a BIG lie).

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:45:28

SGB but whats it got to do with the abusive relationship then? Regardless of what background a woman has had, she does not ask for a relationship with an abuser!!! and a decent normal partner would not abuse her just because of her past, so lets talk about the abuser, instead of the woman's role in it.

How about easy prey for rape? She asked for it. Oh, well she's been raped many times before, she's looking for it, or primed for it. All it takes is a rapist! (which is what they are, rapists of the psyche, emotions and body)

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 10:50:25

Thanks plinkyplonks!

"Drama free" rings a bell... do you think that Hollywood (and sometimes, books) manipulates women to believe those relationships that are full of drama = passion? Whenever I watch those movies, I do think that... hey, that looks OK on screen, but is really bad news in real life.

That's sort of the reason I am not happy with young girls being into "Twilight", for example. Adult women may see more there, and not take it to heart, but girls often don't. Edward Cullen in real life (not a vampire, of course) would be just another possessive guy, but on screen / in the book he has that silent broodiness that girls seem to pine for. I do wonder how this will influence young girls in future.

Dahlen Mon 18-Feb-13 10:52:57

I don't think it's as simple as being vulnerable to it because of childhood or low self-esteem, etc.

I can think of lots of perfectly well-balanced women, with happy childhoods, functional families and successful jobs who still put up with men who, IMO, are unworthy of them. Some of them are abusive, some are not, but all of them have a higher status than their wives who reinforce it through a multitude of different habits that society portrays as completely normal and even desirable.

Any woman who says she can't understand why women 'put up with it' but finds herself guilty of doing 51% or more of the domestic chores/childcare is potentially guilty of throwing stones from the proverbial glass house. One woman's equal relationship where she does her partner's laundry is another woman's unbalanced, sexist relationship. It's just a case of how far down the line is drawn.

I think in most cases of dysfunctional relationships, regardless of whether the victim is male or female, it's a simple case of not recognising what's happening. In most cases, the abuse/poor treatment starts so insidiously that it's not even recognised for what it is. It is a minor transgression that is easily overcome. And so the line in the sand shifts, almost imperceptibly. By the time things get serious, there have been countless imperceptible shifts, and the relationship has usually lasted long enough, and has enough commitments, that the emotional/practical/financial investment the lesser party feels it;s worth 'working it out', or 'trying again' especially if you've been conditioned over time to the see the transgression as normal or relatively minor.

And in some cases, a happy childhood can make you more vulnerable, as unless you have been 'taught' what signs to look out and the dynamics of abuse it's very easy to be confused by an abuser's behaviour and explanation and believe them when they it won't happen again, or it's because of their childhood and if you just support them things will get better. Worse still, is the clever abuser who stops doing the offending action so makes you feel like you've been listened to, only to change the behaviour subtly and control you in more subtle, manipulative ways.

It's very, very complicated.

Follyfoot Mon 18-Feb-13 10:53:30

Oh yeah I was manipulated into a violent relationship because I stupidly thought hey that looks OK on screen so it must be really good news in life hmm

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 10:54:43

^^ Of course, in Hollywood / books, sugar happy romances with no drama makes for fairly boring plot lines , so I do get why those films / books often portray such "loving" relationships - whether that be Gone with the Wind or Twilight and many movies inbetween.

FairyFi: I am by no means calling you stupid, nor is it your fault that you were abused. Nor is it the fault of any woman that she is raped: no matter what she's wearing or how much she had to drink or where she was, etc.

The thing with abusers who intend to abuse a partner (rather than rapists who intend to strike once only) is that abusers tend to detect, and be attracted to, women who for whatever reason are more vulnerable. It's very common for a woman who has escaped one abusive relationship to have another one, simply because her boundaries etc have been damaged. EG, if the partner she escaped from was physically violent, she might be frightened of physical violence and therefore slower to notice that the new partner is controlling, passive-aggressive, financially abusive or whatever.

In general, though, one of the good things about MN is that women can talk about the early indicators that a man is going to be abusive, and share the knowledge, and help each other not to overlook danger signs, because the danger signs are usually there but they are small in the beginning.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 10:56:06

*Follyfoot - I am not talking about you. I am seriously concerned about younger girls who do get obsessed with the ideals presented to them by books/movies that just do not work in real life. Ever seen a die-hard Twi-fan?

