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Emotional Abuse..so confused..is it me or him?


I have been reading up on 'Emotional Abuse' on various websites and my initial thoughts were...YES i'm being emotional abused...but then i thought...everything that they describe as signs of emotional abuse, my partner accuses me of. 

I found this video on you tube and through past arguments with my partner i can recall him saying i am like all the points in the video.

Emotional Abuse - YouTube

When i have had these arguments with him, i have sometimes confided in friends who have ALWAYS backed me up and said that he is the one in the wrong...but whilst watching the video i couldn't help but burst into tears thinking....IS THIS ME LIKE HE SAYS?? AM I JUST IN DENIAL?? CAN I NOT SEE THE WAY I AM BEING??

This is where it gets complicated though as i dont know whether those questioning thoughts are the result of me being the victim to his emotional abuse. He has conned me into believing I AM the one who is the abuser....

I really dont know anymore....i dont know which thoughts are my own or which are ones that are being planted there by him.....or whether he truly is the victim here and im just in denial!


Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 12:57am

Little more about my situation..sorry it's long...but theres a lot going on here...

I have a 2 year old son C with my ex M. I split from M nearly a year ago and i've been seeing J now for 9 months. My split with M was amicable and a mutual decision and we wanted to remain friends. I noticed signs of jealousy in J right from the starts really. He didnt like me speaking to other men on Facebook,text or even face to face.. even though they were just friends and it was all innocent. He would always make me feel guilty for speaking to anyone (even when i knew there was no need to feel that way) and he would always say he was only this way with me because he cared so much for me. He became overly obsessed with M and my contact with him, to the point where i found myself treating M badly and stopping him from speaking to me other then to arrange care for our son.

Ive found myself saying some nasty things to M because i know thats what J wanted from me and ive felt aweful for doing so but wanted so much to please J. On top of the obsession with M, J is also obsessed with my interactions with my friends. I cannot arrange to do anything with my friends at a weekend because he says "The weekend is our time..we never see each other...do you not want to see me?..you think about your friends more then you do me". He falls out with me for making any arrangements with friends, either at the weekend or during the week. He has a way of saying things that makes me feel guilty for seeing them.

When we argue he says that i'm cold and that i have no feelings and that i dont love him because i wouldn't act the way i do if i did love him. He argues with me for not thinking the way he does. For example, a mutual friend of mine and Ms was visiting and told M to ask me, if i wanted to go for a drink and catch up with a few other friends, including M. I replied and said No, that i was busy..J was adamant that this was some sort of ploy by M to split me and J up...and because i didnt think this, he feel out with me saying that i am naive, stupid and have no common sense.

If i dont text him back within a certain time frame, he falls out with me...even when there are legitimate reasons for texting back late (bathing my son, putting him to bed, house work, other jobs) yet, he can sometimes leave it hours between texts and this is perfectly ok for him to do. 

I find myself walking on egg shells around him, im scared stiff of saying or doing or even thinking things because it may upset him. I find myself lying or skirting around the truth because i know he wont react well to it...even then, he still manages to find things to fall out with me for. These are things that i and others who have witnessed this see so problem with...yet he does see a problem with it and will take it out on me. He points the finger at me for everything.....EVERY SINGLE ARGUMENT we have is because of me and the few times he admits he was wrong he apologises but then say "..but i only did that because YOUR like this...". He still manages to blame me in an apology!

I wanted to get part time work and suggested restaurant, shop, pub or bar work...and he went mad! He said that he couldnt believe i would consider bar work! He said women ONLY work in bars because they want attention from men. He said i might as well be a prostitute as bar work is a mild form of that because you have to flirt with punters for tips. He accused me of wanting attention and not loving him because i even considered it.

He always uses the fraze " a NORMAL person wouldnt think like you"....or..."Normal people dont behave like this..."

I feel our relationship is so dramatic...it feels like it's the end of the world one minute but then the next im literally on cloud 9. I love him so so much and when he acts the way he does, he says its only because he cares for me and loves me so much...and i believe him. I dont think he really is a bad person..but he can never ever see my point of view at all.

During arguments he does not listen AT ALL. i will start to explain myself and he will cut me off and start accusing me of all sorts. When i try to defend myself he says "you just never admit when your wrong do you..". I get frustrated and angry because i feel like he doesn't listen to me at all and that he doesnt trust me or believe a single word im saying. I get wound up and angry and then he starts saying "Look at you...your shouting at me and all im trying to do is talk...theres no reasoning with you"

Arrghhh....sorry im just so frustrated and feel so unbelievably trapped! I have all these feelings for him yet i KNOW he's being out of order...yet theres still these thoughts of..."maybe he right!...maybe it is me!...i do get angry and i hate myself for that....he loves me so much and im stupid because i cant show it properly!"

