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Support for those in emotionally abusive relationships - thread 31

(746 Posts)
CharlotteCollins Tue 21-Apr-15 15:54:33

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


"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!


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!!

CharlotteCollins Tue 21-Apr-15 15:55:27

Welcome, one and all, new posters, "old" posters and lurkers alike!

dosshouse Tue 21-Apr-15 15:58:37

marking place xx

ponygirlcurtis Tue 21-Apr-15 21:55:26

Thanks Charlotte, star that you are. smile

Can't believe that's two years you have been out now. Can you look back now and see how far you have come? flowers in advance of your two-year anniversary next month. Next month will also be my anniversary, three years since I did a midday flit and left, although it was another good six months after that before I could finally and definitely say (to him) it was over. Everyone takes their own path, there's not right/wrong just what's best for you in that instant.

CharlotteCollins Tue 21-Apr-15 23:00:40

Hi, pony! Yes, two years - although two years ago exactly, I was trying again, between the two separations, so I'm trying not to think about it too much - can't bear to think back to that time!

I can definitely see tha I have come so far since then. I've just recently had a nice two months or so of getting on with my life and not really thinking back or processing much at all - and now seem to be going back into processing and more revelations about how much was bad and how little was good in the marriage.

Everyone takes their own path - so true - and interesting how many paths involve a few U-turns on the way!

Happybelle21 Tue 21-Apr-15 23:49:54

Hi everyone I'm new to hear. I'm worried that I'm in a EA relationship. I am continually question myself and then doubt my feelings. I'm currently pregnant so unsure if hormones are adding to how I feel?
My DP and I have been togther for 8 years we had a break a few years ago due to his behaviour but managed to work through everything. I feel I'm constantly waiting on his mood to decide everything. If he is in a good mood everything is great but when he is in one of his bad moods it's like the whole atmosphere changes and we are all miserable. I feel I can't disagree on anything with him as he gets angry and tells me to shut up and not to talk and it causes an argument.( this can be something minor). He doesn't like having my own opinion or that's how it feels. If he wants sex and I'm not in the mood he will make me feel bad and say he has the right to touch me when he want ect. He is very tight when it comes to money I pay all bills and rent if my wage and he pays for his car and still doesn't offer me money and expects me to pay when we are out. There are good points about the relationship and I love him dearly. I just don't know if I can live with the moods anymore I would like a relationship that is happy the majority of the time and not feel I'm waiting on his mood. It's a really hard one! I know people will think just leave him but it's not always that simple when you love someone and don't want to through something away if I am just being over emtional x

fairyfi Tue 21-Apr-15 23:55:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fairyfi Tue 21-Apr-15 23:57:46

i wasn't this scared when i faced him daily, i just cried quietly a lot, and i am glad i don't do that anymore!

as flowers seem to be appropriate mark of achievement here... flowers for your anniversaries smile

havea share of some cake too and offers wine

Fi x

TimidLividyetagain Wed 22-Apr-15 01:44:22

I got out this thread helped a few years ago when bad stuff happened. It took about two yrs to decide then another year to dither plot and then act to leave. I wasnt ready before that. Had to do the detaching thing first. Now im fine. Hes devastated. But no one can hassle me oj my house. I can sleep knowing no one will burst in and corner me in my room. I can watch what i like. Buy stiff and no have it smashed. And not hear cRiticism . Is great. Is peaceful. Thank u thread folk tis Charlotte all of u. I had stopped on this as he found me and mocked it.

Namechanger2015 Wed 22-Apr-15 07:06:52

Hi can I join this thread please. I could really do with some support. I left my husband in Jan.

He has been EA throughout my 9year marriage, although he was great before we got married.

In Oct 2008 and in Dec 2014 he was viplent towards me - the second time was in front of our 3 DC. Since then he refused to apologise, said it was my fault etc and so I left with DC in Jan and am living with my parents.

Since then we have been talking and he has promised to make big changes including going on an abusers course and moving city to live with us near my family.
None of these things have happened.

He is dithering with everything and has not changed his ways during this 3 month seperation. I went NC a month ago and he has started calling a relative of mine and discussing our relationship instead. Bizarrely he is also calling and discussing with my best friends husband. He is blaming me for beig a rubbish wife for a multitude of reasons, but won't really acknowledge or discuss the violence.

So the promise of change is not looking good.

I have been dithering over the divorce just in case it's the wrong move and I can make this work between us.

I am terrified of being a single parent I never in a million years imagined my life would be like this. I feel cheated out of a happy marriage and partnership and loving partner.

