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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!!

fabulousfoxgloves Sun 28-Jul-13 21:27:11

pony, I did an 8 hour drive to see dsis and friends just after ds was born, well, he was about four months. It was one of the most empowering things, because I used to travel a lot just me and dd, and so it was a bit like, yes, I can still do this. Though, I somehow lost that feeling because after that it was quite hard to get away myself. Re-discovering it now. You are motivating me to plan my next long trip!

FairyFi Sun 28-Jul-13 21:27:59

wow Pony y y y way to go!

It can be so isolating and such hard work managing all alone, but it is sooo much better than with them, to be honest, I felt lonelier being in the relationship WITH him?!!! painfully so

ponygirlcurtis Sun 28-Jul-13 21:46:36

Yay for girlie road trips! I am quite looking forward to mine. I have ordered about 4 'Eye-Spy' books from Amazon for DS1 - we used to do epic car trips every year for holidays when I was a kid, Scotland to Torquay or France - and I remember loving those wee books. When I moved back to Scotland from Cambridge it was just me and 3-year-old DS1 in the car, plus my elderly car-sick cat. grin Everyone was dead worried about me doing it, but it was fine and I felt such a sense of achievement. Am in awe of your 8-hr one with a 4-month-old though, fox, that's hardcore! You should definitely plan something, it'll be something to focus on and look forward to.

And Fi I completely agree. I have felt lonely sometimes. But not quite so soul-crushingly, devastatingly alone as I felt within the relationship, with no voice, no prospects, no hope. I have lots of hope now.

FairyFi Sun 28-Jul-13 22:21:23

I have to say winter is the hardest.

Knowing without another adult around you cannot even leave the house ever once dinner time routine and bed starts and it dark and cold. [grimface]

When FW fails to deliver on contact (repeatedly) which was the only time I could get out, short of paying out ill-afforded BSitters and no lack of acknowledgement for that on his part.

Still, even despite all that, would never ever go back to the life endured tiptoed around with FW


you amazing ladies and your huge adventures with your lovely babies, they have amazing mums!

minkembernard Sun 28-Jul-13 23:00:50

and rose if your FW was like mine and not much use, you won't actually notice the difference other than all the eggshells will have been tidied away. mine used to come in at all hours. stay out of the house all day. so I pretty much went everywhere by myself anyway and any time he did come it was like taking an extra child.

holidays with him were a nightmare.

and I never could go out after the bedtime routine. if we ran out of something he hardly ever came in before the shop shut. he did 'let me out' once a week but was often so late that by the time he got there it as either too late to go or I was in a bad mood and my night off was ruined. and if for example I had not left his tea out he would chuck an absolute fit and walk out again so that I couldn't go out. he made it very clear that him looking after his kids [for me] was massive favour and I should be grateful. if I complained he was late or said a word he would chuck a shouting fit about how I always did this when he was doing me a favour.

the irony being that I really did do favours for him and every time he really did shout at me for nothing. like the time I came to help him with some chores and he threw me and the kids out screaming fuck off you cunt so loud that all the neighbours heard it just because the kids did not do something just the way he wanted it.

so really rose life is better...much better.

bountyicecream Sun 28-Jul-13 23:15:10

Hello again. I've been lurking but not felt up to posting. Am actually forcing myself a bit now but feel I need to reconnect rather than bury my head in the sand sad

We have had our initial counselling session. I tried to go into it thinking that this may well not work itself out for me and knowing that it is probably not really recommended. It was me and FW with a counsellor couple (husband and wife). They were nice. Non judgmental on either of us. The main aim seemed to be to air our grievances rather than to sort anything. Next session we actually start talking.

I can't help feeling that FW probably came across as reasoned and controlled whereas I must have seemed irrational and emotional at times. Fw has been very cheery since. He also gave a very believable statement at the end that he is currently so scared of me threatening to leave that he is not (apparantly) voicing any of his opinions on any subject as he is so worried of upsetting me. I felt like he was painting me as the dominant one in our relationship which is about a million miles away from the truth. Even now. He is definitely still making his opinions known - by sulking if he doesn't get his own way if he doesn't actually verbalise them.