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:57:12

DC might or might not, have a look on other threads where DC are now protecting their own DC from these vile people.

It takes a lot of book reading (or sadly awful experience followed by realisations and insights, as well as bucketloads of bravery) to gain a knowledge of the coercions, blah blah blah, that go on under the veneer of an abusive relationship - it is death by a thousand paper cuts. It plays to human nature and people's good will and spirit of humanity and is not their fault, even if they have had apalling childhoods. The perpetrator is responsible, the victim has nothing to do with it ( cite rape again). The pepetrator will move on to another and another and another.

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 10:58:37

do you know how many women are routinely raped inside of their relationship???

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 11:03:32

FairyFi - Yes, I know that happens a lot. The Regina v Regina case of marital rape is the only one I remember from the one law course I did at uni (my memory of which is possibly the only reason I passed that course), and I was horrified to find out that up until that case not to long ago, marital rape was justified by law...

FairyFi Mon 18-Feb-13 11:06:50

There have been many cases cited here and all over the places I have discussed these issues, of very happy ladies, in happy childhoods, well adjusted, very well educated, with positions of huge responsibility in work, and agreeing with Dahlen, that if you have not learnt the ways of the less than well intentioned for yourself, your father telling you, will definitely not protect you and will actually leave you open to it, and you cannot recognise it. Only once your eyes are opened, can you see it.

Good post Dahlen, thanks for taking the time to put it so eloquently

sassy34264 Mon 18-Feb-13 12:13:00

I have had a dv relationship.

I barely recognise myself from all the 'truisms'

I didn't have a bad childhood, i wasn't lacking in confidence, i'm educated. etc.

My ex didn't hit me for the 1st 3 years. We were best friends, spent all our time together and talked well into the night whilst laying in bed. we would go to sleep with one of our legs crossed over each other. [slushy emotiocom]

that's not to say there weren't signs (looking back with hindsight) he had no friends, he was very suspicious of others opinions and had a breath taking self righteousness.

He was on medication for delusions when the 1st punch reigned down. So i justified it. He was always drunk when he continued to do it. So i justified it. It was only when he started to do it sober did i run out of excuses.

I'm glad your twat radar is so finely tuned, that is the way it should be, and i hope my 3 daughters are equally as skilled at spotting them

However, i have a friend whom i met after leaving exdp. Over discussions about it over the years, she would comment that she would never have put up with it. Unfortunately we drifted after 7ish years and when we met up again 2 years ago, she admitted she had been in an emotionally abusive relationship. He had her totally head baffled (gaslighting) and she only knew she was being abused when her job (family support worker) sent her on a course for her job. She definately had a light bulb moment then. And was slightly more sympathetic/empathitic (sp?) after it had happened to her.

The fact that you have never experienced it- means you will never understand no matter how many people explain it to you.

It's like trying to get someone to feel how a broken heart feels without having your heart broke, or the agony of labour if you've never been through it. It can't be done.

plinkyplonks Mon 18-Feb-13 12:21:45

I do think that TV and films influence people in part - it can give younger and impressionable people a reference for the role of men and women in those relationships. But I do think we get drawn to these films because we already believe those are the kind of relationships we believe in anyway. I think the biggest by far is your parents and the kind of relationship(s) they had when you were growing up. That's why I feel so strongly on women in abusive relationships (not easy I know) walking away especially when they have children.

I do think people are very defensive when they are in abusive relationships. People get into a bubble, think that it's an us vs. them scenario. I think 'outsiders' - be that family, friends, colleagues etc - trying to make someone see that their relationship is abusive or trying to 'label' their relationship as abusive (even that person may be doing no such thing!!) can just make people very defensive over their relationship.

'You can't possibly understand', 'he's different when he's around me' or comments over their intellect/stupidity ... I just think these are defensive mechanisms because deep down they know they deserve(d) better. Not to mention, when you do get out of the abusive relationship, there is some degree of embarrassment, guilt and shame - of how I could be so stupid, why couldn't see it... not realising that I just didn't have the perspective and life tools to deal with it.

