Tag Archive | unhealthy relationships

Reasons For No Contact With Abusers

There are several reasons why you should consider going No Contact with Abusers, Narcissists, and Emotional Manipulators. There may be reasons why you cannot block the person, but you can take steps to ensure you are not surprised by their emails.

Emotional Health

You deserve to protect your emotional health from abuser, narcissist, and/or emotional manipulator. If they send emails that are not constructive and do not offer any value you may want to consider blocking them completely. If this person cannot behave properly and uses emails for personal attacks, threaten or bully, emotionally blackmail, or send blatant lies; you may want to keep these messages out of your life for good.

Lets face it, this person has learned enough about you to know exactly what to say to hurt you, push your buttons, or make you feel bad. A person who is constantly using email to lash out to hurt you is not emotionally well or healthy and has not earned the right to continue contacting you. This is a perfect time to create some boundaries to protect your emotional wellbeing.

Boundaries – a line that marks the limits of an area; a dividing line. This is like setting up a wall to protect yourself from people who are not trustworthy or are unhealthy. This wall can serve to allow healthy inside this wall and keeping unhealthy people out.

Another reason, lets say you receive an hateful email, and you choose not to respond. You may find yourself playing those hateful messages inside your head all day long. There is no reason for that and it is healthier for you to go No Contact instead.

Do This

Block Them

If you do not have any good reasons to receive their communications, it may make sense to block them in your phone. There is no reason to allow them to call or send you text messages. Phone calls are harder to control with an abusive person. Even if you have mentally prepared yourself for this phone call keeping the call under control can be a challenge. Text message are similar to email, but it is harder to save these message unless you screenshot all your messages. You may be resistant to blocking them off completely, but this will help you move on and become stronger.

Email Hacks

If blocking them is not possible, here are some email hacks to help control the situation better. You may want to consider creating a special folder and create a rule when those email(s) show up it automatically moves it into that folder or smart mailbox. By keeping these emails out of your Inbox, it will give you time to mentally prepare yourself before reading those messages. This will prevent the email from popping in the middle of the day when you are unprepared. If you are unprepared, you may find yourself reacting in you response instead of responding.

Reacting vs Responding

Reacting means than you are not in control of you response. For example, if you received a hateful email and sent an immediate reply, you response may be full of anger, frustration, and may provoke back and forth. For example, if you were having a bad day and this email showed up unexpected, you might be more apt to react to the situation.

Responding means you are in control of you response and tone. You may have received a hateful email, but you take time, pause, take deep breaths, or maybe even respond at another time or day. When you take time to think about how you would like to respond helps you reply with controlled responses. Taking time will help you avoid responding when you are emotionally charged with fear, hurt, or anger.

Maybe, Don’t Do This

Yesterday, I received an email from my abusive ex-husband’s wife. Whenever she sends me emails they are condescending, rude, an full of personal attacks. Although I have received less emails than I used to from my ex-husband, it hadn’t occurred to me to create a special folder for her emails into. There is no reason for her to talk to me. She is extremely abusive and unhealthy and I really do not need that in my life.

I didn’t exactly react, but I didn’t exactly respond either. So you can see why putting this in a special folder to avoid random emails. As, I mentioned in one of my previous posts, it seems like his wife is doing my ex-husband’s dirty work. I consider her like his personal minion and doing his bidding.

[To Me]

It has been over 30 days since a payment has been received for [daughter’s name] medical/dental expenses. Please advise when a payment will be rendered.

[From Minion]

My response:

[To Minion]

Check your mail.

Ask your husband, maybe he is hiding money in another account like he did with me. (include a screenshot of this payment sent out by the bank 7 days ago on Oct 13th) This message was truthful, but I really didn’t need to say it, but my frustrations were high after receiving another email from her and this is how I responded. So of course she is going to strike back. 

[From Me]

Her response:

[To Me]

My husband is an amazing man. He would give his right arm for me. He showers me with gifts all the time just Bc he loves me.  No deception in our marriage. The man I know would push someone in front of a bullet and save himself. We have never talked about these things, maybe deep down she knows there is a problem.

We have only receive a payment of $100.00 from you. Should I make a google spreadsheet for you to keep a running outstanding balance for you?  I don’t think I need to. Stop playing games and step-up to your mothers responsiblilites.

[From Minion]

My response, I have really grown tired of her bullying:

[To Minion]

My motherly duties exist since I gave birth to her and raised her for over 17 years with just a smidgen of your involvement. I will always be a REAL mother and have the responsibility as a REAL mother.

