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Old 06-15-2011, 03:30 PM   #16  
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Originally Posted by gonnadoitthistime View Post
Oh, definitely being bigger removes some issues in a woman's life, especially when with an abusive partner.
Can you explain this, please?
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Old 06-15-2011, 06:24 PM   #17  
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Right now I do not have the resources, but hopefully soon I will be done with my education, and will have time to get a good job. Until then, I will keep trying to improve my situation in the ways that are available.
I grew up with parents in this situation. My mother put off dumping my abusive father for thirteen years because she didn't think she had the resources, couldn't cope without him, children should have a father etc. Eventually he kicked her down the stairs (first physically violent episode that I know of, they can come out of nowhere) and stormed out. Trust me, this was not good for anyone involved.

It's the end of the academic year. For your own sake, look into what options you have. Take a leave of absence from your studies, get a job waiting tables or anything, just get the **** out of that abusive relationship. You would be eligible for refuge space at any women's aid organisation right now, as it's clearly a highly abusive relationship, and depending on where you live you should hopefully be eligible for state benefits.

By the way, almost all abusive partners are complete charmers, it's part of the pattern of control. There's a post about an abusive relationship right now in the General Chatter forum, I've talked more about this there.

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Old 06-15-2011, 07:19 PM   #18  
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I really feel like you might be in danger if you stick around much longer. I couldn't imagine anyone telling me what I can and can't wear. I'm a big girl, but I occasionally dress sexy and I definitely have my own opinions about things hubby has opinions about too. This sounds scary to me!
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:29 PM   #19  
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Psuajblu: I used to really want to go to counseling with him, but it doesn't seem like that is gonna happen. When I met him he was going to abuse counseling (for being an abuser.) You may wonder why I got into a relationship with someone who was going through counseling for being abusive--so do I. All I can say is--do not get into a relationship with a guy who is going to counseling for being abusive--no matter what he tells you about why he is in there! Anyway--there comes a point when someone has all the tools in the toolbox--if he's already been to counseling and already lost many relationships throughout his life due to his behavior, then he has had the chance to reform and act right, but he still chooses not to, then you can safely guess that he probably isn't going to change with another bout of counseling. But I still think your idea is great for most couples, and it's good advice.

gonnadoithistime: I appreciate your empathy. It is a weird feeling to know that I should leave, and yet to have all these doubts in my mind about how or what--it's nice that there seems to be a consistent affirmation from the forum about how this relationship isn't right. Thanks for the warning. I have noticed that he seems to be less interested in me now that I am not reactive anymore. It's good to be aware of how he might react to my attitude change.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:46 PM   #20  
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Esophia: I'm sorry that you had to go through that, and for your mother. That is really scary to think that he never was physically violent with her until that one time. My husband hasn't ever hit me, but only a couple times he has thrown things (not at me), and once he stalked me on a class field trip. That was a little scary. He hasn't done any of that for a long time. I'm glad to hear that I am not crazy to observe his charming mannerisms.
I had a dream last night that sounds kind of like what you are advising. I was on an airplane ride, though it looked like some house of horrors. It turned out that everything was really scary in the house/airplane, and one passenger was like, "I'm getting off at the next stop." She had dreadlocks even though she was blonde. I told her, "I'm not getting off yet, it's too dangerous outside." Then she got off and I peaked out the door. She got into a car, and a black guy with dreadlocks was in there. He looked like her friend and they both looked fine and perfectly safe. They looked worried for the people (including me) inside the plane.

