Killing me softly with his words
At the party she met a guy, they started chatting and soon realised they had a lot in common. This felt so good to find someone who understood her world, plus whilst chatting he was continually paying her compliments and being thoughtful to her needs. Over the following weeks they continued to meet and chat, discussing the world and their feelings and thoughts. They were getting on so well that it felt natural and right when he suggested they move in together.
They found a place that fit both their needs, he was so considerate of this whilst they were looking, and finally they found the right place; although it was a little out of the way from her friends and family he promised she could visit them as often as she wanted. So they became busy building their nest and their future; although there was some disagreement over styles and colours she generally felt OK with what he had chosen. Finally their home was complete and they settled into their new life together; but gradually things started to go wrong, as they can do.
She worked long hours which meant she was often home late, and he felt uncomfortable with this as they had little time together. So she changed her job so they would have more quality time; it meant less pay but they could still live comfortably. However, now they couldn't do as much, as they could not afford to; although he managed their finances well, there was now no money for her to spend on nights out with friends and family, and her visits grew less as there was less money to spend on transport. Also, he had become unhappy about her spending time away from home, which she felt was a sign of his love because of how much he missed her and worried about her when she was gone.
Gradually his expressions of worry became accusations of mistrust that she could never ease or dismiss. She felt sad for him as he was always sorry after; explaining that he had never loved someone as much as he loved her and that he was so frightened of losing her. Soon the accusations and apologies became daily events and she had reached a point where she hardly saw friends and family now for fear of upsetting him; plus they continually told her, the few times they managed to talk with her on the phone, that he was no good for her. But she made excuses and assured them that he had never hit her or forced her to do anything she didn't want to. Also, if she wanted to do things together he was always happy to, and he treated her with the same consideration he always did; choosing what she would wear, helping her decide on what to eat, and guiding her on who was OK to chat with and who to avoid when they were out together. In response to family pleas of 'we never see you' she would make excuses about being busy and that they would make time soon to meet up.
This continued until she began to realise how long it had been since they last spent any time apart, since she was last allowed to take time for herself and be with family and friends. Until she realised that he had taken control of everything. Now she felt trapped and unable to see a way out. She also felt guilty she was betraying his love for her, and so quickly put these thoughts away, and continued to try and appease him by becoming the woman he wanted her to be; the woman he could love without fear or anxiety.
You do not have to be coerced sexually, or attacked or threatened physically, to be in an abusive relationship. If you are in an abusive relationship search domestic abuse support in your area, or ask at your local Citizens Advice or housing or council office; they will be able to provide you with contact details for domestic abuse support services in your area.
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About Ian Davies
I am a qualified and registered independent practitioner experienced in providing counselling support for relationship difficulties, family conflicts, abusive relationships, childhood trauma, grief, suicidal thoughts or actions, age related issues, gender specific issues and work related issues.