Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Your abusive ex. Did anyone try to warn you?(78 Posts)
When you first got together with your abusive ex, did anyone show reservations about him, or try to warn you?
If they did, what were you told - and what did you make of the warning?
If no-one said anything - do you wish they had? What did you need to hear, if anything. Or were you so in love you didn't care?
If this applies to you, I'd welcome any insights.
Yes I was warned by my mother, who could generally see he was no good - I though she was being vindictive (but I was only 19). I was also warned by an older female colleague who knew him and his family, she told me they were all a 'bad lot'. Warned also by a friend who revealed he had a history of stalking his ex (I was pretty shocked), and was seriously considering ending it when, I found out I was pregnant.
No unfortunately. No one realized. He was the nice guy in front of everyone. He had everyone fooled. Looking back, alarm bells should have been ringing. He was 14 years my senior and I was his first, long term relationship. The others were a couple of months, and moved area after splitting up.
A girl from my class at school said 'your boyfriend raped my sister' she was one of a group who often bullied me so I assumed she was full of shit. Years later I found out my (by then) xp did have a rape conviction before I met him. It did not come as a surprise by then. I often wondered if it was the girls sister he was convicted of raping
Yes, about 5 of his ex's.
Apart from them, he had a bit of a crowd of girls (we were teenagers) chasing him at any time. I stupidly assumed they must have been jealous
yes, stupid enough to believe that a group of girls who each didn't know each other, made up the same story.
I spent 4 bloody awful years with him and should have listened.
Yep. My mum warned me that my boyfriend was very like my father. I wouldn't accept that as he wasn't a violent alcoholic (yet).
She could see him trying to isolate and control me. Wanting to buy a house away from my friends and family.
On the day of my wedding, she said one thing " it's not too late to back out".
She was treading the fine line between trying to warn me but not alienating me. I just saw a way out of the family home with someone I thought loved me.
God, I was wrong. I wasted 18 years of my life with an absolutely abusive, controlling tosser.
No. I knew he was dangerous, so I didn't introduce him to anyone in my life .
No. But the day before our wedding my mum did say (like MsNobody) 'it's not too late to back out'.
He was Mr Nice to everyone, at least when he was sober. Apart from me.
Nope. He managed (and still does) to pull the wool over everyone's eyes.
No, no-one, not even his mother or sister who both knew he had been expelled from school for going to the pub at lunchtime and coming back drunk, that he had been in rehab for drink and prescription meds, that he had lost job and his licence for 12 months for drinking.
They both took his side throughout our relationship and after it ended even though they saw him be verbally abusive to me on many occasions and must have known that an otherwise healthy woman in her 30s doesn't have that many accidents.
Would I have listened? Almost certainly not, because I was young and I did not understand about addiction, or narcissism. I was the product of an abusive childhood, so his behaviour towards me was what I was used to anyway. I felt sorry for him and co-dependency came naturally to me.
It took me four years to figure out that this was all wrong, and ten years to get away. 17 years later he is still telling everyone, including our children, that I was having an affair and left him for someone else. Did I heck!
Not me but I did speak with an exes current girlfriend not long after they had got together when she emailed me to ask me about our relationship. I was honest with her but kept my distance as I suspected she would have been fed a load of BS by my ex. She spoke nicely to me but she felt things were different with them and think she believed she could give him whatever it was he needed to not act like a dick. I respected that and left them to it, not much else I could do really.
Two years down the line and we are in regular contact as she extricates herself from this total wankers grasp. Spoke today actually. We are quite close now and it has helped her I think to be able to have someone who understands what he is like and to confirm she is not the crazy one (he's an accomplished gaslighter). I hope very much that this break she is having from him now becomes permanent, I think it will.
Would I have listened to someone about him? No I don't think so. I might have let a few warning bells sound, but I would have thought I was different, we were different, just like the lady I am in touch with now thought.
yes. a few friends didnt like him. but i thoyght angrily "it's ok for you, yoy're younger/more outgoing/prettier". whatever. i was so tired of disappointing everybody by being single. i thought id just take a quick break from being single. didnt realise he wouldnt let me go easily.
No. We were both young and he presented a charming face to the world. I met and became friends with a woman during the relationship who had the measure of him fairly quickly. She, for my benefit, ruthlessly exploited his desire to appear the good guy, roping him in for endless babysitting while we both went and played sport or went out together. After we split she took a perverse glee in continuing to wind him up.
I luff her
When he met the woman who is now his wife I tried to warn her. He managed to isolate her from friends and family and, last time I heard, was sporting a broken arm.
Gosh yes, everybody. He had an awful reputation and had left an awful lot of broken hearts.
Sadly I seemed to see that as part of the appeal and excitement - we all like to think we'll be the one to change them don't we. But it didn't go that way at all.
What I DO feel sore about is that a number of those 'friends' who warned me, some of whom had experienced what he was capable of first hand, took his side when he started doing the same to me. That still hurts more than anything else as, thankfully, I stayed strong enough to get myself (& unborn DS) out
My boss came to my house and warned me about my ex. She'd heard a lot of bad things about him. I didn't really take much notice. I wish I had of done now though. I would like to warn his current girlfriend but I doubt she'd believe me either.
