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hoping

Arguement

15 posts in this topic

Today while my husband and I were eating out he mentioned a time in our past. I interrupted him and told him he remembered it wrong. He got angry at me and told me he didn't like being interrupted. I told him the story was about me and I wanted to let him know he remembered it wrong, It wasn't a big deal except to me. I realized later that one reason I wanted to correct him is that I have this mentality that he might use whatever he is saying against me. After I realized why I reacted that way, I know longer feel it is important to take up for myself immediately. I can wait and if I feel it necessary, I can say something after he finishes. I may have even been rude to interrupt, I don't know, but I told him since it bothered him that much I would try to not interrupt him in the future. He said the reason he gets so upset with me is that he was afraid he would forget what he was going to say and has a difficult time putting the right words together to explain what he is saying. I was not nice to him, I told him he was too sensitive, since that is what he tells me. I wanted him to know how it felt to be told that. Anyway I told him he hurt my feeling and he said I hurt his and later I told him I would try not to interrupt him. This is one reason I see hope in him, he is trying to talk to me about why it bothers him and he is trying to be nicer to me. I think he realizes that if he doesn't treat me better I will leave. I don't like the fact that he wouldn't treat me nice anyway without knowing I would leave. I tend to think by what he has said that he thinks he was justified in the way he was treating me because of the way I was treating him. Of course some of these ways he thinks I am treating him are not ways I am treating him, they are me saying no because I have a right to do that and they are me setting boundaries. He may think he has certain rights, but he doesn't. I am getting stronger and he is afraid I will leave so he is allowing me to say things I was afraid to say to him before, which makes me feel better and stronger. I am not saying that I need his permission to say anything but when he is intimidating and I fear he may  physically hurt me by the way he is standing and the look on his face, I have chosen to shut up or to pacify him due to fear. I don't want to be hit. He has never hit me but I have feared that he would for a long time. I wasn't ready to leave so I didn't confront him as much about his behavior. I hope this makes sense.

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He was nice in this story? I'm sorry, but ...where. He was rude to "get angry at me and told me he didn't like being interrupted" while you were trying to point out his GASLIGHTING!

That mistaken story about you, that is what he is telling people about you behind your back. My H would do that too and I never understood why he was telling ME the lies! Dude! I know the truth! I think sometimes he forgot who he was talking to! He was SO used to telling that untruthful story that he accidentally told it to ME! Or he was SO brazen that he thought, everyone else is buying it, maybe she'll buy it too! It was SO weird but he did that too. 

Good for you for calling him out on it. And if he is telling you a lie, I think you have the right to interrupt him to set the story straight. I am glad you are getting stronger. But I do not see him being nicer.

11 hours ago, hoping said:

I have chosen to shut up or to pacify him due to fear. I don't want to be hit. 

You fear him.

You don't fear someone and love them. These are opposite emotions. This is trauma bonding. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm just trying to show you your own words in a different light. Go back and read your post again, and pretend I wrote it. What would you tell me? You give good advice Hoping. You really do. Now give it to yourself. You have very large blinders on for your guy. It's like he has a spell on you so you can't see it. 

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AZ-home

I don't think I explained what he was saying well enough. I tried to leave out details due to someone recognizing me. I was talking about the last time I rode a bicycle, he said he remembered when that was and that was the same day I met the neighbors dog. It wasn't a big deal and I don't think he had any reason to lie about it, I think he just forgot. I interrupted him and told him that was not the same day I met the neighbors dog. In the past he has used things I did or said against me, so I was still on guard automatically around him, even when it was a minor detail. I do think he reacted overly frustrated or angry at me for interrupting him, this may be due to his distorted thinking about what I should or shouldn't do, or how I should or shouldn't treat him, I am just guessing here. I think he over reacts to some of the things I say and gets too upset. I don't think I am a real good judge of whether he should have gotten so upset with me but I know it really hurt my feelings. It was just a casual conversation, it bothers me when he gets this upset. I am still wondering if he had a right to be that upset with me. Yes, I think you are right, It seems so much easier for me to see others lives clearer than my own. I think that is because I am not so emotionally involved in there lives and I haven't lived with them and experienced the good times that they have.

7 hours ago, AZ-home said:

He was nice in this story? I'm sorry, but ...where. He was rude to "get angry at me and told me he didn't like being interrupted" while you were trying to point out his GASLIGHTING!

That mistaken story about you, that is what he is telling people about you behind your back. My H would do that too and I never understood why he was telling ME the lies! Dude! I know the truth! I think sometimes he forgot who he was talking to! He was SO used to telling that untruthful story that he accidentally told it to ME! Or he was SO brazen that he thought, everyone else is buying it, maybe she'll buy it too! It was SO weird but he did that too. 

