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Trigger Warning! I need help.. being emotionally abused by gaslighter

Discussion in 'Dealing with Narcissistic People' started by Bunni Sky, Jan 16, 2020.  |  Print Topic

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  1. Bunni Sky
    Dreaming

    Bunni Sky Great Learner
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    Guys..

    I need help. I don't know where to turn. I have come to this site for months now to get help in regards to my sexuality (I am bisexual) but a lot of what has happened is that you guys have helped me confirm that I am indeed in an abusive relationship with a gaslighting husband. Now, I don't know what to do or where to turn. I know this is probably outside of the realm of being helped here on this site any further, but I have been cut off from all friends and am so entrapped that if I were to try to get help from a counselor or anybody outside of my home, I would not be able to.

    This is my last resort.

    So I want to just share my story of what I've been dealing with and I HOPE that there is at least one of you out there that has dealt with a similar situation and can offer advice on how to get out of it.

    I first met my husband when I was 14, he was 16. (I'm 26 now for reference.)

    He is the type of person that is easy to like and fall for. Extremely confident and dominating but with a very humble way of approaching you. He seems to people to be like a saint... appears to be incredibly intuitive, caring, sweet, and has this authority figure vibe that one cannot really put a finger on... even within his own family, he is pretty much the head of his family that makes decisions above his own parents. He is 28.

    Anyways, I fell hard and fast for him at school and soon I dated him. He would date me for months and then suddenly drop me for his ex girlfriend, date her for a couple months and then come back to me. I know that should have been a tip off at the time, but I was young and I was really convinced I was in love and he loved me, and he always had excuses to why he did this to me, but ultimately (to this day) he says that the reason he would break up with me was because of how young and naive I was.. he felt that he was "tainting me" because he was somewhat of a bad-boy, and he didnt want to be responsible for me becoming a bad-apple pretty much. (Gaslight). He ultimately broke-up with me a total of 7 times for his ex.

    Eventually we stopped talking to each other until I was 19 and was horribly broken up with by someone else. He saw me vulnerable and came back to my life suddenly caring how I was. I was weak then, agreed to meet him and after the first day of meeting him, he begged me to give him another chance and I did. Part of me didn't trust him and knew I would never love him again. But I was young, vulnerable and alone and I went along with it.

    I ended up cheating on him during the first couple of months of being back together, which I know was not right to do. Honestly, i thought that he was going to drop me anyways just like he used to, which he ended up not doing, but he ultimately used this and continues to use this to leverage himself in our relationship almost 8 years later.

    After he found out I cheated on him, he gave me an ultimatum. Either drop everything and move in with him and get married, or he would leave me and I would never see or hear from him again. I wish I had ended it then. But of course, I was young and dumb and I hate being alone and the naive girl in me thought that we could somehow make things work and moving in with him would solve everything and we'd live happily ever after.

    lol

    So I moved in with him. Did it get better? Of course not.

    The next year and a half was him constantly accusing me of cheating and having crushes on his brother-in-law and his sister's bf that lived with us, which I never did have any kind of feelings for or hardly any words with. I got a job because he made excuses to not work (he was too tired, he got injured etc) so I had to pick up our expenses. He drove me to work, sat with me in the parking lot one day, and saw a co-worker walking in that he thought was "my type" and went on to accuse me of having a crush on him as well (which I did not) that escalated to the point that he insisted I not talk to him at all (even say "hi") and forced me to talk to my boss and ask for opposite work schedules as the guy... yes. I had an embarrassing moment of having to talk to my boss and ask her to put me on opposite work schedules as the guy, of course she asked why, and I had to tell her that I was uncomfortable working around him, which later on escalated to him GETTING FIRED. He didn't even ever talk to me or really know me, it was THAT bad. Of course things didnt end there. My husband STILL did not trust me at work to not cheat on him, and I ultimately quit that job.

