my boyfriend's ex accused him of abuse; how to proceed?
September 30, 2013 9:04 AM Subscribe
In a recent conversation with my boyfriend of four months, it came up that in the divorce papers his ex-wife had served him with, she had accused him of abuse. [Specifically spitting, pushing, and kicking, as well as emotional abuse.] He denies all of it, and says that instead SHE abused HIM, both physically attacking him and subjecting him to emotional abuse. I knew that their relationship had been acrimonious--but this seems like something else entirely.
posted by anonymous to human relations (34 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I can't reconcile the image that I have of him as this tender, sweet, extremely affectionate, loving, gentle guy with the abusive jerk that he supposedly is. I have been frantically googling "signs of emotionally abusive men" and I don't see him reflected there, anywhere. He is the least controlling and least mean person I know, and I've never seen him try to belittle, isolate, degrade, etc. Even when we talked about the issue, which has been causing considerable strife between us for the past few weeks, he has never been mean...we have both just been crying a lot.
Yet, I feel uncomfortable calling his ex a liar. Especially since they have small children together and I don't understand why she would frivolously claim something that wasn't true - after all, if she wanted a divorce she didn't have to claim abuse - and it especially seems strange given that they have small children together and they will have to deal with each other for the next 15 years.
I also keep reading about how "mutual" abuse is a myth and how abusive men tend to claim victimhood rather than admitting to abuse. And I don't understand and I feel like I am in over my head and I am driving myself crazy with this.
I just don't want to condone abusive behaviour. But I also don't want to throw away a really nice blossoming relationship because I jumped to conclusions and blamed the victim and accused him of provoking his own abuse.
So: what do I do? How can I put my mind at ease that he 100% did not abuse his ex?
Any help, advice, insight would be appreciated.
I'm mid-20s/f and he's in his mid-30s, if it matters.
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