But in these situations there is no point in apportioning blame - I don't see many here trying to apportion blame or saying its someone's fault for getting into an abusive relationship - so I don't really understand the tone of the responses here.

At the end of the day, there is little point in claiming your ex partner put you down, made you feel worthless etc when people are willing to do that to someone they haven't met for merely asking a question.

For me, it's about getting to the point where you recognise you deserve better & there is a better life beyond it. I couldn't imagine a life beyond my relationship because my relationship was my life and I had allowed it to define me. Breaking that was a huge weight off my shoulders, I learn't more about what I liked or didn't like - i got to love life again. But you can't make someone believe that.

I guess in your situation it's frustrating because you can see a relationship is going to end badly but unfortunately you are helpless to stop it.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 12:30:14

It's interesting that upthread op admits she knows men that are known to their friends as being abusive and not someone a woman should go out with.

Are you still friends with these men op?
Are your male friends still friends with them?
Do you or your male friends tell women that are attracted to these men that they are known to be abusive, that you would not recommend another woman date them and cite examples of their previous abuse?

Because otherwise you are normalising the abuse aren't you? You're saying to those women that these men are fundamentally nice, good people who are worth spending time with and developing friendships/ relationships with. You are helping to hide abuse behind closed doors because publicly you are showing that these men aren't that bad as they are not ostracised, compelled to get support for their abusive behaviour, given 'tough love' or anything negative that should follow from being abusive.

How would you expect a woman who meets one of your good looking, charming, popular male friends to know he is abusive?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Feb-13 12:42:15

OP, this article was posted elsewhere on the site today

have a read of it and see how things can so badly wrong, no matter how much you think you might be able to spot a no-mark

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 12:49:39


No - not really friends with them. I stick to a handful of friends I know from uni - and don't really add more on top, to be perfectly honest. These were guys I used to know in my "clubbing days". Of course, there are some around me, I can't cut myself off from, although I suspect they would be crap husbands. You can't escape them in the male-dominated industry I'm in - and are prone to having tantrums like toddlers would. But those are merely colleagues, not friends.

I've told plenty of friends not to go for certain guys, which works very well with my closest friends - but that's because we are so close (almost like sisters) that we used to seek each other's approval before going out with anyone. And there were some guys who would have asked me out, had it not been for the intervention of my friends and vice versa. To guys, that may have looked "stuck up" and "snobby", but it was really just everyone looking out for each other, and knowing that your friend deserved better.

Back in "my days", I actually told some women (who did not happen to be friends) to leave some of those guys behind or not go out with them in the first place. However, this sometimes did not go down well (to the point of having abuse thrown into my face), as they often seemed to think you have ulterior motives for doing so. Therefore, after a while, you just give up... which is incredibly frustrating, as you've seen what happened before, and know what's going to happen next.

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 13:13:58

You know what - I don´t believe you´re real. This has to be some absurd way of pisstaking ... or trolling?

You seem to have a rather cushy place in society, good job (telling people what to do, how stressful); you have a very distinct idea of your ideal husband, obviously some form of that came your way. You emphasize your logic, you don´t talk about feelings. You seem to have friends who can just fulfill you requirements, you don´t want any more ....
How on earth, if your life is just so Marie-Antoinette-ishly perfect, do you find the time and the idea to visit a site like this and start an oh-so-harmless thread like this? For human experimentation? How quickly do the protests come? ... Sorry, no, don´t think you´re real. You seem to be more like that Liz- Jones- character in the Daily Mail.

Oh, and two other things:
- Pray tell me, which is the culture that does not use "Thank you" and "Please". That would just be too good to know!
- Far too much mentioning of "Twighlight"! Is this marketing?! Don´t know the books, don´t know the movies, am just not interested. Where does your obsession come from?!

dondon33 Mon 18-Feb-13 13:20:47

I don´t believe you´re real. This has to be some absurd way of pisstaking ... or trolling?

I'm with you!
Exactly the reason why I've stayed out after my initial twopeneth's worth of reply.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 13:23:55

If someone had a tantrum at my work more than once I would expect them to be in disciplinary proceedings assuming it was stress related rather than aimed at a colleague in which case the first tantrum should be met with disciplinary proceedings.

