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Was my ex potentially abusive? (were these red flags?)

(9 Posts)
PregnantAndEngaged Thu 25-Feb-16 09:36:56

This is a really random thread for me, but I still have deep dark thoughts about a past relationship I need to clear up. This relationship ended 5 years ago so I really should be over it, but he really got into my head. I'm happy with my current partner and we have a child and we're engaged so I shouldn't be thinking about this really but sometimes I start thinking about the past and it overwhelms me. I feel like I need to talk to someone about the toxic relationship once and for all to get it out of my system.

Just to note, I was in an abusive relationship in 2008 (emotionally abusive) and I sought counselling for that, but for a while my self-esteem still wasn't great. In late 2010 I started dating someone else; he was handsome and a charmer. Honestly, I did wonder how I managed to attract such a good looking man. My self-esteem was still at a bit of a low. I'm still beating myself up over the way it ended and whether it was all my fault, I did really love him (we were only together for 6 months :S I think I just loved who I thought he was).

- We spoke on skype loads before we met up for our date and I even told him about what my ex did to me; I remember him looking at me with sympathetic eyes, but I still remember the look and something about it seemed disingenuous but I wanted to believe that this guy was kind.
- We slept together on the first date (never a good sign I guess).
- He was a charmer, complimented me a lot. But he didn't seem to care about my health, never wanted to wear a condom.
- After a couple of months he started standing me up.
- He seemed to want to know about my credit score and was asking me what my credit limit was on an account (at the time I didn't think too much of this, but I guess this could've been a red flag).
- He also once told me he forgot his wallet so I went to a cash machine to get some money out for him to get a taxi to uni, but my friend said she saw him going to the train station. Another time he wanted to watch me on the toilet (we'd spoken about fetishes and this never came up, so I think he just wanted to see me in a vulnerable position).
- He used to say about how he always knew he'd be successful and boasting about his success in his job. We argued all the time because he constantly got me excited about coming to see me and then would stand me up (he would suddenly be ill or have to work or something would come up).
- I told him once about my painful periods when I was younger (suspected endometriosis) and how I used to faint because they were so bad. He just laughed and said "you went to the doctors for that? People do faint from pain sometimes!" Like I was being silly. I got really upset and told him to stop bullying me about that and he just chuckled and gave me a hug like he was jsut messing around.
- He worked in the health profession and I suspect (don't know for sure) that he'd read my medical records. He asked me a personal question that I'm fairly sure he could only have found out from reading said records. He asked me if I'd ever self-harmed. As far as I'm aware I'd never posted about that on a forum before.
- My housemates wanted to try weed and I was peer pressured into it. Silly, yes. But I guess that's my decision to make. We had a HUGE argument over it on the phone, he kept telling me I shouldn't have done that and he was really disappointed in me etc. I had a panic attack I was so stressed out on the call. He made me cry. He then said he couldn't come and see me in case he had a spot check drugs test because the fumes would be in the air, and started making me feel guilty.
- He didn't buy me a Christmas present, he said he had it but it was "too big" to bring with him. He would never tell me what it was. He seemed to lie about all sorts of things, even told me he'd had STI checks as part of his job so knew he didn't have any STIs but I don't think that was true.
- He had a second phone and used to walk out of the room to answer all his calls.
- Once I told him I was worried he didn't find me attractive, so to "prove" he did find me attractive he had sex with me and then ejaculated inside me when we had an arrangemnet not to (sorry for TMI) even though he knew I wasn't on the pill so would have to buy the MAP.
- He used to read my posts on an internet forum he knew I frequented.
- Once in bed he asked me to be his wife, I thought he was joking but he had a straight face the whole time. I think he was just messing with my head. I never did answer, I just kept going stop being silly etc. But he carried it on for 5 minutes! :O We'd only been together a few months.
- I was never allowed round his house. And if we ever had plans to go anywhere e.g. once I bought tickets to a show, he'd cancel last minute.
- He would speak about people from uni and joke about how they were ugly etc. Even when they really weren't. Apparently I was far more prettier.
- He kept our relationship status a secret on facebook, said not everything had to be broadcast on facebook and made me feel stupid for asking why he had no pictures of us etc on facebook.
- He never seemed fussed about whether I was having a good time in the bedroom. He always wanted me to focus on pleasing him.
- Anyway after one too many stand ups, I posted up on facebook that I was fed up of being messed around by losers. I think he hated the public shaming and suddenly I got a text saying "That's it." and he'd deleted me off. We never saw each other again. But he kept telling me how he loved me and I'd broke his heart and he'd be having his best mate over for the night to cheer him up as he was so down about it. He kept sending me cryptic texts as well that he knew I'd been lying to him about something, I said I didn't now what he talking about but he wouldn't diverge further.
- When we broke up, he put on facebook about how he just wants a beautiful woman, as though he was really miserable after a break up. Guess he knew my friends (who he had on his facebook) would pass the message on to me. He'd deleted me off.
- After we broke up, I was at an end of uni ball and one of his old housemates came up to me to warn me that he was a compulsive liar and never washed etc. (He was always well kept when he came to mine, but I definitely believe the compulsive liar part).

