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Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently or expert advice, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide. Many Mumsnetters experiencing domestic abuse have found this thread helpful: Listen up, everybody

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Right, listen up everybody.

843 replies

RealityIsMyOnlyValentine · 04/02/2009 08:00

I shall say this only once.

Actually, no I won't, I will keep repeating it until the message gets through.

Every person deserves to have a relationship where they are treated with respect, love and equality.

There is never an excuse for verbal, physical or financial abuse.

If you partner treats you like shit, it is their fault. It is not because of something you have done.

You can't change an abusive man by being 'better' or sticking by him where others haven't, or by changing yourself.

Most people have happy relationships, where disagreements happen and are resolved without resorting to shouting, name calling or violence or screwing someone else.

Most people's partners are happy for them to pursue their own friendships and interests, work and education, have access to money, make decisions.

Most people in a relationship stay faithful. They don't have affairs or cyber-sex or obsessively wank over porn day and night.

Don't be fooled into thinking that dysfunctional relationships are the norm. There are many of them on here, but then people don't tend to ask for advice on healthy relationships, so we hear less about them.

Relationships are not supposed to be hard work, that is a big fat myth. Yes, you should work at your relationship but that is not the same thing at all.

Nobody should live their life in fear of angering their partner, or skirting round issues that might upset him. Or put up with cheating and lying for fear of rocking the boat.

Nobody should 'stay together for the children', or because of your marriage vows. If your husband treats you badly, he has broken the vows. Children are much much happier being brought up by parents who live apart than in an atmosphere of fear and loathing.

Just because you've escaped a level 10 bastard, doesn't mean you should settle for the level 8 one that comes along. The only acceptable level of abuse is none.

Just because all your friends are in bad relationships, doesn't mean that you have to be.

I really want to debunk the myth that all men are bastards. They simply aren't. If you feel that all the men you meet are, it's because you are unconsciously sending out vibes to these men. They can spot a target a mile off.

Be on your own. It is much easier than sticking by a tosser. If you have been in more than one abusive relationship, seek some counselling, you may be co-dependant, or you may be modelling relationships on a warped template, perhaps from childhood.

If he abuses you, he is not a good father. Good fathers don't treat the mother of their children with disrespect.

It doesn't matter how much he says sorry and makes it up to you, if he continues to abuse you those apologies are worthless.

Don't be fooled into thinking the abuse isn't 'bad enough to leave'. If you are treated in any way less than cherished, loved and respected, it is bad enough to leave.

There is never a reason to stay with an abusive man. He won't kill himself if you leave him, he won't take your children, and yes, everybody will believe you.

I probably have loads more to say on the subject but I will leave it there for now.

Much love to everybody.

OP posts:
possiblymaybe · 04/02/2009 08:06


mumoverseas · 04/02/2009 08:17

Totally agree. BUT. If everyone listened to you there would be no more posts on the relationships section

PottyCock · 04/02/2009 08:19

hear hear.

onlywantsone · 04/02/2009 08:29

totally agree with you - I read so many posts from women, putting up/making do/getting through the hard bits with their partners when in reality I'm thinking get away!

RealityIsMyOnlyValentine · 04/02/2009 08:48

I would like to see classes in schools that teach teens about healthy, loving, equal relationships.

We definitely still have a culture of put up and shut up in this country.

We (as a culture) sneer at the romantic ideal put about in films etc, and laugh, and say, 'real life isn't like that'. We mock happy couples and spread myths like the 'honeymoon period'. It perpetuates the idea that all relationships are fraught and hard work and that women have to work hard at keeping their man happy.

We should expect respect and admiration and love from our partners (which most people get), and not put up with mockery, name calling, violence, belittling and control.

OP posts:
cmotdibbler · 04/02/2009 08:57

I feel so sad that many women feel that they are responsible for their partners behaviour and put up with such shit
CoffeeCrazedMama · 04/02/2009 08:59

Totally agree with you. I read open-mouthed some of the posts on here about the way some men behave, and am beyond at the way the women accept it, or blame themselves. And totally agree with the line 'he's a great father though' - er, no he's not, if he treats the mother of his children without respect and love. My dh too, when I tell him some of the sad tales, is disgusted, so ladies, it is not hard-wired into them.

