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Why do we read MN Relationships board and is being interested in it somehow abnormal?

(46 Posts)
SoulofanAggron Mon 15-Feb-21 14:52:51

My ex tried to say there was something unusual about my being interested in reading this board, as he implied it's just horror stories about men or something.

I don't need anyone to say to ignore his opinions- I just enjoy learning from my experiences and reaching conclusions, and there's nothing wrong with that- just my personal process. I'm creating something about his various behaviours as part of my creativity, so I wanted to consider it, as it's interesting to me.

I made a brief thread about it on AIBU at the time but it's relevant to me again now as I'm creating something about it at the moment for myself.

Interested in your opinions. I discovered he was a wrong'un in the end.

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CrimsonFlags Mon 15-Feb-21 15:04:45

I started reading and posting on this board about 5 years ago when I first started to think about leaving my abusive exH.

Emotional abuse escalated to physical abuse... and in the end my DC were negatively affected. Exactly as I had been advised on this board through the various threads I posted and posted on. Without reading and taking advice from this board I'd be a shell of my former self.

The collective wisdom and strength of women is powerful!

FornicatingFox Mon 15-Feb-21 15:08:01

For me, I always enjoyed the problem pages in magazines, infact I often found that the most interesting part!
Its a human interest thing for me, and here we have the outlet to contribute our thoughts to those problem pages.
I often aspired to be an agony aunt. Also, this is a great place to learn through others experiences in life.

ravenmum Mon 15-Feb-21 15:15:52

My ex tried to say there was something unusual about my being interested in reading this board, as he implied it's just horror stories about men or something.
If he read it, then clearly he was interested in it.
If he didn't read it, then clearly he has no clue what he's talking about.
If he used his brain, he'd work out for himself why there might be mainly stories about unpleasant men on this forum.

Like others, I started reading this forum regularly when I broke up with my ex - I was given useful advice.

SoulofanAggron Mon 15-Feb-21 15:25:47

If he used his brain, he'd work out for himself why there might be mainly stories about unpleasant men on this forum.

@ravenmum He was more asking why would I be interested in reading stuff like that. He was a therapist (not mine) so the implication was that he was trying to say it was due to some issue I might have.

For me, I always enjoyed the problem pages in magazines, infact I often found that the most interesting part! Its a human interest thing for me, and here we have the outlet to contribute our thoughts to those problem pages.

@FornicatingFox I agree. I'm rubbish at saying what's on the tip of my tongue, but I should've said to some extent it's just like the sort of satisfaction he gets from his work.

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peak2021 Mon 15-Feb-21 15:42:22

You may have something to contribute which may be of help to someone else. Nothing wrong with that surely?

ravenmum Mon 15-Feb-21 15:48:08

the implication was that he was trying to say it was due to some issue I might have
Is that why he listened to other people's stories, as a therapist? Because of his issues?

SoulofanAggron Mon 15-Feb-21 15:56:58

Is that why he listened to other people's stories, as a therapist? Because of his issues?

Good point. smile

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emmylousings Mon 15-Feb-21 16:00:30

I suppose one aspect of it, is that I am interested to 'compare' my ideas and beliefs about relationships etc., with others. It's such a secret part of people's lives, and the board is a way to peek behind the doors of others. It's fascinating. And, I think it's heartening that people spend time offering thoughtful advice, it's just people caring for each other even though they are strangers. It's kindness and honesty (with some exceptions no doubt!)

HollowTalk Mon 15-Feb-21 16:07:25

I'm another who loved the problem pages!

I learned nothing about relationships from my mum. A lot of us in the family had relationships with so many red flags flying around. Problems were never discussed and I didn't even know what a red flag was.

I honestly think that my life would've been different if I'd had MN when I was a teenager onwards.

The old days of a problem page with one reply and no response allowed from the person with the problem meant that there was no dialogue, just an instruction from the agony aunt. I read Mariella Frostrup's advice in The Guardian and always want to tell the person with the problem to come on here. So much is left out in the original problem - often we don't realise what the problem actually is until someone else spots it.

HollowTalk Mon 15-Feb-21 16:07:51

He was a therapist who didn't know why you might want to read the Relationships board?!

AudacityOfHope Mon 15-Feb-21 16:08:58

It's very inspiring to watch the process happen, really.

So many women on here don't know that they can and should ask for more in life than they currently have. They think financial, emotional, sexual abuse is normal, for whatever reason.

The consistent posts from women with other, healthier outlooks really does begin to open their eyes, and I love to cheer them on from the sidelines when they finally make their escape.

I don't think it's unhealthy for women to form a community and help each other out, or to just quietly watch the process happen either.

changingmine Mon 15-Feb-21 16:17:42

Same reason people read anything, because it reaches them in some way, they are looking to make sense of their own lives.

They read it and think, "Oooh I went through similar and now is my chance to talk about it" (connection, growth) or "That could never happen to me because I am cleverer" (denial, fear, judgement) or "they deserve bad things"(projection).Very occasionally posters involve themselves in an almost professional manner, with perspective and kindness. Fairly rare though.

