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At what point do you deem a relationship abusive?

(26 Posts)
Sweetdisposition91 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:48:29

I was in a very abusive relationship st the very young age of 15, i.e. Strangled until I passed out, bitten so hard I'd bleed, dragged down the stairs, forced to have sex etc....
since then i think my perception is warped of what "abuse" is.
My partner in arguments makes awful remarks on my looks and personality, grabs my face and throat, throws things including stuff of mine, and has even spat in my face once!
Where he's not HURTING me I feel like it's ok as he isn't all a bad person and is lovely the rest of the time... but this isn't normal is it?
At what point would you leave?

seven201 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:51:13

Definitely NOT ok! You need to leave for your own safety. You can do it. Please be strong and leave asap.

pog100 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:52:05

Of course it isn't remotely normal! The right time to leave was the first time he didn't treat you with the respect that one human being should accord another, which I suspect was a few weeks into the relationship, if that?

seven201 Wed 26-Oct-16 15:52:12

To add... if my partner had done any one of those things I'd have left straight away.

LucyLocketLostIt Wed 26-Oct-16 15:52:13

I'm really sorry but you're definitely in an abusive relationship.

WickerLoveHearts Wed 26-Oct-16 15:58:18

First of all flowers

And secondly, it's really not normal sad. Although arguments ARE common as people can't agree on everything, the way he is treating you isn't.
Imagine a friend was telling you their partner treated them like this, would you tell them to stay? This is emotional and physical abuse and you need to leave soon before it escalates, I and many others, would hate to see you in the same situation as when you were 15.

You say he isn't hurting you, but he must be when he's putting you down about your appearance, grabbing your face and throat and spitting in your face. Although you might not be getting AS hurt compared to your previous relationship, it's still not healthy to stay.
OP you deserve someone who treats you as an equal and would never dream of laying a finger on you in anger and you will find them, but not while you are tied to your current partner.
I am not as experienced as other mumsnetters who will probably offer better advice.
But, once again, flowers

BeMorePanda Wed 26-Oct-16 16:07:04

That is absolutely an abusive relationship you are in.

I understand why it can be hard to see it when you are in the middle of it. My past relationship was abusive - he only every touched me once in anger (ripped my t-shirt) but it was still a verbally and emotionally and at times financially abusive relationship.

It took me a long time to see this because yes he was lovely much of the time. He wasn't abusive and nasty to me because he had a tough life, or was stressed, or under pressure or yada yada yada - it was because he was ABUSIVE.

Once I saw this - well then I left.

I hope you can find a way to leave this relationship asap and safely OP.
The point when you leave is the moment you realise he is abusive. i.e. NOW!

The grabbing you by the throat is particularly worrying.

Abusers aren't nasty 100% of the time - of course they are nice some of the time otherwise no one would 'fall' for them. It doesn't mean he isn't abusive and he isn't a danger to you.

MostlyHet Wed 26-Oct-16 16:09:43

Not normal at all.

In fact the throat grabbing puts it way up at the extreme end of DV - it's one of the factors police use to assess how dangerous DV is, and strangulation is one of the warning flags for DV possibly escalating to murder.

0808 2000 247 phone no. for Women's Aid.
Their website also has lots of handy hints on using the internet safely - deleting history, using private browsing, etc.

As to "at what point should you leave?" Well, given the seriousness, as soon as is practically possible. But I understand (my sister spent 20 years in an abusive marriage) that it's easier said than done. So I guess my question to you would be "what do you need to put in place in order to leave?" Do you have children together? Do you have relatives/friends nearby you could go and stay with in an emergency? (I'm guessing if your first abusive relationship was aged only 15, your background might have been a difficult one, and family are perhaps not the first place you'd turn to). Can you put together the money for a deposit on a room? Would you be prepared to consider a hostel? (There are many, many women here who have used hostels - don't think of them as terrible place, they can truly be life-saving places).

flowers and keep posting.