    He went on to convince me to have a child with him, which I know now was his way of "pinning me down". And naive me was so convinced that everything would get better after having a child, that he will see that I truly am serious about being with him and he will finally trust me and things will be ok. Of course that never happened. Still accusations of cheating with any male I came into contact with. He went on to say that I was a "sex addict" that could not be trusted (I never was a sex addict) and justified this by the number of previous relationships I had before moving in with him (I had several relationships before we got back together but that was again because I dont like to be alone and guys would screw me over..) and though I have explained millions of times WHY I had so many relationships previous to him again, he still believed all I cared about was sex. He was so obsessed with this idea that he hacked my emails and read diaries I had of several years prior to being back with him, and read conversations from several years past as well.

    All the while, he was trying to cheat on me. I would constantly find on our phone messages from girls he was trying to meet up. I discovered a dating profile he had. I found messages of him talking to exes. This happened on several occasions and to this day I dont know if he physically cheated on me as well, but each time promised not to do it again. He would get "hunches" I was cheating and would sometimes throw tantrums to the point where he would destroy our room, and if I tried to leave the situation he would chase me down and physically prevent me from leaving....then would apologize and be sweet and promise it would never happen again. This was all within the first year and a half of being with him, prior to our child.

    So, ignoring the screaming red flags and still hoping babies would solve things, I had our first child with him. Things would calm down for times, though he still continued over the years to try to talk to women secretly.

    I attempted to hold down several jobs over the course of the next few years, all of which ended up the same as the first.... he would identify someone at work that he thought I was attracted to (because they were my "type", they were "flirtatious" towards me, etc), accuse me of having a crush on said person and "emotionally cheating" on him, and constantly suspected and accused me of having or trying to physically cheat. Each time he would impose a no-contact type rule ("don't even say hi, even if he says hi first) which is hard when its a co-worker. Eventually this would ultimately cause tensions in the work place (obviously people NOTICED i was acting weird and would start rumors about me), would cause me to miss work, then ask for special schedules, but ultimately would come to the same ending of me eventually having to quit. I got a total of 2 males fired at two different jobs as well, both of which didnt know wtf was happening.

    At this point we are two babies in. I know. I am stupid. I should have ran a long time ago, but here we are.

    I can't hold a job anywhere so I literally had to, over the years, find and establish a job that I am able to do from home so I don't have to go in-office to anywhere. He constantly says "you can work anywhere you want, i dont care", but I know this is not true. I have tried, over the years after year long breaks, and still always the same result of terrorizing me into quitting. When i point this out to him he always says its my fault, says that I look "flustered" around these said co-workers and that it is "obvious" I like these men, when I dont. I am literally weird and nervous around ANY male, because of the ultimate fear that any male I look at too long or exchange words with will be the NEXT ONE I am accused of "falling for" and wanting to cheat with.

    I had to delete any males from all social media and I cant have male friends in real life. Again, he says "i dont make you do anything, you can be friends with whoever you want" but always, they will eventually be the "next one".

    I can't go out with my female friends without him getting jealous. He insists that he isnt jealous and I can do what i want, but i will have him constantly messaging me to "ensure im ok" and will come home to him meticulously and carefully asking me about "how did it go" in such a way that I will have to tell him "voluntarily" everything that we did while we were out and even what we talked about. ("did i come up? did you say negative things about me?") and he will act strangely when i come home - distant and quiet for no reason as a way of making me feel like im in trouble even though i did nothing wrong and he does not say i did anything wrong.

    Any time i go outside of the home, I must "cover my butt".. this means that I must wear a long shirt/sweater etc that conceals my butt, because "there are too many perverts out there". The only time i can wear pants without "covering my butt" is if i am going somewhere with him where he will be next to me like a grocery store, and even then i will come home to him saying "did you see those guys that were staring at your butt? they literally crashed looking back at you, i had to stare them down for them to stop" (I think he makes this up because i have never seen anyone stare at me like that for that long).