Everyone thought my abusive ex was charming, great with kids 'a good bloke' was the general consensus. My friend even fixed me up with him, now however she's seen some of the things he did and feels terrible she even puersuaded me to go to the police and helped me through alot of shit!
The ony person that said something was his lodger, he told me things about his last relationship, but I just thought he was jealous! How wrong was I, well he may have been a little jealous but the things he told me certainly rang true with me I just put it to one side!!! Quite often they are very charming to the outside world and to us at first thats how they get themselves in with us x
Yes, my parents warned me he was trouble as did my friends. Infact even his ex wife tracked me down on Facebook and told me I was making a bi mistake and that I needed to stay away from him (but I thought she was just bitter about their break up!)
He had a way of twisting things to look like he was the victim (post traumatic stress, the cheating ex, bad childhood, whatever)
It took him threatening me with a knife to eventually wake me up. It took years and I am sad to say I lost many friends in the process. Like many abusive types, he'd turn it round end say everyone was jealous we had such a strong relationship (all of my close friends were single at the time). When that stopped working he started playing the "you're worthless" card. "Noone else will ever want you. You're stupid/ugly/horrible etc"
And finally, the emotional blackmail: "Leave me and I will kill myself. It will be all your fault."
Needless to say he didn't kill himself. I fear for the poor girl he is with now (he moved away so no idea where he is)
As you'll see from what other posters have said, it's almost like a script. Same situation, different people. These men are clever and manipulative and it can take a while to see through them.
Yes. I even saw the divorce papers where his ex listed his unreasonable and abusive behaviour, but I believed him when he said she was a lying psycho bitch.
they are almost the exact words he used to describe me to the girlfriend he had after me.
It took me a long time to get over being that stupid.
Kinky please tell me you're not still with this man?
His workmate said he was prone to moodiness, and that she'd been quite worried about him the year before. But apart from that, no, everyone thought the sun shone out of his arse. He came across as friendly, charming, all of that.
Even in the early days of our relationship, the warning signs were there. In hindsight my instincts were telling me something wasn't right, and as a result I never let myself completely fall for him. So he called me cold and emotionless, despite me being the only one who ever showed any affection in our r'ship.
He used to tell me all the horrid things his "manipulative and nasty" had accused him of. Now I realise she was entirely correct.
I have to thank him though, in a way, because I sure as hell learned to trust my instincts with him.
It's only now that I hear his team members describe him as a moody git and quite unpleasant to deal with. Ha!
I knew my dad didn't like him the more time wore on.
I , like many others, knew it and hid it. He was an accomplished charmer, fooling us all the majority of the time.
I loved him with all my heart, sadly still do. I love the person he was when he was nice, but I know that's not who he really is at all. It's devastating, soul destroying
I left 4 months ago and am no contact.
You've not said the reasons why you're asking OP ?
My only advice to you is be honest with yourself and make the break sooner rather than later if you find yourself in this predicament.
I wish I had. For putting up for much longer the hurt increased, the stress increased, my self worth decreased and I acted like he was a shock when I left he could be that bad. It wasnt, I was just finally letting everyone else into the truth, and the truth will never let you down.
I was left with post traumatic stress disorder and a shaky and uncertain future. None of it was worth it, not one but. Am not sure ill ever be the person I was again.
I just wish I'd kept more dignity
Ah, the arrogance of youth, though even if mn had been around, i wouldnt have been on it, not being a mum!
I didnt have a family support system or lots of wise friends, we were all as silly and optimistic as each other. A buddy system for young women and older wise ones would be a good idea is there one at youth clubs? ( old gimmer alert)
Ex who described all his exes as "mental/mad" not mentioning it was him who made them that way. Managed to leave him but not before he alienated me from my friends and nearly lost my job.
Ex who had affair with married woman throughout our LTR. Was warned by his co worker, also married who asked me out to help me through it. Decided he was a liar and it was all lies. He was right. Could have missed a few years of misery and being cheated on. If only he hadn't tried it on with me and muddied the water.
Older man my dm thought was perfect for me at 18. Total creep. No idea why she set me up with him, she worked with him Big row at home when I refused a second date. Total slimeball and weirdo with very good job and rich and single , 20 years older than me. A male friend my age took one look and said no way, whats he doing with you, you are too young, and he was right. So lucky I sidestepped that. Really, who would set their dd up with a loner 20 years older than them, even if they were rich and handsome?
Oh my god. Some heart-wrenching stories posts here. Sorry if this triggered anything for the kind posters who have shared their stories so far.
I'm a regular poster, but name-changed. I'm extremely worried about a young person in my life who has become engaged to a man who has set all the alarm bells ringing.
I may sketch in some details later if I can bear to, but just now don't want to open the floodgates. Some of what's been posted here is very close to the situation I'm looking at now.
The only action I've taken so far is to insist on keeping my distance, and simply say that I can't support or endorse the relationship (and I do have good reason for saying this). I'm not central to the young person's life. So although she's unhappy about this, it's not critical from her point of view.
I can't bear to see her already being controlled by this man (eg, he has already succeeded in depriving her of transport).
It doesn't sound as if there is much to be gained by my trying to say any more.
Thank you very much for offering me your insights.
Join the discussion
Please login first.