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'When I went into premature labour, my partner screamed at me for 'ruining his plans'.'

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons.

This story includes descriptions of sexual abuse and domestic violence.

I met Phil* at work. I thought he was just gorgeous. At the time, my life was great. I owned a house, had a full-time job and shared equal custody of my two children with my ex. 

Despite the fact Phil lived with his mother when we got together, I thought I was punching above my weight. He said things like, “You're the only one that has ever listened to my thoughts,” or, “My family doesn't get me like you do.” I’d had a nomadic lifestyle and wasn’t close to my family, so that made me feel good. He even made himself likeable to my ex-husband. They went for the same footy team.

But it all quickly changed. Within six months I was pregnant with Phil’s baby. He moved in. Soon, there was almost no contact between me and my ex. Even though my ex-husband was a great dad, Phil sowed these little seeds of doubt about him in my mind. “Why don't you get your children more?” he’d ask, even though I had them half of the time. “It’s not good, having him in our lives,” Phil said, even though our split was very amicable.

Watch: The signs you are dating a narcissist. Post continues after video.

Video via YouTube/Psych2Go.

He started controlling my other relationships, and how I spent my time. He made me stop going to the gym and eventually, going to work. My whole lifestyle changed. “You're pregnant now,” he said. “You have to get rid of your motorcycle because you're going to be a mother.” But I was already a mother! I had two children.

There was stonewalling, gaslighting and confusing behaviours. He would ignore me for days. Wouldn’t look me in the eye. He expected me to be at his beck and call and I had to text him back within a certain amount of time. Objects would get moved around the house so I couldn’t find them. I thought I was going crazy. I’d ask him, “What do I need to do to change? How can I make you feel better?”

Phil made me change my surname, even though we weren’t married. He made me change my first name, too. He insisted I put his name on the deed of my house.

On the other hand, he would tell me what a beautiful mother I was. It was a rollercoaster.

We had two children in two years. With my youngest, I went into premature labour. Phil was angry because it disrupted his plans. We didn’t go to the hospital until a friend came over to look after the kids and said, “Phil, what are you doing? Take her to the hospital!” There was complete silence in the car. We pulled up at the hospital, he popped the boot from inside the car, and I got my suitcase out by myself. I walked into that maternity ward on my own.

Read more: 'I study narcissists for a living. Here's exactly how to spot one.'

When he finally came to the room he demanded, “What do you want from me?” I said, “I'm about to have your baby. I just want you to love us.” He couldn’t handle the attention being taken away from him.

Phil had a massive porn addiction. It took over his life. Our life, really. When he came home from his fly-in fly-out job, it was expected that we would have sex. He was very ‘good’ at sex, but there was no romance involved. Sometimes, the TV would have porn on it, his laptop would have porn on it, and his iPad would have porn on it. It was full-on. He threw his laptop across the room one day because the internet connection was slow. So, I never deigned to say ‘no’.

He would slip dexamphetamine (speed) into my coffees so he could have sex with me for hours, even days. Often, he’d put the kids in daycare, so he’d have me all on his own till 6pm. Then he’d pick them up, I'd make dinner, and we'd behave like a loving little family unit. Once the kids were in bed, it would start again. I can remember crying on so many occasions through it. Then he’d ignore me for the next few days because he was embarrassed.

Read more: 'I was married to a narcissist for 26 years. Here's how I rebuilt my life after it ended.'

Eventually, he didn't even hide the speed in my coffee. He just handed it to me. And I took it because I thought, ‘Maybe this time it will be different. Maybe this time he will be happy.’

By the time I found the strength to end the relationship, after about a decade, I was jobless. I had no money. I was homeless. He minimised me as a person. I'm sad for the person I was then. 

My advice to other women in similar situations is to document the abusive behaviour. Make a plan to leave. You can do this at your GP’s — it’s easier to say that you’re going to the doctor than to a counsellor. The last thing an abuser wants is for this stuff to get out because it’s so insidious and shameful. And don’t be afraid to connect with your local domestic violence service. They will believe you.

It’s really tough to start again and rebuild your life. But I feel safer. I am happy.

*Names have been changed for privacy. 

If this has raised any issues for you, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) – the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. 

Feature Image: Getty.

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