    I stopped wearing makeup "voluntarily" as well.. this was done by making comments any time I WOULD put on makeup like "where are you going?" "What are you doing your makeup for?" and when I say "for you" or "for myself" he always rolls his eyes and snickers "yeah right" so i think that he is going to accuse me of being "shady" and trying to cheat so i just stopped...


    Basically..... I have isolated myself away completely. I am almost always home, barely go out to stores or anywhere and when I do, I am anxious the whole time. I have almost no friends. I have no social medias. He has, over time, manipulated me into "voluntarily" giving up everything I have for him, and now he uses the kids as leverage. Any time I try to confront him, he turns the problem back on me, says its my fault he is the way he is, and often will explode into physically destroying things and dramatic suicide attempts (he once threw himself off our third floor balcony but caught himself, he has said hes taken pills, he once supposedly swallowed a large rock to kill himself but later coughed it up, just really like over-the-top "attempts".) He has often said that if i cheat on him he will steal our kids and disappear and i will never see them again.

    He is also an alcoholic.. he drinks daily and justifies it as being due to his anxiety and insomnia - he cannot take pills for his anxiety because he once overdosed on pills so he will not touch them anymore - so he turns to alcohol as an alternative. When i confront him about being an alcoholic, he says that people back-in-the-day used to drink daily too and it was normal, society is who makes us think that daily alcohol use is a problem and he can stop when he wants to (he does occasionally stop for a couple of days at a time). He is SO good at justifying the fact that he in an alcoholic that he even convinced ME to partake in alcohol abuse for the better part of almost 2 years.

    He is such a good manipulator that despite ALL of this, I always fall back into thinking he loves me, i am overreacting, his actions are justified etc. but I cant. I cant do this anymore. I know its not healthy. i know hes manipulating me. When i sit and think about it, reflect on it, talk to anybody about it, write it down... it is plain and obvious and SAD, yet when i see him and he is so nice to me i always just turn around and say "well, things arent bad right NOW", "maybe hes changed", "maybe im overreacting"... I need to GET OUT.

    But i cant. I am afraid that if I leave, he will kill himself, or will find a way to steal my kids and disappear with them.

    I very much feel like my only resort is to disappear with them.. just one day pack up and leave when hes not home, but i have nowhere to go and uprooting my kid from her school and her family feels like too much for her. My kids love their dad. And i dont want to be that person that prevents him from seeing his own kids. but even if i could talk to him and we agree in a civil way for me to leave and we work out joint-custody arrangements, i will always be afraid that someday he will pick them up and disappear, or that later down the line he will manipulate them against me.

    I am so horribly stuck. I don't know what to do, where to go, who to talk to.

    So here I am, just enduring it instead. And its not fair. He has imprisoned me and I am hopeless and I can't talk to anybody.

    If nobody can help me on here, I understand. I know its ultimately up to me to figure this out and get out. I just need to put this out there somewhere. I just wish someone understood. Nobody in my life knows this is happening to me. It is like being not only imprisoned at home, but imprisoned in my own mind. I can't even write diaries for myself because ultimately he will read them and turn them against me, so that is a large part of why its taken me so long to realize whats happening.. i am tired and i forget things easily and without written logs of anything it is easy for things to have "not happened" or not be as bad as I think, but now through writing on here and people having pointed out the same thoughts that he is what i always suspected, simply by small details of him when im talking about OTHER issues... I know its true now. I need to leave.

    P.S.

