I need to say that if someone keeps poking an open wound don’t be surprised if you are poked back. Take it as a warning – you have over stepped to mark.
The situation is not changing. Abuse is still seen as fare communication and hurt feelings are not even noticed or considered.
My son is in an abusive relationship. He is the aggrieved partner. Much has already been written here about this so …
I believe our sons verbal retaliation has been commensurate with the aggression and rudeness shown to him by his partner, partners mother and her current partner, her natural father, her grand mother and grandfather. They have all rounded on him: from telling him to leave the family home to stop trying to run his business there as it was worth nothing and man up and bugger off.
This might sound I am being impartial but he has man’d up. That is how he has coped with the vitriolic comments from them all.
Their support all adds grist to the mill and supports his partners attitude. Never, to my knowledge, have any of her relations tried to reconcile their relationship and help them in a positive manner. They tell her what she wants to hear. Our son see through this and has had to be honest and tell her and them that they have a one sided view of life. This has not been received well and they cannot really defend themselves.
So a summary: his partner and her five immediate family do not want him about.
He has moved out of the family home and has his ex-partners confidant is resident in the house he shares. She is being used to feed his ex-partner with personal information about what our son is doing and with whom he keeps company.
Now the crux of the issue: if she does not want to be with him – fare enough, life changes people; then let him go and work to be civil for the sake of everyone’s sanity. Let life takes it’s course, don’t be on at him every single time you feel the need. Don’t use the children as a tool to turn the screw on him. Don’t set the children up to resent him by subtle based leading questions, where yes is always the answer. They are programmed to say yes which is what she wants to hear only to reinforce her insecurity. Don’t lay traps for him by questioning her confidant. Last, but perhaps the biggest change: make your own mind up, without fishing for support from your own family who are of the same mind set as you.
Life is good and she can be so much better. However, reconciliation is not on the cards while there is no change or contrition.
Our son wants to be in the life of their children and support them but cost does have limits.
Parental duties are taken seriously by our son. He has their children every other week end and visits two nights a week.
He arrived and things were satisfactory. About the time she was to leave to go out a return time was discussed and she declared she expected to be much later than they had previously agreed. This was not really acceptable so he said no and an argument ensued.
An impasse was reached and he decided to simple leave. This was met with a physical assault. Gripping him forcefully around his neck and refusing to let go. He said OK he would stay to escape the situation and made his way to the back door and was followed and hit. His path was blocked so he returned to the front door and got out. He was followed into the street where shouting continued and more physical abuse ensued. He did away finally.
The disturbing thing is their children witnessed the whole event.
When disruptive and hurtful personalty traits are repeated against a partner they suffer unseen hurt. The problem eventually becomes: how long do you continue a relationship, even if there are children involved, while being an abused.
Here enters a problem: I am no expert but just a good witness, but I am very cautious to blame.
- Regular belittlement, or putting their partner down in subtle ways by slight of tongue
- Blaming their partner for the abuse or arguments
- Often not acknowledging that abuse is happening
- Playing abuse down as though it was just banter
- Will not accept or unwilling to recognise the needs and feelings of others
Not witnessed – told by one side or the other
- Reacts with rage or contempt
- Tries to belittle the other person to make themselves appear superior
- Willing to mislead people in by not stating the whole truth
This is not what a healthy relationship looks like or is based around – the opposite really.
These traits did not take long to be noticed in the relationship, the thought process was simple; there is a nice person in there, a nice person that I love, and early in the relationship they were passed over as being how that person was when in certain circumstances.
Time passed, and when we met as a family the verbal abuse was more noticeable and less easy to pass off. Why are you abusing this person? What have they really done? Why are you continuing to dig at that person long after the event? The cause did not warrant that level of response. Often it was in full view of other family members, and those that had not witnessed it before did not see it for what it was – abuse.
Street angel, house devil, comes to my mind. Behind closed doors reasonable adult judgement was not shown. In public sweetness and light was the beacon to watch. Arguments would start small and escalate out of control, often introducing spurious concerns unconnected and a goading process would unravel until stalemate existed and emotions were left very high. Going to work etc. was the solution, but for only one person.
Emotionally, on both sides, there was no place to go, no unsaying something could be done to reset the status
Counselling has been tried but that has to be done as equals who both must want to explore the possibilities of recovery. This can only be fruitful if both people accept that they bear a part of the cause. One party does not feel there is anything wrong with their behaviour, actions or demands and will always want to win at any cost.
The response was to try and not get sucked into arguments so as to calm the situation, but this would cause the situation to get worse as claims of being unreasonable or objectionable would be made.
We are unsure of exactly how the ‘other’ family see the situation, but we do know there has been unfair pressure placed on one person to leave the family home. So in effect a three woman attack (the aggressor, her mother and grand mother) has been made on one person. A lesser person would have walked away months, if not longer, ago if were not for the children!
We have, and will always supported them both as we want their relationship to continue in a healthy way and fully understand this will be apart but the children must be protected and grow up with loving parents and a support network around them.
I recognised a pattern of events and wondered whether there was a known condition that would explain what was driving these situations and therefore provide a solution to resolve the issues. Yes.
I was surprised, very surprised. It is a phenomena known as Gaslighting (been used in the plot of film – Gas Light 1940) that describes how a person systematically destroys the confidence of another by undermining their self esteem to a point where they sanity is also destroyed.
I researched further and read the accounts of Gaslighting and there were too many occurrences I witnessed that for me not to say there was in my opinion Gaslighting taking places. I was shocked!
Please accept I am a layperson, not a mental health professional but it left me worried.
The chilling thing is: all the advice about the outcomes were the same – leave as you have no fulfilling relationship and you stand a chance of serious mental health repercussion yourself.
Problem: there are children in the relationship.