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So worried I feel sick

(49 Posts)
ExiledGuru Mon 12-Nov-12 15:30:39

I am at my wits end.

My relationship has been getting steadily worse over the last few months and become increasingly violent. I work full time and bring in all the money for the household whilst my DH ‘looks after’ the kids and runs the household. He is a total control freak. On the first of every month he makes me transfer virtually all my money into his account, which he then decides what to do with. Most of the money goes into savings accounts in his name, some of it goes to living expenses, and I get left with a maximum of £100 a month for me. When he decides he needs/wants something he just goes out and buys it, whereas for even the most simple of things like petrol for the car I have to beg for every penny. Further more once he has put the money aside he wants there is never enough left over to run the house. There is not enough food for me and the kids, and it breaks my heart in the morning when I have to explain to my son that he can’t have cereal for breakfast because there is no milk, nor toast because we have no bread, but would he take an apple instead? We live up north and as it gets increasingly cold I ask time and again to put the heating on just for a little while, only for him to insist that it costs too much and so no. I can’t stand seeing my two children freezing cold when I get home for work and my two year old daughters feet are so cold it’s as if she has been stuck in the freezer.

To make matters worse my partner has no problems with in his opinion “the odd punch” to my arm or leg in effort to reinforce his views on a subject. I’ve been so stressed at work lately, and look likely to lose my job in a year or so, something for which he blames me entirely for and never passes up an opportunity to remind me of. The other day when I was on the sofa, I said something which he took offence to, to which his response was to kneel on my chest and force the air out of my lungs. He then grabbed my hands and twisted them in an effort to make me “say sorry”. I didn’t respond at all, but just felt so incredibly frustrated that this was my lot in life.

Later that evening, the temperature was set to drop to below zero, so I quietly popped the central heating on for the first time this year. He heard me and so switched it straight back off again. We did this several times, until everything – work, money, his spite got too much more me and I pushed him away from the central heating button. He fell over and hurt himself, but then got up and a minute later was trying to switch it off again. I was still so angry I pushed him over a second time and then ran downstairs. He decided that the best thing to do was to call the police, and the end result was that I spent 4 hours detained in a cell and being questioned for assault. I feel so ashamed of myself, but just can’t bear living like this any longer. He has now taken the fact that I pushed him over as evidence that I can’t be trusted with my two children and is trying to stop me spending any time with them.

I still have to go to work, whilst trying to think about all this – and all because he wouldn’t let me turn heating on. I have no life, work is awful but I keep going because it is the only income my family has, and don’t want to go home, because he “controls” the house and has made it into a place of torment for me. I have no money, because he has put it in his accounts, and he doesn’t leave me with enough to do or buy extra food or things for our kids.

My only options are to put up with him and endure this continued misery or quit my job and try and take my children away from him, but I can’t even contemplate how’d I survive as a single parent with no job or even savings in my name.

PLEASE help me.

JennyPiccolo Mon 12-Nov-12 15:33:25

Can you make a plan to leave? Ask your work to pay your wages into your bank account and leave the day you get paid? I'm sure someone will be along with better advice soon but you need to get out of there, no two ways about it.

izzyizin Mon 12-Nov-12 15:36:40

What was the outcome of your enforced visit to the police station? Were you advised of any domestic violence services in your area or referred to your police force's dv counsellors?

Exiled I really don't know what to say but couldn't read and run.

Firstly you must get yourself and your children away from this man, do you have family you could stay with ?. My first marriage was very violant but at least I had my own money, so could make the move, he was violent but not controlling.

I am sure someone will be along soon with some more practical help.
What is your living situation, do you own or rent ?
What part of the country are you in ?