I guess I will have to leave, and I don't want to have to do it in some emergency.

fatferretfanatic: Thanks for your concern. I think you are right about people deserving their own opinions. I'm glad your husband is respectful. Mine hasn't criticized anything that I did with my appearance for a long time (though I haven't worn anything much objectionable to him, and we never go out or dress up, and I've gone up 4-5 sizes since then.)
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Old 06-15-2011, 09:08 PM   #21  
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I'm so sorry you're going through this. Right now, today, what is keeping you in this relationship?
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Old 06-16-2011, 01:53 AM   #22  
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You do have some things going for aside from being at a healthy weight. You are finishing your education and you don't have children with this man. So get out as soon as you can, life goes by quickly and you won't want to look back in the future and think of all the happy times you missed because of Mr Control Freak.
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Old 06-16-2011, 06:22 AM   #23  
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First of all, what sort of support do you have? Do you have trustworthy friends you can stay with, the sort who will take your side and not let him in? Because in situations like this, standard advice is to make up an emergency bag with undies, a few clothes, toothbrush, money etc., and to leave it at a friend's. You may end up having to leave very suddenly, even in the middle of the night. Even if you don't have anywhere to leave such a bag, don't let that stop you from realising that if there's an emergency, you'd have to run.

My father didn't hit my mother before that incident as far as I'm aware, but his actions were violent in other ways. He would slam on the car brakes in a frightening way. He once told me that he was going to have the puppy put to sleep, purely because the poor thing was traumatised (rescue) and was piddling under the piano a lot. (Thankfully he didn't, and she lived to the ripe old age of 16.) Things like that, which are of course terrifying but when you're used to them and don't want to think about them, they slide into being normal.

A few vague stats to think about. (Sorry for hurling all this at you, but I'm trying to help you gain perspective, which is the first thing to go in an abusive relationship, along with self-esteem.)

* The leading cause of divorce is domestic abuse.
* The most common type of stalking is by a partner or ex-partner.
* The most common type of homicide is a man killing his partner.

I'll hunt down some more resources for you in a bit, but meanwhile an excellent one is the UK Women's Aid Survivor's Handbook. What country are you in? Assuming the US for the time being, does anyone know of good resources there?

There's a common checklist for whether you're being abused. Based on what you've told us, here is where you fit in. I've used the traditional one and added some points of my own. I suspect that many more points can be added. Any ONE of these can be (and in many cases, definitely is) an indicator of domestic abuse. Here are twenty-one.

1) Your partner constantly follows you or checks up on you (the stalking incident).
2) Your partner unjustly accuses you of flirting or having affairs with others.
3) Your partner constantly belittles or humiliates you, or regularly criticises or insults you in front of other people.
4) You are afraid of your partner.
5) You have changed/are changing your behaviour because you are afraid of what your partner might do or say to you. (I'd consider the weight loss to fall into that category. There are healthy reasons for trying to lose weight, and there are reasons which are big red flags.)
6) Your partner has tried to prevent you from leaving the house. (Though I think they mean this differently, his restricting your social life is roughly the same category.)
7) You have developed unhealthy eating and alcohol habits as a direct reaction to his behaviour.
8) You are evidently under enormous stress, the sort that can be considered a prolonged form of trauma.
9) He has a "Jekyll and Hyde" personality, switching between charm and abuse which includes "cold rage".
10) He behaves charmingly with others, including flirting with other women.
11) He prevents you from talking to other people at social events, and by now from going to social events at all. I would also suspect that he has managed to limit your support network of friends/family. Isolating the partner is a key element in abuse.
12) You are afraid to sit and eat a meal with him, and you are sleeping in the other room to avoid him.
13) He is enormously controlling of what you say, what you wear, how much you weigh, and I'd imagine other features of your body and psyche as well.
14) You've got so far away from a healthy relationship that you can't understand how other women get on with their husbands. This is actually a huge clue in terms of warped perspective.
15) You are afraid even when he isn't there that you might do something which will make him angry, such as when buying clothes. It sounds to me like you are constantly afraid.
16) Even when you're talking to us, you're defensive about things that aren't your fault, such as justifying having talked to his friends at all.
17) You sound as if you feel ashamed despite having done nothing wrong. He's making you feel that it's not him, it's you. You're also blaming yourself for having got into the relationship in the first place. Never do that. Abusive partners are charmers, that's how they hook you in, and absolutely anyone can end up in an abusive relationship, even incredibly strong-minded, independent people.
18) And because of this, and because your self-esteem has been put through the grinder and you're living in fear, I expect that what you've told us is only the tip of the iceberg. There could be more going on, such as sexual abuse, threats and so forth.
19) He has a history of abuse, both with you and with former partners, and has even been to abuse counselling but remained abusive.
20) You feel that you are financially dependent on him and don't dare leave. My mother was trapped in this one for years, and in her case it wasn't really true, and I hope it isn't in yours either. There are usually options to help you to become independent.
21) You know he's abusive, you know he won't change, and you still feel so trapped that you are having huge difficulty imagining leaving. So you're making excuses: you need to finish your education, you need to get a good job after that, you need to lose weight first (even though you fear it will set off his jealousy again), it's not as bad as it is for women who get beaten, it's not as bad as it used to be, you are coping because you don't feel quite as hurt as you used to when he is verbally abusive.
22) He hasn't hit you, but he's shown violence in other ways, and your response to my mentioning that people can suddenly get violent out of the blue was to fear instantly that this could happen to you.

