Polyamory.com Forum  

Go Back   Polyamory.com Forum > Polyamory > General Poly Discussions

Notices

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-28-2011, 05:08 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,634
Default polyamory and abuse issues.

Recently I had a meet up for coffee with a person in the poly community. She is very involved in poly, young, has always had a poly dating life. I have known her and her one partner (she has several) for about two years. She meet with me because she has just ended her relationship with the man I know because he has been verbally and emotionally abusive towards her...

He has spent three years widdling down her sense of self worth by making fun of her, scolding her way of thinking about topics he doesn't have the same opinion about and really encouraging her and giving her love and affection when she agrees with him...If she did as she was told he would be giving and tender.. if she didn't he withheld approval and love. He has forced sex on her when HE is horny and she has witnessed him crawling into bed with women that have not invited him and encouraged them to have sex with them against there will.

She is still under his thumb and reaching out to her other lovers and friends to help her be strong enough to walk away and look after herself.

This resonates with my early years of dating and the activist, commune life I once had. I was furious, but compassionate for him. I supported her with as much information and personal stories as I could and left her with a hug and a promise to check in.

The benefits to poly she has said are that she has other men in her life that don't treat her this way. She is reminded that all men are not like this because of them... she is getting the support she needs as they gather around her and help out.

Has anyone ever experienced abuse of any kind in this way from a lover? Were you poly then? How did being poly help and what kind of advice can I give this woman?

thanks in advance for responses.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 01-28-2011, 06:42 AM
LovingRadiance's Avatar
LovingRadiance LovingRadiance is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Alaska
Posts: 5,254
Default

Weird, I was researching emotional abuse online today.

I have been in relationships like that. It's horrible. It eats away at your ability to have faith in your own judgment. I don't know how to break that. Honestly for me, it was GG and my ex-girlfriend who got me through. But I'm not really sure how. He just loved(s) me through everything-always having faith in me. She told me I was beautiful like water-then explained what that meant to her. But-how to reach your friend? Support her?
I don't know her. Remind her of what it is you see in her that is beautiful, strong, resilient, worthy as often as possible. Because these are the things we lose when treated with such abuses.
__________________
"Love As Thou Wilt"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-28-2011, 07:30 AM
bella123456 bella123456 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 180
Default

That's a very disturbing recount....and one that I'm very familiar with (ex-husband, mono relationship).

A book that helped me understand the dynamics was called "the verbally abusive relationship" by patricia evans.

It's a power dynamic of course...and the abuser steps up a notch once he/she belittles the other. Generally the person being abused tries to defend himself/herself on the specific topic or incident...

Abuser - "Wow, I can't believe you don't know anything about that issue - it's been in the paper for days, what's wrong with you?" (read: implication of inadequacy in the abused person)

Abused- "oh, well...yes I do know about that, I just didn't get to read the whole article, as the kids were sick, and then I got a call from work etc". (read: he/she doesn't know how busy I've been, so perhaps I'll explain and then he/she will understand and show compassion)

And none of this is at all about the article or the event in question, it's about the abuser getting a bit a power. But it is often the case that the abused just keeps trying to defend herself/himself regarding the issue at the table.

A first step startegy can't start with rationalising with what is clearly abusive. It needs to be rejected from the starting point;

Abuser - "Wow, I can't believe you don't know anything about that issue - it's been in the paper for days, what's wrong with you?" (read: implication of inadequacy in the abused person)

Abused "oh right. You can't believe that I haven't read about it"

Full stop. conversation ends. walk away.
And he/she has pushed the point back to the abused and what he/she can't believe. (read: it's not about if I've read the paper...it's about you, and what you're playing with believing).

I had professional help in recognising and dealing with the situation I was in. The experts I spoke to said to me it is very rare that someone who abuses like this will/can change. I firmly believe people can change, but it must be a hard path for people who have had that pattern in theirs lives for so long.

