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Is it worth trying to correct people?

(10 Posts)
Ugandandiscussions Thu 03-Dec-15 15:40:27

Seven years ago I had a relationship with a highly charming, manipulative man who was controlling and financially abusive. We were part of a small, close community of people in my hometown where my family still lives, all who shunned me when I left him because he spun a tale of being abandoned and taken for his money. I found the loss of close friends en masse extremely hard, but over the last seven years I have married, moved away and had DC and it is not at the forefront of my mind.

The trouble is - they are all still angry and bearing a grudge on his behalf. I think it may be the fact that they have very little else to do or think about, or rather because he has to maintain this idea that he was wronged or scarred by me to explain why he has been unable to have any other relationships or to excuse any odd behaviour he may now be displaying towards other women.

There have been a lot of lies he has told - some I've known about and others I'm just left to guess at. One is that I am constantly contacting him and harassing him asking to get back together! Which couldn't be further from the truth! That he's had to give me a police warning! Haha. That I'm mentally ill and have been contacting him about my diagnosis. In another lie, he used the death of a member of my family that he'd heard about through the grapevine, to dump a girlfriend, by telling her he was "by the bedside" with me, that I was being highly needy, and for that reason he didn't have time for a relationship with her. I found out about this by her storming up to me on the street and telling me to "get over him" and stop dragging him to the deathbed of my dying relative!!

Of course, all of these are lies that should not affect other people's reaction to me that much, but the thing is - our mutual friend's reactions are very strong, which makes me think that this is the least of it.

One mutual friend even told my boss I was a terrible person, and she couldn't go into details, but he should just be aware that I was someone to watch!

I think this is just the tip of the iceberg of lies about me he has been perpetuating. I would have expected our mutual friends to soften over seven years, but bizarrely they have become worse, reacting to friendly emails from me, or hearing about my news from others with disdain and vitriol. Any time I am in contact with them, either through other mutual friends or bumping into them on the street, they react with hostility.

I know, I know, I just need to ignore it. But I would have expected, all these years later for the rumours and lies to be dying out, but instead the reactions are getting worse. To me it seems to be spreading like a virus, rather than dying a death.

He is a very convincing and charming person and excellent at gaining attention and sympathy. I knew this about him when we were together, but I've seen a whole different side to him since I left.

WWYD?

FredaMayor Thu 03-Dec-15 16:02:07

You have described a narcissist who has a desperate need to validate his actions and is rewriting history to try to achieve that. He has an audience who believed his spiel and and for whatever reason (ego?) will not back down and admit they have been hoodwinked because they think it will make them look stupid.

It's no consolation I'm sure but this happens often in this situation and I really don't think there is anything you can do, opinion is too entrenched. My advice to you is to cut your losses and start afresh, with intelligent people.

fakenamefornow Thu 03-Dec-15 16:08:25

This close knit community sounds almost cultish?

Ugandandiscussions Thu 03-Dec-15 16:29:52

It's not a cult, but i would say he has a cult-like following of friends and always has. And he reacts like a cult leader in that he absolutely and aggressively denies versions of reality or opinions that differ from his own. Which is ultimately why it was so hard to be with him.

I know people would disagree but I would set people right- why should he get to be the one who does nothing wrong and you are the villain ?

Ugandandiscussions Thu 03-Dec-15 16:43:53

I have tried to do that with a couple of people takemeupthenorthmountain but the trouble is I don't know what I am setting them right about. I tried sending one of them I used to be close to an email and asking her if I had done anything. And she said she no longer wished to be in touch with me because of him (she named my ex.) I replied, against the advice of others who told me not to contact her again, asking her what exactly had I done to him? And she didn't reply.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Thu 03-Dec-15 17:27:14

I think you are in slander territory with this. I would take legal advice. Especially as it has now affected your career.

Twinkletootsies Thu 03-Dec-15 19:43:59

As you are still affected by it, this is what I would do. Write an "essay" about what happened in reality, then a list of things he has been saying about you. Then, if it is an option for you, I echo the pp above and get legal advice. If legal advice is not an option, then at least you have a record of what he has said v the truth. I would also cut contact with all the people who have snubbed you, if you can. Just one question, if you have moved away, how are you bumping into all these people? Have you not moved very far, or has some of it come about on social media? I would be dropping these people from Facebook etc if that is the case.

dogwalker75 Thu 03-Dec-15 20:20:42

I'd seek legal advice. I'm sure this would be classed as defamation of character/slander or similar )especially with the comments made to your boss - that may even count as some form of harassment).

I have been where you are and it's awful. In my case, ex stopped when I threatened him with police action. If you have his address, can you get a solicitor to write to him? Or ask the police to warn him.

Good luck

robinofsherwood Thu 03-Dec-15 20:26:56

I was just going to say the same thing about legal advice. His behaviour, even though it's through others, is directly impacting on your personal and professional life.

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