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Thread: Is it abuse, manipulation, maybe both?

  1. #1
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    Is it abuse, manipulation, maybe both?

    I have always been a very strong willed person. I recently went through a separation/divorce and was single for about a year. I met a man with a child and things grew intense right away. I had only ever been with my husband of 13 yrs before we divorced. By the second date we made it official. We talked about the future together, moving in, finances, and even family in the short month we dated. He had been cheated on constantly in his 7 yr marriage and we had that in common as well. I fell so hard and so fast that I didn't realize what was happening.

    He was so charming, loving, and attentive. The way I would catch him watching me with a smile, the way he touched me, and the way we made love, actual love. And he was so tender.

    Then came the text fighting. He lives an hour from me. I moved Heaven and Earth to spend every weekend with him and every other week day with him even though I had to get up at 2 a.m. in the morning to make that happen for work. He never once came and visited me at my home. Where he wants told me that he was an open communicator and liked to solve problems in a relationship before they got serious he became sullen and withdrawn whenever we were apart and it caused a lot of fighting through text. He would turn things around on me and tell me that I was doing the things that he himself was doing to me. He once use his child against me when I accidentally fell asleep one night while texting and posted a picture of him holding his child's hand with the caption of "At the end of the day this is all that truly matters," on facebook.

    He was jealous and insecure. He didn't want me having male friends, would constantly ask me what I was up tip of I didn't keep on constantly communication with him. He even told me once that I was taking too long to respond and became suspicious. I am a fitness addict I was constantly at the gym working out and I am a rather muscular woman. He wanted me to stop going to the gym and would constantly tell me that muscular women are not attractive and that he would be more attracted to me if I stopped going. I have a pretty strict diet as well and he would constantly tell me that he can't eat like that and then make us good he knew I wasnt supposed to eat. He also told me that I was not girly enough and that this might be why although his feelings for me were strong and the connection we had was even stronger that he was not feeling like things were progressing at a pace that he expected them to even though we had only been dating for 3 weeks at that point and we had been talking about living with one another.

    There is so much more but I ended things on Friday and I'm absolutely devastated and I can't sleep. I keep thinking that maybe I'm crazy, maybe he wasn't manipulative, maybe I was the one who was causing all of the problems. I cut off all contact with him after he contacted me when I asked him not to after I let him go.

    Not only did I lose him but I lost his child who was becoming attached to me and I likewise. It was only a month long relationship and I feel so silly but my feelings for him were so real. How can someone be so sincere when you are together and so different when you are apart?

    Is that what manipulators do? I feel so lost and confused, like I made a big mistake by leaving.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Hi welcome

    Makes me shudder to read your story...replicates many aspects of my own...the experience of being hooked in by a man who was not partnership material... an abuser. His initial charm and attention, his avowals of instant and undying love. His story of a failed relationships and suffering at the hands of a previous partner...how they were misunderstood and victimised him. Also his change from gentle concern to coercion and control. Yes... manipulation and distortion that too.

    Hear your distress, can relate to it...you gave your heart and a lot of yourself to a person who was not what you thought... who treated you not as an equal partner instead dealt with his own issues by dominating and demeaning you.

    Took me a long time to come to my senses - see things as they were. In the end I recognised that no wishing or pleading on my part was going to change things...that how it was, was how it was going to stay.

    Now I took back and wonder how I stayed as long as I did, tolerated and tried to make things work with a man whose only real interest was himself. I hope my story helps you to feel less alone
    Rest in my arms precious child; cradled and warm. You are safe. The war is over.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    530
    I've recently come out of a painful relationship too. My experience was somewhat similar to yours, and I found out that manipulators (whether they're conscious of it or not) try to control their relationships by using a shifting mixture of shame, guilt, and confusion. Big highs and lows, mood swings, lies, half-truths, and victimhood were all themes of my friendship, and it sounds to me like your last romance was also filled with these things.

    I'm so sorry with how much your'e hurting. Even though my experience wasn't entirely romantic, it was also a roller-coaster that began with a fast and furious bond that gradually transformed into a mess of doubt, guilt, worry, and the gradual decline in my own mental health and sense of reality.

    With time, things have settled down with me, and I've gradually been able to piece my mind back together. I hope you'll also start to feel better soon.

    Best wishes.

  4. The following user says thank you to MakeshiftWe for this useful post:

    Jane (09-13-2016)

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