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  • Taking a stand against Emotional Abuse

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    Old 02-05-2007, 11:39 AM   #1
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    Tamaralynn's Avatar
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    Tamaralynn HB User
    Unhappy Taking a stand against Emotional Abuse

    I've finally had it.

    I've been with my fiancee for 6 years - 7 in April. We have a 5 year old son, who is ADHD, and has a very voilent disposition.

    My son has been kicked out of daycare to daycare since he was 1 because of his voilent nature towards adults and other children. Because of this he has been admitted into a program for children with emotnial and behavioural problems (from the time he was 3). They provide phychologits, phychiatrists and the works. They do role playing with him to see why he is like that, and nothing would help them figure out why my son behaved that way.

    I also have an 8 year old daughter from another relationship - she has taken to peeing her bed at nighttime - and he freaks out on her.

    My fiancee has always been controlling, and has a very mean anger streak. He has never hit me, but has smacked my son around a few times (I got attitude if I confronted him about it).

    I've read before that his controlling nature was emotional abuse. I had looked it up one day at home, and he came onto my side of the computer later that day and did a history search to find out what I was doing. He FREAKED when I tried to talk to him about it.

    It's been almost a year since then. Over the past few years I've been experiencing GERD, Anxiety/Panick attacks, Irratible bowel syndrome, forgetfulness (to the point where I Have almost lost my job twice) and insomnia. I couldn't have intimate relations with my fiancee without feeling numb most of the time (faking it, I hate to admit it). I grew up being sexually abused by my stepfather, and doctors figured that my probems were based on that (I had never spoken against my fiancee), and that they SERIOUSLY suggested I get counseling - Fiancee was AGAINST that!

    He controlled my money (I don't mind him budgeting, but he got to the point where he would tell me what I can and can't spend - and now I depend on this), he freaked out and threw/broke things if things didn't go his way. He has shoved me a couple of times, when I would snap and yell back at him (in his face).

    I couldn't spend time with my friends alone - so my friends dumped me until he smartens up. When I tell him this, he used to freak out saying that they're useless friends. I had neighbors tell me he was controlling -and he would freak out at me for even talking to them (I didn't tell them he was controlling, they told ME)

    He had to decide when we get married... (we've been engaged for 6 years!!), he wants to decide on how we have it - and i would do all the planning while working full time. We have set dates each year and they have come and gone.

    I am always scared to talk to him about something important, because if he doesn't agree, he will blow up. He would always ask me what i was thinking (he knew I would be upset) if something happend - I would say "nothing" because he used to get upset if it had to do with him. Because I said nothing he would then get mad at me.

    After 6 years, I broke down and spoke with my supervisor at work. I contacted his parents, and told them EVERYTHING, I called a counselor at son's school and told HER everything.

    The counselor was worried for my physical well being - but I assured her that he wouldn't do anything. She told me that if I wanted to confront him I needed to write down everything that he does in one column, how he carries this out in another column, and in the third column how it affects myself and the children.

    If he accepted it and was willing to work - he would have to start some group therapy courses for abusers. Seperately, I would attend a support group for women/men who have been abused.

    I approched him in Thursday and told him everything, I told him that if he is unwilling to work on it, I would take the kids and leave him. He almost started crying and decided that he wanted to change, not just for me - but for the family AND for him.

    In a way I'm relieved that I have taken the first step - but in a way I feel like I've betrayed his privacy. Could I have possibly been imagining things to make them worse then what they really are?

    I'm reading up on all of this abuse stuff, and what I read seems much more serious than what I have been through - I don't know I'm confused Maybe it's me who is making a mountain out of a molehill, and am in fact abusing him to get my way?

    Maybe he's just old fashioned and I am being stubborn to get my way? This was what my parents always told me...

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    Old 02-05-2007, 12:07 PM   #2
    Join Date: May 2006
    Location: St. Paul, Minnesota
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    minnesotagirl HB User
    Re: Taking a stand against Emotional Abuse

    No! You are NOT imaging this!

    That question is so very common amongst women who have been abused.

    You also sound like you are blaming yourself for the abuse. That's also very common. But you MUST UNDERSTAND: None of this is your fault whatsoever!!!

    And, just so you know, I'm not some feminist ranting crazy woman. That's probably what your fiance would think if he read this, right? Sounds like perhaps your parents, too. But you know what? I'm old fashioned myself. I don't mind if my BF calls me the B-word occasionally and I listen to music that is considered sexist, etc. I'm definately not a feminist. You don't have to be feminist to be against abuse.

