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Otherwise: Difficult Relationships

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  • Message 1. 

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Tuesday, 19th January 2010

    I thought it might be helpful to start a new thread on this as so many useful links have been posted throughout the last one, but might be difficult for a newcomer to find without trawling through the whole thread, so have compiled a list of them (hopefully I have managed to pick them all up, apologies if any are missing, but I think the main ones are there at least).

    Just a quick recap on what this thread is about: it came about after a discussion on the Mental Health thread about relationships, particularly ones where there is physical and mental abuse, emotional blackmail and brainwashing, and how difficult it can be to deal with or get out of such a relationship. These type of relationships often includes problems with alcohol and/or drugs, but not necessarily so. So, this thread is here to support anyone going through the mill and trying to decide what path they should take.

    Anyone in particularly difficult situations might want to remain anonymous, and if that is the case, there is the option to sign up with another username just for the purpose of posting to this thread (their posts will obviously be premoderated and will take some time to appear, but that shouldn’t cause any particular problems).

    The previous thread can be found here: I personally find it useful to read back over it from time to time, as there is so much of value that has been posted by others; each time I read it I find something I have missed first time around, so would urge anyone who is in this sort of relationship, or is concerned about someone who is, to have a read through, they are sure to find something there that will resonate with their own situation.

    The discussion was initially intended to be around partner relationships, and the real difficulties people face in getting out of them, but it has been extended to include parent-child relationships too, which can be equally as difficult (if not more so for a child who has little option but to put up with the situation).

    Before I list the various links, I would like to start off by reproducing a paragraph that I found on a form (“Making a Victim Personal Statement”) I was given by the police, as I think it summarises just how much importance is placed on this now, and how seriously they take it (as opposed to how things seemed to be 20/30 years ago):

    “Domestic violence is any incident of threatening behaviour, violence or abuse (psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional) between two adults who are or have been intimate partners or family members, regardless of gender. Domestic violence is a serious crime. Nobody has the right to abuse you physically, sexually or emotionally. Everyone has the right to live their life free of violence, fear or abuse. If you are in such a relationship, remember you are not alone, and you are not to blame. It is your abuser’s behaviour that needs to change. You may feel humiliated, alone, ashamed, frightened and confused. There are people to help you. Advice can be obtained from your local police station or from The National Women’s Aid Domestic Abuse Help Line, available 24 hours a day on 0808 2000247.”

    Useful Links:

    Support groups/organisations:

    National domestic violence helpline: www.nationaldomestic...
    Womens' aid:
    Rights of Women: www.rightsofwomen.or...
    Mens' aid:
    Broken rainbow: www.broken-rainbow.o... Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people experiencing domestic violence:
    Alanon: Alanon family groups provide understanding, strength and hope to anyone whose life is, or has been, affected by someone else's drinking
    Families Anonymous: Support for families and friends concerned about drug abuse or related behavioural problems
    Adfam: Supports families affected by substance abuse (alcohol and drugs)

    As well as those support networks listed above, it may be worth checking to see what is available in your local area. There are many centres for domestic abuse around the country, but which are listed individually rather than being part of a national network. These can often be approached directly, without the need for referral from elsewhere.

    Further reading:

    Pyschological manipulation:
    Love and the Stockholm Syndrome: drjoecarver.makesweb...
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder: Personality Disorder: narcissists-suck.blo...
    Narcissistic Personality Disorder:
    Cannabis and mental health:
    Article on 'Toxic' parents - on Government Plans for School Lessons on Domestic Violence -


    "Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay" -- Mira Kirschenbaum
    "Pulling Your Own Strings" (how to stop being a victim) Dr Wayne W Dyer
    "Women who Love too much" Robin Norwood
    “Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse and the Erosion of Identity” Marie-FranceHirigoyen
    “Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men” Lundy Bancroft


    BBC - All in the Mind (scroll down to section on Domestic Violence):

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Silver Jenny (U12795676) on Tuesday, 19th January 2010

    Lemontree, bookmarked this for future reference.

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by WildMarjoram (U14026934) on Tuesday, 19th January 2010

    Wow, I think you have covered everything Lemon Tree. Just a quick thank you, not only for the time and trouble you have taken doing the first post here but also for starting the original thread. It has helped and supported me so much and I know from what others have said how useful they have found it too.

    Many thanks, I am so glad it has helped you too.


