What your abuser doesn’t want you to know

Do you feel unable to leave your abusive partner for good? When you pack your bags and go, does he somehow convince you to go back to him? Do you feel responsible for the wellbeing of your abuser – despite the misery he is causing you? If so, then you’ve already met ‘The Persuader’. And there’s something that he really doesn’t want you to know…

Photo by Nathan O'Nions

Photo by Nathan O’Nions

In Pat Craven’s hugely-popular Freedom Programme, ‘The Persuader’ is facet of an abusive personality that many women see when we try to leave the relationship. He’s a highly manipulative character, who will relentlessly guilt-trip and emotionally blackmail you into staying with him.

And no, we’re not talking about someone with the persuasive power and guile of a top-end lawyer. The Persuader has a whole host of tactics – subtle, and in-your-face – all designed to keep you right where he wants you. These tactics are very common.

He promises faithfully to change. He promises you the world, the moon, the stars and that holiday in Spain. You know it’s an empty promise, but you want to believe it. Change – if it happens at all – is short-lived and before you know it, the abuse has started again and it’s even worse than before.

Photo by fugitivepeas

Photo by fugitivepeas

He blames drink, drugs, a stressful job – whatever it is, the abuse is never his fault. He’ll join Alcoholics Anonymous. He offers to go to rehab. He’ll get a different job. He’ll work on his self-confidence issues and sort out his jealousy. But, right now he needs your support now more than ever. If you can just go with him to that meeting, and avoid ever talking to another man again or going outside unescorted – he will be the Prince Charming you fell in love with once more (no, he won’t).

My ex was a master at this – it took me ages to realise that he was the only common factor in it all. His use of cannabis, inability to hold down a job, family problems – they were all choices that he made, and I nothing I did would get him to choose differently.

He tells you his ex-wife abused him. It may be true – but mostly, it’s not. Abusers know this is a great sympathy-grabber, a handy ‘explanation’ for his bad behavior. What better way to appeal to our nurturing nature? We can’t ‘fix’ him.

He threatens or attempts suicide – he tells you that he simply can’t live without you. You grapple with anxiety about what he may do to himself. You forget that only he has responsibility for himself – and it is time for him to step up. My abuser slung this around whenever I tried to leave, and I tied myself in knots of worry and guilt. Once, when I called his bluff, he self-harmed and had a friend call me to tell me the ambulance was on its way.

He uses the children to get to you. Whether it’s constant reminders that the children need their daddy, encouraging the kids to tell you how much he is suffering without you, or pursuing you relentlessly through the courts for child contact and reporting you to social services. The children are simply tools in his quest to turn up the pressure on you. My ex never bothered about childcare or upsetting our child with his outbursts and rages – so I was cynical about his sudden enthusiasm for fatherhood after I got out.

He threatens to kill you, the children, or other people you are close to. You are too terrified to break it off. True, leaving is often the most dangerous time for a woman experiencing abuse – but if you go back, you are accepting danger and damage for the rest of your life. This was one of the most powerful weapons my abuser used against me. I still have no idea just how far he’ll go.

He’ll involve as many people as he can. His new girlfriend may Facebook you accusing you of being a cold-hearted b**ch that is stopping him from seeing his children. Don’t bite. This woman is simply a pawn in his game (although she likely doesn’t know it). His mother will call you up to tell you how ‘broken’ he is, and only you can help him sort out his life. His best-friend, bumping into you on the street, will tell you he’s enrolled in a (pointless) anger management class. Don’t fall for it.

If all else fails, he will smarten himself up – maybe get a job and a new car, and possibly even a new woman. You’ll be floored by this transformation, and upset that the new woman now seems to have the ‘perfect man’ that you were working so hard to achieve. Trust me, she doesn’t.

Why does this work?

Photo by desi.italy

Photo by desi.italy

His tactics are often successful because they appeal to our very nature – women are generally nurturing and loving. We’re brought up to believe that relationships take work, and that we should stick with our man ‘for better or worse’, and that most people are good souls at heart. Our man has some big problems, but he can’t cope without us. We love him and we are sure that if we just try ‘one more time’ he will get better.

The big secret…

Knowing this, the abuser will use every tactic in the book to try to compel you to return. He will be shameless. He will be outrageous. He will switch on the charm. He will bombard you with (often unwelcome) contact. He will be desperate, romantic, angry, vindictive, pleading, tearful, assertive – and you’ll be left reeling by the storm he kicks up.

But, here’s the big secret that abusers hope we will never discover: These are calculated, empty tactics designed to weaken their target. There is a strategy. Nothing is sincere. His need to maintain and extend his control over you is the ONLY motivation. He doesn’t regard you as a person – you are his property – and you don’t get to decide when to call off the relationship.

He is – despite what he so passionately declares – perfectly able to cope without you. Like you, he can choose to take responsibility for his life and choices – or not. Whatever he chooses, your thoughts and feelings don’t even come into it as far as he’s concerned, because it’s all about him.

