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Please help. I have no idea what to do about abusive husband

(47 Posts)

I have posted here before about my husband. We have been together 7 years and apart from the first 6 months, the majority of the time has been miserable.

In the past he has spit on me, pushed me, kicked me and head butted me. He once shoved me so hard that he dislocated my shoulder. The worst thing though has been the constant verbal abuse:name calling, shouting, swearing and long silent periods. He stopped being violent when we married 4 years ago but stepped up on the verbal.

Two weeks ago I asked him to leave, which he did. At the weekend though he came back to visit our 5 year old daughter. I don't know why I did his, but I had sex with him whilst our daughter was asleep. He gave a very half hearted apology for calling me names on one particular occasion and decided that he was moving back but that we would be more "housemates". From now on he will be going out pretty much all weekend. If I want to go out I will have to get a babysitter. Oh, and if I'm really lucky he may occasionally have sex with me.

My youngest daughter is over the moon that daddy has come home. My eldest 2 (aged 12) are not so thrilled and neither am I.

I thought I was moving on and getting things sorted before this. My daughter was upset obviously, but I could see a way forward. I'd made an appointment with a really good solicitor (which I've now cancelled), booked an estate agent to value the house and also sorted out my work situation so that I could get a mortgage (went from self employed to permanent contract starting 1st April).

Now I just feel paralysed almost. I don't want the children upsetting but of course they are going to be very confused and unsettled with all this instability. I don't know what to say to them so I have said nothing. They think we are back together.

Last night he was vile to me again. I asked if we could talk and he point blank refused and called me all sorts of names, mainly preceded by the word "fucking". He slept in the spare room and I started crying and just couldn't stop. Proper racking sobs. Later on I could hear him snoring and I honestly wanted to take my pillow and smother him with it.

What should I do? I can't change the locks as he also owns the house and pays half the bills (which I cannot afford on my own). I can't claim tax credits as I can't really say we've separated with all this coming and going. I think I need to rebook the solicitors appointment but my thoughts are all over the place. Plus how do I deal with the children? Just don't know what to say to them. He left this morning with a bag as I know he's working away until Thursday but after that I really don't know what to do.

Please could someone help with some wise words?

My youngest daughter came home from school a while ago. She broached the subject herself and said that she was happy that daddy was living with us again, but were he and I still married. I said that yes we were as even if people separate, it still takes a wee while for you not to be married anymore.

She knows that we both love her. I said we would still be happy wether daddy lived with us or not as she would still have all the same people that love her. She seems quite happy with that. I think I will go slowly and just answer whatever questions she has rather than sit her down and have a "big talk".

In fact when his older daughter was 10 she apologised to me for the fact her father scream " I'M FUCKING SORRY" in my face whilst I was driving sad

He will be OK with my daughter for now. The fact is though that he has been abusive to both me and the mother of his other daughter. He had no qualms whatsoever in being abusive to me in front of his older daughter so it's only a matter of time before the same thing happens with our daughter.

Plus he doesn't really do the things I do with her. Without me there she will not be reminded to brush her teeth, will not do her homework, will not be taken to her activities, will not be given healthy meals at the appropriate time. Not "neglect" exactly, just lazy sloppy parenting.

Thank you familylawmum that's very good to know.

akaemmafrost Tue 19-Mar-13 12:16:02

That was my big worry too, as it turns out he sees them far less than I imagined, though to be fair is very involved. You may find that he will be a decent enough Father when you are not around for him to get his claws into.

cogito I would feel comfortable with the security bolts. That certainly wouldn't be unreasonable. Good idea!

familylawmum Tue 19-Mar-13 12:11:39

Hugs to you. Been there myself. Women's Aid is a must. Your self-esteem is low and you need help to help yourself. House valuation is very low down on the list. I wouldn't bother with that for now. A non-molestation injunction can be coupled with an occupation order ousting him from the property. In some circumstances you can obtain these injunctions as an emergency, ex-parte (which means without his knowledge at first). You are then protected by the injunction before he knows about it. You will have to make a statement in written form explaining the history of abuse. It is not just physical abuse that is taken into account. The application only costs £70.00 and you can get help with the fee if you are on a low income. The fact that you own the property as tenants in common makes no difference to the split of the capital in a divorce settlement. Also despite the fact that he made a greater contribution, your needs and the needs of the children take priority. We have a saying in family law "needs trump entitlement". In otherwords, you will get what you need before he gets what he is entitled to. First things first, decide the relationship is over, second get protection from his abuse, third try to get him ousted from the property. The fact that he moved out before, shows he has somewhere to go. The Court carry out what is known as a balance of harm test when deciding on occupation orders. They weigh the harm that may be caused to him by asking him to leave the property against the harm that may be caused to you and the children by allowing him to remain in the property. You are in a strong position. BTW in my experience both professionally and personally, the emotional abuse is often worse than the physical abuse. At least after a thump you have a bruise and it is real. After emotional abuse you really do feel as if you are losing your mind. Good luck.

