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Advice on gaining ownership of my running pls

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 S.A.Airgid 23 Jun 2020

TLDR: How do I gain some ownership over my own running when my partner is very controlling about how I/we train? 

The long read:
My boyfriend and I have been running together for a 5 years, mainly trail and fell running. We've done some trail marathons and four ultra marathons (three >100km and one <100km) together so far. 

He has been into running all his adult life, mostly road marathons and the odd 10k. Before we got together I was more of a mountaineer. I would run the occasional 10k with friends but did not take running seriously. I have been happy to receive advice on my running as he has more experience. However, the mood and tone of his advice has changed. He could be a bit unkind in the past but now he has started to knit pick at me constantly when running together which makes it stressful. 

When I run alone he quizzes me on everything the moment I come through the door. Mainly it is speed. He expects me to run every run at a slow, ultra running pace (11-12min miles). I do think this makes lots of sense for longer training runs on challenging terrain, however he expects this even for a 3 mile run. So if I come in from a short run and have done a 7 min mile he gets very aggressive and heavily critical. This is irksome given that when I run alone I just want to enjoy the run because as far as I am concerned I should be allowed to have the odd fun little run. He even demands to look at my watch to check what I have done. In addition, during events we are pretty even in how we cope and both of us have always finished well within cut offs. So I not sure why he feels this is necessary.  

I am increasingly feeling less enthused by running. I feel I have no say over my own running at all and he systematically sucks the fun out of it. Whenever I have attempted to talk to him about this he gets incredibly aggressive and just criticises me further. 

Has anyone experienced anything like this before?
 

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 girlymonkey 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

"gets very aggressive and heavily critical"

This phrase alarms me. If he is getting aggressive and controlling this is not a healthy relationship. No matter what area of your life, he shouldn't try to control it and certainly shouldn't be agressive about it. 

I'd say this sounds (from the way you describe it) like a relationship problem, not a running problem.

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

If the issue is purely running, why not run alone?  I prefer it anyway, and my parents have long said that they felt the key to a long, happy relationship was not just to do stuff together, but also to have their own friends and interests as well.

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In reply to girlymonkey:

Yes, it does sound a little to me like running may not be the problem.

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 plyometrics 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Your post is very saddening to read. No relationship should involve any level of control or aggression, no matter what the topic. 

Whilst I’m afraid I don’t have the right words, or experience to make this better for you, I sincerely hope someone here is able to offer the right kind of advice to ensure you’re able to work this through with your partner who, on face value, sounds terribly controlling. 

Wishing you all the very best with this. 

 

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 Andy Hardy 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Buy a bike.

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 kathrync 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

"He could be a bit unkind in the past but now he has started to knit pick at me constantly" 

"When I run alone he quizzes me on everything the moment I come through the door." 

"...he gets very aggressive and heavily critical."

"He even demands to look at my watch to check what I have done."

"Whenever I have attempted to talk to him about this he gets incredibly aggressive and just criticises me further."

I agree with girlymonkey - this sounds like a relationship problem, not a running problem.

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 compost 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Crikey - if you post this on Mumsnet they would be packing your bags for you and telling you to run a mile <argh - pun not intended>. This isn't ok.

Is he like this in other areas of your life together too? 

Post edited at 14:45
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 marsbar 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

How is the rest of your relationship? 

Presumably the obvious answer, tell him to back off isn't appropriate as he is being aggressive. 

https://chat.womensaid.org.uk

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 tlouth7 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

What the others have said notwithstanding, if you only want to improve this specific situation then I would suggest joining a running club that your partner won't or can't join. For example there are women's running clubs in many towns and cities. This would justify not allowing your partner to input into your training, on the basis that you are working to a plan developed by your club. If running with other people you don't need to wear a watch, preventing any situation where your partner can try to analyse your training.  You could also enter a race that only you will participate in. If this is shorter then it naturally makes sense for you to run faster in training.

Be safe, and please don't let anyone ruin running for you, it can be one of life's simplest pleasures.

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 greg_may_ 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

A) Tell him to p*** off it's your running.

B) Ask him what else is going on.