But I know I have to divorce him. My family are fully supportive of me and I have a good solicitor I can enlist to take on my case.

I just have to take the step and start proceedings.

Does anyone have any words of support or help to get me through this?

Namechanger2015 Wed 22-Apr-15 07:11:11

What was it that made you ladies take the first step from seperation to divorce? It feels like the beginning of something huge and nasty and irreversible.

thatsnotmynamereally Wed 22-Apr-15 07:29:37

namechanger it does feel like a big step but you're doing the right thing and you've got all of the groundwork in place. I think that a difficult thing to overcome is to think that they might see sense-- of course if he was violent he was totally in the wrong but he still blames you?? For being a rubbish wife? So so typical, I'm dealing with something similar. And I keep trying to twist things around so he will see what he's doing, even if I want to end things anyway I'd like for him to acknowledge that it is NOT all my fault..

Mainly, have you talked to a solicitor?

thatsnotmynamereally Wed 22-Apr-15 07:31:24

Has he actually gone on the abusers course? (NB they are notoriously difficult to achieve any real changes)

fairyfi Wed 22-Apr-15 07:48:49

Dear Namechanger
I think its a whole other thing divorcing an abuser. Its so much harder because of everything you have suffered, and because you 'know' him for who he is, and probably anticipate a horrible battle where he's entitled to everything.

I'd say you need to be ready for it, unless he gets there first.

You've already taken such massive steps though! huge! and it pays big dividends to completely ignore his activities now, he will badmouth you everywhere he goes, thats cos he's abusive.

Me... i've had the same and its taken the longest time to feel like there is something of me that could be ok, considering how bloody awful he continually paints me to others. he did this in far more subversive ways to my face, but to others he just comes right out with horrendous stuff. Once you know he will do this somehow it depersonalises it.. because its actually about him and not you. hope that helps.

i'm too scared to go back to where i was when he followed me.
Please anyone else? Has anyone else felt this way, be soo very scared and living like this long after its over?

fairyfi Wed 22-Apr-15 07:53:09

Thats sorry for your struggles there, but it will be a lot easier on you accepting that he will not acknowledge he's at fault, he only does this because 'you make him'. So, like you say... perps courses don't work, they rarely change.. for that reason.

mine wouldn't 'use' his temper against me to shut me down, he would lose it because 'i made him'. He wouldnt 'have' to if i was more feminine and less 'like a man'!

You sound to be teetering on the cuspse of leaving from the bits i have had a scan through... don't look back, run for the hills!

Namechanger2015 Wed 22-Apr-15 07:55:13

Has he actually gone on the abusers course? (NB they are notoriously difficult to achieve any real changes)

No he hasn't been. He enrolled without telling me - I found out when I got a letter from the course saying he is waiting for an assessment. He had the assessment a month ago and again didn't tell me. Ive since found out that he has postponed his course start date as he 'has some barriers' but the counsellor couldn't say what they were - she should maybe money or him getting the time off work to attend.

I think he enrolled as a way of appeasing me but not can't be bothered to actually attend.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 22-Apr-15 09:22:27

thats you said: And I keep trying to twist things around so he will see what he's doing, even if I want to end things anyway I'd like for him to acknowledge that it is NOT all my fault..

He won't. I know that impulse, and so do many others. But you need to detach - it doesn't really matter whether he accepts his wrongdoing or not.

and namechanger you said: I have been dithering over the divorce just in case it's the wrong move and I can make this work between us.

- I overcame this by thinking "we can always get back together". At the time I filed for divorce (over 30 years together, and 25 years married, last 20 years he was cocklodging game addict) I still thought I loved him, but when I actually filed, his response just reinforced that I was doing the right thing, and one day I just felt the last bit of love going...

This was 3 years ago and more - and I am now thriving. My kids were grown, so it made things that bit easier. But you can thrive too!

CharlotteCollins Wed 22-Apr-15 10:12:55

<belated wave to doss> Hello, welcome!

Hi also to belle. It is not you being over-emotional. He is not allowing you equal access to your joint money, which is financial abuse. Making you feel bad when you don't want sex is coercion and he clearly feels ownership over your body, which is entitlement. Control and entitlement are the two beliefs/attitudes which all abusers share, no matter their different flavours of abuse.

Do you have DCs? If not, make sure it stays that way for as long as you are worried EA might be an issue.

Sorry to hear of your recent shopping experience, fi, that sounds horrible. I wish I could say something more helpful than that.

