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How long does it take for men to show their abusive side?

(81 Posts)
BBCNewsRave Fri 07-Apr-17 13:31:06

Sorry if this is a stupid question, just wondering about a ballpark figure.
It's not specific to anyone - I am single. But I don't want to make any more mistakes. I used to ignore major red flags so thought not doing that would be enough, but I'm scared. So many, many men seem to be conditioned to treat women badly.
So - how long until you can be reasonably sure they don't have a hidden dark side?

hellsbellsmelons Fri 07-Apr-17 13:38:08

I think it can happen at any time.
Often when the woman is pregnant it can begin.
Or when she's just had a baby are both trigger points for them.
But there are usually red flags before this.

Have you done the Freedom Programme?
Might be a good idea to make sure you avoid fuckwits in the future.
You can do it on-line.

pallasathena Fri 07-Apr-17 13:57:29

I always told my daughters to carefully look at how their boyfriends treated their mums and then to look really carefully at how boyfriend's dad treated boyfriend's mum.
Most families have their own individual dynamic and if that dynamic is disrespectful in any way, it will come out in the next generation unless some serious counselling has occurred which in the UK currently, is unlikely.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 07-Apr-17 14:01:55

agree with Athena, also watch how he treats others in general.

ThankmeLater Fri 07-Apr-17 16:04:46

Alcohol used to trigger my exP to be physically abusive. After about a year or so that started happening but previous to that, he was always very controlling and argumentative. But in subtle ways. And made me feel like I couldn't possibly ever survive without him because he was so amazing! hmm

Hissy Fri 07-Apr-17 16:07:21

On average between 18m and 2 years.

When the balance in relationships change; moving in, getting engaged, married, pregnant. If you lose your job, have hours cut, basically any "in" will prompt an abuser

There are always pre-signs, and before that often instincts

ThisIsStartingToBoreMe Fri 07-Apr-17 16:10:00

It's when you get married, when you get pregnant it when you have a baby. One of those 3.

Gingerbreadmam Fri 07-Apr-17 16:11:30

it's probably more about how long until you realise. My dp showed quite early on if im honest. I didnt 'see it' until about 18 months in.

noego Fri 07-Apr-17 16:13:35

It can be very subtle. Silent treatment, Tantrums, Jealousy, Criticisms etc. So much so that you can be years in before you realise. Women can abuse as well as men and can be even more subtle.

Imaginesthat Fri 07-Apr-17 16:44:15

Soon as I had the baby was like a switch

Imaginesthat Fri 07-Apr-17 16:44:41

Also completely agree with the post above About a family pattern

Gingerbreadmam Fri 07-Apr-17 16:54:04

my dp idolised his dm and would have done anything for her.

Potplant Fri 07-Apr-17 16:56:02

Mine stood me up on the second date because we had planned to do something he didn't want to do. Yes, dear reader, I married that man.

As Ginger said it's more about when you realise

HowamIgoingtocope Fri 07-Apr-17 17:00:48

Mine 17 years and a divorce of 6 years. Interesting he doesn't like the word no.

Namechanger2015 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:05:58

When the balance in relationships change; moving in, getting engaged, married, pregnant. If you lose your job, have hours cut, basically any "in" will prompt an abuser. There are always pre-signs, and before that often instincts

Totally agree with this. Mine was when we got married and moved in with him, ramped up after the birth of each of our children.

But plenty of warnings and pre-signs which I ignored.

TitaniasCloset Fri 07-Apr-17 17:12:52

For me pregnancy. As soon as he felt he had me trapped.

Hermonie2016 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:20:43

I believe it can be triggers such as having some commitment - baby or house purchase. For my situation it occurred when I had sold my house (that we lived in) to buy jointly. It was years after we had got together but it was like the mask dropped when he felt a shift in power. It's the power shift that causes some men to abuse because they feel they can.

On family patterns my ex's parents were divorced and outwardly the dad appears so gentle but then I didn't know about passive aggressive behaviours until much later. My ex grew up in a middle class but very emotionally abusive home so he was very proper and articulate which I took to mean emotional intelligent..stupid of me! He also had counselling. He however has massive attachment issues which was understandable given his upbringing but it causes him to blame his partners. When he blames women it allows him to switch off compassion and abuse begins.