The abuse won’t get better if you return: it only gets worse. See it from his point of view: you’ve proven you are capable (at least theoretically) of escaping him. He now needs to work even harder, and increase his control, so you don’t get any unwelcome ideas about leaving again.

© Avalanche of the Soul, 2013-14
https://avalancheofthesoul.wordpress.com

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48 responses to “What your abuser doesn’t want you to know

  1. Pingback: Returning to Dysfunctional Relationships | roymartinministries·

    • Hi wewilliewilson

      Thanks for commenting. I write from a woman’s perspective because I am a woman. I do point out in my ‘About this blog’ page that women can be perpetrators too, and I mostly use the male in my articles for consistency.

      I take your point on men being less likely to report, but I’m less sure about your assertion that men and women abuse equally.

      Here in the UK, research and statistics show that convictions for female-on-male abuse are rising (and that is welcome because it suggests that men now feel more able to report and are taken seriously when they do). However, according to whiteribboncampaign.co.uk and Women’s Aid:

      “Whilst both men and women may experience incidents of inter-personal violence, women are considerably more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of violence, including sexual violence. They are also more likely to have experienced sustained physical, psychological or emotional abuse, or violence which results in injury or death.”

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    • My brain would say “what is the worst that could happen”. After a horrible back injury, being held against my will for 3 months, barely escaping with my life after he threatened to kill me with a knife, and being homeless for a year so far. I know now what the worst is that could happen. He was exactly how you describe abusers in this article. The sad part is I still can’t wrap my head around what happened and is still happening. He is still abusing me. While his lawyer is making up lies about me in court he is mouthing “I love you” to me. Its an insatiable desire to watch me suffer. At this point its never going to end and I will be scared for the rest of my life or he is going to find me and kill me. Gosh I wish I knew what was the worst that could happen 2 years ago. I used to think all people were basically good deep down inside. I dont believe that any more.

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  2. I left my abuser a year ago, and in that time I’ve worked really hard to build myself back into the woman I used to be, and more. This article was exactly right, except that my ex had a great job and provided for us so well, until he would take all of the money out of the checking account to punish me. It was so scary to leave, and it has been the most difficult time, but I’m so proud of surviving and being a great mom to my kids. Thanks for this!

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    • Hi Courtney

      A lot of abusers seem to use similar tactics. Is there some sort of special training course? 😉

      I’m still on my journey trying to rebuild after abuse, and discover who I am again – so thank you for sharing your success story. As you say, leaving is extremely hard (though we don’t always realise just HOW hard and complicated and scary it can be!). I personally did it because I wanted my child to grow up safe, happy and not witnessing abuse.

      Being a mother that is free to pour all of her love and energy into her child is the best feeling!

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  3. Thank you so much for writing this article it has helped me tremendously ….I’m so glad I decided to read it!!!!!

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  4. I can’t even believe how close this is to my previous situation. I left him in April 2013 and he is still trying to get me back. I feel hopeless and so depressed most of the time, because I know that he won’t stop. But will I ever go back? HELL NO! It was so hard to leave and he has made my life a living hell since, but I finally also feel free and I believe that someday I will feel better. I believe my children actually have a chance now, and so do I. I had no idea that the things he was doing was abuse until about a month after I left him and a friend of mine told me that I was in a DV situation. I told her “No, he never hit me.” He always made it very clear to me that he wasn’t the kind of guy that would ever hit a girl. He also pointed this out to others. Honestly, I think the hitting would have hurt less. I hope that your article gives other women the strength that they need to leave. While it hasn’t been easy, it has been the best thing I’ve ever done in my life. I am so proud of myself and I hope my children are proud of me too. I thought my guy was different, I believed that he really loved me. I believed that he really couldn’t help the things he did. I believed that somehow I could reason with him and help him understand that what he was doing was wrong. Sometimes he was the best boyfriend I could ever ask for, and now I know that it was all an act. Because if it was horrible all the time, no one would stay. They have to make you question yourself. Thank you again for this!

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    • Hi Brianna

      Thanks for sharing your story here. I really believe the more people tell others how they have come out of the other side, the more women may feel strong enough to escape abuse.

      A few women have told me that in some ways the emotional abuse was more painful than violence. It is certainly very destructive, because it wipes out our confidence and support networks – leaving us feeling stuck and hopeless.

      What you said really struck a chord with me, because I am drafting a post about the realities of leaving. Nobody ever tells you just how hard it will be, and that you have to work every day on staying out! I thought the hardest bit would be getting out of the door – I didn’t expect the trauma and complex feelings that surfaced once I was away from him.

      But, as you say, it’s SO worth it when we get ourselves out of there! You are right to be proud to be doing what is best for your children and yourself 🙂

      One of the best things I’ve learned from the process is what you mention too – it’s the mask that they wore rather than the man they are that we love.

