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Please help me-is this emotional abuse?

(106 Posts)
blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 10:55:13

I have very recently split up with my boyfriend.

He was very jealous and would accuse me of cheating all the time.

He would call me names and then tell me he was only joking.

There was never any major physical abuse, just lots of little incidences which would hurt me and leave me questioning myself contantly.

He told me I was too sensitive, that he's just joking, that I twist his words and that I'm trying to start a fight whenever I try to discuss the incidences with him.

I'm going to describe one very recent incidence below which is minor but adds up to yet another of a long list in ways that he made me feel pathetic, scared and useless. I'll refer to him as ExP in the example I give.

I have recently moved house.

My new neighbours were having some work done in their house and the workman was outside my house sawing some wood.

ExP came downstairs after spending the night at mine (we didn't live together) complaining about the noise being made. I replied that yes, it was quite annoying but that it was in the week during a daytime so not a lot we could do about it.

Exp then said "The cheeky bastard is parked in your parking space too" I said yes I knew but seeing as I don't drive and don't have a car, it wasn't an issue and nobody was visiting me that day who'd need the space otherwise I'd ask him to move it.

Exp said that wasn't the issue, he shouldn't be in my car parking space- he was pacing around angrily at this point and raising his voice and I was worried my neighbours or the workman would overhear.

I told him again to calm down and that none of it mattered.

He then said "He's making a right fucking mess with sawdust all over your doorstep, I'm going to go out and have a word with him and tell him to clean his fucking mess up"

I begged him not to and said the wind will just blow it away even if he didn't tidy it up and that I wasn't bothered anyway.

He then lost the plot and started shouting that he was going to beat up the workman and the neighbours and make them think again about what they were doing.

I got angry with him at that point and told him it's not his house anyway, he doesn't live here and asked him if he REALLY thought that a bit of sawdust was worth beating someone up over!

He then started saying "Well, my Mum wouldn't just sit back and let people take advantage of her, she'd be straight out there saying something".

I told him I wasn't his Mum, that I don't agree with how his Mum handles situations anyway and that again it wasn't her house.

The whole time I was terrified the neighbours could hear.

I ended up going upstairs and crying and not knowing why I was so upset.

He DID go out and said to the workman that this is OUR house and he's in OUR parking space and that he worked as a builder and wouldn't dream of making a mess on someones doorstep and that the workman needed to sort it out.

Sorry for the long essay, it's just this incident in particular has been going round and round in my head and I'm wondering if I'm just being dramatic.

MuchBrighterNow Tue 16-Apr-13 10:58:41

What a total dick ! good riddance... do not in any circumstances be tempted to get back together !

SolidGoldBrass Tue 16-Apr-13 11:00:50

No, you are not overdramatizing. Your XP is a raging arsehole and you are very well rid of him.
Don't have any more contact with him. If he decides (as abusive men frequently do) that he wants to restart the relationship - his plan being that you will be so desperate to have him back that you will allow him to do whatever he likes to you - then tell him to fuck off, and if he won't go away, involve the police.

blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:02:11

I'm trying my best to stay away.

I have very low self esteem and in the past have repeatedly got back together with him.

Major events happen and I leave him for it, then he acts the charmer promises he's changed and I stupidly believe him.

The minor incidences like the one I've explained above happen at least weekly but he says I'm overreacting or that I'm weak and should stand up for myself and not let people take the piss.

That's why I posted the incident above really because I just want to know if I'm overdramatic, which he always says I am.

MoaningYoniWhingesAgain Tue 16-Apr-13 11:03:02

He totally dismissed your opinions as insignificant

Didn't respect you at all. And he sounds like he was looking for a fight generally. You are well rid.

MuchBrighterNow Tue 16-Apr-13 11:06:00

He wants you to stand up for yourself so do it by telling him to fuck off... he is seriously taking the piss by ignoring you and making trouble with your neighbours

worldgonecrazy Tue 16-Apr-13 11:06:46

He sounds a prick. You are well rid of him.

I was in an EA marriage - I didn't know it at the time but I would often find myself upstairs crying and not knowing why. Now I see it was because of my ex-husband's behaviour and my response to that behaviour.

