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whitebutterfly11

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  1. Melinoe, this is awesome! A reflection of your own evolving inner strength. You listened to your instincts in that moment, and you did it! There was no way he could have fooled you! In that moment, you stopped listening to his BS and decided to move on for you. It is truly AWESOME! You've just opened up a new horizon for yourself in terms of the future. He's not there to thwart you--the sky is the limit! You can now focus on YOU and your needs and invite people (in time) that are likeminded and able to reciprocate the sort of love and caring you give. Healing does have its ups and downs, and you might possibly feel a mix of emotions in the days ahead. It's those trauma bonds breaking--the perceived threats with no place to go anymore, so they stir up feelings of guilt and the need to fix it all. Those will pass too. I'm happy for you!
  2. Yes, talk to an attorney first. It gave me a peace of mind about what I'd expect financially if I left, and that was a huge relief. I am also in the position of wanting my H to leave the home. My kids would definitely benefit from the security of staying in their childhood home, with their familiar friends and school. I must say, though, that this is a tougher option because it means that you'll have to find a way to tell him to leave. I've tried to do this in many ways, but it hasn't worked yet. For the record, I have only once gathered to courage to tell him "you need to leave," and that was traumatizing for me, and actually set me back because I felt so guilty that I called him back almost immediately. It is harder, but it's possible. There are a few ways to go about it: 1) Tell him in simple words: "You need to leave." If he asks why, say something equally simple, like "this is not working" but don't go into any kind of explanation (he will only exploit it anyway). You'll probably need to say those words on repeat a few times, but keep saying them until he realizes you are serious. I wouldn't recommend this option if he melts down easily, or if in any way you think he'll react unpredictably. I would do it in a public place, with your phone in hand to contact a friend or family member who can rush to your aid. I would have a bag packed and all of your essential documents readily accessible so you can get away really fast, if needed. And I would stay at a hotel for about three days with your children/grandchild while he packs up his belongings and finds another place to live. 2) Write him a note/text/call him/email him. Do it while either you or he is out of town for a few days, so only one person has to be in the home. That period of time between being asked to leave and leaving can be tumultuous, so I wouldn't recommend both of you being in the same space during that transition. A note or electronic message would allow you to speak your truth without being shutdown, and would also prevent you having to be there when he reacts to it. 3) While he's at work or out of town, pack up his belongings, put them in a storage unit (or on the front lawn ) and change the locks. It might seem rash and it will definitely surprise him, but you don't owe him any explanation at all. He's been abusive and he needs to get out. Period. There are other options too, of course! I'm in the same place right now of knowing I need to ask my abuser to leave but not knowing how. it's this particular difficulty that has kept my feet stuck for awhile. It's hard to ask someone to leave. I think that's why, as Quaddie mentioned, sometimes it's easier if you're the one who leaves. It takes the guilt out of it, because he gets to stay in the place that's familiar. Sometimes I think that will have to be what I do, despite all the reasons why I don't want to do it. (((Lovely)))
  3. I'm scratching my head wondering what exactly she means by "good communication"? Does she feel that her communication with you in that conversation was an example of "good communication"? Because, I'm not feeling it. First, she took over most of the conversation. Good communication goes both ways and gives ample time to each person. Second, her tone. I sensed passive-aggressiveness almost immediately in her request for you to talk to her while she washed the dishes. It's not a reasonable thing to ask someone to try to talk over dishes clattering. Not only that, but it implies that she's not willing to give your her whole attention. It reminds me of when Mr. BS will only remove one headphone when I try to talk to him while he's playing a video game or watching a show. Rather than just pause the dang thing and turn around and look at me, he filters my voice through one ear. It's disrespectful and demeaning. Your daughter kept up that tone through the whole conversation, especially when she kept repeating herself as if you weren't understanding (which I know you did, because you responded clearly). She implied that you were hurtful and not communicating well, and yet she was dishing out hurtful comments left and right. It's that double standard, right? She gets to hurt and whine and attack as much as she wants at you, but you don't have the same right in return without sounding hurtful, or her making you out to be a bad parent. All of that is abusive, in my opinion. Third, her repeated circular argument. It was all going back to the same point, and no matter what you tried to explain, she blamed it back on you. So instead of solving problems, like she said you both should do, she created more problems by continually stirring up the same arguments the moment you stated your feelings. If you had said to her: "Hey, I'm trying to have a meaningful conversation with you but you keep attacking me. That's not fair." She would most likely use it against you to further her own agenda in this. So there was really no way to resolve anything because she was just looking for an opportunity to attack, it seems. Not that this in any way excuses her behavior, but if she is having marriage problems, she might be venting out anger about her personal life onto you. I did this to my parents to some extent a few years ago, but this was mainly because they weren't really accepting my situation as abusive, and it frustrated me, so I started venting out some of my anger towards their ignorance in other conversations and areas. She might be permanently on the defense right now because things aren't going well. It doesn't make any of her behavior okay, but it might be a small part of why she's acting this way. I'm sorry you're dealing with this, Bennu. For what it's worth, I thought you communicated clearly and bravely even in the corner she put you in during that conversation.
