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Support for those in emotionally abusive relationships:16

(1000 Posts)
foolonthehill Sun 27-Jan-13 20:40:58

Am I being abused?

Verbal Abuse A wonderfully non-hysterical summary. If you're unsure, read the whole page and see if you're on it.
Emotional abuse from the same site as above
Emotional abuse a more heartfelt description
a check list Use this site for some concise diagnostic lists and support
Signs of Abuse & Control Useful check list
why financial abuse is domestic violenceAre you a free ride for a cocklodger, or supposed to act grateful for every penny you get for running the home?
Women's Aid: "What is Domestic Violence?" This is also, broadly, the Police definition.
20 signs you're with a controlling and/or abusive partner Exactly what it says on the tin

Books :

"Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft - The eye-opener. Read this if you read nothing else.
"The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans – He wants power OVER you and gets angry when you prove not to be the dream woman who lives only in his head.
"The Verbally Abusive Man, Can He Change?" by Patricia Evans - Answer: Perhaps - ONLY IF he recognises HIS issues, and if you can be arsed to work through it. She gives explicit guidelines.
"Men who hate women and the women who love them" by Susan Forward. The author is a psychotherapist who realised her own marriage was abusive, so she's invested in helping you understand yourself just as much as helping you understand your abusive partner.
"The Emotionally Abusive Relationship: How to Stop Being Abused and How to Stop Abusing" by Beverley Engels - The principle is sound, if your partner isn't basically an arse, or disordered.
"Codependent No More : How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself" by Melody Beattie - If you a rescuer, you're a co-dependent. It's a form of addiction! This book will help you.
But whatever you do, don't blame yourself for being Co-dependent!

Websites :

So, you're in love with a narcissist - Snarky, witty, angry, but also highly intelligent: very good for catharsis
Dr Irene's verbal abuse site - motherly advice to readers' write-ins from a caring psychotherapist; can be a pain to navigate but very validating stuff
Out of the fog - and now for the science bit! Clinical, dispassionate, and very informative website on the various forms of personality disorders and how they impact on family and intimate relationships.
Get your angries out – You may not realise it yet, but you ARE angry. Find out in what unhealthy ways your anger is expressing itself. It has probably led you to staying in an unhealthy relationship.
Melanie Tonia Evans is a woman who turned her recovery from abuse into a business. A little bit "woo" and product placement-tastic, but does contain a lot of useful articles.
Love fraud - another site by one woman burned by an abusive marriage
You are not crazy - one woman's experience. She actually has recordings of her and her abusive partner having an argument, so you can hear what verbal abuse sounds like. A pain to navigate, but well worth it.
Baggage reclaim - Part advice column, part blog on the many forms of shitty relationships.
heart to heart a wealth of information and personal experiences drawn together in one place

what couples therapy does for abusers

If you find that he really wants to change
should I stay or should I go bonus materials this is a site containing the material for men who want to change…please don’t give him the link…print out the content for him to work through.

The Bill of Rights
bill of rights here is what you should expect as a starting point for your treatment in a relationship, as you will of course be treating others!!

CharlotteCollinsislost Sun 27-Jan-13 20:49:42

Oh yay, a new thread already! Fool, you're the bestest!

Am a bit blush that I took up the last post with useless pedantry which will now stare at me accusingly from my Threads I'm On page. Sorry to anyone who was about to post a far more useful link to the new thread. D'oh!

Noonelistens Sun 27-Jan-13 21:11:52

pony , fool and breathe Thanks for your quick replies and letting me know I'm not alone. Last time I posted on here over a year ago I'd just heard of EA and refused to believe that this could be the man I love. Now my eyes are wide open.

The voice thing that people have said has helped me so much. I frequently get told that I need to change my voice as it has no authority in it. But then I'm thinking a voice is just what you are, that you're born with. You can't just change it. And people at work seem to respect me.

Whenever I try to discuss our problems I get told that I'm talking in a patronising voice and that he won't speak to me like that. So we never get to discuss the issues. Or if I do then I'm punished by the silent treatment.

So I've accepted that I need to find a solicitor. How on earth do I do this. Do I have to give my address? How can I be sure that H will not find out? Then when things are in place I may just go part time without consulting him as then I will be equal in childcare.

ponygirlcurtis Sun 27-Jan-13 21:13:59

Heehee Charlotte!!! Dont' worry at all.

Bertie, that sounds about right for a reaction from a 5-year-old. Play is priority! But I wouldn't be surprised if it mulls round in his wee head and comes out as questions or statements when you are least expecting it (and are therefore completely at a loss for how to respond! That's what mine seems to do...).

