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Controlling behaviour - Seeking advice as i have no where to turn

(107 Posts)
tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:03:33

OK, so here I am. confused and alone with no where to turn or so it feels. Wondered if the good ship mums net could sail me away to a happier place. I am going to be brutally honest and I really hope someone else out there is too.
So DP and I have 2 kids. We were together about a year before I got pregnant. when I got pregnant he couldn't have been happier.
not long after, he said a couple of odd things which stick in my mind. he sort of accused me of maybe being pregnant by someone else. this stayed with me all through my pregnancy and it was a huge relief when my son came out looking exactly like his dad. so I moved out of my gorgeous flat and into his stinking flat to save money. I had SPD through my pregnancy and so really couldn't move/walk/turn over in bed. I ate a lot and became quite depressed. he used to get really frustrated with me. telling me I should do more but when I offered things up to do, he never wanted to do them with me. He used to want me to go out clubbing but didn't understand why I felt it wan't appropriate., I felt I could do nothing right and I could not please him. despite working 40 hours a week, saving like mad and cooking. cleaning for him.
We moved into a new house and my son was born. I developed post-natal depression as I had limited support from family (who live v.far away) and my DP was building his business. I became pregnant again, just as I felt I was getting myself back. my SPD became too much by the time I was 6 months pregnant. I couldn't stand and me and DS spent a lot of time at home watching telly. I could just about stand up long enough to make tea for DS and DP. DP used to get frustrated with me as I cried a lot due to being immobile/working 25 hours a week and looking after a 1 yr old.
DP can be quite stand off-ish with my friends. has been known to tell me that if I keep 'speaking my mind' then my friends will 'not like me anymore'. My friends are amazing. He has also been known to be rude about my parents and I find myself joining and feeling bad about them coming over because he seems uncomfortable with them around.
I am confused.
He feels controlling but he tells me I am controlling. I have wanted to return to work but he has said that his job is more important. he wont agree to giving me some money everyweek saying I should just be able to ask for it. HE is always late and makes me late even though I want to be on time. he seems to know it will upset me and tells me I am being stupid. he tells me I am mad whenever w e fight and ignores my feelings. he also says he worries about the kids with me but leaves them at home with me everyday and wont sacrifice the growth of his business. I am confused. I am alone. I don't want to talk to my friend too much as I don't want them to think ill of him or to feel to protective of me as its is awkward for them. Please help.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 11:07:16

Womens aid

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:08:15

ok, thanks

thepatioislumpy Mon 15-Apr-13 11:08:46

Hello lovely. Please take a look at this thread. I'm sure you'll find a lot of recognisable stuff in the links in the OP, and you will find more than enough support from the ladies there who will understand totally.

It is not you, it is him. If you are frightened that people will think badly of him it is because there is reason to think of him badly.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 11:11:54

I second the ea support thread and the links provided there

You are being emotionally and financially abused

You need rl help to plan your exit

This is no way to live, and no example to give to growing children

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:13:02

thank you

thepatioislumpy Mon 15-Apr-13 11:24:43

And I second AF's Womens Aid suggestion. Not only is this no way to live, you don't have to.

Breaking free was both the hardest and easiest thing I have ever done. Good luck.

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:24:58

ANyFucker (love the name, could really do with feeling like that name atm) you are right in loads of ways. and I cant find a way out because all my exits have been purposefully sealed off. it will all be ok, I know that. I need to start talking to people who love me. I had never heard of emotional abuse before but now, I see it

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Apr-13 11:27:16

Second the idea to talk to Womens Aid. He sounds like a terrible bully and the things he is doing such as trying to isolate you from friends and family, depriving you of money, not to mention the criticisms and insults are all examples of abusive behaviour. At the same time, please also talk to your friends & family honestly and ask for their help. I'm sure they already think badly of him & will be very relieved when you ask. If you keep quiet, the only person you are protecting is him.

Very best of luck

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:32:37

Thank you. I just get so confused because when he twists things and tells me I twist them but I have always been reasonable and spoken my mind and I have good friends. I say this to him and he tells me that they don't have to live with me like this. but I feel like I am only like this because I am with him.

thepatioislumpy Mon 15-Apr-13 11:35:19

Oh no - they're not sealed off. There will be a way out and WA are experts in finding them. You will come to see how 'smoke and mirrors' this all is, and how weak is prison is once you start to break free. At the time it feels like the strongest structure in the world, but it will come tumbling down like a pack of cards if you can find the right one to start with.

Cog is right too - when I started telling people, the number of friends and family who had 'always suspected something' or who had 'never liked him' was enormous. My mum cried. With relief smile

thepatioislumpy Mon 15-Apr-13 11:35:52

how weak his prison

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Apr-13 11:40:33

Emotional bullies always twist things to make it look like you're the one with the psychologicial problem and not them.... it's unbelieveably common, don't worry. The intention is to chip, chip, chip away at your confidence and get you to start doubting yourself so that they can keep you on the back foot and nicely subdued. They isolate you from friends and family either physically (by relocating) or socially (by being anti-social and creating conflict) so that - as you've spotted - your exits get sealed off.