I'm going to go to session 2 but at the same time remind myself that what the counsellors think of me is irrelevant.

It's tough though and I feel weary and tired. I'm off to bed soon but will catch up with you all soon. I know I'm taking more than I'm giving just now.

minkembernard Sun 28-Jul-13 23:41:01

bounty as we said upthread if you have rant we have brew

i think you have hit the nail on the head it matters not what they think nor what he says. it is how you feel.

if you don't believe he has or will change you can go.
or just because you are not happy.

sorry you are finding the counselling so hard.
keep posting and don't feel you have to give back.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 07:13:51

pony, it is funny, I had forgotten about it, and how I felt, in everything that followed. I will be honest and say it took more like 11 hours, I was well acquainted with service stations by the end. But yes, planning the future, that is the focus. A timely comment thanks

bounty, the counselling should not be about justifying yourself. He is using your unhappiness (expressed as wishing to leave) to make himself the victim. I feel for you, I really do. But you have the right to leave if you are unhappy, and from everything you have said on here, you have had reason to be unhappy.

FairyFi Mon 29-Jul-13 09:46:34

good to hear from you Bounty I think it all sounds like they are getting a clear picture, so long as they as DV completely aware. Sorry to hear its so tough ((hugs))) xxxx

ponygirlcurtis Mon 29-Jul-13 09:48:44

Morning bounty - it will be v hard to see him painting himself as the victim and then obviously feeling so smug about. Keep posting, it's what we are here for. And remember you do not have to give counselling a go if you feel it's not working for you, not achieving what you want it to. It already sounds like it isn't. sad

fox yes, I need to do some planning about the best service stations to stop at. I need to do some planning full stop. And I need to try and reign in the panic that I'm not going to get everything done... Argh! Note to self: be an adult about this, hoik up your big girl pants and just blooming well get on with it! grin

FairyFi Mon 29-Jul-13 11:09:54

and yes, to the comment pony made, that is does sound like it isn't sad Bounty

betterthanever Mon 29-Jul-13 11:43:37

Bounty my exp is a `victim' too but eventually he will be seen for the `entitled' twunt he is.
You are not duty bound to ensure his needs are met at all times and you are not responsible for his emotions that he uses to get at you. I mentioned to rose the other day, despite not having spoken directly to my exp for over 8 years!!! I am still to blame for his unhappiness and how his life has gone all these years confused he sees no problem blaming me for it. When I see what he writes about me/his life (to court) it reminds me of the victim stories he told me when we first met. It is always everyone else's fault he is totally blameless.

If he really feels you are to blame for his unhappiness why is he so unhappy you want to leave? surley if you are the problem then he would be wanting the split up himself? So maybe what he is really saying is - `I want to stay in the relationship but I want to continue treating you the way I have been doing and I don't want you to complain about it anymore' - `if you do compain, I will continue to tell everyone you the problem because you don't do what I say all the time until you realise that I am the boss and the only way you will be even remotley happy is to do what I say and agree with what i think and you can't leave me as you are here to meet my needs' and maybe `and I am running out of ways to control you and things to say, so I say nothing and give you the silent treatment instead so you may try and get me to speak and then I can blame you unless you meet my needs'.

I think the next session may go better as you know what to expect more but if it isn't working for you, leave it at that.
I know that it would be a total waste of time having any kind of meeting with my exp - he will never view anything he does as wrong he will never take any responsibility for anything that goes on his his life - I think you once said bounty - he doesn't have any normal negotiating skills - he plays dumb when it suits, meanwhile he is scheming away in the background.To my exp the current situation is war.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 12:06:48

good post better and yy this is exactly how my FW would frame it. I am unhappy that you are not happy with me being a shit. no fair!
when I binned him off he came back with all kinds of grievances about me...and I just replied, yes, more good reasons to split up.

it absolutely sucks that they get to believe what they want and that they may get other people to believe them but at the end of the day this matters less then your happiness and the well-being of your dc.

he will probably never validate your feelings or own up to his behaviour. it sticks in my craw to this day. but at the end of the day what goes on in his head is just that, in his head.

it is not true that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. you know. and as it is your life it is what you know that counts.

