Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

if they hit you it's over? (trigger warning)

(90 Posts)

Just out of curiosity really.

If my partner hit me, even once, no matter what I'd said or done, I'd leave. It's the end of the 'healthy' relationship once you've physically hurt the other on purpose isn't it? (or tried to emotionally hurt/manipulate/threaten them).

Not trying to be goady, just wondered how many people would give another chance?

I wonder sometimes if I'm a little too OTT about this issue because my dad hit my mum sporadically over a long period of time & while I don't remember any of it I've been told enough to know that the first time is very rarely the last,

Sorry if this sounds navel gazing. Just wondered if anyone else has ever heard of the first time being the last time or it never escalating?

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 06-Apr-13 08:43:08

I strongly suspect that, more often than not, actual hitting/physical violence is the end product of a process, not the beginning. So the victim has been 'groomed' to tolerate worse and worse behaviour and when the slap finally comes they might rationalise it away... 'I pushed him too far'. 'it's my fault for making him angry', 'he only did it because he was drunk'... and so on.

I think anyone in a healthy relationship, on the other hand, would probably react differently.

babyhammock Sat 06-Apr-13 08:47:35

What cognito said. A hit doesn't come out of the blue in an otherwise happy healthy relationship. Domestic abuse is a slow growing control of the other person and there would have been a ramping up of emotional and verbal abuse before any hitting usually, where the other person's self esteem has already been damaged enough for the first time to not be the last.

macdoodle Sat 06-Apr-13 08:47:45

So so so so easy to say this from the outside. After the complete horror that was the 15 years of my marriage, and how hard I found it to leave and remain left, I will never judge anyone from the outside.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 08:51:58

What the others have said.

When you are in an abusive situation your whole perception changes. Would I now accept it? No.

I was punched, almost knocked out when pregnant and stayed. Yes it was (almost) a one off. The rest of the abuse, verbal and mental was far far worse for me that that punch. So don't make the mistake of thinking that anyone stays just because they absentmindedly have forgotten its not ok to be hit....or that physical abuse is the worst of all abuse.

Oh god yes, my dad met my mum when she's run away from home aged 17. bet he thought it was a dream come true!

Told my mum about his abusive dad first, got her pregnant with me, was brilliant during all this, then once she was pregnant started the put downs, then when she had me hit her once, when drunk (he did have a drinking problem) & said it'd never happen again. Got her pregnant with my brother (he really had to persuade her & offered to stay home with him etc...obviously never happened). Had carried on putting her down & making her feel like she wouldn't cope alone etc then when my brother was born all hell broke lose & she had to call my grandad to ask him to pick her up.

We were at a friends, being babysat so were safe but they'd got into another argument & he basically said he'd kill her this time & she just ran, no stuff, no time.

So glad I don't remember a thing! But I'm grateful she's told me so I'd leave at the first sign of 'grooming' iyswim. That's why when people post on here saying they think their OH's behaviour is getting worse/feel trapped/are scared/are being emotionally abused I tend to give a very blunt 'get out while it's easier' sort of response.

^ I don't mean to offend anyone who's been through it.

My mum's the strongest woman I know but she wasn't once, she stayed with him for years & it makes me MAD when people presume you can just walk out they have you in a mental headlock that you don't even always feel yourself, until you leave.

She told me at times that she genuinely felt like she could've avoided beatings by not doing certain things.

I can't imagine what that feels like to be honest.

macdoodle Sat 06-Apr-13 09:04:41

OrchardKeeper, you may thing you would leave at the first sign of grooming, but the very nature of this grooming is that you don't see it happening.
I was 24 when I met my XH with an amazing job travelling the world, 10 years later I was a snivelling, wreck, tiptoing on eggshells, giving him BJ's to keep him happysadsad almost bankrupt to keep his business going sad. It actually took another 5years (a very public affair and child with the OW, a pregnancy etc), to really leave. TBH the odd slap, push and grab was the very least of it.
Through all that time I continued working and functioning "like a normal person".
My mother was married to an abusive man and I was determined not to be like her. Fail.
My daughters will be the ones to break the cycle.

I just wonder if having read about this on MN or hearing other people describe it has helped people to see things in a different light or leave sooner than they would've?

