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To ask what a decent guy is like?

(38 Posts)
BlueJayBear Thu 24-Nov-16 14:20:32

In the past week, I have realised that what I thought was me realising I'm in a simply unsatisfying relationship that we were never compatible for etc, was actually an emotionally abusive one - and actually from fairly early days.

I'm leaving him - and soon - but this revelation has hit me. I've started reading around the subject and it seems that his is a classic profile, and has had a huge impact on me. It also seems that I've probably never had a healthy relationship.

I'm going to have to get some proper help when I've moved out and things start to settle because frankly, I have no idea how I will ever trust a guy again.

So I was wondering - if there was a profile for 'Normal, Loving Type' a la these 'abuser profiles' - what would it look like?

Gileswithachainsaw Thu 24-Nov-16 14:24:07

No idea here either. Not sure I'd recognise one myself

The only thing going lower than my opinion of men is my opinion of myself

Well done for getting out I hope you can access the supoort/help you need. It's good you realised . flowers

Artandco Thu 24-Nov-16 14:26:29

Just a decent human similar to you.
My Dh does everything I would do, and every is equal. He asks my opinions and we make decisions together. He doesn't stop me doing anything I want and equally cares for our children

Leanback Thu 24-Nov-16 14:28:33

It's hard op because sometimes those abusers hide under good characteristics until you are in too deep to realise.

I'd say the number one characteristic to look out for is respect. Is he happy to let you pay for things some of the time. Does he think your relationship is a partnership. Does he not expect anything in return for gifts (expensive gift giving is always a red flag to me!!!). Does he compliment you on your jokes and your intelligence. Find out about what interests him about you. I think that's very telling.

Unfourtunatelt there is no manual on finding a healthy relationship. I'd recommend you trying the freedom project though if it runs near you. flowers

DesignedForLife Thu 24-Nov-16 14:30:32

Does nice things for you without expecting anything in return. Compliments you and really means it. Understands that sex isn't a right but a joint consensual thing. Never puts you down in front of other people. Admits when they are wrong. Makes efforts to put things right. Does his share of chores and kid duties. Treats you like a best friend, and a sexy lady. Has respect for you. Can have an argument without going off in a childish huff or manipulating you into thinking it's your fault. Is nice to you and other people.

BuggerOffDailyMirror Thu 24-Nov-16 14:36:07

I'm really lucky in that I have a lovely DP but I had a massively emotionally abusive father, so I've seen both sides of the coin. I don't think there is really a "profile" as such for good people, i think it's more about how they generally make you feel rather than how they are iyswim?

For example, DP's soul purpose in life is to make me happy. If I'm sad about something or struggling, he makes it his mission to cheer my up or to make me laugh but seems to know in advance if I just need some space and a bit of time. If that's what I need, he switches into responsibility mode and will take on everything in the house so I can pop out and go swimming for some time alone. In contrast, if my father saw my mum was in a bad mood or not happy, he'd belittle her and accuse her of being miserable for no reason, or minimise how she was feeling and tell her she was hormonal hmm If she told him she needed space (he'd never figure this out himself) he'd play the victim and pretend to be hurt that she didn't want to spend time with him and badger her constantly about nothing.

If DP and I disagree on something (politics usually!) we talk about it and put our points across. Usually this ends with "I can definitely see what you're saying, I just think differently" and it's never more than that. Whenever politics is brought up in front of my Dad, he would literally lecture whoever he was talking to for about 10 minutes in great tirades of hatred for any views but his own. If you dared disagree with him, he'd make up statistics on the spot and quote them at you. If you didn't believe them and accused him of having made them up, he'd essentially scream at you and accuse you of not being able to argue without resulting to personal attacks hmm

I think the main difference is an abuser is all "me me me" in a relationship whereas a good partner is "us us us".

BuggerOffDailyMirror Thu 24-Nov-16 14:38:05

I'm really lucky in that I have a lovely DP but I had a massively emotionally abusive father, so I've seen both sides of the coin. I don't think there is really a "profile" as such for good people, i think it's more about how they generally make you feel rather than how they are iyswim?