Oh my! Someone went on a tangent. Insecurities much?? How did you go from payments to “he showers me with gifts.” Weird. I did voice these thoughts with the help of a dear friend. There are so many things I would love to say, but I continue to hold back. 

[From Me]

Her response, really hateful and full of lies:

[To Me]

You make me laugh. [Daughter’s name] is healthy and thriving living with us. Everyday we peel back the layers of damage you have done to her.  No one falls for your victim act anymore.  Take a look in the mirror.  I’m sure you don’t like what’s looking back.  

I know you will respond to this bc you have a “last worder” personality & that makes me laugh, too. This was a low blow and my good friend even said, watch out when she replies, they will hit below the belt… and she did. 

[From Minion]

Get Healthy Support

After sending this message to one of my trusted friends who has known me for more than ten years she sent a text back saying:

Oh, she is lying!!!!

She is using a strategy of the narcissist (and some addicts): they don’t accept any responsibility for what they did (THEY damaged [daughter’s name]), but they are quick to say “It’s all your fault.”

It’s a sick game. Sick, sick, sick.

Another good friend said this:

Just remember they may try to hit below the belt like they have done in the past. Don’t let it get to you.

If they reply, just laugh because you will know you got to them.

All email screenshots were sent to my counselor along with this comment:

Okay. Trying not to let her message affect me. I know I didn’t damage my daughter. I did thrown the ball back a few times. I know better. I am just tired of being bullied by them.

My counselor replied:

I think it is okay to fight back. She sounds awful.

Last Response

There are no regrets over sending this message. Plus, there is no sickness in my stomach. Also, I thought about it carefully and waited all day. A good friend helped me with the wording and this was not sent when I was angry. Now their email will go to a special and forgotten folder. Once my daughter has graduated I will block the both of them completely. I also know this response is hitting her below the belt and isn’t exactly that nice. I am just sick of being a doormat for my ex-husband and his wife. There is no reason for them to speak to me the way they do. In the past, I have always taken the high road and it doesn’t stop them from attacking. So, I realize no matter how I respond, it will not have a positive response ever.

Closing Thoughts

So, do what you need to do to create a healthy atmosphere. I have created my folders and rules for both my ex-husband and his wife. I am not going to be caught off-guard again. It is time to stop allowing their emails to show up unexpected. It is time to set up healthy boundaries to prevent toxic elements from entering my life.

Reasons to Document Verbal Abuse

Tonight, I read through a few of my blog posts from seven years ago. My thoughts and points about the situations seem perfectly reasonable and rational to me today. So, either that means I am still sick today in my thoughts … doubtful… or the situation was crazy… probable. Documentation may or may not be useful in court, but it is extremely useful for personal validation. Throughout the years I have continued going to therapy, reading self-help books, and going to self-help meetings. Plus, I am surrounded by friends who are healthy and trustworthy.

Personal Validation

In my blog post Validation – I am not Crazy I am discussing the situation with my ex-husband and his wife signing a power of attorney giving his girlfriend (later his wife) full parenting rights at school with our daughter. First, why would a father sign his rights over to a girlfriend? His decisions to not participate in parenting did not mean the school had rights to give his girlfriend the same rights as I had. So this was my primary concern was that the school told me his wife had the same parenting rights as I had with our daughter. This is not a right they had to give away, especially without my permission or notifying me. Plus, I was actively participating in her school activities and functions.

To this day, I have problems with how the school district behaved. I hope this type of situation is unique to this school district. The schools my daughter went to prior and after this situation have not behaved in that manor. This leads me to believe in the nepotism situation. Simply because she was a assistant school teacher in their school, they gave her extra rights, and  I do not believe they would have otherwise.

Interesting enough, I was posting about her inappropriate behavior that didn’t bother me at first. I wrote, “We love you and miss you pumpkin” signed his wife’s name. Little did I know this type of behavior would continue and excessively. At first, I thought maybe this is just a really kind woman who enjoys sending gifts to our daughter. If my ex-husband and his wife hadn’t been so manipulative on so many different occasions then it would be easy to overlook as nothing. The ongoing game suggests there are always motives at play.

Parenting and Abuse

In my next post, Keeping Children Out of the Middle, I discuss the challenges of preventing this unhealthy behavior from touching our daughter. It is true, once the school was involved with my ex-husband’s manipulative games; it was impossible to keep it from touching our daughter. Divorce is tough enough without adding any additional layers. The school should have been a neutral ground. School had been the one place where she could go that our divorce dysfunction wouldn’t touch her. After that, our daughter had to deal with divorce hell everywhere she went. The school didn’t protect our daughter. They shouldn’t have remained neutral. Thankfully, we never had this type of experience again with the school again.

