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Am I abusive or being abused?

Community Member
  • My partner and I had an argument that ended the same way it always does, he shuts it down, everything is my fault and that I have communication issues. He can be very mean, swearing at me, criticizing me. He often calls me "childish" and repeatedly told me I was acting like a 2-year old during an argument the other night. He locked me out of the house recently while angry and this dragged on for about 4-days, after I told him I am embarrassed by his drinking habits. He made a "joke" about flirting with someone else girlfriend, and said that I should trust him to do that and so actually act on it. That's just a few examples. Tonight, I had approached him about how often we had been fighting and bickering. I told him how badly it is starting to affect me. I told him that if every argument continues to be shut down, nasty and unresolved, then resentment is going to continue to build and it's not sustainable. He responded "sounds like you're blaming it all on me." I said that I am not blaming him, and he said "well, you are." He then started talking about how I had bought a swing set for my daughter for Christmas without talking to him, and went on and on about how it's not okay, behaving as if I had done something super extreme. I became extremely frustrated, because he wouldn't tell me why it bothers him asking why I didn't talk to him. I apologised and said that I was really excited and stuff. And he was saying that's just a "cop out." I said "why are you treating me as if I have committed an unforgivable act, or breaking something very precious to you. I don't understand." I'm not sure why I said that, but I was very frustrated. He then FINALLY told me why the swing set was bothering him. It's because he doesn't want to move it when he mows the lawn. I said: "so she misses out on years of fun, because you don't want to move it when you mow the lawn?" It just escalated from there. He tried to shut down the conversation over and over saying "I'm done. I'm not talking to you." Eventually he stated he won't be attending a Family event we're supposed to go to tomorrow and that I have to get a refund on the swingset because he won't have it here. He continued on with how poor my communication is and essentially all the problems I have. I "just don't stop". He minimised locking me out of the house because it was "5-minutes and you had keys." (He didn't know I had keys)I am starting to experience severe mental health decline. Am I being abusive?
1 Reply 1

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome


It's hard to judge abuse or not, what I can say is, based on what I've read here, there is problems between you to the level that needs counselling. If he wont go then attend yourself. 


I'd question his reaction to the swing set purchase on the reason he gave of having to move it to mow. Thats what dads do and mums in some circumstances, thats what happens when you have kids. Would I be out of line to suggest it is a jealousy thing or him not being keen to see your child get valuables? Rather than him go through the admission of that, he made up a reason that he thought you couldnt object to? What is definately missing is any form of discussion that could lead to a joint decision to satisfy both of you eg to border off the swing area and lay down some bark chips. No mowing, a family joint venture and kids can help out. 


It seems clear that he is condescending and wants to dominate, humiliate (looking at other women) and degrade. The big problem with that technique is you are not treated 50% of the marriage (eg he decides to refund the swing) and furthermore there's two other possible  issues-  1/ that refusing to talk CAN be a form of abuse (it could also be a fact that he is tired of arguing) or that you had a very good point so he wont answer it 2/ He is showing lack of care and could be using emotional blackmail (saying he wont attend a family gathering and such refusal is designed to hurt you).


It is difficult to make judgement on one side of the story but what is important imo is that he might well know he has lack of qualities but wont admit them and better for him to blame them on you. 


Finally, we all have different levels of what is fair, reasonable and appropriate. Things like swearing, putting you down and so on are issues that you should think hard about in that can he change and if not can you continue to tolerate his behaviour? In nearly every case like this one it isnt the item, the disagreement and so on, it's how you are being treated that is either acceptable or not.