I had an abusive ex. who most people think is a nice guy from the outside

posted 2 years ago in Relationships
Post # 17
Member
1030 posts
Bumble bee

somethingblue222 :   Abusers/stalkers tend to find new victims. And if he has left you alone and gone no contact with you for 6 months or more, he has recognized your current relationship and is likely now focused on spinning a web around some other woman.  You should be fine.  But, as a general rule and from experience, I always suggest that victims tell several people close to them exact specifics of the individual – screen capture a recent photo of him from Facebook since you are friends, write down his full name and birthdate if you know it and keep documentation regarding any event that you suffered that made you feel physically threatened, or where/when he injured you, hospital dates, etc. Give a copy of it for safe keeping to another individual and save one in your house so that someone can find it in an emergency. 

It sounds like you have safely moved on now at this point. I would not use fear as an excuse to maintain a Facebook friendship with him.  That seems more geared toward concern over what mutual friends think if you two are not Facebook buddies anymore, and wanting to keep an eye on him to make sure he isn’t around. There is no reason at all for you to keep him in your FB circle. Delete him. Today.

Post # 18
Member
212 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

I went through something similar with my ex. He was very verbally and emotionally abusive and occassionally physically abusive. I hid it from most of my friends and family until we broke up. I opened up to my parents and a few close friends and told them everything that had happened. All of them admitted that they had no idea he was capable of that kind of thing. Only a few of my ex’s very close friends ever witnessed his bad behavior.  My ex came across as a very nice guy when we were in public. He was very charming and the life of the party. Most of our mutual friends are still friends with him, and most of them have no idea how he treated me. I realized that it doesn’t matter what people think of him. Those closest to him have continued to be his friend, despite witnessing how awful he was to me.

I too have moved on and am in a much healthier and happier relationship, but the past still haunts me sometimes. I’ve blocked my ex and no longer talk to some of our old mutual friends, and it has really helped me to move past the situation. I think deleting him from facebook is a great idea for you.  

Post # 19
Member
771 posts
Busy bee

Hi OP. I don’t know if I have anything to add that others haven’t said but I just wanted to raise my hand and say “me too” because it helped me to know I wasn’t alone in my experiences too. 

I don’t have anything to do with my ex, and he doesn’t live anywhere near me, however his parents are in the same county and I work in the major city, so I get scared I’ll see him there one day. He’s married now, and I wonder what his wife would make of it. I don’t think he treats her how he treated me. 

At the time we were dating I was going through major depression. His abuse wasn’t physical, though he threatened it often. It was mostly emotional and sometimes sexual. He would encourage me to hurt myself and made me believe I was truly messed up in the head. When he left, it was a horrible situation (he left suddenly to my eyes, but it was very calculated and he left me in an awful situation with the house and financially, and he even had the phones turned off – I think that was one of the worst bits; that he tried to get rid of my ability to ask for help). It was vindictive and spiteful. Didn’t stop him having sex with me the day before. 

I didn’t experience other people not believing me when it came to that relationship (though my mother did think the relationship issues were my fault), but mostly because I didn’t tell many people, and I didn’t know anyone he knew (another part of the messed up state of the relationship, I guess). However, when I was fifteen I was sexually assaulted by a mutual friend of my and my then boyfriend (different to the other partner I mentioned). I turned to a friend for advice and the next day everyone at my school knew what I had said. Only nobody believed me. They believed him. Even years later, at college, I had to drop out of a class because all of his friends were in it and they made it unbearable. That person lives and works in the same area as I do but I do what I can to avoid him. 

I think misogyny plays a huge role in the way other people react to situations like these and the sides they choose. 

I have had lots of therapy and I am happy to say I am in a much better place. I have a dark past and an amazing present and future. Seriously, if you need to talk it through with a therapist, do so. I think you dealing with your emotions surrounding it all is way more important than having other people believe you. You’ll get to a place where it doesn’t matter anymore; it will be the past. 

*hugs* 

Post # 20
Member
97 posts
Worker bee

Healing takes time. I was in an emotionally and sexually abusive marriage for 20 years. It didn’t start that way but slowly evolved. My husband cheated constantly, gave me Save-The-Date Cards, gas lighted me and slowly broke me down. I lived on eggshells all the time. Because I had two daughters I chose to wait until they finished high school before I left because I wanted them to be older and stronger and independent of him, and so I could protect them. I had already found him shaming them and belittling the younger one as he did me. I finally left 7 years ago. I took 4 years to work on myself, and its an ongoing process. I remarried 3 years ago to the kindest most loving man I have ever known. He is still telling me to stop apologizing ( a deeply ingrained habit) and it’s taken me years to really sleep soundly. I hope you have shared what you’ve been through with your husband. Don’t let this man steal your present. Wishing you well.

