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So am I just a winger, or is it abuse? How do we know what mental abuse is?

Community Member

25 years with my now X partner (separated for 5 weeks) and she contacts me to say I should just get over it and stop being such a winger.

It was not every day, but it was often that I was called stupid or my ideas/suggestions were labeled "stupid", it was not often but it happened once or twice a year that the kids were told "your father is a ***". Towards the end, every week I was called horrific names and told I was useless, or not providing enough for the family, or that she wished she had never met me, should have known when she met me I was a no hoper, etc (We owned our mansion outright). I did as much as I could around the house to help, feeling I was such a weight upon the family, but everything I did was shot down with cruel comments, "what a bad job", "you didn't do it properly", "you have done it wrong" etc, I could never get it right no matter how hard I tried. Often I was told that I was hated by our children, and lately I have been told I ruined every holiday we ever had (and we had many), yet I can clearly remember the kids having the best holidays with me, in 19 years with the kids there are only two instances that anyone recalls that I got upset and yelled on a holiday.

Lately through all this I have studied getting a GPA of 6, I had 72% Distinctions over 26 subjects. But even this was put down, as I was told university is easy, most people do it and two or three jobs on the side. I just make it look hard (no my x has never been to university). I asked whether these people with multiple jobs were Older students, and had family concerns, looked after other family members and cooked and cleaned, maintained 2 houses, did renovations, and transported children. I never got a response.

So, I am asking you, am I a winger? Am I really just blowing things out of proportion and should I shut up and wake up to myself?

My x tells me it is normal in all relationships that couples stop having sex or feeling emotion for one another, sadly she can quote too many people we know for me to argue against her point. Are relationships supposed to be loveless once you reach a certain age? It does look that way.

The separation has reached the head games point, but I truly wonder: Am I just a winger who needs to get over it? It wasn't until I studied psychology that I thought of name calling, or not being shown any affection as abusive. Is my X correct to state that university F'ed me up? At times it really feels that way.

7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Dear Nothappy,

I am so sorry to hear of what your ex has been saying to you, and about you. I had a similar experience with my ex husband; he would tell people I was doing 'nothing' when I was in fact studying a full time Diploma is Community Services, AND working two jobs. It hurt me immensely to think that he thought so little of my efforts. And yes, I too was doing all the housework and cooking and cleaning, all the planning for things .... it felt endless, and VERY one-sided. And my partner had also never been to uni either.

It sounds like your self esteem has taken a major blow, a bit like mine did too.

And in my opinion, it sounds to me like it IS abuse, and not just you 'whinging' about the relationship.

I think too that some people seem to make up their minds to be unhappy, even if they don't realise they are doing that. Like you know when someone says things like "I'm gonna be so mad if ...... happens or doesn't happen"? Little do they realise that they are making a decision to be unhappy. It's a similar mindset to when people say things like "It's gonna be awesome and so great when ..... happens!" It's all in the thinking. At least, that's what I was taught when I first got sober ..... hence my username!

I'm no professional by any means, and just because I did a Diploma in Community Services, doesn't mean that I have all the answers. I don't. But I do have some of my own life experiences, and yes, a bit of training and experience too in community welfare. But I don't work in the field; it's far too an emotional thing for me.

Anyway, perhaps you could consider getting some counseling for yourself? Even doctors get sick sometimes, just like those (like you) studying psychology can get overwhelmed with emotional stuff too.

You were with her for a long time, and it's gonna take some time to move on, and work through all this stuff that has happened and been said and done. Be gentle with yourself, and use every available avenue of support there is.

And remember, you can come here, and back to this thread as much as you like. I do hope that things start to improve for you soon. Also, you don't have to answer every time she calls. It's okay to let it go through to voicemail, or whatever. Take back your own power and maybe stop taking calls from her for a while, yeah?

Anyway, I hope that helps at least a little. Take care. I'll be thinking of you. xo

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Nothappy@uni

Just an observation, from what you've written, but it sounds as though your ex is in the habit of complaining.

It sounds as though you've risen to many challenges over the years which is definitely worth a 'Congratulations!' It's definitely tough when you're on the rise and certain folk around you insist on putting you down, bringing you down or keeping you down. I believe we're designed to help raise each other whilst also exploring ways in which we can raise our self to greater heights. By the way, I find it pays to look at things from the perspective of challenge as opposed to stress when it comes to rising. For example: What is the challenge you face regarding your kids? Instead of focusing on stress, could it be to rise to meet them through genuine love and encouragement and perhaps a lot of laughter? This would counteract anything their mother puts in their head about you. You get to feel proud of yourself and bond with the kids at the same time. Her criticisms towards you as a father can therefor become meaningless untruths.