  4. Freedom from abuse starts with all of those steps you've just listed. It's a culmination of processing, learning, planning, gathering courage, and deciding that we are worth rescuing ourselves. Would it help to list some things you've been through with abuse? (If you're comfortable.) I can understand about lack of support from parents and community. I've had a monumental lack of support, mainly in the form of glazing over my abuse and telling me I'm too sensitive. The guilt this has caused in me has been hard to overcome, and I'm still working through it, but it's not as strong now. At some point I realized this was something I would have to face alone, and have come to terms with that. It has helped to have a supportive therapist and this place to come to when I need help. What you've been through deserves a voice! Please feel welcome to share here and we will offer validation.
  5. There are very real and painful trauma bonds that you are breaking. You're working through those strong attachments to the relationship, and I think it's normal to feel guilt and a sense of unease. To validate your choice, though, you wouldn't have that sense of urgency to go back and fix it all if you had left a non-abusive person. The guilt is coming from the sense of threat you felt in leaving, and this fear that if you don't fix it, something bad is going to happen. All that is telling me that you did what was best for you in leaving him, and the more time you have away from him, the less that guilt and need to fix it will grate on you. Don't give up! You made a healthy decision for you.
  6. <------------- Is what I think of his entitled attitude towards sex. How dare he? You are not a slot machine. You are a compassionate human being who deserves to be treated with respect. You are deserving of someone who can take you out to a delicious restaurant on Valentine's day because you are loved. Period. How dare he use the holiday as a way to get what he feels he is "owed." Gross. He is gross. (I'm sorry, this particular topic makes me angry because I was treated this way for so long.) In his head, every "nice" thing he does for you comes with a price. There is no "nice". "Nice" is the mask he puts on when he feels like he needs something from you, and it immediately slips off the moment he does or doesn't get what he wants. It is the cruelest form of punishment to another human being, I believe, to see them as pawns or objects through which their own needs are met. It's demeaning and disgusting. You owe him nothing, Hoping. Respect, trust, affection, love--they are earned. What genuine thing has he done to earn any of that from you? To answer your question: no. This is not the way normal men treat their spouses. They do not ask for sex on demand. They do not treat their spouses like objects. No, he is abusive, and that is how abusers roll.
  7. I definitely agree with what the other members have said so far. If you're being placed in the position of having to take care of her emotional/mental/physical needs without your needs being met . . . whether you love her or not, that's not fair to you. I sense that this is making you feel caged in, depressed, and drained. Those feelings are normal within an oppressive relationship, and to me a red flag that this just isn't working for you because it's not healthy for your wellbeing. She might be relying on you to help her through her mental issues, and maybe you feel like you should stay with her because you're worried that if you don't, she won't get better or she'll digress backwards. If that's the case, she's placing more dependency on you than is rightful in a relationship. If she can't be in a relationship without clinging or becoming dependent on the other person for her mental wellbeing, then she's probably not in a good place to have a relationship. She needs time to work through her own issues first. It's not fair of her to place so much weight on you to take care of her, without giving anything back to you. So my advice would be, let her work on herself, and step away from the relationship that is hurting you. It's perfectly okay to look out for you, and in the end, she might be glad that she had that time to figure out how to heal on her own.
  8. I don't think you are jumping to conclusions at all, Melinoe. I think you are wisely piecing it all together in a way that makes sense. That seems to be what the truth does: it enlightens and relieves us, even if it's difficult truth to learn. Many of us here have come across an article, or had that epiphany moment when it all started to make sense. That's when the truth is illuminated--usually a truth we already knew and felt on some subconscious level, but couldn't put our finger on it in the FOG of abuse. The narcissist love bombing/devaluing/and discarding makes sense with your situation, from what you've explained. There's this huge rift between who he was in the beginning and who he is now, and that's the real tip-off for me. Normal-functioning people don't have these drastic night-and-day changes in their personality and temperament. Unless, of course, their "niceness" was only an act to reel you into the relationship. In that case, he didn't "change" so much as he started showing who he really was once the novelty of the relationship wore off. The learning phase you're going through now, where you're taking all the the truth in, can feel a little bit unsettling and scary. Please keep sharing if it helps you to process! For what it's worth, I'm listing all of the red flags I picked up on from his phone conversation with you: - Swearing at you, blaming you, yelling at you, calling you names is classic verbal abuse. - Telling you you are sensitive, dishing out half-arsed apologies, threatening the relationship, shifting the abuse back onto you for calling him an "abusive man", then in a snap diverting back to nicey-nice guy to try to reel you back in . . . these are all components of emotional abuse. - His "hoovering", or trying to be really humble and kind and reasonable, saying all of the right things, pretending he gets it . . . that's abuse too. It is, because the niceness is used to pull you back into the relationship. It's manipulative. Even if he thinks he's being genuine with his words, it's still an attempt to control the situation to get what he wants. And love isn't about that. Love isn't controlling. I'm sure it's a lot to think about. Please do keep writing!