Talking about being at a loss, FW wanted to drop off DS2 early today (because he can never be bothered doing the last hardest bit of the day on a Sunday and the girls aren't there to help do it all for him. We were going straight out to my mum's for dinner, so DS1 came down the stairwell with me. But I didn't want him to come face to face with FW, I wanted him to stay at the bottom of the stairwell. Once I'd got DS2 (5-second handover), DS1 asked me why I hadn't wanted him to see FW. I started fudging it, then sighed and tried being truthful instead. Said I was just upset with FW, and it wasn't that I didn't want DS1 to see FW, it was that I didn't want FW to see DS1. He didn't reply, but that'll be something else going round in his head too...

TisILeclerc Sun 27-Jan-13 21:18:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NoraLuca Sun 27-Jan-13 21:20:54

New thread smile by the time this thread is out, I will have moved out.

5 days to go... shock

I have told my parents that I am moving out and they are supportive. I was worried about getting the usual advice about not annoying H, but no.

I asked H what he thought about me leaving, and he said he didn't know. He said he was relieved in a way, but it was also a bit sad. sad I wish he'd cared enough to at least attempt to change his behaviour before it was too late. My heart is breaking about splitting up with him because I think I still love him in spite of everything. In French we have a saying "the heart has its reasons that reason does not understand" - H will regularly call me names which would be bleeped out if they were spoken on TV, yet smashes my laptop because I lack respect towards him. Yet I am still crying about leaving him.

foolonthehill Sun 27-Jan-13 21:24:27

noone you can go and consult a solicitor, many give 30 mins free first consult. you do have to give your details BUT you don't have to employ them nor do you have to receive post from them to your home although eventually this makes life easier. WA are a good place to start for a recommendation of a local lawyer who knows about DA. Don't be afraid to check out a couple of lawyers as it is important you trust them.

the part time work sounds like a plan!

ponygirlcurtis Sun 27-Jan-13 21:26:41

listens, it's just another way to undermine what you are saying. Don't pay it any attention, detach from it. I am now sure that I wasn't speaking in a way that patronised him, it was just a way for him to interrupt what I was saying, undermine me, and throw me off balance as I tried desperately to change my voice to something that wouldn't patronise while being upset that he was being so horrible to me. He's doing exactly the same to you, he's using it as a way to discredit everything that you are saying and an excuse to refuse to speak to you. It's all part of the EA.

To find a solicitor you could go to CAB. Or contact Women's Aid for their recommendations - it can make a difference if the solicitor is experienced in dealing with EA cases. Or just Google or look on Law Society's website, which has a search facility.
You don't need to give details when you make an intial appointment, I don't think, but you will when you go in. But make it clear that nothing is to be posted out. I used my parents' address for correspondence, while giving my home address for their records. Could you use your work address? Do not use your housephone to contact the solicitor, if your phone has last number redial or lists the recent calls made (I got caught out that way, because he was checking up on my phonecalls). Similarly, if you think he's checking your mobile, delete any calls made. Maybe best to call from work!!

ponygirlcurtis Sun 27-Jan-13 21:29:49

Leclerc shock You are iron woman! Kudos and well done for getting through it.

NoraLuca Sun 27-Jan-13 21:32:04

noone I don't know about how to find a solicitor in the UK, but agree with the previous posters - he is using tactics to stop you discussing things with him. It wouldn't matter how you spoke to him, or even if you wrote things down, he would probably still find a way of blocking the conversation. Perhaps if you do go down the solicitor route and he sees that you are serious about ending the relationship he will be shocked into listening to you. Perhaps, or perhaps not, but at least you will have moved on from where you are now.

ponygirlcurtis Sun 27-Jan-13 21:33:00

Nora get the wine on stand-by...

I know what you mean. I felt heart-broken that my FW couldn't make the effort required. And I still loved him. But he is deluded and living in a world of his own, as is your FW. Now, though, time has passed, and I think that my feelings for him are changing. They are not gone, but not as strong as they were. You will get to that point too, hopefully. And your own place will help. You are doing a brave thing.

Noonelistens Sun 27-Jan-13 21:43:24

nora - well done. It's so heartening to hear people coming through this.

I will phone WA for a recommendation re solicitors and I will use my work phone and work address. Thanks for being there.

I too still love my H but cannot go on feeling like at best unnecessary and often that I am totally in the way. But how does he make me end up feeling the bad guy and in the wrong for upsetting him. Apparantly I've really hurt him ....