Yes he has made threats before. That's probably what's at the back of my mind - custody of our daughter, destroying me financially that kind of thing. I probably would be best to get all my ducks in a row first.

The other thing that worries me, and I know this is a bit further down the line, is that he will almost certainly get shared contact with our daughter. And there's nothing at all I can do to stop him from taking her all weekend sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 12:03:54

You don't have to change the locks, just fit some extra security bolts to the inside of the doors after he's moved out. You'd be a woman on your own in a house with children, you need the extra peace of mind, the extra security, and no-one would think that was unreasonable. Yes, techincally, legally.... he should have access to a property he part owns but let him make the case why he needs to be there at all rather than making life easy.

akaemmafrost Tue 19-Mar-13 12:02:59

No I didn't know either. He had made me feel so awful for so long that I couldn't see a way out. He'd made so many threats that I really believed he would do them. My friends and family got frustrated with me because they couldn't understand why I was letting him have so much power over me. I was terrified of him and I think it was mainly because he seemed so out of control in every day life that the thought of how much further he might go when made angry completely paralysed me. I got him out in the end and you will too, but this time keep him out. You did it before and you can do it again.

My eldest two are with their Dad from Thursday after school until Sunday evening as they are going away for the weekend.

That just leaves me and the youngest. I've already arranged for us both to stay over at a friends on Friday night. Saturday she has a sleepover herself arranged and I'm going out - could easily stay over at my friends house.

That would just leave Sunday evening "in limbo" and I see the solicitor on Monday.

I'm scared akaemmafrost. Of what, I don't know.

I've requested another appointment with the solicitor and am seeing him next Monday now. I'm at work at the moment but will try women's aid tonight and see what they advise.

I can't quite put my finger on why I'm scared about changing the locks. I just have a feeling that it's what I'm being manipulated into doing, and I know from past experience that what he wants never seems to be in my best interests. He would go quietly I'm pretty sure. I don't care about him bad mouthing me to his family and friends as I'm not really close to any of them anyway. So it's not that. I have my own friends and family who would never believe anything he said so he can't really hurt me there.

I just have this feeling that I'm being set up for a fall. May well be paranoia but could equally be my instincts telling me to tread carefully. I'm kicking myself now for cancelling the original appointment but I just have this overwhelming urge to do nothing at all until the legal wheels are in progress.

akaemmafrost Tue 19-Mar-13 10:49:59

Well let him. YOU know, your kids know and that's all that matters. No one should have to live the way that you are. No one person should hold the happiness of a whole family of people to ransom. If you think he will go without a fuss then fgs change those locks, pack those bags and let him go whining about what a bitch you are all the way. Oh and he will tell you everyone is on his side but thy wont be because people see more than you think. My ex's family live their son and brother but none of them are under any illusions about him and how he was forcing us to live. I hope you find the strength to get him out and keep him out. I KNOW how hard it is, I really do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 10:43:46

" I guess other people will think I've welcomed him back with open arms."

Really don't worry what other people think. It's so common for their to be a false start in a break-up that you may find more identify with you than you think. Regardless.... do what's right for you and your DCs, not save face for others.

I feel that he's engineering a situation now - what, I do not know - but his behaviour has suddenly become so extreme that no reasonable person could be expected to tolerate it.

Yes pretty much everyone in real life now knows.

I told my family and friends as I needed their support. Then I had to tell my boss so that I could sort out permanent employment. I had to tell the school bus lady as my daughter was getting upset in the mornings. I told my ex as it affects the children we have together.

And then he came back! I've told my friends the truth about what's going on but I guess other people will think I've welcomed him back with open arms.

My reluctance to tell the children isn't I think to leave the door open for his return. Although, to be honest I do have very conflicting emotions at the moment. About 90% of the time I truly hate the man, however, a part of me does wish it didn't have to be this way. I know 100% in my mind though that he will never change who he is and I would be very foolish indeed to think there could ever be any other outcome.

spirited wolf You are totally correct. He did stop using the physical stuff when he realised the emotional stuff was so much more effective.

If it weren't for the younger daughter I would tell the older two the truth. But, I am aware that whatever I tell them will filter down to the youngest. She has no idea just how horrible her father is. She's too young, plus up until recently all the nastiness was carried out behind closed doors. She went from being so upset about him leaving to being ecstatic about him coming home. I didn't have the words to tell her that although yes, he had returned, he was still being terribly abusive to me and that I still want to divorce him. She's just too young and I can't involve her in our relationship like that.

akaemmafrost He won't become aggressive if I don't let him in. He wouldn't do that as it would then make it so much easier for me to involve the police and take out an injunction. What he is much more likely to do is engineer a situation that makes me look unreasonable (ie if I changed the looks, packed his bags etc).