My wife and I run separately a lot as we run very differently - she's faster on longer flat runs, I am faster on shorter or more technical ground. Never, ever, would I tell or demand she runs differently to appease me.  I have occasionally asked her to ease up as I'm about to implode, as she asks me to slow down on techy descents so as not to drop her. Give and take, it's a relationship.

When it's just take - it's not. 

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 gavmac 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Echoing what has already been said, I'm more concerned about your partners negative, aggressive and toxic sounding attitude. A partner, whether running or, more importantly, in life, should be supportive and encouraging. The relationship you describe is not one that I would want to be part of. If they are not willing to talk, then that is your answer.

On the running front. Worth reaching out to other local runners/club to find people who are similarly paced/share similar aspirations.

Post edited at 16:48
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 Roadrunner6 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

" He expects me to run every run at a slow, ultra running pace (11-12min miles). I do think this makes lots of sense for longer training runs on challenging terrain, however he expects this even for a 3 mile run. So if I come in from a short run and have done a 7 min mile he gets very aggressive and heavily critical. "

Absolutely nonsensical bollox.

Run so you enjoy it, then you'll do more. I suggest he's scared you'll be quicker than him..

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Just lie and tell him what he wants to hear for a couple of months, whilst you make preparations to move out. 

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 gezebo 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

> Has anyone experienced anything like this before?

Yes, well maybe remove the running element. 
 

We no longer live together!! It’s a much happier situation!!!!

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 SouthernSteve 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

The OP is definitely faster, regardless of the safeguarding issues. He should be pleased, first back makes the tea!

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 Ciro 23 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

To echo the good advice above, controlling behaviour is a massive red flag. If his behaviour is becoming more controlling over time, then it's only going to get worse without something changing. Speak to a professional.

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Leave him.

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 S.A.Airgid 24 Jun 2020
In reply to girlymonkey; Neil Williams; plyometrics; kathrync; compost; marsbar; tlouth7; greg_may_;  gavmac; summo; gezebo; Ciro; I like climbing:

Thank you all for your concern and for stating the issue in no uncertain terms. It has caused me to reflect on the relationship a bit more and perhaps a running forum wasn't really the right place for this after all.

The relationship is positive in a lot of ways however...

Without getting into specifics, he can be quite critical of me and can be exhausting company. If he is having a good week he is great fun and sweet. When he is having a bad week all of the negativity comes my way. His criticisms are often hypocritical and farcical but when he is having a bad week and the negativity is unrelenting shrugging it off or pointing out how pointless his criticisms are becomes tiring very quickly. I love a debate but my idea of hell is having an argument just because someone else wants some pointless drama. So perhaps I have allowed such behaviours to infect the relationship. Constantly standing up for myself is too much so often I just appease him with an apology and walk away. 

I have also been doing less with friends and less of the other things I enjoy. I've hardly done any kayaking, skiing or outdoor climbing over the last few years because whenever I plan things either he gets difficult complaining that we should do more things together (we do a lot together so I don't get that complaint at all) or that other activities will just heighten the chance of injury or tire me out and this will negatively effect my running. The tone is typically critical and argumentative. 

Running has been a core cause of his challenging behaviour for such a while now that I've assumed this was a the main problem. I was starting to think he didn't like sharing it so I should stop running with him, yet he almost always wants me to join and is difficult about me running solo. I did wonder whether I should stop running altogether for a while and leave him to it. But since reading these pretty stark comments I too think running is not really the problem. 

I am going to have suck it up and deal with his behaviours while I do my own thing both in terms of running and other things and see if he eventually learns to back off. If he cannot cope with an independent partner and does not understand that a relationship is not about one person getting their own way all the time then I guess that is ultimately more his problem than mine. 

Thank you all again. 

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 S.A.Airgid 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Yes! Thank you.

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 S.A.Airgid 24 Jun 2020
In reply to tlouth7 and gavmac:

Seeking out a running club, esp a women's only one sounds like a nice idea. Thank you  

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 kathrync 24 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Recognising that a relationship isn't as healthy as you think is a very difficult thing to do, so it's great that you have taken the comments made here on board and are thinking about them.  I think all of us who commented here wish you all the best with both the running and everything else, however it turns out.

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

This reads like a text book case of abuse from a narcissist.

It can take some people years to realise this about their partner.