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      • I have been with my abuser for 4 years, i have left 2 times, and came back, I am so scared of him

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    • Yes, the abuser almost always seem to make it a point and state it LOUDLY and CLEARLY, “I would never and will never hit a woman!”. I dated three different abusers. Ironically, ALL three made these declarations (unsolicited by the way). And it almost seemed like they were trying to convince THEMSELVES that they wouldn’t hit a woman. (note: all 3 of these guys had criminal records for domestic abuse, as I found out through online research in criminal databases).

      It’s almost as though the abuser is WARNING you that they DO abuse (but in a warped/backward way).

      It’s weird, because the guys that DON’T make such a declaration are usually the ones who actually TRULY would NEVER hit a woman. I dated a guy who never brought that up in our conversations. And guess what???? He was the one and only truly NICE guy that never abused me in any way, shape, or form.

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      • Hi Alison. I’m so sorry you had to go through relationships with three abusive men. Thank you for making a great point here. I believe that abusers issue their ‘warning’ so that they don’t have to accept responsibility for the abuse when it comes.

        By playing the victim – a form of gas-lighting – they are telling us that WE are not the one suffering, they are. Abuse, in their head, happens because we don’t understand them and the pressures that make them act that way. Or, because WE are the abusive ones.

        Either way, they’ll never see that they are at fault – and that’s why they don’t change!

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  5. Since I was successfully granted a protective order for four months that ends in March, I am now being harassed and intimidated via court summons and subpoenas, including a criminal hearing for a Show/Cause. If you get the notion, I’d love to know how you dealt with that whole fiasco and the outcome. letmereach at yahoo dot com. 🙂

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    • Hi Kim – I’m sorry (but sadly not surprised) to hear that your abuser is harassing you in this way. It’s a pretty common tactic, isn’t it? I don’t yet have an outcome – not sure I ever will. I’ll email you the details. Take care

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  6. Pingback: Are you vulnerable to manipulation? When relational predators turn strength into weakness. | This is Important·

  7. My abuser, who I left last month after 5 years and two children, appeals to every single thing he can to break my heart. He tells me that he needs me and loves me so much and that he knows he can change he just needs this one more chance. He says he is lost without me and hates himself for hurting me. He promises me things and tells me that he will make a difference and he just needed the “wakeup call”.
    He had a rough childhood and it hurts me to see him hurt really bad. I always feel so torn. Then he will turn around and act like a complete jerk for no reason leaving me feeling helpless, scared, and confused.
    I cannot tell if what he says comes from true sadness, feeling lonely and upset and feeling emotion for me or if he really just wants to control every single aspect of my life. I feel so sad for him most days but I never feel sad for myself… what the hell is wrong with me?!!

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    • Hi Trying

      I’m so sorry that you are going through this.

      You describe him as your ‘abuser’, so to a certain extent I guess you already know the answer here. What he is doing is manipulating you, so you will stay or take him back – and so he gets to carry on with his abuse. His only motivation is the need to control you – and the games that he plays (where he acts like a jerk for no reason) are just part of that strategy. He wants to keep you destabilised, because while you are on the rollercoaster and he is at the steering wheel, it is so much harder for you to find the exit.

      There is *absolutely* 100% nothing wrong with you. It’s his voice in your head talking – if you blame yourself, then he never has to accept responsibility. Please trust me when I say this guy won’t change, things won’t get better, a wakeup call only lasts until the next time. I know this from bitter experience, because I’ve been through it with two different men.

      I applaud you for your bravery and strength in leaving him. Please keep moving forwards (and upwards) away from this man.

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  8. Wow. This is the best article I ever read on domestic violence and abuse. I stopped breathing and realized I was almost drooling as my eyes froze on each point you made. This is me and my relationship to a T. I love the way you looked at it from the viewpoint of “things he doesn’t want you to know.” That was a fresh take on things I never heard it put like that before and it really got thru to me.

    I am not kidding or being sarcastic, I know ppl can be so mean in comments and I’m being sincere. THANK YOU for writing this! You’ve really opened my eyes to something family and friends could not get me to see.

    And I also appreciate that you said anonymous comments are accepted, that takes the pressure off. It allowed me the freedom to write this, what I feel, and send you thanks.

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    • You’re welcome. Thanks to you for taking the time to share your feedback. I write to try to help people who stand where I once stood, so it really means a lot to hear that my words are helping.

      When we are in the whirlpool of domestic abuse, it *is* hard to see that behind the chaos kicked up by our partner is a very real strategy. We want to believe they don’t mean to do it, but they do. It sounds like you are on the path to a life that is free of this man, and whilst it likely seems extremely difficult to achieve, I can tell you from experience that it is possible to do this. You always have the control in this relationship – because YOU can choose to leave.

      And one day you will look back and know that leaving was the best decision that you could ever have made. 🙂

      Like

  9. I just added this to my favorites bar so I can read it again tomorrow when I wake up. And again when I feel weak to go back. And twice more after that. At least. Thank you! 🙂 !!