TrinityRhino · 04/02/2009 09:03


very very good post

hunnybun1981 · 04/02/2009 09:10

also just to say ladies please dont forget about the relationships were the woman is the abusive one

alot of men are sufferers as well and i think that should be remembered also.

EyefullTower · 04/02/2009 09:10

Our local secondary school has been giving classes by the local Womens Aid group about abusive relationships, think it should be nationwide.

StayFrosty · 04/02/2009 09:14

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JackBauer · 04/02/2009 09:15

Thank you.

I only wish my mum could have read this 40 years ago.
In fact, I may copy and paste it and send it to her(if you dont mind) as even now, she still believes that it was somehow her fault. This is the other thing, is even after (eventually) getting out there is still that lingering 'but what if it was me' feeling.

RealityIsMyOnlyValentine · 04/02/2009 09:17

Absolutely, Hunnybun. I used the masculine pronoun simply because it was easier, but I mean any abusive relationship.

JackBauer, please do .

OP posts:
Tillyscoutsmum · 04/02/2009 09:21

Hear Hear...

I would love to forward this to my mum but she would think I was crazy. I have just got married for the third time (at 34 years old). I had two abusive relationships which I left and then got counselling because I realised I was following a childhood pattern (abusive, violent step dad who mum is still with 27 years on ....)

She almost disowned me after I walked out of my second marriage - her exact words were "it's not like he's even hitting you" and "your expectations are way too high"

It scares me reading some of the posts on mn

PurplePillow · 04/02/2009 09:23

Fabtastic post and totally agree

LightShinesInTheDarkness · 04/02/2009 09:33

Wow - RIMOV, what an amazing post. Really appreciate you taking the time to do that.

JackBauer · 04/02/2009 09:34

Oops, how rude of me, forgot to


I did just call her and she is sounding good today, veyr bright, so shall just stick it on ym watch lists for next time she feels crappy and to link every 'abusive relationship' therad to on here from now on

dragonbutter · 04/02/2009 09:35

very good.

DisasterArea · 04/02/2009 09:40

well done.

LightShinesInTheDarkness · 04/02/2009 10:01

Reality - you and your very wise words are needed here

HolyGuacamole · 04/02/2009 11:17

Fantastic post reality!!! Couldn't agree more.

This should be bumped, bumped and more bumped

cheerfulvicky · 04/02/2009 11:33

THANK YOU for posting that! Every word is true.


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HarlotOTara · 04/02/2009 11:44

Well done for posting - lets hope that anyone in an abusive relationship is able to take note.

Snufflebufty · 04/02/2009 11:47

Never a truer word spoken! I have been there, (many moons ago) and just wish I had read something like this back then when I was doing all I could to try and not provoke my now exDH, who relished the fact he could grind me down with his mental cruelty. I remember my then MIL telling me that because we were married, I had to 'work hard' to please DH because that was what being married was all about. If it was your friends who were behaving like this, you wouldnt be friends with them imo.

Great post

macdoodle · 04/02/2009 11:53

Reality and
Is that your own writing or from a book/website?? Just curious - if its yours do you mind if I print it out and stick it on my fridge
It has taken me 10 years to realise this and even now I spend large parts of my day chating my mantra ("its not you, its him, its not you, its him") - and yes it is a pattern, my father was the same, and when I was telling my mum that I had been talking to the police domestic abuse team - she sounded shocked and said " what can they do its not like he's hitting you" So sad for her that that is how she feels all these years later, she finally did a runner on my dad 20 odd years ago taking my little sis but leaving me and brother with him I understand now but didnt then

Anyhow for ME, the cycle STOPS here and now, my 2 DD's especially the elder now 7 WILL NOT BE IMPRINTED with the same expectation of bad abusive nasty men and realtionships, they will learn about good healthy normal men and realtionships, they WILL NOT continue this cycle, and the only person who can stop that happening is ME

Thank you Reality

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