Please build up a safety net, please do not allow yourself to be isolated emotionally or physically from the rest of your life.

I hope you are ok.

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 plyometrics 24 Jun 2020
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

> Please build up a safety net

Agreed. Part of which I’d hope UKC will be for the OP. 

Whilst the forum can be somewhat unkind at times, there is a fantastic network of good and supportive folk on here who I hope can continue to provide a sounding board for people who need a safe outlet for sensitive issues such as this. 

To S.A.Airgid: 

Check in here when you need some friendly ears, you know where we all are!

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 girlymonkey 24 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Well done for taking the advice on board. Please don't hesitate to ask for further help as and when needed, be that advice on here or more urgent help from local agencies or even police. I really hope it never comes to it, but please have the possibility in mind and know who is available for you to contact just incase. Maybe worth having some close friends or family members aware of his behaviour too?

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 marsbar 24 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

I'm sorry to say the not doing your own thing is another red flag.  

Many abusers will isolate their partner from friends and it sounds like he is doing this by using running as an excuse for you not to do other activities.  

As for being nice some of the time, that's also fairly normal.  No abuser is bad all the time, they are nice some of the time to keep you.  

If work is difficult and it makes him unpleasant to be around, but you are the one apologising then something isn't right there either.  

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In reply to marsbar:

Well written. There are indeed many red flags  here.

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 Bilberry 25 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

New boyfriend o'clock

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

There is some thoughtful and considered commentary here. I shall be more abrupt; dude sounds like a complete tool and needs to be binned.

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 Yanis Nayu 25 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Only over the way I load the dishwasher. I don’t think it’s behaviour that’s conducive to a healthy relationship.

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 compost 25 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Quoting some of what you have said so far:

- He could be a bit unkind in the past

- he has started to knit pick at me constantly

- he gets very aggressive and heavily critical.

- I feel I have no say

- he systematically sucks the fun out of it.

- he gets incredibly aggressive and just criticises me further. 

- he can be quite critical of me

- can be exhausting company

- When he is having a bad week all of the negativity comes my way.

- His criticisms are often hypocritical and farcical

- when he is having a bad week... the negativity is unrelenting

- shrugging it off or pointing out how pointless his criticisms are becomes tiring very quickly.

- my idea of hell is having an argument just because someone else wants some pointless drama.

- Constantly standing up for myself is too much so often I just appease him with an apology and walk away. 

- I have also been doing less with friends and less of the other things I enjoy.

- whenever I plan things either he gets difficult complaining

- The tone is typically critical and argumentative. 

- he almost always wants me to join and is difficult about me running solo. 

It's a bit artificial but I wanted to be completely clear: It sounds to me like you are in an abusive relationship.

The last part also worries me. you said:

"I am going to have suck it up and deal with his behaviours while I do my own thing both in terms of running and other things and see if he eventually learns to back off"

Under no circumstances should you be "sucking it up" or "seeing if he eventually learns" - this is how people get trapped by their abusers. None of this is your fault.

In my opinion, your choice is either to be extremely explicit that this behaviour will not be tolerated, ever, or to leave.

I really wish you all the best.

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 off-duty 25 Jun 2020
In reply to compost:

Thanks for highlighting all the key points! For what it's worth I agree with your assessment and advice.

To OP:

This does not sound like a healthy relationship. The behaviour you describe is bordering on controlling and coercive.

The relationship you describe is all about "him", "his bad weeks" and "his" needs. What about yours? It does sound like this relationship involves you adapting your behaviour to accommodate his and not vice versa.

I know it is probably taking this to an extreme, but many victims of domestic abuse describe the reason they don't leave abusive partners as partly down to the fact that the abuse is interspersed by periods of being really nice, attentive and affectionate. It's a really common cycle, until something happens that "triggers" the abuse. And that's nearly always the "fault" of the victim - "You know it makes me angry if you let my tea get cold/give me that look/stay out too long .... 'dont run the way I've told you too'..."

I really really hope I am reading far too much into your post, and the internet is terrible for that, but I would hope that none of what I have described is behaviour you recognise. 

If it is - please discuss with your mates, and if he doesn't allow you to have time with mates, consider taking more radical action and leaving.