I knew after he was just messing with my head and that I was well rid, but lately I've been reading about red flags in relationships and I feel pretty low that I think I might've almost got myself into another abusive relationship if it wasn't abusive already. The first one was much different in the way it manifested itself and was much more obvious (telling me I was rubbish, telling me to shut up and no one cared what I thought, humiliating me in front of people, always trying to be one up on anything I was successful at etc).

Just needed someone to talk to about this as I can't afford counselling but I feel I need to clear my head. Anytime I have daydreams about doing something good, I always imagine what he'd think of it and whether he'd be proud of me etc, and I think this is because I still haven't put to bed all this and how much he got into my head.

honeybunny14 Thu 25-Feb-16 09:45:56

From what you have said he doesn't sound abusive an ass hole yes but no nothing has stood out as having the potential to be abusive I hope your ok though op I'm sure other mumsnetters will be along with some good advice flowers

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Feb-16 10:02:57

You don't think he sounds abusive, honey? I think there are red flags all over this one!

If you're still worrying about whether he'd approve, then you definitely need counselling, OP. He sounds so awful that it's hard to see why you'd want his approval, but he's obviously got right inside your head and you need him out of there.

startingmylifeagain Thu 25-Feb-16 10:12:19

I actually think that it could well have developed into an extremely abusive relationship and I'm glad you're out of it.
Ignoring your wishes about the sex thing? Belittling your health concerns? Possibly reading your private medical notes?
Rd flags for me.

At the very least this was not a healthy or a happy relationship.

Cabrinha Thu 25-Feb-16 10:22:56

He treated you like shit.
Plenty of evidence there... but I think you need to work out, why did you "love" him when he constantly stood you up?
Because that should have killed it for you stone dead.
I don't think you need to find a label for this, or wonder where it would have ended up.

Your time would be better off being sure that you are no longer attracted to people who treat you badly, no longer think that's what love is.
And I don't think you've broken that unhealthy relationship view yet, if you're still hung up on this guy.

If you are still attracted to arseholes, then there are two potential issues:
- your fiancé is one
- you're at risk of being attracted to one during your upcoming marriage, to the detriment of it. Because if your fiancé is a good man (I hope he is) he won't fulfil that unhealthy need

redexpat Thu 25-Feb-16 10:28:08

I think you know you are better off out of that relationship, but for some reason, you just don't feel it. I don't know how to help you with that I'm afraid. Wish I could though.

PregnantAndEngaged Thu 25-Feb-16 10:29:01

Cabrinha I think you've hit the nail on the head. My DFiance is everything he isn't; cares about my feelings, talks to me sensibly rather than shouting at me, doesn't make me feel guilty, is honest with me, cares about my health and wellbeing, and whether I'm enjoying myself not just whether he is. He's also tbh a lot more attractive. Yet I fear that if this other guy got in touch with me (he won't, it's been years and I doubt he thinks of me which is the normal thing to do after 5 years lol), or someone so similar to him (felt a really strong connection with a guy on a baby first aid course who looked almost the spit of him) I might go there again. But I'm not the sort of woman that would cheat on her man, especially my DF, but the detrimental attraction is still there. No idea why because I don't need that shit. Clearly there's just something wrong with me.

RiceCrispieTreats Thu 25-Feb-16 10:44:09

Could you be on of those people who, when she is treated badly by someone, hangs on and tries even harder to win their love and prove them wrong?

(People like that are catnip for abusers, users, and assholes).

I think it goes like this: somewhere deep down you feel unlovable. So when someone comes along who treats you like you don't deserve love and respect, you feel the urge to prove them wrong (in the subconscious hope that it will erase the self-hating voice inside if you do). Which binds you to them until that proof is made.

PregnantAndEngaged Thu 25-Feb-16 11:24:00

RiceCrispie, I don't think I'm unlovable and I know my DF loves me. I do however like other outsiders to see that I am desirable. I think I felt unlovable in that relationship though, yes, so maybe I am still trying to prove to HIM that I am lovable. I find myself now purposely flaunting on facebook pictures of me with my son etc so he can see I am lovable and I've "moved on" and clearly I was desirable enough to have a baby with someone.

Ridiculous really.

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