    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Tuesday, 19th January 2010

    Tue, 19 Jan 2010 20:36 GMT, in reply to LemonTree in message 1

    Lemontree, great OP.

    One more book. that is worth reading - for "Oh, I hadn't realised that anyone else had that happen to them - maybe it wasn't my fault.."
    Power and Control: Why Charming Men Can Make Dangerous Lovers, by Sandra Horley

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 4.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Tuesday, 19th January 2010

    Thanks all smiley - smiley (just noticed the links for Narcissistic Personality Disorder got a bit squashed up, but nevermind!)

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by Silver Jenny (U12795676) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Lemontree, I know how much work you have had to do to get that list of links together. It is a tedious job but hopefully your reward will be knowing that people who come to use the thread will find it of great benefit.

    Report message6

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by archingmad (U8292055) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Just adding my thanks, LemonTree, for taking the time and trouble to find so many helpful links and to open up this highly valued thread.

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by anagramladysin (U14258840) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Hey Lemontree
    You did an amazing job there

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 8.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    I think I might try printing off the last thread (I remember someone suggested it somewhere along the line!) That's a great idea, as it really has so many useful posts and much easier to just pick up and read a printed sheet than wading through on here.

    Having said that, I'm not entirely sure how easy it is to print off whole pages from ML? (Also, being on my own it's ok to do, but it mightn't be such a good idea for someone else if it could be found by their partner.)

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Bearhug (U2258283) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    You can show up to 200 posts on a single page - go up to the URL, and after the thread bit, add &show=200. Past the first page, you'll also want it to show &skip=200, but it will probably add that automatically when you click next.

    h t t p : //
    (Added spaces to the start of the URL so it wouldn't make it into a link and stop you seeing the show and skip bits.)

    No idea how much paper it will take. I know some people have copied threads into Word.

    Alternatively, you could just bookmark the thread in your Favourites.

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    OK, cheer for that, Bearhug (will also set to b&w to save on colour ink!)

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 11.

    Posted by Silver Jenny (U12795676) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Probablly too late now, Lemontree but if not, set it to draft as well, quicker and uses less ink.

    Or keep it in your favourites until you decide if you really need everything in print form.

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 12.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    No, not too late, Jenny, still yet to do! Will remember to set it to that, thanks smiley - smiley

    I've decided to work through a few more steps now, towards recovery. I have a whole load of photos and emails on my pc, which I haven't felt I wanted to get rid of for various, confused, reasons, one of the main reason being that I didn't want to forget the detail of some of the things that happened, so that I could relate my story in the hope it might help someone else (but also that feeling of not wanting to let go). Have now reached a stage where I want to make a start, at least, on getting rid of them. Everytime I happen upon them it just sends me right back there, so I think it best I probably take the next step and get rid .. starting with the photos maybe, then the emails a bit later .. photos have been moved to the recycle bin, but taking a bit of courage to click on it to remove them forever .. I think it's got to be done though.

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 13.

    Posted by Silver Jenny (U12795676) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Lemontree, could you remove them to a separate memory stick just in case you have second thoughts afterwards.

    Brought to you by busybodies r'us.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 14.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Hadn't thought of the memory stick tbh, Jenny, definitely a good suggestion but I'm sortof in that frame of mind where I want to get rid completely. If I have anything, anywhere, I will be tempted to have a peek. I keep having a peek at things, and think I probably need to force myself to stop doing that, just so that I can move on ..

    I've also decided to stop going along to Alanon meetings because I don't want to keep being reminded of my experience, or keep going over the same thing again and again at those meetings. It's helpful to talk about things, and to be able to offload, but only up to a point and I think after that, it can tend to perpetuate it if you continue with things like that.

    (p.s. I doesn't apply to speaking on here about it, for some reason I can talk in a completely detached way about things on here. Strange, isn't it?)

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 15.

    Posted by mezereon (U2046167) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Hi Lemon Tree,

    May I just give you my take on you getting rid of the photos and emails (if it's not to late)
    They are your witness to what has happened to you, I can understand that how you feel right now but another time you may wish that you had that 'witness' there for you in case you doubt yourself in the future.

    I'm not sure but I don't think it was all that long ago that it all happened to you.
    So a gentle tip from me is if you can just put them in a different place for a while.

