top 10 things i wish i had known were abusive before marriage…

10.  manipulation  “if you really loved me…”

9.  belittling “you would never be able to get a job as a waitress.  you are not attractive enough to make good tips”

8.  financial control  “if you want to visit your mom, you will have to just save up your own gas money”

7.  isolation  “but your family never comes here to visit, so why should we have to visit them?”

6.  dismissing my feelings “you need to lighten up, I was only kidding about your weight”

5.  lying “i was crashing at a friend’s house so you wouldn’t worry”

4.  cheating  “ok, i did cheat, but it was only three times with the same person on three different nights”

3.  making jokes about death “wouldn’t it suck if I fed you antifreeze in your soda?  then i’d be on those shows you watch all the time”

2.  excessive criticism  “what did you do at home all day with just the kids?  this place is a wreck”

1.  the silent treatment  ”   ………………………  “

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why do i feel like i’ve been here before?

because i have.  it’s called the cycle of abuse.

another way to put it:

it begins with hearts and flowers.  you are in love, he treats you like a queen, showering you with gifts and little love notes, and fantastic sex.  he calls, texts, and emails you all the time, but in a good way.  you begin to trust him.

then it really begins.  tensions building.  little quirks.  like if you get a text from someone and chuckle, then put your phone down.  he will walk over to it and look at your texts.  then he will tell you that you shouldn’t hang out with this person or that person because they “aren’t good for you”.  then he will start telling you that you look better with colored hair and should color it, even when you have repeatedly told him you don’t want to.  finally, you agree just to get him to shut up about it.

then, you begin to feel smothered.  trapped.  the fighting begins.  this is finally him acting out, and showing you his true self.  you tell him you don’t want to do something, but he tells you that if you truly loved him, you would do it anyway.  yet when you ask something just as important to you of him, he refuses.  he has incredible double standards, and is stubborn to the point of hostile.  you start to wonder what you may have gotten into.

finally, it happens.  the big one.  the incident.  it’s a slap, or a horrible screaming match, or a hard grip on your arm followed by a threat.  it may only be a snotty comment followed by derisive laughter.  but you have reached your breaking point.  you threaten to leave.

but wait!  he’s sorry!  he can never forgive himself for the terrible things he has put you through.  he promises to love and protect and cherish you all over again.  you reconcile, and begin your life together anew.  he may even send you flowers with a mooshy love note.

sound familiar?

 

 

vacation?

ugh, travelling.

we have seven children.  we are both catholic, and though i have a controlling, emotionally abusive husband, i do love him, and he’s not a total ass all the time.  but, he is stubborn as all get-out about vacation.  we take a week every year, and do the same freaking thing.  major league baseball game, amusement park, and some kind of other attraction, including usually something outdoors, like the zoo or something.

this year, travel included two vacations.  one for a few days for a tournament, the other to a larger city about  6 hours away.  here is how vacations around here usually work.  i pack everything, i prepare snacks, entertainment for the kids, clean the house and make sure we all have what we need.  also, i clean out the vehicle, water the plants, make sure the laundry is done, etc.

what does he do?  packs his own stuff, gets the cooler, packs the van, and pays for things.  then, complains about how long it’s taking for “us” to get out of the house.  ???

whenever we stop, he gets an energy drink or something, but if i ask, he acts like i shouldn’t need anything.  i’m an adult.  i should be able to wait.

at the hotel, somehow i am responsible for finding anything that has been misplaced, like the phone charger, or the toothbrushes.  he will watch tv until long after the kids have been in bed, then get irritated when they keep talking to him.  um, the tv is on…they can’t sleep!

he always seems to have a beer in his hand.  

when we go to an attraction, he has a hard time understanding that children need to eat and drink periodically.  sometimes, only minutes after the last time.  they get bored, hot, tired and irritable.  yet they are cajoled, bribed, etc., into going on to the next thing, because he wants to get his money’s worth.  and how could they not want to do this wonderful thing that we traveled all the way here to do?  he gets very offended when they just want to go back to the hotel and swim.  then he gets pissy and pouty.

when we get home, he always wants sex, since we spent a week in a hotel and were surrounded by children.  and if i say i don’t want to, pissy and pouty.  

once, we stopped at his parents house on the way home to spend the night before the last leg home, and he wanted me to sleep with him in a double bed with our toddler, while the other kids all slept on the floor in the living room.  after a week of being smashed into a small bed with a toddler, i wanted to spread out on the floor and luxuriate in the extra space.  he got pissed and hardlly talked to me all the next day. pissy.  pouty.

Quiet Abuse

  • Emotionally abusive people tend to manipulate through sulking and pouting, behavior meant to make you feel guilty or responsible for the abuser’s mood.

