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Dealing with conflict in new relationship after being in an abusive one

(14 Posts)
Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 11:37:41

Hard to explain.

I was in a very very abusive relationship for approx. 6 years. Left him 4 years ago and was single for 2 years. Met DP (we don't live together) 2 years ago.

He is wonderful, completely the opposite of my EA ex. Caring, kind, loving, works hard, makes time for me, he's brilliant and I've never felt this way about anyone.

Last night he sent me a bit of a snippy message about a minor issue that he had. I got really upset and told him so. He apologised profusely and it seems like it was more of a communication mix up than anything else. I have really taken it to heart, and think this is possibly because of the way conflict was "resolved" in my past relationship (he would ignore me, berate me, make me apologise again and again for whatever perceived slight then eventually get back on an even keel - this could take weeks or days).

DP is an amazing person and genuinely cares for me. I'm really annoyed that he brought up this issue by text and told him this. He's said he's really sorry and he shouldn't have said it. It honestly shouldn't be a big deal but I feel very hurt and upset. I think I'm overreacting given my past experience.

In a healthy relationship, what is normal? Disagreement, apologise, find solution, move on? I'm not really sure how to feel other than hurt.

(The issue was that I don't stay at his much, I have a child whose father does not see him so he is with me all the time. He gets fed up with always coming to mine. I said I wasnt going to just invite ourselves to his and if he suggests nights for us to come I'd be glad to. He thought I'd just suggest coming over whenever I wanted to without being "invited." I understand his point but wish he'd just said something like come over more without being snippy? He was massively apologetic and realised he was being very grumpy. He's ill just now and I'm shattered as usual).

Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 11:47:17

I also feel like the "norm" before was to have big dramatic showdowns which dissect every single thing from the year dot and spend hours going over all my faults and shortcomings.

DP has apologised for upsetting me and I'm just not sure what to do or think. I love him so much but it's so different to what I am used to sad He is drama free and just wants me to be happy. I feel really fucked up.

Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 11:49:45

Abusive exh is my child's father, he has not seen him since he left.

I'll stop replying to myself now...

Ayeok Sun 06-Nov-16 11:56:05

I found conflict resolution really difficult when I met DP because my marriage was very abusive and I had no idea how to manage differences without being scared or getting upset.
With time (and patience from DP) we got to a point where we talk, face to face, about things that annoy us, and listen to each other's point of view before finding a solution.
We've had one argument in 5 years, and the rest of the time we've got irritated or annoyed we've sorted it out by talking when we're calm.
Your DP needs to understand that you are afraid and have no basis to compare to for a "normal" relationship, and you both need to work on your communication to help your relationship grow.
It is possible, and it will happen if you both talk to each other calmly and with respect. Good luck op, it sounds like you've got a good one there.

fc301 Sun 06-Nov-16 11:58:38

Assuming that I've understood your post correctly then in the sane world it goes like this :
DP, feeling ill and grumpy, sends snippy text saying why don't you ever stay at mine (nobody's perfect).
You don't overreact. You'd love to (you love him) but you explain reasons (as you have done ably above).
Between you you agree how this will work at the current time, given your issues. This will be somewhere on the spectrum of "Never at the moment - it's inappropriate for my child" to "Great! I'll show up unannounced whenever I feel like it".
You will both feel happier as it has been discussed and a mutually agreeable solution has been found, which can be revisited as necessary over time.

fc301 Sun 06-Nov-16 11:59:27

And in my own relationship fairies also fly out of my arse! Not trying to be patronising, just trying to help x

Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 12:21:35

Thank you both, that's so helpful.

I think DP has no idea how much everything still affects me. Last night my reaction was quite emotionally strong and as his message came out of the blue it just triggered all those feelings I had from before.

Not patronising at all fc smile Your post sounds like a mature and productive way of dealing with things.

Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 12:24:12

When he bought his house he got some toys for my DC to have at his and made sure there was eg kids cups etc. He's really thoughtful.

I feel really bad.

Ayeok Sun 06-Nov-16 12:34:20

Don't feel bad, it's really hard when all you've known is abuse. But he sounds like a good guy who wants you and your son around and wants to be part of your lives, help him to understand why you got so upset.
Also, I realised I made my relationship sound a bit perfect, it's not, we drive each other nuts sometimes, it's just that we've found a way of fixing it.

fc301 Sun 06-Nov-16 12:39:18

Yep, would happily throttle my wonderful DH at times too.
Good luck OP, you're prob not that far off the mark already x

Crazeecurlee Sun 06-Nov-16 17:00:20

Sounds like you're doing well OP. It will fade and the more these things come up the more you will feel equipped to deal with them until it's not an issue anymore. Don't be so hard on yourself. Good luck flowers

Squirmy65ghyg Sun 06-Nov-16 17:31:23

Thank you.

That is a good point, we generally agree on most things.

He's coming over tonight. I feel really down. Felt a bit down before this happened too. Am on thyroid meds and wonder if it's linked. Just feel quite depressed just now.

Olympiathequeen Sun 06-Nov-16 18:27:51

Maybe it's worth getting some counselling to talk through your issues and ways of resolving conflict without stirring up all those dreadful feelings.

Also talk to him because he needs to know how you are affected by any grumpy texts etc. Not so that he can change because it's normal to be a little snippy sometimes provided the person is aware and apologises but it's really not a big deal. It's so that you can work on your responses.

The way I would handle that situation would be to text back and say that it wasn't a nice text, is something wrong? Also to ask if you could work out a system that he felt was fairer.

Squirmy65ghyg Mon 07-Nov-16 10:26:55

Thank you Olympia, those are good suggestions.

Feel a lot calmer today. It is a total 180 being with him and its something I still have to get used to.

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