I always dated abusive men

All my relationships were with abusive men

Colour image of model head with 3 cogs - psychotic depression
Image from Dreamstime

Read about how I’ve always dated abusive men. This is the 13th in a series of “My journey through anxiety, panic disorder, depression and psychosis. Read parts I, II, III, IV, V , VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI and XII for the backstory. It might make more sense.

Part XII saw the end of my emotionally abusive one year marriage with Ian, a narcissistic and insecure bully who constantly put me down. I’d told him how I dated abusive men in the past, making it easier for him to behave the same!

His biggest dig was always about me flirting with everyone. This included my teenage son’s best friend, my step dad and my best female friend. He finally left our home and the shared workplace he followed me to, he met someone else and left me alone.

Moving on after dating abusive men

I have always dated abusive men, now it's time for me to move on.
Moving on — Image by pixabay

Divorce is the second most stressful life event, and I thought I’d got off lightly, with just anxiety. However, this was followed by a bout of severe depression, which drained my energy, leaving me feeling fatigued and empty.

Still, I threw myself into my newish job at the Day Hospital (DH) and enjoyed spending quality time with patients. I also spent my days off with those close to me and slowly, my mood improved.

I’d started to use the gym at the DH and a few of the girls were talking about running the Race for life 5K for cancer, so I joined them. Within a few short months, the Race was upon us; we had the kit, our back labels and sponsorship forms to be signed on completion.

On Race day, off we went; two staff and two patients and a small following of family and friends to cheer us on.

Huh! The three others raced ahead, leaving me cursing in pain and breathlessness at only 1K. Okay, I was the eldest at forty seven but I wasn’t going to be outdone.

Down to the last 500 meters, I saw my mum smiling and waving so I mustered every last ounce of energy I possessed. Guess who managed to catch up and run past them into the last 200 meters? And with the crowds all cheering me on, I did it — in 34 minutes, my best (and last) time ever.

How I met another abusive man

That was such a happy day and my happiness levels were increasing each week. Me and Callum would hit the local bars one evening a week after work, where we laughed and chatted and occasionally bumped into colleagues. Most people in the bars thought we were a couple and as a rule, we were left alone, with no crude attempts at being chatted up.

Grayscale image of back of young couple holding drinks
Dating again — Image from Pixabay.com

One evening, this guy was going to the bar when he tripped and stumbled, stopping just short of our drinks. Nonetheless, the drinks spilled ever-so-slightly. Callum raced to the gents to dry his jeans and this guy offered to replace me and my boyfriend’s drink. “Oh, we’re not a couple,” I laughed happily, cos Callum was twelve years younger than me.

I didn’t turn him down when he asked for my number. Now dating, I discovered Mark was laugh out loud funny, often making me giggle at the simplest things. He was a listener, kind and caring, always asking about me, my family, my life and past relationships. I felt happy and relaxed in our relationship and I was falling in love. If I only knew I would be dating another abusive man.

How I spend Christmas with the abuse men I dated

A year in and Christmas arrived. Mark knew I’d be spending Christmas Day with my sons, my family and friends. It was still too early to introduce him to the boys but I said I’d pop into his on Boxing Day. I was looking forward to seeing him and I got to his around 3ish.

He let me in but was cool towards me and he got into a strop because he’d been on his own all day. “The family had you all day Christmas, it would have been nice if you wanted to spend today with me,” he whined

We hadn’t agreed on a specific time and I hadn’t realised there’d be a problem, ffs, but I apologised anyway. “I’m here now, so let’s enjoy what’s left of the day,” I mumbled, holding back the tears that were threatening.

More abuse: “Stupid is as stupid does.” – Forrest Gump

Colour image of Forrest Gump sitting on a bench with a suitcase by his side and a box of chocolates on his lap
Forrest Gump — Image from Wallpaperaccess.com

Drama over, we tucked into Christmas goodies, including the champagne I’d taken as a gift, and settled down to watch dvds. Oops, between films, he dropped the popcorn bowl, which bounced sending popcorn up and out, landing everywhere.

“Hey Forrest,” I giggled, grabbing handfuls of popcorns and throwing it at him. He turned to me and huffed “Why did you get me a ‘Forrest Gump’ dvd? Do you think I’m stupid?”

Ignoring his ‘stupid’ comment, “Mmmm, it’s newly released and I just thought you’d like a film to watch on your new dvd player (that I’d got him).”

