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Support for those in Emotionally Abusive relationships: thread 27

(1000 Posts)
CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Mon 04-Nov-13 21:57:32

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 violence Are 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.
Warning signs you’re dating a loser 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’re 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 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
What you should expect as a starting point for your treatment in a relationship, as you will of course be treating others!!

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Mon 04-Nov-13 21:58:52

Just noticed we need a new thread!

Now off to catch up on the last few posts of the last one...

CharlotteCollinsinherownplace Mon 04-Nov-13 22:29:00

Albie - good luck with the interviews. And I didn't like being sneaky, either, so I sympathise.

tweedle - grin at your FW and his housework-y attempts to get your personality hanging by the door where it belongs. I was treated so well for a while I thought to myself, "If only I'd known, I'd've broken up with him sooner!" grin grin

10 weeks is a long time, but the end is in sight and drawing nearer all the time. Remind me, does he know you're leaving? If so, can you walk away from the conversations?

it is not good for the dcs to feel they have to fit round his work You're right, Mink, and I have not seen it that clearly. That's very useful.

The "EOW, one weeknight" standard that gets mentioned: is it one weeknight a week or a fortnight? Currently, we have Fri pm to Mon am, then Tues pm to Wed am, then Tues pm to Wed am the following week, then the full weekend again. I don't really see the point of either of those Tuesdays, as they are so close to the weekends, which are already three nights long! (FW chose Tuesday because the DCs do an activity which is closer to his house, so it "made sense".)

I should maybe clarify that FW seems to be trying to keep things consistent with activities and DCs seeing friends while they are at his house. And changes because of work commitments would, I think, be made months in advance, so not last minute or anything. I don't even know if that makes a difference!

BreatheandFlyAway Mon 04-Nov-13 22:53:58

Hi all,

Not caught up for a while sad Things very difficult here. FW threatening mayhem unless I "choose love and happiness" - in other words, take him back or he'll make us all suffer. Feeling so lost and stressed. But will never go back. Getting the bad mother, selfish person routine big big time.

Thanks for new thread, Charlotte. I remember when you were still in same house and feeling low - can you advise? Thank you and I'm so pleased for you that you're out.

tweedlezee Mon 04-Nov-13 23:15:53

he is very intrusive. tonight he came back from the pub and he said hello, then good night. Then I grabbed some stuff from our room and he looked at me in the hallway, my phone made a noise, he said "what does that noise mean?" "a text" I reply "getting lots of those recently" (basically everyone telling me I am going to be ok) "got a secret admirer?" I walk away, he comes downstairs "I didn't mean to cause offence" "its ok, lets just not be like that" "like what? there's nothing weird about asking that" DON'T GASLIGHT ME YOU FW!!!
Telling me what I know is wrong. I am fully aware that this is what he has done the WHOLE time. This is why I have been confused and depressed because you don't know what you thought you knew anymore.
I will learn to walk away with time. He follows. Once we had an argument and he told me if I get angry I should walk out the room. I was getting angry form being patronised so I walked out the room. He followed me and asked what I was doing (the whole time talking to me like I am a child) asking why I would be so rude to walk out. HAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!

tweedlezee Mon 04-Nov-13 23:27:53


Need to think about myself

MrsMinkBernardLundy Tue 05-Nov-13 00:16:24

tweedle it is all textbook but that does not make it any less annoying. the whole text thing cos yeah there is no way you would leave just because you have had enough. oh no.they cannot possibly be the problem hmm hang in there. some of the tips i ave seen suggested -imagine the future but in the meantimepicture him like rumpelstiltskin stamping his little foot in fury until he fallsall they way through the floor.or picture a giver type across his forehead saying ' lies all lies. i am a FW ' etc have a soundtrack / theme tune of your choice played over his nonsense. Anything that helps you see it for the annoying mosquito like drone that it is.

albe good luck. Needs must when the devil drives. wanted to wish you luck and say you were doing the right thing on last tread but noticed it was about to fill up.

charlotte thanks. thanks
And not that I know anything about normal contact (les than 2 hrs in last 3 weeks) i believe it is one week night every week and eow. if it makes sense for him to havery them that weeknight then that seems sensible but every weekend is not fair regardless of his work.

Inthequietcoach Tue 05-Nov-13 06:25:10

Every weekend would not be upheld in a court, at least that is the advice I have had from the various legal professionals I have spoken to. Alternate weekends is to allow children quality time with both parents. The weeknight would be weekly.
I would avoid saying that the Tuesday seems pointless as they are so close to the weekends, as the obvious response from him would be to ask for them Fri - Wed am, on his weekend. I would go with if Tuesday works as the weeknight, then good, it means you then have Wed - Tues on your weekend which is a good run of time.
I think if you agree what you have outlined above, Fri - Mon alternate weekends, weekly Tues overnights, it is unlikely that he will argue for more than that.
For the work commitments, you can stipulate a time in advance you need to know by, iyswim.
it is a lot for a three year old, though, so as I said, I would look at a staged plan to get to there.