    I recapped almost everything I have said here to him last night, before this post. I was a little tipsy so I had the courage to say it, and I just said it all back to him. He got mad of course, we argued, he said something along the lines of "ok so maybe I AM a narcissist!" (I never called him that myself so this shows me that he is aware he has this problem without me having even mentioned it and makes me wonder how long he's known) I responded "YES, you ARE" , but then he deflected by saying that I was mocking him with the tone of voice I was using when quoting things he would say to me because i made his voice sound stupid, and he focused on the "mocking" instead of the problem, so ultimately I got tired and just went to sleep since the conversation was not going to go anywhere anymore. He has yet to talk to me today, is acting mad at me and again like I am the one in the wrong for "picking fights when I drink". I told him very straight forward that im not picking fights because of alcohol, I will say the same thing to him again sober and the alcohol doesnt change any of it because its really just me recapping what actually has happened, but of course, I am the one expected to apologize. I am not going to. I am not going to talk to him until he talks to me first.

    I am hoping that this will start a conversation about us separating. I am tired. I can't anymore. I long to just leave, find myself a wonderful girlfriend, and be happy and never be trapped anywhere again and have a beautiful home and raise my kids by myself and treat them right and teach them how to not fall for people like him, and never drink again and be MYSELF for once.

    His grandmother passed away about a week ago, and I know this is horrible timing and I know this might tip him over the edge, but if I keep waiting until there ISNT a tragedy going on, I will never leave... something is ALWAYS wrong... he is sick, he is injured, his father is sick, his parents are going through financial issues, his sisters are in abusive relationships, you name it, something is ALWAYS wrong, there IS NO right time to do this and it is just not fair to be in a situation i dont want to be with simply to not hurt him further.

    I am considering maybe taking my kids and spending the day at my fathers house or mother's, but I am so tired I don't think I can go anywhere, but I will see how the day progresses and if it looks like its going to escalate i will do so.

    Wish me the best.

    If anybody cares to know, I'll update this post later on with what happens.
     
  2. Lv4music
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    Hey, I know about gaslighting. It's happened to me since I was a child. I didn't know what it was until I was 47 years old. I went through counseling since I was 5. Never knew what was happening to me until I went to an abuse counselor for free, 2 years ago. It's a horrible way to be abused. It doesn't make visible marks. The people that inflict it on you are narcissistic sociopaths. They are very manipulative. That's what they do . They make everyone around you think your crazy, and people believe them. Because they're good at it . I am going through some healing of my own , right now, but would like to help you in whatever way I can

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  3. Lv4music
    Jaded

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    Get out of there . There will always be something wrong. If not organically, it will be manipulated . You have been conditioned to believe you can fix it . You're not helping anyone by trying to save someone that doesn't care what they're doing to you. If you have access to an abuse shelter of any kind, or have an abuse hotline of any kind call it. They will help you

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  4. AudryLeigh
    Malnourished

    AudryLeigh Transsexual Lesbian
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    Hey Bunni,

    Not really. Dealing with Narcs is terribly difficult, and since none of us are professionals, can sometimes push beyond the limits of our abilities to help much with. BUT, we have a forum for Dealing with Narcissistic people for a reason -- it's terribly difficult, even the pros are often of little help, and many of our members are suffering at the hands of Narcs.

    This guy is a prototypical narcissist, and sounds like the most dangerous kind (they're all dangerous, but some are better at it than others, and some are more likely to turn violent than others -- even deadly). You do have to get away from him, but that usually requires a tremendous amount of courage and determination. You cannot let yourself listen to him. Narcissists are the best liars in the world, BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO CONSCIENCE. That is very important to understand -- they have no conscience, so they can do no wrong (in their eyes), and everything they say is the truth (again, in their eyes). So you will always be wrong and they will always be right, and they will believe that no matter how ridiculous it may be. It's been said that a Narc could be pulled over for a traffic violation, with a dead body in the trunk, and drive away with only a warning ticket. Probably true. There is not one single life on the planet that is at all meaningful to them besides their own, which makes them potentially extremely dangerous. You're not going to be able to end the relationship, you're going to have to escape from it. I know a couple of women who had to leave the State and change their names to escape from the grip of a Narc, and in one case the Narc tracked her down and came bursting through her door one day (smashed it down) and came at her with a knife. She was living with her new BF who happened to be an ex Navy Seal, who was able to overpower the Narc, but ended up stabbing him to death (with his own knife) in order to stop him. I'm not trying to frighten you here -- but I am. I want you to understand just how terribly dangerous [some of] these people are. Depending on where you live, law enforcement may be of little or no help. In most places, law enforcement and justice department people have little or no understanding of the narcissistic personality, and Narcs can lie their way out of anything. You need to find a support group, or a mental health professional who genuinely understands the narcissistic personality, and can help you escape from this guy.

