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Inspired By A Dear Friend.

I've posted experience before, but had taken it down after having become frustrated and removing all of my experiences. But I've been completely inspired by a dear friend who found the courage to share her story.

It may come as a shock to some people, but while women do seem to take much of the abuse in bad relationships, there are the guys who fall victim to abuse as well. It's not easy to come forward or talk about, as it seems in our society it's the norm for guys to bottle up emotions instead of talking about them. It took me almost a year after breaking out of a four year long emotionally abusive relationship to come forward and admit it.

People, me and women alike, please be aware of the signs of an abusive relationship. Sometimes it's hard to tell, because there's always that little fine line between what is and is not okay, and what is and is not abusive. Signs include:
* Verbal abuse
* Withholding love and affection
* Demanding intimacy, sexual abuse may be another sign
* Attempts to isolate you from friends and family
* Their actions and abuse often make you feel like you're the cause of the problems. It usually gets to a point where you make excuses for their bad behavior and take the blame for it.
* Might make physical threats

These were exactly many of the things I experience, with the exception of physical abuse or threats of it. I was verbally abused. I would be the target of these long drawn out bursts of anger that could last as long as weeks, and never know the cause or what I did to deserve it. As a result always took it as something being wrong with me that I caused it and make excuses for the way she treated me. She would flip flop between isolating me emotionally to get her way to trying to control me with intimacy. I wasn't allowed to see my family or speak to them while I was with her, which was difficult being that I live with them -- I actually had to live a double life to make her happy.

Family and co-workers tried to tell me something was wrong with this relationship, but I wouldn't listen at the time. I know it may sound harsh when you hear these things from your family and friends, but they only have your best interests in mind. Please listen to what they have to say before things get worse.

If you feel like you may be in an abusive relationship, please seek help. Often these people their selfs have experienced hardship and were in turn abused. This does not excuse their behavior, and it's not your fault, but they do need help as well.

Be safe and take care!
Omnomonymous Omnomonymous 26-30, M 10 Responses Dec 27, 2010

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You're very welcome! It's a shock when you open your eyes and take a step back and realize it. Love can be blinding like that :P.<br />
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The important thing, though, is coming out of it stronger and wiser, and to not harden your heart so much that you shut love out completely :).

Thanks, nell! <br />
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I'm very sorry to hear about your losses. <br />
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It breaks my heart to know that other people have to go through similar, or even worse. It's a heartbreaking thing to be caught up in. There's that part of you that knows that this person isn't all bad, that there's something beautiful in them, and you want to help them through and help the find it. . . . and there's that feeling of helplessness when you realize you don't have what it takes to fix things. Ultimately, though, we have to have enough love and respect for ourselves to recognize the situation and help ourselves out.

Thanks so much for sharing this. I am very glad you got out and are awake. She sounds like my mother, who had weeks-long tantrums, and who left us but returned years later when she wanted a place to retire. Daddy didn't know what to do -- times were different -- he died of a gunshot while the two of them were alone; and my only sibling killed himself afterward. <br />
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So I am extremely grateful when good folks like yourself become aware and try to spread the word. Thank you again.

I'm not entirely ready to share my story just yet, but here's a website a found very helpful. I took their quiz about how you know you've suffered domestic abuse. Reading down the list yes, yes, yes, no, yes, yes, yes.....to get to the bottom where it read you've probably been a victim if you've answered yes to one or more questions. This made me cry. The realisation that not only had I put up with it but I had no idea that thats what was happening<br />
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http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-articles.asp?section=00010001002200410001&itemid=1272&itemTitle=What+is+domestic+violence

it's been a long time, but one of my first relationships was like that. by the time i ended it, i really felt nothing but disgust for him. i saw how his attempts to control me were just a symptom of his weakness. last time i saw him, i was helping serve thanksgiving at a homeless shelter; he was a guest . . .

Thanks, lilypad : }! You're correct, abuse does not discriminate. Happens male-female, female-male, and even male-male female-female. Anywhere a relationship can blossom, the chances are there. <br />
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With that said, we can't let that scare us away from letting people get close to us, just need to know the signs so we can set our boundaries. <br />
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*HUGS*

I applaud you for coming forward. Our society is just now coming to accept that abuse happens, but it is still not accepted that it happens to men also. Abuse happens across all lines. A person's gender, sexual orientation, economic status and race have no bearing on the probability of whether or not abuse happens. Hugs to you.

Thanks, Juja : ). Unfortunately, I think by the time we notice -- if we notice -- our other relationships are so strained over things. But, often they're able to see things we can't. Love is a blinding thing.<br />
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Thanks, Sara. You are 100% correct. Constant criticism shows itself in an emotionally abusive relationship. It gets to a point where you believe the criticism, and your entirely reality becomes so skewed that you can't find the ability to argue the points they make. <br />
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The important thing, though, is to stand by those who have stuck by you -- your friends and family. Find the ability to build yourself back stronger. It's taken me a little over a year to begin to recover to a point where I can function in social settings. There's still hope!

I really appreciate you sharing her story, but most of all this very important information with us. I want to add some of my own information. In the book I have read called the emotionally abusive relationship it mentions that constant criticism is another form of emotional abuse. Throughout my whole life I have lived with criticism from my mother and my husband. And from what I have learned it tends to have eaten away at my self--confidence and sense of self-worth and undermining any good feelings I have about myself and my accomplishments.

Thank you for sharing this with us Omny *hugs*, it takes a lot of strength to admit to any form of abuse, and letting the rest of us know the signs. One of the biggest indicators, like you mentioned, is when family members and friends begin noticing there's something wrong with the relationship. It's so easy to feel attacked when a friend or sister points out the abuse, but people should keep their eyes open. The people who love us will be protective of us....