If in your male dominated industry you indulge and expect toddler tantruming behaviour from male colleagues, why would you think others would expect better from the men in their relationships? Again, if these men were sacked for behaving like this or ostracised by their colleagues it may give the women that get tangled up with them a fighting chance of realising these men aren't good before things get complicated via marriage and children.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 13:25:07


Most of those "early warning signs" in that article embodies what I seriously do not like in people, and have, very, very little patience for.

The No. 1 point is "A Blamer". My grandfather - a very catholic man, so pardon the usage of "God" - used to say: "God gave you everything you need to succeed in life. Two legs, to arms, and a head that is hopefully filled with a brain. Don't blame anyone else when things go wrong. Simply find out how to make things right. You'll save time that way."

So my patience would already wane there, and it seems to just get worse as you go down the list. The last one, "Rusher", would have scared me off as I did have a bit of a fear of commitment.

"Sarcasm" is the only one I wouldn't have minded - but my idea of sarcasm is very different from that quoted in the article...

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 13:25:49

It's probably a man tbh!

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 13:36:03


Disciplinary proceedings don't apply to very senior management (i.e. someone with "Chief" assigned to their name) - read about Fred Goodwin. He would have fallen into the tantrum category, and nobody stopped him from destroying the country's finances! So you expect me to do this singlehandedly?!? I did complain about men twice to HR (at two different companies). Those men actually complained back, and HR (in both cases a woman) listened to them rather than me, because they were more senior, and in the second case, he used to buy her very expensive presents. hmm They made my life hell, but in each case, I just moved to another firm.

My colleagues knew about this, and were very understanding. But this was around the time that everyone was shit-scared of losing their jobs. And yes, I would sack them if I was at the top. But I wasn't back then, and the company I'm in now is - thank God - a lot better than that the ones I was in before.

P.S.: Those men (and the particular women in HR) are still on my blacklist. I do think that one day, I will get my revenge... angry

minkembra Mon 18-Feb-13 13:48:39

I too think this is basically trolling. OP did not ask, what are the early warning signs or I want to understand this so DD does not go through it.
it basically said, I know how to avoid this because I am so logical, why isn't everyone like me?

this idea what women are partly to blame (encapsulated in language such as ^bad choices^) for what happens to them in these relationships plays very much into the hands of the abusers who say well I do this to you because of who you are and you chose this.

women who have been in an abusive relationship or who are in one really don't need anyone else telling them that they somehow, unwittingly or otherwise brought this on themselves, they are already being blamed by their abuser and they do a fair amount of beating themselves up over it too.

tas the fact that you are in no way prepared to admit that you have worded your OP better suggests you are just out to stir it. you can play the innocent all you like for a lot of the women who have posted here this kind of attitude will be behaviour they are all too familiar with.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 14:04:30

I'm actually not trolling.

But after what plinkyplonks said - I am no longer going to apologize left, right and center. She has made me realize that I have nothing really to apologize for. I'm not the one who did you harm, though I admit I may have stirred up something that many may have wanted to keep hidden.

I know it's difficult to talk about this subject. And yes, you do make bad choices in life, and relationships do fall into that category, too. They are choices - some better than others. Making a bad choice doesn't necessarily mean you're being blamed. Or does "bad choices" not apply to relationships at all. I've made bad choices in the past, too!?

And as for * Pray tell me, which is the culture that does not use "Thank you" and "Please".* - I did say I say those words, but not in a bl**dy paragraph instead of a sentence (or really a maximum of two words). That seems to be unnecessary.

But oh well, why do I really bother. I'm off to my own cocooned world, where I shall never understand what anyone is going through.

And as plinkyplonks said: At the end of the day, there is little point in claiming your ex partner put you down, made you feel worthless etc when people are willing to do that to someone they haven't met for merely asking a question.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 14:05:38

Perhaps one of the reasons then that women end up in abusive relationships is that there are structural inequalities in our society?

