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How long can an abusive man be nice for first?

(22 Posts)
totallybewildered Sat 04-Jul-15 09:58:35

My friend has been happily married for more than a decade, but now her OH really seems to be turning nasty. Does this happen often? Have other people come across this before?

Ohbollocksandballs Sat 04-Jul-15 10:01:48

However long it takes for the mask to slip, there is no time limit. With ex it was around a year, but some are as little as weeks, some decades.

Fatstacks Sat 04-Jul-15 10:05:23

Probably spent the 10 years putting ground work in.
Destroying her confidence, isolating, creating his nice guy image for public.

Hopefully it's something else going on bringing out the bad in him.

totallybewildered Sat 04-Jul-15 10:06:24

I find it hard to believe that you can keep a mask on for a decade. I'm thinking more that he used to be a decent person and has changed, rather than he was always nasty, pretending to be nice. But I am still confused about how it happened. How often do people's personality change like that.

totallybewildered Sat 04-Jul-15 10:07:49

She is quite confident, and not isolated, but low self esteem, if that doesn't sound like a contradiction? I think that is naturally her, though.

kittybiscuits Sat 04-Jul-15 10:12:22

Often the clues and traits are there much earlier than anyone realised - look back for controlling behaviour and subtle emotional manipulation.

butterflygirl15 Sat 04-Jul-15 10:31:06

unless he has an ow and is being nasty as part of his exit strategy.

kittybiscuits Sat 04-Jul-15 10:36:40

^ very much so!

minkGrundy Sat 04-Jul-15 10:41:03

Is this that you have noticed or that she has? My x was always abusive it just took me a long time to see it.
If you are noticing it now then it has probably been going on under the surface much longer.

Even so it seems a long time to keep it in. I too would suspect an OW.

CatsandCrumble Sat 04-Jul-15 11:10:56

I'd want to know if she has said the relationship was happy but now turning sour. In which case I wouldn't necessarily class him as abusive but he is now exhibiting abusive behaviour. It may be he is now unhappy in the relationship but isn't brave enough to tell her directly.

If it is just your assessment of their relationship, then it may be that he was always subtly abusive but it was just hidden well from outsiders.

totallybewildered Sat 04-Jul-15 11:23:56

I think it might be a bit of both catsandcrumble. She always said she was happy, and they seemed happy. Now she is telling me how things have deteriorated over the last year, and looking back I can see little things over that time.

totallybewildered Sat 11-Jul-15 09:02:52

He is treating her like rubbish, he really is. Lying all the time, totally unsupportive and unreliable. This is the public face, and I would seem things are getting really bad once the doors close. I am worried. If it was physical, and she didn't actually say so, or let any marks show, how would I know?

totallybewildered Sat 11-Jul-15 21:34:23

are there any clues i could look out for?

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sat 11-Jul-15 21:36:49

Point her at this place. We'll help her, if she's ready.

TheDowagerCuntess Sat 11-Jul-15 21:40:42

I would suspect an OW in a scenario like this.

However, regardless, when one part of a couple who are ostensibly in a loving relationship starts to behave as if they actually loathe the other party, then something is seriously awry. This is a massive departure from the terms of the relationship (loving, respectful, mutually satisfying, etc), so regardless of whether there's an OW involved, this is not something she has to accept.

I'd be asking some serious questions with a view to LTB.

totallybewildered Sat 11-Jul-15 22:00:34

This morning she was distraught, this evening she has texted to say how happy she is with him. I don't know what to think. I don't know what to believe. She's my best friend.

lavenderhoney Sun 12-Jul-15 00:23:44

She's probably in denial that he's an asshole. It takes ages to admit it to yourself never mind anyone else ( bitter experience)

Write back to her tomorrow and say " ok, and I'm here if you ever need to talk"

LineRunner Sun 12-Jul-15 08:46:28

I expect he's making up with her every time she says something like, 'I can't live like this' because he's not quite ready to jump yet.

Rebecca2014 Sun 12-Jul-15 09:06:08

If he really has not been nasty before then I would suspect he has fallen out of love with her and that is why he is behaving this way. I do not believe a abusive man can keep that mask on for a decade. My sister ex really turned at the end of their relationship and that's because he did not want be with her anymore, but was in a limbo trying work out what to do.

My abusive ex was horrible from when we moved in together, so 7 months in. He wanted to be with me, he could just flip like a switch.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 12-Jul-15 12:15:15

I too doubt he can have kept his true colours hidden for a decade. Either it was going on long before but to a lesser degree, or something has changed recently. If it's not an OW could it be alcoholism, mental illness, onset of dementia (is he quite old, is there a family history of dementia)? Unusual pressure at work? He absolutely ought not to be taking it out on her, of course, but it could explain a drastic change in behaviour.

Or maybe he's always been an arse but she's just started to notice.

Paddlingduck Sun 12-Jul-15 14:30:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AlfAlf Sun 12-Jul-15 14:57:26

If it seems like his personality has just changed, did he have a head injury?
I'm not trying to make excuses for him, but that can happen.
It could also be that he was more subtle in his abuse over the previous year's: a bit of gas lighting here, a bit of emotional abuse there; and he has just clicked up a notch.

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