You can't fix them, you can't change them, loving them more doesn't change them. The only thing you can do is realise that you are worth more than being someone else's emotional toy, get out and live your life.

blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:06:47

Moaning That's how it left me feeling. That he didn't care how I felt. He knows I'd hate to set off on the wrong footing with the neighbours but then carries on like that over something so trivial it's not even worth bothering with.

He's been like that constantly about the new house I'm in. He keeps saying it's a disgrace how badly built it is and that he's going to kick off with the builders (who are still on site).

I had to keep begging him not to and he's really put a dampener on what for me was moving into a lovely new house, by contantly criticising and showing me everything that's wrong with it.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:10:13

Verbal abuse, gaslighting, dismissal of your opinions, attempts at control over your activities and your space. Thank god you weren't married and sprogged up with this volatile loser!

I hope you're not still in touch with him? In your latest post you talk about him in the present tense. Please, please cut him out altogether and be clear about it. It doesn't matter a damn whether he thinks you're being "over-dramatic". His opinion is total meaningless wibble and of no consequence to you. Don't try to be "civil" or any of the other things women get told to be in the wake of break-ups. No point being civil with an abuser.

I wonder if you might find that more incidents bubble to the surface, as you work through all the perfectly normal reactions you suppressed at the time.

pinkyredrose Tue 16-Apr-13 11:11:41

You are well rid. This person is no good for you. He makes you feel worse about yourself.

A good relationship enchances your life it doesn't bring you grief.

For you own peace of mind and well being please stay away from him.

PeppermintPasty Tue 16-Apr-13 11:12:27

He sounds unhinged. Utterly bizarre and dangerous behaviour.

Please don't let him back in your life.

blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:14:36

Madbuslady He rung me yesterday, so yes he has been in touch. He rung to ask me what I was doing on Saturday night as he knows my parents are looking after my children that night for me.

I told him I hadn't got any plans and he then said that he knew I'd be having someone over for a fuck and that he knows what I'm like.

I hung up on him and then text him and told him not to contact me again.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:16:31

By the way, when I say "be clear about it" I don't mean you need to have a long conversation with him about it. Quite the opposite! You're not obliged to explain yourself to him in the slightest. Just stop taking his calls and don't let him in if he turns up. If he forces a confrontation, say, "Go away and stop trying to contact me or I will call the police". If he tries again, call them.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:17:51

x-post. Good, and good riddance to him. smile He'll probably try needling you again, stay strong.

blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:21:53

Madbuslady he keeps texting me, first telling me he loves me and his head's all over the place and that he misses me and I'm his best friend etc, then the texts become abusive, telling me to fuck off and that he knows the only reason I'm ending it is because I'm fucking someone else.

I get so angry when he sends me the texts accusing me of cheating. I haven't cheated.

I know I should ignore these texts but I did send him one back saying that I was upset by his behaviour and didn't feel our relationship could work and that just because I want to end the relationship, it doesn't mean there's someone else and that I'm perfectly entitled to end a relationship I'm unhappy in without needing to shack up with someone else first.

cappuccinodays Tue 16-Apr-13 11:29:33

Hi OP, i really feel for you.
You are doing the right thing by ending the relationship, please take care of yourself and your sanity!
I ended a relationship similar to this, had similar effects for my self esteem. I kept going back but in the end it was really affecting my mental health. I have been NC for 5 weeks now and feel like i am "recovering"
somehow i dont think you are going to get rid of him easily :-( but i hope for your sake you do. In the long run it is best to go NC. He sounds like an utter idiot and you are worth so much more..

MaBumble Tue 16-Apr-13 11:30:01

The thing you need to know here is that he DID know it was important for you to get off on the right foot with the neighbours. He DOES know how much you want to enjoy your lovely new home.

This was deliberate. And he escalated it further the more you became upset. Because he could see it was working.
It's not minor incident. This was nasty and deliberate.

The going out and talking to the builder, referring to 'our house' was him marking his territory, while at the same time totally undermining and attempting to destroy your pleasure and feeling of security in your new home.

