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AIBU to think that online support groups can sometimes do more harm than good?

(13 Posts)
tigercub50 Tue 04-Apr-17 22:46:38

I have been posting on an emotional abuse breakthrough group which has been helpful but now I am starting to think it has made me too suspicious & cynical. It can make you believe that every little thing means more than it does. Also a lot of the people on there are in narcissistic relationships & my husband is definitely not a narcissist or sociopath. I think I need to go on less or maybe back off altogether as he is trying extremely hard to make things better. Just wondered if anyone had experience of such groups/forums? It's American too which I guess can make a difference to the approach x

Meekonsandwich Tue 04-Apr-17 23:11:51

I think it depends where you are in your recovery.

I used to use elefriends ( a UK social media site for mental illnesses)

But after a while, I just got upset at what I was reading or just felt worse when I went on there. I realised that I needed to take a step away.

Also these groups are often unmanned and don't have enough professionals who can offer helpful advice, sometimes bad advice gets through.

if you can go in person support groups can often be helpful?

Meekonsandwich Tue 04-Apr-17 23:14:16

Also people on these groups see a tiny snap shot of your life. Only you can say how you felt and how it really was so often you get people on here saying "that's abuse" " or leave him" without knowing the full picture.

clairewilliams999 Wed 05-Apr-17 07:24:55

It's the same on any forum. You get an unrepresentative sample of people and it magnifies certain views. You need to take it all with a big pinch of salt. In real life most people don't use forums and the sort of people who do are not representative of the general public, just in the same ways that phone surveys don't give accurate reflection of the public as only a certain type participates

BewtySkoolDropowt Wed 05-Apr-17 07:29:15

They have their place. They are good as a starting point to get to a place of acceptance - it can help to see you are not alone, that others feel/have felt exactly as you do.

But there comes a point where you need to start to move on and change your focus, which is when these groups can stop being so helpful as they can keep you fixated on the problem, rather than assisting you to move away from it and into the life that you choose.

Asmoto Wed 05-Apr-17 07:33:48

I think sometimes one or two people who are very active in the group can end up being accepted as authorities whose advice is definitive, whereas in reality it's just another viewpoint.

tigercub50 Wed 05-Apr-17 08:48:35

A good example was yesterday - my husband is starting to realise that our DD is more damaged than he thought & he said he bitterly regrets what he did ( he was going to leave because he really thought that was the best thing for our family whereas before it was empty threats, although that wasn't in front of DD). He thinks DDs problems stem from then, which was a couple of months ago, but it goes back further & she & I have both been badly affected. He also said that he feels a failure. I put this on the forum & somebody came back very cynical, saying don't believe his remorse until he has actually got help & he is just trying to suck me back in. He is on the waiting list for CBT, which DD will also be having after the holidays. This reply made me go hot & cold & panicky if there's such a word! People on the forum have said before that he will probably find an excuse not to get outside help. From my point of view though, he really is trying hard to change the way he interacts with us & he is mostly keeping calm with DD which makes the whole atmosphere in the house different. But his behaviours go back years so he can't change on his own. I am trying to step back from him & not pressure him & also not be too sympathetic because he needs to know what he's done. And I guess replies like the one on the forum don't help me

Branleuse Wed 05-Apr-17 08:51:39

maybe theyre just advising caution, but it is very easy for others to just suggest splitting as though its not a monumental decision

tigercub50 Wed 05-Apr-17 09:07:09

I also get very cynical when he does something nice, which makes me sad. He has just suggested a trip out & yesterday he cooked tea, which is rare but only because he works. I really want to believe it comes from a good place & not that he is building up to saying he won't go to counselling. Before when we were due to go to couples counselling, he was extra nice leading up to it then refused to go at the last minute & had a right go at me for ( justifiably) being disappointed & upset. I hate feeling like this but I guess trust has to be earned back & it's the same for DD with her Daddy. She is wary too

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 05-Apr-17 09:34:45

Nope. In the above the advice given on the forum is realistic. If you're in an abuaive relationship which you know is affecting your child, the correct thing to do is get her out of that environment.

tigercub50 Wed 05-Apr-17 13:43:46

I did think about leaving over the years but since we had DD, it would have been me asking DH to leave. There is no physical abuse. He only speaks to me disrespectfully rarely & I immediately call him on it if he does & as I said the atmosphere in the house is generally so much calmer. The main thing that needs to change from my point of view is DH deflecting when I tell him something has upset me - he turns it around & starts to tell me what I do to him. Very frustrating! He also needs to tell the difference between a minor disagreement or something that could turn into an argument. But there is no more yelling ( actually I am the one more likely to shout at DD & I have always had a bit of a short fuse there) & as I said, DH is trying so hard to be a better husband & father.

Squirmy65ghyg Wed 05-Apr-17 17:06:26

I stand by my post above. The two things you say are still going on are not minor. Your daughter is getting CBT. The advice on the forum is correct based on what you've said.

tigercub50 Wed 05-Apr-17 19:10:09

There are other issues with DD too - she is adopted & has reached the age where she's questioning things & there may be an attachment issue which I am going on a course to find out more about. She is a very defiant character too, which will stand her in good stead, but needs some help self regulating her anger. I can certainly say that not everything is from my DH. I can see they are getting close again, which is lovely. I want the family to stay together & we are doing everything we can to make that possible. If my husband had left, it would have been temporarily.

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