I'd recommend the book to her, and also suggest that it's not her job to make him a nice person. I think she's in a very dangerous position in honestly. It really messes with your head. The reason she is still under the thumb is because people like this are very manipulative. Oh, I so understand !
I'd be happy to assist in anyway if you think first hand accounts would help..
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-28-2011, 07:31 AM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Right here. Right now.
Posts: 649
Default

I have experienced this sort of abuse. I was not poly then, so I can't say how being poly might have impacted the situation, but surely having more people to love and offer emotional and moral support could not have hurt.

Unless this young woman is in physical danger, she will ultimately have to rescue herself. No one else can really do it for her. You can however, help her arm herself with information, and offer assistance as needed once she makes the decision to leave.

For instance, the Warning Signs of Abusive Relationships (from http://www.recovery-man.com/abusive/abusive_signs.htm)

You may be in an abusive relationship if he or she:
Is jealous or possessive toward you.
(Jealousy is the primary symptom of abusive relationships; it is also a core component of Sexual Addictions and Love Addiction.)
Tries to control you by being very bossy or demanding.
Tries to isolate you by demanding you cut off social contacts and friendships.
Is violent and / or loses his or her temper quickly.
Pressures you sexually, demands sexual activities you are not comfortable with.
Abuses drugs or alcohol.
Claims you are responsible for his or her emotional state. (This is a core diagnostic criteria for Codependency.)
Blames you when he or she mistreats you.
Has a history of bad relationships.
Your family and friends have warned you about the person or told you that they are concerned for your safety or emotional well being.
You frequently worry about how he or she will react to things you say or do.
Makes "jokes" that shame, humiliate, demean or embarrass you, weather privately or around family and friends.
Your partner grew up witnessing an abusive parental relationship, and/or was abused as a child.
Your partner "rages" when they feel hurt, shame, fear or loss of control.
Both parties in abusive relationships may develop or progress in drug or alcohol dependence in a (dysfunctional) attempt to cope with the pain.
You leave and then return to your partner repeatedly, against the advice of your friends, family and loved ones.
You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it's the right thing to do.
If you are in an abusive relationship:
Abusive relationships do not change without sustained therapy specifically targeted toward the abusive relationship patterns. These relationships cannot be changed from one side, it takes mutual honesty, openness and willingness from both parties to work through these issues. Group therapy is highly recommended for abusers, as it helps them to break through the denial that is generally a part of the abusive patterns. (People in denial generally recognize their own dysfunctional behavior in others more easily than in themselves.) This applies to the partners of abusers as well - group helps them to break through the denial by seeing the relationship patterns from a wider view. Certain personality types are more prone to abusive relationships.

If the abuser is unwilling to own their behavior and seek help the prudent course of action is to remove yourself totally from the situation. This is painful, but is generally safer and ultimately better for both parties than allowing the cycle of abuse to continue. Be prepared for the abuse to increase after you leave - stepping out of the cycle enrages the abuser, as it shatters their illusion of control. (75% of women killed by their abusive partners are murdered after they leave.) Learn how to protect and care for yourself. Detachment with love is difficult, but the best solution if your partner is unwilling to work though the issues.

Help is readily available for both parties in abusive relationships. These relationships cannot be changed from one side. Remember that by staying you are condoning and enabling the abuse - and helping your partner to stay sick. If your partner is unwilling to get help the only safe course of action is to totally remove yourself from the situation and seek help on your own.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-28-2011, 07:51 AM
bella123456 bella123456 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 180
Default

I agree with Fidelia - She does have to save herself. But what will help her is people around her saying "no, that is not ok"..

But I originally picked up on the emotional stuff...as that is linked to my past.

But am I reading correctly - She has watched him crawl into bed and try and have sex with someone against their will ?
She has watched him try to rape a woman ?

What ?
He has forced sex upon her ?
What ?

I may have read incorrectly....but this seems just bad news. BAD.
I don't think there can be any grey lines here. It's black and white, if I'm reading correctly

Sexual coercion or forcing is never ok. She's voicing her concerns about this aspect and rightly so...