Post edited at 09:46
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 marsbar 25 Jun 2020
In reply to compost:

I agree.  

I think it's also worth mentioning that many abusive relationships involve control and emotional abuse rather than physical violence.  

Often people don't get help because they feel its not as bad as being hit, that it isn't as serious, that help is for people being hit and so on.  

This isn't the case.  Control and emotional abuse are damaging and worthy of help too. 

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 marsbar 25 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Even if you don't choose to leave right now, it may be worth putting things in place for the future. 

Consider

A grab bag with a change of clothes and making sure your passport and important documents are easily accessible.  

Opening your own bank account if you don't already have one. 

A new email address that you don't  leave logged in on your phone or computer.  

Saving some money.  

Getting a cheap payg phone and charger.  

Change your passwords

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 waitout 25 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

ask yourself;

how did it get to this?

does he know there is a problem?

will he be receptive to the changes necessary to resolve things?

if things dont resolve how does the future look?

what is your position in the responses to all of the above?

this guy may simply be a spineless wanker that attaches his ego to something as inane as running with his girlfriend, like lower management corporate drones who buy corvettes. or he may have a victimizing character that is starting to leak out. likewise you may have a martyr complex that relishes the drama, or maybe a victim character where you justify the out of order actions of another. somewhere along the spectrum both of your behaviour has been complimenting each other, but youve reached a point where youre asking faceless strangers on a climbing forum, so what initiated that? do you think hes getting input from anonymous third parties on what he sees as his problem?

if this is more than couples nit picking over differences in training methodology in an otherwise healthy relationship (by example my wife and i nitpick over doing planks, but it doesnt affect anything beyond that) then youve got a problem. aggression or threatening behaviour are disproportionate to the issue so if thats crept in it appears this is not a rational matter that will resolve itself by just weathering it.

if running is fun for you you dont need it ruined by anyone, but its up to you to fix the bits that are dysfunctional.

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 ClimberEd 26 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Scary AF.

I would take everyones advice onboard. His behaviour is completely unacceptable. 

If you are going to persist, just tell him you want to do something different. You're going to try a new training approach etc. Your running, your choice.

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 S.A.Airgid 26 Jun 2020
In reply to kathrync (and everyone else who has provided supportive comments and helpful advice). 

As I said in my last response, it has been a bit overwhelming to read such blunt comments but I needed to read them. I have had to think about this a lot over the last few days and read quite a few articles on recognising abusive behaviour and I think there is a genuine problem in how he behaves towards me. 

I haven't spoken to my friends about it much aside from the odd comment and I tend to make a bit of a joke out of it tbh. I haven't really wanted to be that person that moans about their boyfriend. I think it might be time to have that discussion with a couple of close friends - they know him as well so will have a better understanding than what I have said here.  

I think he might need professional help or we should both go to relationship counselling - perhaps having a third party involved would help him understand how difficult his behaviour is and perhaps I am doing things that are unhelpful and difficult too. 

Going forward I think I have to monitor the situation a bit. I don't want to make a snap decision. 

Honestly I thought I was going to be told that loads of people have problems running with their other half and had found compromises, not that I need to take a more critical view of the whole relationship.  

Thank you to everyone who has let me know that there is support out there and for the advice. Creating a safety net and an emergency escape plan make a lot of sense.

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

I'm not qualified to provide relationship advice but running should be a release from stress, not a source. I'm well qualified to the motto 'keep it fun', being well practised at winging it for ultra distance stuff in and out of the mountains. You can achieve an awful lot without sucking the fun out of things. Bon chance

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 tlouth7 26 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

I'm glad you are taking steps* to resolve this.

For another perspective, my partner and I have been struggling to run together. It is the other way round, in that I am the experienced runner in the relationship. Running with me can make my partner feel inadequate, or that she is forcing me to run more slowly than I would like. I have put my foot in it a number of times by suggesting we go on longer runs than she is comfortable with, or by going for another, longer run after we have run together. I want her to enjoy running, and I would like to do it together more but I appreciate it will take work from both of us to get there.

Your partner's actions may be well intentioned, but it is the actions themselves that you have to put up with (or not). He should at the very minimum accept that his approach is not what you want, and let you do your own thing.

