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Contact From Abusive Ex-Partner

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  • Contact From Abusive Ex-Partner

    Hi all,

    Firstly I am new here and to be perfectly honest have been spurred to join by the fact that I am facing a number of difficulties at the moment and feel I could benefit from a place to vent and get some outside perspectives. I feel like I have been through a lot in my life and so hopefully I will be able to help others at some point as well.

    To cut a long story short, around 10 years ago I came out of a 6 year relationship in which my male partner was frequently emotionally abusive and occasionally physical also. The peak of this abuse was when he tried to strangle me and then, instead of apologising, said that I had made him behave that way and should never do so again. That was the beginning of the end in terms of my love for him diminishing to the point where I wanted to get away. I could list a million things which happened and which continue to affect me to this day but I want to keep the post to a reasonable length.

    Just to be clear, I don't have any personal social media accounts anymore for various reasons (one being my ex) but I am required to have one for work as I teach at a university and Facebook is considered a useful way of keeping students updated. On all my personal accounts I had my ex and anyone remotely associated with him blocked but as it has been so long and wasn't on my mind, so I didn't think to do so when setting up my work account. Today I got a message from him out of the blue to my work Facebook account, basically of the jist that his wedding is approaching and that it makes him think of me, he wants to thank me and hopes I am as happy as he is.

    I understand that on the surface this appears very innocent and nothing to be concerned about. However, given the fact that I know the way he is and what he is capable of, I know that in reality the undertones are "I can contact you, I know where you work, I want to rub in your face that I am moving on and by wishing you happiness I illustrate how reasonable and amicable I am by comparison to you."

    I know I shouldn't let him affect me like this but I have been shaking all morning as I feel I can never fully get away from him. I feel upset, panicked and angry all at once. I just don't know what planet he is from or why he thinks I would ever in a million years want to hear from him or care that he is getting married. The last contact we had was of him threatening me and sending abusive messages to members of my family to the point where I had to relocate because I felt sure I would be attacked at home or work otherwise. I also feel bad for this future wife of his who not only is likely to be getting the same treatment I did behind closed doors but is also probably completely unaware that he has contacted me. He had a habit of emailing and texting his ex when we were together and I discovered several lengthy conversations between them (while we were together) about how special they had been to one another and how things could have been different. Presumably he is looking to draw me into the same scenario without this poor girl's knowledge which is NOT going to happen. Why is he even thinking to contact me if he is about to get married? Shouldn't he be thinking about his fiance?!

    This isn't the first time it has happened. He has previously contacted both myself and my current partner at intervals throughout the 10 years with mushy messages about how he hopes we are happy. On one occasion he managed to somehow find my personal email address (one I never had when we were together), which I find creepy at best and akin to stalking at worst. Knowing who he really is, I see these for what they are; transparent attempts to open a new dialogue and confirm that he still has some kind of control over me, however slight. I can't work out whether he is deluded and genuinely has no idea how terribly he treated me and thinks it is all 'water under the bridge' or whether he knows exactly what he is doing. Either way it is driving me crazy that these random messages keep appearing and I don't see it ever being the case that I can comfortably say it won't happen again.

    I have ignored the message and blocked him with my work account now, as I have each time. I thought that this would discourage him from contacting me again but apparently not. I feel at this time that I can't use my real name anywhere online as he will always be able to search me out otherwise. This is frustrating as it prevents me from having the proper portfolio and online presence which I feel would benefit my career without accepting that the consequence may be further contact from my ex.

    Well, despite my best efforts this message still got kind of long. If you managed to read this far, thank you for taking the time. Any advice or perspectives are appreciated.

  • wow, this is tough and know how serious this is
    so sorry he has found you again after your moving

    welcome to forum and we are hear to listen

    Comment


    • I'd resist any urge to respond and keep a record of the messages.
      "Those sowing seed with tears
      Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

      Comment


      • Raggydoll

        can understand why you are rattled especially since you moved to get away from him
        am hoping that he only found where you work and has not located where you live

        let us know what kind of advice you are seeking


        Comment


        • Yuck. I'm so sorry you're having to deal with someone like him, even long after you removed yourself from the situation (which, took a lot of courage by the way!!!). I don't blame you for wanting to be extra cautious.

          I recommend creating an alternative email address using a fake name and info (if you haven't already) and using it when you use sites like this one or ANY other. That way he can't search your name and/or email address and find things on you.

          Work accounts are a bit different. I'm thankful FB gives you the option of completely blocking him. Lock the page down to where no one but students and people you approve can see it. Watch out for strange requests from people you don't know (could be him in disguise).