Good for you for calling him out on it. And if he is telling you a lie, I think you have the right to interrupt him to set the story straight. I am glad you are getting stronger. But I do not see him being nicer.

You fear him.

You don't fear someone and love them. These are opposite emotions. This is trauma bonding. I'm not trying to be mean. I'm just trying to show you your own words in a different light. Go back and read your post again, and pretend I wrote it. What would you tell me? You give good advice Hoping. You really do. Now give it to yourself. You have very large blinders on for your guy. It's like he has a spell on you so you can't see it. 

I feel like I love him because I care about him and how he feels and what happens to him. Maybe I am confusing trauma bonding with love, I don't know. I just can't seem to see what I wrote as totally written by you. I can see what you are saying but my mind knows so it won't let me do that completely. When I read the part about fearing him, it bothers me but then I think maybe he was just bluffing me and since I didn't stand up for myself, I didn't know this. Even now, I don't know for sure because I am afraid at times to find out for sure. What it comes down to is I really don't know if I am safe around him or not. It's abuse, I guess I have been and am having a difficult time seeing how damaging this is to me, even when he hasn't hit me, because I fear he could. If this was someone else I would be more afraid for them. It's really difficult for me to see this clearly.

Thank you for pointing that out to me. For some reason I just can't feel the fear all of the time. I don't know maybe this is why I jump when he appears and I didn't know he was there. It was just recently I told my sister how afraid I was of him after all of these years. I think sometimes I even hide it from myself.

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(((Hoping)))

I too grapple with Mr. BS's abusiveness, even when it seems clear to others that he is abusive.

Part of what can feel frustrating, I think, is the fact that we want to come to the truth about it all for ourselves, but it's never quite clear. In our minds, we want abuse to look and feel bad--and it does--but not all of the time. Every person, even abusive ones, have moments of seeming goodness. Moments when they look and play the part of someone who does not appear to fit the abusive box. Then it feels even more confusing because how can someone who has these redeeming moments also be an abusive person? Our brains want it to be one or the other.

I'm really struggling with this truth, too, and perhaps my ramblings on this might help you in some way:

The truth is, abusers most often look like normal functioning people. I really wish they didn't. I really wish they were easy to spot out.

They almost never seem like "that abusive type" until you get to know them intimately.

Even when you do begin to see the abuse, it's so enmeshed with feelings, with concern over their wellbeing, with trying to see the good in them that what is abusive blends right into what is not, almost seamlessly.

If there is anything I need to hear over and over and over again, it's that "abusers will never be ALL bad." Aside from a tiny teeny fragment of people who, like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named (sorry, shameless Harry Potter plug :) ) are dangerous sociopaths who intend to hurt others in mindless acts of violence (and there are those that exist), most people have redeeming qualities. You'll find moments of peace, fun, and even love with people who have abusive tendencies. Those moments are confusing, but they show us that the reason why it's hard to leave is because it's easier to believe in the innate goodness of others rather than abuse, especially when accepting that this person is abusive means that you must accept you are living half a life, like a ghost, and it's unhealthy to your physical and emotional health.

The other truth that I need set on repeat in my head is this: "The good moments do not negate the abuse, but abuse negates good moments" His goodness means nothing if he's still abusing. What value does his good behavior have if he turns around and diminishes you, argues with you, nitpicks your character, invalidates and diminishes you? How can the other side of him--the nicer side--be real when he's doing awful things? The painful truth of it is that even though they might have some redeeming moments, they are at their core dangerous to our wellbeing because they hurt us with their abuse. No amount of softness from them can make up for the fact that they lose control of their anger, become entitled, and constantly diminish those they love. 

It's all very difficult to sort this out, especially when dissociated. I definitely feel for you and what you are going through.

 

 

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I think also in abusive relationships. I think we get sooooooooo caught up in defining whether or not things are technically abusive... or if such-and-such is an abusive act... sometimes to decide whether we have a right to feel bad, or to feel hurt. (I know that some of that comes from being labeled "oversensitive" or even truly being a bit "too" sensitive, although I hate to say that...)

The point I'm trying to get to here, is that in all the analyzing and defining and determining whether or not something is abusive, or whether we have a right to feel bad about it, or whether overall his abuse is bad, or whether there are good mixed in with the bad......    The thing we forget is to check in with the self and ask the self, "Am I HAPPY?"