I know for a fact I'd have been more likely to put up with the way DS's dad treated me if I hadn't heard all the above from my mum. I wonder how many people feel the same about MN or people they know that've been through it.

tribpot Sat 06-Apr-13 09:08:49

I suppose the other way to look at it is, if you hit your partner once - let's say a slap or a punch on the arm, would you consider that to be irretrievably the end of the relationship?

Sorry to hear that mac sad

Glad you're not in that situation anymore. DS's dad did start trying to 'put me in my place' early on and treated me like shit once I was pregnant. He actually laughed when I said I was leaving, saying something along the lines of 'I'd like to see you try. You want to be a single mum!? See how long tat lasts. You're failing your DS before he's even born'.

He slapped me when drunk once too...though that wasn't premeditated I don't think. That was alongside him going out all the time & me chasing around after him like an idiot.

I'm sure that's not the same as a serious abusive relationship, he was just an arse, but I'd have stayed much longer had I not had MN/my mum's story sad

I'd like to think I never would! No matter how badly I felt like it etc...

I've always told myself I would walk, as it's crossing a line & I don't think you can ever undo it really. It's just so disrespectful to the other party & never justified.

I think there are various factors involved (the main one, of course, being the presence of an abusive man). If you have some knowledge and understanding of the process, it can be easier to see such a man for what he is and walk away, but the nature of domestic abuse is to be slow and progressive - and don't forget the massive amount of propaganda to the effect that it's better for a woman to have a male owner partner than to be alone, that relationships need 'to be worked on' and that you can love him better...
Also, there are some abusive men who have a preference for women who appear strong and competent, and it can be the case that a woman who meets one of these men is too ashamed to tell anyone when she realises that she is being abused, and keeps thinking she can somehow 'make it alll better' by herself.

Agree with that sgb - I would've told someone to walk much earlier than I did myself with DS's dad & I thought I would've known better really. Still took a few months to leave after the first few put downs & the slap...because I thought it was maybe a reaction to an unexpected pregnancy & he'd 'calm down' if I was patient enough etc...

Obviously BS in the end but I can see how easy it must be to get sucked in & feel like it's your fault.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:18:16

I was on a thread earlier this week that suggested MN shout LTB far too early. My experience and that of others on here is that abuse starts early and starts with little 'excusable' incidents. Generally they start around pregnancy or new baby (vulnerable woman) and the excuses then get bigger (he can't cope with baby, reminds him of his abusive childhood, lack of sleep) so the abused starts trying to mitigate the triggers. Eventually they are doing all housework, all childcare, providing finances or being deprived and then completely broken down so further abuse whether verbal, emotional or physical happens.

It's rarely just a hit.

There is also a definite pattern as above to most abuse.

Would I recognise it starting again in my life? I have no idea so my boundary of tolerance is set very high. This has meant that I now have a lovely bloke.

So I'm really pissed when I read people on here trying to lower women's barriers to accept shit. You * don't have to*

That's what I'm getting at CL

I've been accused of crying 'gtfo' too quickly but I just really do think that it's not worth waiting around to see if it escalates as it should just never happen in the first place & you should never feel like you're responsible for being treated badly. Everyone deserves a certain level of respect & to not be made to feel worthless by their partners.

My mum's left men who've showed 'early warning signs' very quickly ever since, though has had a few long term, healthy relationships so she's not seeing ghosts, as it were.

She just wouldn't even risk it now iyswim. What's wrong with not wanting to stick around to see if it gets worse? Is that really so unfair to the other party (if they've already done a few significantly shit things & you're feeling low/worthless because of a relationship)?

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 09:30:33

What Cogito and CL said.

I can remember vividly the first time my ex 'tested' the water so to speak. I was getting dressed and he said, "What would you do if I whipped you with this belt?" I looked him in the eye and said, "Don't you dare." So he did, right on my inner thigh, through my trousers leaving a welt that lasted days.

Had I been on MN, I'm confident I would have LTB sooner than I did as the idea of busting boundaries, low self-esteem and escalation would have been brought home to me.

Instead, I didn't tell anyone, and accepted his explanation of 'playfighting' because that happened in all relationships with people who have a sense of humour apparently hmm.

So I don't really care if I'm seen to tell someone to LTB too 'quickly' because all relationships take work blah blah blah. No human is worth having to wait and see if things get better if they're being given little glimpses into how bad it will get.