AnnieKenney Wed 26-Oct-16 16:13:02

What you describe is abuse and some of the things you have said make it as serious as the abuse you previously experienced. In a recent review of women who were murdered by their partners, not all had a history of physical violence but the thing that almost all had was a history of coercive control - especially controlling behaviour that denoted contempt (such as spitting in your face). Grabbing your throat is also a HUGE red flag. This is NOT normal. The line into abuse was crossed long long ago. You don't have to put up with it. You deserve better. Much better. flowers

JoJoSM2 Wed 26-Oct-16 16:33:10

OMG.... that's horrendous... any grabbing, spitting, throwing, name calling etc is unacceptable behaviour.

Sweetdisposition91 Wed 26-Oct-16 16:52:24

Thank you for posts.
He lives with me and my mum(I'm just turned 25 - I know, should move out!) so getting away from him isn't a problem.
The name calling happens a lot more often than anything physical, on a weekly basis I will get told I'm a state, a slag, cunt, a mess, no one likes me, desperate, I'm nothing special, no one would want me he's called me ugly and fat in the past etc and they do hurt although I act like they don't.
I guess I just needed to hear that it's NOT acceptable behaviour regardless of the argument, as he blames me for arguing with him and pushing him to the point where he says these things.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 26-Oct-16 16:52:45

I hate to think of the household you grew up in to even consider any of these things acceptable.
Your perception is totally warped when it comes to men and relationships.
As a PP has advised, you need to contact Womens Aid and do it fast.
The phone number won't appear on your phone bill - 0808 2000 247
You need to get out and you need some help and counselling to understand what a 'normal' relationship looks like.
It's nothing like you describe in your OP and I want to cry for you accepting this kind of abuse. And from the age of 15...
Womens Aid can help you with an exit plan.
Please get away.
Get an understanding of what is acceptable (WA Freedom Programme will also help towards this) before you even consider ever having another relationship with any other man.
I really hope you can get out of the abuse cycle.

ptumbi Wed 26-Oct-16 17:17:46

Why does he live with you and your mum? Surely he is the one who should be moving out?

Does your mum support you? Protect you? I'm guessing no, to both those. In which case - yes. move out, as soon as you possibly can, and go NC with both!

Sweetdisposition91 Wed 26-Oct-16 17:32:22

No this is what I mean as in, I can ask him to leave!
Oh no my mum is completely unaware to this as she only lives at home half the week, and anyone who would meet my partner would think he's lovely! My upbringing was good apart from my mum was a single mum and gave us no boundaries, discipline and I guess nor guidance, but she is a good mum!

alwayshappy101 Wed 26-Oct-16 17:36:47

That is definitely abusive.even name calling and put downs are abuseive behaviour.

Please leave him.

You deserve to be with someone who treats you really nice.

glassspider Wed 26-Oct-16 17:54:28

Oh my love, please get rid of him, what you're describing is illegal, never mind abusive. I know it is much easier said than done but please use whatever means is necessary to remove this arsehole from your life. He alone is responsible for his behaviour, not you. Xxxxx

Humblebee1 Wed 26-Oct-16 17:58:55

Almost definitely it is if your having to ask yourself.

BeMorePanda Wed 26-Oct-16 19:31:16

How much more entitled could this abusive arse be. He's living in your home and doing this? Please don't hesitate to kick him out and soon op.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 26-Oct-16 22:01:17

Highly abusive.

I assume you are hiding this from your mum.

When you find yourself hiding the truth from other people then that's a fairly good sign that things are very bad indeed.

FeedMeAndTellMeImPretty Wed 26-Oct-16 23:03:22

Do get rid, but beware as finishing a relationship with a person like this sometimes brings out the worst in them and it is a dangerous time for you. Please make sure you have someone you trust (preferably a big beefy male friend or relative) on hand when you end. You need people who know what he is capable of, so that if he ramps up the abuse you are not in a vulnerable position.

Good luck. And get some counselling to help you live a happy life free from this shit in the future x

frieda909 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:28:19

Sweetdisposition, I am SO sorry that you're going through this. I had to reply because most of your post could have been written by me a few years ago. I can tell you that it is most definitely NOT normal, it's NOT okay and that you CAN do better!

