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Support for those in Emotionally Abusive relationships: 24

(1000 Posts)
foolonthehill Wed 10-Jul-13 19:58:14

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!!

foolonthehill Wed 10-Jul-13 19:58:44

And so a new thread begins: welcome all and sorry you need to be here.

ponygirlcurtis Wed 10-Jul-13 20:04:00

Thanks fool that was amazingly quick!!! thanks

ponygirlcurtis Wed 10-Jul-13 20:05:08

(Continuing on from discussion on 23...)

Well done Alice for drawing your line in the sand. Hope you can get through to WA - I emailed them, at the local branch, that was useful too. And also think about Respect - I know it's aimed at the abusive men themselves, but I got good advice a couple of times when I phoned them up.

mink hope that book helps, I had a look and am wondering if I should get it too (thanks fool for the link) - my counselling comes to an end soon, and I'm also building up an anti-FW library to help me after it ends.

Charlotte - yep, just ignore the email. Nothing in it requires addressing - the 'scolding' hmm just ignore, the ridiculous suggestion, just ignore. I don't think for a second he thinks sharing a car is a good idea, it's just a device to get you into a discussion with him. Glad you are feeling more reconciled re the house.

fool thinking about you lots. You are a strong lady.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 20:15:20

fool yes, I agree. I'm going to redraw the boundaries in neon writing - make sure they're much clearer, and point out that if he cannot manage his behaviour around us during visits with them then I will have to look into having the visits at a contact centre instead.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 10-Jul-13 20:19:59

Charlotte imagine the emails came from some random stranger, and not FW.

Do not reply till you have talked to a sol. Always take time to think through replying or not, and then think some more. As I've said before, I discovered my own FW's delaying tactics at least gave me time to really think things through.

My own first thought for a reply would be "I do not wish to share a car with you."

foolonthehill Wed 10-Jul-13 20:21:52

And when drafting a reply don't put the address in the box until you are double triple sure about sending it...that way you can't send something accidentally

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 10-Jul-13 20:30:54

Oh and any emails to my own FW, I would begin "Dear [FW's first name]", as opposed to the usual email salutation of Hi [name], and would finish with Regards and my first name. ie. polite, formal and distant smile

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 21:04:50

I note that he is already rewriting some of the shit he spouted last week - "I never said that!" Actually, yes you did - exactly those words, in fact.

And the subtle "you need to do this" and "you should do that" stuff. I just kept saying "I'll make my own decisions, thanks." hmm

betterthanever Wed 10-Jul-13 21:09:59

Thanks fool flowers lost you all for a min then.
alice is there any way a third party could also be there too? until other arrangements can be made. I am worried by how he doesn't even seem to be trying to be nice. I am worried it will get worse.
I keep thinking about that book mink but I hope he will not get that far with DS IYGWIM.
Hi pony hope you are ok.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 21:17:30

better that's something I'm looking into.

bountyicecream Wed 10-Jul-13 21:33:28

Oooh my heart skipped a beat when I realised there was no room for me on the last thread. But tracked you all down smile Thanks fool flowers

alice I emailed WA too. I've found it really useful as you can refer back to them too if you want to. A contact centre or 3 rd person sounds like the possible answer. My FW is a toned down version of yours so I'm a bit worried what might happen post split. Every time 2yo DD throws even a minor (normal 2 yr old) tantrum he kicks off about how spoilt she is becoming hmm

fool sorry the FWery is ongoing with you.

silvery great emailing advice smile

I've had some minor FWery this evening. H phoned and we had a generally civil conversation. Now some of you might recall that I have agreed to going to a counselling session with FW. I know this might not be a great idea but I'm hoping going in with my eyes wide open, armed with Lundy and coming back on here for a debrief before agreeing anything should make it fairly safe.

So it is booked for a couple of weeks time which was the earliest we could be fitted in. It's on a Saturday. Childcare arranged. I have to say Fw sounded less then pleased when I told him that I'd arranged it. I half suspected he offered it as something I'd want to hear but had little intention of following through

Tonight FW casually said he thought it would be better rearranged for the end of next month when he's back from working away. I disagreed. For one I feel like I'm in limbo waiting for it. At the moment we have just papered over the cracks and being (on the whole) civil to each other, but have not addressed any of our issues. Therefore I'm itching to get to it. He suggested we go on a work day so that I slip out of work for a few hours, Do the session and then pop back to work shock

I was gobsmacked but basically said that I'm not changing it. That we need it ASAP. That it is not going to be just one session as our problems cannot be sorted in 1 hr!!!! He seems to think it is going to be a magic wand, go along and then hey presto all fixed. Plus it's not like a lunch date that you can just arrange for the middle of the day. I suspect we will be upset and there will be tears so I'm hardly going to want to return to work with puffy red eyes am I? And am unlikely to be in a state to actually do some work.