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      • I have left 2x, i live in a city with no family, i have no support what so ever, everyone who tried to help has given up on me, he beat me for the first time after 4 years, real bad, I feel so trapped dont know what to do

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  10. Good Morning! I must admit, I wrote the “Favorites Bar” comment. I’m sitting here drinking my coffee and re-reading your article as I promised myself I would do today. It is amazing and I will read it many more times. Thank you.

    I got to thinking others have been brave here and shared their stories and I would like to humbly share my own.

    I got wrapped up into the romance of living on an Indian reservation, the ceremonies, the old traditions that were dying, thinking by listening and learning I could help keep a culture alive. One of the last three remaining Lakota Chiefs wanted to teach me, he promised to marry me and bring me in to his family and life.

    My heart and intentions were honest, but it ended up more of a servant situation and I was devalued, demeaned, and eventually hit. I made excuses for him. I went back. Over and over, no matter what it cost me: family, friends, 50 grand, my life, I didn’t care, all I wanted was him and I held out hope he’d love me back and change.

    I was seen as a white woman (although I am a small part Cherokee but nobody noticed or ever remembered), I took on the weight of all white people in history who had harmed his people. Whites had taken away Indian land, committed genocide, killed all the buffalo, given them disease, and crammed them onto the poverty stricken concentration camps they called “reservations.” It moved my heart and I kept finding these big reasons to forgive him and keep going back. As I am sure all abused women do. This is what scares me the most. We make excuses for our abusers. And I sure made up some good ones that sounded convincing to me. People are amazed how many times I went back and so am I.

    The only way I could heal thru it was to write a memoir about it. The Dark Horse Speaks by Little White Bird. The story poured out of me in about two months after I couldn’t remember what happened for seven years. Try and try I could not remember one thing about it until an unexpected experience woke me up and it all came flooding back at once. I tapped into the repressed memories and relived my experience for the first time while sitting at the keyboard typing. When I was finished, I stood tall and was brave and decided to share it with the world.

    I would like to offer it here as a way people could feel “not so alone” in the ways they keep going back for “good reasons.” It still tempts me today, as if I have not learned my lesson. I still love him and always will; he is my husband and I still hold hope he will change. Yet, here I sit, still 2,000 miles away from him. Maybe my feet know something my heart can’t hear. Your article helped so much.

    Thank you.

    Little White Bird
    Memoir: The Dark Horse Speaks

    It is actually free if you have Amazon prime and a Kindle. I don’t care about money, hey, I moved to the poorest place in the U.S. for love, so money doesn’t matter to me. I just care to share the truth and help others, if possible. Thank you again for your wonderful article. It has really been helpful.

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  11. Thank you so much for writing this. I have been going crazy over the internet getting any information I can on abusers. I have been in an abusive relationship on and off for almost 3 years. He would never leave my house (no job) when I told him things weren’t working and he needed to go. I finally had to have him removed with a PO. Just to have him talk me out of removing it because he loved me and couldn’t live without me. Give me another chance.
    Which lasted a few months which I got him out again.
    The lying, half truths, weed, beer. It was crazy! I didn’t know whether I was coming or going. But I thought if I just could help him find a job, things would be better! He wouldn’t be drinking or smoking like he was. I would know where he was at all time and I knew he wouldn’t be sneaking around. But, he never got a job.
    I moved 2 hours north with a job change and thought I was free. But the calls and texting were relentless. I would try to ignore him but I would get the “you better let me know you are ok! I am worried sick!!” “If you don’t text me, I”ll call your folks!” (that HATE him!)
    Then in Jan 14, I believed he had “suffered: enough without my “love” and decided to try again. After all, he had changed..so he said.
    It has been on and off again hell until this past week when I finally had enough!
    I was just numb to the whole thing. A few weekends ago, he gave me the silent treatment and then he came home from the bar and flipped out when I asked where he was. I was afraid of him. He would call me names and insult my body saying I had a fat a$$. He would yell at my dogs and tell me to get the dogs out of his way or he was going to F them up. But then he would try and crawl in bed with me at 2am, loving on me, saying he was sorry but I make him so emotional and asked me to marry him!!
    He knew I was starting to ramp up to get the strength to tell him to get lost. He sent me flowers at work. Gave me flowers here at home and bought I’m sorry and I love you balloons.
    He always said he doesn’t meant he words he says, he just has a big mouth.
    This past weekend he left for a few things from the store and was gone for 2 hours. He came home and was pissed because he had gotten into my email and saw a few innocent things that he did not like. He was swearing and cussing with my 9yo here. I kept telling him to knock it off. Then he threw a pumpkin at me and other things around. I told my daughter, “shoes! now!” And as we were running out he yelled at my daughter “Hey, Hey!! Just to let you know..you’re mama is nothing but a whore!!” It was terrible!
    So here it is, Tuesday and he’s gone. I had the police remove him that night. My daughter stayed at her dad’s. She was hysterical!
    I have now gotten the, I”m sorry, I didn’t mean it, I love you. You are my world. I can stop drinking, I will sign a contract to stop. You and your daughter are my girls. I love you girls. You must hate me. I”m a horrbile person. Can we please talk? I left something at your house, I need to get in. (fat chance). And he’s even more crazy if he thinks he’s going to get anywhere near my daughter!!
    Then he has had his friend call and plead on his behalf. He isn’t a bad guy. He wouldn’t hurt a flea. He’s got a big mouth. Men don’t mean to say those things, they just sorta say them, but we never mean it.
    Unbelievable. I am free and I can’t believe I went thru all that to now just realize how twisted up everything was.

