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Getting out of a controlling relationship

(808 Posts)
Zoo33 Sun 17-Dec-17 19:06:42

I feel like I've woken up to how controlling and damaging my bf has been. We've been together 4 years and had plans to have children, get married and buy a house. We've not spoken in days since I left to clear my head and I have to go back tomorrow to collect my stuff and will see him.

I'm making the right decision I know that absolutely. But please give me strength - tomorrow will be so hard. I feel like such a fool for having put up with this behaviour when I can now see how controlling he's been.

Bringbeboback Sun 17-Dec-17 19:10:49

Write down a list of all the bad points of the relationship and compare it to a list of the good points. I bet your bad list will be so much longer. Remember that whenever he tries to control you and win you back. A relationship should be a positive, happy experience. If it isn’t then he’s not the right one for you

Iflyaway Sun 17-Dec-17 19:15:33

I agree.

He's not the man for you. A man who you have children for should cherish you.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 17-Dec-17 19:32:29

Write all the reasons for leaving on a piece of paper. Fold it up very tightly. Put it in your pocket. Every time you feel yourself weakening, put your hand in your pocket and feel that piece of paper.

Also take a friend with you.

Also see if you can pick up your things without him being there.

Zoo33 Sun 17-Dec-17 21:16:56

Thanks @Bringbeboback @Iflyaway @RunRabbitRunRabbit . I have a list in my head of all the cons and I will have help. I've put up with too much and am now fully aware of it - just wish I had been sooner. I can't really avoid seeing him although I'm very much hoping he won't work from home while I'm packing up. I sort of need to see him though for closure which might sound odd and to see how amenable he is as he owes me money although I don't want to fight over it. I feel relieved I've made the decision to leave but can't wait for the next few days to be over.

Zoo33 Mon 18-Dec-17 16:52:34

So he's just told me he's made the biggest mistake by arguing and that I'm his world and asked me not to leave. I'm so confused. Presumably this is more of the same controlling behaviour? Even if it gets better for a bit, he'll never really change will he?

PeaPodPopper Mon 18-Dec-17 17:00:09

Don't let him change your mind. He's controlling, so he will say anything he thinks you want to hear in order to get you back under that control. Once you are, he will revert back to the person you left.

He won't change. They never do.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Mon 18-Dec-17 17:06:11

Don't fall for it, OP.

Would it help to share some examples of his controlling behaviour? You may find that reading them in black and white might help to confirm your decision.

I've been exactly where you are, the only difference was once he realised I was serious, he turned into an obstructive arsehole who made life as difficult for me as possible (because his pride was hurt). I really hope this doesn't happen to you, but be warned it might.

Slowtrain2dawn Mon 18-Dec-17 17:09:12

Peapod is right. The Freedom programme calls this The Persuader. Controlling people will pull out all the stops to prevent you leaving. Don’t go alone.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 18-Dec-17 17:25:59

Oh so you can't leave because He Wants, He Needs, He Sad.

Did he ask what you need to be happy?

Did he do or say anything at all about how you are feeling?

Or was it all a big bag of what he wants, how he feels?

Zoo33 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:26:03

Thanks @GreenFingersWouldBeHandy and @PeaPodPopper

Examples, where to start? I really hope he doesn't read this.

- Telling me I have very few friends (I'm aware of that) but getting cross when I make lunch or evening arrangements to see them, especially if he's not invited. Weekend plans were fine though (but girly weekends away were a total no no).
- Being very annoyed if I have to work beyond 6pm or through lunch
- Taking it as a personal insult if I leave the room to talk on the phone and then wanting to know what was discussed, especially if it was my mother.
- Telling me I should buy him gifts when he's feeling depressed to cheer him up.
- Refusing to let me talk to anyone about our relationship so I can't vent to anyone or run things past anyone but him
- Asking for my opinion on stuff and then dismissing it as stupid
- Criticising the way I do things
- Being very vocal about my family's faults or perceived slights against him
- Asking if I'd keep the baby when I was pregnant (it was planned) and then refusing to discuss his decision not to try again when I lost it
- Not really listening when I speak to him or interrupting me and picking his phone up to check messages while I'm speaking and then zoning me out
- Rarely doing anything around the house to the extent that I have to clean up after him and he'll ask me to get him another drink (he's too busy playing computer games)

I can't decide what this list says about me. I'm sure there's more but now I think I'm seeing bigger problems than there were.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 18-Dec-17 17:28:32

Everything is about his needs being serviced!