For example, DP's soul purpose in life is to make me happy. If I'm sad about something or struggling, he makes it his mission to cheer my up or to make me laugh but seems to know in advance if I just need some space and a bit of time. If that's what I need, he switches into responsibility mode and will take on everything in the house so I can pop out and go swimming for some time alone. In contrast, if my father saw my mum was in a bad mood or not happy, he'd belittle her and accuse her of being miserable for no reason, or minimise how she was feeling and tell her she was hormonal hmm If she told him she needed space (he'd never figure this out himself) he'd play the victim and pretend to be hurt that she didn't want to spend time with him and badger her constantly about nothing.

If DP and I disagree on something (politics usually!) we talk about it and put our points across. Usually this ends with "I can definitely see what you're saying, I just think differently" and it's never more than that. Whenever politics is brought up in front of my Dad, he would literally lecture whoever he was talking to for about 10 minutes in great tirades of hatred for any views but his own. If you dared disagree with him, he'd make up statistics on the spot and quote them at you. If you didn't believe them and accused him of having made them up, he'd essentially scream at you and accuse you of not being able to argue without resulting to personal attacks hmm

I think the main difference is an abuser is all "me me me" in a relationship whereas a good partner is "us us us". To an abuser, the most important thing is they are happy, whereas in a functional relationship the importance is on if "WE" are happy. It's hard to explain confused

BuggerOffDailyMirror Thu 24-Nov-16 14:38:22

whoops double posted blush

KatharinaRosalie Thu 24-Nov-16 14:39:37

For me the main thing nice, decent partners do is treating you with kindness and respect. Most other things that make them decent are related to those 2.

crayfish Thu 24-Nov-16 14:42:08

The actual characteristics and personality will vary depending on what makes somebody compatible with you obviously, but in terms of a relationship I think you are looking for somebody who makes you feel 100% loved, respected, desired and secure. Also somebody who is 100% committed to being a 'team' with you and will work with you to compromise and resolve issues so that you can both be happy. Somebody who makes your happiness as much of a priority as their own.

They are out there. I didn't think so, but I found one.

albertcampionscat Thu 24-Nov-16 14:43:16

What artandco said. The same stuff as makes a decent friend/colleague/relative.

BlueJayBear Thu 24-Nov-16 14:43:28

The mad thing is, it all seems so... unrealistic! It's like I've been living on a different planet. I honestly thought that all men were a bit unkind and not nice.

humblesims Thu 24-Nov-16 14:44:00

It is about respect as others have said. I'm married to a decent guy luckily and he is the one person who I can truly be myself with. There is no 'front' to either of us. We can both feel comfortable to be exactly what we are for good and bad. He respects me and trusts me and the feeling is mutual. We support each other but also have independence to do things apart. A decent guy is someone who you feel comfortable being yourself with.

Eolian Thu 24-Nov-16 14:54:51

I think sometimes that the nasty abusive side of some men is the flip-side of the treating you like a princess, putting you on a pedestal side. For some men, women are never equals but need putting in their place (either by being patronised and prettified or by being shouted down and abused). For me, being 'treated like a princess' would be a big red flag. It's not a normal or realistic way to be treated.

A normal loving partner is just like any other decent person (friend, family member etc). They treat you kindly and decently. And as a partner they share responsibilities and decision making. They speak in a civilised way to you, don't shout or call you names, are supportive about your problems, ambitions and efforts in life. They don't seek to undermine you or stop you doing things you enjoy or seeing people you like. They don't belittle your opinions.

Freedom2016 Thu 24-Nov-16 15:00:25

The chaacteristics and behaviours that are important for me have already been mentioned

Kindness
Respect
Honesty
Loyalty
Working as a team and supporting each other

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 24-Nov-16 15:12:50

An ex boyfriend of mine (who was abusive) was:

- Controlling. Told me what I could and couldn't wear, who I could see, asked me where I was all the time

- Overly-sensitive. Would take offense at the most minor things. I had to watch how I spoke around him as the tiniest thing would set him off. I constantly treaded on eggshells to avoid upsetting him.

- Hypocritical. He could speak to other women but I wasn't allowed to speak to other men.

- Creepy. He was such a creep - wanted to turn me into his "ideal woman"...wanted me to go and get tattoos, piercings, dye my hair, dress a certain way, just to please him and what his fantasies were. (I didn't do any of that btw).