I'll send you a PM, sweetheart. Meanwhile, how about finding a good friend you could visit for a week, to try to adjust to what's really going on and think about what you need to do? Make it a very good friend, someone you know will take your part, as a lot of people don't want to get involved with something like this. Failing that, a refuge, a cheap holiday, a hostel, anything. I think you'll find that once you're away from him for a bit, your perspective starts coming back and you will feel like a whole new woman. Not that this will be easy to recover from, but getting away from living in fear is a huge improvement. Make sure it's somewhere safe, in case he tries to follow you.

I'd also suggest that you stop worrying about your weight right now, and postpone it until you have got yourself out of this nightmare. Quite apart from the question of priorities, it'll be much easier to lose weight when you're not surrounded by negativity and second-guessing him all the time.

Last edited by Esofia; 06-16-2011 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:54 AM   #24  
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...Please tell me you are leaving him ASAP or at least thinking about it? He is the textbook definition of an emotional abuser. Probably not far from taking it physical due to how hellishly insecure he sounds.

Seriously, this scares me. I really hope you get out while you can.
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Old 06-16-2011, 09:42 AM   #25  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stopfat View Post
Esophia: I'm sorry that you had to go through that, and for your mother. That is really scary to think that he never was physically violent with her until that one time. My husband hasn't ever hit me, but only a couple times he has thrown things (not at me), and once he stalked me on a class field trip. That was a little scary. He hasn't done any of that for a long time. I'm glad to hear that I am not crazy to observe his charming mannerisms.
He sounds exactly like my ex. In the months before I left, he kidnapped me and my child, assaulted my brother for sticking up for me, got fired for altercations at work, attempted to hit me, called me names, and more.
The night he stalked me, I never came home and filed for divorce one week later.
One of the first arguments we had years before we got married resulted in him throwing a plate, a glass and a jar of bb gun bullets. He left the house, I cleaned (and felt like the lowest person in the world cleaning up after that mess), and walked to the local library where I was picked up an hour later by someone I trusted. I wish I never went back.
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Old 06-16-2011, 04:42 PM   #26  
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I want to thank everyone again for contributing to this thread. I appreciate all your support, advice and sharing. It can be difficult to discuss this stuff in regular life, so I am really grateful to everyone who engaged in the discussion here.

psuajblue: There are a few different things. Housing is very expensive in my area and it would be difficult to move into a place that will be big enough, with what I pay now. Plus, he is not always mean, sometimes he is very charming and acts very loving.

patns: Your post made me laugh out loud. I totally agree with you, but the name "Mr. Control Freak" is totally funny.

Esophia: I got your PM--thank you. I'll PM back.

Nebuchadnezzar: Thanks for the support. Sometimes I forget how abnormal his behavior can be. It's good to hear your perspective.

Munchy: That's horrible! I'm super glad you had the strength to leave, and I know how you feel about wishing you had left earlier (or not went back earlier). It's amazing to me how I ignored the warning signs when I could have avoided the whole trap.

