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To say dv is often carried out by people who are 'charm personified'

(165 Posts)
notnagging Thu 14-Feb-13 13:52:19

Just got me thinking. I know people who's partners seem lovely to the outside world but are monsters behind closed doors. That's the whole point. When something does happen people don't believe it.

wordyBird Mon 18-Feb-13 19:09:24

moonstorm, I too would say to trust your instincts. I read the book TheNorthWitch mentioned and highly recommend it. As Gavin de Becker says, niceness and charm are tools:

"We must learn and then teach our children that niceness does not equal goodness. Niceness is a decision, a strategy of social interaction; it is not a character trait. People seeking to control others almost always present the image of a nice person in the beginning."

The intense eye contact sounds like 'the predatory stare', no 7 on this list

BertieBotts Mon 18-Feb-13 02:12:23

I agree Pag - I feel fairly often that I "spot" abusers, but you can't always tell. There was a guy at work who I really got on with when I first started. He seemed to get a bit of stick from the other staff members and I thought they were being a bit harsh, and then one day he had an argument with the owner, I happened to pass him in the staff room and he kicked and punched a wall in anger, it really shocked me, for the rest of the day there was this atmosphere around him which permeated to everyone. I asked one of the other staff on my way home if something was up with him and she shrugged and said "That's just him."

Over the next few months although I continued to get on with him when he was in a good mood (and I even minimised this first example of both violence and everyone walking on eggshells) I started to become aware of why people didn't really seem to like him - he was openly vile to his girlfriend who worked there also, and would quite often go into these moods where everyone had to tiptoe around him. He ended up getting moved to another store because we kept making complaints that he was harrassing her grin and got sacked from there eventually too. She still lives with him, though, and by all accounts he's still the same. Sad. sad

moonstorm Sun 17-Feb-13 21:15:37

Thank you, The NorthWitch, I realise it's hard to give an opinion over the Internet, but having someone understand helps! I will be careful not to be alone with him (not possible to avoid totally). And if he's perfectly nice and honest, then he won't care anyway.

TheNorthWitch Sun 17-Feb-13 21:07:22

Moonstorm you are not a terrible judge of character. It sounds like your instincts are operating quite properly but you are second guessing yourself because your creepy acquaintance seems 'so nice'. Try reading Gavin de Becker's The Gift of Fear and learn why you should never do that. Abusers often adopt a very nice and sometimes overly personal style to hide their real motives.

In the first chapter of de Becker's book he tells of a 'very nice and helpful' stranger who offers to carry a woman's shopping up to her apartment - then rapes her. He went on to kill another woman. Nice means nothing.

This guy makes you uncomfortable - focus on that.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 17-Feb-13 20:28:29

And yy to targeting strong women. I used to think what happened to me happened because I do fight back. I am a lairy, mouthy broad. I didn't initially just "take it".
Abusers see it as a challenge. They want to break you. They will do this by any means necessary.
The ONLY thing to do is walk. And fast.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 17-Feb-13 20:26:03

FWIW, my ex used to theaten to kill himself too. I still have a scar on my wrist from when I wrestled the knife off him.
Strangely, he has no scars, and is very much alive...

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 17-Feb-13 20:24:47

sadandtired he woun't fucking kill himself! And if he did, well no great loss quite frankly.
He is FAR more likely to kill you.

GinAndT0nic Sun 17-Feb-13 12:31:32

Completely nodding along with justgettingonwithit's post, it is an exercise in psychological re-wiring the way these characters can get you to feel that your responsibility is to them. My x did it to me.

FreudiansSlipper Sun 17-Feb-13 10:41:28

often yes but not always abusive people come in many different disguises

though a red flag even if it is just a gut feeling will often warn us very early on sadly we often ignore it or justify it as we want to see the good in people and they are good at making us see this

Jamillalliamilli Sun 17-Feb-13 10:28:52

Sadandtired you are not responsible for your (not so D)P, and the ‘family’ that he treats so badly breaking up will not kill him, trust me, his behaviour is learnt and all about making you feel for him instead of for your child.

As you say What he wants always comes first, any sign that isn’t happening and he uses a range of behaviours to enforce it and you’ve been ground down into accepting them.

You are responsible for her, and I’m sorry but right now you are allowing long term damage to quietly take place. He has successfully (intentionally or not) groomed you to believe that leaving his abusive behaviour is bad and wrong, and your responsibility is to him, and no one else, and that’s the lesson she’s learning too.

Breaking up with him won’t have a terrible effect on DD, it may bring short term unhappiness, because change is stressful, but staying with a man who treats her and her mum like this, while mum backs up the idea that it’s normal and the important thing is to put his wants first, live round his volatile moods and violence, now that will have a terrible effect on her.

Look at your little girl and imagine her in a relationship with someone treating her like this, what would you be saying to her?

We make mistakes, the trick is to forgive ourselves, sort them out and teach our DC’s better skills.

Call WA now. If you can’t do it for you, do it for her.

GinAndT0nic Sun 17-Feb-13 10:20:33

Things will get easier for your family though, when he has somebody new to control. It's awful but whenever my x has a new gf we breath a sigh of relief because he sticks to arrangements and doesn't pout and sulk and make digs left right and centre.

postmanpatscat Sun 17-Feb-13 10:15:27

My ex sexually, psychologically, emotionally and financially abused me. He emotionally abuses the Dc too and eldest wont see him because she's scared to be alone with him.

