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Thread: Ex was Abusive. Current BF Doesn’t Understand

  1. #1

    Ex was Abusive. Current BF Doesn’t Understand

    I was in an abusive marriage for 12 years. Where I was beaten on the regular, cheated on and near the end he raped me when I refused to sleep with him.

    As you can imagine I have some issues and triggers. I never wanted to date again. But my boyfriend “snuck” his way in. He was a friend after my divorce and was always there and understanding of the crap my ex was still doing and was genuinely there for me.

    However. If I ever have an issue with my current boyfriend. He will not take any ownership of his actions. It’s always “you are just thinking I am your ex” or “I did nothing wrong these are your issues”.

    I know I have issues and I have been open to him about them and explained what would help. But he never does it. He also says these things when I feel they have nothing to do with my past or issues but strictly with him.

    He makes me feel like I am crazy and he is perfect that never does anything wrong. He throws my past marriage in my face. Like am I really getting upset about this? It’s not like he’s hitting me. His words.

    I am terrified to be in another unhealthy relationship. He has been insanely good to me other than he can’t take responsibility for anything. Which makes it hard. He is also my best friend.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member figureitout23's Avatar
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    To be completely honest I see two sides here

    ONE: it is not your current boyfriends duty to pay for your exes sins. So your title, ex was abusive current boyfriend doesn’t understand. Well it’s not his duty to. He is having a relationship with you, not your past, not your demons. It was/is completely up to you to work through your baggage before you date. It’s wise to find someone understanding of your past but again there’s a difference between a man loving a woman who has been through a lot and him paying the price for her going through a lot

    TWO - look at how you described getting together. He ‘snuck in’ you don’t truat him and honestly I can’t twll if it’s the chicken or the egg. Typically women who end up in abusive situations have a messed up picker. No judgement I was in an abusive marriage myself, my picker was odd, personality traits of abusive men were atttactive to me because I wasn’t in a healthy place. If that’s the case for you, and you haven’t even began to heal, which after 10 years it’s gonna take a minute to retrain your brain. Your attraction to him could completely be his manipulative abusive ways, I don’t know I can’t tell from the limited info but if you feel he does things that aren’t ok and dissuades you from recognizing that it’s weonf well... not good...

    Too little info to go on to now for sure but what I can say for sure is you have no business dating right now.

    You gotta be alone and learn to love yourself again.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Being ready to date means being ready for a peer based partnership. Dating is not therapy and should not replace therapy. It's your job to come to terms with your past. It not anyone's job to treat you with kid gloves. Its your job to stay on point and not give in to "your triggers".

    Unfortunately he is correct that “ these are your issues”. He did not sneak in. You willingly entered a relationship without being ready. And there are already serious communication issues.

    You need to end this for a number of reasons. Therapy is the relationship you should be in right now until you feel more squared away and sure you are not repeating patterns.
    Originally Posted by Ranbanmofo
    - I have some issues and triggers. I never wanted to date again. But my boyfriend “snuck” his way in.

    I know I have issues and I have been open to him about them and explained what would help. But he never does it.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Annia's Avatar
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    Have you been in therapy after the abusive marriage?

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ranbanmofo
    I was in an abusive marriage for 12 years. Where I was beaten on the regular, cheated on and near the end he raped me when I refused to sleep with him.

    As you can imagine I have some issues and triggers. I never wanted to date again. But my boyfriend “snuck” his way in. He was a friend after my divorce and was always there and understanding of the crap my ex was still doing and was genuinely there for me.

    However. If I ever have an issue with my current boyfriend. He will not take any ownership of his actions. It’s always “you are just thinking I am your ex” or “I did nothing wrong these are your issues”.

    I know I have issues and I have been open to him about them and explained what would help. But he never does it. He also says these things when I feel they have nothing to do with my past or issues but strictly with him.

    He makes me feel like I am crazy and he is perfect that never does anything wrong. He throws my past marriage in my face. Like am I really getting upset about this? It’s not like he’s hitting me. His words.

    I am terrified to be in another unhealthy relationship. He has been insanely good to me other than he can’t take responsibility for anything. Which makes it hard. He is also my best friend.
    While on the one hand I totally get how you feel... I have a history of relationships with angry men... you seem to be putting the ownership on him to treat you with kid gloves and to be sensitive to your thoughts, feelings, needs, etc. because of your past history. Ultimately, it isn't his responsibility to help you get over this previous relationship or to change your perception of men... that's something you need to do for yourself.

    The other side of this is that you have gravitated towards someone that, while he is not physically abusing you, is being insensitive to your emotional needs, dismissing you and is taking advantage of you in a vulnerable state. That thing you are terrified of... being in an unhealthy relationship... is actually happening.