Have I misunderstood ?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-28-2011, 08:34 AM
redpepper's Avatar
redpepper redpepper is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,634
Default

thanks so much for the replies Fidelia and Bella. Ya, she has watched him hit on women so fiercely that they have had little voice in saying no... that and just crawling into their bed/space and expecting sex... then he would wonder why they would never talk to them again... most of them are young too. He is in his late 20's and they are 16 to 19... total manipulation.

He gets high on weed when ever he manages to get it... has girlfriends just to have a roof over his head and talks about how privileged others are for having a place to live and money. He is a musician. She was paying his rent from her disability cheque and he lived there for free. If she asked him to pay he threatened to leave as she was privileged and she should use her money for everyone to share. She spent her savings on him.

I will pass on all the info so far to her. Thanks again. She has a ways to go... she is concerned that he is using young women as usual and can't seem to break away because she thinks she can do something about it... I told her that all she can do is be her out spoken old self and keep telling people her story... educate, educate, educate! She has a blog that she writes on. I don't know the site, but I will see if she will give it to me. She is really wanting to use his name there to warn the community, but I told her that just talking about it means that others will benefit. Her talking to me and others means that the word will get out and that she needs to just trust that people are on their own path and that she needs to be on hers and look after her best primary... herself.
__________________
Anyone want to be friends on Facebook?
Send me your name via PM
My blog
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-28-2011, 09:08 AM
bella123456 bella123456 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 180
Default

I've just written loads...which didn't save for some reason, so forgive me if it does turn up. It means I would have spoken twice - which I would be fine with in this situation.

A young woman has raised emotional and sexual abuse,
She is doing that as she needs firm voices around her to echo what she knows - that this behaviour is unacceptable.

RP - She has turned to you for a reason. You are an impressive person, compassionate and intelligent. She is turning to you because she wants you to say this is not ok. She needs your echo..

RP - In the original post you said you were furious with him but had compassion. This is not the time to show him compassion.

It is always good to remain open, tolerate and ready to listen. But don't show tolerance for this.

I think it's really important to not have ambiguity around this behaviour. And whilst being respectful of what others are going through...RP - You need to tell her this is not on. Ever. That's why she's talking to you - she wants to hear that from you.

The voices around emotional and sexual abuse need to be loud. Like written in a bigger font size.

There's very little room for discussion and mutual understanding and negotiation and understanding and maybe if he didn't smoke pot, or improved communication or better education, or perhaps if he slept a bit more, or maybe if his music took off, or if he chatted with his mum more often, or if that dole cheque came through, or if things were ok with his secondary, or perhaps if the sex were better, or if I were a bit clearer, or perhaps if blah blah....

No. None of that matters.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-28-2011, 04:58 PM
ImaginaryIllusion's Avatar
ImaginaryIllusion ImaginaryIllusion is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,928
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post

I will pass on all the info so far to her. Thanks again. She has a ways to go... she is concerned that he is using young women as usual and can't seem to break away because she thinks she can do something about it... I told her that all she can do is be her out spoken old self and keep telling people her story... educate, educate, educate! She has a blog that she writes on. I don't know the site, but I will see if she will give it to me. She is really wanting to use his name there to warn the community, but I told her that just talking about it means that others will benefit. Her talking to me and others means that the word will get out and that she needs to just trust that people are on their own path and that she needs to be on hers and look after her best primary... herself.
Somehow as much as I'm not surprised to hear about this, it still leaves me speechless.

The behavior is completely unacceptable, and I don't know why we spend so much time playing nice instead of kicking the asses of those who need it. (Figuratively speaking mostly)
Particularly I doubt the value of getting the word out by round-about here-say leaving the abusive party to be identified by conjecture. It leaves too many possibilities in the short term for others to become involved with an abusive person without warning.

Just because we may have or are a primary, does not absolve us from taking care of our secondaries, metamores, friends, family, community, or even perfect strangers just by virtue of being fellow human beings. We may not have any control or say in the decisions they make in the end, but forewarned is forearmed...and they deserve to know what they may be getting into. Silence only helps perpetuate the cycle.