CockyFox Sat 06-Apr-13 09:30:55

Right well, my DH isn't abusive in any way. But he has hit me once, I can't remember what I did, I think it was something to do with packing for a holiday, I was only about 20 so pushing 10 years ago, I honestly don't think one punch is worth destroying an otherwise good marriage, if it is part of ongoing and esculating abuse then it should spell the end.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 09:33:28

Right well, my DH isn't abusive in any way. But he has hit me once


^ I think if you're already having issues or there's even a hint of EA going on alongside it or they're behaving disrespectfully in any other way then you shouldn't stay.

Obviously if it's like you describe that's different, though tbh I've never hit anyone out of anger/frustration, despite wanting to & I don't think I ever would. It's just not something I could do, unless it was self defense but that's probably because what my mum told me has scared me off expressing anger in that way at all & I've always wanted to be the complete opposite of my dad in every way.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:36:32

What SGB said about women fearing be alone making them tolerate unacceptable behaviour is very true.

I also liken it to an employment situation. Employment law says you cannot be hit, you cannot be treated unfairly or bullied.

Just why would you think being loved means accepting what you won't accept from a colleague or boss?

CockyFox: Since that one punch, have you ever disagreed with him, or refused to do something he told you to do, or continued to argue with him even when you could see he was becoming angry?

tbh, I'd leave even if they weren't 'abusive' and hit me, same as if I hit them. I just don't feel it's ever justified but if he's not done it again & isn't abusive in any other way then that's your choice.

CockyFox Sat 06-Apr-13 09:38:47

Well he isn't, that is my point there is nothing to be sad about. One day he lost his temper and thumped me in the shoulder. Never before or since has he been violent in word or deed. So I am just saying that in some cases a hit is a one off although I know this is rare.

It still shocks me how many women seem to post saying that it started when they became SAHMs or pregnant or financially dependent in some way.

I couldn't believe how sure DSs dad was that I'd stay because I was pregnant with his child, like it was a sign of physical ownership! Not that he was right, that line gave me the resolve I needed, cheeky git.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:40:33

If Cocky Fox says no to SGB then I'd say she made a decision which worked for her. However to suggest that anyone should have to stay after a punch rather than destroy a good marriage is where I take issue. Stay if you choose but don't encourage others to lower their acceptance

CockyFox Sat 06-Apr-13 09:41:39

And yes we have had some rows and he has got angry but now walks away. He regrets having let his temper get the better of him.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:41:42

X posted.

^ that's what I really dislike.

The idea that if you've been together a while you shouldn't throw it away, even if you feel it was wrong/want to leave because of it does really bug me.

glad that's all it ever was btw cocky'

CockyFox Sat 06-Apr-13 09:43:29

I'm not encouraging anybody to do anything, everybodies circumstances are different.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 09:44:49

Sunk Cost fallacy

Lueji Sat 06-Apr-13 09:45:01

It took my ex over 10 years to assault me a 2nd time, but he did.
The first time I slapped him first. Because he was being EA and it just got too much and nothing I was saying back had any effect, including asking him to stop.
I really should have recognised it and walked away then.
But people deserve a 2nd chance and yes I was a bit afraid of being alone.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 09:45:23

That was in reference to TheOrchardKeeper btw row it away, even if you feel it was wrong/want to leave because of it does really bug me.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 09:46:36

Urgh, can't even C&P correctly this morning

PearlyWhites Sat 06-Apr-13 09:47:30

My dh has never hit me and I do not doubt for a second that he would. But hypothetically speaking I would give just one chance but only one.

This is why I think it's so important to keep telling people that it's OK to dump a man. Also, it's fine to be single. You dump a man for making you unhappy or behaving badly and the worst that can happen is that you are single for a while - or even forever, but so what?
If you stay with a man who is showing signs of being an abuser, then the worst that can happen is that he kills you. Or your children.

I don't actually do second chances...Not if it's over something big. If they're that invested and care that much then the once is all it should take.

Yes, I am probably difficult but I'm bloody happier for it.

Sorry to hear that btw leuji
My dad went a year at longest between EA & PA so I just wouldn't trust the silence if you see what I mean? But when he did go for it he really went for it and was often shitfaced at the time so it was dangerous as hell every time.

he actually gave my mum grade 3 concussion during one episode which she doesn't know I know.

