Is this a controlling and/or abusive relationship?

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  1. profile image51
    AnonymousNScaredposted 6 years ago

    When I got married one of the first things we did was try to quit smoking. I was really struggling. He told me if I smoked he would probably divorce me. He also wouldn't let me use nicotine gum, and as I didn't have access to my own money I couldn't go behind his back. I did pick up half smoked ciggy's off the street at one point and smoked behind his back and he blew his top (so going for he gum was doubly impossible). I started to gain weight, food being the only thing I could use to battle smoke cravings. I felt horrible at the weight gain (having had eating disorders as a teen my weight was very important to me). He told me it didn't matter how much weight I gained, so long as I wasn't smoking. I believed him. A few months down the road my weight became an issue. He started measuring out my food and had me get on the scales twice a week. If I didn't and didn't loose the weight he would no longer be attracted to me and would end up wanting a divorce. He ended up letting me smoke non-tobacco non-nicotine herbal cigarettes and for several years I simply smoked them. The hurt and anger I felt has not really healed yet. I spent a year fighting him for my right to choose what I wanted to eat and how much, only getting that right when I got out of him that he didn't trust me to not gain more weight, let alone loose the weight I had already gained. I pointed out to him the weight gain was a result of doing what he wanted, even tho I didn't (quitting cold turkey). That he had told me it didn't matter how much weight I gained, was all a lie to get what he wanted. It was only then that he stopped trying to measure my food and weigh me twice a week.
    Most recently the problem has been with climbing. We used to go climbing every sunday and if I didn't want to go he would get pissed at me so that I would pray to be sick so I didn't have to go. I was getting burned out on climbing but since he felt it was the only thing to keep me from gaining weight and was good for his bad back he had to go and I had to take him. Eventually the fights got enough that I stopped going climbing very often at all. I told him to find another climbing partner, one who actually wanted to go climbing. He then tells me, if he goes climbing with someone else he might cheat on me. So if I don't take him either his back will get worse or he will go with someone else and maybe cheat!

    On his defense, I have gone from crying in the bathroom to going violent myself. I have hit him and kicked him when I couldn't get out of the house to cool off. I tell him he is being controlling and he tells me I am being unfair. He says he isn't threatening to cheat on me, just being honest. It hurts enough to want to explode. A part of me really wants a divorce and wishes I had taken him up on his offer years ago but now I am pregnant and scared to death. I don't know what to do. Am I being unfair saying that he is controlling? Is it unfair to call what I see as controlling as mentally abusive?

    1. calpol25 profile image67
      calpol25posted 6 years agoin reply to this

      This link helped me to realize what was going on in my relationship and it may help you x smile Just have a look through it may have some answers  to some of your questions. take care x … ffects.htm

      1. IzzyM profile image88
        IzzyMposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        What an excellent link, Calpol!

        1. calpol25 profile image67
          calpol25posted 6 years agoin reply to this

          Your welcome Izzy, it helped me to get through what happened and why my partner treated me like that, and it may help others smile

  2. EmpressFelicity profile image71
    EmpressFelicityposted 6 years ago

    In answer to the question posed in the title of this thread: "yes".

    Why on earth didn't he let you use nicotine gum? Did he ever give a reason for that?

    1. profile image51
      AnonymousNScaredposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      He tried them once and they didn't work for him, he ended up smoking again and as such believed they are simply a way for companies to make even more money and don't actually work. That many people successfully quit with them didn't seem to matter when I pointed it out. They still wouldn't work and we couldn't afford them (I am sure his mom would have helped if needed).

      1. EmpressFelicity profile image71
        EmpressFelicityposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        That would have been the point at which alarm bells started ringing for me. No, actually it would have been when he threatened to divorce me if I didn't give up smoking.

        1. profile image51
          AnonymousNScaredposted 6 years agoin reply to this

          I was a very submissive person back then, very. I just wanted to make him happy and now I am just so angry all the time. He doesn't try to stop me smoking now (but will make little comments to ensure I know he doesn't approve) and says I am unfair for bringing the past up since he doesn't stop me smoking now but when he says he might cheat on me if.... It's just feels like the same old sh*t over again. Not at all the past for me. The worst bit is, I recently found out I am pregnant, now I feel totally trapped. I am such an idiot for loving this man.

  3. LeanMan profile image86
    LeanManposted 6 years ago

    I don't get how people like you allow people to treat you this way.. just walk away!!

    1. profile image51
      AnonymousNScaredposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      You are probably right and I am a total idiot for staying as long as I have. The only reason I can share is that he does things that are very sweet sometimes. I can be ill in the night and he will walk to every store at 4am until he finds the right medicine for me, not even my parents would do that for me when I was a kid. I could just wait till the morning if I didn't need an ambulance and hospital visit. I guess that doesn't say much for how I grew up I guess.

      1. EmpressFelicity profile image71
        EmpressFelicityposted 6 years agoin reply to this

        If it helps, the occasional sweetness and decency is a well-known thing in controlling relationships. Let's face it, if the controlling person is horrible all the time, then there's no way that most people would stay with him (or her). Being sweet every now and then keeps the controllee hanging on. (The controlling one probably doesn't even consciously realise what they're doing.)

        I've never been in your situation (thankfully) and I don't know what I'd do.