Do seek advice from WA but do get your family and friends onside for support. If you want use MN as a sounding board as well we can support you that you're not imagining this stuff, you're not nuts and you're not being unreasonable. When up against a controlling bully it's important that you believe in yourself.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 11:43:56

Love, start talking to people

He isn't fooling you, so he isn't fooling others. And remember they are looking with an outsider's viewpoint so less susceptible to the clever isolating and gaslighting he has been able to keep you reeled in with (so far)

Women's Aid know men like this, inside out

There is nothing all-powerful, nothing unique, nothing new under the sun about this guy's tactics. The experts have seen it all before.

As you start to seek help do not tell him any of this in an attempt to make him "see sense". He will close off those avenues too if he knows about them.

In fact, from today you need to stop trying to "understand" his actions. You never will, and he will never stop. Accept that, and it will be easier to move forward in small, safe steps.

Do 2 things today. Make a call to Womens Aid, the website with numbers to call/who to email is here and go talk to the lovely ladies on the EA thread linked above about your situation. They know where you are coming from.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 11:46:21

here is an article that explains gaslighting

musickeepsmesane Mon 15-Apr-13 11:50:01

Same as AF says. Good luck, remember this is for you and your family. We are all here to help you stay strong.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 11:50:47

My Ex is exactly the same. I KNOW it's abusive, that's why we split up.

Problem is, I'm disabled, and I fall just short of care being provided by Adult Social Care because my disabilities are variable rather than constant.

So I have no choice but to rely on him, as I have no family support (toxic, very very toxic), and I NEED the care.

Soooo, I know he's abusive but I have absolutely NO choice but to put up with it because if my disabilities. I HATE him, and I HATE my life tbh.

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 11:51:29

I have emailed my dad. big mega massive deal. I just love where I live/my friends. I am intelligent and capable and somehow, though I know this, he makes me feel the opposite. I started talking to people about this about 3 weeks ago, I thought we could fix it, I felt strong. but then he is passive aggressive, tells me i'm stupid, says I ruin everything just because I got mad at him. I feel like I can't stand on my head enough different ways to please him and that I shouldn't even be having to do that at all!!!

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 11:52:45

I think tonight, I'm going to start my own thread.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Mon 15-Apr-13 11:53:07

Sorry for the hijack, OP.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 12:05:43

tweedle, stop trying to please him

whatever you manage to do, he will shift the goalposts so that all your emotional energy is taken up with keeping yourself above water and the emphasis remains on him and how to manage him

he knows this

he knows that if you are always on the back foot, you will never take a step forward

he is the needy one, he is the inadequate one, people who are secure in themselves do not treat others like this

that is not to say you keep looking for reasons why he does what he does, or feel sorry for him because he "can't help it"

he can help it, he chooses to use emotional abuse to keep himself top dog in his own eyes

it doesn't matter why just that is isn't acceptable to you

keep on detaching form the headfuckery...take a step back from it and refuse to engage in ridiculous blamegames that you will never win, because he will never, ever accept this stuff not truly. he may apologise and turn on the crocodile tears fro a few days once he realises you are seriously no longer engaging but it's all part of the drama of him

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 12:30:24

that's what is so mad, he is made it that it 'my drama' and I am 'creating' the problems/looking for arguments. To talk about how I feel is to open myself up to yet more 'this is how you could be better' and so I try that and it upsets him because I am creating some sort of distance and by talking to people about how I feel I am being pathetic.
He will pick holes in my attempts, but blocks in my way in any steps towards things. Be a roadblock in my future. I have to fight with him over any change and yet I do not know where the fighting comes from and I am told it is me that makes these things happen. I ALWAYS say it is both of us. I am always put in a position where I have to apologise for my 'behaviour' making me feel like a child. But a 2nd rate child, one who is less worthwhile than my own children. Any decision gets his final say so yet if I seek his advice then I am accused of being incapable of using my own brain. I get cross at him, my son says 'mummy sad?' and he says 'look what you've done, even your son is noticing it now' whenever DS is sad, DP takes him and consoles him. Taking him from my arms. Implying that I can't do it. I pick him up on this and he says it all in my head. If you feel something, if you are part of something, if you are around something and tell someone how you feel how can it be brushed away so easily? if you cared, you would listen. but the more I wish to be heard, the more the insults grow. its crazy writing this as it all feels so like, another persons life. but its like I have been blind to it.

AnyFucker Mon 15-Apr-13 12:35:45

he says, he says, he says, he says

stop listening

and what he does with your son, ridiculing you and humiliating you in front of him is disgusting

You should leave him for that alone.

tweedlezee Mon 15-Apr-13 13:12:15

...and that's the truth. Right there.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 15-Apr-13 13:36:38

"its crazy writing this as it all feels so like, another persons life. but its like I have been blind to it."

It's not crazy at all. When you're in the middle of this kind of treatment, constantly trying to keep a bully happy but failing because they don't want you to succeed, it can become almost obsessive. It's a destructive blend of the confusion of being told night is day on a daily basis, and the desperation that comes of feeling responsible for keeping the relationship together. It's why I tell people in your situation to get themselves out and away where they can take some deep breaths, think clearly and get a different perspective. You haven't been blind but you've been channeled in a particular direction by someone who has had you on a tight rein and wearing blinkers... It is a shock when you realise.

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