It does make me so mad that people said my mum should stay with my dad because he said sorry and it happened infrequently & they had kids & he was just a bit damaged. Some idiots really did say that to her, aged 20 with barely any experience & in a really vulnerable position. Some people sad

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:52:17

My partner asked me what I'd tell my DC about marriage. I think he was a little taken aback when I said 'make sure you don't invest more than you can risk and keep enough back to be able to leave'.

Romantic. That's me

Despite that hard cold analysis I am now a woman who is given flowers, gifts, cooked for, cared for, respected and feel cherished and loved. My relationship feels very romantic.

The fact that domestic abuse starts in pregnancy is no coincidence or due to stress etc. it's because the woman has suddenly shifted in a power balance to vulnerable

^ and that is why i frequently post quite 'harsh' comments on some threads when it's happened 'just the once' or there's EA involved.

It might seem OTT but the risk is pretty high & you don't always get a warning about how bad the next incident will be. Also, kids do not need a dad that beats their mum over a single parent mum. Ever

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 09:55:17

The song 'Because of you' by Kelly Clarkson never ceases to make me think of domestic abuse.

However my caution in a future relationship has made me strong and will keep me safe

^ agree CL

My mum's a different person entirely years later & very independent & strong minded. I can barely imagine the 20 year old version that went through all that. I'll certainly always be grateful I never had to see any of it as a kid. It's a lot easier to know all this about some bloke you don't remember than someone you identify as dad iyswim.

daffsarecomingup Sat 06-Apr-13 10:02:51

my xh was physically aggressive to me twice, whilst we were in the throes of breaking up. i am very aware of DV, although thankfully have never been in a relationship with it.
Around the same time I threw my keys at him, hitting him between the legs.
I don't believe either of us are 'abusive.' We were trapped in an empty marriage, awaiting the sale of the marital home. There was a huge amount of stress around at the time.
we are now best friends.
my point is that it's sometimes not black and white, and one or two incidents do not necessarily constitute an 'abusive' relationship

^ it does sometimes seem to be the nail in the coffin of an already dead relationship

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 10:04:48

When people accuse certain regular posters on the relationships section of being "the leave the bastard brigade" when what the op is describing is classic ramping up of EA, I do wonder whether they are just so fortunate to have a normal, healthy relationship that they simply have no idea what we are talking about (which would please me greatly if that were the case), or whether they in fact recognise patterns in their own relationship and are rejecting the EA label for themselves, because they aren't ready to deal with it.

Maybe that's it chub'

It's such an insidious thing & the very nature of it means you don't see it until you're well within it makes it very hard to explain or describe from the outside.

*to the outside

So if someone describes what sounds like the early stages, even if it turns out not to be, I'd rather err on the side of caution iyswim.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 06-Apr-13 10:08:41

My dad always says that the first time a man hits a woman it is 100% his fault. And every time after that, it is 100% her fault, because she should have left him after the first time.

I grew up believing that to be true. hmm

But then I started to understand exactly why that was a crock of shit. To understand how someone gets to the stage where they can be hit and not leave.

The shock, the fear, the low self esteem, declarations of love and regret, hope that it was just a one off... then the grinding down of someone until they believe that they deserve it, the twisting of them, the emotional abuse...

It's the total destruction of a person that normally starts well before the first blow.

(my husband does not hit me, btw, in case it reads that I have changed my mind due to personal experience)

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 10:08:49

Chub, I've seen examples of the latter a few times on these boards. Much more difficult to engage with compared with the former as there's a huge element of denial, rationalising and minimising.

It's just very hard to convey just how much 'work' goes into pinning you before the abuse starts. That's the thing. Lots of posters get angry when a woman doesn't run away that very night but it's just not that easy. A call to women's aid usually helps as they can reassure you that you are actually experiencing abusive & it's not because you have too little sex & the house isn't clean enough iyswim?

My mum says she was an absoloute shell after she left our dad, having been a VERY confident bubbly person.

Hissy Sat 06-Apr-13 10:14:25

Many of us who say LTB, can see where the ducks are beginning to line up, and where it all could, and given that abusers work to a script, probably WILL go.

It's not about projecting what we have gone through, it's meant as an early warning.

If you go into life with eyes open, it means you keep an eye on where the Exit is.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 10:15:03
deliasmithy Sat 06-Apr-13 10:16:14

I would say it depends on context and what you define as hit.