Nasty, nasty man.

MaBumble Tue 16-Apr-13 11:32:33

Oh and by the way, if your relationship had ended you are perfectly entitled to see someone else. It's got nothing to do with the insecure little wanker.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:33:39

God, what a nasty piece of work. sad Yes you're right, ignoring is the only correct response. You'll never be able to "win" the argument because he'll keep moving the goalposts. He's a delusional fuckwit, and not worth your time. Can you get his number blocked?

I think you'll find your self-esteem improves markedly now, by the way. I'm never sure about the "self-esteem" stuff, it seems to me to be another form of self-punishment - "I must work on feeling better about myself" etc, which is such a vague instruction. How do you sit down and "work on" yourself?

I think a far more important quality in avoiding fuckwits is to trust one's own natural responses, which is slightly different (though it only works if your natural responses haven't been totally screwed with, eg by a very abusive childhood). Eg in the example above, you were upset and shocked by his aggression and unreasonableness - the ideal state is where you trust that your response is the correct one and do the logical thing of removing the cause. A lot of people get told, overtly or covertly, in childhood that their responses/feelings are not correct or not to be trusted - and this can happen in otherwise perfectly "nice" childhoods. I think if you sort out that and start doing what your instincts tell you to do, the self-esteem thing follows naturally.


blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:36:16

Thank you Cappuccino
After yesterdays phone call I decided to go NC with him.
He only calls or texts to accuse me of sleeping with people anyway.

The thing that really worries me is that I am so lonely and isolated. I only have two friends both who lead very busy lives and I can't see them as much as I'd like. I go weeks without seeing another adult and I crave adult company.

The loneliness can be overwhelming at times and I have often felt suicidal because of it.

It's very hard for me to get out and about as I have two disabled children who require a lot of my time and care.

I feel stuck.

I know I've done the right thing by ending it because truthfully- I've not ended it for me. I've ended it because I feel like the worst mother in the world allowing my children to be around him. He shouts and carries on in front of them and scares them.

He also is often picking arguments with my son or invading his personal space and when my son asks him to leave him alone he gets in a huff and starts saying my son is rude and ignorant and that I don't raise him properly.

I feel so tired and drained. I feel so empty.

geminigirl Tue 16-Apr-13 11:38:06

blueballoon please don't let him manipulate you like this, he's acting the big man by being all boorish and telling you that THIS is what needs to be done and HE'S the man to do don't need him, don't listen to his hype....he's controlling and manipulative. xx

blueballoon79 Tue 16-Apr-13 11:39:55

MAdbuslady Unfortunately I've been in a lot of abusive relationships- it seems to be a pattern for me and one I need to break out of.
I find it very hard judging whether my responses are correct and often feel like perhaps I'm too easily upset or take offence too easily.

I do feel my self esteem has imrpoved a little already by ending it. I'm showing him I won't allow him to treat me like that.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:40:49

sad It's not ok for him to shout and carry on in front of you either!

Are there any carers' groups local to you? Or if you have regular healthcare contacts could they put you in touch with other people in a similar position? It sounds miserable for you and you need more support, I'm not surprised you crave adult company. I hope somebody who knows more about this will be along soon.

MadBusLady Tue 16-Apr-13 11:44:49

A lot of other people on here mention the Women's Aid Freedom Programme. I've no experience of it, but I think it tackles exactly those kinds of boundary/self-trust problems so you can the abusive relationship pattern.

I'm glad your self-esteem is looking up a bit though. smile It deserves to, as you say, you've done the right thing and you are now in control.

I think your responses are probably always correct, to be honest, or as near as makes no odds - you sound pretty level-headed on here. If you've been involved with a lot of fuckwit men, then it's them who are the problem.

geminigirl Tue 16-Apr-13 11:47:39

You have to stay as strong as you've been...he's panicking now that you've shown a bit of spark by ending this toxic relationship, he's losing his control....please stay strong, i have great admiration for you, it's frightening to make the decision to end your relationship but ultimately you will be a better and happier person now that you've broken the answer your question...YES...that's emotional abuse.

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