Am I being hoovered back into a relationship?
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September 1, 2016 at 6:10 pm #23416
I was in an abusive relationship for 8 years. We were married for 5 and we share a child. It started off as emotional abuse and because I grew up in a very violent and because both of my parents were emotionally abusive, I thought my relationship was normal. I normalized it when he tore my self-esteem apart. It eventually started to escalate the less respect he had for me. The silent treatment, online cheating, withholding affection, humiliating me in front of his family, sexual coercion, trying to get me pregnant without my consent when he felt me pulling away, and finally, physical abuse. I left and kept to gray rock because I knew he would suck me in and I’d be back to square one. He was relentless in trying to pull me back in. Long letters and emails, cards, promises to change, promises to attend therapy, flowers, the works. When that didn’t work, there were angry nasty emails telling me he never loved me or forgiving me for the pain I caused him. Eventually, we divorced but the hoovering didn’t stop. He bought my book and then took a picture of it and sent it to me to show me. He contacted me at 3am claiming to have diabetes but it turns out he was fine. He keeps trying the illness thing to make me concerned. He even hid his new girlfriend from me, all the while angling to hang out in my apartment. I broke gray rock when I confronted him about hiding his girlfriend and introducing her to our daughter without telling me. He used that phone call to apologize for everything and to tell me that he still loved me. That I was beautiful and sexy and that he will always be in my life. Then he suggested we have family days and I agreed to spending time with him and our daughter as a family. He said it was for her sake so that she could have memories with both parents. I thought it would be harmless because I had been so strong before but it hasn’t been harmless. He’s been so nice, like his old self. Of course, old feelings on my end have surfaced. I even asked him if he wanted to try and make it work. He said he was tempted but he didn’t want to hurt his girlfriend. And that he wanted us to be friends. So I agreed to keep it on that level but then, he started extending our family days and taking me out to lunch and playing me romantic songs and finding reasons to touch me and he keeps talking about how beautiful I am and how attractive. And when we were out, his girlfriend kept calling and he kept hanging up on her. I don’t know what kind of game this is but it feels like a game. Like he’s trying to keep me on a string. To what end, I don’t know. But I’ve become obsessive about him and a large part of me doesn’t think any contact with him is a good idea but another part of me can’t let him go and is like my old self again. Waiting for him to call or text and secretly enjoying the attention. But I know I’ll just get hurt again. I need help. They don’t change right? He says he’s changed but he was paranoid, delusional (a conspiracy theorist), entitled and selfish. That doesn’t just go away without help right? I think I need to know he hasn’t changed. I got a hint that he might not have when he made a joke about driving the car into traffic with me in it, locking the doors and jumping out so that it would just hit me. That isn’t really a joke you make. I need clarity. HELP!
September 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm #23433
You’re right. They don’t change. His treatment of his current gf is evidence that he is discarding her and love bombing you. You’re obsessing because of the intermittent reward system that he uses on you that triggers chemicals in your brain, an addiction, like what casinos use on gamblers. Knowing that piece of information is the only thing that keeps me from contacting my narcopath sometimes.
September 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm #23435
Florabond – YES! YES! YES! He is trying to HOOVER you back. and if you go back to him, it will be BAD! BAD! BAD! It will be worse than before.
Cut out the family days. Do not spend any time with him at all. Go Gray Rock.
Your interactions with him should be business only – just exchanging necessary information about your daughter. Do not let him in your life!
September 3, 2016 at 7:47 am #23437
Thanks so much for your replies. I think you guys are right. He keeps sending me random text messages just to start a conversation. I don’t ever text him unless I’m sending him something related to our daughter. I just think it’s cruel for him to come back and purposely try to stir up my emotions and then, go back to his girlfriend. I think he’s either planning on discarding her and coming back to USE me and then, leave again, or he is deriving some kind of pleasure in rejecting me. Thankfully, I only gave him the one opportunity to reject me. I certainly haven’t and won’t give him another.
My brain keeps trying to make me think there is something there that I want. That he is someone special but he’s not. Angry, emotionally stunted, empty men are a dime a dozen. Throughout the course of our relationship, I always had to win him, which of course was an ego boost for him. I always acted as if I had no value and it was an honor to be picked by a man that had no direction in life, no accomplishments to speak of, who was financially destitute and who openly admitted he was expecting me to support him financially. There are good men out there and when I’m ready (nowhere near it), I’d really like to know what it feels like to be in a mutually respectful relationship built on love. To be with a man that sees my worth, not in hindsight when the divorce papers are delivered. Not after I’ve asked for child support.
I keep telling myself that if he was decent and loved me, he never would have said the cruel things he did. And he often said them with a smile, and once even admitted that he did those things on purpose to hurt me. He keeps blaming his childhood but I grew up in a similar environment and I didn’t grow up to be an abuser. It’s a choice to hurt other people, especially someone who has done nothing but love and support them. And the more I seemed to love him, the meaner he got. And if he can lie to his girlfriend and hide a girlfriend, maybe more, from me, then he really hasn’t changed a bit. And if thinks threatening physical harm to me is a joke, then yeah, no!
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