I've been lurking on this forum on and off for awhile now. I had broken up with my Abusive Ex about 6 months ago and had an excruciating time forgetting him and getting over him.
It was just a week ago that I found myself confused about returning back to him - it was emotional turmoil. I came to this forum to seek stories about women who had similar experiences. I spent hours and hours perusing and reading all the posts and found that with every word I read, I grew stronger. All the stories were too familiar and they all reminded me of what I went through and hammered into my head that I did not want to go back.
This is my story. Maybe it will help someone else. *Warning* This will be a very long post.
I met my ex when I was 21/22 at a time when I was already emotionally weak from my personal and family situations at the time. He was a year older than me.
We were working together in the same company. He said he fell in love with me at first sight and, at that time, had sought to find out as much about me as possible (took about a month) before he finally approached me.
I was eager to make new friends and meet new people within the company. I wasn't attracted to him at first and we became quick friends. After a few weeks, he began the chase. He bought me flowers, wrote me poems in different languages, declared his love for me over and over. I rejected him time and time again but he was persistent. He told everyone that I was the one and he would not give up until he got me.
For about 5 months, he'd come to my cubicle with new antics, new jokes, new toys to cheer me up whenever he thought I was down (he knew about my family problems). I was becoming more and more attracted to him with each passing day. I thought he must've believed I was really special to pursue me so relentlessly. I finally agreed to start dating him when I noticed I missed him whenever he was not around.
The first few months of our relationship were what romantic fantasies are made of. He took me on several trips and insisted on paying for everything because he wanted to take care of me. His family was much wealthier than mine and my family always had difficulty making ends meet. He wanted to be my savior and the prince who would give all the things I missed out in life.
He told me constantly that he loved me and I was perfect for him. He bought me expensive jewlry, took me to expensive restaurants. We went to several formal events where he surprised me with gorgeous evening gowns and beautiful boquets of flowers. He treated my siblings and my parents with the utmost respect. He would spoil my sisters and parents with gifts. For any place I wanted to go, he would pick me up in his car and drive me around so that I wouldn't tire out from driving. I was in heaven. I felt so lucky to have a guy who treated me so well.
Then, subtly, things began to change. His job demanded more of his time whereas mine was entering a slow stage (the line of work I'm in goes through cycles of busy periods and downtimes). He started to work more overtime, so I started to spend time with my friends and meeting new people. Whenever I was out, he would call me and demand to know where I was. If I missed the phone call due to the lack of reception or being in a noisy crowded room, he would yell at me for it. He would spend a couple of hours forcing me to apologize to him for not picking up his calls and demanding that I not do it again. One of the lines he repeated to me every other week was "Glue the phone to your ears". He'd say that I had to drop everything I was doing, no matter if i was spending time with my family or friends or working, I had to pick up.
I couldn't understand it. What happened to the nice guy who wanted the best for me? After awhile, he demanded that I stop hanging out with the friends who invited me to clubs and parties. He wanted me to stay at the company with him while he worked late into the night. When he was ill, he chastised me for not buying the correct cold medication. When I made him food, he yelled at me for making something that might agravate his sore throat. When I wrote him poems, he complained that they weren't the type of poems he enjoyed. Everything I seemed to do was wrong. But I wanted to win his approval back. I was determined to make him love me again. I believed that I did something wrong to change his behaviour. Maybe I wasn't pretty enough or smart enough or eloquent enough. After I told him that I felt insecure whenever he metioned other girls were hot/sexy, he did it consistently to make me squirm. He always claimed, "I was joking and besides, I just like to make you mad because you're just sooo cute when you're mad."
With some friends help, I finally gathered the courage break up with him. Suddenly, he reverted to being Prince Charming again. Doing all that he could to win me back and telling me that he would change, that he does have it inside of him to be a wonderful boyfriend and he used his past awesome behaviour as proof. I fell for it. I went back and it was blissful for a few months.
Then the cycle repeated and I let it happen for 3 years.
Over the years, he tried to scare me into obedience by telling me that his mom expected me to act a certain way or else she would hate me. He had announced that once we married, we'd be living with his family (He and I are both Asian and this is quite normal for asian families) and I had to be on his mom's good side. I tried to please his family by helping with the chores around his house, taking his siblings out and occasionally helping his family business.
He would lose his temper on little things like me eating and dropping crumbs in his car, me not cutting my hair into the short style he liked, me wearing heels (because it slowed me down while I was walking). All the clothes I wore had to cover me completely. I would be subjected to his anger if I had anything on that revealed a sliver of my cleavage or an inch of stomach flesh.
I gave in to many of his demands. I cut out many friendships. I always kept my hair short. I wore loose, casual clothing and always wore sneakers or flat shoes. I kept my cellphone close to me and picked it up whenever I thought he was calling.