  4. profile image0
    icountthetimesposted 6 years ago

    Personally I do think you should stop smoking on accounts that it is likely to be damaging to your health. However, it doesn't really seem like smoking, or overeating are really issues for your partner. As you rightly suspect it appears to be more of a control issue and he would likely find fault even without these issues. I of course can't condone violence mentioned in your post though. The relationship seems to have a number of problems. That's not to say it can't be saved, but the problems definitely need to be addressed.

  5. IzzyM profile image88
    IzzyMposted 6 years ago

    I so empathise with you because I too am in an abusive controlling relationship, or was until recently. He was always so horrible to me, while doing things his way (which was never the right way, but he thought I was always wrong). Thank God I am too old to become pregnant because I really would not want to subject a child to his controlling behaviour.

    One day I woke up and realised I was no longer in love with him.

    What a release! Now I spend my day telling him to go forth and multiply the moment he says anything even slightly derogatory towards me, which is all the time. He can't seem to help it.

    I am destroying him, slowly but surely, the way he tried to destroy me. He is not to cocky anymore, and asks me before he does things.

    He should be long gone. It is my house, but he has nowhere to go, and although I don't love him, I don't hate him and can't send him to a life on the streets (not yet anyway, it could still be coming).

    Because of my situation, and my own life experience before that, I can tell you now this man will not change until you do.

    You have to get your own self-confidence back, and stop listening to him. Don't be violent towards him, he's not worth that. You could overdo it one day and find yourself in court.

    Sort out your affairs as best you can. You don't sound as if you are ready to split from him yet, but you know, one day you will wake up too and realise the love is gone.

    When it has, are you going to allow him to take your child from you? Because he sounds like he himself has insecurity problems deep down inside, and he will want to own anything he thinks is his. First you, then your child.

    If you are strong enough to walk now, do it. If not, be ready to in future. Have you family nearby you can confide in, who can offer you and the baby a place of refuge in the future?

    Sorry you are going through this.

    Things will get better, but you need to find a way to turn the tables first. What he has done to you already will stay with you forever. It has already set the seeds of destruction and your future relationship with him will always be tainted by it.

  6. Lisa HW profile image64
    Lisa HWposted 6 years ago

    AnonymousNScared, "First you, then your child."  (Izzy is absolutely correct.)

    Maybe (since he claims he thinks you're being unfair), if he'd go to a counselor with you, a counselor might be offer enough that he'd see he's the one with the bad behavior.  For all the people who live in these situations (to one degree or another), I think a lot of these people don't really intend to do what they do (although some do).  Some of them, though, just truly believe they know more than the spouse does and truly believe they have a right to do what they do.

    Maybe a counselor could actually point out to him that the situation is unhealthy (if you can get him to go).  (If not, at least you'd have his behavior in a file somewhere; so if you do go for a divorce his behavior is "on record").  On the other hand, if he won't go with you to a counselor "to iron out problems in the marriage" - well, that pretty much tells you what you need to know.

    On the brighter side, since you say you've raised the issues with him (and been violent toward him), that would suggest you haven't been completely intimidated, or manipulated, into remaining silent - so, who knows...   Maybe a counselor could point out to him some of the things his mother apparently never did.  (A lot of these people - at least the non-violent kind - just grew up thinking they're "big, important, brilliant, cheeses" who know better than everyone else (particularly their spouse), because nobody ever sat them on their read end and told them they aren't superior to everyone else when they were younger.) 

    The trouble with what you've described, though, is that if his attempts to control aren't stopped somehow, there's the chance the behavior could escalate.  (And even if it doesn't ever escalate, you'll be living in this unhealthy situation for however long.)

  7. calpol25 profile image67
    calpol25posted 6 years ago

    Hi, I have had the same experience, my ex partner did the same to me.
    In answer to your question - you are being controlled and abused, Lisa HW is right with what she has written and has the right idea about a counselor, as this maybe the best thing here. I seen one and realized just what was going on and why my partner was doing this to me, and I managed to build up the courage after 6 yrs to leave.
    It starts off them controlling but the behaviour can escalate and before you know it - you have a black eye, broken bones or worse you can end up dead! My partner beat me and that was the last straw and I left. Only you know the answer as its up to you what you want to do here. But were all here for you. x

  8. Shaddie profile image84
    Shaddieposted 6 years ago

    I second Lisa's opinion, invest in a counselor. It sounds like you aren't quite ready to give up on him yet, and you are asking questions. THAT'S GOOD! Keep asking questions and searching for ways to fix your problems. Professional help might be the answer you guys need, or it might help you guys just enough to figure it out on your own.

    If he refuses professional help... Well, then I think we all know what you might have to do next.

  9. mega1 profile image77
    mega1posted 6 years ago

    been there, done that.  self-esteem is the answer.  When you recover your self-esteem you will wonder how you let him mistreat you so long -  but really get some support for your sagging ego - get a therapist, or go to a women's center and join a support group.  Purposely make a couple friends you can call on to back you up.  Don't stay in this ugly relationship - and do whatever it takes to get out of it.  It has gone on too long and you only have this one life to live,  is it worth living it with pain and anger and fear?  No!  So really, you have to be pro-active with your life, nobody else can do it for you.  It really won't take all that long - get as independent as you possibly can.  I moved to another town!  I never will regret it.  I still struggle with the scars.  I know it can be done and has to be done because living with abuse is dangerous for you both!  You know what I mean.  Seek help.  Online advise is good, but you need to make it a reality!!


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