    Well done on the new thread -smiley - smiley

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Yes, I think you are right, mez, the hate and spite contained within the emails certainly are a reminder of just how bad things were, and also some of them confirm how I was lied to, i.e. one thing might be said in one that completely contradicts what was said in an earlier email (perhaps from weeks or months earlier). I had been doubting myself a great deal, as you know, and have been using those emails to help reinforce that it wasn't me. I am doubting myself less and less now, and that's really why I've been thinking of doing this, but I think you might be right, it is early days and I might suddenly hit a patch where I doubt myself again and I will need to refer to those emails.

    Have decided the photos should go, though. They are the thing that make me doubt myself with all the memories of what seemed like good times, but which I feel now were actually a lie (and I know for sure it was based on a lie, I mean the relationship .. I was sucked into it by someone who was not in their right mind at the time through drink, and who told me things about the way he felt about me to get me hooked, when he didn't actually mean them. I didn't know he was drinking at the time I met him, he lied to me about that, saying he had been 'clean' for two years). So the photos have to go, they reallly seem quite meaningless now.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this, Mez, appreciate it smiley - smiley

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by mezereon (U2046167) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    For what it's worth I think you're right to get rid of the photos if they give a false impression of love/happiness on his part.

    The sad part about people like your OH and my mother is that they were never able to love themselves they're just not capapble of it.

    If you read up about the myth of Narcissus it explains that part of the narcisisstic person.

    I hope you don't have call to look at the emails again.

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 18.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Yes, you are absolutely right Mez, he hated himself at times, he would say things like the horrors of withdrawal from alcohol was his 'penance', and would also hit things in the room (walls/chairs) until his fist bled (those times it wasn't violence directed at me, it was directed at himself). I believe, from what his mum told me, that this was something he used to do since he was a child (although I think some of it may have been attention-seeking behaviour). It *is* sad, but there really isn't any excuse for abusing someone else, just because they hate themselves, is there? I know it must be pretty tough for them, but even so.

    Have deleted photos for good now (was pretty upsetting, but that was reasonably short-lived, it had to be got through). I still have other photos from that time of places we went to, because I think of them as places *I* went to (because pretty much most of the time I felt as if I was on my own anyway). I can look at those in quite a detached way too, its the 'snaps' of him, his mum and her grandchildren I got rid of, and feel better for it already.

    Cheers again for the advice on those emails, Mez, that's for another time, but hidden well away on my pc so I can't stumble upon them so easily.

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 19.

    Posted by metro-mouse (U3068238) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    LemonTree, I am full of admiration for you. mm

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Waves to Lemon and respectfully request permission to pop in here from time to time if I may?O))))(and thank you for you know what!!)O))

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by WildMarjoram (U14026934) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    So am I Lemon Tree. You are brilliant!! One step at a time - and that must have been a giant step for you. So pleased.


    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by WildMarjoram (U14026934) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Sorry, my message was meant to echo mm in message 20 - didnt notice another message on the next page!

    Hi to giggle too.


    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Wednesday, 20th January 2010

    Yo and hello to you too sweetpea!!O))

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by archingmad (U8292055) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    I understand your need to keep a record of the wrongs done to you, Lemon.

    Amazing though it may seem, I do forget the reasons behind the abusive outbursts from my OH so for the past year I have kept a (hidden) diary, just noting the cause of the verbal attack and what was said to me. If I ever feel that maybe it /is/ all my fault ( as I am constantly being told) I can look back and see in black and white just how frankly ludicrous all the rubbish that I take is (gr).

    When I feel frightened of taking steps to end it I start to convince myself that it's not so bad, I can take it, I'm getting it all out of proportion ... etc. But if I were to read this diary about another person I would be shocked and ask - why on earth do you stay and take all this?

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by hetty spag (U2292682) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Lovely new thread ,thank you so much and well done Lemon I didn't see all these links first time round.The 'now we are six' bit is very close to my home.
    I too think you should keep a backup record ........not to constantly mull over,a just in case factual record of what really happened.
    Archi, I keep a diary too, but have also taken the precaution of scanning it and hiding it on a memory stick somewhere secret ......just in case my diary ever got 'lost' or something.

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    You know I've been have....don't laugh!!!O))

    When you have an abusive partner, whether male or female, it's easy for those on the outside be it family or friends, to ask why you stay and it's a dufficult one to give an answer to isn't it?