SoulofanAggron Mon 15-Feb-21 16:45:03

So many women on here don't know that they can and should ask for more in life than they currently have.

That's a good point. I first looked at MN as someone linked me to the Transwidows thread, as part of a feminist discussion about the subject.

Then I ended up reading the Relationships board, and that seemed 'feminist' in as much as it's about women not having to put up with bollox too.

So that was one reason it was interesting, on top of the human interest one.

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Happycat1212 Mon 15-Feb-21 16:46:14

My ex made out that being on MN was weird full stop. I like reading the board to pass time and offer advice if I can. I read a lot of threads but don’t have any advice to offer so I don’t always comments if that’s the case.

category12 Mon 15-Feb-21 17:04:38

My ex tried to say there was something unusual about my being interested in reading this board, as he implied it's just horror stories about men or something.

I think with that guy, it was part of control, trying to isolate you from external feedback/validation/different voices to his own - he wanted to control the narrative. He saw other women's voices as a threat (he was right about that grin).

I think what pps have said about problem pages is true. It's human interest and wanting to share experience.

Sssloou Mon 15-Feb-21 20:05:38

When you read this for a few years the same issues come up time and time again and the standard advice and support can really help someone “see” something or shift their perspective constructively to get out of a stuck dynamic.

People sharing their personal stories and that they came through a similar experience is really motivational and inspirational.

I agree with PP that your therapist BF felt threatened. What’s sad (or comforting if you have this info in advance) is that many situations play out text book style, there is a script and everyone on the threads can confirm and call out what is coercion, emotional abuse, spot patterns, gaslighting etc ...... I suspect that for some people it’s excruciating to now know that their MO is transparent.

They should be teaching this stuff at school - so that people know what shocking behaviour looks like and to encourage people to behave better. Would save an awful lot of unnecessary heartache - especially for children.

Rebelwithverysharpclaws Mon 15-Feb-21 20:06:49

Reading these pages really helped me realise and accept that I had agency in my relationship with my DH and had helped me reflect on and improve my boundaries with all people. When an OW started pursuing my DH I was able to be very clear with him that our marriage would be over if he responded to her. Mumsnet saved my marriage at that point. Now, when I read the relationships pages I am reminded that I don't have to take shit from anyone.

MildlyIrritatedOfChorley Mon 15-Feb-21 20:11:35

You never know what goes on behind closed doors. You never know if your personal relationships are OK or normal or not. Except when you come to the Relationships board. Then you get a glimpse of other people's real interactions.

Colourmeclear Mon 15-Feb-21 20:12:39

I read it mostly because my first long term relationship gave me PTSD but I never really considered it abusive. I was young, inexperienced and he never hit me. However, reading these forums I'm learning more about relationships and how common all the things I felt were inexplicable and hurtful are. I'm now in a lovely respectful relationship and feel like I have something to offer in sharing my experiences, good and bad.

Shayelle2009 Mon 15-Feb-21 20:14:47

My ex was threatened by me reading these boards and didn’t want me on them. He was abusive and I left him

moirarosebabay Mon 15-Feb-21 20:28:43

I started reading and posting when I was in an abusive relationship and had it not been for the likes of cogito, anyfucker and others who I can't recall the name of giving it to me straight I dread to think of where I'd be. 6 years ago my perspective on relationships was so warped by my abusive relationship and these days I have a much better idea of what a relationship should look like. I do post sometimes if I think I have anything useful to say.

SoulofanAggron Mon 15-Feb-21 20:43:59

He saw other women's voices as a threat (he was right about that). grin

@category12 Yep, I started doing Freedom at the time too, out of what I thought was just an abstract interest. grin And read Coercive Control by Evan Stark.

'Bob' said I should mind out that I didn't start interpreting my own life in that way just because I was studying the stuff.

One time I was saying about some bloke I'd read/watched something about 'He's really dodgy,' and he said 'I'm sure people could try and say what we're doing is dodgy, too' to dismiss what I was saying (He was a total MRA really in that he would always take the bloke's side in anything.) I said 'No, honestly, he's really dodgy.' I should've listened to him there. grin

One of the illuminating bits was when he said about Harvey Weinstein (the case was just about to finally go to trial) 'Do you think they're telling the truth?' (!) I can be a skeptic about some things, but I said 'Why would they lie? These are people like Gwyneth Paltrow, they have their own money.'

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thegreysheep Mon 15-Feb-21 20:57:11

I started reading when I was coming to realise that my relationship with my ex was emotionally abusive. It really helped me to get validation. I read it since partly out of human interest but also to help me navigate dating and enforce boundaries. Sometimes I think it makes me jaded, however I wouldn't have much of a clue about boundaries and coercive control if it wasn't for this board!!

Thisisworsethananticpated Mon 15-Feb-21 21:09:57

Very fair question there !

I was on here as I was in an abusive relationship

For slightly too many years actually but there we go

We got there eventually 😄

And now I pop back to see how people are having it , basically - and offer support if I can

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