    It’s comforting to see I”m not alone in this. Some of the stuff he did and said was straight textbook abuse.

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    • I know it’s been a while since this was posted but I just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. I have felt crazy for the past few weeks and have questioned my own actions though I am truly not at fault. My husband accused me of cheating on him while I was lying in the hospital recovering from surgery and anesthesia because he read innocent texts and emails in my phone while I was in surgery and decided I was guilty of something. In the 3 weeks since he has continuously accused me while also telling me he believed and trusted me. In the same day that he accuses me of being unfaithful he tries to cuddle and kiss and be intimate. He tells me that I am hurting him and asks “Don’t I know what this is doing to him?” While I was away from home one night with my parents he broke into my iPad and figured out how to restore deleted texts and emails in his desperate search for more proof of my infidelity. He has taken photos of these conversations that he has deemed unfaithful and attempted to use them against me. Then he gives me a big long speech about how he is trying to be the best husband and how he will never stop trying and how much he loves me and wants to have more kids with me. I’ll admit I was temporarily swayed by his comments as these are things I always wanted. But it was short lived because the very same night he told me I was never to have contact with a certain male friend again because out of respect for his feelings. After telling him he had no right to choose my friends he lashed out with the biggest guilt trip and argument which lasted into the middle of the night and started again in the early morning. I have two children with this man and am afraid to break up my family but I am trying to be strong and do what is right for myself and my girls. Unfortunately, even if I leave, he will still have joint custody so I will never be done with him. My mind is a mess. It’s hard to think straight and figure out what to do. Reading your similar situation helps me to feel less crazy and see his actions for what they are. So thank you.

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  12. Hello, and merry christmas happy holidays to all… i also want to thank you for this post. I just left my abusive husband of four years today and so far i’m doing ok, as usual he will send me long emails saying how he will change and that i need to bear with him and stay by his side.. blah blah blah.. before it would pull at my heart strings. Now i just laugh and shake my head. But its only the first day. I’m just curious to know how everyones life is after leaving cuz its very hard to picture myself without him.

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    • A Merry Christmas to you too! First, many congratulations to you for making the break from your abusive husband. The most important thing I can think of to share with you from my own experience is to prepare yourself. Many abusive men will say and do just about anything to convince us to return to the relationship – hoovering, emotional blackmail, anything they think may get us back into their control. In the early days the trauma bond is still strong and you may feel like your heart is yearning to go back (even if you do not feel that way right now). Please do not give in to your abuser or the pull of the bond, and remind yourself of all the reasons you left. That in itself can be traumatic, and especially in the festive season you may feel all sorts of emotions – from relief, euphoria, anger, sadness, confusion and grief – I certainly did! Remember that all those feelings are a normal reaction to trauma, and stay true to your abuse-free goal. Wishing you strength , and well done again!

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  13. I try to tell him what he’s doing (which is almost about 90% in this article) but somehow he still makes me feel like theres something wrong with me and I’m insane for thinking he really is like this. I hate doubting myself when just earlier in the day Ill truly believe I know the truth..which is infact that I am in an abusive relationship.

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    • Hi Sundae

      You know you’re in a relationship with an abusive man, it’s good you have that knowledge. The next step is to discover that – however hard we try – we cannot change abusive men. Reason, rationality, trying to point out what they are doing doesn’t work, as you are finding. Please stop believing in him and believe in yourself 🙂

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  14. I’ve applied for a mutual divorce from my abusive husband. The abuse happened three times in less than a year of our married life. My parents stood by me initially but when he started apologizing, my family thought he was sincere and that he was actually sorry for what he had done. My family tried hard to convince me to give him another chance while I was adamant about divorcing him. It was so hard for me to think rationally, stand by my decision till the end and I’m proud I did. When we appeared in court last week, he was not well-dressed and played the victim’s role and blamed me saying I’m heartless. I’ve to wait for another six months for divorce to be final.

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    • Hi FreeSoul

      Thank you for sharing your experience here. I’m so sorry you went through an abusive relationship, but glad to hear you listened to your gut and not what your family were trying to convince you. They quite possibly were acting in good faith, but they were very misguided. A huge well done to you for standing your ground and holding firm in your determination to be free of abuse.

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  15. Always listen to your gut. Anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or bad for any reason, it’s a red flag. Ask yourself “what’s wrong with this picture?” Disturbing behaviour needs to be examined. Research and read everything you can about verbal and emotional abuse. Educate yourself. When you learn there is nothing you can do to change him, get out of the relationship as fast as you can. Say to yourself “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to do the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference”. Learn to love and respect yourself first. All good things will flow from that.