  9. It takes steps just like the ones you are taking to work ourselves out of an abusive situation. From my perspective, you are making progress! You brought up the mortgage issue, told him you couldn't take this anymore and couldn't live this way. Even if it resulted in him monologuing about his tough life and blah blah blah (abuser speak), the point is, you stood up. You spoke your mind. I can't speak for everyone here, but getting away from an abuser takes many conversations like the one you just had. It's like learning to use a muscle you've never used before, testing out his reaction, seeing how much you can say before he shuts you down, learning to gauge his anger. These are all important components to the whole process of leaving an abuser. And just because this particular conversation didn't end up as hoped, doesn't mean the next one will follow the same pattern. For what it's worth, I've had many of these sort of conversations with my H, and I'm still working on it. It takes time, and learning to trust your own voice and feelings, to get to the point where you can stand up and say "No more!" But it's possible. Even without the finances. Even when it looks bleak.
  10. This is awesome, fluffyflea! In response to the guilt for not warning him in advance of blocking, there's no hard and fast rule that says we must do that. Especially if he's an abuser, that just gives him ammo to try and abuse more. I think you absolutely did the wisest and best thing!
  11. You have every right to be angry. It's an important and healthy part of healing, though it doesn't feel pleasant. And yep, it can take time to work through it. What helps you work through those feelings? When I'm angry, I clean a ton, lol. Or journal. Anything that will help give me some sort of outlet for the anger I'm feeling. (((fluffyflea)))
  12. I hope it's okay that I share what I'm learning here. Knowledge has been a huge validator for me in processing what is going on, since it's hard for me to touch base with how I feel when I'm numb all of the time. The abuser I deal with says and does all of the "right" things, has a humble and helpful public image, does anything for anyone outside of the home, and even discusses the way other people feel and process as if he had loads of empathy. However, he is completely checked out from everything but his electronics at home and/or gets easily impatient and upset at son. He gets bored easily. Doesn't seem to get people on deep levels. And yet, he presents as very emotionally aware. So I get confused.
  13. This is particularly validating if you're dealing with an abuser who presents as a good person and you can't really put a finger on why something feels off. http://spartanlifecoach.com/covert-narcissistic-abuse-unmasked/ This was the first article I've read that made me stop and say: "that's it! That fits what I'm dealing with!" When abuse is underhanded and insidious, it feels impossible to sort through the confusion and see the truth. And it is especially hard with abusers who wear a mask of humility, good works, and niceness, who are "pillars in the community", like the article explained. It's only in the small, subtle nuances when you see this person's mask fall a little and their true character emerge. But it's hard to pinpoint. If you're dealing with this stealthy kind of abuser, please know you are NOT crazy! You are not imagining things. Those "off" feelings are real and are trustworthy.
  14. He's not forgetting so much as gaslighting. They are so good at pretending they don't know what they're doing, but unless he had a neurological condition which makes him forget things frequently, then it's not his memory that is the problem. He thinks that if he conveniently "forgets" what he did wrong, then it's as if it never happened in the first place. If he can convince you that he forgot, or that it never happened, then you'll scratch your head about it (like he wants you to) instead of getting rightfully mad at him for being an arse. So really, it's a blame-shifting tactic. And that's what gaslighting is all about, is trying to take your focus away from what is really wrong (his behavior). Denying the abuse. Minimizing the abuse. Taking attention off of the abuse. These are his patterns, and I believe he's very conscious of them, otherwise he wouldn't be trying so hard to deny them all. In essence, he's not telling the truth. He's being deceptive. Pretending to be this forgetful person who blindly goes off saying hurtful things and doing hurtful things. Yet, my suspicion is that he probably has a keen sense of remembering when it comes to things you do that he doesn't happen to like, right? So his argument that he's not remembering the mean things he's saying or doing doesn't hold enough weight if he remembers other things just fine. Which means he's deliberately lying. Which is unacceptable and so, so abusive. I think another meaning of gaslighting is simply lying. Abusers lie to you, lie to themselves, lie to everyone else, all in an attempt to control you and to create a reality for you that is based on deception. Then turn around and project blame and hurt onto you when you start standing up for it, because they love this false reality they've created. I have to say, Darci, I am so glad that you are standing up to him and questioning him. I'd keep doing that (as long as you are safe . . . please be careful). The more you call him out on his crap the less power he has. The more you question his motives, the more the truth will keep coming out. It's sad that we have to look at our H's as untrustworthy, and we have to question everything they say or do or don't do, all because they have proved one too many times that they aren't who they say they are. I think this can be the worst kind of abuse to sort through because of how much it off-centers your reality--but you are doing it!
  15. Welcome Betty! I'm sorry you've dealt with abuse for so long in your life, but glad you're finding that way out! Please feel welcome to post and process here, if you're comfortable. We're here to listen and offer encouragement. It can be hard to unearth it all and look at the reality of what we've lived, but it can also be healing. I think there's always something healing about seeing the truth in its raw form. (((Hugs)))