If you take "hit" to mean a deliberate and directed action at the other person, like a punch, thats a severe loss of control/breach of barrier around doing that to a partner.

its so difficult to say what I would do when its hypothetical. A one off shove, and I'd consider working through it. An unintended hit, maybe some time apart and evidence of seeking help and change in attitude. A deliberate punch and I'd like to think I'd end it.

I always thought I would leave. I didn't leave until he threw me out, then turned everyone I knew against me. He strangled me - I honestly thought I was going to die (still have flashbacks), punched and kicked me on 2 occasions and just generally fucked with my head. This was only a 6 month relationship and I couldn't leave sad he just had a hold on me, its not as easy as ltb.

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 10:34:51

I tried to watch that clip turnip linked and I couldn't. I literally started shaking when she was describing the beginning of her subdivide relationship - the idolisation, the isolation, the threat, the creation of fear. She could have been describing me at the same age. It's breath taking. I thought back then in my early 20s that no one would understand, that abusive men are lager swilling louts who stagger home from the pub and start shoving the missus about. Not professional, accomplished, charming,good looking men like my husband.

Everyone also said I wore the trousers in our relationship.

Ha! What a fucking joke.

TurnipCake Sat 06-Apr-13 10:40:31

I'm sorry Chub, wish I could give you a wanky virtual hug flowers

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 10:41:22

I was strangled until I thought I was going to die. In fact that comment has just brought back a fairly repressed memory. I'm crying. We then went out to the cinema. I was stunned, shocked, terrified and did what I was told. Life went on as normal. The DC were at grandparents so that we could have a night out. Had I not gone to the cinema and normalised things I'd have had to explain to my parents. I couldn't actually explain or admit it to myself. Life would have imploded. I was too shocked and disbelieving myself to act. Moment passed. Apology and excuses made. Still stunned I walked through the next few yrs until I left in a haze of misery.

When I did tell, people found it hard to believe. They thought it was a stunt pulled by me to ramp up sympathy in my divorce. Our outside life was normal. I'm a professional. I had no marks, no bruises. There is no typical victim of domestic abuse.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 10:43:30

I was strangled until I though I might die

We then watched Ali at the cinema. I don't remember much

Just those two sentences sum up the DA cycle for me

Abuse, normalised, covered up, disbelief, hope ....abuse....

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 10:44:45

It used to be a relief he actually hit me because I knew he'd be nice as pie for a few weeks after that.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 10:45:28

I agree with Chub about the two reasons which might make people deny DA is occurring. 1) ignorance 2) denial because it exists in their life

I agree with Turnip that ignorance is easier to deal with

Branleuse Sat 06-Apr-13 10:45:51

i dont think this is a very healthy thread tbh. Advice should always be to get out, but everyone has their limits.

I have experienced violence in relationships that didnt turn to abuse, even though the act at the time was certainly abusive.

Noone has the right to make you afraid

deliasmithy Sat 06-Apr-13 10:48:22

Chub - in some instances I have been one of those people where I have felt theres been an overly strong reaction to someone's post.

My reason for that is:

Some of the posts are incredibly direct and go straight to telling the OP to leave. Some people respond to this well. I think sometimes this could be put in a better way.

I dont have an EA relationship. I believe I am not in denial about this having seen and taken on board material from things like Freedom programme and Choices, read about it, etc.

That said, and this goes back to another of my frustrations with all this, id be lying if I said id never demonstrated any abusive behaviour ever. So would most people.
A couple of times I've shouted in the past.
We (the OH and I) had to both learn how to have healthy disputes not arguments. The key here is we both admitted these behaviours and were open to working on them. Not that it was easy.

I guess my point is that people who want to change can, with the right support.

I wouldn't judge or have any expectations however, as to whether that involved the support of a partner or not.

deliasmithy Sat 06-Apr-13 10:52:57

And for clarification, my response to Chub is not intended as a response to those saying they have suffered a high level of abuse over a long or short time.

Just to reiterate my comment at the beginning of my previous post, I have only felt that on some. I have read on these boards some clearly worry ing situation s indeed.

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 11:16:08

But no one on MN has ever told anyone to leave a good relationship because of one argument. That has never happened.

Sorry if anyone feels this was pointless/too upsetting.

