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When and how did you realise it was emotional abuse?

(12 Posts)
Isitornot Mon 25-May-20 20:00:49

Name changed as DH knows my username and sometimes reads my posts.

When did you realise you were being emotionally abused and what made you realise? After how long and what did you do about it?

We have been together over ten years and married for less than 6
We have a DD who is nearly three.

I noticed an odd pattern of behaviour right back when we first started dating and always went against my gut at the time and shrugged it off.

When we fell out, he would do his utmost to either stop me from seeing friends or to come with me so I didn’t talk about him.
He knows the passcode to my phone (usually, but I have changed it today to see if or when he notices)
He declares he shouldn’t have to do things for me and then will refuse to put DD to bed so I have to cancel any plans I made that night.
The other day, he purposely provoked me in the living room in front of DD. Brought up a minor argument we had and had a go at me for something relatively minor. He knew I would get worked up. At one point he was in my face, I knew he wouldn’t hurt me but I think he was trying to get me to hurt him? anyway, when I started to raise my voice he started to tell me over and over again that I was disgusting. I asked him to leave me alone and stop following me because I wanted to calm down. Instead, he followed and started telling me I look ridiculous and pointed to the mirror and said I should ‘look at’ myself. He then said he was embarrassed to go in to the garden with DD because what would the neighbours think of me and how I reacted?

This behaviour seems to come up every now and then and I can’t work out why. What is he trying to achieve? Why am I such an I confident person now when I never used to be? Is it his fault or is it coincidence and these are just ‘normal couple arguments’
I don’t know what is normal anymore and being cut off from people in lockdown doesn’t help as it’s hard to talk to anyone... he is always in the house!

Thanks for reading.

OP’s posts: |
Isitornot Mon 25-May-20 20:22:47

I thought I had turn voting off! How annoying!

Anyway - I also feel afraid of how he will react to certain things - like me going to bed early for example. But is this my fault??

OP’s posts: |
PickleKing Mon 25-May-20 20:26:33

I don't think it matters when other people realised they were being emotionally abused... You have realised and you need to save your daughter from a life of witnessing abuse.

FTMF30 Mon 25-May-20 20:27:41

That is not normal behaviour. It's manipulative and controlling. You should tell him that. I know it's easier said than done but please try to stand up for yourself and don't let this man bully.

If my DH told me to look at myself in the mirror, I'd say it right back. HE should look at HIMSELF.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's angeted me just reading it.


Stannisbaratheonsboxofmatches Mon 25-May-20 20:32:54

It certainly sounds awful.

I wouldn’t get hung up on labels but it does sounds like abuse to me. Especially the trying to get you riled up so he can have a go at you, and isolating you from friends.

I realised mine was abusive through mn and through posters I saw when I was at work.

MarkRuffaloCrumble Mon 25-May-20 20:37:07

Don’t try and stand up to him - it’s not worth it and could backfire if he gets really angry - he sounds the type to start pushing and when you push back he’d get you arrested for assault or something. Classic DARVO.

Please just quietly plan to leave him. You’ve done the hard part, which is recognising it as abuse. Now you know his trick you won’t be fooled by him anymore. Just start to squirrel away important documents, passports, things you will need - payslips to prove his income for child maintenance etc so that when the time comes and you’re ready, you can quickly and easily leave him.

Cover your tracks with google - as you’ve done on here and on your phone - and try not to alert him to anything different - in fact I’d maybe change your phone back (after clearing your browser history etc)

Do you have email alerts in case anyone private messages you? If anyone @ you on this thread you will get an email with your username and a link to the thread, so make sure to switch that off.

There are plenty of wise MNers who can help you with the logistics, but just be aware that when you try to leave men like this, they tend to up their game. One way or the other - either hoovering you back in with empty promises or escalating the control and abuse. Stay safe flowers

1Morewineplease Mon 25-May-20 20:40:25

It sounds very much like he’s trying to control you.
If you want to go to bed early then it’s entirely your choice. It is most certainly not your “fault.”
He should not be stopping you from seeing your friends at all.
Everything that you’ve said about him sounds like he wants you to feel bad about yourself.
His behaviour is quite aggressive and it sounds like you’ve had to put up with much more than you have already said.
I’m so sorry that you’re in this situation and I really hope that you can find the courage to end this. You don’t deserve to be treated like this or be made to feel the way that you do.
All good wishes to you.

Isitornot Mon 25-May-20 20:41:23

Thank you so much everyone.
Luckily he has already gone back in to work (key worker without giving too much away) so that’s something!
I don’t think he would ever hurt me physically but he is much bigger than me so would rather not take my chances!!

OP’s posts: |
Mesmeri Mon 25-May-20 20:44:10

This is not normal behaviour. I think it sounds like you and your daughter need to escape as soon as possible. Is there anyone who can help you?

Did you know that there are various things in place to help women and children who are trapped with an abusive partner during lockdown? I have seen several links on Facebook - one said that Boots have set aside their consulting rooms for women requesting help. Their free train travel available if you have somewhere to go. Women's Aid will be able to tell you more.

Good luck. You deserve to be relaxed and happy, and your daughter deserves a happy mother.

FizzyWaterMelon Mon 25-May-20 20:53:20

I noticed when he called me a narcissist. Somehow the comment of selfish bitch and fat arse were acceptable to me, along with the financial control, gaslighting and manipulation. But when he called me a narcissist I fell out of love with him in that instant.

Can you keep a diary and backdate to previous events? It helped me realise what was right in front of me when I wrote it down and had to accept that was what my life had become.

Good luck. These men are not nice and he won't make it easy for you.

Bunnymumy Mon 25-May-20 20:59:10


Someone probably realised he was a narcissist and called him one before, so now he uses it against women.

That's why rule 1 when you think someone close to you is a narcissist, is that you never tell them! Or use the word around them at all.

drunkenflamingo2 Tue 26-May-20 16:17:08

Contact your local branch of women's aid, they will help you with everything you need to be able to leave. Also read the Lundy Bancroft books and attend the Freedom Programme. Good luck, you can do this.

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