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Has anybody had an emotional abusive partner who changed?

19 replies

meandthreehappyascanbe · 12/09/2016 15:13

My husband is trying to convince me he's changed but I can still see the emotionally abusive traits shining through. I don't think he can change but he says I'm being completely unreasonable not to give him another chance. I've moved out already with 3 children and I'm determined not to be mentally beaten up again. Even separated he has such ability to make me feel like utter garbage.

OP posts:
rememberthetime · 12/09/2016 15:48

I went through this too. My H went to counselling and seemed to accept his faults - but the lure of being abusive is too strong for these men. it works too well. For me it manifested itself as him using the counselling in the abuse. ie i was unable to talk through my feelings in a constructive way, that i failed to understand how my past affected me etc.

My counsellor told me to to listen to my intuition. if I felt bad around him, if my anxiety flared up and if I just didn't trust him, it was for a very good reason.

he has insisted that he is better, that i need to stop living in the past - but i just don't buy it. before too long he will be using little methods to get me back under the thumb.

I suggest listening to your inner voice and not his voice. Can you work towards going no contact - or limiting it because he won't leave this alone.

meandthreehappyascanbe · 12/09/2016 17:18

That's sounds incredibly similar. I can try limiting contact but he is so manipulative that it would just be another way for him to attack me. Although I'm allowing as much contact with the children as he likes he still throws at me that I am cutting him out. The boys from a previous relationship do like him but don't want to spend time with him without me. So it's hard to keep distance when there are children involved.
I'm so relieved I'm in my own house and able to lock the door. Not sure what I'm scared of or why he scares me, I just am. Could it be me being unreasonable? Perhaps I am as horrible or nutty as he says but my friends who surround me don't think I'm nutty or horrible.

OP posts:
Namechanger2015 · 12/09/2016 17:22

that i need to stop living in the past
This is still a red flag, my abusive ex said the same. I read the Lundy Bancroft book 'Should I Stay or Should I Go' and it explained how by trying to force me to forget the past he was in effect excusing his behaviour and putting the onus on me to forget it instead of him to hold himself accountable for his actions.

I'd really recommend reading it.

rememberthetime · 12/09/2016 19:36

No you are not nuts but hes done a great job at convincing you that you are. it took me two years of counselling to work out that i was the sane one. i recommend the lundy book too.

His failure to understand the effect of his behaviour on me and our children is the main reason I am leaving.I honestly beleives it is all in the past and i should just get over it. My failure to do so is an example of how messed up I am according to him. Nothing to do with the extreme life he forced me to live. how could I get over that?

then they declare themselves cured and they simply don't get that we still hate them...

Newtoday · 12/09/2016 19:56

No. Take care of yourself and your children. Get counselling. You've already done brilliantly by leaving. Keep going! Life can be so much better!

meandthreehappyascanbe · 12/09/2016 20:53

Can't tell you how much I needed to hear that from you all. I feel such a failure and like I'm letting everyone down but I know deep down I'm actually doing what's right for me and the children.

He even threatened me today saying if I leave him (which I have), then he has no choice but to go out and find a new relationship to have another baby because he wants to be in a family and raise a child. He says he doesn't want to but my actions leave him no choice.

I feel sick, not at the thought of him with someone else but the level of emotional blackmail he's capable of.

Just a bad day. Confused

OP posts:
LisaB777 · 12/09/2016 20:59

Trust you own but feelings. That's rarely wrong.
I never realised how much I was emotional abused until now. I left with my 2 boys in November. It's like the fog is still clearing. It's devasting to realise I've doubted my own mind for years because of him. He played many mind games but told me it was all in my head. I can see it now, and am now dealing with all, with the help of very good friends.
Believe in yourself... And look forward.

LisaB777 · 12/09/2016 21:00

gut feelings

(Stupid auto correct! X)

rememberthetime · 12/09/2016 21:10

he just wants someone new to control becuase he senses you are no longer it. Gosh i cannot believe how much your ex sounds like mine. he also tells me that he will be looking for a new relationship quickly after I move out. I can't think of anything i would rather do less. But no, he needs someone in his life - to affirm to him how great he is...that's all.

Maybe we are married to the same man.

You need to put up some boundaries - he shouldn't be still emtionally abusing you like this.

can you tell him to only contact you about the kids and fianances/divorce. Ask for it in writing via email and just bin the rest without reading it. Don't get drawn into conversations with him.Don't allow him to have control over you and your emotions - only you own those.

There is nothing wrong with you - I promise.

I am also struggling today as i am finding it impossible to find a place to live. he refuses to move out so I have to go. He reckons I don't have to and can stay living with him so it is my choice to leave. but it seems that a self employed woman on a small income is no great catch for landlords..

meandthreehappyascanbe · 12/09/2016 21:54

Rememberthetime I too am self employed but found a way around that problem of landlords. I'm new to mumsnet but if there is a way to pm then I can go into more detail. Landlords just want to know the rent and bills will be paid and you won't cause trouble. There are solutions with a bit of bending of the truth. Where there is a will there is a way. I have no idea how you cope living with your ex.
I pay my rent and all my bills and respect the house so my landlord is happy.

