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Vickeee

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Vickeee

Hi everyone. I can't tell you how happy I am to have a place where I can actually *talk* about what's going on and hopefully get some perspective.

I don't really know where to begin and feel a little overwhelmed, well a lot overwhelmed, to write about it all. So, I'd like to ask about something specific and if anyone else ran into something like this. I have an 13yr old dog that I share with my ex (a whole other story). I get him for 2 weeks, then he gets him for 2 weeks. BF spends the nights here on the weekends and is really weird about my dog. Like overly concerned with him. Insisting I get him a blanket when it's warm inside. Insisting I make sure he's ok, when I know he is. He makes these noises. He has for a while. I've taken him to the vet. It's under control. The vet says he's really healthy for his size and age. So, I think I've done a good job, but then even writing here I'm starting to feel like maybe I don't because it seems like nothing but concern and maybe I am lax with his care, but then I've had him for almost 13 yrs. I feel like he's constantly on me about him. I walk him everyday when I have him. One time BF was here and I was taking O (my dog) for a walk and he grabbed the leash off it's spot, put it on the dog, and took off out the door. I thought it was weird so, I asked for the leash back and he just flat out said "no", how I get to see him more than he does and refused to give me the leash back. It made me feel really uncomfortable. I don't know what to think. I know I'm presenting this out of the entire context of the relationship so it might be hard to tell. I just don't have the time to write about it all right now and I feel like I'm losing my mind. It seems so trivial, so small and yet it bothers me so much. I could really use some perspective.

Thanks for reading. I really appreciate it.

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hoping

Vickeee

This does seem strange to me. It sounds like to me that he thinks because of your relationship, including staying with you and the dog on the weekends makes him now just as much of your dogs owner. At the very least I would say you BF is acting childish. To me this is not a good sign when another person thinks they can take something away from the other without asking first. It doesn't matter if he thinks you see the dog more, it is still your dog, not his. I think he was being rude to do that. Refusing to give you back the lease, to me, is a power play. He is saying I want this and I don't care what you think. Your boyfriend could be using your dog to try and control you without making it that obvious. He told you to get O a blanket when he didn't need one. That is ordering you and telling you that you are not smart enough to know how to take care of your own dog. What makes it even worse is that now you are questioning if you ever have taken care of him good enough. Your BF is making you feel this way. To me these are red flags of abuse. I'm not saying that he is an abuser, but that he is doing some abusive things. If you feel like you are loosing your mind then trust yourself, their is a reason you are feeling this way. Abusers can make us feel that way by the things they say and do. I know I have felt this way when my husband has said things that I was shocked or surprised that he said and my husband is an abuser.  I don't think this is trivial, it would bother me too. He is being rude and childish...

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Bennu

This seems like a red flag to me too.

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lizzibethak

Or...............he is trying to bond with the dog and have another "supply"..............but yeah it's a red flag

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percolate

It's certainly concerning.  He's essentially telling you that you don't know how to care for your own dog and he does. 

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Vickeee

Wow. Thank you for your comments. I never even thought of it as a possible "supply" thing, or a power move, or even as him taking something of mine, but when I think about it he does act like he thinks he should have some of the things I have; my home, my accomplishments, and even my dog. I really didn't think of it in those terms before. I just thought he was behaving very oddly. It makes a lot of sense as a power move too, I remember the look on his face. 

He does this when I'm cooking too. He tries to tell me what to do and how when he never cooks, doesn't know how, yet seems to know exactly what I should be doing. Last time I was making some shrimp and he started telling me what to do and I was just so tired of hearing it. I stopped, turned off the stove, and told him to go ahead and cook them, you know, since he's the expert. He said he didn't know how and stood there looking at the pan, then he asked me for instructions. I don't understand that. It's SO frustrating. I feel like he's on me about so many things and I'm constantly being scrutinized. 

I really don't want to be in another abusive relationship. My mom has some sort of personality disorder and life while growing up was just insane, so it's hard to tell what's healthy vs unhealthy behavior and how big of a deal the unhealthy behavior is until I've spent years in the abusive relationship. I'm really trying to avoid that. I feel like crying.

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Quaddie
3 hours ago, Vickeee said:

Last time I was making some shrimp and he started telling me what to do and I was just so tired of hearing it. I stopped, turned off the stove, and told him to go ahead and cook them, you know, since he's the expert. He said he didn't know how and stood there looking at the pan, then he asked me for instructions.