I also think there were clues. I would never get a straight answer if we talked about women's equality for example. So sometimes it's about what isn't said as well. Ex didn't speak badly about his previous relationships but he was never positive either and I can't see how you can be with someone for years and not like some aspects to them.

You have to watch for behaviours in quite an analytical way and often we don't do this because we are monitoring if they like us!

Some questions I would go through - Do they have long term friendships where they are open and honest about themselves - not just superficial? Are they able to reflect on their faults or errors? Can they be wrong (with you and other people) and apologise? Do they display genuine empathy and compassion ? (not just giving to charity,having good manners or saying "oh dear"). If he has always had a poor relationship with his mother assume misogyny until proven otherwise.

Never ignore a red flag or your instinct...it doesn't make you fussy or too demanding, just very sensible.

notangelinajolie Fri 07-Apr-17 17:37:14

It's not always easy to see when you are in a relaltionship bubble. People outside will spot it before you. Do your friends like him or your family - what do they say? How does he treat his mum? How does his dad behave towards his mum? Does he have a history of failed relationships? If he does - what do his exes have to say about him? I'd be very wary of someone who says his ex is a nasty evil bitch - especially if he blames her for the break up. Men who play the victim are not usually blameless.

And if he has children - does he pay the bare minimum in Child Maintenance yet still has money for a nice social life? A man that puts himself before his children is not someone I'd want in my life.

The signs are always there but you just need to know where to look.

beachcomber243 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:37:37

Any stressful situation or event... unexpected illness of either of you, living with a partner for the first time, financial problem, redundancy, pregnancy, buying a house, new baby, all worse if they turn to drink/drugs.

Anything which means life changes in a subtle or obvious way and means their comfort is being compromised/threatened...and responsibility.

And anything which shows the partner has their own personality and is popular, have different opinions, hopes, needs, dreams and friends. Do they care about others?...family members, friends, animals.

WombOfOnesOwn Fri 07-Apr-17 17:51:25

18 months to 2 years is the commonly agreed upon length of time on average -- in meetings, even abusers will sometimes say 18 months is the right amount of time to wait, because then the woman is invested and less likely to leave. The reason they wait this long is that they've found out through trial and error with other women that hitting any sooner leads to a quick exit.

tigermoll Fri 07-Apr-17 17:55:28

Usually they wait until they feel they have "got you", ie: when they feel you are too committed to walk away. But there can be signs before then -- I always think that a good warning bell is if you feel (even in a quite minor way) that you can't quite tell your family /friends about something he has said or done because they would "get the wrong idea". When you find yourself covering up for him, have a think about whether they really would get the wrong idea, or whether in fact, they would be bang on the money.
And never, ever put yourself in a situation where you feel you "just can't leave". Never allow yourself to be cut off from your support network, your own money and your sense of self.

NoShitSherlock101 Fri 07-Apr-17 17:58:34

I think early signs that are so easy to over look are future faking, love bombing (especially possessive language) and bad mouthing their exes. Also a subtly negative attitude towards women generally.

All these things were the first red flags I saw very early on, in the first few weeks and it escalated from there very quickly. My ex was very emotionally abusive and I was lucky to get out early (after 3 months). He had all the warning signs of a man who would move onto physical violence and I think had we got to a big milestone like moving in together that that's when that would've started.

I think the best defence is to truly love yourself, get your self esteem sky high and to know the warning signs. Always trust your gut instinct.

Platimum Fri 07-Apr-17 17:59:19

long before my x was abusive (in a very noticeable way that I could understand) he would react to something I had told him with a muted response. ie, if I said oh i think i'll just stay in tomorrow night, then he'd say ''lovely, we'll get thai food and that wine you like!" but if I said ''oh I haven't seen claire for ages I will meet her tomorrow'' he would react with hmmm. Or a terse stoic remark like ''night in on my lonesome then''.
he was basically training me to be obliging and it worked so he rarely needed to lose his temper with me iyswim.

rightsofwomen Fri 07-Apr-17 18:00:52

For me it was bubbling away, but a distinct change when I was pregnant with our second child.
He is now 8 and he's been gone for 1/2 year now.

Platimum Fri 07-Apr-17 18:01:57

my x worked with a woman who was at his level. I met her. She was confident, efficient, completely undisturbed by his inability to disguise his dislike of her! That infuriated him. if I look back on it actually that was the first clue. He hated that woman because she was so good at her job and well respected. I met her once and she was charming and genuine and funny. he hated her

That was the first clue really.

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