My ex-husbands manipulations and abuse have been documented over and over again in my posts. Yet, today my daughter is living with her father. How does that happen? This situation is quite sick and twisted. There is no rhyme or reason. No rational or logical explanation. I just realize I have to be okay with the fact that I did the absolute best I could. That I truly had my daughter’s best interest at heart at all times. My best friend constantly says that I handled this better than most people would have under the circumstances. Maybe there was nothing I could have done to change the outcome.

Pain is for a Purpose

Also, I need to keep in mind that everything happens for a reason and/or purpose. It has been really easy to focus on the negative experiences over the past year and that type of thinking surely keeps me stuck. So I realize I need to change my thoughts with purpose. Maybe my daughter is away so I can get healthy and get some freedom away from my ex-husband. There has been a lot less communication with him since she left. Maybe the lesson here is for my daughter to gain a different perspective. Whatever the reason, I must remind myself that I trust my higher power (I choose to call my higher power God) and that means there are no mistakes.

Co-parenting a Teenager with an Abusive Ex-Husband

co-parenting with loveIt is difficult to deal with a manipulative abusive ex-husband. Co-parenting with my abusive ex-husband has been more than a little difficult.  In fact, it has been downright painful at times. Time to make smarter choices when dealing with my teenager.

There are times I have felt hopeless, like this is some sort of game that he is winning.  Plus, he does often treat our daughter like a pawn for some game he is playing.  The problem is manipulation does seem to be pretty powerful tool that is working with our daughter.

Here are the issues:

  • She never gets in trouble at his house. How is this, well there are no rules, or the rules are opposite of our rules. So if you don’t have rules, you really can’t do anything wrong. So what would you get in trouble for?
  • When she gets in trouble at our house, for failing a class, lying, or smoking pot (recently)… she can call him and he will be understanding and we are overbearing.
  • When she isn’t trying in school, we are constantly on her, and he can praise her for bring her F up to a D at the last moment.  They tell her they are so proud of her.
  • Having no rule at his house, makes our house look like a strict household where we are just unfair parents who won’t let her do anything.
  • She goes to his house and tells her “They said I don’t deserve to eat food”, something we never said, and then he calls up and yells at us for saying something we didn’t say.  So when she is angry, she uses this tool to create additional conflict.
  • He and I do not communicate, not that I wouldn’t like to co-parent with her father, but that I really can’t co-parent with a combative parent. So, our teenage daughter takes full advantage of this opportunity to spin the story however she likes to both of the households.
  • His wife has told my daughter that I am crazy, or have ‘borderline personality disorder’.  Keep in mind that she is an assistant teacher and not really qualified to diagnose anyone, especially since we have never met.
  • He has spent years telling our daughter passive aggressive comments, like; your mom is going to be mad at you, you only have one real dad, he isn’t your real dad, you need to listen to your mom ‘no matter how she acts’, we aren’t the food police here, ….

So, I would like to say the truth wins, but it doesn’t always.  I was really thinking today I need to rethink my approach.  So, over here we do get on her too much when she lies, doesn’t do what she says, or does something she shouldn’t. So I realize, we need to pull a little Alanon tools into this situation.  No matter what she does, at her dad’s house they praise her for everything so they look better.

My best guess at this moment, is she is 17 and almost at the age where she could drive.  If she hadn’t been lying, failing school, and being so untrustworthy… we probably would have already have completed driving school, gotten her a used car and had her working by now. My ex-husband wants her to get a license, and this is even after being caught smoking pot in a car less than three weeks ago. He is determined to get her in a car.

He has never wanted to put the work in throughout her entire childhood.  He did not help her with homework on weekends, would say that she doesn’t have homework on weekends.  He almost never took her to any birthday parties that fell on his weekend. He stopped coming to see her during the week and just did visitation every other weekend. So, what is this big push now for her to come live with him.

Well, until she graduates from high school, he is supposed to pay child support.  He made the max amount of money, so he owes the max amount of child support. So, if she came to live with him, he could possibly stop paying child support.  If she had a car, she could potentially drive herself to school.  He may even think she could drive herself to the school by us and not even change schools. He also says he wants to buy her a car, and of course she wants that vehicle.