Forgive me, but I LOL'd at this. That is really sad-funny. Good for you for doing that - and seeing his reaction is priceless, not only for the "joke" factor, but also for what it revealed about him.

To me it really does sound like he is extremely controlling  and that he's a type who has to be superior at all costs. Even when he knows nothing. Abuse is about control. (Not about yelling, or getting angry, or meanness - it's about control, however they can get it.)

So to me, just from what I've seen so far, I would have to guess that yes, there's a really, really strong likelihood this guy is abusive. Because abuse is about control. And this guy appears to be extremely - and particularly oddly - controlling.

I'd like to recommend a few books. The first being the "bible" - "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft. You may find it very eye-opening.

Another is, because you mention your upbringing and that really skews the barometer of healthy relationships and even how to relate in a healthy way between any people - I'd like to recommend stuff about boundaries. Personally, I like "Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin" by Anne Katherine, but there are other good ones, too. 

The object is to be able to spot what's not good for you and to learn that you are valuable and deserve to have healthy relationships. I think whenever there is a parent who has a disorder, a person is bound to have developed without any really good sense of boundaries. This is #1 the first thing to really know about on the path to being able to have healthy relationships (of any type - even friendships, relations with relatives, etc.)

In the meantime, you can lay low while you learn (do not, under any circumstances, share your information or books or learning with him... it is guaranteed to backfire on you. He would use it against you, like a new "tool." You cannot educate this stuff out of a person. It often seems like "if they only understood - if only I could explain it well enough - then it would get better." That never, ever happens. Because these folks are wired the way they are. They're built that way. They don't care how you feel about it. So sharing your knowledge would only give them more ammunition to use against you. It happens every time.)

Anyway - you can lay low while you learn, if you'd like. Keep the status quo. There's no need to make any quick decisions - unless you want to. You call the shots. YOU decide what you want. 

But I do recommend the reading. I think it will really be helpful for you.

 

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blueskye

He sounds exactly like my ex. He will get worse with time. After 10 years of marriage he was walking behind me scrutinizing every move I made, ordering me around the MINUTE the alarm clock went off in the morning all the way until my head hit the pillow at night. I was his personal minion and yet I still managed to do everything wrong in his eyes. He needed to feel superior to me in everything. This is classic in narcissists. It's like he was in competition with me to be the better pet parent, kid parent, the better cook, the better gardener, the better driver, etc etc. I see this in your story too. If your relationship is young try instilling boundaries (like the day cooking the shrimp, perfect example) and see if you can turn this back around. If he's NOT abusive there may be some mild resistance but it should restore the balance back to what it should be. The next time he grabs the leash before you, speak up and deal with it calmly. If he IS abusive you will find out! Your boundaries will anger him and he won't compromise. That's how you'll know what you're dealing with. 

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Melinoe
On 2/14/2017 at 8:07 PM, Vickeee said:

I really don't want to be in another abusive relationship. My mom has some sort of personality disorder and life while growing up was just insane, so it's hard to tell what's healthy vs unhealthy behavior and how big of a deal the unhealthy behavior is until I've spent years in the abusive relationship. I'm really trying to avoid that. I feel like crying.

Vickeee, I completely understand this perspective. It is so, so, so difficult to know what is ok and not ok in a healthy relationship when you grew up with unhealthy examples. Even though I am getting better at listening to that feeling inside me that says "I don't like this" it's hard to not respond to that voice inside with the same abusive attitudes we were raised with. You know, "it could be worse, be grateful, don't be a quitter, don't be a spoiled brat, be quiet, other people know what's best for you, just stop fighting and it won't hurt so much, don't be so unreasonable, don't be stupid, etc etc etc". I fight and fight and fight with that. I've spent years of my life stuck in a back and forth limbo of inaction because I'm arguing with what my spirit is telling me using the voices of the adults who raised me. It's such a hard cycle to end :( 

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Vickeee

Melinoe, yes. It's really hard.

Thank you for the reading advice. I truly appreciate it. I've started on "Why Does He Do That?", the boundaries book is in my queue 

Blueskye, that's exactly it. He does seem to see us as competitors instead of a team.

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