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  16. Wonderfully written & insightful. I like many others have read & re-read , scanned & poured over any & all information I could find on the subject of DV & abuse…Sadly, & also thankfully, for many going through & for those who have come out on the other side…It is vast. The knowing at least, that you are not alone. This article clearly defined just how covert the manipulation can be…Literally head spinning! You pointed out all of the blame that the abuser places on the abused, & others ie: My childhood/ family, my job or lack thereof, my addictions, my exes, the place they live..or don’t live ( Mine was from another, hard drinking country) the dog for goodness sake…They will find ANY & ALL excuse not to shine a spotlight on themselves. You forgot one: God…Why does he do these things to him? Why does he torture him so? ” He’s got it in for me!” When I heard this the 1st time not long after we had 1st met, I was surprised & truthfully, saddened for him…Another part of the manipulation that worked! Two and a half years in he was still using it when he realized our relationship was ending…All I could say was “God had ABSOLUTELY nothing to do with this!” He never did! This is all you…You chose how you woke each morning &:where to go from there…Each & every action/ direction, every word. Freewill…It was all his! It will always boggle my mind to say the least. I know that I will heal but don’t know that I will ever truly accept that people like this continue to exist & not see, or worse, not care for the impact on so many lives. Thank you for putting your own spotlight on this & in helping us all to find some clarity & to move forward.

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  17. Omg this is so true they NEVER change. I have been in 2 abusive relationships before and my now current boyfriend who I’m trying to desperately leave is my most difficult. I have only been with him for 8 months but being involved in abusive relationships before made me more aware. I didn’t notice it at first because like they say he was the most charming guy ever. Listened to everything I said made me laugh took me out bought me things and loved me how I never dreamed anyone would. A few weeks into it the signs started coming up. The stalking going through my phone checking what time I logged into my social media making me dress slutty with him or cover up without him telling me how I shouldn’t be alone ever couldn’t even go shopping or do the usual things I normally would the constant phone calls and messages the crying when he was upset the twists and lies when I’d catch him out the suicide attempts everytime I got angry and left the pressure to do things or be a certain way the put downs the other women he’s so highly respected or admired compared to me the attack on my friends the attack on my son the attack on me the screams n disrespect in front of people there is so much wrongs that I just don’t even know why i stil feel for him. By far a lot more difficult then a punch to the head or a kick in the stomache it really is because ur just constantly getting slapped in the face daily n there’s absolutely no evidence or proof that It’s happening and you question your sanity. He always comes out right in the end and maybe his right my previous relationships were abusive coz I deserved it apparently that’s why he feels he has the right to abuse me because that’s all I’m used to. I have always been strong minded n to have someone constantly put me down the way he has is insulting I have now turned the tables n put my foot down to what I will n will not listen to if he is feeling suicidal well too bad his a grown man n I don’t really care the world would be better off without crap like that. I know he isn’t gonna give up that easy and I know he is talking behind my back saying that I’ve given him diseases n that I’m so jealous n spiteful and I’ve been cheating on him the whole time he will and has tried to turn my friends against me but he doesn’t know that I’ve given everyone the heads up u either fight them off or keeping falling into it I’ve fallen back in so many times n I will continue to fall until I’m ready to kill him off from my life completely. There is no pretty way of doing it there is no way to stay friends n be peaceful and there defiantly shouldn’t be a turning back point. He will not break me I will break him. They don’t know when to stop hurting someone so my only comeback is hurt him back show him how pathetic he really is and leave he has been avoiding me for a while now sends a few texts a day until I lash out n leaves me alone then comes back all nice the next day and the sick cycle just keeps repeating. He knows he has no power over me and that I will shut him down when I want to. So much hard work but it will hopefully pay off eventually

