TW Is it normal for abuser to be "nice" for a while?

(22 Posts)
Bingopants Tue 12-Oct-21 18:05:29

Kind husband turned into abuser http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/4359884-kind-husband-turned-into-abuser

I posted the above thread recently.

My husband is being nice and seems to think that the whole situation has blown over and that his threats of suicide and tearful begging for forgiveness have got him off the hook...

I am confused...

OP’s posts: |
TheFoundations Tue 12-Oct-21 18:08:58

It's absolutely textbook. As is your confusion. If they were horrible all the time, you'd leave, and they don't want that, so they keep reminding you of how nice things can be, to give you something to aim for.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cycle_of_abuse

You need to leave. The cycle makes you feel like you're more and more crazy as time goes on. Especially if he's making you feel responsible for keeping him from killing himself. Sorry flowers

layladomino Tue 12-Oct-21 18:23:39

It is part of the abuse. As @TheFoundations said, if they were always awful it would be clearer in your head and you would have left by now. By being nice some of the time they mess with your head, make you doubt your own feelings (he's so lovely now, I must have imagined how bad it was...), make you want to work to make them always be happy (it must be my fault when he's angry, as he's such a lovely person sometimes. I must try harder to be a better wife...), mean other people think they are nice so you think you'll have less support.

It's in the abusers interest to be nice sometimes. But if someone had truly seen the error of their ways they would NEVER be abusive again. Whereas with an abuser it's just part of a cycle that will go on forever (but over time the nice times will become shorter and less frequent).

TheFoundations Tue 12-Oct-21 18:31:27

But if someone had truly seen the error of their ways they would NEVER be abusive again

Nor would they act like everything was ok shortly after. They'd be regularly checking to make sure that you hadn't been too badly affected by their behaviour. They'd be anxious to make sure that you felt it was behind you.

Tinkerscuss Wed 13-Oct-21 14:01:37

Thanks @TheFoundations @layladomino @

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 13-Oct-21 14:04:40

It is designed to confuse you and otherwise give you spaghetti head; its all deliberate from him to try and further control you.

What you are describing is absolutely textbook; the "nice" part of the nice/nasty cycle of abuse which is also a continuous one.

HerRoyalRisesAgain Wed 13-Oct-21 14:04:46

As everyone else has said it's all part of the cycle of abuse.

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butterflyze Wed 13-Oct-21 14:05:43

It certainly is normal for abusers to be nice - some of the time.

Don't be fooled into thinking it is a change of heart or a turnaround in the relationship, it isn't.

Maxiedog123 Wed 13-Oct-21 15:31:49

It does however give you a period in which you can start getting into a position that gives you options eg advice from lawyer, improving employment prospects and so on

MrsKeats Thu 14-Oct-21 18:43:08

Yes as hey have to reel you in somehow.

Dery Thu 14-Oct-21 20:09:03

It’s completely normal. As everyone says, no-one would put up with constant nastiness. How is your relationship with your son? Are you still being excluded and got at?

emmylousings Thu 14-Oct-21 20:29:31

The playing for sympathy and portraying themselves as the victim,v when they are trying to 'win you back round' is classic too. My abusive ex pushed me to the point where, I had moved out, he was calling me 'threatening' to kill himself, by which point I was like, 'you'd be doing me a favour'. No disrespect to anyone affected by suicide, he had no intention, it was just another control mechanism.

SleepingBunnies21 Thu 14-Oct-21 23:03:21

He shat himself when he realised he might actually end up left/divorced/50% assets & pensions gone .... so he's being "nice", for a while.

Tinkerscuss Fri 15-Oct-21 01:50:25

Thanks so much everyone.

You've been amazingly helpful.

Justilou1 Fri 15-Oct-21 01:53:34

Uh yeah..! Absolutely and still abusive!!!

ValerieCupcake Fri 15-Oct-21 09:14:59

I was married to an abuser. I remember one instance where he had had a go at me and I just walked out of the flat and walked in the rain. He followed me in the car, sobbing, saying that I had abandoned him and our future children [thank the Lord they never happened] and he needed me to come home because he couldn't imagine life without me.

category12 Fri 15-Oct-21 09:43:21

Yes, it's the cycle of abuse.

Tinkerscuss Fri 15-Oct-21 16:36:01

Thanks so much... the abuse certainly is a cycle...

Tinkerscuss Fri 15-Oct-21 16:36:39

@ValerieCupcake

That sounds chillingly familiar thanks

Tinkerscuss Fri 15-Oct-21 16:37:40

Apologies for name change.

I'm pretty sure someone I know spotted me on here and my name change failed 😨

GrandmasCat Fri 15-Oct-21 16:56:06

A woman who works with victims of domestic abuse once told me “all abusers are charming, all of them, that’s how they get away with it”

And that is also why it is so very difficult to leave an abusive person. Their charm may confuse you, but even if you are dead sure he is abusive, you will fond difficult to find support because those who know him won’t believe you.

TheFoundations Fri 15-Oct-21 17:06:12

GrandmasCat

A woman who works with victims of domestic abuse once told me “all abusers are charming, all of them, that’s how they get away with it”

And that is also why it is so very difficult to leave an abusive person. Their charm may confuse you, but even if you are dead sure he is abusive, you will fond difficult to find support because those who know him won’t believe you.

God, I remember this. Sitting in the pub with my partner and our friends, feeling like it was so lovely to see her feeling herself again, as she'd been so 'off' lately (ie abusive to me) She was affectionate, openly loving, and as sweet as anything, for hours. We had a lovely time. People were commenting on what a lovely couple we were.

The second we got in the car, she slammed the door, glared at me, put on a really hard voice, and said, 'Well, you managed to ruin that evening, didn't you!', and didn't speak to me for days.

It's completely bewildering, it can happen in a split second, and it makes you feel like you're losing your shit.

So, yeah, they can be nice sometimes.

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