Coping with a hostile ex(5 Posts)
I'm really struggling emotionally right now. I made the decision to leave my partner a year ago after being very unhappy for a long time. He was mentally abusive, controlling, and very good at putting me down and making me feel inadequate. He made it clear he was never going to leave the family home. So I am renting a flat with my 2 children and he has them 2 nights a week and every other weekend. I have allowed him to buy me out of the house at a price only he was happy with, plus put up with a continuous stream of abuse via texts and emails and lots of other things, mainly because I do not want things to spiral down, for my children to witness hostility and to try and give the appearance of everything being amicable for the kids. However I am becoming really ground down now by his put downs and anger and hatred for me simply because I told him I couldn't be with him anymore. He has never accepted it, and has told me he never will. I have never even dared meet anyone else because I worry what that would do to the situation. So even though I am physically free of him, I am still not really free. I get so depressed when I think i have a lifetime of this. Sometimes his words don't touch me but other times, like today, I just want to curl up in a corner and give up. He says I am lazy, selfish, incapable of dealing with anything in my life, incapable of having a relationship, that I use everyone around me because of my inadequacies .....etc etc. I'm looking for hope and strength from other women who may be going through similar.how do I found the strength to deal with this? Will I ever be free?
I get this even though he had an affair. Have you considered getting new email account and mobile phone so that friends use those and you only have to look at his barrage when you feel able to cope with it.
A year actually is very short time, I am three years in and it does get easier to cope with. I joined a new activity and made new friends which is nice as they know none of the stuff and I can 'leave it at the door' one night a week.
I could have written your post oP - I'm a year in and I've no words of wisdom I'm afraid - all I can say is find someone you can talk to because that relieves some of the pressure and don't take on board the things he says - just because someone says it doesn't make it true. wishing you luck.
Hi, I've been through the same and still experience hostility from ex, three years on. I was also made worse off financially as I was feeling so weak at separation from years of constant put downs and aggressive behaviour from him.
And, like you, it still affects me sometimes. That is normal, stop flagellating yourself for being a sensitive humans being. It does get better and it is a long process, but you have done the hardest bit – to leave him.
Here is what helped me in that process and I hope it can help you too:
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy –the abuse has made you depressed, so tell your GP and see if you can get CBT on the NHS. It helped me immensely by teaching me how not to believe the put-downs. CBT gives you tools to deal with the put-down thoughts we carry around in our heads, things we internalize from other or create ourselves.
Do not respond to provocation – You may already not do it. It is often hard to ignore the emails/texts and the impulse is to want to defend yourself from the accusations. Don’t. I have a separate email folder for his messages so that they don’t stay in my inbox. Or follow the suggestion made by Lonecatwithkitten and have a separate account.
Stop trying to appease him – At one point I realized he would treat me like sh** whatever I said or did and appeasing him was a mistake as it legitimized his abuse. It will make you feel less victimized if you stop any type of appeasing behaviour. You can carry on being courteous – that is empowering, calming and the best ‘revenge’.
Understand your enemy – It helped me to research topics such as ‘Narcissistic behaviour’, so I could understand why he behaves like he does and that he is the one with issue, not us. Here is a suggestion of where to start - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder.
Move on with your life – I know it sounds obvious, even patronizing, but it is about replacing the space the ex takes up in our emotional lives with something else that is more constructive. He is being nasty to you in an attempt to maintain a sort of relationship going – ask yourself whether you are doing the same for some reason.
The fact that you reached out for help here tells me you are capable of finding a way, or ways, out of this. It will take time for you to develop your own strategies but as you begin to disentangle your life from his and feel better about yourself, take time to appreciate the fruits of your labour, a life free of abuse.
I wish you all the best.
Your life was mine - that was ten years ago . I too was pulled down continually by his behaviour ( his affair and abuse in the marriage ) .
What helped me - counselling and the woman's refuge support worker who helped me see what a bully he was , I did the freedom project which made me really strong enough to say " no you won't do this to me" , I took charge and stood up to all his abuse . I called the police every time he text and emailed , they were amazing threatened him and he had to stop . I now live free with my children have done a degree and am happy . Wheteas he married his affair woman and so I hear is really unhappy.
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