    There are others on here who have had to deal with this personally (I only know of it because I have several very close friends who have had to deal with it, and I have worked with many kids with narcissistic parents). I expect some of them will be checking in soon to share their experiences and, hopefully, with some helpful advice. I am so sorry you are in this position, and wish there was more I could do to help. All I can really do is to tell you that you're going to have to fight like all Hell, and to prepare yourself as best you can for the fight of your life. You have to do it though -- your life really does depend on it.

    With hugs and all the Love in my heart,
    Audry Leigh
     
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  5. Bunni Sky
    Dreaming

    Bunni Sky Great Learner
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    Thank all of you so much for your support. I am currently so confused.

    I agree that help websites are no good, they only made me deeper confused on what to do.

    One such website said that narcs CAN change, but only given that they know what they are doing, know that it is wrong and consciously look to heal from their issues.

    Yesterday:

    Yesterday my daughter suffered an accident on the playground at school and it required me to take her to the hospital, so I was gone most of the day and didnt come home until around 8pm. We talked only briefly through short texts, just status updates on my daughter (she needed stitches on her face for a bad gash she got from falling down).. He did though kind of seem to passive aggressively hint that it was suspicious we were gone so long, after about 3 hours of e.r. wait time before they would even attend her. He said "nice wait time" "3 hours?" We discussed medical glue and if maybe pharmacy could provide that instead of having to wait longer at hospital, i said "ill see if i can call them" and he said "why wouldnt you be able to call them?" and i said "ok? im looking for the number" and he said "you make it sound like you cant call for some reason", to which i just updated him on the call i made and kept it at that. Im not reading that wrong am i? It sounds like hes implying im not doing what i say im doing?

    Anyways, we get home around 8pm and hes in a cleaning frenzy. He has made me my favorite dinner and deep cleaned the house. He has torn down a lot of his favorite posters and thrown them in the trash and thrown away a lot of sentimenal memorbilia gifts hes gotten from friends/family into the trash. Not sure why, he simply said "because i want to."

    He apologized for everything, said that he knows that how he has treated me is wrong but has made efforts over the years to change. He said that he has began to trust me a lot over the years, admitted that he is slow but doing so, and encouraged that I try some of the things i felt like i couldnt do like going to the gym. he admitted that it will be hard for him to not be jealous and will take him time to get used to, but he cant work on it if im not trying it. Other than that, I really didnt have a come back on why we cant try it and what else was an issue. I somehow couldnt muster up anything anymore. everything sounded silly suddenly or in my head about the things hes done or made me change in the past, especially considering they were all voluntarily changed by me without him asking me to change. I could have tried to explain that his words and th way he acts forces me to change, but i somehow just couldnt explain it.. a combination of lack of words and exhaustion. Perhaps he gaslight me.. good chance he did.. but somehow it seems like "well... maybe we SHOULD give it a final shot and if he continues to be controlling/overly jealous etc, THEN leave."

    He was mostly quiet for the rest of the night and so was I, he had me eat but refused to sit down and eat though he hadnt eaten all day. He went out to the liquor store and came back with vodka and would only drink. He was very torn up because of his grandmother.. Today was the day they were burying her and he was sent many pictures of her in her casket while i was away.

    While i was away, he had deleted his social medias and quit his job, or rather, called and alluded to a coworker that he is going to quit his job and since the boss was not there, he needs to meet with her today. When asked why he was doing this he said that he didnt want social medias anymore and he was quitting his job because it meant he'd have to work around a lot of women and if i had to do that stuff then so would he, he'll look for a work from home job.

