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To ask you to explain to me why there are not two sides to domestic abuse?

(41 Posts)
ferriswheel Sat 07-Oct-17 09:24:26

I am divorcing my narc stbxh for mental, emotional and financial cruelty.

I absolutely know he behaved very badly towards me. But of course at times I shouted and rowed too. I didn't know at the time his bad behavior was actual abuse and I was striving to sort out his selfish ways and stand up for myself.

I also know that at least a couple of friends and relatives go by the mantra that there are '2 sides to every story' which offends and distresses me greatly.

If he'd battered me no one would hold me accountable. Why am I not accountable? I don't understand.

Squirmy65ghyg Sat 07-Oct-17 09:37:36

Because you were defending yourself, it was self preservation. The people who say the 2 sides BS can fuck off.

toomuchtooold Sat 07-Oct-17 09:39:48

I think it can be hard for people on the outside to understand what narcissistic abuse is (my mother has NPD, I have never told any of the family about my childhood for this reason) but I also think that people who are on your side will try to understand rather than take this "two sides to every story" bullshit position, and I think you need to consider whether these people have your best interests at heart, and if they don't, maybe stop telling them stuff and protect yourself a little bit.

Have you heard of Richard Grannon? He's very good in this area. His YouTube videos are really funny and insightful on narcissistic abuse survivor syndrome.

jeaux90 Sat 07-Oct-17 09:48:10

It's very difficult for people to understand what it's like being with a narcissist. Just ignore your idiot ignorant friends or tell them to google narcissist and then say that's what you were living with.

InspMorse Sat 07-Oct-17 09:54:02

Technically there are two sides to every story.
The narcissist is an expert at justifying their behaviour. Worryingly, their version of events can seem plausible.
Their 'victim' knows that the narcissist's version of events, behaviour & justification is wrong, unfair or untrue.
All you can do is trust your own instincts. You know the full story and you have to trust that you are right.
People who offer their opinion base it on what they have heard second hand so the only person you should listen to is yourself.

Kidsarekarma Sat 07-Oct-17 10:02:40

I behaved badly when I was with my abusive ex husband. I hate the person I was then, but it was pure self defence, self preservation. He very nearly broke me as a person and I am so glad to be free of him.

Of course his family only saw a one-sided version of our relationship and blamed me for his unhappiness which added to my frustration with the whole sorry mess.

Well done for making the break OP, you will be happier flowers

Meow34 Sat 07-Oct-17 10:08:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DJBaggySmalls Sat 07-Oct-17 10:11:25

There are two sides to every story; your side is that you were abused by a narc, and his side is he is an abusive narc.

People who beleive you provoke abusive behaviour are living under a pink mushroom in a lovely fairy forest and ride a unicorn to work.

MagicFajita Sat 07-Oct-17 10:12:19

As others have said , there are indeed two sides. The abuser's and the abused.

The abuser is expert at keeping the abused "off balance" , tired and confused using various tactics. The abused eventually loses all sense of self and whenever he/she tries to verbalise these feelings, may feel (and also look to he untrained ear) like they're talking rubbish. This is only because of the abuser's longterm shenanigans though.

You known the analogy about the frog and gradually boiling water? Well that.

Oh and also a big part that the abused plays is sometimes having poor boundaries due to previously being a victim of abuse/going through a vulnerable period/thinking he/she can "save" people from themselves.

Th abused and the abuser have poor boundaries in common though so that can be what initially attracts them to one another.

Sorry to go on , op , but these are the two sides of the story.

Butterymuffin Sat 07-Oct-17 10:13:59

The question to ask is: why should you be accountable for someone beating you up? If it had been a random man who set on you in the street, would you think 'I must have provoked him?' No. Is it that you said such terrible things that he 'couldn't help it'? Because that suggests your ex is totally incapable of stopping himself being violent and can't be expected to use self control.

moutonfou Sat 07-Oct-17 10:21:42

I'm sure very often the abused individual does act 'unreasonably' towards the abuser. But what you have to ask yourself is "do I act this way towards anyone else in my life?" If the answer is - no, I'm a perfectly reasonable person towards everyone else - then there's your answer. The 'unreasonable' behaviour is something the narc encourages/actively wants from you so they can justify their treatment of you.

LostSight Sat 07-Oct-17 10:25:04

After experiencing serial abuse in all my relationships, I worked out that there were two sides to the story. My side was that my self-respect and boundaries were not adequate. It’s something I have to work on continually.

That said, my worst experience involved a man so convincing that he convinced all our mutual friends that I was insane and overly emotional, despite the fact that he’d left me and gone out with my best friend. He later cheated on her.

The sad fact is that I had to cut him out of my life and also lost a number of mutual friends. Those I did retain however, are still with me thirty years later. Sometimes awful situations can show who your really loyal friends are.