    There are so many reasons /why/ you stay but trying to put those reasons in to words is extreamly hard, I think at times you don't know yourself the reasons why.

    It's also easy for those /not/ in that situation to say "Oh I'd do this or that and I'd say this or that" or "I'd not put up with that, I'd leave".

    I know meself that the mental abuse is the worst as you get so worn down by it that you start to think "Well it /must/ be me, there is something wrong with /me/ otherwise why is this happening to me".

    A woman my Mum know's has been involeved with a married man for some years now, 40+ years, and has an adult child from this "relationship", Mum's friend, when I was having a bad time with an ex, said that she wouldn't put up with being hit etc etc etc and would leave.

    Mum said to her, and she took a dim view of it,well it's no diffrent from you're relationship really is it? You're with a married man, you have a child, he's lied to his wife over the years and he's lied to you as well, he's feeding you a line and you've taken the bait, he's mentally abused you to the point where everything he say's is gospel, if it comes out of his mouth it /must/be true, you're family detest him, won't talk to him or allow him anywhere near their homes but you still continue to see him in spite or dispite these objections, where's the diffrece?

    This man's wife of 60 years has recently passed away after a long battle with dementia, he has two adult kids from his marriage and grandkids and great grandkids, his son has health problems as well and he's still going to see this woman every few days, he was at her place a few weeks ago when his mobile rang, it was his son asking where the hell he was as his car was parked outside his flat but they couldn't find him, he said he was visiting a friend and would be home soon to which his son said well you'd better get a move on than as the nursing home's called about Mum.

    It was only after this took place that the woman in queation started to do some thinking (bit late you may think afte 40+ years)about the years she's spent with this man, she had met my Mum and was telling what'd happened, Mum said to her well it's a bit late now to discover a consince(?) isn't it?

    With this situation, the way I look at it, it takes two, but and there is a but, this man spent years lieing to his wife and probaly years lieing to this woman who's to say he didn't have other affairs as well knowing that when they ended he had his wife and this woman to, for want of a better expression, to fall back on.

    I guess what I'm trying to say in a /very/ long winded way is this, abuse is more than just about getting a beating, it's mental as well and /that's/ the hardest one to get over and recover from as it stays with you for years after.

    Report message27

  • Message 28

    , in reply to message 27.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Couldn't help but smile .. smiley - winkeye (just by the way you wrote that!!)

    Great post, Giggle, really sums up pretty much everything about these types of relationships, the way someone can manipulate you so much you end up believing all they lies they spin. And those lies don't necessarily have to be to do with covering up for cheating on partners, I would say that is probably the one thing my partner *didn't* do (or rather I am 99.9% certain he didn't), but he certainly lied about a whole host of other things which he managed to twist around in such a way as to make me think I was imagining things, or as he would say, I was paranoid/insane.

    Just a quick thanks to everyone for coming over to the new thread, and really appreciate your comments smiley - smiley

    I was wondering if Susan was still following us? I'm kindof at the same point that she is, all apart from getting a job (which is next on my list), but the one thing that I fear the most is when I come to retire that I have nothing much in the way of a pension. I was just wondering how she was feeling about that. What she was saying about there was more to life than having money tied up in bricks and mortar really got me thinking, because, after renting for so long I really wanted to buy my own place, but now that I have, it has taken up most of my money and I will never, ever be able to access that now. Spose I could always sell up and rent again ..?!! I've moved 7 times in the last 2 years, so I guess I will leave it for a while .. but still something I've been thinking about ... pensions/money tied up in bricks and mortare, etc.

    Report message28

  • Message 29

    , in reply to message 25.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    I think that's not unusual, Archie, its just the sheer amount of times it happens and during the time it is happening things get twisted so you start to wonder how it actually started, and it's not until a bit later after the event you start to think to yourself, hang on a minute, I've been made to believe it was like 'this', when actually it was like 'that'. It's a good idea to keep a diary, but as you/others said, needs to be very carefully hidden.

    I never kept a diary, I never have, because I hate the idea the someone else might get hold of them and read my thoughts (not just because of this, but because that's how I always have been). But my record of what happened was those emails, and they are a record of the twisting of things, the manipulation. The ones I have in my mind, now I am able to see quite clearly what was going on, and I think I knew at the time too, and that was why I would kick out so much against it (obviously making the arguments even worse), I just didn't want to be taken for a fool (I certainly never had been before!). But even then, he was *still* able to work some story around whatever it was that happened and get me to believe it.

