Here is a story of domestic violence and coercive control that one of our followers shared with us today.
A bit of a long one, but hopefully inspiring for men in a similar position. Please keep me as “anonymous” if you post this on your page.
I was with my ex for 13 years. Pretty much straight from the get-go the manipulation started.
I wasn’t allowed to talk to other females, look in the direction of other females, or even watch sex scenes in movies.
I wasn’t allowed to do anything by myself if there were others around, and if I did so, I’d be made to feel like the biggest piece of work. She also had to be anywhere there were other females.
She made sure that every person that I worked with, or visited, or they visited us, was in no certain terms to know I was a “monster” to her. This essentially isolated me from my family and friends.
Not once did I do any of the above to her. I just copped it because I was always made to feel like that’s just the way it is, and I thought she would change. This, of course, didn’t happen, and the cycle would continue.
She refused to get a joint bank account because any money she received was “her money”. This of course would change when she wanted a car loan.
Her parents also chimed in to make me feel like I was simply a vessel for theirs and their daughters’ dreams. I was there purely to make money and made to feel like a third wheel to their family.
Then the kids came along…
When the kids started coming along, this was a great opportunity for her to use something to make me conform to her ideology of what a relationship looked like. I was to just go to work and come home to do most of the parenting while she had a break because apparently I had it “easy”, often working graveyard shifts. This, along with the aforementioned manipulation, would almost make me suicidal because I didn’t know what I’d done to be treated like this and knew that she’d stop me from seeing my children if I left.
She first cheated roughly 4 years into our relationship, and of course it was “my fault” because I was a “monster” to her. Towards the end of our relationship she had cheated multiple times.
The first major instance of DV (outside of her backhanding me a couple of times) was when she was back working and I’d had a day off work. I hadn’t done the dishes when she’d arrived home and she was furious. She started smashing eggs on my head and I open-palmed her away when I was trying to get her off me with eggs yoke in my eyes. She went ballistic saying I had no right doing that, then spat in my face.
The second major incident involved police. I had pulled her off my son because she had him pinned down and was slapping into his face. She again went ballistic because apparently what she was doing was perfectly “reasonable” because she’s a female, and I was the only one in the “wrong”. My son and I had to find emergency accommodation because I wanted to separate us from the situation until things calmed down and my ex and I could talk it out. I had an Interim DVO put on her, which I agreed after a few court appearances was no-longer needed, as we were on ok terms and if I’m being honest, she was a great mum 95% of the time.
Added to the aforementioned, she also liked to try and manipulate my employer (government) to make me conform to her beliefs of how a man “should be”.
The years and abuse went on and I would ask myself almost every day, “how long can I do this for?”. I would often daydream of being able to flick my fingers and be rid of her and still be with my kids.
The last straw came when she’d battled with substance abuse for almost a year and all the “fantastic” things that come with it. This was my tipping point, a “come what may” moment in my life. I finally built up the courage to leave. I felt at the time like the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.
I went to a friend’s place and stayed on a single bed blow-up mattress in his spare room. She of course refused to let me see my kids and took everything when she moved out our home with he new partner. She also tried to assault me again when I had come to collect some clothes because apparently I had “no right” to be in the home that only my name was on the lease for.
When this happened, I was broken. But one of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received in life, from a boss at work, was to just play the long game, keep your head together, and things will work out for you. And he was right!!
Thankfully, roughly 3-4 months later, I had convinced her to return the kids to me for their safety and well-being, as she was in the horrible substance abusing lifestyle.
It’s been over 3 years since I left and I’ve never been happier.
My advice to people, in particular men, in a situation like I was in, is to put yourself first for once and leave. These relationships NEVER get better and you’ll just continue to suffer until you do something silly. It’ll be rough for little while, but with time and patience, you’ll be in a much better place and able to enjoy a life that you’ll only live once.
-Anonymous Australian Man