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 05-Nov-13 08:53:53

Just getting you on Threads I'm On! Can't contribute to contact thoughts; I suppose if I'd realised it was my marriage causing problems and split when kids were young, I'd have had a fight for residency due to my mental health sad According to stuff he submitted for divorce, FW gave up a successful business to care for the kids as I wasn't up to it. I'm currently going through all my paperwork from the divorce, as this is tosh and I'm not having him putting this calumny about any more.

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 10:17:19

Hi everyone haven't been on here in a long time, so have lost track

I have done an awful thing and my head is more messed up than ever. I was doing so well and no longer cared for EA ex BF.Met someone else, he'd not long come out of a relationship like myself. Seemed to hit it off, I was on the look out for red flags and because of previous experience, insecurity wasn't sure of him. He said he was very happy and really cared for me. All going well apart from the fact he didn't seem able to have penetrative sex, all other sex fine just not that. Didn't seem to be able to tell me why only that he was often like this in new relationships

Anyway I felt he wasn't contacting me as much, stopped the little email messages in the morning and me being me became paranoid and insecure. Ex txt me and I responded eventually, next thing he's driven down and is at my doorstep, saying he will be anything, my friend, my boyfriend, whatever I want

I didn't feel any rush of love, but I'm so ashamed of myself and I know I'm going to get flamed but I slept with him. He wants me back, I don't want to, I have strong feelings for other man but am scared he was messing me around, even though he seems genuine. I have ruined everything for nothing's all because I didn't feel I was getting enough attention. I am a horrible, needy, distrusting, cheater aren't I? Please please be gentle

What a total mess I have made of my life

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 10:58:57

I do not want to end it with the new man I've been seeing, I really like him. I know everyone's will say I'm not ready for a relationship but I feel quite strongly about him. I haven't a clue why I slept with ex though, I only know I do not want him back or to repeat the experience. I am an awful person I know

Maoamstripes Tue 05-Nov-13 11:06:02

Dear Jackie
Please dont beat yourself up for this, it happens. You were not with your ex when you slept with OM. Time out seems a good plan .. for yourself.. I remember when you first split with ex, i posted a few times and i remember how awfully he treat you. Are you thinking of going back to him?

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 11:15:48

No no no I do not love him anymore, sleeping with him proved that to me

It's the other man I feel dreadful for because I do have feelings for him I know that now

Maoamstripes Tue 05-Nov-13 11:23:38

ok, well at least sleeping with him has clarified that you do not love him, so thats a positive outcome. wrt to the other man, how long have you being "seeing" him?

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 11:31:57

About 6 weeks. I like him and would like a relationship that's not because I feel I need to be in a relationship it's because of how he is when we are together. I just panic and worry he's backing off me ( is this stemming from the EA) for example the first 3 to 4 weeks he would call me in the evenings if we weren't seeing eachother, now he doesn't always do that

I know I'm really needy, I like him and don't really want it to end. But I've done a terrible thing and I'm also scared the ex will find out who he is and tell him, because he's saying he wants me back

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 05-Nov-13 11:55:53

Jackie, no flaming here on the EA thread.

Can you think of it as belated break-up sex with your Ex?

I think I read your other thread about sex with the new man? My own sex life is similar, but satifying. (Although we are working on PIV) We were old friends, are happy in our separate but overlapping lives, and each is fiercely independant.

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 13:20:38

That's just it I'm not fiercely independent. I am ok on my own and manage but do prefer to be in a good relationship. How am I going to face new man after this?

Also I realise now that a massive problem I have is I am constantly trying to second guess other people i.e new man and am totally focused on them to the point where my feelings and needs are eclipsed. Even now instead of focussing on why I had sex with ex, and what does that tell me about my needs and feelings, I am worrying about if other man is really keen on me or not!!

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 05-Nov-13 13:33:09

Well, I'm an old gimmer, and in younger days did prefer to be in a relationship - even though, in my case, it turned out to be EA! The fierce independance came about at 60 through divorce and MN smile Despite my fierce independance, when the friendship developed into something else earlier this year, I spend a lot of time thinking about my bloke blush

Are you worrying that your desire for PIV sex was behind sleeping with Ex?

ponygirlcurtis Tue 05-Nov-13 13:55:01

Thanks for the new thread, lovely Charlotte. Definitely get that contact sorted, you need weekend time with the kids too.

Breathe - I can feel the worry and the stress coming out of your post. sad I wish there was a way for you to get out of that house and away from him and into your own sanctuary. Sending you hugs. flowers

Dearjackie think of it as a momentary lapse in judgement. I am dieting at the moment, and had a weak moment on Saturday and chomped down a big slice of cheesecake. Didn't enjoy it and wished I hadn't. So I am now back on track, I haven't given up or thrown in the towel over one blip. If it helps, I also slept with my FW around 4-6 weeks after I left. And I ended up letting him persuade me to 'try again' with us. That's what you need to be firm about, if you don't want that. Don't let him back in over one blip.

tweedlezee how are you today?