    Texts were also another record of what was said during 'situations', he would often accuse me of having said XYZ, which I would be completely baffled by. Then he would say, you texted me and said that. Me: "no I didn't". I would sometimes force him to show me the texts, which would turn out to prove I hadn't said what he thought I had said, he had read them too quickly and completely misinterpreted what I had said. He actually managed an apology on those occasions (which was something he never, ever did, normally).

    Talking of apologising, that was something he said to me when we first met was that he never apologised for anything (which should also have been a warning to me). I can never understand why people find it so hard to say sorry? I don't have a problem with it, but it's a though some people think it's a weakness (or something?!!) I dunno ..?

    A fairly insignificant thing, but I think a good example, was one time when I moved house, he rented a van (against what I wanted to do, I wanted to get a man with van so I didn;t have to help out with lifting, but he had to have his own way, so I just let him go ahead with it ..) anyway, he drove this van back to my house, drove right over the (new) neighbours lawn, neighbour comes out and has a moan at him (great start for me with new neighbour!), but he would not have it that he had done anything wrong, he argued point blank he had driven over his grass even though the evidence was there for all to see! How much easier would it have been just to say, oh, sorry mate, I'm not used to driving the van (or something)? My neighbour (and I!) would have respected him far more for apologising, than for making up all kinds of nonsense to put himself in the clear. What's the big deal?! When I spoke to my neighbour later about it (I apololgised on OH's behalf!), my neighbour said that there are people in this world who will argue that the grass is pink. He was spot on with that!

    Report message29

  • Message 30

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    YO!!!Lemon love!!O))

    I wasn't /too/ sure my post made any sense but looks like it did!!O)))))))))))

    It's taken me years to realise that I /don't/ have to be treated like $hit, my ex did /that/ good a job on me, it's got to the point /now/ that I tend to be a little bit /too/ outspoken for me own good at times.

    I don't suffer fools gladly to be honset but there are /still/ times when someone says or does something that throws me right back and the doubts and the "Is it me?" comes flooding back, the depression /doesn't/help either as I tend, when "bad",to take things way to personally.

    Being logic about my mental health I /now/ know that it was the mental and pyscial abuse that triggered the depression, the last time (10 years or so ago) that I was sectioned the counsollor I had, after me telling him everything, said to me "You know, this was the trigger for the depression which, in some families, has a predispositon to be there already", I found out after that Mum had suffered depression as had a few other members of the family so there /may/be something in that.

    As I said it's easy for those who've not been in this situation to say what they would do in this situation but I bet they wouldn't follow that advice.

    It's always with hindsight you see the warning signs of controlling behaviour but at the time you are in love with that person and think you can change them........only to find x amnount of time down the line that you've fooled yourself, by than the damage is done.

    It's /so/ easy and let's face it we've all done it to say if only........funny things hindsight and if only........we'd all be rich if we had the TARDIS and could go back in time to the point when we met the abusive person/s in our lives!!! And it's not just partners either let's not forget those parents and siblings are bullies, you don't have to get a beating from them to be made to feel unwanted and unloved.

    Report message30

  • Message 31

    , in reply to message 30.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Yep, definitely (and the last one did too! smiley - smiley)

    Something else, I've been thinking of, it's something people mentioned a lot on the last thread and also noticed people keep mentioning it on the alcohol thread too .. about their 'lightbulb' moment. I've been trying to think if I ever had one of those during the relationship, but I don't think I ever had one of those? I can't recall any specific moment of realisation.

    Report message31

  • Message 32

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Sounds to me like you had your lighbulb moment when you realised that what was happening to you was just plain /wrong/ may not think of it as a lightbulb moment but it was when you step back and look more closly.

    There comes a time when you say to yourself enoughs enough..........I'm gone.....could be one last slap or one last barbed comment or both that makes you realise you can't take anymore of this $hit from your partner.

    I realise not everyone is lucky enough to be able to walk away, espically if a home and kids are involved and espically when you've put so much of yourself into your home but possecisions can be repalced, a new home can be found and you can get's taking the courage to admit you need the help and finding out where you can go to for help that matters really.

    That and the sod what other people think they sure ain't living my life, I'd like to see them try mindset.

    Report message32

  • Message 33

    , in reply to message 31.