    Anyway, with that being said, YOU CAN'T CHANGE HIM. He does need to do it on his own. Now, I have seen change in men like this. My ex-husband was emotionally abusive and sometimes physical, and he changed after I left him completely. I totally fell out of love with him and just left, for good. He hit rock bottom. That experience, plus going through an intensive alcohol treatment and attending AA meetings (as he had a drinking problem, too) did cause him to change. And I'll say that today he's a much better man, but he's not with me anymore, he's got a new wife now. My current BF also went through this change. His emotional abuse did escalate into a one-time fit of physical abuse, at which point I left him completely and had him arrested, thrown in jail. The jail, and the court-ordered counseling did have a HUGE impact on him, and he has changed considerably. He now recognizes emotional abuse of all forms, asks me if I find statements or actions abusive so that he is aware of my expectations, and I'm basically in total control of the relationship. And, I'll say he's not totally cured. So, the counseling can help, but he's got to be VERY committed to it. Most guys like this aren't. Or it doesn't last long. It usually only lasts until you've accepted the apology and then the abuse comes right back.

    I really recommend just leaving him anyway, despite his tears and his willingness to change. You need to protect yourself while he is going through his change, because it is NOT going to happen overnight. I think that he does need to hit rock bottom in order for any kind of changes to occur. Do you have resources to move somewhere else or kick him out? I sure hope you search for the resources if you don't have them. No excuses. Seriously, the only way to get him to change is if he hits rock bottom.

    But don't worry -- you haven't betrayed his privacy. He's done that himself with his actions. It's all his fault! You didn't make him do any of this. His abuse is so bad your neighbors notice without you saying anything. That's HIS fault, obviously. And, you are absolutely NOT making a big deal out of this! So far, you seem to be doing the BARE minimum about it. Like I said, I don't think you're doing enough.

    I really think you should leave. Let him hit rock bottom. Who cares if he cries -- he's made you cry a million more times. Think of your kids. You don't need them to grow up thinking that any of this is OK. You need to end the cycle.

    Old 02-05-2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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    Re: Taking a stand against Emotional Abuse

    We have discussed about him moving out (me kicking him out). We have also both agreed that if he reverts back to what he was doing, or stops getting the counseling that he needs - I will boot him out - no matter whether I love him or not, no matter if he apologizes or not. I told him I will not accept it if it happens again.

    His change has happened instantaniously - I've NEVER seen him like this for so long (like when we first met) - and even HE doesn't seem so stressed out anymore.

    He has never begged for a second chance - ever - until now.

    I know that people say "don't ever give them a second chance", if it was just me (and no kids) I would have probably left him a long time ago. But because of the kids, I hung in there - not knowing what to do. Now I do, and we have set the boundaries. If he oversteps them - then I will ask him to leave.

    I have already discussed this with my counselor and she told me to try and work things out with him. If he gives up or starts making excuses, then it will be time to let him go. He is willing and cooperating 100% right now - the counselor says that it is a great step.

    He has even started talking to others about his abuse against me, and how he feels bad about it - and how he wants to change, and how he is going to work hard at changing. He also understands it a long road to recovery. I know HE's talking about it, but it was the initial tattling that I felt bad about.

    I feel right about giving him a second chance, because I really do love him.

    I've told him I feel a little bad about this - and he told me not to dare talk like that (not in a mean way either), and that he's happy I finally put my foot down and put him in the spotlight.

    I've been making him read sites and articles about abuse, and he seems to be in pain when he reads over it. He told me he wants to be like his own father -and have his kids look up to him, not cringe away from him if something doesn't go his way.

    I truly beleive he wants to change - I just feel so wrong bringing it out. Maybe that will be something I'll cover in my own support group on Wednesday. (His is tomorrow)

    He has even suggested we start going to church I've been trying to get him to go for quite a while: and he always swore it off. Now he figures it'll be good for all of us, and that we might even be able to find more resources to help us there.

    Old 02-05-2007, 01:43 PM   #4
    Join Date: May 2006
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    minnesotagirl HB User
    Re: Taking a stand against Emotional Abuse

    OK -- glad to hear you're in counseling, too.

    I am still skeptical, because we all know and we're always told that these men just don't change. I've seen it happen, however, where they do change, but only after they hit rock bottom. I hope you stick with your "no more chances" policy, and on everything! That means you get to have friends and control of money. I can totally hear you staying together for the kids, but just continue to be STRONG! Don't give in - ever!

    Oh and I felt HORRIBLE for leaving my ex-husband and putting my BF in jail. I totally felt like I overreacted, but I definately was doing the right thing at the time.

    Last edited by minnesotagirl; 02-05-2007 at 01:45 PM.

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