Must my opinion fwiw...which may not be much...and now I'll stop here since this is kind of thing is probably a trigger for me.
__________________
“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” - Chinese Proverb

-Imaginary Illusion

How did I get here & Where am I going?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-28-2011, 05:51 PM
Fidelia Fidelia is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Right here. Right now.
Posts: 649
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
thanks so much for the replies Fidelia and Bella.
It is my priviledge and my duty to help others find their way out of this valley, in honor of the wise and wonderful people who pointed the way out to me when I was walking through it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
Ya, she has watched him hit on women so fiercely that they have had little voice in saying no...
Oh, yeah? Well a knee to the crotch might speak in a voice he can hear! Only "yes" means yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
that and just crawling into their bed/space and expecting sex... then he would wonder why they would never talk to them again... most of them are young too. He is in his late 20's and they are 16 to 19... total manipulation.
Where I live, forcing sex on a person who is unable to consent (for instance, if they are sound asleep or unconscious) is RAPE, and sex with a minor (even with consent) is RAPE. If he is engaging in this behaviour, this guy is a RAPIST. He deserves incarceration. At the very least, he needs serious therapy, probably for a very long time. Not that he would ever seek help under the current circumstances, BECAUSE HE IS GETTING AWAY WITH IT. His behaviour is currently working for him; why would he change it? If he ever gets treatment, it will probably have to be court-ordered. But that's for the future. The young women involved need self-defense and assertiveness training. NOW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
He gets high on weed when ever he manages to get it... has girlfriends just to have a roof over his head and talks about how privileged others are for having a place to live and money. He is a musician. She was paying his rent from her disability cheque and he lived there for free.
This young woman is living with a RAPIST and paying for the priviledge! WTF! Worse than that, she's using public money to support him! Surely that can be an approved use of those funds. I hope she's not exposing herself to legal trouble, but that's another issue she needs to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
If she asked him to pay he threatened to leave . .
Hey, there's the silver lining! That might be a quick and easy way to get him out. I would present him with a bill for past due bills, or at the very least tell him that his gravy train just pulled into the station, and he would be expected to pull his own weight from this point forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
She spent her savings on him.
I hope she gets some counseling or therapy to help her figure out why she has allowed herself to be so thoroughly used and abused by a man who is so obviously not worthy of a place in her life, much less her love, help and support.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
I will pass on all the info so far to her. Thanks again. She has a ways to go... she is concerned that he is using young women as usual and can't seem to break away because she thinks she can do something about it...
She CAN do something about it: SHE CAN SPEAK WITH A FIRM VOICE and say "NO MORE!" and "NEVER AGAIN!"

She can save herself . She can inform others. But she cannot change him. His problems are out of her league. He needs professional help.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ImaginaryIllusion View Post
... and now I'll stop here since this is kind of thing is probably a trigger for me.
BrotherMan, you keep speaking up. This kind of thing SHOULD be a trigger, for all of us. I am a rape survivor, and an abuse survivor, and you're damn straight this is a trigger for me. And I'll never stop speaking up about it.

Last edited by Fidelia; 01-28-2011 at 06:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 01-28-2011, 06:18 PM
AutumnalTone AutumnalTone is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas City Metro
Posts: 2,186
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redpepper View Post
that and just crawling into their bed/space and expecting sex... then he would wonder why they would never talk to them again... most of them are young too. He is in his late 20's and they are 16 to 19... total manipulation.
That is a matter for the police. Contact the police and they can gather statements from the women.
__________________
When speaking of various forms of non-monogamy...it ain't poly if you're just fucking around.

While polyamory, open relationships, and swinging are all distinctly different approaches to non-monogamy, they are not mutually exlusive. Folks can, and some do, engage in more than one of them at a time--and it's all good.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
abuse, abuse of power, abusing partners, threat

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 10:38 PM.