    Posted by hetty spag (U2292682) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Lemon maybe you didn't get your light bulb moment as such because your ex metaphorically speaking pulled out all the wires before you could get to the switch!

    Report message33

  • Message 34

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Wow, hetty, great metaphor, I think you might be partly right!

    Thing is, Giggle, I realised almost from day 1, but even then was hard to walk away, because I started getting all sorts of manipulative behaviour that would draw me back in again, plus the fact I had seen a completely different, other side to him (quiet, sweet, caring), one I had hopelessly fallen for, and its not easy to give up on that either.

    I think my situation was pretty much what my counsellor told me was known as 'The Stockholm Syndrome', because he almost took me hostage from the minute we got together (mentally, not physically). I was going to list all the manipulative behaviour he used on me to keep me trapped, but it's quite lenghty and most of it is in that link I gave to the syndrome. But it included things like not actually threatening me directly, but making it know to me (using various anecdotes) what he might be capable of. It's really quite 'clever' (and I use that word losely!) because it means that they never have to physically hurt you. They don't have to, because they've let you know they *could* at some point (even though they continually protest "I would never hurt you" .. made me laugh the other night watching East Enders where Phil Mitchell said exactly that to Shirl ... I thought to myself, I know where *this* is going!! You can just see the manipulation there.)

    The other things he would use to manipulate me where, that he would go start drinking again if I didn't talk to him. I would get really angry emails demanding I spoke to him (this is right at the start of the relationship!) I was so confused because on the one hand I thought he was such a lovely, considerate, guy and yet the next minute he was scaring the bloody life out of me! He would also use the 'poor me' thing on me to, so I got myself into a state of feeling sorry for him, with his stories of his background of mental health, his suicide attempts, etc. He was so down when he was telling me all that, and I really felt for him, and it got me to that stage where I wanted to make everything alright for him, make him happy. Of course, if someone has those sorts of deep rooted problems, it's never going to go away. I don't think he deliberately told me all that to get me hooked, but it obviously had an effect on me, and the hold he had over me. But then he did later use the threat of suicide to try and manipulate me. Early on in the relationship I told him that sort of thing didn't wash with me, but after we had been together for a while it really did start to affect me, and he was able to manipulate me with those threats.

    Just trying to think of a couple of other bits from the Stockholm Syndrome ... one thing it says, and I wonder if this is how I was confused by him (by thinking he was a sweet, caring person), was that in these situations, the person only has to give you a birthday card and it makes you think to yourself, "well, they *must* be ok, if they think of doing things like that". But when you're in that situation, you tend to forget that if it were a normal relationship, you wouldn't even have to think to yourself that those little things must mean they are ok, because you wouldn't even be questionning it (because you wouldn't be having all the other stuff to try and get your head around).

    I've kindof run out of puff there .. will leave it at that for the moment!

    Report message34

  • Message 35

    , in reply to message 34.

    Posted by gigglemahanaz2 (U14257954) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    I can see where you're coming from with the card thing Lemon love, my ex used to do things like that, buy me presents and soppy cards and than I think "Well he does care really, he wouldn't do that if he didn't".

    What I didn't realise until much later was that was his way of excerting control over me, when I got together with me husband I said to him from the word go "Don't you /ever/ walk in with flowers,cards,chocolates or any kind of present as a "surprise" or because you "felt" like it because the first thing I'll ask you is "who've you been $hagging" the second is what have you done or what are planning on doing that I need these gifts" and he never has thankfully.

    It all about control at the end of the day really isn't it?

    It's only after you realise what a complete p**s pot they were!!O))

    Report message35

  • Message 36

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by katsura (U13949689) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    It's terrible, isn't it, Gigz, it just makes you feel you can't trust again and its a shame you've been put in a position where you've had to say that to your OH, because of your previous experiences. I bet he'd probably like to treat you, I'm sure, but its great that he respects how you feel about it, and that the trust is there between you.

    I could never trust anyone else (male) again, ever, after this. The only one I trust, funnily enough, is my ex-husband. We were married for 20 years and know each other so well, just really good mates, tbh. He has never once tried any of that manipulative stuff on me, there is non of this 'playing games' that my abusive ex used to do (and used to accuse me of too! I wouldn't even know *how* to play games, I'm always so straight with people they know exactly where they are with me, so his accusations were obviously all part of his attempts to wear me down and make out that I was someone I was not.)