*sorry I couldn't help myself

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 ianstevens 26 Jun 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> " He expects me to run every run at a slow, ultra running pace (11-12min miles). I do think this makes lots of sense for longer training runs on challenging terrain, however he expects this even for a 3 mile run. So if I come in from a short run and have done a 7 min mile he gets very aggressive and heavily critical. "

> Absolutely nonsensical bollox.

> Run so you enjoy it, then you'll do more. I suggest he's scared you'll be quicker than him..

Agreed. Aside from the rather large relationship element that's well covered here, this is an absolutely bollocks training strategy. 11-12 min mile is what, 5 and a bit mph? Basically a quick walk...

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

3rd party does not work in cases of abuse; the abuser uses the 3rd party and the process as just another vehicle of abuse abd control. I guarantee that if you go to a third party, he will try to come across as the innocent victim here of what he will unfortunately convincingly portray to the third party as your difficult side. You will come away feeling guilty about his behaviour, which will be exploited.

Post edited at 16:57
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In reply to ianstevens:

> Agreed. Aside from the rather large relationship element that's well covered here, this is an absolutely bollocks training strategy. 11-12 min mile is what, 5 and a bit mph? Basically a quick walk...

He's probably concerned that with a balanced training programme she'll be averaging 2 mins/mile quicker than him and finishing ultras a few hours ahead!! 

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 marsbar 26 Jun 2020
In reply to nickinscottishmountains:

> 3rd party does not work in cases of abuse; the abuser uses the 3rd party and the process as just another vehicle of abuse abd control. I guarantee that if you go to a third party, he will try to come across as the innocent victim here of what he will unfortunately convincingly portray to the third party as your difficult side. You will come away feeling guilty about his behaviour, which will be exploited.

This is what happened to me.  Relationship counselling isn't recommended in this situation as it can cause a lot more damage.  

https://www.escapeabuse.com/?p=117

Post edited at 17:06
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 ianstevens 26 Jun 2020
In reply to summo:

> He's probably concerned that with a balanced training programme she'll be averaging 2 mins/mile quicker than him and finishing ultras a few hours ahead!! 

Well entirely 

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 waitout 27 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

its good that youre realizing things dont have to be how they are. dont take any of this the wrong way but its also showing show factors in your own thinking;

its not just how he behaves towards you - its how you behave together. take two to tango, theres a feedback loop hes exploiting.

your making light of it with youre actual (ie non-virtual) friends needs addressing. why the diversion mechanism? it appears youre not moaning about a boyfriend, your addressing a real problem. this is not leaving the toilet seat up (or down or whatever it is that you ladies wish us monkeys could get right). it sounds like it has come up then with real humans, but with no traction. why?

an outside party may work. or not. think how the process would be of initiating it, going thru it and the aftermath. think what you want a clear and satisfying result to be before engaging someone else. it seems your boyfriend has an idea of what he wants. to navigate a result you want that too. is the result of separating acceptable?

youre already on the path, theres no snap decision now the wheels are in motion. how long are you going to hold back? what might be an indicator to step the resolution process into higher gear?

a contingency plan need not be seen as a 'plan b' or 'escape'. that makes it sound like an ejection seat for a last ditch when all else is lost. perhaps consider it more an exit strategy where you move forward not from flight but in control and securely. move with the best option, not the only option. the more in control you are the less you rely as a passive role on safety nets. dont make your move wishing youd only made it several moves before.

to defuse this may be as simple as altering the running element. or not.

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 artif 27 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

What you have been saying in your posts is exactly what I saw my mother go through twice. First time I was too young to do anything. Second time I was no longer nearby to see it before it was too late to do anything.

I also have a freind who is dealing with the break up of a coersive relationship, the partner is still exerting control even through the divorce. Fortunately I've been able to help a little as she goes through it. She's getting stronger and more independent each day, after years of controlling behaviour and worse. 

Don't hang about, the incremental steps used in this behaviour make it very difficult to see. Making excuses and pretending it'll be OK as long as you do it "right" next time, does not make healthy relationship. 

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 S.A.Airgid 27 Jun 2020
In reply to steveriley:

Thank you  I completely agree.

