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Jealousy and control
Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2008 11:00 am
Hi, I just thought I would post my recent experience here in the hope it can help someone else in a similar situation.
I recently ended a short relationship of three months due to my ex boyfriends extreme jealousy and trying to control me. Girls - please spot the warning signs:
*) He tells you he has been violent in the past - me ex told me out right of this but said it was no longer an issue, it was when he was younger/the drugs/alcohol/stress etc - excuses. It very rarely is in the past and abusive people rarely change.
*) He shows more than normal levels of jealousy.
*) He gets too serious too soon saying he is falling in love within weeks, talking marriage, kids etc at the very early stages. Also, how he speaks of his past - i.e. every girl before was awful to him and horrible and he had been waiting for a girl like me for years and years etc... I spoke to someone he knew and she said he said EXACTLY the same things to her when they were together.
*) Also if he shows lack of patience if you dont reply straight away to his messages/pick up his calls - its a warning sign of someone being controlling.
*) He asks you to not see certain friends (especially male) or not go certain places, or questions you who you know in these places.
*) He uses ANY abusive language to you - it is verbal abuse. Even in an argument, it os not acceptable. Also note how he behaves in an argument - does he shout you down. These are all warning signs please be alert to them.
*) My ex constantly doubted me and put me in position where I had to constantly reassure him but he never believed me anyway so I was wasting my time.
*) He threatens violence at a third party - this is used to control you by making you fear what he could be capable of.
Of course, someone may not display all of the above characteristics, these are simply my experiences, but taken together and even in isolation, they point to a man who is abusive and controlling. If you end things he will say how sorry he is, how much he loves you, he can and will change if only you give him a chance. However, only if he admits to having a problem and being willing to get professional help will he change and even then it wont be easy. My ex even said, about the extremely abusive names he called me, that he realises I was too sensitive to take them! Therefore he was shifting the blame onto me for not being able to take his abuse!! I realised then he doesnt think he has a problem.
Thankfully I havent stuck around long enough to experience him being physically violent to me but I know it would have happened in the future at some point (especially speaking to his ex above who he was only with for a short while. Im just sorry I never listened to my gut instinct but I am VERY thankful he has been like this so early on rather than it coming out in a years time or longer, or if we'd moved in together.
There are really useful resources on the internet - Refuge and Womens Aid for example, if you have a feeling you are being abused, if it feels as if someone is taking away or trying to take away your control of what you do, where you go, how you behave, then you are being abused. Please look at the websites, talk to your friends and please get out as early as possible.
Edit by Pwif: as noted by 'I_am_legend' below, most of the points can apply to both men and women.
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 12:42 am
In a nutshell, theres so much truth in there, I hope a mod picks up on it and turns it into some kind of sticky,
all the best,, frosty
Posted: Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:22 am
FrostbiteHG wrote:In a nutshell, theres so much truth in there, I hope a mod picks up on it and turns it into some kind of sticky,
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 3:35 pm
Well ahead of the news on this subject ey guy...! x
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:19 pm
Grhh. This type of person makes me really angry. Bully and coward springs to mind. Don't ever stay with someone like this.
Posted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 4:43 pm
Did you see it on the news too?! Its such an important subject.
Im so glad I saw the early warning signs - and at times Ive even doubted myself afterwards, it goes to show how easy it is to fall in to a trap like that. He was really apologetic afterwards etc, saying hes suicidal one minute then telling me to go beep beep beep myself the next!! Its been so stressful though as Ive worried about him coming to my house which thankfully he hasnt.
Oh, and he thinks its all my fault - yet again another trick - he is text book!
Well, you live and learn and I hope any of the signs Ive given will alert others to the possibilities of an abusive relationship early on.
Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 10:28 am
What a great thread! The more people know about this the better. It's far too easy to get sucked in by them.
Well done Grace both for your quick wit and for this thread
Posted: Tue Sep 09, 2008 11:59 am
I'm not trying in the slightest to defend guys like this, i had a friend who's b/f was liek this,
but i have also had a g/f in the past that was like this, it does happen the otherway round
Posted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:07 pm
I go out of a nightmare marriage that was just like this, and I am so thankful ! All was fine until I was married, living miles from my family and friends and not working so under is complete control.
I spent 5 years trying everything to make things work, read loads of books etc and it wasnt until I was watching a morning TV programme where they were talking about abusive relationships that it suddenly thought, thats me!!
Strange thing is, I spent forever wondering if it was me until the other week when I had a message on Facebook from his new wife. Said they had been married a year and had just split up, she wanted to know if he had been the same with me as he was with her, controlling her life, not letting her have friends etc.