It is only normal for couples to stop having sex or feel emotion for one another when there is something that needs addressing which is being ignored within a relationship. Besides this being a factor, such distance or lack of mutual investment is not 'normal' so to speak. It is always healthy for couples to be exploring new ideas and connections with each other. Adding ventures (adventuring) within the relationship together should be something exciting no matter our age or the age of the relationship. This is a perspective I'm actually trying my hardest to get my husband to consider at the moment.

With your current challenge involving dealing with your ex's behaviour during separation, do you think it's time to set some goals and demands so that you personally can begin to raise yourself in the best way possible moving forward (whilst considering the best interests of the kids)?

NH@U, it's a far more valid question to ask 'Did university raise your consciousness, leading you to become more aware?' I imagine so, especially given your choice of study. Such a rise in consciousness may even lead you to ponder the idea of whether you ex herself is vibing on a low and actually bringing you down to her low. Only you would know if this is a possibility, given your everyday relationship experiences.

You're entitled to feel incredibly proud of yourself. Don't let anyone take that away from you. Keep on rising!



good replies above

please google

beyondblue topic the definition of abuse


Community Member


Your story really resinates with me.

For over 5 years I’ve been seeing a Counsellor , I had a break for 18 months. Then an incident happened and I went back to see her again.

In our first session she pulled out her notes and read me snippets of our discussions over the past 5 years. There was a patten !

I was always in the wrong, I was always having to apologise , nothing I did was good enough.

She asked me to think what advice I would give my best friend if the notes were his file. If all the details were from someone close ? What if they were about my son or daughter - what advice would I give to them.

It made me think about things differently .

As too reading your post makes me reflect on that discussion.

I have recently separated from my wife, so it’s still very raw.

But my advice and what’s helped me is reading other post, looking at things from an outsider and thinking about what I would say if it was my best friend, son or daughter in the same situation.

I would hope they were being built up by there partner not torn down.

all the best

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member
Hi, there is a name for this its called emotional abuse, I suffered this in the past and it can be in some circumstances can be worse than physical abuse. Nothappy@uni you need to stop listening to the ex and realize your potential. You sound like a good person and are doing all the right things, believe in yourself its hard to do after being put down for so long but it can be done. Look forward in your life and think positively the ex is the one with the issues. Hang in there, take care

Hi Everyone, thanks for your responses,

All my training is telling me that my X is the one that needs help, the one that is dragging me down to her deep seated unhappiness. I know that her bloodline has a history of depression/Bi-polar, her father has stated he wants his ashes flushed down the toilet. All my friends have commented on how I have changed so much, I have lost my enthusiasm for life and the positive aura I used to project.

Have you all seen Matrix (1) where the two pills, red or blue are offered? One you wake up from the dream and the other you forget the truth and go back to the dream. I feel that my training has been just like that, contact with emotions, understanding and empathy for injustice and unfairness, why people are like they are (including myself). You know what? I would rather I had stayed in the dream, unhappy, but not troubled nor understanding of my unhappiness, ignorance is bliss. I had always felt loved by my X in the past, now I know it was just a dependance, something that needed to be fed. Where does that leave 25 years, 14 of which I thought were the best of my life. I had a bed, food T.v air conditioning and a wife to talk to, now I sleep on lounges, when and where I can and have no-one but strangers to talk to face to face. I miss my life, where is that blue pill!

Hi Nothappy@uni

This is definitely an incredibly challenging transitional stage. Even Neo went through a stage which deeply challenged him, until he began to discover his abilities through seeing a new truth. Such abilities did not come straight away. The only way Neo truly came to understand himself was through accepting the challenges that allowed him to grow and understand his true potential.

Even if (at this stage) you can't see the way ahead, see the path for your kids' sake. Of course, they too will be facing a tough time as the path they face is now a different one. This will be a path where they will see a different person in you, one who is not accepting of abuse, one who is awake to new opportunities. You have already shown them, through your example, what rising within challenge looks like. They can look to you for positive guidance. Also, one of the many gifts our child or children offer involves helping us remember our natural self: The playful one, the adventurer, the optimist, the one who imagines almost anything is possible.

As you now find yourself in a world of wonder, one of the keys to unlocking the gifts within this world involves seeing it as wonderful. I don't necessarily mean wonderful as in beautiful. Whilst wondering if you'll ever create a new circle of friends, wonder about the places where you will meet them. Whilst wondering if you'll ever find a place of your own (as opposed to relying on the generosity of others putting you up), wonder where you'll want to live. Instead of wondering if you'll forever be left feeling the pain that comes at this time of your life, wonder who you will be in a years time. Looking back on my own challenges, I believe I never wondered enough up until recently (I'm 49). Life can be comfortably wonderful (full of innocent wonder) or it can be sometimes uncomfortably wonderful (full of wondering our way through complex challenges). Either way, imagining a difference that exists in a new world of our making is the first step toward seeing our self as the creator of our own reality.

This is a scary time Neo but I cannot help but wonder how liberated you will feel, being your true self, in a years time and I cannot help but wonder about the many gifts you will be able to share with others that come from discovering your true self.