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 10:58am


Oh dear this situation doesn't sound good. Firstly he has to accept that you and M have a child together so will always be in each others life's, I think it's great you and M get along so well as most ex's have a bitter break up!           J seems very controlling which isn't a good thing and in my experiance can only get worse, you shouldn't feel like your walking on egg shells ESP in a fairly new relationship, this can't be very good for your child to witness. J sounds very insucure and that's his reason to try and control you, I don't believe any person should have to  explain their actions/movements to their partner. The only thing I can suggest is leave him if your unhappy and before his ways get out of hand but obv it's your life and only you can chose which path to take....I hope this gets sorted out very soon :( 

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:35am


Hi SabrinaMB. Welcome along to One Space. Firstly can I suggest you not use real names on this site, as we try to be as annonymous as we can. If you cannot edit the names out (just use initials or something), then I'm sure the moderators will do it for you.

From reading your post, it doesn't sound like you and J live together. Is this right? If you don't then that is one good thing. J sounds extremely controlling, and this is not your fault but his. He is trying to alienate you from your friends, doesn't want you working in public places such as pubs, restaurants etc, has made it so you've now 'fallen' out with your son's dad. The list goes on really doesn't it? What he is doing Sabrina is very wrong, and this I'm sorry to say isn't love. When on the odd occassion he apologises, he then cleverly turns it back on you, by saying 'you made him say those things', or words to that effect.

The texting, and him getting angry because you don't send a text back straight away. He's not interested or concerned that you're bathing, putting to bed, tidying etc, he's angry because you haven't responded straight away, and in his head, you should be responding to him immediately, or else you must be up to something dodgy.

You don't have children with him Sabrina (which is a good thing), the relationship certainly isn't a healthy one. It isn't love, not on his part anyway, no matter how many times he tells you it is. I'm so sorry if that upsets you, but I think in your heart you know this is true. Yes, you love him, but do you want to spend the next six months, years, with someone that is forever dictating to you?

Take a look at this  here   It is the Freedom Programme. I'm trying to find you a list to read for you to read and see if anyone of them apply to you.

Please keep posting Sabrina, as others will be along at some point. Take care.

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:17am


I think Hazeleyes has just hit the nail on the head with her reply. what he's doing isn't love at all :( 

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:37am

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hello SabrinaMB

You are very welcome here.

Hazeleyes is right: this man is seeking to control your every move and makes you feel as if YOU are the one in the wrong. I really do think that you need to get out of this relationship as soon as possible, it is abusive and from experience I can say thay it is likely to get worse as time goes on...and the effect on you will be more pronounced the longer it goes on. You say he loves you so much and yet true love does not demand that the other person is available to them 24/7, it means WANTING the other person to have friends and a good life and to be fulfilled and the best that they can be.

There are a couple of things I would like you to read. Firstly have a look here and tell me if you recognise J  from this list (I certainly do!) Secondly, have a look at other threads on this board which show you the distress and terror that can result from staying with an abusive relationship. I will highight one for you here.

Now tell us what you think?

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:47am


Hi Sabrina

Welcome! As others have said this J sounds like an abuser. He sounds very familiar to my ex and am afraid to say he only got worse.

The doubts you are having are normal because he has deliberately manipulated your mind so that you would have doubts - if you didnt doubt he was abusing you and you were 100% sure he was you would have left him ages ago. This is what men like him do and are very good at too. They make you second guess every thing and every thought you have so that you are so confused you no longer see what is truly going on and his obvious controlling behaviour is disguised within your 'out of control' behaviour.

I know it may behard to hear but it doesnt sound like J loves you and he doesnt seem to have the appropriate level of respect for your son (causing rows with you and sons dad, insistfing you text back imeediately regardless of if you are seeing to your son, will have an effect on C). He is trying to isolate you and have complete control over you, this is not healthy for you or your son. I think you need to get out of this relationship while you still see that his behaviour is wrong, if you stick around for much more he will soon have you convinced that his behaviour is normal and then you and C will be trapped.


Good luck hun x

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 10:17am


I told J it was over on Saturday night and i asked him to leave. He did.

I wanted to make him aware that this time it REALLY is over and that ive started to realise who he really is. So i said to him that i feel like he's been playing with me and has messed with my head to the extent that i dont even know myself anymore. I asked him to speak to someone about his issues (he has admitted in the past he has issues re.split personality/anger/moods) and i said i only ask because i do love him and i know deep down he's not a bad person. This was his reply:

"I've messed with your head! I tell you something Sab, dont think for one minutes that dealing with your ex, your moods and your naivity has helped my 'issues'. Im aware of my 'issues' you do not need to highlight them to me, but when you are so unaware of whats going on and are so naive towards a lot of things this was a non winner and we would never have worked would we? I love you so much, you know you will never find someone that will love you as much as i do, i promise you that! Listen i dont hate you one tiny bit, how can i? I'm still in love with you..i was only the way i was with you because i love you that much...as stupid as it may sounds...i didnt want other guys looking at you in a way that might make you feel uncomfortable and i didnt want M (my sons dad) texting you stuff like asking you to go out for drinks because you was MY girlfriend...what else should i have done? Just sit back and accept it? I wear my heart on my sleeve and ill never shy away from anything so theres no way i could have done that...im not even going to talk to anyone about you, just for your own peace of mind because its no ones business. Please dont ever think bad of me Sabrina, in my own weird way a lot of the reasons i acted the way i did is because i cared about you that much but like you have said i never went the right way about things...for that im sorry"