I was in a very, very similar sounding relationship for most of my twenties. He never full-on hit me, but there were plenty of shoves (which were always my fault for 'getting in his way'), he grabbed my throat on more than one occasion, and he would regularly tell me how much 'restraint' he was having to exercise not to punch me in the face, because apparently I was just so damn annoying that I was just asking for a beating. He'd say things like 'one day you're going to get me arrested if you don't shut up'. I got used to being called a cunt and a bitch literally every day. I'd try to shrug it off and pretend it didn't bother me, but I just felt awful all of the time. He would lose his temper over the slightest thing and yell at me like crazy, then when he calmed down (sometimes days later) he would give me a half-arsed 'apology' which was always along the lines of 'you know you shouldn't push me, you shouldn't get in my face, I need my space' so that I would normally end up apologising to HIM for daring to talk back. And I put up with it for far, far too long because I somehow convinced myself that it was normal (it wasn't) and that he was still a good boyfriend (he wasn't!)

What's funny is that, right up until the end, if I'd been speaking to anyone about it I probably still would have said 'he's a good guy and he's lovely most of the time' too. But why do we say that? If he behaves like this even 10% of the time then it doesn't make the slightest difference how nice he is the other 90%.

I mean this to be encouraging and I hope it doesn't sound smug, but I've been with my new partner for over a year now and I honestly cannot believe how different it is. I'm 32 years old and I feel like I'm only just now realising that this is what a happy relationship with a genuinely 'lovely' man should feel like! I now can't quite believe I ever thought it was normal to stay with a partner who called me such awful names on a daily basis and regularly threatened me with physical violence.

You may not feel up to ending it right now, and it's understandable if you feel you need some time to prepare yourself mentally for it. But please know that you will be fine without him. More than fine! It might not happen right away but I'm positive that once it's over, one day you will wake up and realise that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach (which maybe you didn't even realise you had) has suddenly gone.

Good luck, and please do keep posting here.

Pallisers Wed 26-Oct-16 23:37:08

The name calling happens a lot more often than anything physical, on a weekly basis I will get told I'm a state, a slag, cunt, a mess, no one likes me, desperate, I'm nothing special, no one would want me he's called me ugly and fat in the past etc and they do hurt although I act like they don't.

This on its own is completely abusive. Also really unpleasant - why be with someone like that? He is a choice not a requirement. And that lovely but stuff. Imagine your relationship as a glass of water. Some men put a whole pile of shit in the water and those women have it really bad. But even a tiny bit of shit in the water makes it undrinkable. you are more than a tiny bit by the way. because the rest of the stuff is scarily abusive.

Please kick him out. I suspect your first awful relationship - actually I hesitate to call it that because you were only 15 - did a number on your expectations. But you are young and can change how you view men and relationships. Kick that asshole out and see if you can get some counselling.

A man would call me a cunt once and he'd be out on his ear. But then I didn't have to go through what you did at 15.

Strawberry90 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:39:06

When somebody treats you worse than you would (or should) treat yourself - simple

1DAD2KIDS Wed 26-Oct-16 23:39:27

Well in your case there is no grey area, no where is the line. It is clearly horible abuse and still a million miles away from any grey area. For now I would concentrate on the clear abuse and freeing yourself from it.

user1475501383 Wed 26-Oct-16 23:44:47

* a mess, no one likes me, desperate, I'm nothing special, no one would want me *

I had this with XH. I believed him for years. I literally believed I could not find a better partner, so I reasoned with myself, as I want love and a relationship, that it was best to stay with the father of my DS than to leave.

I only left when there were some changes in circumstances that made me re-evaluate wither singlehood was really worse than living with XH.

I left with the intention of staying single for the rest of my life. I believed nobody half decent would want me.

I still consider it an absolute miracle that it turned out to not have been the case! I discovered I was somewhat popular with men, and after a few false starts with men who had their own control issues, I got together with a dear friend, and we are engaged and live together and everything's wonderful except that my XH is preventing my access to DS by way of court proceedings etc but all in all I'd say leave and find better company, you can do it!

Emotional abuse such as what you describe is so vile, it's so sad when we start believing the lies we are told about ourselves by the man who is supposed to love us! It's such a clever way of controlling you. If he can convince you nobody else wants you, you will not be as eager to leave if you're the kind of person who naturally wants to partner with someone and have true love. Sadly, your guy isn't able or willing to give you true love. Abusive men can't. I hope you can break free ASAP and that he causes no more hassle to you post-relationship. Do remember to call the police if he ever stalks you, threatens you etc after you've broken up with him.

Best of luck

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