Do you think I'm right that this is just a delaying/wriggling out of it tactic. Seeing as he suggested the counselling at the point that I was ready to walk out you'd think he should be biting my hand off to get to it.

Rant over. Thank you.

minkembernard Wed 10-Jul-13 21:49:58

bounty smlied at your anti FW library. and at you walking out with a flick of your hair. it will come...soon.

counselling, yes he is weaseling. say you think it is urgent and important?

Alice sorry he is making contact a nightmare. i don't think you should have to supervise either. can understand why you want to be there for dc but it is giving him an opportunity to abuse you.

fool sorry you too are still having a turbulent time. yay for summer weather though.

we have been eating tons of just picked home grown strawbberries. smile

flowers all for the kind words.

minkembernard Wed 10-Jul-13 21:52:03

oh and thread pledge..i got half way through the repaint on last better do the rest on this and also acknowledget my feelings instead of skating over them with the brave face on and do some healing.
and get the CSA to pull their finger out!!

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 21:54:57

bounty .......Every time 2yo DD throws even a minor (normal 2 yr old) tantrum he kicks off about how spoilt she is becoming.......
that's exactly what I'm dealing with.

mink it's the abuse of the DCs that upsets me most. There's no need of it.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 10-Jul-13 22:02:31

Definitely a delaying tactic, bounty. He does not sound happy with the arrangement! Well done you for standing firm. Maybe he'll get his way and it won't even happen (he won't turn up or something) but the very farce of trying to arrange it will show you enough to help you to your bolthole?

Unfortunately, apart from the highlights I mentioned, FW's email contained loads of other stuff which does need answering. Plus all in his inimitable style, so rather hard to pretend it's from a random stranger. Just makes my stomach knot up starting to read it.

And another one this evening about the summer. He's suggesting far more time with the dcs over the summer holidays than I'm comfortable with them having. It's too much change from what's normal for them, too quickly. I think I want to say no to a chunk of what he's proposing. Can I actually do that? Sorry to sound like an idiot, but the idea of saying no to him scares me. Not that I have any reason for that, I don't think I've actually done it before we separated!

bountyicecream Wed 10-Jul-13 22:02:46

alice I think it is partly a dig at me. He is away in the week so each time she does something he doesn't approve of he can turn to me and say 'see how things are falling apart now I'm not here'. But I do worry that he genuinely believes that a well brought up 2 year old would never throw a tantrum. If she did everything that was asked immediatly and without tantruming then surely that would make her a robot and not a child !?!??

bountyicecream Wed 10-Jul-13 22:06:26

charlotte If he actually didn't turn up then that would be it. I woudln't turn up for ongoing life with him!!!

I think you can say 'no' to the contact. Totally get the fear thing. I sometimes feel sick and the thought of a difficult conversation with H and I have never ever felt physically intimidated by him. It is just conditioning I think. But the contact is for the DCs sake and not his, so if you think it would be a big upheavel for them then he ought to accept that. He should at least be building up to more contact so perhaps he sees them for more in week 6 of the holiday rather than week 1?

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 10-Jul-13 22:06:36

Btw, I am sure that he thinks sharing a car a great idea (it can be the dcs' car! hmm), since he will be out of the country when he's not using it and it makes sure that my freedom is restricted when I don't have the children. Win-win from his perspective...

Silvery, yes I'm going to talk to sol and WA before replying.

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 22:07:53

bounty yes, same here. And when I've pointed out that H's aggressive behaviour when he is angry is teaching DC that aggression is the way to behave when he is angry or upset, then I'm out of line - I'm pushing blame on him when it's not his fault. But dammit, children learn what they see - how hard is that really to figure out?

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 22:09:43

Charlotte one of my closest friends just texted me saying "just tell him to piss off." grin You may, if you like, follow that advice as well. I'm happy to share. grin

AliceDoesntLiveHereAnymore Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:24

whoops!!! I mean tell HIM to piss off. Not you pissing off, of course. grin Reread that and thought that didn't come out QUITE right.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 10-Jul-13 22:10:38

I woudln't turn up for ongoing life with him!!! Classic line - love it!

Yeah, he's clearly not seeing the contact as being for dc's sake - it's a numbers game for him and he is fighting me for equality of access. Which I don't need to tell you is quite a different attitude from his pre-separation one...

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 10-Jul-13 22:11:44

grin Alice - I didn't read it that way! Think that sounds great advice for you to say to your FW!

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 10-Jul-13 22:12:35

I think maybe I'll practise "No" for a while before moving on to "piss off"! grin

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