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Am I now the abusive one?(36 Posts)
This is probably going to come out garbled so bare with me.
A year ago I had counselling and she told me my partner was controlling and emotionally abusive. I hate this phrase as it sounds so drastic and it isn't like I'm being beaten or subjected to extreme mental traumas. He always told me I was the controlling and abusive one for not liking certain things he did. He calls me names and always has the upper hand so I can never answer back without "proving" him correct. I do recognise this isn't normal loving behaviours. Anyway I now refuse to communicate. I used to get upset and cry and he just doesn't care. He has no empathy whatsoever.
He now thinks I'm abusive pathetic and immature because I basically ignore him. I give limited answers and refuse to discuss anything other than subjects he wants to talk about e.g. work, cars etc. I have absolutely no desire to discuss our relationship or anything I want to do etc. I just don't see the point. It's gets us nowhere and he gets the upper hand and I just come out looking more crazy. When I see these threads about husbands giving the silent treatment and everyone says LTB he is abusive I think well that's now me. Have I turned into the abusive one?
Whats your financial situation? Is there a reason you haven't left yet?
You're not happy, he's a dick, why are you still together?
In nutshell, No.
He's done a good job of messing with your head so much that you can't think straight any more. You should leave asap.
For the past year, you've been ignoring your partner instead of just leaving?
I'm sorry OP, that's insane. Are you trying to get your own back? Taste of his own medicine? Make him feel bad?
I don't think it's abuse, but it's certainly not good behaviour. If he's treating you badly, and it sounds like he is, then you need to leave, not give him endless silent treatment, that's just perverse.
To be honest I don't know. Financially I'm fine. I have savings and a good income. I haven't left yet because it just never seems that bad I think. Tbh I'm not really sure. I recognise it is unhealthy but I don't want to start over again. My mum thinks I just like being the victim. But it's not that. Of course I want a normal loving relationship but I don't want to be responsible. We split up ages ago and it was scary. I don't want to have to deal with it again.
Please tell me you don't have children in the house.
Why do you expect it to be bad at all?
What is scary about being on your own?
Sorry I should have been more clear. I do talk to him but only about what he wants to discuss. He can ask me a question I start answering then he interrupts me to continue talking about something he wants to discuss. Or I start talking and he just ignores what I say so I don't bother any more. I only talk to him when he starts the conversation. I'm not permanently silent.
Nothing scary about being on my own. I'm on my own a lot. He scared me for several reasons I don't want to go into.
What would it take for you to leave him?. Why are you in denial as to how abusive he is towards you?. You have shut down as a coping mechanism but that is not helping you either.
What did you learn about relationships when you were growing up?
Were you ever taught that the only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none?. What is so very bad here about being without him and or being on your own?. You are on your own in this relationship now and you are in a lonely and dark place. Is being in a relationship this important that you would put your own happiness at stake here?
Fear of him is an all too common reason why women stay with their abuser. No man is above the law here and coercive control is a crime.
I think because maybe I have shut down I don't really feel anything. However I don't want to be abusive to anyone. That's not who I am. Outside of the home I'm completely different. It's strange.
I have no idea what it would take. Ideally I'd like him to call it a day. Then I'd have no guilt.
Abuse like you describe will take time, perhaps even years, to recover from and your recovery from his abuses of you has not even beg7n yet. He remains volatile towards you and you run a real risk of being physically assaulted if he were to decide that what he is doing here is no longer working.
You are not abusive towards him, you have shut down as a coping mechanism. He is merely continuing to project his own self onto you, it is he who is abusive towards you here. Abuse is not solely physical in nature, abuse is about having power and control over the other person. He wants absolute here over you.
He likes the power he wields over you, he is never going to want to let go of you anyway that easily. You will need to make the break from him.
What made you go back to him last time around?
What made you go to a counsellor, I sincerely hope you never embarked on joint counselling with him.
You're trying to survive prolonged abuse. You sound damaged and traumatised.
It would appear you got your low standards on love/healthy relationships from your mum.
It's not drastic to label abuse what it is. You are being abused.
As long as you stay with an abuser you can't love yourself and you can't form relationships with people who treat you decently or truly love you.
He scared me for several reasons I don't want to go into.
I think the reason you're protesting that labelling his abuse of you as abuse is too "drastic" is because you are in denial, minimising and trying to create a narrative that backs up your decision to stay.
it isn't like I'm being beaten or subjected to extreme mental traumas
Someone in a good relationship would not be coming out with stuff like this. I think the bar for how the people in your life treat you should be a lot freaking higher than "doesn't subject me to extreme mental traumas".
The longer you stay, the worse life will get and the more fucked up your head will become.
In some ways I actually think if he did hit me or cheat on me I'd find it easier to leave. Obviously I don't want to be assaulted and I don't think he ever would. Cheat on me I don't particularly care tbh but I would leave.
One young child so this needs to be sorted out before they start understanding.
You won't appreciate how bad it has been until you have the benefit of hindsight. There is enough evidence you are not in a happy healthy relationship. Why are you still with him? Don't accept this behaviour.
Ideally I'd like him to call it a day. Then I'd have no guilt.
Abuse is about control. His goal is to control you; he will never let you go unless it's because he's killed you. If your decision is to stay until he gives you permission to leave then you will spend the rest of your life being abused.
For the abusive relationship to end, you have to decide to take back control and end it.
Your guilt is misplaced and shows how damaged you already are.
This whole situation sounds incredibly toxic and oppressive.
OP you need to leave - if only for the sake of your child.
The only way to sort it out is to leave. If it were just you, I'd be more sympathetic, but you have a child. They understand so much more than you'd thing from such a young age, this will already be having a huge impact on their development and emotional maturity.
It is your responsibility as a parent to do what is best for your child, and that involves getting them out of this dynamic right now. You've got money, you're financially stable, you've got a mother who wants you to leave, there is really no excuse for continuing to subject your child to this.
Take it from someone who grew up in a very similar situation, they won't thank you for staying, and the damage inflicted now will impact their whole life.
Research shows even tiny babies are damaged by living in an abusive home.
It's not about leaving before they're old enough to notice (because too late) but leaving before the damage reaches horrific proportions.
Forcing a child to live in an abusive home is unconscionable. That's what you're doing by staying and making excuses.
It wouldn't be easier to leave if he hit you. You would just make a new bunch of excuses. "It's not like he broke any bones..." perhaps.
Sounds like you're in survival mode, almost naturally 'grey rocking' (shut down) to avoid confrontation and abuse..You are not the abuser!
I did exactly the same for the last 4 years of my recent 12 year abusive relationship and thought i was handling it, but i'm afraid his behaviour got more extreme through time.
It really didn't hit me until about 8 months after i'd left, please leave, it won't get any better if you stay and although you say you don't really feel anything now, its a coping mechanism.
Your thinking here is harmful to you and that will take time and counselling to undo. He continues to further erode your already low boundaries.
What hold does he still have over you?
Where is your real world support?.
That child is already picking up on the vibes within your home and as that child gets older he or she will continue to see you as their mother being abused by their dad.
There is no sorting this out with him, he wants to keep on hurting you like he does. You have a choice re this man and your child does not. He or she cannot afford to grow up seeing abuse from dad to mum.
Would you want them to be in a relationship like this in 20 years time or ever, no you would not, but you are showing this child that currently at least this is still acceptable to you on some level.
Have you heard of DARVO - Deny, Accuse, Reverse Victim and Offender?
Its a really common tactic of abusers, and I think thats what he does when he accuses you of being abusive.
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