BCBG Tue 19-Mar-13 10:24:28

"Yes, I think its important to realise that he stopped using physical violence because he could control you in other ways. He didn't need to hit you to make you do what he wanted."

Nailed it, Spiritedwolf sad

Don't let him back in on Thursday.

akaemmafrost Tue 19-Mar-13 10:20:47

I would not let him back in on Thursday. He's bound to become aggressive at which point you can call the police and have this awful man removed for good.

Spiritedwolf Tue 19-Mar-13 10:17:24

Yes, I think its important to realise that he stopped using physical violence because he could control you in other ways. He didn't need to hit you to make you do what he wanted.

Woman's aid should be able to give you advice about speaking to the children, after all they've seen many families going through this. I'd be tempted to tell them (when you've left/he's left) that you are getting divorced. Particuarly if it will sure up your resolve that its over and he's not coming back. If you choose not to tell them incase he comes back, you are maybe leaving the door open for him?

Whatever the short term upset of the split, the long term good of them not growing up in an environment where he's abusive to you and them will outweigh it massively.

Get onto Women's Aid smile You can do it.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 10:08:54

Tell the kids the age-appropriate truth, then stick to it. Children are not stupid, yours have seen the misery for years, and they can spot a lie or a half-truth a mile off. You don't have to give them the gory details but if you're asked a straight question, give them a straight answer. IME they will always appreciate that you could trust them with the facts and they will rise to the occasion if you ask for their support ... OTOH they will resent being sold a line or being patronised.

At the same time, have you told others like family and friends? I've experienced it myself when a marriage has broken down. Keeping a lid on the truth and hiding it from others can be a way of keeping the door open for him to change his mind. If you've decided it's properly over, telling others means it is more likely to happen

I'm not defending him when I say he has a control over his temper. I would be more able to forgive him if he did and said these things because of a loss of control. The fact is that he says these things in cold blood which takes a whole different type of sociopath in my view.

Do you think it would be better or worse to just tell the kids he's working away? The problem is that if I say we're getting divorced and then he comes back it disrupts them yet again. And I don't want to involve them in the details of this car crash of s relationship. But then again I don't want them to think I'm just laying back and letting him treat me like crap.

The older ones will be aware. In the past he has put on a mask in front of others but this has now well and truly slipped. They will definitely be aware that he's stonewalling. I can'tbelieve I've put them in this situation. I just want protect them as best as I can but not sure how...

trustissues75 Tue 19-Mar-13 09:12:24

North - I echo Bertie - what you have and are ecoeriencing is gaslighting smongst other manipulative tactics: this produces FOG in your mindset ( you can read more about that over on Out of the Fog). I am 2 years down the line from you and still question myself. Only last night my exFWH was practising his gaslightung techniwues on me and I AUTOMATICALLY brgan questioning myself: am I being fair? Am I being irrational? Am I jumping to conclusions? Am I just a bitch?...igonre him!!!! See you on the EA thread smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 09:06:30

I'm glad you're seeing the solicitor. FWIW they are there to advise but they are paid to believe their client. However, if you don't get on with the guy, you're not obliged to keep using him. You can go elsewhere. Your priority is to get yourself out of this nasty man's reach. Whether you achieve that through a court order, a forced house sale or whether you leave with the DCs yourself and sell the place from a distance, you have to consider all options.

The relationship is abusive right now. Verbal abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse are all present in spades .... you don't need a broken arm to be a victim and Womens Aid will help you understand that one. He is not controlling his temper when he is screaming abuse at you.

If you can, get him to leave again. But properly this time. You may need RL back-up from friends or family to help you achieve it. Certainly make your safety top priority.

How to tell your children? Your older children are obviously happier and safer when he's not around and your DD will just have to go with what you decide and you'll have to deal with the upset. It's not fair but much in childhood isn't.

Good luck

Not sure if the solicitor does to be honest Phyllis. It's a man which to be honest put me off but he comes highly recommended.

It's important to me that I'm believed though. I don't want people to think I'm lying for financial gain which is what his ex was accused of. And everyone bloody believed him - myself included.

wannabeEostregoddess Tue 19-Mar-13 08:51:31

Womens aid is not just for physical abuse you know. Its for all abuse.

Remake the appoitment with the solicitor and call womens aid. You need legal advice on getting this man out of the house. He has to leave. Not you.

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