“You could have got me a different movie,” he muttered, “Anyway, I’m going to bed now so you best leave.”


“Just f*cking leave!” He yelled and pulled at the hem of my jeans, dragging me off the sofa and onto the floor.

“Stop it, what are you doing? I can’t drive home now, we’ve been drinking. Please.”

Still he tugged at my jeans and they eventually came off in his hands, leaving me sitting on the floor in my knickers. “Get up and f*cking leave.” So I did and I left the sack of unopened presents he’d bought for me.

I cried at work next day, hurt and humiliated, and alone again. Callum was like “Huh, I’d be round there putting poo through his letter box! The dumb b*stard.” I didn’t hear from Mark and I didn’t contact him.

Had I no shame?

Girls who like to party are more likely to date abusive men
NYE party— Image by amy-kate @ unsplash.com

New Year’s eve I got a text “Fancy a party tonight? I miss you and I’m really sorry.” Everyone else appeared to be going out somewhere nice that evening, why shouldn’t I? So, high heels and party dress on, off I went to meet Mark. He told me how great I looked, how nice it was to see me and how sorry he was. He wouldn’t act out like that again. And he didn’t.

Well, not until about another year later………

In hindsight – dating abusive men

I’ve since learned that there’s such a thing as narcissistic rage,

What distinguishes narcissistic rage from normal anger is that it is usually unreasonable, disproportional, and cuttingly aggressive (or intensely passive-aggressive), all because the narcissists’ wants and wishes are not being catered to, Psychology today, 2018.

I believe this is what happened with Mark because his rage was always completely disproportionate to any slights from me i.e. I was late = his wishes (unbeknown to me) and needs weren’t met.

Over to you

What do you think?

Hang on in there please, I’ll finish this post in a day or two. I might even eventually finish writing about my own personal journey and why I dated abusive men. I’d like you to stay with me til the end. You might just see a different me. However, in the meantime, I’d love to hear your comments and I’m open to answering any questions. Or you might want to guess what happens next with Mark 😉

If you are in or think you are in an abusive relationship, you might want to read Know the signs of emotional abuse here and Let’s talk about domestic violence here.

Related: Are you dating an abuser (1). 7 Types of abusive men: a psychological analysis (2).

Author: mentalhealth360.uk

Mum to two amazing sons. Following recovery from a lengthy psychotic episode, depression, anxiety and anorexia, I decided to train as a Mental Health Nurse and worked successfully in various settings before becoming a Ward Manager. I am a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Mental Health Awareness Trainer, Mental Health First Aid Youth and Mental Health Armed Forces Instructor. Just started my mental health from the other side blog.

16 thoughts on “I always dated abusive men”

  1. Don’t know what to say except sorry that you have to go through this abusive , mean experience from this men. Women are meant to be love, respected , protected . I do can relate to emotional and mental abuse . Mines from family I trusted show broke me heart again and again. They’re excise, “ cause we’re family.”

  2. i’d have jist probably said no thanks and called it a day, but I’ve a funny feeling that’s not what you did. Ooooh, baited breath 😆. I had a funny when I first started dating my wife – she never turned on me but she was quite unkind to a waitress. In the end I didn’t say anything but I was really pissed off. But obviously we got past that.

    1. Lol – you might have seen the end of that relationship in my next post 😉 Glad you were able to get past that initial blip, perhaps your wife was just nervous 🙂

      1. It was a one-off, but of course I only know that because we stuck together all this time. But you know how you have this idea of the must-have qualities in a potential partner…

  3. I remember when I first started therapy, the therapist asked what my relationship was like. I told her my concerns about possible abuse and her response to me was… It seems like he has insecurities that you need to start working on.
    I spent years afterwards trying to figure out ways to prove to him how perfect I was so he didn’t have to be so insecure. Why do we do these things to ourselves?

      1. Yes, it’s a hard lesson to learn that they can’t be fixed, that it’s not not our job.

  4. I’m not sure which is worse, constant insecure accusations or sporadic outbursts. Neither one are something you should have to put up with, and I’m sorry you had to go through another bad relationship experience.

  5. Hi Caz, thanks for posting your story. It inspired me to write about mine. It’s totally different but your courage helped me a lot. x

    1. That’s really nice to hear/read Kacha. I think that’s part of why we write isn’t it? Hopefully to pass on some personal experiences and offer hope to others.

      But to be an inspiration? Wow, I’m choked here. Thank you Kacha. Big hugs 🥰

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