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Am I the abusive one? *Trigger Warning*

Open Discussions About Domestic Abuse.

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Am I the abusive one? *Trigger Warning*

Postby Changegoncome » Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:42 pm

Skip to final two paragraphs should you wish to cut to the chase
To introduce the situation, there are a few matters I deem significant. For one, my partner and I are expecting. I am 2 months and 3 weeks pregnant. In the past, I left my partner two years ago after leaving my home senior year and trying to live with his family. It was an ordeal daily, to say the least. I did not feel safe around his consistently inebriated step mother, as she had a tendency to threaten our lives and insult us. He would not move in when I begged, nor allow me to be friends with an ex who would come to my aid, and he said moving in with my sister would be the end of us. Thus, I left.

I was admittedly unhealthy and insecure at that time, but have worked daily in noticing signs of my own toxicity. For example, then I would never admit fault to my actions. There was always some reason for the time I got drunk and made out with a friend, for being upset he'd spend time with others rather than me, and berating him for not staying with us regardless of the fact that he was often the target of the resident lush.

Currently, we have an apartment together and are over a year reunited. At the beginning, he was always either thrilled by my presence or was furious with my past decision to leave. He would say he was better without me (despite a drug dependency and depression while I was gone), he should have been with someone else (some people we were friends with in hs),he didn't want me, etc.. Once, I tearfully told him if he felt that way I would go. He said he would help me pack. There were a few very similar fights in the early stages. Over him not defending me when his father insulted me for any reason, over me wanting to go out and him not (I have no car), over the past...

Forward to recently, I sometimes wake up cranky. Be it with the mess in the kitchen, him ignoring my emotions, he won't make something to eat when I'm too tired from the lizard I'm growing, or otherwise, I am upset and admittedly easy to annoy. He gets furious should I not want to massage him, if I say no to lending him my smartphone for the day, if I suggest we wake up at 9 instead of 11 so we have time to do chores, etc.. We both say we feel as if we are on eggshells.

When he found out I was pregnant, he said it's fine. I'll just get an abortion. Being pro choice, I don't view the action as wrong and have told him such. However, I also informed him that I don't think I could unless the conception be non-consensual or dangerous to health. He says I never did. I considered regardless (I was very scared), and told him that evening I could not do it. He... didn't take it well. Stoic as he is when upset, he ignored my pleas and tears. He said he wanted nothing to do with me if I had the child, even if I put them up for adoption. He can't trust me if I keep it and make him pay child support. He would kill "it" with his bare hands if he could. I should drink myself to abortion- no, he doesn't care if it makes me a depressed alcoholic. I slapped him and immediately apologized, as violence is sometimes an innate response but is always wrong. Somehow, I called him down. I hardly recall which of my desperate pleas worked.

Another time, I was particularly cranky from being fatigued and nauseous. I asked him the previous evening if he'd make me breakfast, to which he agreed. In the morning, I tried to rouse him at 10:30. He was ornery and stubborn. I got upset, and reminded him of his promise. Told him the hunger made me nauseous. He ignored me. So I got up to heft cereal, angry and yelling from the kitchen how he doesn't keep promises, he can't be responsible and get up at a decent hour, he doesn't care about us, etc. I came back and sat down to eat. He grabbed my shoulders, causing me to fall to the side at he took my bowl and dashed it against the wall. I told him it was abuse. He stormed off saying it was my fault and he didn't shove me. He broke the dog's bowl in anger when I reiterated.

Admittedly, I have yelled and been irrational before. I've even shoved against his chest. Yet, I always apdmonisj myself and admit to what I have done as wrong. Yet, he says every fight he is too good to me and I am the problem. I will never find someone willing to put up with me like he does. He says I am manipulative because I say we are both at fault but I admit to it. He says he doesn't gaslight me, though I have journal entries to prove otherwise. Please, tell me what you think. Can I be better? Or is it him?
Last edited by quietgirl2538 on Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Am I the abusive one? *Trigger Warning*

Postby FuriousRose » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:43 pm

I'm in a similar situation. My husband is in jail and currently awaiting trial for domestic violence; he gave me a black eye last year and I reported it to the police, but I didn't want to press charges at that time. Then, a month ago, I woke up to him threatening me with a weapon, and I called the cops, and now they are charging him with the incident from before AND this incident.

My guilt is tremendous.

I know that it is never right to hit anyone, but I *know* I started the fight that led to it getting out of hand. If I provoke him, at what point does he get the right to fight back? Just because I'm a woman and he is a man doesn't give me the right to antagonize him to the point where he snaps. I think he's going to go to prison for a long time, and I would probably divorce him if that happened. Not to be mean, but to do him a favor. Relationships are supposed to enrich your lives, not destroy them.

I think we both feed off of each other, and we don't know how to communicate, which is what I think your "challenge" is, too. The fights that you guys have are superficial ones; you THINK you're fighting about whether or not he made you breakfast, but deep down, it's a fight about how you feel that he doesn't even try to do little things to make you happy, and you feel unimportant. Right?! Sort of?!

I suggest reading "The High Conflict Couple" by Alan E. Fruzzetti, PhD. The most important thing I learned from that book was that when a couple starts to fight, their feelings get so out of control that they begin to lose focus. Then, it's too hard to calm down to be rational, and you can't ever find a solution if neither partner fights fair. I'll admit, I tried using some of the techniques in the book when fighting with my husband, and he made fun of me (grrrrr). I'm guessing it's because I didn't sound authentic, but that will take some work.

When you argue, try not to use terms like "you always" or "you never," because that makes the other person get defensive. I've learned that if I keep my voice down and kind of "monotone," it forces him to listen to what I'm saying more carefully, and helps diffuse the situation.

Do I think you guys are both part of the problem? Yes. Because I see it in my own marriage.

Do I know how to fix it? No, but my guess would be exploring some dialectical behavior therapy books (like the one I mentioned) as a starting point, and seeing how willing he would be to go to counseling.

Best of luck!
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