    When we separated he (ex-husband) was so dignified about it, no nastiness about finances, just agreed without any fuss that we would both have 50/50, straight down the middle. What a contrast to when I eventually split up from abusive-ex, I was getting all sorts of vicious emails, threatening me for money, and that he would take me to court if I didn't give him the amount he demanded (to which I told him he could take a running jump, and that he would be laughed out of court).

    Report message36

  • Message 37

    , in reply to message 36.

    Posted by Susan (U14270433) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Hi Lemontree, yes I'm still around....

    Re pension situation, it's by no means settled or clear at the moment as we haven't divorced yet. I was a full time mum for many years and only started my career 10 years ago. Being freelance and on short term contracts that has meant that I have little provision for a pension at this moment in time. it did prevent me from leaving for a long time, the thought of it worried me endlessly. But the most helpful thing I was told by numerous people was to 'take small steps, one day at a time" and to stop worrying about an uncertain future when really none of us know what our futures will be. So for now I'm living in the present and will deal with the outcome of the pension issue when I know exactly where I stand. That may mean being more creative about thinking about how or where I live in the future.

    Report message37

  • Message 38

    , in reply to message 35.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Thu, 21 Jan 2010 20:33 GMT, in reply to gigglemahanaz2 in message 35

    What I didn't realise until much later was that was his way of excerting control over me, when I got together with me husband I said to him from the word go "Don't you ever walk in with flowers,cards,chocolates or any kind of present as a "surprise" or because you "felt" like it because the first thing I'll ask you is "who've you been $hagging" the second is what have you done or what are planning on doing that I need these gifts" and he never has thankfully.

    It all about control at the end of the day really isn't it?

    Absolutely - "Hearts and flowers" is the name given to a stage in the "cycle of abuse".

    Report message38

  • Message 39

    , in reply to message 29.

    Posted by backagain (U2317531) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    lemon Tree says:

    I wonder why not, might some incident in childhood have formed this view. Is it not normal for those who find writing easy to pour out their thoughts.

    There seem to be so many common patterns in this thread. Some seem to be able to spot an abusive-loser immediately, others are sucked in by them.

    There are no aggressive ? ? ? marks because I write in a spirit of enquiry not blame. I have been well trained in the use of the ? mark. Oh dear, that sounds rather defensive. backagain

    Report message39

  • Message 40

    , in reply to message 33.

    Posted by Silver Jenny (U12795676) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    hetty, how are things going for you now.

    Report message40

  • Message 41

    , in reply to message 38.

    Posted by overandout (U10539354) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    I can only talk from the situation of a mum who watched her daughter go through all this.

    Dar Dau kept a diary of all her ex OH's temper tantrums, nastinesses etc. and sent them in e mail to herself so there was a record even if she lost her pages. She also kept his abusive phone texts.

    Anyone who intends putting money aside as 'escape money', have a very trusted friend keep it, ex s-i-l found my Dar Dau's account and demanded she hand it back as he considered it 'stolen' from the family as she got it from car boots by selling outgrown toys clothes etc.

    It still hurts the way he still treats her and now he's saying he can't afford the child maintainance for the 3 children despite paying less than the correct amount.
    She's now thinking along the line of " no money -no contact "

    He's deep in debt but still spends like there's no tomorrow.

    Report message41

  • Message 42

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Thu, 21 Jan 2010 21:36 GMT, in reply to Librarian in message 41

    <quote>She's now thinking along the line of " no money -no contact "</quote.
    It happens, but tell her to think about it carefully; that restricting contact puts her in the wrong. Legally, there isn't a connection between contact and maintenance.
    Is he working? If he is, the CSA might be able to deduct the maintenance directly from his wages.

    Report message42

  • Message 43

    , in reply to message 40.

    Posted by anagramladysin (U14258840) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Hello everyone and strength to you. This is from a survivor .....

    Susan, does *he* have a pension? If so, in any divorce settlement half of it belongs to you, and half of yours belongs to him. I may have forgotten the precise circumstances so forgive me if this is not information that you need.
    As it happened I waived my right to his (big pot) and he to mine (small pot) in the interests of amity and not upsetting the relatives and children with what would have been his rage and revenge.
    It's ok. I have enough, or will have when I get it, and am happier than he is, and have respect and love from his family as well as our children and my own family and friends.