Thanks again for all the support guys!
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Old 06-17-2011, 05:52 AM   #27  
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I've just realised that if you're a relatively new member, you can't PM me yet. Oh well.

Quote:
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There are a few different things. Housing is very expensive in my area and it would be difficult to move into a place that will be big enough, with what I pay now.
How much "not big enough" are we talking? I've ended up having to stay in a place that's not big enough after the alternative turned out to be far too problematic (also in an expensive area), and while we grumble about it and really had wanted somewhere where I could have a sewing room and there'd be proper space for all the books, that's actually less important and we can cope pretty well where we are. We might have to get creative with bookcases and wardrobe space, and it's a bit cramped, but it's perfectly livable.

Quote:
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Plus, he is not always mean, sometimes he is very charming and acts very loving.
Oh dear. This is not a good sign. Abusive partners always do that, it's how they keep you hooked. If you knew of someone else who was being abused, and they protested that yes, they were being seriously abused, but it wasn't every hour of the day, would you think that they were in a good situation? If someone is hitting or sexually assaulting their partner, does it matter if they only do it once a week or once a day instead of every waking minute? Why should emotional abuse be any more tolerable? Are you sure you're not just saying this because after the abuse you're just grateful for the moments when it's not occurring and you can briefly pretend that your marriage is actually happy?

Anyway, it's clear by now that you don't actually want to leave, and it's your marriage and your decision. I'm sorry for you, you're obviously going through **** and probably in physical danger to boot, but we can't make that decision for you, so I'll stay out of this from now on. Best of luck.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:41 AM   #28  
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This Article is one of the references I printed and kept in my folder during my separation. I also kept a daily journal for the last few months and reading it kept me from doubting my decision once I had left.
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Old 06-17-2011, 10:23 AM   #29  
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Show him the door. He is controlling and mentally abusive. You don't need a jerk like that in your life.
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Old 06-17-2011, 12:20 PM   #30  
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Esophie--I was able to PM you! Yay!

Munchie--that is excellent advice. Although I am focusing now on what it takes physically to be able to leave, my activity on this forum has forced me to accept that I still have something wrong with my mind from the emotional abuse and charming/mean cycle that I have been allowing myself to be subjected to for five years.
It is terrifying me that I am not seeming to be able to keep things strait--is he nice or mean? Did he change or not? Does he love me or use me? Etc. I am seeing now that this aspect of it--the emotional attachment--is still there no matter how much I try to argue that I've figured him out.
A journal sounds excellent, only he has read my journals before so I will have to keep it somewhere secret.
I have to get my mind strait again. There is a part of me that is still so low confidence/low self esteem that I feel guilty for thinking of leaving him.That is the trick that he used on me for the first three years. He would say "You are so wishy washy. You could leave in any minute, just for fun, because you aren't trustworthy. You aren't a dependable person, and you aren't loyal" even though he's the one who never had a relationship last longer than a year, and I have been with him longer than everyone else. But I really want to be a good, dependable person so I got confused and kept all the stuff he said to me and his drinking and all secret from friends and family and everyone, because I felt guilty for being so unreliable (I met him only months after leaving another long term relationship, and I felt really guilty for leaving. I thought that if I could make it work between me and my husband, that that would prove I was dependable).
It's obvious that this relationship has effected me psychologically, and I can't ignore that. I can even feel myself viewing the comments about how abusive he is as if I am in a dream. Even though countless people online have said he is abusive, and ex girlfriends have said it, and abuse counselors have confirmed it is abusive, it is as if all this information is behind a veil, and I cannot really believe it. Part of me cannot accept that I have allowed myself to be in this situation. Fortunately, reading my own post has alerted me to how confused I really am, so I can start working on it.
But I will have to straighten out so that I can do the right thing. I am confident that I will too, I have just taken steps slowly. I can write in the journal about what he does and says so that I don't forget, and I can also write about what our lives will be like when I am free from the oppression. Thanks Munchy, that article totally sounds familiar, and the journal is an excellent idea.
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