This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To think I'm abusive?(54 Posts)
My parents relationship wasn't exactly healthy-my dad was an arsehole, cheated all the time and my mum kept taking him back. She told me that all men just wanted sex and to save myself etc.
Then my first real relationship was with a nasty abuser. Lots of domestic abuse and violence and I was a shell of a woman. That was from mid teens to mid twenties. My parents were aware of some of it, but nothing was ever really said or done.
Next relationship was with a totally boring but very controlling man. He told me what to do, etc etc and I just did as I was told. Didn't last long.
Next relationship, chose a younger man. He was quite fiesty but I also was quite nasty to him. Told him I was messaging other men. Was a bit violent myself. I shouted, I threatened, I kept wondering if I was being abusive. We finished suddenly and totally lost all touch for reasons we couldn't control.
Onto my current relationship. Again, I've slipped into wondering if I am abusive. I shout a lot, put him down a lot, threaten etc him a lot. Yet I always feel hard done by and like I deserve better. He's no angel, he's hurt me physically, he's emotionally immature and not exactly wonderful.
All this probably makes me sound like I'm a right mess, but actually I have a boringly normal life. I'm in a well respected, professional career and no one would think there was anythibg wrong with life at all. I'm just questioning myself. And I think, there's no smoke without fire, right?
I literally look at my current partner and wonder if I need to leave him because he's abusive, or leave him because I'M abusive!
It sounds like you're both abusive in the circs you've described.
I'd suggest leaving for both of your sakes.
Well it's perfectly possible you're both abusive. If I were you I would split up with him, get some therapy and stay single for a good long while.
Btw, that is not a boringly normal life.
From what you’ve described you don’t have great choice in men but also they way you treated the last two is abusive. All of these relationships sound toxic.
Yes, I think it sounds like you are. The relationship sounds abusive on both sides.
It sounds like you're both abusive and you need to end it for both your sakes and get some sort of therapy.
I agree that it sounds like you are both abusive.
Why not break it off and get some decent therapy?
Surely that's better than carrying on all this crap for the rest of your life?
Either way, your current relationship clearly needs to end.
And you need to seek help for yourself to address your issues.
Your professional career is irrelevant. I don't assume that professionals are incapable of being abused or being abusers. Why would I?
I also agree that this isn't a 'normal' life...
You've recognised that this is an abusive relationship and apportioning the right amount of blame isn't going to fix this - you just need to leave. This isn't a healthy relationship.
When the dust has settled you need to seek help to draw healthy boundaries in a relationship and recognise when they have failed.
Yes, you are abusive, and I don't think you should be in a relationship, honestly. Not until you get professional help to get to the root and learn to stop all of your abusive and violent behaviours.
You are both abusive and one of you needs to leave the other partner. I hope you can both get the help you need.
It is very insightful of you to question your relationships and ask these questions. Sounds like you are trying to move beyond your circumstances and your past. Life is hard. Wishing you well.
I'm mentioning my boringly normal, professional career because I want to show how "normal" my day to day life is. How I feel within myself, how everyone else views me. Everything is fine apart from about 5% of the time where I'm just awful and can't pull myself back from it.
Can therapy really sort this out? I wasn't like this in my first 2 relationships, I was a wreck. Now it feels like this nasty person is actually me. How do I change me?
Was a bit violent myself
What does this mean?
You talk about violence in relationships in a really casual way. I've had lots of relationships and there's never been any violence.. even when there's been huge arguments, there's never been any physical threats either way. Your relationships sound completely toxic and I think your past means you've normalised violence.
I'm not excusing your violent or abusive behaviour, but presumably what led to it was your experience of your parents' relationship and then your early abusive relationships. I don't know if therapy would sort it out, but surely it's worth a try? If you don't go down the therapy route you should at the very least split up with your partner and consider staying single. It's clear that you are not able to choose appropriate partners or function normally in a relationship.
I'm mentioning my boringly normal, professional career because I want to show how "normal" my day to day life is. How I feel within myself, how everyone else views me.
I'm sure I'm not the only one reading with experience of this kind of abuser. In fact, he thought having such a steady and normal professional life was evidence that he wasn't abusive because he clearly wasn't anything out of the ordinary. He also thought felt "hard done by" and as though he "deserved better".
Therapy can work if you do genuinely want it to and if you're therefore prepared to put the work in yourself too.
It's hard and will take a lifetime of active unlearning. Don't fall into the trap of not truly believing you're abusive and going only to be told it's not your fault and it's not that bad and all the rest of it. Take it seriously and don't allow anyone to become dependent on you until you really do know you've beaten it.
If he's hurt you physically, and you threaten him and put him down you are both at fault, and it sounds like the whole dynamic is toxic. End the relationship and do some serious work on yourself before you get involved with someone else. You need to break the cycle before history repeats itself yet again.
I don't want to believe its not my fault or whatever.
I just don't know how I can have gone from someone who literally couldn't say boo to a goose, to being someone who is proper nasty to a partner when he does something I don't like. I know he isn't perfect, he's probably quite abusive himself. But rather than be a victim, I've almost turned into an abuser myself, so it's like there are two abusers and no victims, if that makes sense.
Just to add, when I say violence, it's not punching and seriously harming, it's pushing around and very shouty. Not meaning to undermine that kind of behaviour because I know it isn't right. But it's just the kind of aggression that I know isn't healthy.
Thank you for not judging me or making me feel even more shit than I already do!
Maybe you are abusive.
Or maybe you are answering in an aggressive way to an abusive partner/a twat.
If a woman was becoming physically violent in response to being physically attacked, no one would say she is violent and dangerous/physically threatening.
I find it impossible to say if it’s one or the other from your posts.
However, I think you would benefit from counselling and leaving the relationship
You are aware you have an issue which means therapy can help you make positive changes.
If you really believe “you can’t help it” you have no business being in a relationship and should walk away from this one immediately. Can’t help it? Yeah, heard that one before myself
In your first two relationship you let someone walk all over you.
I don’t think you have become an awful person from the nice one you were before.
I think you’ve decided to not get walked over anymore and have developped unhealthy ways to do it. Also, probably because you’ve never learnt how to be assertive wo being a bully.
Relationships are complicated, different people bring out different aspects of your character, if you don’t like who you are when you’re with someone, they’re probably not right for you. Sounds like you’ve got no experience of healthy relationships and figuring this stuff out alone, with no models to base it on is really really hard. You can definitely change anything about yourself and your behaviour but you will need help. Best of luck, questioning your own behaviour is a great step forward.
Sounds like you are doing the 'attack is the best form of defence' thing.
I can see how this happened.
Please login first.