A Nigerian woman who was emotionally abusive towards her fiance for two years has shared her story to help other women identify toxic traits that they may possess – whether or not they have already realized it and how they can start the gradual work to address the errors in their behaviors so they can lead quality lives with themselves and their partners, as well as possibly salvage their relationships if it’s already in a bad place.
The Twitter user, @winnie4prez who is now married to the man, narrated many of the character traits she possessed that caused her to constantly push her fiance away. She highlighted many behaviours that are common to a lot of women, including how she would often feel inadequate if her fiance could not read her mind and respond to it with an appropriate show of support; something that happened a lot and would eventually snowball into a meltdown.
In her lengthy but informative Twitter thread,@winnie4prez shared on how she found herself getting jealous while they were waiting to get married. During that period, she sometimes acted out by being emotionally abusive to her fiance.
She said she broke up with him numerous times but he always got back together with her and eventually helped her through CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy).
Read her words:
my husband is okay with my sharing this, so here is a thread about how/why I was emotionally abusive towards my (now) husband when we first got together. my sole purpose in posting this is that inshaAllah it may be of benefit to other women & men in identifying abuse
my husband (Z) and I decided to get married, but we weren’t sure if we would in fact be able to due to familial pressure. so we had a very long “engagement” period spent talking to our families.
the reason this is relevant is that it was a time of great uncertainty. additionally, we decided to minimise our interactions w/one another so as to try to prevent emgaging in haraam stuff. so there was no clear romance or anything like that.See Also
very soon after we got together, i began feeling insanely jealous. I started suspecting all of his friendships. I would ask him about his female friends, and take his absence of abstinence from female companionship to mean that he cared about them more than me.
i also began hyperfixating on reading his actions. so if he was sleepy and decided to stop chatting w/me, i would take it to mean i cared more about him than he did about me.
I’ve always had a bad temper, but the level of insecurity and constant second guessing would make me spiral out of control. at times i would feel almost psychotic. i wouldnt be able to control my insecure -> jealous -> enraged thoughts. i would feel myself going nearly insane
(this process of jealousy as insanity is described p well in Othello, I think) obviously I couldn’t talk to him because if I had to tell him, it meant he didn’t care enough about me to know what i was feeling. Also, it would put me in a position of weakness.most of my rage would arise from him not being able to read my mind and my stupid romcom expectations of what love is.
so i would think, “men who love women do X, he didnt do X, therefore he doesn’t love me.” I would expect him to know what I wanted and take that lack of knowledge as being proof that he was not trying hard enough. (Yes i know this is insane)
the reason this precise belief is important and why I am emphasising it so much is because it enabled me to see myself as the victim.in other words, my rage would originate in insecurity, and then become rage because HE was the cause of my original insecurity.
i would never start off angry. I’d always begin by ruminating, crying, questioning myself, being deeply insecure, etc. somewhere along the way i would become angry at him for “making” me feel this way. and then I’d take it out on him.
this is important b/c i obviously never had “bad intentions.” the fact that I would begin in a state of deep anguish is what allowed me to always see myself as good or the victim. my anger was always justified.
my actual actions would usually be crying on the phone, blaming him (but not explaining why – again, that would be too vulnerable for this man who was the source of my anguish), making him feel guilty, and usually breaking up w/him or threatening to do soI did this DOZENS of times. it was an almost weekly occurrence. needless to say, he became very anxious, stressed, cautious. when i would break up w/him, he’d try to “win me back,” which would soothe my vanity and quieten my insecure fears.of course, he would be very agitated and upset, especially bc he would never really know what triggered my rage (i would never tell him the elaborate jealous and insecure stories i had told myself).obviously, in my non-enraged states, i would feel very bad. I would apologise and say i would not do it again, etc etc.The usual abusive circle. i genuinely meant it, but the important thing is that i still thought i was right.i thought my insecurity was justified because i didn’t question the basic assumptions behind what i thought love was. so i kept doing it. I’d have regular insane spirals and break up w/him.after a few months of this, my friend (who had originally been supportive of me) began not being so supportive.I wouldn’t tell her the whole story, but she didn’t seem to find my frequent dumping of him to be a light matter.she tried to talk me out of seeing it as justified, very gently. I also began trusting my (now) husband more and told him that I basically wanted him to be able to read my mind.He said something very helpful, which was that his being able to read my mind could never show as much caring as his learning what i wanted and then doing it. Obviously the latter involves a conscious decision to change. I hadn’t thought of it in that way.i also began recognizing that i was being very hurtful towards him. (I didnt recognise it as abuse at that point.) once i realised i had one unreasonable and false belief (ie that men should be able to read minds if they love you), i began to question my other beliefs.he didn’t give me an ultimatum, but it was clear that his mental health couldnt handle much more of this. and obviously when i was not in a state of rage, i would be able to acknowledge the harm i caused him.we talked about what to do. i began to realise that my lack of ability to control irrational thoughts was the biggest issue. when i became insecure, I wouldn’t be able to stop the subsequent thoughts/process that led to self hatred and then rage.we essentially decided that i needed to be able to recognise when my “spirals” (as we called them) were starting and nip them in the bud. we decided that i had to tell him if it was starting. i also had to say why/what he didhe helped me see it as an external process. I would almost imagine Satan on my shoulder telling me these unreasonable thoughts.initially I wouldn’t always identify the spiral starting. but once i did, and (he had to convince me to) i told him why, he was able to soothe me before it went further. i would usually just fall silent for long periods of time, and he would know something was up.he would very very patiently draw the reason/trigger out of me. of course, I wouldn’t want to tell him b/c i would have entered the early stages of distrust. once i said it outloud, it was amazing how quickly i realised how ridiculous my belief or thought was.the more this happened and the more my spirals were nipped in the bud, the more i realised how many stupid and ridiculous beliefs i held about what a relationship should be, the expectations i had learned from tv and family about husbands but also about wives, etc.because of this, we decided that i needed to stop watching romcoms. it sounds funny, but i would watch a romcom or some other depiction of passion/love and i would begin to feel angry at him. so it had to stop.over the course of at least 6 months, my husband very VERY patiently engaged me in CBT-Lite. I would feel insecure, we would identify why, and then I would have to link my emotion to the stupidity of that reason.sometimes the reason wasn’t stupid, but i learned to recognise that my reaction was overdramatic. i also became more secure in my relationship w/him because of time and the fact that our families agreed that we could get married.sometimes we would solicit a 3rd party, like my friend, who would also tell me that i was acting incorrectly. that was helpful when i was very deep down the rabbit hole because by that point, i would have stopped trusting him at all and would need someone else to talk to menow that we are married, it is much easier to control because misunderstandings can be clarified immediately. but i have to be hypervigilant because i am clearly susceptible to abusive rage.throughout those very bad 2 years though, i think that my husband was insanely patient. tbh I don’t know how he put up with it. in hindsight, a man who (truly) loves you is a very vulnerable being. i would use my knowledge of his affection towards me to soothe my insecuritiesin hindsight, several things had to coalesce for any improvement to happen:
– my husband just happens to be good at psychological insights
– he was v patient but he had a limit to the amount of abuse he would take (b/c ofc in my regular state, i didnt want to break up w him)– my sister went thru a divorce w an abusive husband, so i learned that such a thing as emotional abuse really exists (i knew ot existed, but more as an abstraction than as a reality)– i had to accept that i had at least some unreasonable expectations, and i had to at least accept this when i was NOT angry. if even then i continued to see myself as a victim, then I would never be able to change.