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Is EA behaviour to be tolerated if abuser is ill?(35 Posts)
Hi, looking for some advice - my conscience says that i should take into account his illness but my gut says no. Been with my H for nearly 19 years - moved in together after 10 days as a couple, we have one DD who is 17. Didn't realise that it was EA until a few years ago - from early on there were isolation techniques, strops and arguments about me looking at other men/other men looking at me, my behaviour and conduct prior to having our daughter. All bad behaviour (yes, you guessed it...) were blamed on his ex and his parents and interspersed with grand gestures and gifts. The flip side was:
•leaving his job as he couldn't cope on more than one occasion
•determining how money was spent (joint account where i was earning twice what he was but still had to account for any spend)
•going through my mail, facebook, email and phone
•following me or checking I was where I was supposed to be (happened earlier this week where a meeting was moved to a different office resulting in 13 missed calls in 20 mins)
•throwing things when in a rage and punching walls
•threatening to disappear and kill himself when “losing” an argument
•accusations of having an affair (still get accused of this at least one a fortnight) or at the very least hiding something from him which he has a “right” to know
•being accused of being cold and unemotional, unsupportive, not meeting his basic needs, not listening to him
I’ve spent years modifying my behaviour to try and avoid arguments including breaking contact with friends (no visitors to our house in the last 2.5 years) and given up interests and hope in doing some things I’d like to do – to the point where I have had anxiety attacks if I’ve had to go away for work or as a volunteer at kids group events .About 3 years ago he was diagnosed with a blockage in his brain which he attributes the worsening of him behaviour and says that I can’t really hold him to account or expect him to change as a result of this. A few weeks ago he was reading my FB messages without my knowledge where he read that I had been offered the opportunity to undertake an MSc through my work and went ballistic that I hadn’t told him. This led to a two week period where I acted as his counsellor – every time he felt that he was having one of those “thoughts” about me we’d talk it through where he’d tell me what I had done that had triggered the behaviour but there was no need for me to change my actions or to provide evidence to contradict his thinking – this was exhausting and I think just another form of abuse without the shouting. Things have now reverted to type, but I’m expected to let it pass as he isn’t well and I “forget all the good he does, like making dinner occasionally or tidying up as well as buying gifts – question is should I continue to put up as he isn’t well or end it? I pay ALL household bills rent, council tax, phone, electricity and food from my salary he pays Sky, TV license, his credit card and car loan and our “treats” and trips. If I go, he won’t be able to manage financially. While I can’t directly attribute his behaviour to this, our daughter suffers from anxiety and depression and they are barely civil to each other. Any advice appreciated.
This all started very early on in your relationship.
He's been an abuser for your entire relationship.
You now realise you don't want to put up with it anymore.
Does he have any family or friends he could move in with?
Is the house rented or bought?
Might be worth getting an appointment with a solicitor to see where you would stand financially.
Get your ducks in row and then get away.
A 'blockage' in his brain? Can you elaborate? What exactly has he been diagnosed with? And, putting my very cynical hat on, are you sure it's genuine?
The behaviour started before the blockage was diagnosed - basically an artery in his brain has blocked which caused neurological symptoms (pins & needles and muscle weakness, tiredness etc) prior to diagnosis, while the blockage is still there, the bloodflow in the brain has rerouted itself. One common argument winner is that i shouldn't make him angry or upset as the blockage could blow and kill him. It is genuine as i've attended some hospital appointments with him.
Looks like he's using this brain blockage thing as a further stick to beat you with. Until you hear a medical doctor telling you that you making him upset might cause his head to explode and kill him , I think you can safely assume that he's bullshitting to further control you.
I think it all comes down to..Do you want to live like this for the rest of your life? It's only getting worse.
My dad has MH issues, my parents were codependent on each other when they met and they were married within 6 weeks. However, My dad's issues have improved over time, he can't work partly due to anxiety and partly to do with a chronic illness he also has and relies on my mum but he also helps a lot around the house, does voluntary work and childcare for me.
One common argument winner is that i shouldn't make him angry or upset as the blockage could blow and kill him
In that case, go all out to send him into a fury and then have a party when the bullying, abusive cunt drops dead. (Tip: make sure life insurance is paid up first.)
This excuse for a man has been abusing you for 19 years. His behaviour is absolutely fuck all to do with a neurological condition.
It's time to go. What support do you need to get you and DD to safety?
My advice is still : get out.
He sounds awful and you don't need to live your life like this. This isn't someone in chronic pain who is usually lovely, but sometimes crabby because of it, it's a nasty man who is using his illness as another stick to beat you with.
Does he still have rages and punch walls? If so, how is it that they present no danger of his aneurysm/AVM/blockage rupturing but being upset by you does?
Free yourself and your daughter. I think you have given this man quite long enough.
Life is too short to spend it miserable like this.
Ill or not there is no excuse for his behaviour.
He has been a complete bastard to you for 16 years with no illness (so no excuse) because he is a nasty bastard.
He has been a complete bastard for 3 years (with an illness) because he is a nasty bastard.
The only common factor is he is a nasty bastard.
Thanks all, all my instincts say leave but the conditioning says that i'm responsible for him - his health, his happiness and everything else which i'm sure that most people that have been in this situation can relate to. Time to make a plan...the thought of spending the next 30 plus years like this fills me with dread
You get accused of having an affair at least once a fortnight? How can you stand to be with such a person?