ExiledGuru Mon 12-Nov-12 15:40:38

No, he didn't press any charges, just wanted me to feel like I was a worthless criminal and use this against me in the future. I wish I'd reported him on all those past occasions where he hit me, but its too late now.

mumblechum1 Mon 12-Nov-12 15:41:18

1. Change your bank details with your employer so that it goes into an account in your sole name
2. Arrange for the bills to come from your new account.
3. See a lawyer as soon as possible about getting an occupation order against him, this means that he is ordered to get out of the house on the basis that you have been physically assaulted by him.
4. Sort out childcare for when he is thrown out of the house.

Not necessarily in that order. In fact I'd say do number 3 first.

ExiledGuru Mon 12-Nov-12 15:44:03

mumblechum, I'd do all that but come December 1st when I didn't put all my money into his accounts he'd know I was planning something and would probably either force me to do it, or just take all the savings we currently have and the children and leave.

iamwhaticallpregnant Mon 12-Nov-12 15:45:46

Bloody hell. You need to remove yourself from this situation as soon as humanly possible because u are putting yourself - but more importantly - your children in a lot of danger. If they are cold and hungry as you say they are then hes not looking after them and hes not doing anything for u. From what you say - you work!!! You earn the money. Therefore he is literally doing nothing for u. Sometimes if u r in an abusive relationship you think that the relationship is normal. ITS NOT NORMAL.take a day off work. Go STRAIGHT to the bank and set up new accounts and passwords that he has no access to. What he does to you is called financial abuse. Once youve done that go to a police station and explain what you have written above - that u need to leave and dont kmow how he"ll react. I assume there are services for this type of thing to do with domestic abuse and children. Im sure someone else on here could advise. But stop letting his man affect / control your life and your children's life. This is NOT ur lot in life - you Choose what happens to you in your life. And its terribly short. Theres no excuse nowadays in this country to put up with anything like this if u dont want to. Reach out to friends and family and sort it asap or you're doing a disservice to women everywhere and your children.

mumblechum1 Mon 12-Nov-12 15:46:09

You really do need to get a solicitor asap, this is not an acceptable way to live. But you know that. sad

raskolnikov Mon 12-Nov-12 15:49:56

I'm so sorry you're having such a difficult time Exiled. It must be a huge worry trying to maintain a job, knowing that he's at home while you're at work and then getting nothing to show for it, while he's being abusive and violent. Do you have any family or close friends you could talk to about it? Or someone you could stay with if you leave with the children?

Please take mumbles advise and see a solicitor at once and also speak to the police. You have nearly three weeks to sort this before the end of the month and he realises what is happening. You may be able to change the locks on the house, are you in rented or do you own ? You need to get the police on side too, incase he kicks off.

Thistledew Mon 12-Nov-12 15:52:59

It is not too late to report his abuse of you to the police. Ring your station nearest to where you work and ask to speak to a domestic violence officer. Make an appointment to speak to an officer during your lunch break at work, or if you have a sympathetic boss ask if you can take an hour out to speak to the police. It is important that you get his violence logged as once you start taking steps to stand up to him his violence is likely to increase.

It is also likely that he will become more violent to you now that he has you scared of any contact with the police. This is why you really need to speak with them now. They will understand that in a domestic violence situation a woman will often defend herself physically even if she is the victim of violence and not the perpetrator.

And I am going to SHOUT this so loud in the hope that you properly hear it:

THIS IS NOT YOUR 'LOT' IN LIFE.

YOU ARE DESERVING OF SOMETHING MUCH BETTER

YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE FOR THE BETTER (even if right now it seems really hard and daunting)

Keep posting here. We can help you escape this abuse.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Mon 12-Nov-12 15:59:16

Make a plan.

1) keep all your money do not give him any

2) now change all the bills into your name and pay dd from your account including the mortage. Is the mortage in both your names or just his?

3) make an appointment with a lawyer asap book it for the afternoon and book half day so you leave for work as normal.

make a plan to get him to leave. He will get violent and you will need a restraing order.