OP posts:
rememberthetime · 13/09/2016 15:16

Funny you say you are self employed. Did you choose that route because it meant you could stay at home and he told you it would be easier and better for you. In my case i suspect it made him feel better. Any time I have worked outside the home he has made it hard by insisting i don't do over time, being a big baby if I go out with workmates and coming home late when I am meant to leave for work. it was easier just to find a way to stay in the house. he only supported my work when it became clear that i was earning enough money to make it worthwhile. If I worked just for my own self esteem he made it hard.

hermione2016 · 13/09/2016 15:58

Such useful advice.I would also 2nd the book, it lists how a partner can change Space is often needed for at least 2 months and he must accept your feelings.Doesnt sound like he has.

"If I felt bad around him, if my anxiety flared up and if I just didn't trust him, it was for a very good reason"

This is how I feel and I have tried to put logic to it but it is my intuition and I know I need to listen.Ive had anxiety and thought it was "me" but realise when he's not around I'm feeling less on edge.

Remember, you raise a good point as I am also self employed and h would not listen to why I needed to work yet has a fulfilling career.

NearlyAlmostDidIt · 13/09/2016 18:34

My husband did a course for abusive men after he found my copy of "why does he do that" by Lundy.
He then begged for another chance (but didn't get it)
Told me I can move out but I can't take the children with me (4 children, youngest is 2)

I can't afford to bedroom flats are over £800 a month. I earn £1200 a year

So I'm stuck in a house with him as he doesn't want to sell

meandthreehappyascanbe · 13/09/2016 23:17

Oh, nearlyalmostdidit that's horrible that you're stuck. I count myself lucky that I've been able to move out, although he is supporting me financially partially.

Have you been to CAB? It's not good for the children either, I often took my stress and anxiety out on them as I couldn't stand up for myself with him. It's only been a month and I know I'm a better mum.

It's so frustrating that there's this big push on not putting up with emotional abuse and supposedly all these places who will help but in fact when I contacted them they all said I didn't have a leg to stand on unless he hit me.

My heart goes out to all of us who suffer at the hands of these men. Hugs to all. I'm sticking to my guns and not going back.


OP posts:
CaptainM · 14/09/2016 06:51

I don't believe husbands like that can change unless they truly accept that they have a problem and commit to long-term counselling. I'm in a similar position with my STBXH and he is also refusing to move out. I'm curious about those of you who have moved out with the children/plan to. They just let you? Mine would certainly not allow it. Advice from solicitor is not to move without dcs as would establish tge status quo (that he is more with dcs) and impact parenting agreement. We're both business (separate) owners so he's home a lot.

DoreenLethal · 14/09/2016 06:54

They don't change, they just change their tactics. And if they ever get you back, they will punish you for it.

Please, never go back.

meandthreehappyascanbe · 15/09/2016 00:40

We had a climax about 6 months ago where I wAs so fearful and felt he was using the children that I got advice. It wasn't what's wanted to hear but I told him I wanted space. The only chance for us was space and to prevent further upheaval to the DC then he should move out as it probably wouldn't be forever and he could move back in after counselling/ couples counselling. He refused to move out so I moved into the spare room. We got couples counselling and he got individual. The couples counselling gave me a safe place to be able to speak up for myself. Tell him I was looking at moving out and that I wanted to separate. It didn't resolve us. I should add I'd been asking for counselling for over 18 months. It's only when I said enough was enough and followed through did he agree. I found a house, planned my move, made sure I had supportive people about and did it in the school holidays so that if it went wrong I could take the children and me to a safe place without messing up their lives. All this planning and being open and honest with the school, family and friends gave me the confidence to leave. He has been on pretty much best behaviour. I'm no longer scared and he has lost his power. Just knowing I had a house to love to have me strength.
It took me a long time to realise what he did to me over the years and then a long time to get myself in a situation where I was in control. I'm now here and so much happier.

OP posts:
LisaB777 · 15/09/2016 11:54

Well done 'Meandthree' for moving on.
I too did not realise the amount of control my STBXH had over me. Not until I left. The last few years he has been 'gas lighting', making me think I was losing my marbles... I wasn't... what a cruel thing to do, just to cover up what he was doing. I won't forgive him for this, ever.
Me and my two lovely boys have moved out and are starting a new life, just the three of us. He still tries to wield control over me... Like sending emails just before the mediation session to send me in a spin... But I can see this is all part of his game. I'm gaining strength daily and reading that others like yourself have found the strength to move on really helps.
I've a way to go yet, with the finances to be agreed, divorce and consent order to be stamped etc, but I'm getting there. He's lost control and he really doesn't like it. But one day, hopefully soon, I will be completely free of him.
Thank you to everyone here for giving me the strength to battle on against his control.

NearlyAlmostDidIt · 21/10/2016 12:37

How do you ladies afford the moving out?

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