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 13:57:25

I don't think it was my desire for that. I think it was more that I'm feeling so unsure of new man ( start of relationship and all that) and even though the relationship with ex was stormy and we were not really compatible, I KNEW him iyswim and I knew if I spoke to him he would be there, I just knew this. I also knew he GETS me. He felt like something reliable, not the unknown iyswim.

New man and I were a bit wobbly over the end of last week and it has sparked off all sorts of insecurities. I thought it was over but he said that was never in his mind. It would be over if he ever knew about the ex though

The ex is holding himself up as a friend I can talk to and saying he still loves/ cares for me. I don't hate him now I just know there can't be a relationship again

KouignAmann Tue 05-Nov-13 15:06:36

Another old gimmer here grin
I've been around here more than three years in my Little House by the River making Lemon Drizzle cake. We have chatted before Silver and I am amused how our lives are running along in parallel. My delightful DP also has issues about PIV but we get around it most naughtily and to our mutual satisfaction. Some electrical assistance needed at times! Or just lots of cuddles.

Jackie you need to talk to your new man and find out what he feels about sex generally and with you in particular. It may be early nerves or it may be a longer term problem. Time will tell. Try not to spend too much time second guessing him! If he is good for you he will reassure you not make you more anxious.

At the moment I am winding up the sale of our family home with FW who is pulling his usual tricks doubting me and questioning whether I have copied him in on emails and so on. After one evening of signing documents he stood up and made a speech apologising for being a bad husband, blamed his parents and said he would spend the rest of his life alone "regretting his failed marriage". I think he was hoping I would fall into his arms and agree it was all a mistake and I would go back and start again. Or was that just imagination on my part? I know he hates failing at anything. I thanked him nicely and left ASAP.

I have seen a house I like that I could buy, but am tending to think I don't want too much to deal with at a time. Maybe let the divorce and the house sale happen then have a breather before starting more legal processes!

Have a brew and cake on a chilly day.

tweedlezee Tue 05-Nov-13 15:21:02

HI ALL. I'm doing ok today thank ponygirlcurtis.
He did his best to get a rise out of me yesterday. I was not biting but god I want to kill him "be water" a friend said to me today. So that is what I must be smile

I've had so much support from friends. the most amazing thing though has been my sons change. Already he is kissing and cuddling me more. I think it because I am being myself and enjoying my time with them [more. DS keeps kissing and cuddling me! It's LUSH!

I am leaving the room when FW is playing with them because I get my quality time with them during the day. I am still apprehensive about so many weeks in this house but I need to let that go because it will not speed things up.
I have bought myself some new boots today. He moans I am always buying myself new stuff. I am not. I am trying to plan stuff for everyday so I have a lot to look forward to and I think I have also decided to have the kids with me for 10 days over boxing day to new year. That will eat up some time!!! (then there will only be 2 weeks!!! never before have I looked forward to the festive season so much!!!)

Hand holding required of course.

and a whole lot of OM and wine until I am in my new home.

KouignAmann Tue 05-Nov-13 15:24:26

breathe I can't imagine how hard it is for you trying to get this man out of your life when he just doesn't accept it is over. I would be tempted to let him have it with both barrels and spell out that while he will always be a parent to your children you don't like or love him and you want nothing more to do with him except as it relates to your DC. Then withdraw totally. Does it matter what he thinks of you?

ColinButterfly Tue 05-Nov-13 16:31:40

Thank you for the new thread. Been thinking of posting for a bit but a bit reluctant to as I'm not in the best place. Things were supposed to get better, but they are just getting worse and I don't understand. I thought time was a healer but every day that goes on is just another bloody day without him.

I hit the six month mark a few weeks ago and sobbed my face off all day. I got in a very very low place and decided I couldn't go on any longer. I had what felt like a moment of clarity to enjoy Christmas (my first with my nephew) and maybe my next birthday, but beyond that I was done. I don't want to get to a year being apart from FW. I felt a bit better once I'd decided that. Then I went to a funeral the following day and the guilt at what my absence would do to my sister and aunt was too much. So I decided that I didn't have any choice but to stick around. Now I've realised that is the case, I just feel trapped in this hell and that there isn't any way out. I feel so stuck in this godforsaken hell with flashes of happiness (and they are flashes. One hour each week at a class I go to makes me happy and then when I see my nephew).

I don't socialise very much, which would have made FW very happy had he not pissed off. I've started redecorating the house which is therapeutic in a way, but I can't help but feel a bit pathetic, going home to do work on the house compared to being with FW (I never had time/money before). Plus I have cried a few times when doing it. In fact, I've cried so much more this last month. Work isn't going very well either. I spend so much time feeling inadequate and my fixed term contract ends early next year.

I'm back to taking life a few hours at a time. I hate that he just left me behind, that more time is passing and that he hasn't given me a second thought.

Rant over.

Dearjackie Tue 05-Nov-13 16:52:48

colin I'm so sorry to hear you are feeling low. It's very hard isn't it. Do you think things seem worse not better at the moment because the passage of a little time tends to blur how bad things were with FW and then the loneliness stands out more?

I always think of a saying I first heard on here and keep repeating it to myself when I feel low about anything " This too shall pass" and it is true
flowers for you

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