Your posts blame women for putting up with men's poor behaviour (see your own comment about the hr woman). Women wouldn't have to explain, minimise, ignore, put up with etc. men's poor behaviour if men were better behaved in the first place and if society generally did not expect women to take responsibility for or police men's behaviour for them.

You're getting angry with the wrong people at the wrong level op. And, no I don't expect you to deal with men's poor behaviour at work singlehandedly. But yet, you expect women in abusive relationships to anticipate and know how to deal with their men's poor behaviour single handedly.

This thread would be quite handy to an abuser really; speculations on the type of woman to go for, guessing how much she'll put up with, the tricks for making sure they don't realise what you are before it's too late.
Strange, that.

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 14:14:40

Hahaha, this is just too funny! Tasmania has just singelhandedly performed that vicious circle that EAers do. Now she´s angry, threatens to leave and expects others to apologize! I really don´t believe this.

Oh, and by the way, a question to all you Brits: is it really customary to use paragrahphs full of "Please"s and "Thank you"s in your wotkplace- emails? Can´t see any such paragraphs here!

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 14:15:04


I don't expect women to deal with men's poor behavior singlehandedly. That's impossible, and anyone who tells me they can "tame" their men... well, let's not talk about that. But I do think that if you know there are problems, you can walk away (assuming you have the support structure in place).

And yes, I have a big gripe against those women in HR, because in a way, they were abusing their positions, too. As said previously, abuse is not just between men and women. Sometimes, it's actually by a woman against a man. So, in that case I would wonder why the man does not just walk away? Or would that be wrong for me to ask?

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 14:24:11

And you know what´s also suspicious: OP, you seem to be the only person who joins this site not because of a problem you have, but with the (rhetoric, I must assume) question: Why do so many women have a problem?!

plinkyplonks Mon 18-Feb-13 14:30:42

Guys, this really has to stop? Isn't this thread just getting derailed through some really aggressive comments. I really don't understand why you are all so angry. The OP has a different life perspective than you, hasn't had a hard enough life, gone through a bad relationship.... etc? That's not his/her fault. Trying to play the blame game - the OP hasn't tried to, so why are you? More to point - it's completely off topic.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 14:31:43

What do you mean? I didn't just join the site. Yes, it's the first time I posted in the "Relationships" part of the forum. But that is just another part of the bigger Mumsnet forum?

ArtVandelay Mon 18-Feb-13 14:49:50

For what its worth, I reported this thread last night and MNHQ seem satisfied its a 'real' poster.

I don't think I got aggressive, just took the pee a bit. The whole thing just seems really off to me... I mean if I went on the Weightloss area and asked 'why do you lot get so massive? Can't you see where its heading by the time you hit x stone? I don't get it - I don't eat much, why don't you stop eating so much?' Then I would expect to be torn to bits and I'd deserve it. It would be rude, superior and unnecessary. I just feel that this OP is driven by bad motives. Sorry for people that have got upset - please take no notice.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 14:57:25

Perhaps the women in hr were being led by example? It is hard to go against the status quo after all, particularly if you are not in a position of power. You have experienced this yourself, so you perhaps have some empathy for this felt and how others might find it more difficult than you did?

plinkyplonks Mon 18-Feb-13 14:58:41

ArtVandelay I could understand this sentiment if the poster asked.. why are you all so stupid?! But they didn't - and I'm a little confused why people are inferring this from the OP's original post. I just don't see it :/ I think the equivalent on a weight loss forum of asking what has triggered your weight gain. It's a neutral question, obviously on an emotive subject, but that doesn't give us the right to attack the OP proactively seeking a different view on life. Even if you place the OP's own motives for posting aside, this forum helps many hundreds if not thousands of people (who may not post a reply but simply digest the experiences we have here) so there is hardly ever a 'useless' question asked on this forum.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 15:05:06

HandbagCrab - one of the HR women was actually in a significant position of power, because she wasn't just covering HR - she was higher up than the man in question. Though I can't expose anything more than that.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 15:07:26

^^P.S.: People referred to her as Cruella de Vil impersonated... if that helps.

ArtVandelay Mon 18-Feb-13 15:13:51

Plinky your last statement is very true. I agree.

