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Was this EA or am I making it up?(14 Posts)
It's taken me a long time to write this post, because I've needed some reassurance but equally I've known that if you all told me I was just overreacting that I'm not sure I would be able to handle it. I think I'm strong enough now either way.
I split up with H over two years ago now and we co-parent DD (10). We were married for 10 years. I have anxiety and have since I was a young teen, so sometimes I do actually blow things out of proportion because of this, but not intentionally.
I'll try to give a few examples rather than whole history and bore you all to death.
I grew more and more anxious and depressed over the course of the marriage. We had lived together for a bit before we married, and he was very particular about the house, so housework had to be done each Saturday morning and it was a top to bottom clean. He did do a fair share of this, but I would often find him redoing a job I had done and then would say something like 'oh, I didn't realise you'd actually done it, it didn't look done, oh well I'll do it again.' This carried on in various guises through our marriage. Sometimes he would stop me doing thing, like painting a room, because he could do it better. He got annoyed when I was 8 months pregnant because I was off work but I couldn't manage hoovering the stairs anymore.
When I was in labour with DD, homebirth, he left me on my own to go to sleep for 5 hours and after the birth (which ended up in hospital) he went off to get the car to take DD home and something that stays with me was that I was alone in the hospital room, the midwife came up to me and gave me a hug and said 'you did a good job. It doesn't seem like you have anyone else to tell you.' After, H would tell me and others about how I had pooed when I was in labour. He went back to work a few days after she was born despite having promised to use two weeks paternity leave.
I had an operation a couple of years later to remove a lump. I went to the hospital on my own and came home on my own.
He would regularly tell me what I should eat. This affected me to the point where even now with new DP, I will sometimes ask if it's ok to eat something 'naughty'. This upsets new DP quite a lot.
I was told that if I went above a certain dress size it would be hard to fancy me. If I put my feet up on the sofa where he was sat, he would tell me to get off because it was disgusting. Equally, if I happened to leave hair in the bath I would be called disgusting. If I tried a new make up look, he once told me I was trying to look too young - when I was 24. He corrected the way I spoke a lot.
I had a small car accident and was quite shaken when I got home. I got shouted at for it being my fault (someone went into the back of me).
Towards the end of the marriage, I was very low and suicidal. I also fantasised a lot about H somehow being dead so that me and DD could get on with our lives (not healthy I know).
But he never called me names, was never physically did anything to me, I was hard work because I would get anxious. I think sometimes that I'm overemphasising this stuff to justify why I left. It took me six months of counselling to leave, but even with that, I still doubt myself.
Also, I find it hard sometimes with new DP because he is truly lovely and I'm always there waiting for the day he is going to do all those things to me. We talk about it a lot, and we are very open. I love him very much.
Anyway, there it is. How do I deal with all this still going round my head?
Definitely sounds like an EA marriage. Have you considered a councellor at all? Sounds like you have emotional scarring that's affecting you now. Xx
This was. Definitely EA, and well done for getting out.
So glad that you have a loving new DP - enjoy!
Yes that was emotionally abusive. He ground you down and took your confidence. He made you doubt yourself. He was likely the cause of your anxiety.
Check out the freedom programme through women's aid. It's great your new partner is different but the freedom programme can give women confidence and knowledge. It's empowering!
I wish you well.
Personally it doesn't sound like EA to me, but it does sound like he was very selfish and insensitive at times.
The comment about not being able to not fancy you was horrid though, unless it was 100% meant as a joke and he didn't mean it.
Re the chores - my OH is crap at washing up, and I make similar comments to him. He'll wash things in a dirty sink of water and then not rinse it before it goes back on the draining board So if I see him doing that I'll say "MrOhDo, that's vile! Can you do it properly and rinse it?".
I think it's all in the way things are said.
Thanks Bones, I did have individual counselling and my counsellor was really truly lovely, he helped me to decide to get out. He never used the term EA, and I never asked then because it was still too much for me at that point.
Thanks too Swarskid, I am out, but co-parenting can still be hard and I worry very much about DD.
It was definitely Emotional abuse!!
You sound lovely, please be happy now and look after YOU
Thank you Arsenic I will look at the freedom programme.
Oodoadoodoo - I understand what you mean, I think that's why it's hard to make sense of sometimes and I could have been being oversensitive.
I've just done a post asking about the freedom programme op. I've heard a lot of recommendations following my own recent relationship.
If someone makes you 'feel' a certain way then surely it's abuse even if it's part of their personality traits and not intentional. X
I agree it sounds like EA. Well done for getting out
Thanks Augustus (my favourite film!)
I've just looked at your post Bones, are you going to attend somewhere? I think I would struggle to do that.
It's really interesting your second point, because I think it would be hard for me to say it was intentional. I can't understand why anyone would do that intentionally to another person, so it's easier to see it as personality/unintentional/subconscious.
I definitely think that's EA. Well done for getting out of the relationship.
Have you thought about more counselling? I had a huge amount after I left my abusive marriage, I'm currently wondering if more might help.
I'm in two minds about it swizzlestar, I do think about more but then another part of me thinks I should be able to get on with it by now. I also think I'm almost destined to be an always anxious person and it was my people pleasing that got me into this situation.
My DM is chronically ill and was throughout my childhood, as well as being quite controlling. My need to put others first is quite entrenched. With co-parenting with my ex, special occasions can be very stressful for me because both my DM and ex guilt trip me terribly into doing what they want, which puts me in a catch 22.
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