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  18. Funny that my abuser never really claimed to ever change because to him it was never his fault and he always managed to twist it back to me like I was the one that had the problem because I always tried to leave. I have finally gotten out seeing the signs early and knowing that something wasn’t right I knew I had to get out its been 9 months now since we been together and for the past 2 months of me leaving his been stalking me n accusing me trying to make me feel bad for leaving at such a time n how I’m just a slut that needs attention so far it’s been 3 days te longest I’ve gone with the no contact rule and he seems to have gone n left me alone il keep my fingers crossed I do find myself looking out for his txt msgs n inside do want to know why he unusually stopped but I know it’s best that he doesn’t for my own sake and I won’t ever contact him again after all his said and done I will not be walked all over n treated like trash. It’s been the worst relationship I’ve ever had even the physically abusive relationships I’ve been in were somehow easier. Even after catching out so much of his rubbish like him trying to get sex online and all the lies I caught out red handed n the crap he told others about me and all the verbal abuse to him he wasn’t at fault for doing all that it was me being stupid and I should have just gotten over it his anger and threats were also my fault coz if I had been better then he wouldn’t need to when I pulled him out on well why don’t u be better then being an abusive narcissist he started crying and saying how bad I treat him that he was just my dog id run too after being unfaithful to him and all this rubbish he’d make up I think that’s what set him back and made him leave knowing that I wasn’t falling for his crocodile tears anymore n I knew what he was doing deep down I’m stil scared because I know he might be out there plotting my murder or something but for the time being I’m doing great without him talking to other men has made me realise omg it wasn’t me n it’s not all men it’s just him it’s so different when a guy is normal compared to te abusers and I must admit yeah they don’t trap u like the abuser does as quickly but I’m learning to change what I think is normal to accepting it as not normal for a guy to want to marry u from the first week I just hope this gets out more for all the women n men out there that go through this it’s really tough especially if ur already at your worst. They always warn people against health issues on tv smoking and drinking n I think this is just as bad if not worse because people actually loose their lives over it a lot more quicker then cancer does n it’s important to warn each other n be there for someone who comes to u with it no1 ever helped me out and understood what I was going through I had to do it all on my own

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  19. I read this today and it struck a chord with me. My abuser has actually left me five times this is a game he plays regularly now. Last time I never let him back but he wouldn’t let me be k was moving on with my life in the past I woild beg and plead him to come back and he would say no and play games. This time I didn’t as j knew my life was better off I could see my friends and go out when I wanted I also have children.
    He begged he pleaded he cried and promised he would change this time and he did for about six wks and then the face dropped and he was back to being a controlling bully who dominates my life.
    He was so loving when he came back I was so happy but it never lasts he’s left once since the last wk but I feel trapped he will never let me go he’s back again sometimes it’s easier having him here than having him hound me.
    He blames everything for his problems apart from himself. He’s tight selfish and jealous of me .
    I don’t see a future where he’s out of my life he has some kind of hold over me where I think this time he might change he never does I regret having him back .

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  20. This is such I true article. I was in an abusive realshonship. I took him back twice. I am now 100% done it took a lot to get to this point. He is fresh off house arrest and moving to the city where I live. He says he loves me and our daughter and will never give up on us. I have told him straight I am done and too move on to no luck. I applied for supervised visits he refuses to go and says he will just come to my house to see the baby. This is the last thing I want as I fought to get this far and now I am scared in my own home and it really sucks

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  21. Hi. I’m a girl who got engaged before 5 months ago ( arrange marriage ). And after 2 months I’m getting that his behaviour is very weird and almost all the points you can mentioned that are matching with him.
    So I am confused about this relationship. Can I go ahead or not ? Please give me suggestions.
    He always said this that he loves me alot but his activities are strange. Im not getting what to do with this situation
    I love him . But his behaviour can change or not?
    Please reply immediately

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    • Hi Manpoo
      You know this man, I don’t. So the best advice I can give is to go with your instinct. You are asking for advice on a website for women experiencing domestic violence/abuse, which suggests to me you have major concerns about this man. Trust your instincts: if you think something is not right, you’re probably right.
      Avalanche

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  22. I am in the misdt of leaving my husband an we havent been married even a year. Since I met him, my life has turned south. I have so many mixed feelings, but most of all I am depressed. I am a vibrant person, tho, he has dimmed me. However, I see a lot of you writing how you decided to leave and how aweful they are…there is little I have researched on WHY I want to return. Everyone in my life (including myself at times, especially when I was with him) sees how bad he is for me. Yet, I believe all of his promises for the future, want to return to him and am going crazy, thinking its ‘us against the world,’ and no one wants me to actually be happy, because if they did they would let me live my life and be back with him. What is wrong with me? Maybe I am the crazy one? But wouldnt we be happy, crazy together? I am so lonely and feel like I am missing out on the beautiful future he has promised altho I know it is not true bc he is addicted to hydrocodone, isolates me, cant hold a steady job or income, has 2 other kids he does nothing for, cashed my car twice, got us kicked out of 2 apartments, cleaned out my retirement savings with big promises to pay back ten fold, has every health issue in the book…I mean, why cant I let go?!?!?! I live with my parents now and they are wonderful. I feel like such a looser. I just turned 35 and am anxious to have a kid and get going in life…finish my nursing degree, etc. I am so stuck in love with him. Why?

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    • Hello mindurself. I hope you are doing better now. I understand your situation completely. I am in the middle of divorcing my abusive husband and I was just like you. I decided to get out after 10 months of marriage. I have no children with this man thank goodness. It was so hard, everyone was commenting on how my spark had left. He was a different person completely after we got married. He refused to work full time and leached off of my money. I was responsible for financing almost everything. I’ve lost thousands of dollars. He had severe mood swings and would curse at me, give me the silent treatment or sometime become physical. One time he cursed me for sucking a cough drop too loud when I had strep throat. Yep. It was bad. I kept trying to rationalize to myself I am 38 years old and this might be my last chance to have a husband and child of my own. I was completely blind to the fact that I had my master’s degree, a great paying job, was modeling with an agency, and a ton of good things going. I just felt like I had to make it work no matter what. My parents thank God ripped those blinders off and have been completely supportive. I had to live with them shortly on my transition out of his house and into my own place. Please don’t give up hope. Think about how your life will be if you continue to stay with him. Do you really want a child with this man? Will you have a good financial future? Emotional support from him as a loving husband? Ask yourself why you love him so much and please start thinking of you first. Hold your head high and do whatever you can to move forward with your own life.