- Manipulative. Used to constantly use emotional blackmail and manipulations to get me to do what he wanted.

My current partner is:

- Easy-going.

- Trusting. Doesn't constantly text or call me, doesn't ask where I am all the time.

- Loving. Compliments me, cuddles me, tells me he loves me without it being a control thing (ex used to say he loved me but only because he wanted to hear it back).

- Uncontrolling. Doesn't tell me to dress or act a certain way. Accepts me for who I am. Doesn't have an issue with me having male friends.

Also he wouldn't know how to manipulate me if he tried. It's just know who he is.

Artandco Thu 24-Nov-16 15:17:49

Most men are not like that imo. The majority rather than minority are genuine

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 24-Nov-16 15:23:59

I think it's worth talking to them about their friends, relatives and past relationships. A man who talks kindly and affectionately about his DM, DSis, past girlfriends and female friends (without being overly invested in them) is normally a good bloke.

Certainly DH was taught how to be a decent human by his DM and DSis and, even with a narc DF, he is a good 'un.

TrueBlueYorkshire Thu 24-Nov-16 15:56:40

You could probably sum it up in four words. Easy going and caring.

paulapantsdown Thu 24-Nov-16 16:04:07

Sometimes he can be a knob - and so can I! Sometimes he can be irritating/annoying/grumpy - and so can I!

A good / respectful partnership is one where you care about each other and don't deliberately hurt each other, and if you do, then you say sorry and mean it.

My DH is my partner and comrade, we don't always agree, but we have each other's back against the world. We would never put each other down in front of others, or be spiteful or mean to one another. This does not mean we don't have healthy, air clearing ding dongs now and again!

BlueJayBear Thu 24-Nov-16 16:05:12

Thanks - this is giving me hope! I look at the guys my sisters are with - one dotes on her and is very kind and seems genuine but you never know what goes on behind closed doors.

Outwardly, my OH comes across okay - although he's never been that keen around my family... but it's the stuff that goes on out of sight that is hardest - and the most damaging.

I think the test will be looking for future red flags - and hoping they become apparent before things get serious, or before moving in. It's so hard. It's genuinely mind-blowing that there are decent guys out there.

KatharinaRosalie Thu 24-Nov-16 16:09:57

In our household, there is nothing going on behind closed doors. We treat each other the same as we would when there are other people around, the kindness and respect are not a show.

ShowMePotatoSalad Thu 24-Nov-16 16:12:10

KatharinaRosalie - really good post. This is so important...it's a big warning sign if the person you are with changes when you are around other people/in public as opposed to just you two/in private.

IDreamOfPeace Thu 24-Nov-16 16:24:28

OP, sorry you've been part of an abusive relationship. I hope things get better for you and you find a man who treats you how you want and deserve to be flowers

A 'decent' man is many things to many women, but I would describe one like this:

He respects you, your wishes, opinions and loved ones.
He never orders you around, tells you what to do, or demands anything of you.
He never tries to control what you wear, where you go, what you spend or who you see.
He would never insult you or belittle you.
He would never threaten you in any way shape or form.
He will never blackmail you or guilt you into things.
If you disagree on something then he'll discuss it with you rather than argue over it or shout at you about it.
He's loyal.
He tells you he cares for you/ loves you every day.
He asks you every day how you are and how your day has been, because he cares.
He compliments you.
He values everything you do for him and tries to do the same for you in return.
He works hard to make you smile every day, even if it's doing silly things that seem trivial.

Of course this works both ways and a decent woman is expected to treat any man they're with in the same way. It all comes down to respecting each other and working as a team. Your a couple after all, not one person there to serve the needs of the other.

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 24-Nov-16 16:28:42

A good partner "sees" you, really sees you: as a fully rounded human being, as an equal with tastes and interests of your own. In a committed relationship, a nice man will never give you cause for fear or distrust. The qualities I look for are kindness, integrity and humour. Kindness is by far the most important quality in anyone.

There are plenty of good men around. However people tend to repeat patterns. If you find yourself attracting bastard after bastard, best go into counselling to examine "unlearning" bad patterns. It's not your fault, but it is your responsibility, iyswim.

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