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Does this sound like emotional abuse - the little things...

(63 Posts)
KellyGarcia Wed 01-May-13 11:19:32

I think OH may be abusing me emotionally and it has just kind of dawned on me suddenly after reading very familiar traits on other threads here sad

The fact I am wondering is probably a sign that I personally believe I am being emotionally abused. I think I am just looking for help that I am not just going mad and being "over sensitive"...

Invades my personal space ALL the time and physically moves me out of his way sometimes (but acts like he is going "Scuse me babe" but then other times just barges past me or walks through me eg feel I have to move or would probably be mown down)

Leaves bank statements/credit card statements next to my laptop just lying around when he is running low on money or has just had to pay for something expensive for our family as if to say "Don't ask for anything cos we are skint"

Is always doing stuff like staring at me with a black look or just freezes and stares at something I am doing as if I need to read his mind as to what I am doing "wrong" so I always feel on edge without him saying anything. Example is we were getting ready to go out with the kids and were loading up the car. My phone was left in the changing bag under the pram which was waiting to be folded and put in the boot n I went "Oh... my phone" and went into the bag under the pram to get it at which point he froze on the spot with his hands about to push the pram and just did THE FACE which is a really black expression that no one else seems to be able to see except me as I see it... A Lot...

If we are going anywhere he waits til the last minute then gets ready really fast then sits about waiting for me to go "OK... Are you ready then?" so he can go "YEAH! I am just waiting for you..." or he will say "Right lets get ready to go" if we are doing something so I get myself and the kids ready then stand about waiting for him to get ready. This means I can spend up to 2 hours just waiting for him to be ready to go involving "ready to go?" "Ok let's got then" from me every 10 mins and he goes "Yup... Right now... Just getting my shoes" then sits there watching the footie news/on the ipad or then goes to the toilet for an hour leaving me to wait. If I get fed up waiting for him, take my coat off and go off and do something else with the kids he suddenly gets ready and jumps in the car taking the kids then does the face when I go for a last minute pee and that I don't still have my coat on. He has actually driven down the street a bit before without me. Got to the car and DS was crying. OH said he just did it for a laugh. Shit.

I feel really pathetic about all this and it sounds like I am being so petty. I am starting to notice things every day now. Silly little things. We have had big blow out rows before as well and I can never get my point across. It just seems to have slowly bubbled over the years and now he is proud that "We never really fight like other couples" Yeh because I am too scared or fed up to say anything now. What is the point? I just never get my point across, he talks down anything I try to raise and if I don't back down it turns into a fight that I will never "win".

Oh and he NEVER apologises EVER.

I used to be able to say "But we have such a laugh together" and "We like all the same things" he could be so lovely and seem to be caring but recently I have noticed all of that seems to be gone. I am a shell of the person I was. He says it is because we have 2 kids now and are both exhausted.

APologies that I went on for a bit there...

BlackeyedSusan Wed 01-May-13 23:58:14

i got to the bit where he barges though you... enough to know he is not nice and you are not sensitive. he is cuel to you and the kids with the going out tricks he plays, especially driving off without you. his ttitiude towards you stinks. nasty, nasty, nasty.

hey and it is fantastic living on you own compared to living with someone who is abusive. yes there are hard bits that would be easier if you had someone,but not this someone.

NicknameTaken Thu 02-May-13 09:41:05

As if you are living with an enemy, and you know you are, but you have to keep it a secret. Excellent description, LPJ.

missus, that is so sad about your mother. Some people are just incredibly corrosive to live with and they will make it their business to destroy you. The only solution is to get away from them.

dontyouwantmebaby Thu 02-May-13 11:21:04

OP just wanted to say I could have written parts of your post too. Esp the bits about him not getting ready to leave then rushing to do it in 5 mins then sits with 'the face' making out he's been waiting on you all along when you need to go to the loo & put your coat on etc. I def think its bullying & controlling behaviour, not very nice at all. (I've been on the receiving end of that too, its horrid).

No wonder your head is in a spin with it and you can't think clearly. this is what walking on eggshells reduces you to and stops you from being able to speak up and get your point across sad

All the examples you gave about him is not you being petty, it really isn't. I hope you find the strength to do what you need to do for you, no-one deserves to live like this. Wishing you luck.