    I am so sorry but don't know how to go back in the thread without losing this. But who was it talking about buying their own house and then feeling short of money? Look at options. You can take a lodger and earn £4000 a year before being taxed. Or look at equity release, but be careful and talk to proper independent financial advisors about this.

    Plus, the deceit doesn't end with the marriage. I found that my exOH had been telling the other women how dreadfully neglected he was at home, how he paid for everything, how wrapped up in my 'career' I was, how we hadn't had s*x for umpteen years etc etc etc ............ how far this was from the truth is breathtaking in every particular. Now wonder they felt sorry for him ... but more fools they.

    Personally I have kept the diaries -- the only place I could 'talk to' about how dire things were -- and that helps me when I ever wonder if I did the right thing (particularly as he is nice as pie at the moment trying to get me back) -- and the final gruesome emails (threatening, pleading, abusive, practical) are on a memory stick *somewhere*. I hope I never need to look at them again. But I am glad they still exist.

    Report message43

  • Message 44

    , in reply to message 42.

    Posted by overandout (U10539354) on Thursday, 21st January 2010


    Yes, he's working. Has two jobs, one self employed, one a retained fireman, but refuses to produce a P60.
    It's all been gone through via the court and mediation. All he needs to do ..I think... is produce a P60 from the fire brigade which shows what he gets from them.
    I know nothing about P60 where two jobs are involved....
    He didn't want to go through CSA, was his condition of "agreeing" to the divorce.
    he doesn't even do tax returns which he got(/still gets ?)fined for, but didn't pay them either. He was due tax refunds for several hundred pounds at one time but we reckoned that the resultant fines would more than take that back.

    He is still a nasty piece of work and I'm heartilly glad he is nothing more to do with me apart from being the father of my grandchildren.

    Report message44

  • Message 45

    , in reply to message 44.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:03 GMT, in reply to Librarian in message 44

    He didn't want to go through CSA, was his condition of "agreeing" to the divorce. 
    I think that your daughter can use them whenever she wants, under most circumstances.
    Does she have anything to lose?

    Report message45

  • Message 46

    , in reply to message 45.

    Posted by overandout (U10539354) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Revenge pie best served cold. but she didn't want to do anything that would hurt the children.
    Dar Dau has lots of things she can have over him.
    Police, restraining order etc. He thinks he is so clever so she is waiting to see if this month's money gets paid ..if not...stand back and watch the fireworks. She is waiting for something to 'go wrong' before she pounces.
    She can just about handle his temper tantrums as she has a lovely man behind her now..

    He was nothing to do with the divorce as she hadn't even met him until after the divorce when she had a health scare and he offered her a shoulder to cry on. (and yes I do know that is true)

    Report message46

  • Message 47

    , in reply to message 46.

    Posted by carrick-bend (U2288869) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:22 GMT, in reply to Librarian in message 46

    Hope it all stays quiet, then, satisfying though fireworks might be.

    Report message47

  • Message 48

    , in reply to message 47.

    Posted by overandout (U10539354) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Oh boy! how I'd love those fireworks ! but if the children got caught in the fall out that would hurt us even more.

    They know what happened now and defend their mum when he starts arguing but at 9,8 and 6 they shouldn't have to hear it from him.
    As her parents, we bite our tongues and just let them talk and they know that we will speak up for them if they think 'it isn't fair'.

    Report message48

  • Message 49

    , in reply to message 41.

    Posted by sweet-rocket (U11357111) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    Thu, 21 Jan 2010 22:43 GMT, in reply to Librarian

    She's now thinking along the line of " no money -no contact " 

    Can I just add to what Carrick has said - it would be quite wrong to associate child maintenance and contact in this way. Contact is for the benefit of the children and should *never* be used as a bargaining tool or punishment because of adult arguments, tempting though it might be.

    Report message49

  • Message 50

    , in reply to message 49.

    Posted by overandout (U10539354) on Thursday, 21st January 2010

    It was him saying more contact or no money.
    Even the female judge said Dar Dau was being generous with the amount of contact. Of course he turned it round by saying Dar Dau was only letting him that much because she didn't want the children. As I've said many times he's a nasty bit of work..
    so even if she did say that, he'd still have more time than a neighbour has with his children at one overnight stay per week.

    Thank heavens for these pages where I can vent my feelings. Only my best friend knows this so if any of you actually knows this saga you'll know it's all true.

    Report message50

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