I'm not in an abusive relationship because I'm not being hit

I got off the bed, turned around and tried to open the door, he pulled me back by grabbing my top and spinning me around.  As our eyes locked for a second, his hand came from out of no where, catching the corner of my cheek and eye.  Time at that moment seemed to have suddenly stopped as I stood completely still, not daring to move an inch.  What the hell just happened?  I asked myself.

We met in our local pub a couple of months previously and nothing like this had ever happened before.  In fact, when we first met he was so charming.  He would just focus all of his attention on me, his eyes seemed to drink u my 4 ft 9 inch tiny frame.  It was as though I was the only person in the world he really wanted to be with, making the chemistry between us feel electric.  Goosebumps would appear all over m body whenever he looked at me and my huge Cheshire like cat grin told him everything he needed to know.

I had moved into his flat with him 2 weeks after we first met, so you could say this was my first real relationship.  I was in love with this man.  Why wouldn’t I be?  He wanted me to spend time with him to prove I loved him, I didn’t go and visit my parents one night like I had planned too.  Strange how quickly that one night turned into months.  When he told me I looked like a slut in the outfit I wore when I went out with my friend the one night, he just didn’t want others looking at me that way thinking the same.  He was right though, why would I dress like that, drawing attention to myself so other men could look at me.  I didn’t ned anyone else now we were together.

Standing still in the bedroom, which was eerily quiet now, it suddenly felt cold.

He was still holding on to my top as I touched my face where his hand had struck me, it was stinging with pain.  Tears suddenly filled my eyes, I swallowed hard as I looked at him.

It had been quiet for so long that I didn’t hear what he said at first.  I looked deep at his face, it started to crumple as tears came to his eyes.  “I’m so sorry”, he said.  Inside I felt sick, saddened and shocked but the hurt and sadness on his face made me quickly gather my thoughts.

He’d never hit me before so it was only a one off, I knew he didn’t mean it, he would never hurt me, he loved me.  I must have said something wrong, I probably deserved it.

There was a huge lump in my throat and my lips felt extremely dry.  I hadn’t taken my eye f him for one second, it felt as though my whole body had frozen with fear as I stood in front of him, I whispered, I know.

You know I didn’t mean it don’t you, you know I love you.

I know, I meekly replied.

Throughout our 3 year relationship there wasn’t that much physical abuse, well what I mean is the physical abuse didn’t happen on a daily basis.  It wasn’t a regular occurrence and he never meant it, he was always so sorry afterwards.  But even though the physical abuse wasn’t there on a daily basis, the psychological abuse was, although at the time I didn’t know he was abusing me.

During our relationship his life stayed the same, how he wanted it too.  He still saw his mum on a daily basis, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day – it depended upon whether she had brought him any shopping or not.  If he was in the pub when she phoned him to say it was at her house, he would text m to go and collect it.

He would go out everyday, some days he would come back home, other times he wouldn’t.  Sometimes when I was brave enough to phone hi, it would be either a woman who answered of sometimes he wouldn’t answer at all.

One day a couple of his friends had gone to the trouble of finding him a days work so I knew not to call or disturb him at work.  It was a beautiful sunny day an I knew they would all go to the pub afterwards so I got ready to go and meet them.  I felt quite excited for him, being at work then going to the pub with his mates.  As the car pulled up on the car park, I watched them all get out of the car, except for him.  N one had seen him all day.

I never went out socialising any more, the only place I would go was shopping and he would usually get his mum to call or text me to make sure I was going back home.

Even though he wasn’t physically hurting me everyday, he was abusing me but I didn’t see it as abuse at the time.  I thought it happened in all relationships and this was what love was.  I accepted and tolerated his behaviour as normal s I didn’t speak out.

It was only when I left the relationship I learned that I had been a victim of domestic abuse.  I was handed a questionnaire and all the questions were asking me about control, not physical abuse.

There are many men and women who are in abusive relationships but unaware that they are a victim.  Domestic abuse is about power and control with an abuser doing all they can to gain that power and control

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