We posted at the same time, my post is just above yours. Was the pleading all about himself?

Zoo33 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:30:51

@RunRabbitRunRabbit We've spoken by text this afternoon (it seems to be how he communicates best) and he asked how I felt in terms of how I thought the relationship had got to the point of breaking up. He seemed very surprised by my decision.

@Slowtrain2dawn Unfortunately I'm here alone with him tonight and then moving out with help tomorrow.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 18-Dec-17 17:35:43

Why do you have to be there tonight?!

Stay in a Travel Lodge if you have to.

Can you imagine if he broke up with you then decided to stay over? Wouldn't that seem cruel?

Your list of problems makes it sound like your entire purpose is to be available 24/7 to service his wants and needs.

I couldn't be with someone who had ever felt that to be an acceptable way to behave towards me. I wouldn't care about promises of change. When someone has shown that level of disregard I couldn't get past it. It speaks to character.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 18-Dec-17 17:39:23

Of course he is surprised. He never thinks about your feelings, never notices your needs, hence it is a surprise. That is pretty fucking insulting.

Also, household appliances don't leave. I would be surprised and deeply upset if my washing machine and dishwasher left.

Zoo33 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:41:17

@RunRabbitRunRabbit I hadn't thought of it that way. I feel truly awful now. Although I thought he'd broken up with me last week, so I guess I thought we could be civilised until I got my things moved out.

Zoo33 Mon 18-Dec-17 17:49:36

He has threatened to break up with me in the past and has apparently lied to my family about things. I think the big problem is that each time we have a big argument I sink into a deeper hole, to the point that I feel like I'm on an emotional rollercoaster and tried to commit suicide last year. I'm not normally like that.

Grapeeatingweirdo Mon 18-Dec-17 17:57:55

You sound like a lovely person who has been manipulated into servicing his needs. Feel free to search my name and you will see I was in a very similar situation two years ago.

Luckily (although it nearly killed me at the time) he left me and I am free to laugh, love and live life on my own terms.

Being alone was terrifying but you will surprise yourself with what you get used to. You will be safe and acting as a main player in your own story; not a bit part player in his.

You will be able to make spontaneous plans, talk for hours on the phone - even work past six pm on a deadline if you want to - and have no one to put you down or hurt you.

You come first in your own life. You owe him nothing and you owe yourself everything.

Please be kind to yourself. Message me privately if you would like to talk. I will be here.

sparklepops123 Mon 18-Dec-17 18:02:25

Be so thankful you realised what this relationship is before u were commited to kids / marriage / mortgage because it would be hundreds times harder to get out . Let him cry I'm sure you've cried more. Run for the hills and move on

sparklepops123 Mon 18-Dec-17 18:03:58

And good luck

BackInTheRoom Mon 18-Dec-17 18:23:29

He knows you, knows which buttons to push, he's very very clever. If you can just step back a minute and watch him...hear what he's saying but don't take the criticism, just watch, you'll SEE who he really is. I saw it with my ex when I stopped arguing back. He couldn't stand the fact I wasn't arguing and this troubled him. He'd lost control because I didn't behave like I normally did and it really unsettled him.

Foodylicious Mon 18-Dec-17 18:42:42

Pack pants and your toothbrush and go stay somewhete else tonight.
Even if you just leave the house now to go to the shop, then call a friend and a taxi if you need to.
Then go get your stuff with a friend tomorrow.
Do you think you could do that?
If you stay he will prob try to 'work' on you and get you to change your mind xxx

PsychedelicSheep Mon 18-Dec-17 19:45:32

Please be aware that the most dangerous time in terms of domestic homicide is when the victim is leaving. Make sure you’re safe. Ideally don’t be alone with him at all.

userxx Mon 18-Dec-17 19:53:53

Please get away from him ASAP.

PeaPodPopper Mon 18-Dec-17 20:21:41

You know what OP, when you live alone you get to decide ....

What time to eat/ finish work/go home/go to bed/go out/who to go out with/who to talk to/when to talk to them/what to wear/when to wear it/blah/blah/blah the list goes on to infinity.

This is YOUR life. You only get ONE shot at it. And you deserve the BEST you can have. So go and get it.

Do what RunRabbit suggests and stay over at a travel ,lodge or something tonight, and have someone with you tomorrow if you can, when you move out.


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