No, not when the answer is "Yes - WHEN he is being good." I mean overall.  Do I feel safe? Do I feel secure? Do I feel like this person uplifts me? Do I feel like this person even sees who I am?  Do I feel like this person likes me for who I am? 

Because labels of "abuse" don't even matter in the big picture. Being not-happy  is enough! It's enough - and it's a big deal! There doesn't have to be a label, it doesn't need to be a batch of things to point to. Yes, that clarifies things... but we need to be able to honor ourselves enough to know that whether or not *I am happy* is important.

A relationship isn't something to slog through and try to make the best of a bad situation and grab hold of the moments that are "good" and suffer through the rest, trying to figure it out, trying to decide whose fault what is, or whether he is abusive enough to justify being unhappy. 

The being-unhappy is plenty. It's enough. It IS the "big picture."

So imagine you've had a few dates with a stranger and you are asking yourself these questions: "Do I feel safe? Do I feel secure? Do I feel like this person uplifts me? Do I feel like this person even sees who I am?  Do I feel like this person likes me for who I am?"

If your answers to these questions regarding the stranger were "No," would you keep dating him?  Of course not.

So if the minimum requirement to date a stranger isn't met in your own relationship...  that's plenty. 

You get to be the judge of how you decide to spend your life and who you choose to spend it with.  It doesn't matter what technical terms one could apply to the reason for the unhappiness. It doesn't matter whether he's being abusive in this moment, or that moment. 

And if you are only happy "sometimes, when he is being good" - then you know that the true nature of your partner is not the "good."  You can't just lift out and remove the "bad" - no matter what. There's no magic potion. There's no fix, no cure that will simply eliminate the "bad" and leave only the "good." 

And also, I mean, think about it if it were something else. What if it were something like, "I'm only happy with my partner when he wears black pants. Otherwise, I feel afraid, unhappy, unsafe, put-down with him." Why be with someone who you can only feel safe with, sometimes?

Being not-happy is enough.  Not liking the way you're treated is plenty, even if it's difficult to label "abuse."

Now, I get what he meant about being interrupted. I do. And maybe that's a real thing. BUT this is just one thing. I think everyone sometimes interrupts people. Some do it more than others. For me, it's a huge pet peeve as I tend to be interrupted by people all the time, like I'm a piece of nothing. I get very upset. It can be really insulting to be interrupted. BUT. "Little" interruptions like the one you mentioned, shouldn't be that big a deal. They're pretty "normal" conversational things to experience. Okay, so you corrected him on that point. I think it's possible that WHY he loses his thought train at that is because of his anger about the interruption, more than so the interruption itself. Usually people can recover from those little interruptions. It's not like you interrupted him and carried on with some other conversation. It was just a correction. So I'm guessing (of course I can't know for sure), that why it sidetracks his train of thought isn't because you interrupted him but because of all his anger inside that boils up because of the interruption/correction, like that was an affront to him. So his own reaction (I'm guessing) is really the cause of the derailment rather than your point-of-fact interruption. That's just my theory. I can't know for sure.

Also I'm guessing and can't really "judge" as I don't know the exact speeches or exactly what was said by whom, how or when. But, for example, if someone was talking to me and said, "There was that time when we went to the grocery store and on the way we passed an antique shop and you found that old clock and.." and I interrupted and said, "it was a flea market" <-- that wouldn't be a "big" interruption. It's just kind of a normal thing that happens in conversations. Then usually the other person would continue, "Okay it was a flea market, and then you found that clock, and then..."   

But. The big picture is based on your overall feeling in the relationship. Always. Not just "when he is good." But how it feels averaged out. If you feel safe. Appreciated. Cared-about. LIKED, as a person. If you would stop dating this person after a few dates, if he were a stranger treating you this way. 

 

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WB

Thank you for your understanding. Sometimes I think I am too sensitive and that makes me wonder if he is as abusive as I sometimes think. Other times I am sure he is abusive, especially after he has said or done something that has hurt my feelings and made me angry. It is so easy when he is nicer to think he is not that bad. I hope someday I will be able to know for sure or just make up my mind what I want to do.

 

 

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19 hours ago, Quaddie said:

I think it's possible that WHY he loses his thought train at that is because of his anger about the interruption, more than so the interruption itself.

I like this. Mine got really angry about being interrupted while constantly interrupting me. I think you have the reason. It's entitlement all over.

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Quaddie

I am taking time to think about your reply. It is like I have to catch myself in the right mood to be able to answer those questions. I feel like my brain is trying to stay in denial or I am having a difficult time seeing myself. I will write more later. Thank you so much. Hugs

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Bennu

I think this very well could be the reason. I'm not for sure but it seems reasonable.