I can see signs of his abuse even in this reply. The way he's blaming his behaviour on loving me so much...the way he blames his behaviour on my naivity, moods and ex and the way he says that i wont find anyone else that loves me as much as he does....when i look at it logically i can see the way he is being, but because this is so fresh, my feelings for him are still there and im struggling to shut out my emotions. When he apologises at the end, a part of me melts a little and then i start thinking up excuses for his behaviour. I start to think "NO..he's not abusing me..if he was, he wouldn't have done this (cue memory of something nice he's done for me)"

How do i cut of my emotional attachment to him? Will this just take time?

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 7:49pm


I've started the Freedom Program and read up a lot online about the characteristics of an emotional abuser. I feel like i need to tell him what i have found...like i could open his eyes to it and that maybe he can speak to someone who can help him....from the reaction i've recieved to this though, it sounds like thats not a good idea and that he wont listen or change. 

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 7:56pm


I think his reply is very mind playing. How could he possibly know you will never find someone that can love you as much has he does, a typical mind playing thing to say!!!! he is still trying to blame you for his mistakes and wrongs and control you via this txt hoping it will change your mind, I must be such a tough situation for you as your feelings  are still strong for him but in time they will go if you break all ties with him.I think you have done the right thing and you should feel very proud you was strong enough to end this relationship 

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:25pm


Like you Sabrina, I also read signs of abuse in his text. Blaming you for his issues? A classic one that! I'm glad you've started the Freedom Program, but please don't tell him what you have found. I know it is hard to stay away when you love someone, but you already know what he is doing. If you cannot stay away for yourself, then please stay away for your son's sake. If this man gets help with his 'issues', which I don't believe for one minute that he would (but he might), then that's great for him. If you give in, you're allowing yourself to be treated the way you have been. You know it's wrong of him. You're worth more than that. It will take time, emotional attachment doesn't just happen over night, it will take a while, but you will get there. Focus on your son for the time being, and don't let J back into your life.

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:35pm


Hi SabrinaMB - I really wouldn't bother telling him what you have found - just know that you have found something to help you move on - let him go and work it out for himself - good luck on your journey

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 8:35pm


hi u ok,well been with my ex 2 half years,it was emotionally abusive,i have only just made desicion to not have him backm we have been on and off since we have met, we have a 19 month old daughter together, he as seriously  assaulted me 2 years ago, i took him back, dumb, he hates my mates even tho he as never metum, they are all slags, he as followed me twice, jealous of relationship i have with my 18 year old daughter, she hates him, he plays mind games all time,its ok for him nit txt back asap or to not come back home,i have heard every excuse,he as let me down constantly, making me ill, he is never gona change,had 2 harssment orders on him, even on bail he still mithered me,now ad enuf,sick being stressed all time, he as even accused me of going with my own daughter, and my mate,he makes threats, to many things what he as said for me to txt i could go on and on, i was even offered place in refuge,thtas how serious i got told my situation was,and stil is,he is stil mithering, so got appointment to see a soliciter regarding non molestation order,i have 2 sons as well, for my own sanity i have to get rid, ur boyfriend will never change, he sounds very controlling,please get ridx

Posted on: May 7, 2012 - 9:09pm

Parenting specialist DoppleMe

Hi SabrinaMB, welcome to One Space, I have just read your messages and you are doing a fantastic job. 

You know right from wrong, you know that you aren't all the things that he says you are and you know you are not to blame for his behaviour.

It is natural that you want to tell him all about the things you have learnt from the Freedom Programme, however one of two things could happen, as explained above. By having conversations with him and being caring, you are emotionally open to him again and he will use this time to manipulate you. Or he will do the online course and learn new ways of intensifying his behaviour.

You ask how to stop feeling these intense feelings towards him, this will take time, however it is worth understanding that these feelings aren't healthy loving feelings. They are needy, desperate and confused. When a puppy is told off they desperately want your affection back again and look at you all doe eyed and try to sit on you or get your attention.

This is what we do! Because the relationship has been so unstable. You have worked sooo hard to keep him happy and do right by him and you hated the admonishment, accusations and then the pain that he seems to be in. We feel sorry for him, we don't want him to hate us, see us as a bad person, see the world as a bad place etc etc etc.

Nobody wants to go through heartache, the realisation of the reality of the person that we have fallen head over heels for is difficult, but you have a young child, your life is at the beginning of a new journey and the sooner you 'see through' what he has been doing, the sooner you can put this relationship behind you. 

Time to start looking out for Number 1...YOU. Smile

Posted on: May 8, 2012 - 10:00am