At the end of the day, I do think someone can change but they have to commit to it and want to get help. Doesnt sound like my ex has learnt any lessons from our failed relationship, poor woman!
Posted: Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:15 pm
I was with someone like that for 3 years -- completely controlling, turned every argument around to make me out to be in the wrong, told me all my friends were idiots and would not let me hang out with them, if i went anywhere without telling him first i was in trouble, (We didn't live together), if i didn't answer my phone STRAIGHT AWAY he went completely mad, shouting at me and telling me I should have known he was going to be calling me then, i should have had my phone in my pocket, been waiting for his call. he was completely paranoid, jealous, totally controlling. so yes, those are all textbook signs. great post. I'm sure so many people have had this kind of experience. I don't know why I stayed with him so long, i think i felt sorry for him and he made me feel i couldn't leave him.
Posted: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:39 am
Hey, I found this article from MSN, I thought it may be good for this post-well I hope it is anyway!
Are you being secretly manipulated?
Does your self-esteem change according to approval or disapproval from others? Always end up apologising simply to keep the peace? If so, you may well have been 'gaslighted'. We talk to psychologist Dr Robin Stern, author of The Gaslight Effect, about spotting and stopping this type of manipulation
Does your self-esteem change according to approval or disapproval from your partner? Do you feel elated when your boss praises you, but at rock bottom when your work is criticised? Or perhaps you always end up apologising simply to keep the peace at home?
If you can answer yes to any of the above you may well have been 'gaslighted', warns psychologist Dr Robin Stern, author of The Gaslight Effect.
Taking its name from the classic 1944 film, Gaslight, in which Ingrid Bergman plays a woman who suffers at the hands of her manipulative and scheming husband, Stern believes that this particular form of insidious bullying is startlingly common - and can be emotionally devastating.
"The Gaslight Effect results from a relationship between two people; a gaslighter - who needs to be right in order to preserve his own sense of self and his sense of having power in the world - and a gaslightee, who allows him to define her sense of reality, because she idealises him and seeks his approval," Stern explains.
"Gaslighters and gaslightees can be of either gender, and gaslighting can happen in any type of relationship including with your boss as well as your partner, but I refer to gaslighters as 'he' and gaslightees as 'she' since that's the pairing I most often see in my practice.
"What is remarkable is that most people who experience this kind of manipulation are actually very successful in every other area of their lives and could never imagine themselves in an abusive relationship, but this is such a gradual process that it tends to creep up on them - and by the time they realise it the damage is usually already done," she adds.
She believes women are generally very good at empathising - having been socialised to be people-pleasers - and that it comes naturally for us to put ourselves in other people's shoes.
"The problem," she says, "is that women often fall into the empathy trap, which tends to occur when we become so good at trying to understand where someone else is coming from and how they're feeling that, almost imperceptibly, we start to see things from their perspective.
"Suddenly one's own feelings and sense of reality take a second seat and you will often end up apologising for someone else's behaviour, feeling unsure of yourself and your opinions, losing the courage of your convictions and, over time, essentially forgetting who you are," she cautions.
A similar thing can often happen at the office, she argues, and to an even greater degree - because we convince ourselves that we need the relationship with our boss to work to keep a roof over our heads.
"What if you know that your boss or colleague doesn't like or respect your work, but every time you confront them about an issue they make it into your fault, such as telling you that you are paranoid, or too emotionally sensitive, or not as hard working as you used to be?"
"This type of constant undermining can make office life unbearable and needs to be dealt with quickly and effectively."
The warning signs
The Gaslight Effect may not involve all of the experiences or feelings Stern has identified below, but if you recognise any of them in your own relationships, there's a good chance that you may be a victim.
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself and ask yourself, 'Am I too sensitive?' a dozen times a day.
2. You are always apologising to your mother, father, boyfriend or boss and wonder frequently if you are a "good enough" girlfriend/wife/employee/friend/daughter.
3. You can't understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren't happier.
4. You frequently make excuses for your partner's behaviour to friends and family.
5. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don't have to explain or make excuses.
6. You start lying to avoid the put-downs and have trouble making simple decisions.
7. You think twice before bringing up certain seemingly innocent topics of conversation.
8. You have a sense that you used to be a very different person.
9. You feel as though you can't do anything right.
10. You find yourself furious with people you've always got along with before.
How to fight back
"The most important thing is to identify what is going on because once you understand what is really happening in your life then that in turn is very empowering," says Stern.
"Once you realise that you have your own part to play in the situation then you automatically have control over stopping it."