I took to running really quickly because I enjoy it and I would like to enjoy it again. I don't see why training can't be fun. That's what I have always been like with climbing. You climb with your mates for fun and without thinking about it much your grade improves. Then you think about it a bit more and push your grade, but you still have sessions where you just have fun and don't care whether you climb at 6a or 7a. Running should be the same. 

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

This video, by someone who'd been in a controlling relationship, is worth a watch:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76F_Tv16uWg&

Wishing you all the best in resolving this

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 Sam Beaton 28 Jun 2020

> I think he might need professional help or we should both go to relationship counselling - perhaps having a third party involved would help him understand how difficult his behaviour is and perhaps I am doing things that are unhelpful and difficult too. 

From what you've written it's his behaviour that is the problem, not your relationship. A good relationship counsellor would recognise an abusive or controlling relationship quickly and tell you they can't help you repair your relationship (not saying yours is abusive or controlling, it just sounds from what you've written that it might be)

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In reply to Sam Beaton:

Psychopathic controllers aren't usual daft, they are often extremely good at saying the right thing at the right time, portraying the right image with friends, family, colleagues; they've spent their life doing it!! 

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 Sam Beaton 28 Jun 2020
In reply to summo:

I agree, but good relationship counsellors can see through that kind of behaviour

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 Becky E 28 Jun 2020
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

When I read your first post, the alarm bells rang just as they've rung for several other people.  I am glad for your sake that you've taken on board what they've said, and recognised that this isn't a running problem.

But I'm really concerned that you're now labelling this as a 'relationship' problem that might be fixed by counselling.

It isn't a relationship problem: it's a personality problem. The problem is his personality, and that won't be fixed by relationship counselling.

It very much sounds like what you're experiencing is a form of domestic abuse. Other contributors to the thread have outlined all the red flags. It is not healthy, and the only person who suffers is you.  It will not stop until you get away from it.

You might want to take a look at the National Domestic Abuse Helpline https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/  or 24 hour freephone 0808 2000 247    There's a 'quick exit' button on the website if you're concerned about him seeing it.

Talk to your friends - they may be relieved to hear you acknowledge something that they may have already recognised.  Make sure you've got a separate bank account, keep your important documents safe and in your possession, have a bag of essentials packed (ask a friend to keep hold of them if necessary) and have an exit plan.

And I wish you the very best.

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In reply to ianstevens:

> Agreed. Aside from the rather large relationship element that's well covered here, this is an absolutely bollocks training strategy. 11-12 min mile is what, 5 and a bit mph? Basically a quick walk...

Absolutely what I thought. The OP said she's busting out 7 minute miles so clearly a decent runner. I can't imagine what good running 11 min miles would do for someone like that. 

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 Scomuir 18:08 Sun
In reply to Ged Desforges:

Could be to make him feel less threatened that he's going to be outpaced...    

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Why run? Go and buy a bicycle, you'll get there faster.

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 S.A.Airgid 09:54 Mon
In reply to ianstevens (and summo and ianstevens):

For endurance running, training for long, low runs at a jogging pace is actually a good approach. Building up to being able to run >20 miles maintaining an average pace of 10min miles is pretty ideal. So there is method here.

An issue for us is that I don't see why short runs should also be so slow esp if you're just going out for a run because you fancy a run. There is plenty of room in a training plan for slow paced 10-20 mile runs to build up that endurance and faster paced 5 mile runs or tempo runs. If I try to talk to him about this, rather than having an open and inclusive discussion my views are disregarded and I am told that I don't know what I am talking about. 

In regard to him fearing I'll be a better runner, I don't know. There might be an element of that. He never lets me set the pace. Some times we'll be running along, side by side, talking calmly about something and I might end up slightly ahead (we're talking inches here) and he gets angry. I apologise and move  behind him. I can understand that to a degree but it isn't like I have zoomed off, I have just gone slightly ahead. Another issue is that in all of the events we have done I haven't bonked yet. I've had low and high moods during events and endured discomfort and niggles but I've always been okay to keep going. He has bonked, but worked through it, during two of the four ultras we've done. I brought this up once to try and defend myself when he was having ago at me during a pre-lockdown fell run where I was feeling off. He just about exploded and told me I was a horrible person for bringing it up. So yeah maybe. He is definitely sensitive anyway.   