    I explained that the solution was NOT to oppress himself as well. He said that i specifically told him during our fight (the one i referred to in first post) that I want to see him have to do all the things I did. I explained i was angry and meant that metaphorically, not for him to actually go and do it because oppressing himself as well just leaves us BOTH with nothing, and he said that fine he will keep his job but continue to look for a work from home alternate option. I couldnt say anything more on these changes. Left it as is.

    He was overall distraught for the rest of the night. The focus geared towards him being upset about timing.. first his grandmother, then me with an ultimatum, then our daughter gets injured, then grandmas getting buried while unsure whats going on with me and our relationship. He said he was overwhelmed. He cried, he looked at me with the saddest eyes. he said he knows hes not good enough for me and thats why hes so scared to lose me.

    He looked so genuinely in pain. Maybe he is. Maybe hes not and that was his way of me apologizing to him and telling him ill stay and we will give it a shot (which I did).

    I am at a loss at this point.

    I told him that I might need to see a therapist again (i saw one briefly a couple of years ago for depression). I said that maybe I did have some issues with myself that caused me to "lash out" as I did, he agreed. He said i could do as I like.

    So I suppose the game plan right now is to stay for now. Document everything. Im going to keep a hidden journal online so I can do so. See how things progress with him, and meanwhile start seeing a therapist again, but this time see a therapist that specializes in abuse situations like mine, as was suggested here. I am too confused at this point to leave, and I think until i am in my right head for it and can safely have the resources to do so, i should stay put for now, UNLESS I continue to see signs that he is being still abusive. The journaling will help me see it more and keep an eye out for it, i hope..

    Am i making the right choice? I don't know. I care about him and think I love him on the most part, but overall I think it is very final in my heart that i want to leave him. But i want to do it safely and i think that right now is not the time. I know i have said that waiting for the right time will result in me waiting forever. But hopefully with fresh eyes through a journal that can really help slap me in the face like "HELLO, this is what hes doing STiLL" and the help of a therapist, I might be able to figure out a better way of leaving than just leaving right now.

    So in a puddle of confusion, I will sit and wait. And see.
     
  6. AudryLeigh
    Malnourished

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    No, you're not reading it wrong -- that's exactly what he's doing. I've never known a narcissist to actually reform, though I've seen them put on a good show, It does sound like something did trigger some serious soul searching in him though. Not at all typical of a Narc to suddenly put out the kind of energy he did in cleaning the house and cooking for you (unless that's part of his "act"), but... they are unpredictable. The fact that he threw out so much personal stuff is a pretty strong indication that some part of him really does want to change, but clinical narcissism is a serious mental disease in the same family as psychopaths and sociopaths, so even if he really does want to change, he's not going to be able to do it on his own -- he's going to need some serious professional help. "Oh, I know I'm no good -- I'll change," is typical narcissism, but ridding himself of things that remind him of who he has been (posters, memorabilia, etc.) is a stronger indicator of genuinely wanting to change than I've ever seen in a Narc before, so maybe there is hope. Maybe you've already had too much though -- I think the journal is a very good idea.

    Many hugs,
    Audry Leigh
     
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    I think he should be seeing a therapist too, and if he's going to throw stuff out in some grand show of change...well, he should start with the drinking. Do I think he loves you and was genuinely distraught? Yes, his tears were real, but that doesn't mean that he's reformed, it just means he's scared that he's going to lose you. So he's quitting his job to work from home? Doesn't that just mean...more monitored time? Just another way he can keep tabs on you? I dunno..maybe he is going to try, and you two will get through this, but at a certain point during your last message here, I began to feel genuine fear for you. This just has the makings of a sudden disappearance, ya know? If you do decide to leave, perhaps you might make some foolproof arrangements ahead of time and not really involve him until you are free and safe.
     