          I was with an abusive man once. Emotional abuse was his forte. I caught him communicating with and reaching out to exes. I'm still on his FB actually (mutual friends, family friends, etc..... he doesn't bother me) and noticed he has a new girlfriend right now. But the other night, I saw him post a pic of an ex from a few years ago where they were kissing. By the next morning the post was gone, but I know EXACTLY what he was doing: sitting up at night, listening to music, drinking whiskey, reminiscing over an ex. All the while he has this beautiful sweet new girlfriend who has no idea what she's gotten herself and her children into.

          The others have given some great advice as well. I hope you feel welcome and safe here. We are so glad to have you.

          "Be what you're looking for."

          Comment


          • Thanks, everybody for the support and advice. I am glad to hear that there are people here who realise the significance of what has happened. I was worried I might be met with a wall of "seems pretty harmless." This has been the case in the past when I have told friends or family members that I was upset by it. They just don't seem to get that this man cannot be taken at face value and that I wasn't with him for 6 years without learning a little something about the intentions beneath his fascade.

            For this and other reasons I don't really have accounts in my own name anymore aside from for work purposes. It is just increadibly frustrating that he is the one who perpetrated abuse against me and now while he is quite free to go off and do whatever he likes I am the one having to limit my online presence and go incognito all of the time. The unfairness of it all really gets to me sometimes

            I have resisted the urge to reply so far. There is a large part of me which wants to send a reply stating that I never, ever want to hear from him and don't care whatsoever how he is or how he is doing but I feel as though any attention or reaction would be a 'win' from his point of view. If I reply being friendly in his mind I still have feelings for him or have forgiven what he did, thus alleviating any guilt he might feel (although I am not sure he feels any or is even aware that he did anything wrong). If I reply telling him to back off, I am the unreasonable one who lashed out when he was only wishing me the best. I'm just trying not to think about it but it isn't easy.

            Thanks again for the responses. I appreciate it.

            Comment


            • Originally posted by amy40 View Post
              Raggydoll

              can understand why you are rattled especially since you moved to get away from him
              am hoping that he only found where you work and has not located where you live

              let us know what kind of advice you are seeking

              I don't really feel he is an immediate physical threat at this time. I think (hope) that hearing back from me is not so important to him after 10 years as it was after I left. So, I guess in terms of advice I am really looking how to deal with this inside of myself. I don't want him to have the power to send me spiralling into anxiety anymore. Based on my experience so far, there is every chance that these messages will keep occurring throughout my life at intervals, however much I try to prevent it. I just don't know how to stop being affected, or at least be less affected, when it happens.

              Comment


              • I hope you can continue to resist the urge to reply. An abuser doesn't care HOW you respond, they just get satisfaction from the response. Actually, the more upset they can make you, the better. Nothing hurts an abuser worse than not mattering, and nothing says "you don't matter" like not responding.
                "Be what you're looking for."

                Comment


                • Welcome to the Forum!

                  My ex-husband still contacts me occasionally for some reason, and I know there's some underlying motive that I don't want to feed into. I feel the same way you do, in that many people seem to think it's harmless, but I know him too well to believe he has no more sinister objective. I understand completely. Nobody knows him like you do. Nobody understands their manipulation and control quite the way we do.
                  He was never physically abusive to me, but there were very unhealthy aspects to our relationship at the end, and he was manipulating and attempting to control our life. I believe he had developed a mental disorder.

                  I would actually encourage you to get some good professional counseling to help manage your own trauma from his abuse. if it still causes you to tremble, you could probably benefit from a few good counseling sessions with someone experienced in this type of trauma. A good counselor will really be able to help you be less affected by the memory and heal from the pain and confusion it's brought onto you.

                  I wouldn't respond to his messages. He is gauging the control he still has over you. Register on his gauge at 0 my dear

                  I hope you'll continue to visit us and keep us posted. Many good thoughts your way. hugs

                  Comment


                  • That sounds awful. What a horrible man. I'd certainly resist the urge to contact him and tell him to bug off [although I am sure there is more than that you want to say]. Definitely set up an account with a fake name. I haven't been in an abusive relationship myself but I can understand your perspective. Ignore friends and family who say he's harmless or you're exaggerating or whatever. You're right: they don't know him the way you know him. I would consider counselling. It isn't a magic pill but it will help you deal emotionally with your ghosts. See it this way: you've left him a long time ago and he will never have power or control over you again.

                    Comment

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