This story was shared with us through our Every Story Matters project. Michelle is not her real name.

It started with jealousy, checking my phone and emails, disapproving of male friends despite having female friends himself. He told me that his ex had cheated on him, so I mistook the jealousy for insecurity. In reality it was all about control. He also said he had PTSD, to which I then attributed any strange behaviour and felt for him. 

He once threw a hot bowl of soup at me, scolding me and smashing the bowl. He then grabbed the smashed crockery and slashed his wrist with it. I also had minor cuts on my wrist which he inflicted. Afterwards he denied what he had done to me that evening and it was all about his suicide attempt. I went back with him.  

A few years later I finally ended this abusive relationship after the birth of my second child. He was vile during that most emotional and vulnerable time. Enough was enough. At a point when I asked him to leave he went home and cut himself with a stanley knife and took selfies, and sent them to me saying that he had hurt me and lied to me. I now understand that this kind of behaviour is classic.