My last abusive ex (also referred to as shitbag, as his name is triggering to me) and I were in a monogamous relationship. I made it very clear that was what I wanted. 6 months in I thought things were going really well. My fucked up roommate who had no sense of boundaries was moving out, so I asked him to move in. The day he moved in, he told me he didn’t believe in monogamous relationships. The. Day.
He started saying shit about how he wanted to know that he could have another serious relationship with someone else if he wanted to, travel with them, and be able to depend on me to still be here when he got back. I told him I would definitely need there to be limits on who we dated and how serious it got. He said that was controlling and that if I “really loved” him I would want him to date/fuck whoever he wanted. Even my friends.
Even. My friends. Just a heads up to all the readers out there: That is a manipulative-as-fuck isolation technique.
It gets better! I asked him to imagine how he would feel if I slept with his friends. His response? “My friends would never do that to me.”
His friends would never do that to him. But he would be willing to do that to me. With my friends. And it was possible they might do that to me.
When we first started dating he told me that before we were dating there was a point in which he thought my best friend and roommate were going to have an orgy with him. And was really aloof when my feelings were hurt, acting like I was making too big a deal about it. So the isolation wedge had already been planted at the very beginning of the relationship.
He broke up with me like a month after he moved in because in his words I was “highly abusive”, but he left it open like we could get back together later if I stopped being so abusive and childish. While we were broken up he was spending the night with an acquaintance/friend of mine.
We got back together like 6 months later. I told him before we got back together that I needed to know exactly what kind of open relationship he wanted. He said after years of being together, it would just be nice to make out with people. I asked him about the things he had said previously and he said, “I didn’t explain that very well. In theory that’s what I believe, but that is ridiculously idealistic and that isn’t something I would actually want.” I agreed to get back together with him as long as that was the case.
He was living with his ex girlfriend by then, and continued to live with her for the rest of our 2 1/2 year relationship. She was basically his mother. She cleaned for him, set up a garden, made him dinner and a cake on his birthdays. Made collages from pictures of the two of them when they were dating. One time I went to his house and there was like a poster sized photo of them from when they were dating, hugging each other, where he could see it from his bed.
He slowly moved away from what he originally said when I decided I would get back together with him, toward his previous ideas about open relationships and fucking my friends and that I should even be happy for him if I really loved him. He also said the only times he ever wanted to sleep with other people was when things weren’t going well between us. And things weren’t going well when, you know, I would retaliate against his abuse. He started complaining that I wasn’t happy enough, and he wanted to be with someone who wasn’t so negative. He let me know that eventually he would leave me if I didn’t change, but he wasn’t sure when.
He set himself up as the “victim”, stating that I was discriminating against him because he was polyamorous. He said, “I’mthe one in the most difficult situation here because if I sleep with someone else you might break up with me.” He implied that I was giving him an ultimatum and being controlling again.
Basically he isolated me by making me fearful of who I was friends with and wary of having friends who were women. He set it up so that if I retaliated against him there would be very hurtful repercussions. I was afraid to ever stand up for myself because that would prompt him to want to sleep with other people. And he was policing my emotions because if I wasn’t optimistic enough, he was going to leave me at some unpredictable moment. And he did this all while making it seem like I was doing it to myself and victimizing him.