Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
How to spot the signs of a violent partner.......share your stories here please(23 Posts)
After being here for over a year now I ahve seen many threads re violence or threatneing behavoiur from partners and lots of posters who are not sure if they should be worried or if they are over rating.
There are lots of you out there who have terrible experiences of this and are aloways willing to share and offer advice.
I ask as I ahve just read another of these threads and was suprised by one comment re has he started bumping into you by accident or stepping on your toes? This would never have occured to me.
So from your own exeriences what are the signs that someone is building up to this? Hopefully we can help someone who has not dared to post.
there was a thread with all the info needed for domestic abuse, i hope someone can link to it.
Playfighting is a sign , yes.
Subtle digs disguised as jokes
Blaming you when he loses something
Impatience when not getting own way
Sexist comments that he doesn't realise are sexist
Getting pissed off when you don't want sex
From what I have read (no personal experience) it seems that pushing/physically moving or stopping you - e.g. pushing you out of the way to get through doorways, holding doors shut to stop you leaving a room - is a warning sign, and definitely that violence directed at objects or the house (e.g. kicking doors, smashing plates, throwing things...) seems a very common forerunner to violence against people.
Cruel or callous behaviour towards animals in the household, or children, or waitresses in restaurants. All of it laughed off if you say something.
Many abusive partners will claim that "all relationships" involve pushing, shoving, grabbing, throwing, smashing things, blocking you from leaving a room, locking you in, destroying or withholding things that mean a huge emotional amount to you (pictures, photos, books etc). Nope. They don't.
If that line doesn't work, then the next line is that it's your fault. If you were only more clever/pretty/fast/caring/loved them more, then none of this would happen. Nope. Not so.
If you walk out, they're apologetic and smother you with compliments.
If you don't immediately return, that changes to abuse and threats.
The whole idea is to keep you totally off-balance and dependent on them, so they'll make it SO difficult for you to see anyone else, have any real freedom, or express your own views on anything without them turning it into something negative and personal.
The clever ones never raise a fist to someone. They'll do it all through this kind of physical and verbal threatening instead.
I agree with everything that's being said, but also look at yourself - that feeling that "if only I could get things right, he wouldn't be angry like this" is a red flag. You never will get things right, of course, because even if you could do X perfectly, he'd be angry because you weren't doing Y. And then sometimes he won't be angry when you expected it, because as amber says, keeping you off-balance is key.
You're walking on eggshells, but these eggshells have been boobytrapped.
The very first warning sign is if he criticises what you're wearing. It'll be "too sexy" or "too revealing" or even "You look like a slut..." - even if it's what you were wearing when you met him.
(Because obviously it means you're out on the pull.)
Oh yes, about bumping by accident.
Irrational anger at inanimate objects (remote control, car, anything).
Complaints about (or discomfort around) your family/friends until you gradually see much less of them.
The Mad Conversation:
"Isn't it a lovely day today?"
"Who made you the weather forecaster. Do you think you f... know a lot about the weather? Do you think I'm f... too stupid to look out the window? Have you got nothing else to f.... do than stare out the f..... window all f.... day? I'm out there earning the money to keep you and pay for all this and all you can do is talk about stupid things and waste time. Why the f....are you crying? Know why I have to get angry with you? It's because I love you and want what's best for you and if you loved me, you'd want to do what's best for me too, wouldn't you, eh? You've made me upset now - why did you want to do that, why can't you just be a nice person for once?".
Generally, the idea that you don't have the same rights as he does.
he has the right to wear what he wants and you have the right to dress how he likes you to. He has the right to go wear he pleases when he pleases, and you have the right to be questioned and prevented. He has the right to spend undisclosed money on undisclosed things, you have the right to shut the fuck up and pay the rent. He has the right to leave his dirty socks on the floor, you have the right to pick them up and wash them. He has the right to shove you and you have the right to move out of his way. He has the right to hit you and you, maybe, have the right to cry.
It's like someone is holding an invisible hammer over your head, one that you don't even realise is there. And the moment when you spot the hammer is terrifying - but one day, you wake up[ to the fact that the hammer is an illusion. That he ha only taken as many of your rights as you have given him. That you are, actually, not obliged to listen to a word he says, or even to look at his face a moment longer.
It's actually not the moment you stop being scared, it's the moment you realise you have the same rights.
Colditz, that is a masterpiece of description.
All the rest of them are right too, although not all those symptoms inevitably end up with physical violence. Sometimes they don't need to...
I don't think this thread is very helpfull at all.....those of us who have suffered it for real having others speculate what it could or might be?
My dv doesnt fit any of these descriptions.
Cherubmaker: well, this thread is what contributors make it. If you have a different experience it would be very helpful to share it.
May I also point out that the majority HAVE been there, not speculating at all but recounting their own experiences.
I do have experience. The tactics these "men" use are very varied.
I'd thought the thread was a good idea.
I still feel lucky to have escaped that relationship and would spot some signs early on now.
At the time, I was too naive or optimistic.
But spotting the signs early, while you've still got your strength and support group around you, it is so, so much easier to leave.
You have hit upon one thing I did miss - making you feel so isolated, so abnormal, that you cannot believe anyone else could possibly be suffering or have suffered the same thing.
I suffered domestic violence.
THIS thread gives a good description of those first moments.
Agree with so many of these very inciteful posts, but just to add something wuite fundamental in my view.
Take a look at his parents, find out what sort of childhood he had, did he have a controlling, critical parent (usually a father but could be mother)was he overly punished, belittled, humiliated. I firmly believe that behaviour (in all of us) is a product of experience and if children are abused or neglected they become victims (as children have other choice really) and when grown into adults, these childhood victims become persecutors. Abusive men have never been taught to regulate their emotions and they continue to suffer from the pain of being ill treated as childre and visit their pain on their partners and children.
PLEASE please don't think I am excusing voilent men - I am certainly not and was the victim of domestic violence myself as a young mother many years ago. I know that this may attract posters saying "you can't blame someone's past on everything, they are responsible for their actions" etc etc and I don't disagree with this, BUT I think for many men they are acting out the hurts of the past. This is true for all of us I think, and it isn't done at a conscious level, but many of our problems in our lives are re-enactments of traumas of childhood.
Just a thought.
When we were growing up my brother used to beat me up - usual childhood stuff. But he did have a very nasty temper and I used to find this scarey.
When we were both in our twenties he completely lost it over a VERY minor, silly thing and kicked me hard repeatedly. Needless to say, I can't help but wonder if domestic violence has reared its ugly head in his marriage.
I hope not.
Yes, bumping into you and stepping on your toes are subtle signs. It's a way of communicating that you're not visible to him. Bumping into you is also a sort of way to get you to move or to move you. Both actions make you pay attention to where he is when he's around, so you can move your feet in out of the way, or take a step away. They communicate to you that he's not paying attention to where you are and he can't be bothered to either. Your physical presence is, for him, a nuisance, and little non-loving acts involving contact with you are his way of transmitting this.
If you ever feel in your own self that you're aware of where he is in a room, and feeling even a bit watchful, or trying to figure out his mood/ read his face, run.
This is another link with some telltale signs.
I had a relationship with a violent man in my twenties. He became ever more controlling as the relationship progressed - dictating to me what I should wear, how I should speak, who I should see (huge red flags...how I missed them I do not know).
He was also Jekyll & Hyde. Nice and charming and extremely smooth with everyone until the minute the door was closed- then verbally abusive (and eventually physically abusive) to me.
Join the discussion
Please login first.