His illness/health/life/behaviour isn't your responsibility. If you've had enough, leave him.
But your life, health and happiness are your responsibility. No one else is going to come and save you and dd. You'll have to save yourself.
He's been an abuser throughout your entire relationship.
His health isn't your responsibility.
You don't owe him anything. He wounds awful.
But your life, happiness and health ARE your responsibility - you've wasted enough time with this man. Make a plan and get out now! Bet your kids will thank you. You deserve more! Much more.
If a person was genuinely trying to change, putting in real work/effort and an illness made it more difficult, then some allowance over how quickly that person could change might be reasonable. But all that is predicated on someone who agrees to change and is manifestly obviously making an effort to, but struggles at times. Intention and effort have to be there.
Similarly, in the terminal stages of cancer, sometimes my mum's pain made her quite aggressive. The family put it down to extreme stress due to horrendous pain and fear of death, a sign of how the cancer felt like an attack on her body and was triggering a "fight or flight" response. But that was a few minutes outburst a few times in the last couple of months of a horrendous illness.
As he is using this as a reason not to change, ditch him. It's a control mechanism.
He is using his illness as a way to make you feel guilty. Guilty of leaving him, guilty of making his condition worse etc...
The reality is that he was always like this so his illness has nothing to do with his behaviour.
Also, the reality is even if it was, it would still be ok for you to leave if you want to.
That certainly doesn't sound like a partnership I would want to be in. Just a tenth of what you have in your list would seriously diminish my quality of life.
It is so difficult when there is an illness contributing to EA and all your guilt buttons are being touched. It took me a long time to realise that there was a fine line between loyalty and being a supportive partner and enabling/co dependency. Which was not good for either of us.
If you are unhappy in the relationship; if you are sucking up abuse and feeling awful and becoming anxious about being around that person, walking on eggshells, dreading going home; if you no longer love that person or trust them because of what you've experienced them doing to you; if that person is not only not giving you what you need but taking more than you've got to give - then sadly the relationship is done and it doesn't matter whether the damage they did was intentional or not. It's still been done. The most you can hope for them is that they are able to move on and find happiness with someone else.
As Kevin said, it is ok to leave if you want to. You don't have to justify it, you don't have to prove it's bad enough.
One common argument winner is that i shouldn't make him angry or upset as the blockage could blow and kill him.
Did a doctor actually tell you that?
Afaik if aneurysm are at high risk of rupturing they're treated.
If it's been treated already it shouldn't rupture, if it hasn't been treated then apparently his doctors don't think it's likely to.
Either way, it's not a reason for reclaiming your life OP.
Snoopy you really don't need to put up with this abuse. He sounds utterly foul. I'd kick him out.
Don't continue to sacrifice your health and happiness because you prioritise his over yours.
You don't want this. Basically waiting it out and hoping he dies before you do?
Don't waste the rest of your life.
Been a while since i posted last - some further developments - got a new tactic which is to tell me i'm being aggressive when I disagree or challenge any of his behaviour if i raise my voice at all - i'll admit i have raised my voice as the situation has escalated something i'm not proud of and am working to control but there is a part of me that feels a bit resentful of this allegation when he's throwing and kicking things in the house, storming out and threatening to hurt himself.
He's also seen his consultant, i offered to go with him but he refused. He says that they spoke about his moods and that the consultant said it was part of the condition and that it was fine as long as he was "aware" that it was taking place. He said that the consultant was more concerned that i was being supportive enough as i hadn't been at the hospital while he was in for two weeks getting tests two years ago which i wasn't though there are reasons for that:
1. The hospital is 300 miles away from home, and a £300 flight
2. I had just started a new job that week and wasn't in a position to request any sort of leave
3. I would have had to leave my 15 yo DD and a sick, elderly mother with no one to support them for the duration
4. I didn't have sufficient funds to keep my home running and pay for flights, hotel etc for two weeks.
5. His parents, siblings and extended family all live where the hospital is though none of them would have been able to offer me somewhere to stay.
I know that it wasn't particularly fair of me not to go but i felt that i was making the most pragmatic decision though it now seems to be a new tool to beat me up with.
I think that he has minimised the mood swings and tempers painting them more as him being irritable and down rather than controlling, manipulative and sometimes scary. I'm tempted to go to my GP and speak to him about the situation as i am concerned that i'm being set up for something - not sure what - potentially evidence when we split that i was unreasonable and nasty, though it could just be paranoia. Would a busy consultant remember the details from 2 years ago and honestly say that the partner should be more supportive and understanding if he'd been honest with him? This is what part of me wants to speak to the GP about, just to get a perspective on whether i'm losing the plot or not. Any thought?
No, there's no need at all to rake up the past. He's abusing you right now and has been for half of your life.
Look, you aren't going to be able to win any debate with this wanker. He will rant and rage and say you are wrong. That's because of him, not you.
No amount of proof or being right is going to make him admit that ok, he's been a twat for twenty years.
Stop fixating on the insane little details he has convinced you are important. They aren't. The big picture is that your life is being made shit by this horrible man, and the only way you'll ever know peace again is by leaving him.
Make a plan.
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