He is a school governor, church goer and actively involved in the worship, volunteer at a local amateur theatre and lay visitor at an immigration detention centre.

his latest GF moved in with him recently, I wonder how long it will be before she sees the real him.

moonstorm Sun 17-Feb-13 10:02:04

Instead of the 'dead' eyes, what about the far too intense eyes? There's a man I know (in a position to see often for a little while - think postman/ neighbour's gardener type role), who gives me the creeps, but I can't say why. I am a terrible judge of character, so try not to make my mind up for a long while. He is very, very nice - chatty etc, but he looks very intently when talking (think too much eye contact) and uses my name (and my husband's when speaking to him) far to much (is that even possible?? hmm).

Can't decide whether I'm being silly, or picking something up... I am very bad when someone is being very, very nice not responding nicely and find it hard to keep my distance with them..

GinAndT0nic Sun 17-Feb-13 09:06:32

Sadandtired... you have so many stages behind you now. The naive hope that he'll change is behind you. You accept it won't change. This is a big step, so you're not fucked. You have insight to move through this.

My x was drawn to independent strong women and then instantly tried to crush them back down. I believe you that you were very independent before this.

If you walk away from a nightmare you are not "breaking up a family". He didn't nurture what he had and it disolved around him. it is your prerogative to leave a dysfunctional relationship. You are not obliged to stay with him at the expense of your own sanity and happiness just to spare him some inconvenience.

He will probably rage and rant when you leave him. Disconnect. Trying to justify your decision to him will only feed his erroneous belief that you need his permission or approval to end this relationship. You don't.

I can see the state you're in now, and I recognise it. You have a heightened sense of awareness and responsibility for his emotions and pains. When I left my x I cried, for him , ha! the thoughts of it now that I'm out of the fog. I saw it through his eyes, how self-pitying he would be, and i cried for him, the man who'd terrorised me, verbally and financially abused me for years.

You can be Independent again. You can get the old you back. but you have to prioritise YOU and your daughter over him.

maddening Sun 17-Feb-13 07:55:31

Sadandtired - speak to womens aid now. Can you start a thread in relationships?

If dp kills himself that's his choice but don't let him destroy you and your daughter. His ego probably won't let him. (My ex used the suicide threat he is still alive)

Get help. Get counselling. Get away from him. Keep your dahhter safe.

sadandtiredone Sun 17-Feb-13 05:07:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

kickassangel Sun 17-Feb-13 02:31:54

I really need to start saving articles I read that I want to quote later.

A few weeks back read one that showed date rapes are often perpetrated by a relatively small number of men who deliberately target and isolate women, and that the same pattern is often seen in abusers. So those of you who work in charities in a small town, you probably will see some names recurring in a range of victims as they hone their skills and move on.

On the one hand comforting that there really isn't a vast army of men lurking in the shadows to get us. On te other hand, very worrying that it is so calculated and deliberate. I really think anyone caught committing abuse should be treated harshly, it is a very planned and subversive attack on another human being.

Darkesteyes Sat 16-Feb-13 16:02:56

They are not all street angels. Im guessing that the men who yell derogatory comments about my appearance when i sometimes walk past pubs in the town where i live, are the sort who will then go home and do the same and worse to their partners.

Adversecamber Sat 16-Feb-13 15:35:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Smudging Sat 16-Feb-13 15:00:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bottleofbeer Sat 16-Feb-13 12:35:41

My sister's ex now has a criminal conviction for assaulting her. There is a lot of SS involvement wrt their kids. He has a new girlfriend now (and for some reason felt the need to point out to my sister how much better looking the new gf is) I was at a core meeting on my sister's behalf last week and his probation officer told him she had to meet with his new gf to inform her of his conviction. He claims she already knows, he slowly sent my sister mental over the last seven years, so he's got his case made. She's mental, forced me to hit her. Sadly the new gf will likely go along with that. I've written about my sister in more detail on other threads.

He's insidiously desroyed any fledgling relationship she's ever had since they split. She meets someone, the ex suddenly can't live without her and promises marriage etc...the kids are on the at risk register and it's always been made very clear they are to have NO contact or legal action will be taken. IE the kid's go to my parents and they lose all custody. His desperate need to control her even now means he will actually risk legally losing his kids but on the outside he's the happiest, jolliest dad.

The comments about his eyes, I'm not saying hey were ever some big, red flag to me - this was just something that was so evident to me when it dawned on me what he is. Couldn't believe I'd missed it and it goes without saying some people might just have flat/lifeless eyes and be good as gold. To clear up any misunderstanding smile

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:56:06

and, a paedophile doesn't necessarily HATE WOMEN deep down, or in a fairly straight forward overt/"jokey" way like the text book abusive nark does. They are attracted to children but that doesn't mean that they're any more likely to HATE women.

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:52:57

AdverseCamber, is there a register held informally by a women's charity?. I know it wouldn't be a legal thing. But I feel I would like to give my x's name to some organisation. It is all behind me nwo, but he tried to strangle me, and then offered me a cup of tea five minutes later. I know it's behind me, and I don't want to stir up trouble, but is it right to walk off and not have it down on paper SOMEWHERE that he has 'form'. of course he would say that i'm a bad mother and that that should be recorded. 7 years of treating me like a bad dog, and the next woman would have the SAME uphill battle to be believed. it just doesn't seem right.

GinAndT0nic Sat 16-Feb-13 11:50:02

I hear you Pagwatch. And now that I thnk about it, my posts were all about men in abusive relationships with adult women. i think child abusers are a whole different kettle of fish because the acting role they are taking on is bigger, more complicated, more devious.... I woudln't feel confident I could tell if a partner was a child sex offender if he was also simultaneously being respectful and kind to ME. gosh what a scary thought.

Adversecamber Sat 16-Feb-13 11:16:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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