What he doesn’t realize is that she can’t choose until she is 18, but he believes she really can choose at 17. So, by him telling her this, she of course is really rebelling against the rules.  She doesn’t want to follow the rules and so it is easier to go live with dad, where she can do what she wants.

What do I do about this? It is definitely a tough situation. If she has an attitude and we are constantly on her, and they are constantly praising her, then she feels life would just be better at her dad’s house.

So, perhaps we need to approach this in a better way.  First, I do have her signed up to see a new counselor, because her old one just didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with her.  Probably will have to make a deal with her to see the counselor every week until she is 18, then if she still wants to move out at 18, well I can’t stop her.  I am hoping the counselor will possibly be able to reach her between now and then.

At home, I think we need to be more loving.  Continue with our boundaries, but speak more about love and how much we want her to succeed.  Try to release the tension, but at the same time keep our rules.  This new territory and will require plenty of Alanon meetings, Co-dependent meetings and church. Hopefully, she will pull through this okay and survive her childhood.

Accept the fact, that this might be all wrong and I might have to change my approach again.  In Alanon, one of the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ is ‘Do not be discouraged by the mistakes you make’. These same rules should probably be applied when dealing with teenagers.

Al-Anon Family Groups

Do’s and Don’ts

DO…

  • Forgive
  • Be honest with yourself
  • Be Humble Take it Easy – Tension is Harmful Play –
  • Find recreation and hobbies
  • Keep on Trying whenever you fail
  • Learn all the facts about Alcoholism (or Teenagerism)
  • Attend Alanon meetings often
  • Pray

DON’T…

  • Be Self-Righteous
  • Try to dominate, nag, scold or complain
  • Lose Your Temper
  • Try to push anyone but yourself
  • Keep bringing up the past
  • Keep checking up on your alcoholic (teenager)
  • Wallow in self-pity
  • Make threats you don’t intend to carry out
  • Be over-protective
  • Be a doormat

Co-Parenting With an Abuser

light on pink daisy

The most difficult time in my life was when I was living with my ex-husband. He controlled the finances, and I was constantly living on eggshells due to his unpredictable behavior. Today, I no longer have the constant headaches, stomach problems, and depression I experienced daily.

Although co-parenting with an abusive ex-husband can be challenging. It has also created problems between my husband and me at times because my daughter can be quite disrespectful when she talks to my husband. Unfortunately, my ex-husband has encouraged this type of behavior from our daughter.

My ex-husband’s parenting style has created problems for our daughter that make life a bit harder one some days. My abusive ex-husband’s influence on my daughter often brings out a sense of entitlement for my daughter. She likes being at her dad’s house and getting to do whatever she wants, and she sometimes rebels against rules when she comes home.

My ex-husband’s manipulative comments have affected my daughters behavior and thinking on some days. He is so arrogant, and he encourages that behavior from my daughter. He would tell her, “You don’t have to act like you are all that when you are already all that.” What kind of comment is that to tell your child? There are some occasions when my daughters comments or tones sound very much like my ex-husband.

His wife told my daughter she should pick a rich man like she did to marry. She also said she wanted a ring that was so big that her hand would fall to the floor. These types of comments seem very shallow to me. This is just how my ex-husband and his wife behave in general. They think very highly of themselves, and everyone else is beneath them.

I hope my daughter will come through this unscathed. When I was a child I had a father who was not putting my best interests at heart and I think today, I am okay. Growing up with my father certainly had an influence on my decision to pick my abusive ex-husband. My ex-husband reminds me of mine dad. My father thinks very highly of himself too, and that other people are beneath him.

I can only hope that the example we show in our house helps my daughter make the right choice. I am sure some day she will see my ex-husbands manipulative behavior at face value.

Manipulation of the Children – Abusive Fathers

Manipulating our Daughter

I think I am getting better at not reacting so quickly.  It seems crazy to me that we have been divorced for over 7 years and he still carries on like he does.  Throughout the entire school year he seemed to be rather quiet.  We found a lot of peace in that.

Recently my husband and I noticed my daughter was not acting like herself.  She was at her father’s house for a week and a half during Spring break.  We noticed she was texting on her phone constantly and mentioned a few times it was her father.  My husband decided to look at her phone to see what conversations were taking place and noticed she had deleted all her texts.  I do not blame him for looking and in light of all that was taking place I am glad he did.

When I checked our history on our cell phone carrier it turns out she was sending over 1700 text messages each month.  Just last year she rarely turned her phone on and clearly figured out texting very quickly.  At least 300 of the messages were between my ex-husband and her.  All these text messages had taken place in four days from early in the morning until right before she went to bed.

