Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
Can he even do this to me?(105 Posts)
Ok, please bear with me- i've been off MN for about 2 years, and there's quite a lot of preamble to this post.
Dh and I have been together for about 4 years, 2dds (3 and 18m) and I'm 15wks pg with a third. He's in his 40s, I'm in my 20s with 14 years between us- we met and married a year after I left uni, so I only had about 6 months work exp before I was pg and married (in that order). He runs a couple of businesses, we live above his offices and all the properties are his or the company names, so effectively, I own nothing at all. I've asked thousands of times for him to put something in both our names but he's always refused.
He's always been very particular, and the biggest issue between us has always been his inability to get out of bed- we even missed one of our first dd's scans (it was at 2pm) because he refused to get up. I often end up shouting at him to try and get him up so that meetings and things don't get missed- this morning we had people turning up for a conference and because he didn't get up, and kept ignoring his secretary's calls, the projector and tech wasn't ready. The thing is, when I try and get him up, it makes him really mad. He says that I should just leave him alone and if i end up fielding panicy phone calls from his staff, i should just ignore them, but that I have no right to "attack" him, while he's in bed. Over the years we've had so many rows over this, he's walked out, threatened to leave me, etc.
Soooo, yesterday I got up at 6 (which is pretty normal because of our two girls) to find that his dog had gotten into a bin bag and there was rubbish -teabags, nappies, old food, yoghurt pots etc- all over the hallway. I asked him to tidy it up, he refused. I called him a selfish prick, he went back to sleep, I cleaned up. When he got up at around 11 he informed me that I was not allowed to sleep in his bed for a week. Uh huh. I have been "banished" and am not allowed to share his bed until next Monday, to learn some respect and to teach me that I don't have the right to treat him like this.
Putting aside the obvious WHAT THE F***, what am I supposed to do? I don't really think there's a future for this marriage, but what can I do? I've got no where to go, no money of my own, just £100 or so in the bank, no access to the company money, unless I literally steal the contents of the safe, which, as I don't own the company would just be stealing, and I'd wind up in jail for it. My family can't help- I'm estranged from my Dad and my mum is broke.
It's the humiliation which is killing me- the thought of people knowing, that this is the kind of degrading sitation I live in is so awful. I can't talk to anyone, because all our friends know him too, and have no idea that he would do this, he's a very respected figure. If I stay here I basically resign myself to a life of humiliation, but if I leave I condem my children to a life of abject poverty and I wouldn't even know where to start building a life for us. I wanted to go back to university to retrain, but he made me pregnant again (we were using ov tests to avoid pg and he had sex with me after I'd falled asleep on ov day) and while it wasn't what I wanted, I could never get rid of a baby.
I'm not looking for angry LEAVE HIM NOW messages, because that doesn't help. I'm so scared, and so trapped and I just don;t know what to do. He is never cruel to the children and is a good father, he is also never cruel or hurtful to me infront of anyone else, so to everyone it looks like we have a loving and respectful marriage. Hell it looks like that to me most of the time, but then i do something wrong and end up here. I'm so terrified of someone finding out who I am. please help me.
See a laywer and talk to Womens Aid. You feel scared and trapped because you don't think there is any alternative. You see yourself in a weak position with few choices. Of course he married you straight out of uni... bullying men like this don't want someone who knows what's going on and questions their authority. They want innocents that will swallow any line they tell them and can be easily controlled. There are different ways to be cruel to someone that don't involve black eyes, and crushing someone's spirit is one of them. Also 'had sex with me after I'd fallen asleep'... is technically rape. So pretty cruel.
So see a solicitor and find out what, as a married woman, your rights and responsibilities would be in the event of a divorce. Get the information, get good advice and I think you'll be amazed at just what the truth is.
Are you in the UK?
Please see a solicitor and understand what your rights are if you left him - most will normally see you for half an hour for free. You would probably be entitled to a lot more than you think, even if the properties are not in your name. You gave up your career prospects to raise his 2 children with a 3rd on the way. You would likely be entitled to at least half of the marital home, and maybe even to a proportion of his assets, and he would need to pay child support and maybe also maintenance payments to you - given that you are pregnant, you would be very unlikely to find a job until some time after your baby is born. You would not be left in abject poverty. Please start collecting any documents that show what he has - properties, companies, bank statements, etc. - as these will be useful for you to have if you do leave him.