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  23. I am so glad I found this site. I just left my abusive husband and I am already in doubt, I feel so stupid. I feel like everything is working out with my life, my education, I am a good mother, have a nice place to live, but he is the greatest source to confusion in my life.

    So we started out with a very passionate romantic relationship. Him being very romantic, thoughtful and sweet. We have always had lots of good times together and fun. But he was always extremely jealous, he has slapped me a few times and once he hit my arm with a belt. I left him some months into my pregnancy. I lived outside EU with him.

    We were apart for one year and I moved back to EU. One year with his tears, apologies, that he understood and he even went to a therapist. So we got back together and he made a great effort to come and be with us. He is a good father, we still have nice times together and he has not been violent once, he is much nicer, but still jealous at times. I broke up but we ended back together, after him keep promising change, crying, sending flowers, apologizing and hit his head into the wall to unconsciousness. A much better man, but still jealous and insecure, he was like a sad little thing walking after me and craving for attention.

    I broke up again and he went out of the house, I gave him money to take the train back to his family or to help for a flight to his home country. He needs visa for this country, which he has overstayed that is why, a messy situation and when I dont trust him to change I feel like I can’t do one hundred % for the relationship. He didn’t went home, he stays in the streets in the winter, he cries and cries, he says all i wished he would say before and says he is sorry and shows appreciation for me like wow. It is so difficult i feel guilty and become in doubt, I already help him little and what about his daughter, how should he see her, and I don’t think anybody could be so fake and manipulative without emotion I find it difficult to put him in a box and say he is all evil. To me he just seem so insecure and sad and beyond help. I am glad to find this site, many things rings true, he just confuses me anyway. It is also so difficult to let go of the dream, without all that he would be my perfect man and I just want the best for all also my daughter. I will take my time to read around here.

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  24. Jail for people who have done nothing wrong. Uneven footing at all times. The roller coaster cycles constantly up and down so as to keep one not knowing where the ground is (and yes the exit). Normal is not normal anymore. And you no longer understand what normal is or how to find it. All highs to confuse how bad and abnormal the lows are . . . An epic nightmare and wake refuses to come . . .

    “I love you” even though just about every action indicates anything but love. The physical abuse may end, but the threat is always present. The emotional, financial, mental abuse, the clear dedication of all power to this one person is ever present – do not dare cross the line or have any expectations of being a consideration in your own life – you will pay – and pay dearly. It is soul crushing when you realize you no longer exist.

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  25. When we first met he was so sweet and caring . He would send me cute text messages, buy me lots of expensive things and spoil me. Text me al the time make me feel special and important. Once I got pregnant everything stopped and his mask came off. He started calling me names and physically abused me. He is a big hypocrite , he didn’t allow me to have friends or even go see my own sister. But he went out to pubs to hang out with his friends anytime he wanted . While I was at home raising the kids . He is such a jerk. He never helped me raise the kids I do everything myself. All he wanted to do was go out with his friends. I told him I wasn’t happy he was threatening to take the kids away from me and still is threatening to take the kids away from me. He moved back in with his parents and I can’t stop thinking about what he’s doing . I know he is bad for me but I’m just jealous of him being with another woman.i just hate him so much for what he’s done to our family , he never says he loves me or cares about me he only says he loves the kids. He stopped paying child suppprt. He has stopped being nice for a long time now. He has threatened me all sorts of way. I think he’s a narcissist too. I feel so angry . He has hit me when he was here he calls me names multiple times a day. He doesn’t help me with the kids. ‘Now he’s. stopped giving me money. He expects me to drop everything so he can talk to the kids whenever he wants . He has a big social life I don’t have time for anything cause I have twins I’m raising on my own with no help from him. He would call. My parents and try to make me look bad .he would call me a slit for having a relationships before him. He wouldn’t let me cut my hair or color my hair .he wouldn’t let me go to school or work. He stopped taking me on dates ,he always hung out with his sisters while imhomewjtj the kids .hes all around a jerk. Always bragging to his co workers about his kids but never mentions me . He keeps theretening to take the kids away . He is crazy. He would come to my house unannounced without seeing me for weeks and demand sex from me.he makes me have sex with him even though I don’t want to. He hits me so hard in the head so he doesn’t leave marks. He makes me feel so low. I don’t know why I wonder what he’s doing it just pissed me off so much how he’s out there living a life like a bachelor while I’m at home raising the kids I feel so lonely

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