wishing you strength bounty in untangling the knots. thanks

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 14:36:38

I may be about to start a mini skirmish here
but I am sick to the back teeth of people parachuting into DA threads and using phrases like 'enabling' and 'allowing him to abuse you'

and then all the it's the poor children/you are a crap mum brigade fly in
I am by no means saying that growing up in a DA household is a good thing but there is no point undermining the person who is most likely trying to protect them when instead you could offer them some support.

lord it makes my blood boilangry and the ignorance makes me sad too.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 14:58:47

mink, the article I linked to on the other thread, had a section on the battered mum's dilemma, worth a read. Am not on pc, so don't have it to hand, but you might find some ammunition there? Need to get on with work, but will try and have a look later. Part of the problem is that people tend to think leaving is easy, wheras it is not, on so many levels, and also, that once you leave, the problem stops. Whereas the stats on what can happen once you leave are really quite frightening (not to put anyone off leaving though, there are support systems and you get stronger etc, but leaving is not the end of the story).

pony, ahh, the panic at not getting everything done, I am feeling it at the moment, question: is 'everything' realistic, what can you leave?

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 15:22:14

better, the second paragraph in your post is so totally it, that is how they see it. That he feels justified in laying it at your door, 8 years on, in a court of law shows how warped he is.

BloomingRose Mon 29-Jul-13 16:22:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 16:38:02

rose you are right sadly. he does think he is wrong.

and look ay it this way, if you leave him you cannot guarantee you will meet someone else but you will almost certainly be happier and you will have the chance to meet someone else. if you stay you will not have that chance.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 16:59:17

Oh yes, rose, there is someone better waiting for you, the rose who is not on four pills a day, and saddled with the FW who is now trying to make you think he will be doing you a favour by coming, the rose who smiles at the day, as she leads a fulfilling life delivering babies and picking her dd up from school, and has fun days off doing (insert hobby of choice) and maybe, just maybe has met the man she deserves who goes out in the morning to get her breakfast, because, you know, he loves her.

You don't need the man on the end to see that this rose is happier.

Seriously, do not buy the 'maybe I will come' tender kiss stuff. He is worried his pay cheque is going to leave the building.

BloomingRose Mon 29-Jul-13 19:25:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 19:32:17

if you don't like it and you habeas told him you don't like it then that should be that rose. in a normal relationship what would be the benefit of making you uncomfortable?

and yes in a good relationship...or even at the start of a bad one, a man can make you feel special and cherished. but you don't need a man to know you are special. you are special rose you must cherish yourself. and once you are away from him you will be able to do that far more easily. flowers every day (even if it is just a metaphor!)

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 19:37:04

oh and yes rose. it is creepy and about giving himself a higher status/authority over it despite the fact that in reality he is behaving like a child and not a man

betterthanever Mon 29-Jul-13 19:50:05

rose he doesn't care if you are any pills or not or if you are on them, why - he only cares that you meet his needs, that he is ok. He values himself so highly that he is living with the notion that he will move with you if he wants to, because you want him too - he is in denial which is why I worry about you so much.
My ex knew that the line had been crossed he had gone too far too quick, he paniked that people would find him out, so he ran..... he thinks that after all this time people will have forgotton what happened - he doesn't see his actions as out of the norm - no one will ever forget - the best barrister in the world will not get round the truth - he forgets that.

His birthday will be over tomorrow and it will one day closer to your move rose hold on, you will never look back.

betterthanever Mon 29-Jul-13 19:53:38

rose you have just reminded me my exp used to call himself by his own first name - is that talking about yourself in the first person? anyway I read that Hitler used to do that... mink is spot on, it shows just how much he thinks of himself and how superior to you he thinks he is.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Mon 29-Jul-13 19:54:38

Put the idea of other men aside for a moment, Rose; you will feel better about yourself without him there.

Does he know where the new house is? Could he try to move with you, pretending to think that's what you want?

He definitely sounds creepy. All that Dadda stuff - yuk.

bounty, the counselling sounds hard work and not much point, tbh. Just what my FW has said, that stuff about being scared of upsetting you and you being in control cos you could leave any time.

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