I showed my daughter the number of text messages she was sending and we discussed that 1700 was very excessive.  So she and I came up with a 200 text message limit per month which gave her probably less than 100 she could send with incoming texts factored in.

She told us that her dad, step-mother, grandmother and aunt have been telling her for the past few months when she turns 13 she can choose where she wants to live.  It sounds like they have been harassing her pretty good about this for a few months.  Plus they probably combined it with the ‘Disneyland’ visitation whenever she was there.  So my husband and I told her she did not have to worry about it because that law went away.

You do not get to choose where you want to live when you turn 13, so you do not have anything to worry about.

First of all, the law that allowed children at the age of 12 to choose where they wanted to live went away years ago.  Apparently it was putting children in the middle of litigation all the time being pulled from one or both parents.  Her father has really made his household one of ‘no rules’ what-so-ever.  So that might seem like an excellent idea to a 13 year old to do whatever you want with no consequences.

I sent a message to my ex-husband telling him she had gotten the idea that she could pick where she wanted to live and wanted it to remain exactly the same.  My attorney recommended I mention that in the email for his family to stop harassing her.

Good Afternoon,

I hope you are doing well.

Recently, our daughter was under the assumption that she gets to choose where she wants to live at age 13.  She has told me she wanted things to stay exactly as they are.  However, I have informed her that the law that allowed children to decide where they wanted to live at age 12 went away a long time ago.  I know she feels peace knowing that fact.

I asked her where she heard that and she told me you, your wife, grandma & aunt keep telling her that.  So I thought you might want to know the information is incorrect as well.

Thank you for all your support, have a great day!

His confrontation came through another path a few days later with his summer visitation request:

I will have our daughter for summer visitation on June 29th and returning her on July 13th.  I will also be picking her up on July 27th and returning her on August 10th.  Please note that we will be doing some traveling this year so that may or may not affect your decision to pick your weekend during these dates.  As I am sure you are aware if we are out of town during that weekend you will have to pick her up and drop her off where we are at.

Every year he tries to make this difficult.  He has even sent me emails telling him I cannot select my weekend (which is in the decree) after he has already picked his summer visitation.  So I sent my reply:

Good Afternoon,

Please tell me which weekend you will be traveling so we can schedule accordingly.  If you do not have plans at this point I will let you know which weekend now so you can schedule your travel around that time.

Thank you for the notice.

He replies:

I’m not scheduling my summer visitation around you so pick your weekend.

This is getting ridiculous, so I reply:

Good Evening ,

I would like July 6th -8th  or August 3rd -5th.  Please let me know which one works better with your travel plans.

Thanks,

He replies with this, stating he is ‘not trying to make this complicated’… um yeah…

I’m not trying to make this complicated but its way to early to plan the details for our trips and I can’t pick a weekend for you so choose one.

So I decided I am not going to keep dragging this on and it is clear he is being difficult.  Plus our daughter is visiting with him during this time and I do not see any reason to carrying on while she is there.  Besides I have two weeks to give him my answer, my reply:

Good Morning,

Why don’t we table this issue for another time.  Enjoy your weekend with our daughter while she is there.

Amazing how he tries to drag on conversations like he does.

 

I would rather be Healthy than Normal – Abuse Recovery

Communication with Abusers

One thing I have learned over the years is any amount of communication I have with my abusive ex-husband just keeps him going.  I also learned that everything I say to him comes back to bite our daughter.  We have been divorced for 7 years now and you would truly think my abusive ex  would have gotten over some of his bitterness.

Seriously, why is he mad anyway.  In fact if anyone should be angry still it should be me.  While I was married he did more cheating, spending all our money, getting DUIs, not helping raise our children and more….

Cookie Dough Incident (lol, does that sound silly or what?)

So our daughter came home this weekend and she said her father would not buy any cookie dough from her ever again because last year I gave his cookie dough away.  Do you think he holds grudges? The true story is my step-daughter did not realize it was his cookie dough and gave it to her grandma (who baked them).  So I gave him a check to return the money they paid and I made him a batch of cookies from scratch to make up for our error.  The truth is I had completely forgotten all of this happened last year until my daughter reminded me.  So I said, “He isn’t buying cookie dough from you because of an accident that happened a year ago and wasn’t your fault?”  Anyway, what a dumb thing to go on about.  Plus, he is just punishing our daughter for something she did not do.