If you think thats not safe call womans aid and on pay day ask to move into a refuege with your children.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 12-Nov-12 15:59:17

Please call Womens Aid 0808 2000 247 urgently and ask their advice. You need to get him out of your home and I think that's going to mean, in the first instance, getting yourself and your DCs to a place of safety where you can report him to the police, start divorce proceedings, deal with bank accounts and generally get him out of your life. The fact that you, a woman, pushed a violent man over is 'self defence'... not assault. You are not a criminal - he is.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Mon 12-Nov-12 16:01:16

Forget the savings. Take your children and leave.

If he hits you again call the police and press charges.

olgaga Mon 12-Nov-12 16:02:02

As mumble says, this is no way to live. Can you get any help at all from RL friends or family?

You really do have to get some help. I would recommend you call the Women's Aid helpline (no. and link below):

Relationship Breakdown and Divorce – Advice and Links (V4 Nov 2012)

It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.

Children

The welfare, needs and interests of children are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be “fairly” divided between separating parents.

A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - “Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance. Information and links to these can be found in the Directgov link below. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.

Always see a specialist family lawyer!

Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who don’t know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation – there’s a lot of knowledge and support out there!

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.

If you take legal action to protect yourself or your family from domestic violence, you may qualify for legal aid without having to meet the normal financial conditions. The income of an abusive partner will not be taken into account when deciding whether you qualify for legal aid.

You can also find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345
https://www.gov.uk/community-legal-advice
Or search in your area for Community Legal Advisors:
legaladviserfinder.justice.gov.uk/AdviserSearch.do
Here is the Gov.uk guide to divorce which includes a link to CAB advice at the foot of the first page:
https://www.gov.uk/divorce

Rights of Women have a helpline on 020 7251 6577 and helpful advice on their website.
www.rightsofwomen.org.uk/adviceline.php

Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website:
www.co-operative.coop/legalservices/family-and-relationships/

You can read advice and search by area for a family lawyer here:
www.resolution.org.uk/

and here:
www.divorceaid.co.uk/

Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients – Google solicitors to see if you can find any recommendations or feedback.

Mediation

You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by encouraging discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement.

If there has been violence or emotional abuse, discuss this with your solicitor first. Always get legal advice, or at the very least make sure you are aware of your legal rights, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so it’s important to have that first.

You can find a Mediator here:
www.familymediationhelpline.co.uk/find-service.php

Married or Living Together?

This is a key question, because if you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.

Legal Issues around marriage/cohabitation and relationship breakdown are explained here:
www.adviceguide.org.uk/england/relationships_e/relationships_living_together_marriage_and_civil_partnership_e/living_together_and_marriage_legal_differences.htm#Ending_a_relationship

www.advicenow.org.uk/living-together/

Gov.uk advice on divorce, separation and relationship breakdown:
https://www.gov.uk/browse/births-deaths-marriages/marriage-divorce

Issues around contact are further explored here:
https://www.gov.uk/parental-rights-responsibilities
www.rightsofwomen.org.uk/legal.php#children_relationship_breakdown
www.maypole.org.uk/
www.cafcass.gov.uk/media/2909/TimeforChildren.pdf

I found these guides from law firms quite informative and easy to read – there are others of course:
www.family-lawfirm.co.uk/uploaded/documents/Surviving-Family-Conflict-and-Divorce---2nd-edition.pdf

www.terry.co.uk/hindex.html

Finance

Before you see a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements – savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?
There is a useful divorce and separation calculator here:
https://www.gov.uk/money-property-when-relationship-ends

If you cannot access financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances. Again you will be encouraged to go to mediation (link as above).

If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway.
If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order.
During this process, parties have to declare financial information going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.

If you are married, the main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):

1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.