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 S.A.Airgid 10:01 Mon
In reply to marsbar (and nickinscottishmountains):

I am sorry you had to go through that marsbar. Thank you for the advice. Thinking about it, he has only once displayed the difficult behaviour he engages in with me in front of others. This could be an issue. I wonder whether I could write the issues down and explain that I am concerned that this is abuse and give this to the counsellor in advance. I don't know.

I am still trying to get my head around it all. 

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 S.A.Airgid 10:04 Mon
In reply to artif:

I am sorry artif. That must have been awful for you. Thank you for the comment. Hoping things will improve is definitely something I've been doing. This is all pretty hard to come to terms with.  

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 tlouth7 10:07 Mon
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Once again setting aside the well described concerns.

There is absolutely a place for running faster than race pace within a training plan. It might be called tempo running, and it helps make the slower running more efficient. Beyond even that, unless you are training very seriously, an additional faster fun for enjoyment is not going to affect your training negatively.

I understand the appeal of doing long races with a companion, but if you have not been pushing yourself to the limit then you definitely need to do some races on your own (or with a well matched friend from the club you are going to join).

Your partner should be supporting you to achieve what you want in your running, not getting defensive that you seem to be better than them. If that is all this is and he has a sufficient level of introspection then perhaps you can work through this, if it is part of a wider pattern then clearly you should take the advice above.

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 S.A.Airgid 10:07 Mon
In reply to Becky E:

Thanks so much for this. I am figuring out when I can sort out a bag etc. Lockdown is making it difficult to find a good time to do this. And as I've said in response to some others I'm still feeling pretty raw and a bit confused at the moment. 

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 marsbar 10:14 Mon
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

It was almost 15 years ago, it's not something that bothers me anymore.  

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 ianstevens 10:21 Mon
In reply to S.A.Airgid:

> For endurance running, training for long, low runs at a jogging pace is actually a good approach. Building up to being able to run >20 miles maintaining an average pace of 10min miles is pretty ideal. So there is method here.

Yeah, I've done a few skyraces in my time so am familiar with the benefit of big distance at lower paces. They are essential training for that style of ultra running. 

> An issue for us is that I don't see why short runs should also be so slow esp if you're just going out for a run because you fancy a run. There is plenty of room in a training plan for slow paced 10-20 mile runs to build up that endurance and faster paced 5 mile runs or tempo runs. If I try to talk to him about this, rather than having an open and inclusive discussion my views are disregarded and I am told that I don't know what I am talking about. 

I agree with you entirely here to be clear! When you're doing shorter runs, you should not be going at your long run pace - you should be going faster. Like you say, it's more enjoyable, plus allows you to work on your "top-end" speed. Pretty standard training approach this. 

> In regard to him fearing I'll be a better runner, I don't know. There might be an element of that. He never lets me set the pace. Some times we'll be running along, side by side, talking calmly about something and I might end up slightly ahead (we're talking inches here) and he gets angry. I apologise and move  behind him. I can understand that to a degree but it isn't like I have zoomed off, I have just gone slightly ahead. Another issue is that in all of the events we have done I haven't bonked yet. I've had low and high moods during events and endured discomfort and niggles but I've always been okay to keep going. He has bonked, but worked through it, during two of the four ultras we've done. I brought this up once to try and defend myself when he was having ago at me during a pre-lockdown fell run where I was feeling off. He just about exploded and told me I was a horrible person for bringing it up. So yeah maybe. He is definitely sensitive anyway.   

Sounds to me like you're the better runner here and he's sensitive about it. 

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

Confide in an old reliable friend, ideally someone who is local. They'll be able to help and support you. 

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 marsbar 16:23 Mon
In reply to Sam Beaton:

> From what you've written it's his behaviour that is the problem, not your relationship. A good relationship counsellor would recognise an abusive or controlling relationship quickly and tell you they can't help you repair your relationship (not saying yours is abusive or controlling, it just sounds from what you've written that it might be)

Unfortunately there is plenty of evidence that this doesn't happen.  

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In reply to S.A.Airgid:

you are the pilot of your ship..you are the captain of your soul.

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