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Hi Hoping, you don't need to answer them to me. They were just for you to think about, yourself. But if it helps to answer them here, go for it. ;)

 

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On 10/6/2017 at 1:26 AM, hoping said:

WB

Thank you for your understanding. Sometimes I think I am too sensitive and that makes me wonder if he is as abusive as I sometimes think. Other times I am sure he is abusive, especially after he has said or done something that has hurt my feelings and made me angry. It is so easy when he is nicer to think he is not that bad. I hope someday I will be able to know for sure or just make up my mind what I want to do.

 

 

Hi Hoping,

I can say this with more confidence than I had a couple of weeks ago, having now been separated from Mr. BS.

- I thought he was good most of the time, with minimal bad moments

- I thought I was overly sensitive

- I thought I must be making things up in my head, or playing the victim

- I thought if I just changed my attitude, he would change.

- I thought it was 90% me, and my own faults

Here's the thing, though. These are the phrases we tell ourselves when the truth is too painful to accept. It's easier to say it's just us, it's our fault, he's not really bad. Those are default sentences we're used to saying over and over again inside of our heads because they make much more sense to us than our husbands being abusive, conscienceless beings.

To accept that they are conscienceless abusive people means that even their "good" moments are meant to harm us. That they've spent this whole time manipulating and lying to us about who they are and their innermost motives to appease our empathy and keep us right where they want us. I know it's hard to hear that, or see that, or accept that, but this is the truth. The heartbreaking truth. 

Even his moments of "goodness", where he seems like he's remorseful or he's trying to make peace or be understanding . . . those are all part of his cycle of abuse. The difficult, most painful truth to accept is that he does not have a conscience. He is self-serving, without a drop of empathy. 

What often confuses us (besides the normal dissociation and trauma bonding from abusive relationships that create FOG), is the fact that sometimes what looks like conscience is actually self-serving. 

Examples:

- H takes care of you while your back hurts or you aren't feeling well. WE see this as him feeling bad for us, HE sees it as an investment he's making to get you to stay with him. He fully expects payment for this act of "kindness" he's showing. So it's not his conscience, or empathy because he's doing it for him not for you.

- H seems to feel bad and spends an evening driving around feeling like he's done a horrible job being a husband. WE see this as him having a conscience and becoming aware of his abuse. HE does not feel bad at all--he feels inconvenienced and angry. He wants what he wants, which is you to stay with him because he gains something from you staying with him (making meals, doing chores, being his punchbag--whatever it may be). So, he is driving around thinking of all the ways he can play on your empathy and get you to feel pity on him. If you feel pity, then you'll stay. So, it's not remorse or a conscience at all, it's self-serving because he only cares about what he gets out of it.

I just learned from the book "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout, that people (like your H and mine) who have no empathy want PITY more than anything else. Because PITY from others makes them vulnerable, and give them what they want.

When trying to understand your H's motives for doing something that appears to be "nice" or "empathetic", ask yourself:

- What kind of gains does he get from acting this way?

- What are his deeper motivations?

- Do I matter at all in this equation, or am I simply a means for him to get what he wants?

It's difficult to think of someone being that soulless that even their kindness is calculated, but your H has a long history of being self-serving and abusive. To not ask these questions is to give him more power than he deserves. 

Because you have empathy and a conscience, it's hard to fathom that anyone would operate without a conscience. That's why we tend to give our abusers the benefit of the doubt. But, if you can start to see him (even if it's like an experiment, where you try it out for a week to see if it fits) like a soulless human being who is doing everything for his own personal gain, it might shine some light on your situation.

I just want to validate that he IS abusive, and no matter how kind he might seem, it's all part of the same cycle. :(

 

 

 

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Quaddie

Thank you for your post. I will read it again sometime when I feel like I am more ready to ask myself those questions. I don't know if I will answer them on here or not, but thank you for making that plain. You have a lot of wisdom in what you post. Hugs

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WB

Thank you for posting. I will keep in mind what you said, and I am so glad you can see things more clearly now. Hugs

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I have decided that my husband was being abusive. The reason is, I think he was reacting out of his abusive thought system and he could have told me in a nicer, calmer way that I was irritating him. He could of even waited and talked to me about it later when he had time to cool down, even though I think he over reacted by being so angry. I have an apt with my new therapist in about a week. I am looking forward to meeting her and I hope she can also help me to see what I want in my life.

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Good for you, Hoping. I had to do a double-take cause I thought you were going to say you got an "apt"= apartment! LOL! But an appointment with a therapist is also very good. 

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