Joys of Co-Parenting with Abusive Men

You would think after all this time I would no longer be surprised that he acts like that.  He is a controlling, abusive and entitled man what would I expect?  My twelve year old daughter says, “it is what it is.”  She has already accepted that he is like he is and although I know she dislikes it she also repeats what my husband says to her, “If i said something, he wouldn’t hear me anyway.”  Smart girl!  Just maybe she knows enough not to pick an abusive man to marry some day.

I have repeatedly told her she should love her dad, but she should also understand him and how he behaves sometimes is not acceptable behavior.  I told her she should pay attention to how her father treats his wife and how my husband treats me.   I am so grateful she has a better example of what a ‘real’ pretty healthy man acts like.  I never had that growing up and picked a really unhealthy men and relationship.  I doubt I would have know what a healthy relationship looked like 15 years ago.

Normal Person vs. a Healthy Person

I use to say, “I just want to be normal.”  Then I realized what I knew was normal to me once.  So I changed my words to say, “I want to be healthy.”  I knew there was a big difference between normal and healthy.  I also knew I couldn’t have been healthy and picking relationships like that.  Healthy people just do not run around picking bad relationships like I was.  I believe a healthy person has a better idea of who they are and their personal self worth… and I’d like to believe a healthy person would leave a relationship like that rather quickly. Does this sound more healthy? I think so.

As I said before I left him many times because he was not treating me right, but I kept going back.  I can honestly tell you I would rather have been with him unhappy then alone and miserable.  Just before I met my current husband I would rather have been happy and alone than in any dysfunctional relationship.

 

How Did I Meet The Abuser – 3

We spent about 5 years dating in our very unhealthy relationship.  He really liked to drink a lot and he would have bartender friends in every bar and restaurant we went to.  They would give him double shot drinks and he would tip them well.  If that wasn’t a sign of alcoholism I do not know what is.

At that time I did not know what an alcoholic was.  I think television and movies had really helped paint a picture of an alcoholic as a bum on the streets or a real wino.  I did not know how many functional alcoholics existed in society.   I did not know they look like everyone else and not only do they fool you into thinking it isn’t a problem they also fool themselves.

Sometime after the first year we dated he moved into my apartment.  I use to enjoy playing billiards and I played in leagues.   I remember he would get really upset about my going out and playing.  He would tell me he wasn’t worried about me but the guys in the bar.  He also also said he couldn’t see how my going out and the guys being nice to me would help our relationship.   He was jealous for sure and he wouldn’t go shoot pool with me very often because I would beat him and I think that bruised his ego.   Looking back I can see this was really all his problem and I just took them on.  He wanted me to give up the things I loved for him and I did. (key warning signs: low self esteem, controlling, jealousy)

His mother would come to visit and she was a piece of work.  She was terribly controlling and he always acted weird when she was around.  He would have to stock up the refrigerator with tons of beer.  He also had to buy her cheap wine because that was what she liked.  He always wanted her to drink more expensive wines but she knew she was just going to drink and didn’t want to pay a lot.  It was some kind of a love hate relationship, truly dysfunctional, and not healthy at all. (Warning signs: his relationship with his mother was a clear warning sign)

Now he always hated when my mother would come to visit.  Whenever she came to visit I would vent about my relationship problems and gain some strength to confront him on the problems.  My mother never liked him and she really kept her feelings to herself.  I am not sure I would have listened to her anyway with the mental chains I had tied to him at that time.  She didn’t like the way he controlled me or how he told me what to do all the time.  She never liked the way he spoke to me.  Sometimes I wish she would have said something but again am not sure I would have heard her.  He would get really upset about her and would try to tell me she didn’t know me like he did, she didn’t understand me.  (Warning sign: his attempting to isolate me from my family)

Now I had a dog at that time and she didn’t like him at all.  I should have listened to the dog.  He put his work clothes in the second bedroom closet and she would go to the bathroom in his closet.  Clearly she was saying something was wrong.  I still didn’t get it…

After a while we moved into a really nice two bedroom newly built apartment.  He put his clothes in the second bedroom closet in the new apartment and she would go to the bathroom in that closet as well.

In this apartment I remember his getting upset over everything.  He would get mad that I decorated the apartment.  He would get upset over little things like my hanging my jean jacket on banister of the entrance.  In this apartment there was a hole in the kitchen wall and he would stand on the other side of the wall to argue with me.  He had a serious issue with communication.  I tolerated this behavior though and it continued to get worse.  (Note: Unhealthy relationships typically go from bad to worse, not the other way around)

Sources:

How Abusers Isolate You From Family & Friends

Domestic Violence – Patterns of Abusive Behaviors