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01/04/2011 12:17 PM

Info gathering stage

WAHM32
 
Posts: 3
New Member

About a month ago, while joking with my mom about how my boyfriend is lucky I have such a bad memory, I commented that even in the days of silence after a fight I can't seem to remember all the shit he's done and what I want to say when we start speaking/fighting again. She looked at me and whispered,"That's emotional abuse (the silent treatment)." I brushed it off until last week when we had another fight. So I dove into this site trying to figure out what this is that I'm going through. I've read a lot of discussions, personal stories, suggestions, even the suggested websites. He definately falls into the emotional abuser catagory but i feel as if he isn't smart enough to be that manipulative. Maybe he does it without realizing it. Or maybe i am just a fool. He is a very blunt person so everything sounds harsh. He likes to joke around at my expense. I keep thinking that if he really cared about me he wouldn't mind checking himself every once in awhile. Every fight is almost the same:he wants more sex and I want him to be nicer to me. It's the whole chicken and egg thing, which one comes first. I tell him if he'd be nicer, I'd want to have sex and he says if we have more sex, he'd be nicer. Anyways, now he is trying to turn it around on me saying I am the abuser because I use sex as a weapon. Well, I am on the fence about breaking up. We have kids, I stay home with them so no income for an exit strategy. I feel stuck and used. Like it would cost him too much money to split up so he'll stick around and try to tear me down.

I will have to write more later because he will be home soon (time to get dinner on the table like a good little house 'wife') ugggg....

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01/04/2011 12:58 PM
mysecretlife
mysecretlife  
Posts: 638
Member

My fiance said I used sex as a weapon too. But he wanted it morning noon and night - dam, who wouldn't say, "No", once in awhile? Yes, according to him I am the abuser - but from what I read, that's what abusers say. They change everything around so you think you are he one going insane.

Hang in there, and keep reading! I couldn't believe all the red flags about emotional abuse that I found from several websites. One of them even said that abusers may laugh at things that aren't funny, even heinous things! And that's my EX-fiance!

Read, read, read - knowledge is GOOD!


01/04/2011 02:20 PM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14599
Group Leader

Hi Wahm and welcome to the group! The whole "point" of abuse is control. If your abuser can get it by threats, physical abuse, fear or whatever, he doesn't need to be manipulative. Just from the little bit you wrote though, yours sounds like he is passive-aggressive. The silent treatment and the "jokes" with a little zinger to them are classic PA behaviour. Below is a list of common abuser tactics (as taken from the book "Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men" by Lundy Bancroft).

"Sarcasm, ridicule, distorting what you say, distorting what happened in an earlier interaction; sulking; accusing you of doing what he does or thinking the way he actually thinks; using a tone of absolute certainty and final authority - "defining reality"; interrupting; not listening, refusing to respond; laughing out loud at your opinion or perspective; turning your grievances around to use against you; changing the subject to HIS grievances; criticism that is harsh, undeserved or frequent; provoking guilt; playing the victim; smirking, eye-rolling, contemptuous facial expressions; yelling or out-shouting; swearing."

Many abusers feel that their wives and/or girlfriends "owe" them sex. They see their partners as sex objects and overall, they just seem to have a low opinion of women in general. Some abusers have such low self-esteem that they need sex so they can feel like a stud or a fantastic lover. It feeds their need for male validation I think.

I definitely agree with the above that you need to keep reading. Knowledge is power, especially in situations involving abuse! And please keep coming to this website. We have all been there or are there right now so there is lots of understanding and support.


01/05/2011 06:18 AM
WAHM32
 
Posts: 3
New Member

Wow, yes, most of those tactics you mentioned apply to him. I guess I will keep reading on passive-aggressive abusers. I realize that I didn't say much about how he tries to put me down. Like I said, I have a bad memory. And a lot of times, it's the little things that add up. I may start a diary on here just to have a private place to make a list. I'm glad you mentioned that the whole "point" is to control because I suppose that part didn't sink in or I brushed it off as not applying to me. I need to realize the truth of the matter and accept it. Only then can I make an informed decision about what comes next.

Thank you, to both of you.


01/05/2011 09:53 AM
Meg1129
Meg1129Posts: 14599
Group Leader

It can be very difficult to identify abuse when you're living with a PA because it's a lot of little things. It's not like they are slapping you or pulling your hair or calling you names and telling you how much they can't stand looking at you. He assaults you without even raising his voice. It is just as much abuse though because regardless of the tactics used, the end result is the same and that is that your feelings of self-worth are diminished or gone and you are fearful.

You are right though ... the little things add up and before you know it, they become your life. With passive-aggressiveness, it all happens so slowly that you don't even realize you're being abused. A lot of women blame themselves for his behaviour or think they over-react. Many times, you probably don't even know how to exactly describe what he's doing to you. That's because his form of abuse flies under the radar of abuse as most people typically define it, but it's relentless nonetheless.

Right now, it's like you are waking up so take it slowly. Read, read, read! And write down what you feel or remember. Keeping a journal is a good thing, especially with these kinds of abusers because their abuse is like a sugar-coated arsenic tablet. You don't recognize it right when it happens.


01/05/2011 01:57 PM
jesakarabbit
Posts: 14
New Member

Hi Wahm32. I just wanted to let you know that you are NOT crazy and it is emotional abuse. Some of the things you said caught my attention "He is a very blunt person so everything sounds harsh." and "He likes to joke around at my expense." Joking around at your expense is a way for him to belittle you and keep you "in check". It doesn't feel like much at the time but over a long period of time it starts to wear you down and you start believing the "jokes". My husband does the same thing, he makes jokes and makes fun of me and then when I get upset he says "your too sensative" and makes me feel like Im the crazy one, that I'm the one who is too sensative, not that he's the one who's doing something wrong. And the sex thing. I know exactly how you feel. I constantly tell my husband "if you just stopped bugging me for sex so much, maybe I'd want it more" and then he will "behave" for a few days or a week and then complain again about how "its not working" and how "he tried". My husband also does this thing where he blames me for our fights or says that I'm the one who needs to change, and then a few hours or days later he will apologize or send flowers or cry and say that he knows he was wrong.

As for the exit strategy, you don't always need money, you just need a supportive friend, or so place to stay for awhile until you can get settled. I know how you feel, although I do work and have no kids, my husband controls all of my money and watches everything I spend. Often times there is a way out... we just arent always ready to take that step yet. Plus, you say you have kids and thats one of your reasons for being on the fence. Do you want your kids to grow up seeing you being emotionally abused, or being emotionally abused themselves? They are smart cookies, they pick up on alot of things.

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