I still think that 'what has triggered your weight gain? I am thin and know when to stop eating, why don't other people?' is wierd if not downright nasty.

Stupid was implied quite strongly by the fact that the OP states her head is so packed with logic that she can see what non-logical women cannot. Abuse is the result of not being logical. I have a problem with that notion, I see other people did too. Fair enough.

I'm happy to agree to disagree on this one.

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 15:17:10

Ah well, least this woman was high up and forthright op! I bet she didn't get abused...

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 15:29:35

ArtVandelay - As said previously, I do think that "logic" is relative. It's based on experience. For others, something may seem logical, when for me, it simply isn't. Most of the time, I know very well that it's not because of stupidity, but because I know that that person figured out something I didn't. That's why, as past posts have said (not mine, and as we know it does not apply to all and sundry), if you do come from an abusive environment, you may be more likely to accept it in future because you don't know it anyway else. So while for me, it would be logical to "move away" from such a relationship, for that person, it isn't because they view it as the norm.

As a matter of fact, as we are using the analogy of dieting - I do know what you mean with it being annoying when people just say what you say above on dieting forums - but from experience (because I find it hard to lose weight), I know that some people who have zero problems with fat have naturally fast metabolisms, and burn fat quicker... or actually, most just live a much more active lifestyle than me.

BUT I do not blame them for having a fast metabolism or being more active, or even wondering why I do not do more sport (I'm wondering as I type why, actually!)> And I don't think by saying that, they mean to offend. Sometimes, just a little bit of showing how it is from your side goes a pretty long way.

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 16:11:18

"Logic" goes back to the greek word "logos" which means "word" but also "reasoning". It has only partly to do with experience, it has also got to to with the ability to articulate oneself coherently. If you say you are able to use logic to differentiate right from wrong people while others can´t, that implies these others lack the ability of coherent thinking. This is not a neutral statement.

Anyway, I´m sorry plinky, I´m far from wanting to stir something up here and I´m willing to apologize for some of the outlandish insinuations I have made. But I still think it´s a weird way to open up a conversation. Artvandelay has given a great analogy, I give another one. What if you start a conversation at a party with the sentence "I have always been good at gymnastics, I can´t wrap my head around why some people aren´t athletic enough to do the splits." ... It´s a weird opening, it´s not neutral, it divides people into those who can and those who can´t. It may not be offensive, but it´s just ... weird.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 16:16:25

scarredbutalive I'm sorry, but just as with the diet analogy, I would not mind the gymnastics one either? Says she who couldn't do the split when her cousins all could...

HandbagCrab Mon 18-Feb-13 16:21:26

I've met women who despite all the warning signals were blinded by greed (can't be just love of food). These were women who had already shown signs of being obese.

Why don't people just stop buying unhealthy food and stop eating so much?

It's hardly a neutral proposition if you were to write that on a weightloss forum is it?

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 16:34:16

I am a member of weightloss forums - and this would have been my reply:

In my case, it started with an accident that made it difficult for me to do sport. So I put on weight, and granted, I thought I could continue eating what I've eaten before. Lightbulb moment after several months. I couldn't. Losing weight without doing sport is difficult when you've been used to a certain amount of food. Dieting is not as easy then. I am trying to buy more healthy food (although, admittedly, I just ate some fattening vanilla ice cream!!), and restrict my intake. I hope this will help me to lose weight - and I'm looking forward for that day in my life, when I can look into the mirror, and see not the person I am now, but the one I want to be.

foolonthehill Mon 18-Feb-13 16:38:36

since Tas is obviously unoffendable, s/he won't get that her posts are offensive to some...clearly gymnastics, diets, etc. don't ruffle the feathers at all!

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 16:40:30

I repeat: it´s not offensive, it´s just weird. It´s not necessarily something you "mind", it´s something you react to with "Huh, what could that possibly be about?!"

Why are you picking just some things you answer and leave the rest uncommented? And: what enlightenment did you expect out of this thread? Did you want an honest question answered? Did you want to get/ give information? Did you want to bond with people? Did you want to gain real insight? Did you get what you want?

handbag No, you´re right. It´s not neutral. It ´s like to start a converation with a bad bait.

