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Has anyone gone on to have a good relationship.......

(11 Posts)
feelingpositivemum Sat 27-Jun-09 16:35:42

after coming out of a controlling, quite abusive one.

I'm interested to know if it's bad luck to end up with a dysfunctional, controlling partner or are we somehow at fault enabling it to happen.

I'm terrified that I will just be attracted to men who appear strong and decisive and then just end up being bullied.

mrsmerryweather Sat 27-Jun-09 18:27:52

Have no personal experience, but have you considered counselling/psychotherapy to see if the problem is within you, or just bad luck? Might help you gain some insight into who attracts you and why.

mrsboogie Sat 27-Jun-09 18:46:20

it's not a question of "fault" but rather of low self esteem. These men seek out women who are more willing to put up with crap because they subconsciously believe they don't deserve, or can't get, anything better. They start the process of abuse and control slowly and build up interspersing with periods of being nice so you don't leave.

The thing is, some women would leave the very first time the bloke punched a wall or screamed abuse at them or picked a drunken fight becasue she'd been "looking" at another man. They know that they deserve better.

You have to become one of those women. Then the wrong 'uns will sense it and stay away from you.

Scorpette Sat 27-Jun-09 20:16:15

feelingpositivemum, I have good news for you: I went out with my Ex for 7 years and he was totally dysfunctional and emotionally abusive and now I'm with the man of my dream!

About the Ex: his mum has had mental health issues since her teens and he had learnt really abnormal ways of acting or thinking bout stuff from her. His dad was really controlling, conservative and detached and all this led to my Ex being an emotional abuser. I won't go on and on with examples, but needless to say, being with him destroyed my confidence in every aspect of myself.

After leaving him (the final straw was him telling me he had lied to me about wanting kids, after stringing me along all that time), I did a lot of work on myself.I wrote reams of stuff in a diary, really pouring it all out and tried to work out why I'd found him attractive and how I'd let myself be treated like that and so on. I made myself aware of all those factors so I wouldn't repeat the same mistakes. It was hard taking a 'cold hard look' at myself but it was worth it - less than a year after leaving my Ex, I fell madly in love with my DP, and we are still together after 2 1/2 years, blissfully in love, he treats me like a queen and we're about to start TTC! He is the exact opposite of my Ex - DP is kind, gentle, sweet, thoughtful, easy-going, mild-mannered, polite, caring, respects my opinions, ideas and beliefs, lets me be the boss (hehe), is great with kids, talks things over calmly if there's a problem, does more than his share of housework and stuff, can laugh at himself, wants to spend time with me and fancies the pants off me. None of the machismo, egotism, yelling, screaming and hurtful things said, obsessive hobbies, heavy drinking, withholding sex, acting like he's the victim, etc., I had to put up with in the past. Oh yes, and DP is younger and waaaay hotter than my Ex too!

You CAN do it. Make your experience something that helps you clarify exactly what you DO and DON'T want in a man and a relationship and what YOU can change about yourself to make sure you get it all. Good luck!

feelingpositivemum Sat 27-Jun-09 20:27:29

Thanks, and scorpette, I know what you mean by destroying your confidence.My worry is I don't know what is reasonable and what isn't anymore. I'm sure its a question of self esteem but for example, when my nearly ex dh says, don't by such and such for the kids packed lunch or don't buy that conditioner, I can worry for hours about whether he has a point or not. (It's not about cost, its about control i've decided)It drives me mad he's saying this, then if I continue to do it he gets really angry and does things to annoy me in retaliation but I'm still thinking, does he have a point.

The indecision is consuming, I'm a reasonably intelligent 40yr old who worries about froobs (to buy or not to buy!)

Anyway, I decided I was sick of it and he wasn't going to change so we're splitting up. And I feel a changed person.

My only worry is that I'll do it again. But I will take your advise and really think/write down. I worry that anyone nice coming along and I'll be horrible to them. Maybe I need someone horrible to keep me in check.

To be honest, I can't imagine ever having another relationship, I find them far too exhausting. I think I'll just get a dog.

feelingpositivemum Sat 27-Jun-09 20:30:02

OH, and scorpette, interestingly, his mum was an alcoholic and had mental health issues. When we rowed, he rowed as if he was rowing with her, and looked at me with such hatred it was terrifying. I think he just rowing with her in his mind. He couldn't believe anyone would want to be nice to him I think.

mrsboogie Sat 27-Jun-09 20:42:15

"Maybe I need someone horrible to keep me in check."

That's the kind of thing you have to STOP thinking.

freeasabird Sat 27-Jun-09 20:43:11

feelingpositive, i am in exactly the same situation having just come out of a nine year marriage with a EA.

i too worry that ill be on my own as i dont want to end up with another EA, but i have the confidence in myself to recognise the signs next time!!!

i can echo what mrsmerryweather said about counselling/psychotherapy as ive had lots and its that which gave me the insight in realising i was worth more than what i was putting up with.

i too cant imagine being in another relationship, both my XH,s have been abusive and im never going down that road again!!!

feelingpositivemum Sat 27-Jun-09 20:46:26

I love your name freeasabird, that's how I feel now!

I will wait til the dust settles and then think about counselling.

Thanks for your replies.

zippy539 Sat 27-Jun-09 21:03:53

Yes, yes, yes - you CAN go on to have a good relationship after coming out of a controlling/abusive one.

I spent the better part of my twenties with a vile bloke who was controlling/abusive - both physically and mentally. I'm now (two happy relationships down the line) happily married to a lovely, lovely man.

HOWEVER I would slightly argue with Mrs Boogie's arguement that such blokes seek out women who are "more willing to put up with crap because they subconsciously believe they don't deserve, or can't get, anything better."

I'm know that this is often the case but it isn't always. When I met my 'vile bloke' I was a fiesty strong minded character with no self-esteem issues. It was like I was a challenge to him (and if I'm honest he was a challenge to me). Either way he made up his mind to 'break' me and after a very long campaign of very subtle mental abuse he achieved his goal.

To this day I don't know what satisfaction he got out of the scenario but have heard on the grapevine that it's a pattern which he continued with subsequent partners. (BTW his Dad was an alcoholic and a very controlling character).

I suppose what I am saying is DON'T paint yourself into the role of the victim. The very fact that you have had the guts to end the relationship shows that you aren't! I don't think you'll have any bother meeting a nice bloke - though obviously you're going to be wary - which (imo) is a good thing!

Take your time, enjoy your life, get a dog. And if any bloke tries to control you you'll smell it a mile off - which puts you in a very powerful/healthy position. Good luck!

feelingpositivemum Sat 27-Jun-09 22:14:42

Thanks Zippy, it's interesting isn't it, i wonder how many controlling men had an alcoholic parent. Some way of needing control after living in such chaos.

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