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Emotionally abused or emotional abuser?

(11 Posts)
brightnearly Thu 19-Jan-17 23:41:12

I wonder which one I am...how do you know whether you abuse or are abused?

And what do you lot make of a SO whose default position is to deflect/mirror any emotions you express, i.e. if I say "This hurts me", he says "But THIS hurts ME!", or if I say 'I feel trapped' he says 'I actually feel trapped, too!'.
This also goes for positive emotions; if I say 'I love orange juice', he'll say 'I love orange juice, too' (even if he actually doesn't).

I'm so confused!

TheLongRains Thu 19-Jan-17 23:49:58

I totally know what you mean!! Mine doesn't do the positive thing, but I if I EVER try to express hurt or upset over something he's said or done, it ALWAYS turns out that he has been hurt by me in the same situation.

I was really questioning whether I was abusive of him, and hurting him this much, when I realised that he never expresses hurt over things until I've said I am, then he turns the same situation into one in which he is more injured. If he said things first, I'd think he might be being honest, but now I really think he just uses it as a tool to make me feel like I have no right to feel anything, because he's "just as hurt".

I think it's a control thing. It feels like you're not allowed to have your own feelings, or that they aren't acknowledged, or they aren't significant...

It really sucks sad

brightnearly Thu 19-Jan-17 23:56:00

Yes, it sucks.

It's impossible to get heard!

springydaffs Fri 20-Jan-17 04:26:18

Bottom line it's all about them. Everything becomes about them.

twattymctwatterson Fri 20-Jan-17 04:33:02

This forum actually helped me a lot to understand that a previous relationship had been abusive. Perhaps it would help to talk about some of the things in your relationship which don't feel quite right? Agree that the deflecting is a common tactic

brightnearly Fri 20-Jan-17 04:35:25

Another thing that really puzzled me:

I once asked SO to pick something up for me. He came home in a terrible mood - asked if he was ok, he said yes but looked like thunder. Probed again - actually he's not ok, had a terrible time getting there and back.

Then I said:" I'm sorry I asked you to do this, if I had known traffic was so awful I wouldn't have asked."

Then he got really angry, because I was "making it all about myself", had "no empathy", and he just wanted some acknowledgment of what he just went through!!!

It's very hard to respond to statements like this and make things better - if I argue/defend myself, things turn into an argument. If I agree, I admit I hurt him on purpose.

I also still don't understand why this statement was lacking empathy/making it all about myself.

nigelforgotthepassword Fri 20-Jan-17 04:47:09

Well it wasn't. It's just him being resentful of being asked and then resentful of the time it took.
And then him deflecting that on to you.

springydaffs Fri 20-Jan-17 05:21:20

I'd erm not pursue this relationship iiwy op.

Aka run for the hills. This will only get worse...

Until your head is confused to billyo and you don't know if you are coming or going - you already have a bit of that re the errand, in which regardless what you do our say you're the bad dog. He sounds like an abuser to me I'm afraid.

Perfectly ordinary to ask someone to do an errand. Perfectly ordinary to be stuck in traffic. NOT perfectly ordinary to blame you for it and to accuse you of 'not showing empathy' - when you actually did show empathy as out happens, when you didn't need to!

Do the Freedom Programme. My guess is this isn't the only incident.

Secretlife0fbees Fri 20-Jan-17 06:01:12

Hi OP
My stbxdh is exactly like this, it's one of the things I think has confused me enough to have kept me here as long as it has! He shouts over me and tells me I am a BULLY when that is the exact thing that he is being. It's like I am a mirror and he is talking to himself. He accuses me of being a psychopath and showing no empathy too! When I try to rationalise this and give examples of how I am not the thing he has accused me of he has by this time successfully turned it round onto him and become the victim. It's clever! And also pointless to engage. I have also had the conversation with myself and my therapist about how I know I am not the problem. The fact that it is something always initiated by me (then he turns it around) plus the fact that I am even self aware enough to be attempting to genuinely analyse my own behaviour is not something a psychopath would genuinely do. It's not you.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Fri 20-Jan-17 07:45:48

The whole thing of turning it back on you and making it about them when you raise an issue of your own is the reason I left my ex. I couldn't say anything that I was unhappy about without it becoming all about something he was unhappy with, usually within seconds of me starting the conversations. But yet, he never raised any issues of his own accord.

I felt that it was minimising and dismissing my feelings. It alway meant that the future would have been me eventually not even trying to talk about any issues, and ending up staying quiet and putting up with stuff to avoid the inevitable attack on me.

LostSight Fri 20-Jan-17 08:08:02

My husband has a tendency to do this as well.

I try to make sure, when I raise things with him, that it is about something specific, i.e. 'I felt you were unreasonable when you did x to DS'. He will try to turn it round and say I do the same. I then reply that if he feels I do something wrong, I would like him to raise it with me at the time it occurs, then I ask him not to do whatever it was next time, then I leave him to think about it. I don't allow him to deflect it back and make it a criticism of me.

It's not ideal. I wish he wouldn't do it, but I have learned to be assertive in the way I deal with it. In my opinion, the EA is mostly from him. My 'fault' earlier in the relationship, was in not standing up for myself when I felt uncomfortable with something he did.

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