Name, that's an interesting question about moving from separation to divorce. I think I made that move much more quickly than most. Partly, I think I had felt trapped for so long, with everything seeming like a chore, that feeling it was OK to leave was a revelation and I had no desire to keep on trying when I knew he only tried when there was something in it for him. I felt that he never knew me at all, or showed the slightest interest in getting to know me beyond the superficial. So that made it a lot easier.

The rest of the reason for moving quickly to divorce was wanting someone on my side to help with finances, particularly as he was trying various things on and I didn't feel strong enough to call with that by myself.

I think that probably makes me unusual, because most people would think of divorce as an extra stress rather than an avoidance of stress!

Namechanger2015 Wed 22-Apr-15 11:20:24

The rest of the reason for moving quickly to divorce was wanting someone on my side to help with finances, particularly as he was trying various things on and I didn't feel strong enough to call with that by myself.

Charlotte, this is me. I used to be in charge of my life, but know I can't even handle finances or mortgage dealings alone, simply through lack of confidence.

Yesterday I did the car MOT and road tax. Even doing the MOT alone felt great. Yet before I got married I could change car tyres myself.

thatsnotmynamereally Wed 22-Apr-15 11:32:44

HELP... really need to vent!! I enjoy my job but I am woefully underemployed, it is for the most part a beautifully easy job and I love the relative peace and quiet but I've been here on a temporary basis for a year and a half with no pay rise, no discussion of my role, no real prospects going forward. This has suited me just fine as I've been struggling with H's issues on a daily basis.

I cannot foresee dealing with the inevitable disruption that will happen if I tell H I'm divorcing him, the need to be 'presentable' for work has meant I don't rock the boat too much.

I could easily (touch wood) get another job as there's a lot going in my field at the moment, low level but that's OK. I've just drafted our this email to send to my ??boss I guess you'd call him:

As I will be wrapping up most of my current work over the next few weeks, I am proposing that I finish working when my current contract ends on 20th May, or thereabouts.

Alternatively I could continue on a reduced hours basis.

I have really enjoyed working here, however I don�t really see a role for myself moving forward. Obviously I would want to make the transition as smooth as possible, and I am happy to discuss the best way to achieve this.

What does anyone think about this??
I would be happier to tell H I was divorcing him in conjunction with telling him I'm leaving my job, I know I shouldn't care but I don't even want him thinking I have essentially chosen my job over him-- this is the 'choice' he is currently giving me. I'd be happier to tell him I'm quitting my job and I'm quitting him too.

Catalyst for this: I have hardly anything to do at the moment. And I really don't see anything happening to change that, I'm almost feeling I'm just here doing made-up things because they want to keep me on. I really want to be out there, getting a real job, doing things, making a difference! I won't suffer too badly if I have less salary for a short time. Chances are if they receive this email, they will be able to respond as to whether they could keep me on an as-needed basis (so I wouldn't have to be here all the time, could work from home or to my own timetable) then I could do a leisurely job hunt as and when.

I really only need to give a week's notice but I think the way I've worded it to put the ball in their court, who knows-- they could breathe a sigh of relief and sack me, then again, they could aways offer me a 'real' job!

Sorry to be so me-me-me, I'm seeing counsellor tonight so I might run it past her but I really suddenly feel that 'quitting' the right thing to do...I've been advised not to, to keep my financial independence, but I've got enough savings (and REALLY, I've got enough confidence in my ability to get something else!) and I want to clear the decks, so to speak, to get on with this divorce and the inevitable fallout!

fairyfi Wed 22-Apr-15 11:34:02

just me then.ooookaaaay.....

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 22-Apr-15 11:38:28

name I felt like that too. Funnily enough, dealing with the divorce helped with that, as I realised it is all One Step At A Time. I am now selling house and buying another, something that at one time I would never have thought I could manage on my own.

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 22-Apr-15 11:41:33

fi "just you then" what? you ok?

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 22-Apr-15 11:44:09

name there is nothing stopping you for applying for other jobs anyway, is there?

sorry for multiple posts due to x-posting

Namechanger2015 Wed 22-Apr-15 11:46:07

Thats could you not apply for something now, and once you have accepted another job then hand in your notice? I really, really would not hand in your notice without a job to go to, no matter how good you think the job market currently is.

I don't know your story but does it really matter if you chose your job over your H? I know it matters to him, but you have to make sure you are secure, please don't consider quitting to appease him. IF the job market is great then you could potentially quit in a few weeks time anyway when you have something else to go to?

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