Sorry to hear all your stories.

I just wanted to know if I was being blind to my own 'agenda' as it were when posting on relationships & if I should maybe tone it down a bit iyswim. It's hard to tell when it's something you feel very strongly about/have been affected by it.


FiftyShadesofTurkeyGravy Sat 06-Apr-13 11:30:17

(marking place - helpful thread....)

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 11:32:22

I don't think the thread has been unhelpful or unhealthy. I think the more we talk about these issues the better actually.

^ I didn't mean it to take this direction necessarily but surely if anyone in the early stages read this it might help?

And it's got a few good points on why women often don't leave straight away (or at all) & how it's quite a slow process & can literally happen to anyone.

(I do think there's a bit of a misleading picture painted about the working-class bloke who drinks too much & occasionally hits his OH. It really isn't like that)

(If anyone's watched this then they'll know what I'm getting at. Would advise you don't watch that film if you're easily triggered but it is VERY useful if you've never experienced it and is food for thought)

It's all well and good coming on to threads and saying that one hit/punch/shove is not abuse.

However, in most cases (and especially here) that act of physical violence is a symptom of systematic domestic abuse. In a lot of cases, it happens after a long period of EA because the abuser knows then that his victim won't just up and leave.

He'll have squashed her confidence enough to ensure that doesn't happen.

I would rather tell a million women to LTB and be wrong about ten of them!

It would do well, I think, for certain posters to remember that people on here respond to a variety of signs; treatment, language, communication, finances etc as well as any sort of violence when advising OPs because they know what they're seeing.

Sadly, sometimes it's textbook.

I've never seen a LTB for "my DH is so amazing and treats me with love and respect but last night I was screaming in his face for three hours and he moved me out of the way so he could leave", for example.

Posters are always very careful, IMO, to get to the root of the circumstances.

CabbageLeaves Sat 06-Apr-13 12:03:48

The thread has been upsetting because one sentence triggered my memory. However I would still want the thread to stand because I think it exposes a lot of the myths, misunderstanding that means domestic abuse goes unreported and is tolerated

I think most victims need to talk to people who understand, really understand as well

I do think it's hard to find support from people who 'get it'

My mum needed the most support after she'd left & had to rebuild herself entirely but felt very alone because everyone thought she was fine. After all, she'd LTB hadn't she...?

Am sorry if anyone has felt it's unnecessarily upsetting though.

Yes, I agree with Chub that the more we talk about these issues the more we help each other, especially for people living in what they feel are borderline relationships. One thing I think has been helpful to hear is that you don't need sufficient justification to leave. Really, if you're not happy it's something you should seriously consider - even though I do know it's rarely that simple.

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 12:09:27

It's inevitable that talking about this is going to be hard for those who have been there. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, if we feel able to.

I don't think for a moment you started this thread with the intention of upsetting anyone and I would be rather cross if it got removed.

I have always felt that there's a lot that goes unsaid about it, which leads to people not knowing what 'is' & what isn't abuse. It escalates, so what starts off as a bit of a put down & a shove will escalate.

The term 'domestic' makes it sound less violent & damaging than it is to IMO but nevermind!

No, you should mind Orchard - and I know you do !
The word "domestic" has definitely been used to down-play the severity of incidents as in the classic police drama style line "It's only a domestic"
Hopefully the police and society in general are moving on significantly from those types of attitude now.

the worst thing my mum ever told me was when he did it in public once & no one did anything. Apparently (when the police intervened, as they were luckily doing a street patrol at the time) onlookers said 'it just looked like a domestic'. (That was the same time he gave her concussion & knocked her out fully for the first time).

Because of that I'd intervene no matter how trivial it looked. You just never know. I really don't understand how people think it's somehow different to it happened between strangers. Surely it's worse when it's someone you live with!? hmm

Rant over. I know plenty of people probably would do something & she was just unlucky. But yep, 'domestic' does not mean the abuse is less violent.



Really glad to hear so many people have got out of violent relationships on here though, however long it took. It isn't easy & it takes a lot to make that leap.