For a couple years, when I was studying another discipline and he was completing his MBA, we lived in different towns about 2 hours away. It was usually me that traveled to his city to see him every weekend (My family also lived in the same city as he did). During this time, whenever I went out with friends from school, he would call me and demand that I leave my friends and go home and study. He felt that I was having too much fun when I should be concerned about schoolwork.
--This is taking longer than I thought. I just have so much to say. I think I will continue this at another time, soon--
As I read this post all I could think about were issues of control. Its obvious that this relationship isn't healthy for you, you will be happier our of this.
Do you understand why you went back after the breakup or why you held on when everything went nasty? I ask, thought I'm not in a similar situation as you, I've been in unhealthy relationships and it turns out that I have an inhuman capacity to hold out when things are really bad. I don't understand it myself why I would want to be around someone who is so toxic for me. Sure, on a logical level, I see that I should leave, but something deeper holds me back.
Welcome to Enot Hopestar. I'm so glad you are finally out of it, but please, for your sake and ours, continue your story, I think you need to get it ALL out, not just the beginning. How did you finally muster the strength to leave, what was the final straw? It will be a great help to somebody already wanting to leave but still unsure as to how.
I admire your strenth and clarity of mind to have been able to stand up and take that ever important step. Your ex shows the CLASSIC symptoms we've all experience of having the PERFECT boyfriend for the first few months, (to hook you) and then the 180% turnaround (to abuse you) We keep clinging to the hope that one day the PERFECT guy will show up again in this horrible person, but alas, they only do when we try and break the cycle (and also only for a little while). You know that as well as the rest of us.
Good for you. I know you are going to have huge successes in your life, and you will be happy.
Children seldom misquote you. In fact, they usually repeat word for word what you shouldn't have said.
Kids need love the most when they're acting most unlovable.
The reason grandparents and grandchildren get along so well? A common enemy...
Wow, your story is in many ways very similar to mine. After a year and a half of being together, I finally ended it with my boyfriend on November 5. I had to get a peace order to protect myself and my family from him, because he didn't take it well. He became suicidal and obsessive over willing me back. Mailed flowers and gifts and pictures of us to me every day, until he was served with the Peace Order. Our stories are similar down to the following:
1) having to be available via phone anytime he calls...I can't explain how WONDERFUL it is now, not to have to panic when I realize that I left my phone in my room and that he might have called. He was furious when I didn't pick up. Either that, or he'd leave a pitiful text saying "I guess you have more important things to do you right now. Call me when you have time for me."
2) I wasn't allowed to wear high heels or skirts he deemed to be too short. Those things stayed at HIS house, where I could only get to them and wear them if he was with me.
3) If I wanted to keep him happy, I was to no hang out with my girlfriends anymore, because, well, I dont know why.
4) He was insanely jealous of ANYONE who took my focus off of him, even for just a few hours. Anytime I spent that wasn't in one way or another having to do with him, was time that he resented. Whether I just wanted to read and be alone, or take my 6 yr old niece out for dinner. He objected.
5) He inspected my outfits - all of them - no cleavage allowed, no skirts below the knee, etc...
6) He told me that when we were out in public, that he should feel like the only one in the room. When I did take my eyes off of him, I was accused of being a * * * * * and checking out other guys and humiliating him. Sometimes he'd accuse me of looking at guys I didn't even see anywhere in sight!
7) He made it hell for me when I had a business lunch to attend. If he knew I was going to lunch with co-workers, most of them senior to me, he would demand that I not sit next to the men, be available via phone for his calls or texts, and I certainly was not allowed to order a drink, even if they did.
These things just scratch the surface of what our relationship was like. It is VERY hard to see when you're in the relationship. I wish I had listened to my friends and family when they tried to warn me that this wasn't healthy. But I"m glad I was able to get away, safely, at least for now. I won't go back to him - ever...but he's not stable, and owns weapons, and obsesses over me. My family had an alarm installed on the house yesterday and we have a couple of guns how for protection...just incase.
Good luck with your situation. I know it's hard.
Think to yourself, "Would I allow this guy to date my sister, or my best friend?" If the answer is no, then why is he good enough for you?
I implore you to read "Power And Control: Why Charming Men Can Make Dangerous Lovers" by Sandra Horley.
"Sandra Horley has been Chief Executive of Refuge, the national
domestic violence charity, since 1983, and is responsible for the
day-to-day management of the charity and implementation of
policy. She is a social psychologist and has 28 years' experience
in the field of domestic violence and abuse,"
Your boyfriend seemed like the most charming, ideal man; you trusted him and it turns out, he really isn't. He is extremely manipulative and you are very vulnerable.
Please, if you haven't already, leave this man in the dirt where he belongs. You are worth so much more.
Good for you for getting out! You're absolutely right, most of these stories are so similar that they could have been written about the same person. Your story sounded a lot like mine, especially the part about always having to answer my phone.
But you're safe now, and while it's totally normal to have the urge to go back every now and then, things will continue to improve and with time, the urge lessens.