  8. Array

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    Your story is almost exactly identical to my own experience dating a narc for several years (minus the kids). It can be extremely damaging to subject yourself to that kind of emotional/psychological trauma, and I am so sorry you are caught in the midst of that.

    What I have experienced is that there is no reasoning with them and you will never be able to convince them to change. They might pretend to for awhile, but they always go back to their usual behaviors, and as their victims we are conditioned to fall back into their lies and accept them. It's a really toxic cycle and it only gets worse the longer you're in it.

    The best thing you can do for yourself and for the sake of your children who will also be used as tools by him is to get away asap. I know it is really scary and daunting to imagine starting over and moving on, but nothing will get better until you finally find that resolve within yourself to leave and not look back.

    Sending all my love for you and your kids, I really wish the best for you all <3
     
  9. Bunni Sky
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    Thank you all for the support and suggestions. It is a lot to take in and consider. At this point I am afraid to act. I have started journaling and trying to keep track of things he does, says. I'm not sure what im waiting for. He has been acting very.. normal..? lately. Hes been making an effort to not be jealous, or at least, its what hes portraying. He has even encouraged me to go out twice this week with friends and family. I did, and he was backed off completely, didnt question anything, seemed fine with me going. I am still considering a therapist. I guess i ultimately want to see how long this nice guy im seeing is going to stay nice. Perhaps playing with fire, but with the love i have for him, its hard to not feel like "maybe this time its different." Perhaps just waiting for the final straw to be drawn, that final closure. I know he is most likely just putting up a temporary front. Once i see that mask fall one last time, its definitely time.

    I know it sounds foolish to wait. But he admitted to what he is, promised the change. As sad as it is, i want to see him break that promise to justify (to myself) ive made the right choice.
     
  10. Former Member #2

    Guest

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    It's not foolish. Some people do have watershed moments in their lives where a specific event triggers real change. Perhaps for him, it was the very real fear of losing you for good. People who are accustomed to one another develop unhealthy habits, blind spots in how they act and react. Mixed with a high degree of incompatibility, this can result in treating the one you are supposed to love the most, the absolute shittiest. So he's finally trying to treat you the way he should have been all along. He probably is genuinely trying, and he probably will fuck up at some point. It's up to you to recognize the difference between an accidental relapse, because it will happen, and a trend. The trend should signal the end. And that's me giving proper marital advice as a single person. :-P I hope things work out for you. *hugs*
     
  11. TallGrl
    Caffeine Fix

    TallGrl Dedicative Contributor
    Beloved Member

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    Hi Bunni,
    So I'm not going to say leave, or stay or anything. I don't know what you should do big picture wise, because I can't make that judgement. To me though...He sounds toxic, for you and your life and possibly your children too.

    And what I am saying, you are kind of already doing- but the documenting.
    If it ever gets to the stage where you need to fight a custody battle with him then I suggest that you need to make recordings. In the Uk custody battles get messy fast, especially when there no direct proof and it comes down your word against his. The family courts suck.
    So if the nice guy goes away and its an act then... get recordings of him threatening to harm himself when challenged for his restrictive behaviour, or somthing else that shows emotional manipulation, would help in a custody battle. From what is said and I've understood he may not directly admit to stuff, but if he does you need to record it and save it online where he cant delete it. Because when or if you decide to leave, that side of him you dislike is probably going to come out full force to discredit you.

    If you want to stay and try right now with him, then okay- but like with the online writing of what he says and does, having recordings will help you.
    I dont know if he will change, but most people dont- abusers mostly dont, addicts mostly dont, humans mostly dont.
    I'm sorry if I'm a pessimest, but... I would prefer you to be okay, to be prepared.

    Also you said you're considering a therapist... I would. And if he's serious about this change then he should get one too, or even (although I'm hesitant to suggest it) couples therapy. If you go to the latter maintain your seperate therapy as well.
     

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