Lweji Thu 02-May-13 11:24:40

Actually, regarding the leaving, do you have a driving license?
Because if my partner was playing up like that, I'd set up a time to leave and would take off in the car if he was not ready within at least 5-10 min.

cestlavielife Thu 02-May-13 11:36:34

lweji because each time they get you on the back foot - you believe them when they say "oh i just need the toilet" oh i justt need xxx" it all sounds plausible and realistic...classic with my exp -we were driving for a weekend away "oh i really need to get the car cleaned wont take more than ten minutes..." two hours later...

or the "dont hassle me or we wont go at all" type of blackmail..

you give them the benefit of the doubt and each time it backfires...until the day you wake up and realise that next time you will do things differently and follow thru. and deal with the fall out...

kelly it is only by making a plan to get away that you wil find freedom and peace...

garlicyoni Thu 02-May-13 12:17:33

Just for those doubters who may be reading this - standard bloke wind up, fair enough. But every time? To someone you're supposed to love and care about, and your kids? Can you think of a circumstance in which this persistent type of shittiness would be constructive?

Stuff like the delays keeps you always on the back foot. If a visitor was watching, they'd see a bloke mucking around a bit before leaving, right? Nothing to worry about. So, if the woman played her face and drove off without him, she'd look like a right monster, yes?

You have to be in it to realise it's every ... single ... time ... and is part of a pervasive pattern designed to render the woman powerless without looking unreasonable.

MumnGran Fri 03-May-13 06:34:46

.....also to reduce self esteem to zero, reduce external contact and promote the stance that the woman is neurotic.

There is one point I would make - and please don't think I am putting it forward as a 'defence'! ...... I am not sure that all men with this behaviour do it consciously, and am certain that some are simply repeating patterning from their childhood. Without the ability to reflect on their own behaviour (which many perfectly normal people are incapable of doing) their actions may be instinctive. As I said, this is not a defence, but possibly a handle on the mindset.

wonderingagain Fri 03-May-13 09:44:38

Delays are a form of obstruction.

DP did that to me but I put it down to the fact that he likes to be the one to lock the door, check lights off, etc. Then I excused him thinking it was that he didn't have a childhood where we would go off for day trips and didn't feel comfortable with it. Later I realised that regardless of the reason, the best thing to do is go anyway. If he's ready he can come, if not, we go anyway. I found that his ability to get ready suddenly improved and if he wasn't ready it didn't eat into our day.

But what puts me on the back foot here is the lack of willingness to be part of Team Family. Seeing me as one of the children rather than as his team partner. In almost everything he does 'for me' - whether it's shopping, taking dcs to the doctors, tidying up, cooking there is always something that he does wrong - something that makes a fair amount of difference and makes me have to re-check or re-do whatever it is he has done 'for me'.

Then if I point it out he pretty much ignores me and I start to think that I'm the controlling one and need to chill...

(sorry to hijack OP - but after a long time you get used to this behaviour and you've just reminded me about it)

garlicyoni Fri 03-May-13 13:12:42

MumnGran, it doesn't matter whether abusive behaviours are deliberate or unconscious. This is a common misconception.

All that matters is, when you say/do something that upsets your partner, and you don't care about their upset, you are cruel. When you do it again, you're abusive.

MumnGran Fri 03-May-13 18:47:38

garlicyoni ... no argument from me smile
I would not excuse my ex for an instant and still believe he should have realised what he was doing, but I have accepted that the behaviour was not necessarily pre-meditated.

Doesn't change a damn thing about living through the experience, but I just find it worth noting. Maybe that's just my need to find reasons ... even after all this time.

Lweji Fri 03-May-13 19:41:03

It may be an explanation, but good people will take note that they are doing it when told about it and take active steps to change.
The others won't care or do worse.

financialnightmare Sat 04-May-13 14:45:34

I felt like this about my Ex.

I was scared of his anger. I couldn't quite put my finger on why.

But I read a book about it, and it clicked: VERY early in our relationship, he HAD done some violent things - throwing stuff at the wall, just once, and driving off really fast 'because I'd upset him'. Stuff like that, I realise now, is actually what triggers that 'fear of angering him'. He is showing you that he will get violent/agressive. Even if he doesn't do it ever again, he taught you that lesson.

I left. It was the best thing I've ever done for me. Chaos for the children though.

JustinBsMum Sat 04-May-13 15:44:11

He sounds nasty. I think it is his demons, his anger and disappointment in himself and rather than admit or face them, people take the anger they feel out on their partner, turning it round so that the partner is the annoyance and that they themselves are fine. Self delusional to deny their own failings.

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