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Support thread for those in emotionally abusive relationships...coming of age:21

(1000 Posts)
foolonthehill Sat 04-May-13 11:49:00

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!!

LemonDrizzled Sat 04-May-13 12:22:48

Key of the door? wink
Morning all!

minkembra Sat 04-May-13 12:31:37

hello hello. imminent fw arrival do best brace myself. back later.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Sat 04-May-13 12:35:04

Signing in...

That toilet thing - I have had to accompany him there lots, too, because that was the best time for FW to talk to me, as he wasn't busy with more important stuff. V smelly and usually not v healthy, due to travelling bugs! <boaky boak>

If he tries it now, I shut the door on him. And at the moment he's taking it...

FairyFi Sat 04-May-13 12:37:55

True depravity from your Ex FW Colin

What is it about them and shitting in front of you... mine could be relied upon to hammer the door down for that whenever I had just sunk into a relaxing bath - no lnger relaxing... he was the most disgusting smelling pig I ever encountered (oh apart from is mother that is, their gut gases smelt exactly the same <boak> )

FairyFi Sat 04-May-13 12:42:02

thanks Fool

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 12:47:55

Are all of you still in the relationship?

I came out of a long term relationship where there was gaslighting, mistreatment and eventually violence, but I feel guilty about the way I reacted (I ended up screeching back, acting erratically etc when I felt threatened), has anyone been in a similar situation?

Is it children that make you stay? Sorry, am curious!

minkembra Sat 04-May-13 12:57:33

i was just musing that if for example someone tells me they think infidelity is wrong then i assume they would not cheat or if they say they are telling the truth then it is the truth. if i don't have reason to believe someone has done something wrong then it is wrong to assume they have.
whereas i think giving people the benefit of the doubt is a good thing.
i have just realised that in a fws eyes that makes me a very stupid person. someone who probably deserves to be lied to.

not going to let that change me though. it just made me a bit sad for about five minutes. i think ex saw that as not only stupid but actually a reason to despise me.

he worked on the assumption that if it occurred to him that someone might do something then they almost certainly had done(because it is what he would have done had he been them). so e.g. he could not believe that i just left him because i would rather be on my own. he always thought people were pulling a fast one.

TheSilveryPussycat Sat 04-May-13 13:01:03

Hi currently, some of us are out, some of us have DC so still contact with FW, some of us are planning, some of us are untying the knots, some of us are waking up, some of us are going cold turkey.

Many of us have worried that we were the abusive one, but that very worry means we aren't. Tis a reaction!

minkembra Sat 04-May-13 13:01:07

currently. some in some out. i am out. your situation sounds v similar to mine. as in i got a but erratic and shouted.
welcome smile although sorry you find yourself needing this thread.
will post more later. now is my for hours of freedom for the wk hmm

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 13:04:36

Hi silvery and minkembra, I guess the only thing I can do something about it myself! I saw a doctor a few months ago and she said that I wouldn't just snap out of it, it would take time.

She was right, only starting to feel a lot better now, hope you both are too smile

minkembra Sat 04-May-13 13:07:15

the above ^ ^ re trust. that is not the same as having no boundaries is it? confused maybe i am an idiot.

minkembra Sat 04-May-13 13:08:31

it does take time. we are here for you and each other smile and anyone else who needs it though. brew

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 13:26:51

Oops I meant to say that the only thing I can do something about is my own behaviour. Hope it's as lovely and sunny wherever you are as it is here!

butterflymeadow Sat 04-May-13 13:46:18

thanks fool for new thread.

currently, yes, I recognise what you are saying, I used to feel very pressured and panic, sometimes feeling I just wanted to scream, and it took me a long time to unpick what was going on because it happened gradually from an occasional feeling to frequent. I definitely thought it was me, or circumstances, or not being organised enough, till I started using techniques to manage the panic and could feel the provocation from him but didn't respond, and he would press some more. It is very hard to explain. I will try later, at the moment I am cleaning before dcs get back.

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 13:53:38

butterfly I'd like to hear how you found it. Are you still with your OH?

Another thing is the anger, when I eventually spoke to a domestic abuse agency and mentioned it the lady said that that was what surprised her the most when she started the job, she was thinking 'why are they all so angry?'

I would think perhaps anger at being mistreated and the way it changes you, and for getting into the situation. I did love him though and heard from him yesterday, I think the subcontext was that he's scared of starting again and I gave him some reassurance - it did amuse me to see that he felt happier after that. It was such a one way street though!

butterflymeadow Sat 04-May-13 14:10:44

No, we separated a few months ago, though I am learning how ingrained the dynamics and thought patterns are.

Anger, I think I was more angry when we were together because I felt quite powerless really, I knew things were wrong and whatever I did to fix things, he just carried on the same. A mixture of anger and resentment. Plus, never having time to think, whereas now, if I start to feel stressed and angry, I can think, oh, what is causing this, what is the best way to react. I don't feel under pressure to respond.

Are you okay after seeing your ex?

butterflymeadow Sat 04-May-13 14:14:39

But I could not express the anger because then I was being aggressive or unfriendly. So I became physically ill and anxious. I am physically fine now and working on the anxiety.

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 14:20:07

Yep same thing here, angry when together. It really helped me speaking to a schoolfriend at the time, she had been in a bad relationship and said it changed her for the worse and made her feel aggrieved all the time, actually a culmination of things people said helped me end it. I think I thought I couldn't live without him at the time so it was really scary.

Yes he's fine, I'd really like him to have a happy life.

You have done really well, seems like you have been very self-evaluative and changed your thought and behaviour patterns. I'm still in the early stages of this wink

butterflymeadow Sat 04-May-13 14:32:48

That is kind to say, but not really, I am struggling with anxiety. But I started counselling and she said it is a physical feeling, you can't make it go away, so I am at the start of working how to deal with it. But the anger and resentment, I don't feel like it is eating me up any more.
Well done for ending it, though that sounds odd in a normal world, but for me, it was definitely one of the hardest decisions I have ever made.

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 14:38:30

Oooh try the live life to the full site:, and also the mental health foundation has a brilliant podcast on mindfulness, the first time I tried that I felt so detached it was scary!

butterflymeadow Sat 04-May-13 14:44:24

thanks will definitely have a look.

BreatheandFlyAway Sat 04-May-13 15:48:39

Hi thanks for new thread. Yy to all sentiments expressed on bit so far! Hello Confused and sorry you have suffered enough to be here but well done on moving on.

ColinCaterpillar Sat 04-May-13 16:05:47

Hi currently I'm out but it wasn't my choice and am v upset about it all. He wanted space/wasn't sure which I suspected and then had confirmed, an OW who he is now in a relationship with. I miss him and am sad he isn't coming back again.

It was making me unhappy though, causing me to be depressed and shouty. I ended up hitting him a couple of times so now he's telling all and sundry that I was the abusive threatening one. I always hated confrontation before whereas we argued everyday and he has me thinking it's me.

I'm going cold turkey - he won't contact me and wouldn't answer me now anyway - and its awful! I keep getting waves of sadness.

currentlyconfuseddotcom Sat 04-May-13 16:12:02

Colin, go with it and keep busy, it will get better. Have you found ways to distract yourself? Just think, no more arguing or wondering if you're going mad when they deny things.

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