Post # 21
Member
2030 posts
Buzzing bee

I have been through this.  I deleted and blocked ex on Facebook.  I also deleted his family members with no apologies.  I deleted some mutual friends that were more his friends to reduce our connections so I wouldn’t see him in photos.  I told some of them no hard feelings just reducing ties and moving on.  Sometimes if people say nice things about my ex I lash out and say the best thing about our relationship is that it’s over and I was in the right place at the right time to meet my husband but in general I just put it behind me.  It doesn’t do me any good to bad mouth him or get my story out.  Not to mutual friends anyway.  I did talk to a therapist for awhile. 

Post # 22
Member
2777 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

somethingblue222 :  oh honey no. 

Have you talked to your husband in detail about this? Something in your post makes me believe that he doesn’t know the full story. He should. He’s YOUR partner. He might help you feel safe in your own home several towns away from your psycho ex.

As to your psycho ex…delete him and all of his close friends from all social media. If anyone asks why or what happened you look them straight in the eye and say “you know he’s abusive right? And if you don’t, trust me, I won’t be the only woman telling you this as long as you know him.” Then leave. 

The more you keep silent about it, the more you protect him. The more you open up – the more you protect yourself. Think about it. If you were to tell your neighbors about your experience and then they saw him drive by your house…they’d call the cops. They’d tell you about it. They’d help form a wall around you so he can’t terrorize you anymore. But if nobody knows then nobody is on the lookout, only you. And then you wonder why you can’t sleep at night and why you can’t make new friends. 

 

Post # 23
Member
10659 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

somethingblue222 :  

The behavior you’re describing is actually quite typical.  After you dumped him, he launched a smear campaign against you.  Very common abuser behavior.

Your best course of action is No Contact.  Ever. Not even to tell him to leave you alone.  He wants your attention, good or bad, it doesn’t matter.  Any emotional reaction he can get out of you or anyone in your orbit is gasoline on a raging brush fire.

These guys don’t go away on their own.  Relationships never end for them.

You’re better off without the mutual friends.  Your ex would just use them to keep tabs on you.

I’d also suggest therapy for you–any type of abuse does extreme damage.  You may have some PTSD to work through.

Post # 24
Member
1593 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2017

somethingblue222 :  Block him on all social media and unfollow the mutual friends too, if you have to. It is so hard to move on when you’re confronted by your abuser all the time (although I totally understand the compulsion to check up on him and know what he’s doing, I went through something similar).

My mutual friends also thought my abusive ex was a Great Guy and I ended up cutting most of them out of my life for my own mental health. I couldn’t handle hearing stories about him and the girl he left me for, or seeing pictures of him on social media. I’m much better for it and I don’t think they were true friends anyway if they were unwilling to see his true behaviour.

Post # 25
Member
19 posts
Newbee

I’m sorry you are going through this. I can empathise with you a lot as my last relationship was abusive (emotional abuse, not physical). Also similar to you, my one and only true, closest friend stills talk to my ex occasionally. I 100% know she is more my friend than his but it hurts to know she hasn’t severed ties completely with this guy fully knowing our history… oh well, you can’t choose who people talk to.

I don’t really have my advice apart from blocking and deleting him, and maybe even cutting ties with those who you feel can’t be completely loyal and respectful of you while maintaining a friendship with your ex. Do you have any individual friends? Like friends that were completely outside the relationship? If so, I suggest building stronger connections with them and weeding out your old mutual friends. 

Post # 26
Member
619 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

Here’s a different move – one that’s both healing and potentially gets the word out there. Connect with a local women’s/family shelter and set yourself up to volunteer with them, or attend an event like a 5k fundraiser. You’re not alone in the world, even in your own town, and your local center can help you with group or individual therapy, resources for protecting yourself, and lift your spirits. Share your story on Facebook, not in too much detail, about how you were once abused in a relationship and people in DV situations are all over that you’d never know, because the abusers are skilled at deceit and covering their tracks, and their victims are too afraid to speak out. 

Then I would block him from your life. Those former mutual friends may pick up on what you’re sharing, and this may open up a possibility for you to gain a positive from the past.

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