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Question about Emotional Abuse patterns

(18 Posts)
Evilrhooo Sat 31-Dec-16 22:16:39

Hello everyone, Happy New Year and all!
I think my dp is ea. He seems.to have a cycle of about 3 months between nasty episodes. Is this common? Thanks.

ChuckSnowballs Sat 31-Dec-16 22:51:47

Could be. Why not expand on what these patterns are and how they manifest themselves?

Funnylady123 Sat 31-Dec-16 22:57:21

My exh was, cycles gradually got closer, unfortunately took me 20 years to realise. I have been out for over a year now and although incredibly difficult, please realise they won't change.

Greypaw Sat 31-Dec-16 23:29:58

My ex bf had periods of three months between EA episodes too. I could almost set my watch by it.

Unicornsandrainbows3 Sun 01-Jan-17 11:00:04

Yes cycles are how abuse tends to work.

Dragonbait Sun 01-Jan-17 11:10:06

Hi. Sorry to jump on your post but I didn't know this was how it could work! My ex worked like this but I guess I assumed it was linked to his guilt - so after a bad episode he would be good for a few months then it would start building again. When I went for counselling on my own before I left - I said that it wasn't always bad - sometimes we had these lovely good months. I always remember she said 'are you sure they are good months, or do you think they are good because they are not bad'. Looking back she hit the nail on the head because none of our months were good with the constant threat hanging over me. Good luck xxx

Evilrhooo Sun 01-Jan-17 14:17:11

Sorry I have not replied earlier. I am trying to document what is happening and give myself some space to think. Often there will be a build up of bad mood for no apparent reason over a day or so. Then there will be a ridiculous argument which us very loud, shouty and one way ( not me lol). Insults will be included. The next day, he will guilt trip. This lovely person will last until next time. I always hope there won't be a next time but so far there always is.

Olympiathequeen Sun 01-Jan-17 14:42:26

My ex husband was like this. It was cycles of around 6 months but they got closer and closer. He would never apologise because he felt he was in the right, but I tried to get back to 'normal' for the children and because I still loved him. His episodes were triggered by anxiety and problems but they were always dressed up as personal attacks on me because he felt that I wasn't the stepford wife he expected. If I had been then these anxieties would have been intuited by me and solved like a do mind reading!

So basically he was deeply disappointed that I wasn't this 'ideal' woman who supported him no matter how wrong he was, agreed with everything he said and did, found my happiness by him being happy (even if it meant he left us all weekend to pursue his hobbies).

He never apologised because he never felt he was in the wrong because I should have been the person he expected me to be. I would look to see if this may be what is triggering the abuse in your case?

Also the more men who abuse get away with it (I guess I encouraged it by not leaving, which was financially impossible) the more they will do it. The more you accept it the more they feel it's acceptable behaviour and the initial shame disappears along with any apologies.

It helped me emotionally to keep a diary but I could never identify triggers until after so it was only for me. What it did do was being home how awful these occasions were until eventually I left. The good times were no longer good because my anger, resentment, despair and sadness outweighed everything.

They won't stop.

Evilrhooo Sun 01-Jan-17 15:09:22

Thank you Olympia. I will make a note too, I am in a very similar situation to yours. As for triggers, it appears that it is stress. I've never caused it though! I know his behaviour is wrong. I have had to bide my time to ensure a more stable position for the dcs. X

silkflowers Sun 01-Jan-17 15:28:04

What Olympia said - excellent post.

OP - my ex used to have an EA episode every 2-3 weeks. I wrote down ages ago all the things he had called me / all the criticisms in a notebook. I showed them to the police officer on the one occasion he messed up and physically assaulted me. She raised her eyebrows as she was reading and said: "keep this book safe". I still have it even though we are no longer together. So, definitely keep up with your diary writing as it will give you strength to leave.

As for the "stress" being a trigger - bear in mind we all have stress in our lives, but we don't use that stress to verbally abuse people we love. I was under phenomenal stress when pregnant with DC1, as I was working for a particularly cruel boss who saw my pregnancy as a massive inconvenience. Despite this, I did not criticise my ex, or call him names or shout at him, or throw things etc. I came home tired and moody, but that was it.

Is he charming to the outside world? Have you confided in any friends about his behaviour?

Evilrhooo Sun 01-Jan-17 15:36:24

Hi silk, everyone loves him kids, small animals, the lot. My mum knew about his temper as do my dad, sister and a couple of close friends. To be honest though it really isn't as awful as it once was. I don't tend to tell them stuff unless he's dreadful. I do tend to minimise I know.

Evilrhooo Sun 01-Jan-17 15:37:36

However, I know it is wrong.

silkflowers Sun 01-Jan-17 15:41:53

My ex was exactly the same. Everyone loves him.. "mr nice guy" hmm

Not so nice behind closed doors.

Even if you don't want to LTB at this stage, just be aware that eventually you might definitely want to. So try and have a plan B in your head, a getaway plan. And keep writing the diaries and re-reading them to yourself in private.

Do you have children together?

Evilrhooo Sun 01-Jan-17 15:54:27

We do have kids, we have two dc and of course as they all say "he's a wonderful father". He behaves well towards the kids, although I know that he doesn't behave well towards me and therefore them iyswim.
I feel exhausted, I am sorry if this is dripfeeding but I don't even know what to do anymore. It's just so grimly inevitable.

Olympiathequeen Sun 01-Jan-17 15:55:30

Oh yes! Mr nice guy to the outside world. sad

'Talking' about it initially resulted in an apology. Towards the end it was just another excuse for a rage. It is worth trying but it is an indication of how far on he is with abusing you. Maybe out there is a man or woman who has changed but I doubt it.

I minimised because it was the only thing to save my sanity. It made me able to go into the 'nice' phase with amnesia. I'd be walking on eggshells though.

Are you sure it's getting less? Or is it just that you are getting used to it? I remember the absolute shock of the first time (pregnant of course, what a cliche). Later in it took far worse to rattle me.

silk is right. Start planning an escape. It took me several years to get into a strong financial position but it's doable.

I feel so sad for people in your position now.

Olympiathequeen Sun 01-Jan-17 16:01:37

What I did was (once I had decided I didn't love him any more) just ignore him, move into another room, told him I was divorcing him and did it.

It wasn't easy and it took time to get to that position but it was destroying me and I think it is you too.

Maybe if you plan and fix on that day when he gets divorce papers you will find some strength, knowing there will be an end to it does strengthen you. Let the next rage be your countdown to freedom.

My anger, disgust and utter loathing kept me going to get a good job as I had no family nearby, but if you have family to help maybe you can go sooner?

ElspethFlashman Sun 01-Jan-17 16:03:40

This is the recognised cycle.

silkflowers Sun 01-Jan-17 17:13:38

A man who abuses the mother of his children is not a good father. And if he abuses you, it makes it hard for you to be the mother you want to be, as you are / will be very tired, emotionally detached, withdrawn, depressed, stressed or any combination of the above. Just before I left my ex, the two weekends prior to the split I was so exhausted I felt sick and dizzy, to the point I nearly passed out. His expectations were so high, his insults so deep, and my support network was non existent. I was running on empty. Leaving him was the best thing I ever did. I feel and look so much better and have so much more fun with my children now his energy draining episodes are out of the picture.

What do you think his reaction would be if you ended it? You need to keep yourself and your children safe so that is a very important question and one you need to consider before you attempt to leave / end it.

Women's Aid are great btw if you need someome to confide in and talk to.

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