NoraLuca Sun 27-Jan-13 21:52:28

I love the person H used to be, before all the shit happened. In my ideal world (wait for it... violins playing...) H would realise that his behaviour was unacceptable, and treat his depression. Then he'd meet someone else, someone who shares his religion because that is really important to him and something which came between us. They would be happy together. At the same time, I'd meet someone else who was lovely and gorgeous and all the rest of it. We'd all get on really well and all love the DC, and chat amicably about things like maintenance and access.

<its quite nice on this planet I'm on emoticon>

MatchsticksForMyEyes Sun 27-Jan-13 21:57:28

Noone, that's the thing. Everything is about how they feel. I have just begun to care more about how I feel about the situation and not how he will react after nearly 4 months of being away.

Nora, very excited that your escape is so close. Stay strong!

Hissy Sun 27-Jan-13 22:04:23

Nora love, the man you loved never existed, only in your imagination, only when he was trying to be a human being.

The sadness at that realisation of the end of a mirage is heartbreaking, but really it's for the best.

It ultimately doesn't matter what he does or doesn't do with his sorry life, he'll never be happy.

But you will go on, you will recover, be the person you always were, and yes, you may very well meet a real love, a real man, the kind of man you deserved all along.

I did. I'm not special, I'm just normal.

Normal is the most wonderful thing to be!

TheSilveryTinsellyPussycat Sun 27-Jan-13 22:10:47

Yy to the voice thing. I get Loud when I'm talking about something important, he used this to not listen to what I was actually saying. If I tried to talk quieter I couldn't think what it was I wanted to say! Wouldn't you think he would want to hear my concerns? (Well, no you wouldn't, knowing he is a FW)

For solicitors I looked on the Resolution site, also went for a woman, and one who had been in practice for a couple of decades or more, as they'll have seen it all. Turns out her practice is also recommended by WA in our area.

I loved mine (or perhaps my own idea of him) till after I had started divorce petition. But my love shivelled and died in the space of a couple of days.

ponygirlcurtis Sun 27-Jan-13 22:27:02

Silvery, my feelings have definitely waned since i started proceedings with the solicitor!

Nora, I have lived on that planet you are on for quite a while, even after I moved out! I'd say it's only recently that I have returned to Planet Reality. It's all part of the process, you gotta do it in your own time and way.

BreatheandFlyAway Sun 27-Jan-13 23:41:44

Hi fool thanks for new thread thanks

I am mentally exhausted after being strongly and skillfully manipulated today. I only just didn't succumb because I seriously can't be doing with him anymore and don't love him anymore but if I'd had a scrap of feeling left, he would have had me - he is very good at this. I was left feeling sorry for him (for a short while!!) and appreciating that he'd asked me to share his lonely pain (until I grabbed myself by scruff of neck and shook sense into self). Now he's started on the "sparing the kids" our "duty to the kids" vein by text, arghhh help.

BreatheandFlyAway Sun 27-Jan-13 23:42:58

Court tomorrow for residency - I can see that legal proceedings are the way to go in keeping inappropriately kindly feelings towards fws at bay grin

BreatheandFlyAway Sun 27-Jan-13 23:43:56

fool grin re 3am comment - do you mean you don't keep watch 24/7? shock wink

BreatheandFlyAway Sun 27-Jan-13 23:45:51

I think fw is wasted in his profession, he should have been a politician, he would have been a roaring success what with his manipulation, self delusions, self justifications and of course moral dishonesty.

Chaoscarriesonagain Sun 27-Jan-13 23:54:21

nora am so sorry you're suffering. You speak such sense to someone who's been in the situation; 'the heart has its reasons that reason does not understand' yes!! Only those in it can really feel it, and like you sat, despite all the abuse, you're still crying over him.

Am very much a novice to this (a mere 4 weeks in after leaving), and honestly? Every day has been a struggle. I just wanted to post so you know that you're not going mad, there are plenty here in the same boat, and keep being honest with yourself.

Well done for having the courage.

FairyFi Sun 27-Jan-13 23:56:00

validation Fly lots of it coming your way, and keep the strength for your residency tomorrow. I am in awe of your strength!

thanks fool I tho, will not be up til 3! too tired - huge resistent strops today (actually yesteday, just lasted through today too!)

FairyFi Sun 27-Jan-13 23:56:28

not me! the resistent strops. DC!

foolonthehill Mon 28-Jan-13 00:01:06

If any of you want a funread try this and see what your very own FW gets on the Psycopath test

i was intermittently grin and shock.

a little light relief...porbably for after the move out and shake up.

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