Maryz Sat 07-Oct-17 10:45:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

existentialmoment Sat 07-Oct-17 10:48:11

Of course there are 2 sides to every story. At least 2, often there are more.
And your friends and family do not know what you know, they weren't there. People aren't always going to believe one sides version of events particularly if it doesn't match their own experience of the people involved.

LostSight Sat 07-Oct-17 10:49:58

Brilliant explanation Maryz. Thanks, that perspective is very helpful to me.

Scoobydoobydont Sat 07-Oct-17 10:59:35

Some people are serial abusers and you will never change them, no matter what their circumstances. I feel really sorry for people who end up in a relationship with someone like that.

However, in some cases there are definitely “two sides”

My brother had a massive bust up with his first wife about ten years ago. Co start arguments where he openly admits he said and did things he shouldn’t have. Their behaviour towards each other was appalling and got worse as time went on. Would her friends and family say he was an abuser based on her version of events? Yes. Would I say they were both as bad as each other and got themselves into a viscous circle? Yes.

Would his current wife say he was abusive? No, because they have very different relationship where they are both loved, respected, nurtured, and where they both pull their weight.

Some people are abusive no question. Some relationships are such that they bring out behaviour that could be deemed to be abusive if you only hear one version of events.

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 07-Oct-17 11:07:02

Yes there are always two sides to every story (and often more than two) - but you need to understand that 'side' = 'viewpoint', and that a viewpoint can be extremely biased, blinkered or just plain old lying. So the 'sides' are rarely (probably never) of equal validity.

So if anyone pulls that shit on you, put them right - tell them Crippen probably thought people should understand his side of the story more.

Gertrudesings Sat 07-Oct-17 11:09:02

See, I was physically and sexually abused by my EXH and I find it very difficult to completely condemn him and write him off as just 'evil'.

I was sexually abused as a child and my behaviour as an adult reflects that trauma. EXH has definitely inherited some mental illness from his genetics and as such we were incendiary. He has an almost overwhelming need to control and I have an almost overwhelming need to run away from everything. Between us it caused an awful, extremely abusive relationship. I truly believe I was abusive but to a lesser degree. I always have one foot out of the door in relationships. I have to. It comforts me. This in turn makes me emotionally abuse my partner as I'm never fully 'there'.

It's never black and white with 'fault'.

monkeywithacowface Sat 07-Oct-17 11:11:14

I agree that two sides to a story generally means two different perceptions of the same event. You're not accountable for someone else's behaviour

Scoobydoobydont Sat 07-Oct-17 11:14:25

You're not accountable for someone else's behaviour

True.

But is it possible for your behaviour to influence someone else’s?

QuiteLikely5 Sat 07-Oct-17 11:21:24

There's no straightforward answer. Sometimes both people are abusive. Sometimes it's just one.

Sometimes the other partner has to become abusive just to survive the tactics

QuiteLikely5 Sat 07-Oct-17 11:22:29

Yes it is scooby - that's a reaction - this can be good, bad or worse than bad

EvansOvalPies Sat 07-Oct-17 11:23:20

DD has just come out of an abusive relationship. She also finds it hard to find all the fault in her ex, Gertrude. However, as her Mum, I can see that it was all him. DD is a tiny little thing, her ex is a drugs dealer. We have been going through an enormous police procedure, where even the CPS appear to be on our 'side' and are pushing for coercive mental abuse, as well as all the physical. And the police are coming at him from lots of different angles. They and we, are all hopeful of a custodial sentence.

DD did nothing to deserve the treatment she received at his hands. It was all his fault, but she gets the wobbles sometimes and starts to feel sorry for him, thinking she should drop the charges. It is only DP and I (and her loyal friends) who are keeping her on track. This is typical controlling behaviour from an abuser - he will make you feel that it was all your fault. And it is not.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Sat 07-Oct-17 11:29:09

Firstly, well done for getting yourself out of an abusive relationship. That takes strength. Please don't start doubting yourself because of a couple of glib comments. You know the truth.

Perhaps you and dh did hide behind the facade of a "happy couple" in public so some people find it hard to hear the truth about him? I hope you have friends and family who are supporting you.

Consider looking at The Freedom Programme if you're struggling to comprehend your abuse. There are books or online courses.

Gertrudesings Sat 07-Oct-17 11:33:06

Evans but your assessment is such because she's your DD (and you are so right to defend your daughter). My Dad and my sister hold so much hatred towards EXH because unlike me, they just saw the injuries and the fallout. But I was in it. I saw how it got to that point. The only thing I can't get my head round is the night he raped me because we had no interaction. He came in drunk and raped me. I won't accept any fault for that. On the other hand I won't do anything about it either. No prosecution but it had been recorded by the police.

It's very difficult as someone who went through it to not be overwhelmed by the detail of it. I suppose bigger picture you can more easily point the finger when you have a more general view. I do hope your DD is getting through it Evans flowers it's such a bewildering time.

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