The next step is to immediately recognise the Gaslight Effect when it comes up, and to tackle it head on, according to Stern.
"It's a time to opt out of the conversation and to say that, although you respect that person, you are going to have to agree to differ, and thus remove yourself from a potentially volatile situation," she advises.
"Remember, you always have the power to set that boundary and you have the right to be in a relationship where people show respect to you - and if this is not the case then you can simply say, without being belittling or aggressive, that you don't like the way you are being spoken to at the moment or, in the long-term, work out whether or not you really want to stay with that person or in that job, or to leave.
"The ultimate power that we have in any relationship is the power to withdraw. We don't have the power to change somebody's mind or to make them think differently - although we can try!"
Re: Jealousy and control
Posted: Tue Dec 16, 2008 4:47 pm
This is a brilliant post and I can unfortunately relate to a lot of this. I have just come out of a four year relationship with the man I wanted to spend my life with - and I'm so glad I did! He was very jealous and possessive and managed to ruin every night out I had without him by accusing me of things, he didnt like me having any male friends or even talking about male colleagues at work, he just couldnt handle it. He dumped me on more than one occasion and kicked me out of the house where I ended up staying at my mums. After a row he would punish me by not speaking to me for days. I can now see he was extremely selfish and really not a nice person, and nobody deserves to be treated like that, we all deserve respect and kindness in a relationship. Please try and spot the warning signs girls....x
Re: Jealousy and control
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:08 am
grace wrote:*) He shows more than normal levels of jealousy.
*) He asks you to not see certain friends (especially male)
Hi, I'm a guy and these two points stood out to me.
Would anyone define me as jealous and controlling because I don't want my g/f to see a person who I know fancies her and will have no problem in trying it on with her if I wasn't about, even though he knows she is with me? Or because I don't want my g/f to see a friend from school she knew from years ago who she has met 3 times out of school and has had sex with on each occasion (over the time of about 4 years, before I really knew or was with her...we have been together 7 months btw)? I'm not bothered by what happened in the past, but I am bothered by the circumstances in which they have met up previously and wouldn't feel comfortable with him around her, especially if I wasn't there as I feel he may strongly want to have sex or be intimate with my g/f because of the previous times they have met.
I think these are perfectly natural feelings and think guys (and girls) who feel this way shouldn't be suddenly categorized as crazy possessive no-gooders who you shouldn't put up with! I think that, with the right reasons, a partner has every right to think and feel this way, simply because they don't like the thought of someone thinking they can have it off with their g/f or b/f! I'm not completely overwhelmed to prevent my g/f from having guy friends, but ones with a history I am weary of (apart from one). If she met either one of the guys I'm talking about randomly I wouldn't be bothered, but I'd be weary of their intentions with my g/f, especially if they asked to meet up with her or asked her on a night out etc. I know nothing would happen on her part as I trust her and wouldn't judge her or think she is lying, but just the thought of someone trying it on with my g/f is quite...I don't know the word, but it's not nice (a bit of an obvious one, but some people worry about this more than others, don't mean they are controlling or jealous).
Am I jealous and controlling? What I'm saying is don't judge someone's thoughts or feelings before you know the reasons behind them, because mine seem perfectly logical and understandable to me!
Re: Jealousy and control
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:34 am
WELL THE ONE SHE HAS HAD SEX WITH AND ONLY OCCASIONALLY SEES I HAVE TO AGREE WITH YOU- sorry on caps
The other guy i see differently. She has never done anything with him upto now so why do you think she might in the future.
If he was her friend before you met then i don't think you have the right to stop her seeing him
Why are ypou so sure this guy would try it on with your girl? So what if he fancies her, you cn't stop peopel fancying other people but that doesn't mean they don't have bounderies.
Also if your g/f did decide to do something with him it just shows she isn't committed to you, maybe it would be better to find that out sooner than later
The problem is if you try to stop her that could be what ultimately pushes her away. People don't like to be controlled and told what to do.
Have you spoken with her about this and what are her feelings on the subject?
Re: Jealousy and control
Posted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:47 am
I wouldn't stop her seeing the guy she slept with - was she in a relationship when she previously met him; if not then no harm done. Now she is in a relationship; it doesn't mean to say she will do it again.
As for the guy trying it on with her; so what? So long as she doesn't act on it thats ok; what happens if she goes on a night out and some guy tries it on with her - its the same principle.
I'd say to her that you were worried about the situation and would she call/text regularly. Make it clear you are not happy about the situation. But if you stop her seeing her friends she'll resent you for it.