I hope this thread helps anyone in that sort of situation & can show that there's plenty of people who've come out the other side & are doing much better & are 100x happier.

deliasmithy Sat 06-Apr-13 12:43:01

Chub - yes agreed ive not seen an example of saying "my relationship is completely perfect, what should I do"

Clearly there is some degree of a problem when people post asking for input.
Sometimes intuition or guessing what else goes on in that scenario outside of the limits of the original post is correct. Sometimes, it might not be. Sometimes, both parties might be behaving inappropriately. Sometimes, the female might be being abusive. Sometimes, I dont think there is enough info initially for jumping to conclusions, and encouraging the op to reveal a bit more is helpful.

I guess my point just repeats what others have said about difference between issues that are serious but resolvable, and those which are terminal.

there have definitely been cases of 'both as bad as each other' & generally toxic relationships that follow a different narrative to the abuser/abused relationships.

But even in a "bad as each other" relationship if we were being asked to give advice to the woman in that relationship probably many people would suggest moving on from such a situation - if it was seriously unhealthy for both people involved ? Perhaps one or both would be able to create a more positive and happier relationship with someone else ?

Chubfuddler Sat 06-Apr-13 13:20:52

Indeed. A man doesn't have to be the one at fault for it to be the right thing for a relationship to end.

We are just so programmed, all of us, to think of being in a couple as the default position for adult life. It shouldn't be. The default position should be to be happy. If your relationship gives you that, fantastic. But if it doesn't, why stay? Really?

^ I wasn't saying you should stay if it's toxic/just bad in general! Quite the opposite, just that it's a different situation to DV.

And thanks to my mum I've never felt like I had to be in a relationship. I left DSs dad expecting to be single for quite some time & it's only by luck that I met my DP really. I'd still have left if someone told me i'd be single for years though as I wanted better for me and for my son and being single has it's perks too to be honest. It's not all doom & gloom & at least you know you'll always treat yourself with respect, even if the EX wouldn't or others won't smile

Sunnywithshowers Sat 06-Apr-13 14:50:44

It was a long time between experiencing EA and him actually hitting me.

In fact, I was violent to him first. I punched him after he'd spent days following me around shouting at me. He convinced my family I was mad, and I was screaming in anger. He and my mother pinned me down on the bed. I had a breakdown of sorts shortly afterwards. He pushed me over at a party (in front of our friends) and I tried to kill myself that night.

And that was before we married. I spent another 6 years with him. People thought I 'wore the trousers' but I was a broken woman. And my violence gave him the 'right' to treat me like shit for years afterwards.

I grew up in a violent household and swore I'd never be in that situation. But I was, more than once. I grew up thinking I was worthless and this continued as an adult. My first relationship after my XH was with a man who was EA which took me a long time to see.

Sorry to hear that Sunny thanks

Are you safe & well now?

I do think some men seek out a certain type of woman (i.e ones with self esteem issues etc) as it makes it easier to start with. My dad was ten years older than my mum & she was literally this 18 year old that had run away from home & had no real support network (very cold upbringing, no affection etc was routinely told she was the 'bad egg' etc) & must've looked like easy pickings to be honest. It's sick but I think some men work that way.

I have been approached (when newly single) by a bloke who thought that because I was a single mum I'd be desperate to date him, despite him being a total mind fuck hmm

Isetan Sat 06-Apr-13 15:57:07

I ended the relationship after the first attack, I didn't want to but it was a significant event which I could've easily rationalie. However, if he had shown an ounce of remorse (his mother apologised more the he did) I would have stayed. The varying degrees of contempt and disrespect I had been subjected to while we were together didn't change but my tolerance for such behaviour was dramatically reduced.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to move out and even though I saw him for a couple days of the month he still tried to exert control through his petty behaviour during contact with DD. The second time he attacked me (13 months later) I nearly died. However, that moment of utter helplessness was empowering. My Ex could never take responsibility for his actions and was desperate to be seen as the good guy and when that was a tough sell he was always the victim. It was precisely this attitude which resulted him being charged with attempted manslaughter and being convicted and sentenced to three years.

The two acts of physical violence was nothing compared to the passive agressive bulshit during our relationship and the attempted bullying I suffered afterwards.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 06-Apr-13 16:41:13

Hi Orchardkeeper that was all years ago, I left abusive XH in 2001 smile

Am now married to a lovely man who is not the tiniest bit abusive. The difference is amazing. I've done a lot of work on my boundaries which has helped immensely.

Blimey Isetan, I'm sorry you experienced that sad

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now