    I suggest taking some time and focusing on recovering from your last relationship and identifying and processing the feelings and triggers so that you don't carry them with you into the next one. Do some healing and rebuilding of your self-esteem... you deserve kindness, empathy, and acceptance.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Without some specific examples, it's hard to know whether it's you and your past baggage or whether your bf is actually being emotionally abusive to you.

    The problem is that people who leave abusive relationships quite often land in another abusive relationship unless they take a time out and do some heavy duty counseling to deal with their past and to learn how to recognize problem people and stay away from them. Otherwise you are way too prone to fall into a pattern of what's familiar. I mean sure, he might not be beating you, but that doesn't make him a good partner. In fact, you see him as this man who was so supportive of your ordeal. I see him as a man buzzing around with ulterior motives like a vulture and jumping in while you are still vulnerable. That's not exactly what a good man does.

  8. #7
    Platinum Member j.man's Avatar
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    To add, while it's pretty trademark to the cycle of domestic violence for the woman (or man) to end up with another abuser, it doesn't necessarily mean she or he can't or doesn't attract decent people, but that his or her behavior likely isn't conducive to a healthy person sticking around for too long. Like others, I'm hesitant to label the guy emotionally abusive or even insensitive without some concrete examples. I suffered from some pretty heavy PTSD after the Army, and to this day it's something I make sure to stay on top of in order to maintain my mental fitness. I couldn't dream of charging my wife with accounting for any struggles I may have with it. I mean, maybe if she were obnoxiously trying to "prank" me waking me up with a bomb sound effect, or if your guy felt like he should be able to playfully jab you in the shoulder despite your ex having socked you on several occasions. Otherwise, yeah, we'd need more insight to tell whether your expectations are conventionally rational or fair.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ranbanmofo
    I was in an abusive marriage for 12 years. Where I was beaten on the regular, cheated on and near the end he raped me when I refused to sleep with him.

    As you can imagine I have some issues and triggers. I never wanted to date again. But my boyfriend “snuck” his way in. He was a friend after my divorce and was always there and understanding of the crap my ex was still doing and was genuinely there for me.

    However. If I ever have an issue with my current boyfriend. He will not take any ownership of his actions. It’s always “you are just thinking I am your ex” or “I did nothing wrong these are your issues”.

    I know I have issues and I have been open to him about them and explained what would help. But he never does it. He also says these things when I feel they have nothing to do with my past or issues but strictly with him.

    He makes me feel like I am crazy and he is perfect that never does anything wrong. He throws my past marriage in my face. Like am I really getting upset about this? It’s not like he’s hitting me. His words.

    I am terrified to be in another unhealthy relationship. He has been insanely good to me other than he can’t take responsibility for anything. Which makes it hard. He is also my best friend.
    It seems to me that the title of your post is slightly misleading. it's not that your boyfriend doesn't understand. It's that he understands very, very well.

    He understands that you have poor boundaries, hence the way that he 'snuck' in by overwhelming you with attention and support.

    He understands that you are uncertain and vulnerable, hence the way that he deflects your complaints back onto you and the fact that you've recently come out of an abusive relationship.

    He's right in one respect: you can't see clearly. That doesn't mean you're wrong about your gripes. But your compass is all kinds of upside down right now, and will be until you fully heal from the abuse that you suffered.

    If he's making you feel crazy instead of supporting you, then yes, you are in another unhealthy relationship. Don't be afraid of it. Get out of it.

    You should never, ever be with someone who refuses to take responsibility for their own actions. That is ALWAYS a sign of a bad person.

    There's such thing as tough love, but that never includes undermining another person's peace of mind.

  10. #9
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    You have to be in the right place to get back out there. I've been through an abusive marriage, and there are triggers. You have to be in a good place that you can recognize what's a bad feeling or a trigger and genuine abusive behavior...and not respond on a hair-trigger when something comes up. It takes a lot of work.

    Your boyfriend is not there to be punished for the bad things your ex did. If he gets mad and you're suddenly reacting as if he's about to wrap his fingers around your neck, when all he is is mad, you can't turn it into something it's not. Why is he mad? Is he justifyably mad or frustrated, or is he pitching a fit that you didn't stack the dishes the right way? I mean, there are differences, and the guy has to be able to exhibit emotions, even angry ones, without it turning into "Return of the Ex, Part XII".

    Given your reactions to him, I do question if he exhibits some red flags you need to pay attention to. Plus there's the gaslighting aspect where he blames your reaction to blaming him for your ex's behaviors and he's doing nothing wrong...I question if he's doing something wrong and he has an easy way out of it by blaming you.

    Honestly, I think you need to rethink your ability to have a serious relationship right now. This guy "snuck up" on you, and I can see how nice and comforting it is to fall into what seems like a secure relationship, but it seems you monkey-branched a little and didn't take the time to heal and investigate what got you into the mess in the first place and what kept you there for 12 years. You are potentially repeating the same scenario, but it's really hard to say whether you are or whether you're just overreacting and getting triggered.


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