Tasmania Mon 18-Feb-13 16:53:58


Actually, I chose to answer quite a few things, despite the rather abusive comments that were thrown at me. People can't expect others to read their minds, and know that from your side of the world something might seem offensive that from my side of the world no one would think it is. The questions I asked get asked quite frequently by fairly innocent women in RL who never had the trouble of having to see things from your side.

I just wanted to know why people stay in abusive relationships or why some (not all) continued dating certain men, despite the early warning signals, or even comments by friends.

This is probably one of those sensitive cases (like the subject of ethnicity) where people get offended by things that those not affected don't seem to get offended by.

YNK Mon 18-Feb-13 18:46:41

People have tried to open your eyes op, and you just keep saying you can see perfectly well with them closed <sigh>

scarredbutalive Mon 18-Feb-13 18:51:58

Yeah, well, your last post did not make any sense at all. Have you switched personalities?

Whatever, I, me, personally have learned a lot here. Trust your instincts, trust yourself. There are a lot of people here I would like to meet and to talk to. There are a lot of people with genuine problems. I´ll never meet them. It´s okay. It was helpful to know they are out there. I would like to help them, too. "If I could, I would, ...

TimidLivid Mon 18-Feb-13 22:32:24

I will say I was young my dm made me feel worthless I had nofriends no experience and thought that iwas stuck then had chidren and its even worse when I tried to leave me parents told me to sort it out and whens its bad I wait for the good bits as marriage is meant to mean something and sometimes its good for years sometimes bad but its all I know . I don't know how to be angry or be nasty or be assertive the words just stick in my throat so being too nice is a curse

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 19-Feb-13 00:36:59

I've been having a bit of a think about this thread, and there is something about being in love - this is a pseudo-psychotic state, as is infatuation, which imho is a similar yet different state [inane grin] This state often involves the suspension of logic...

This is a wonderful feeling we seek to hang onto or recover, when, inevitably, it fades. And it's one designed to stop us looking too closely, while still responding to a fit (in all senses of the word) male.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think I captured that, and projected it onto my ex, so that he always looked like the him I first knew iyswim. And I went for seeking that emotion in myself, rather than realising, from his behaviour, what kind of man he had become.

My/?our love came and went, I expected it to ebb and flow, and I feel the Who captured the pattern as it was until I began to wake up, partly with the help of Mumsnet:

'Our love was famine, frustation
We only acted out an imitation
Of what real love should have been
Then suddenly ...

Our love was flying
Our love was soaring
Our love was shining
Like a summer morning

Flying, soaring
Shining morning
Never leaving
Lying, dying

Is this the natural ebb and flow of a happy longterm relationship? Or the classic cycle of abuse? Charm, transitioning to abuse, switch back to charm when needed, transitioning to abuse...

My bloke didn't have the classic charming side to him but I was biased towards hope, and his behaviour did not involve violence or calling me a cunt. It was much more insidious than that - belittling, dismissing. And when our fortunes improved, he showed that earning a living was not high on his priorities. Nor was sharing the housework, though for the last 20 years of our marriage he was nearly always in the house.

Yes, I knew he had faults, from when I first met him, and I was and am sure that I have faults of my own. And then that glorious time when the faults melt away... and then reality creeps up on you.

I have got 2 lovely DC though, and I managed to keep my friends despite my ex's rather hermit-style approuch to life, though my mental health was being damaged by living with Ex.

Since I divorced him, I am in ongoing recovery smile

So ladies, if you do find yourself in this kind of situation, don't waste energy on bemoaning your own shortcomings - make a plan. Start with checking out the financials...

melbie Tue 19-Feb-13 01:33:32

Because I don't feel like I am worth it really either.

ParsleyTheLioness Tue 19-Feb-13 18:41:40

Melbie we're all worth better than being abused thanks

northlight Tue 19-Feb-13 20:18:25

Maybe if you listened to this play, OP, you might gain a little insight into the complexity of domestic violence.

It's about half an hour long but in a fairly concentrated way it illustrates many common features of an abusive relationship - including the victim's hope and belief that the abuser might change.

For those who are in, or have escaped, an abusive relationship be careful of triggers.

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