Read more : http://www.ehow.com/facts_5010036_signs-youre-emotionally-abusive-relationship.html

i’m a dirty enabler.

yep, i’m one of those.  an enabler.

en·a·bler
iˈnāblər,e-/
a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another.
from day one, i have hated conflict.  i never stood up for myself with anyone.  all through high school, then college, then with him.  i rarely complained when he treated me crappily, because i thought “well, he puts up with me, i’m so lucky”.
so, when he broke up with me after nine months of dating, so that he could meet new people, i cried, and then asked him to help me move into a new apartment because my room-mates had gotten a new one, since he and i had planned to move in together, until we broke up.
i tolerated his phone calls telling me we could still “hang out as friends” even while he dated other people (that he told me about during these phone calls).  when he was drunk and didn’t want to drive home, i let him crash on my bedroom floor, where he peed in the closet during his drunken stupor in the middle of the night.
i went to movies with him when he was bored, and i sidestepped him telling me i should move into his one bedroom apartment with him “as friends”  to “save money”.  we spent enough time together, that it wasn’t surprising when i ended up pregnant by him.  then i moved in.
i silently endured it when he got a girl’s phone number during a meal out with friends (when he was drunk), when he told me he just wanted to see if he could still do it.  and when he came home early one night when i was  seven months pregnant and still in college, to tell me he had gotten fired, and let me freak out and cry, he came back with “just kidding!  you are so gullible!”
of course, i didn’t know then that i was an enabler.  i just knew i didn’t want to fight.  i didn’t want him to think i was a nag or a bitch.  i needed him to take care of me and our baby, so i could finish college.  i knew that without him, i would probably be on welfare and food stamps.
nope, i didn’t know then what i know now…
Ask yourself the following questions:[3]

  • Have you ever ‘made an excuse’ for someone, be it for work, school, or anything like that.
  • Do you ‘accept responsibility’ for his/her behavior.
  • Do you avoid the subject in fear of some type of confrontation?
  • Have you ‘bailed him out’? Jail, a bad situation, etc.
  • Have you, or do you, pay their bills?
  • Do you loan money or pay bills (whether or not you have it)?
  • How many ‘last chances’ do you think you have given him/her?
  • Have you threatened to leave or kick the person out, but you never do it?
  • Do you find yourself completing their jobs/responsibilities?

The beginning

so i started out with my husband in college.  we met at a bar.  he was newly graduated, i was going into my junior year.  he was cute and charming, and i had never had any guy call me before, without wanting sex, so this was a new and exciting relationship.  of course, we did have sex right away, and i (in the back of my mind) knew it probably wouldn’t last.

sure enough, he called me at the end of the summer (we met in may), saying that he was older, already done with school, and had a girl coming back from break that he wanted to see again.  i was ok with that.  we went our separate ways.

come september, i called him one night, just out of loneliness and boredom.  we began to date, and were inseparable almost immediately.  i was not new to having an adoring boyfriend, but i had never adored one back, before,  i was smitten.  what i didn’t know, was that i was also almost immediately being emotionally abused.

signs of a potentially abusive relationship:

**isolation from friends and family.  almost immediately, he wanted all my time.  i lived with my three best friends and by the end of that first year, we were no longer on speaking terms.

**verbal abuse.  he would call me stupid during fights, and would yell at me when angry during fights,  not unusual, but it was still scary.  i was never a yeller until him!

**blames others.  it was always the other stupid driver’s fault, or the kids’ fault, or my fault or whomever else he could blame, instead of to just admit he was wrong.

**abuses alcohol or drugs.  we were in college.  we both did our share of abusing alcohol, but he always went way past tipsy.  always,  still does.  then, he tells me i can’t drive his drunk ass home right.

**intimidation.  he has never been intentionally intimidating, but he is 6’5″, and i am 5’2″.  you do the math.

**punish you for time away.  he never told me i couldn’t go anywhere, but he would give me the silent treatment when i got home, or want sex, or both.

**expects servitude.  he rarely did any housework, and was a complete slob when i met him.  i would have to clean the shower with the toilet brush and dish detergent just to shower.  even now, he rarely does anything but laundry (never folding or putting it away) and mowing.

**jealousy.  jealous of time away, friends, family, old boyfriends, job aspirations, etc.  he was very jealous when i won a trip to hawaii for work and he had to have the kids himself for a week.  he took them away from me out of town the weekend i got back so i had to wait to see them another whole day.

**emotional manipulation.  any time he didn’t get what he wanted, he would say “if you love me…” or he would sulk or act pouty when i tried to do things he didn’t like or agree with.

**gets physical.  he never hit me, or physically hurt me.  but, he would use my body to get revenge when i spent time away, by being very insistant on sex, then getting angry if i didn’t want to.  i finally learned to just do it every time to avoid his pouting and silent treatment.

so, early on, i was a goner.  my divorcing parents didn’t have time to deal with me, so i left them largely out of it.  i just dealt with what I thought was normal behavior.  i had no role model to follow, no experience in having a loving, long term boyfriend, and he would woo me back with tons of love and affection, and promises of being better next time.

the more things change, the more they stay the same.

 

 

**taken from healthcentral.com