CSA maintenance calculator:
www.csacalculator.dsdni.gov.uk/calc.asp

Handy tax credits calculator:
www.hmrc.gov.uk/taxcredits/payments-entitlement/entitlement/question-how-much.htm#7

Handy 5 Minute benefit check, tax and housing benefit calculators:
www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/

CAB Benefits Check:
www.citizensadvice.co.uk/getadvice/benefit-calculator/A2B-Benefit-Calculator/#730

Parenting issues:
www.familylives.org.uk
www.theparentconnection.org.uk

Other Support – Children, Housing, Domestic Violence
www.womensaid.org.uk/ and refuge.org.uk/ - Helpline 0808 2000 247
www.ncdv.org.uk/ - Helpline 0844 8044 999
www.gingerbread.org.uk/ - Helpline 0808 802 0925
Housing www.england.shelter.org.uk/get_advice/families_and_relationships/relationship_breakdown
(Note that on many advice websites there is usually an appropriate link for England, Wales and Scotland where the law, advice and contact information may differ).
Sometimes links change or break – if there is a problem or any of the above needs updating, please let me know.

ExiledGuru Mon 12-Nov-12 16:05:11

I have some family but they live a few hours drive away. I could call them and my mum would probably come straight up, but then I'm stuck in work while he and my mother sit at home and that...is probably not a good idea for either of them. Part of me is just too ashamed to tell them all this, and admit that this whole relationship and our marriage has been a complete failure.

The thing is, if it weren't quite so bad, I'd probably put up with it. If he just let me turn the heating on occasionally, and let me keep even a little more of the money I earn for myself, and just stopped thinking that every little "friendly punch" was a playful event, I could probably be a little happier. But as it is, every attempt I've made to compromise or ask for a little more money is refused and I get guilt-tripped into thinking I'm being shortsighted and unreasonable for wanting a bit more of a better life now rather than him saving up for the dream house he wants in the long term future.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 12-Nov-12 16:10:53

OP, you are in fact in a very strong position - you hold all the cards. You earn the money.

why do you transfer it to him?
what would happen if you said NO?
you are allowing your children to be neglected - i would be making referrals on the basis of what you have said about your children going cold and hungry., not to mention the fact they are seeing violence between the both of you.

this is madness and you can stop it.

Whose name is the house in?

Exiled please do not feel ashamed to tell your Mum, she would hate to think of you going through this and not telling her.
When I left my ExH my dad said "thank god for that", he had never liked him but said it was not his place to put his feeling forward. Once I had told my Dad I felt a lot stronger. Please don't suffer this get help now and you could have a lovely Christmas with you kids and not watching your back all the time.

sorry lovely was not a well chosen word, but you know what I mean, you must be on tender hooks the whole time when you are together and that is not good for you or your kids.

olgaga Mon 12-Nov-12 16:19:05

OP he sounds completely irrational. You have to do something about this, it's no good saying "If only it was ^a little bit better^".

You need to take back control of your money and your life.

ExiledGuru Mon 12-Nov-12 16:23:56

We rent at the moment, and the tenancy agreement IS in my name. Can I just ask (tell) him to leave, and if he says no, can I have him legally removed? I transfer the money to him because he says that since I work and he is the one who stays in the house he should be responsible for all our money.

I might try and talk with him about this one last time when I get home tonight, and see if he'll listen to reason. Failing that, you're probably right and I'll see if I can arrange for my mother to come up and help me and the kids through all this...

Thanks for your help, I'm starting to think there might be a way to get out of all this. sad

olgaga Mon 12-Nov-12 16:28:33

You can do it, it won't be easy but you don't have to live like this. Yes you can ask him to leave, and don't hesitate to call the police if you need to.

SirSugar Mon 12-Nov-12 16:30:57

I don't think he's going to listen to reason OP. Please take care and get him out of the house

SirSugar Mon 12-Nov-12 16:36:18

I'm really shocked by your post OP, the whole situation is appalling, but I can understand how people find themselves in terrible circumstances, its often a slow road before you realise that its so bad.

You hold more cards than you think, speak to everyone who can help you. You have means and the property is in your name. Your children are being neglected by him.

Your life will get so much better when you have dealt with this

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