I'm in London, but I don't know how I'd pay a solicitor.
You are NOT broke!
You are marrried and this person will have to support you and his children.
Get on to Women's Aid now and find out what your options are.
Call CAB to understand what benefits etc... you are entitled to.
He sounds completely vile and you need to get out.
WA will help you with an exit plan.
This is NOT your shame either. He is an abusive twat and the shame is all his!!!
Get some real life support. You need to talk to someone about all of this. A problem shared and all that!
But firstly - WA NOW!!!! 0808 2000 247
Am I right in thinking your not in any danger? That's good. That means you've got time. Use the next couple of months to plan your exit. Squirral away enough money for a house deposit and a months rent in advance. Start taking copies of all his bank statements, assets, properties etc etc and keep them hidden in a safe place.
Start thinking about rental properties, look in the paper, see whats I your area and how much things are.
With 3 children you'll get income support, child benefit, child tax credits and 25% of your dh's income in child maintenance and you'll easily be able to cope financially.
Don't worry that assets are in his sole name, being married protects you and means that everything is divided equally.
And don't scream at him to get out of bed. Let him stay there and suffer the consequences - don't field his phone calls for him it's not your responsibility.
Many solicitors offer a free initial consultation. You don't have to pay them up front if you ask them to take your case. They will get their fee when everything has been settled. CAB is a free alternative but, given that you're describing a fairly complex arrangement of businesses etc, you really need a lawyer.
Womens Aid will give you practical advice on getting yourself out of your abusive relationship and rehoused somewhere safe. Please be aware that abusive men can become very dangerous when they know that you're about to leave so approach this very cautiously and take advice on how to keep yourself and your children safe.
What Cogito said. You're not as trapped as you think you are. x
OP I'm afraid you are going to get angry LEAVE HIM NOW posts anyway.
The situation is completely untenable. No one can advise you anything else other than to leave, because there is no fixing this, no matter what you do.
He's a dud. Who you have now, is who he is going to be for the rest of his life.
The getting out of bed refusal, and your consequent banishment from the bed, is mindblowing.
You have married a very screwed up individual. Save yourself!
I don't have access to any paperwork, because I know it's all locked away in safes to which I don't have access. It just seems to me that trying to get anything out of him- wont that take a long time? What would I do in the meantime. I'm know he'll try and make out that im unstable and take the children away because he'll say I cant support them.
Women's Aid - 0808 2000 247
It can take a while to get through, but do persist. They are precisely the people you need to talk to about this. They will help you.
It will take time to settle everything but, in the meantime, you will be safe, you'll be able rebuild your confidence, you will be supported by the state financially (although not lavishly) and CSA will make sure your DCs get some financial support as well. He may try to make out that you are unstable and try to take the children away but he won't get very far if a) you are in a place of safety with your children and b) you have good legal representation.
One step at a time. You're trying to anticipate and overcome every obstacle in your head before you've even started the process. What you need is outside input and information - the exact things he's tried to cut you off from, by the sound of it.
All you have to do initially is find somewhere private to make your first phone call - probably to WA. Tell them exactly what you've told us, including about the having sex with you while you were asleep. That is, I believe, rape.
Incidentally, it's been a long, long time since divorce was a shameful thing in the UK. One third of marriages end in divorce. Unless your friends belong to misogynistic throw-back cultures or religions I doubt they'd hear your story of abuse and be anything other than shocked and supportive.
He had sex with you when you were asleep?
Get advice from CAB RE benefits.
You're entitled to equity in the marital home and child support, however if he owns his own businesses he may show he has no money.
you need to find a solicitor and agree on a fee that you think you'll be able to pay from the proceeds of the divorce. I'd also go for a court order for child maintenance as I bet the CSA won't get anything out of him.
See if you can get hold of his company year end reports and bank statement copies relating to him personally and to his businesses.
End of her penultimate para. With the very specific intention of keeping her barefoot and pregnant, it sounds like.
Another thought. Did the estrangement from your Dad have anything to do with your marriage or your husband? It is very common for abusive men to isolate their victims from family as another way to exert control. If you think that's what happened, please contact your father.
Your poor thing. You sound so worn down. Please do as Cogito says and speak to WA in the first instance who'll have come up against this type of scenario many times before. They can explain what options are available to you and what you need to do next. As you're married, as well as having (soon) 3 children, I don't think the fact you technically own nothing means you'd be left with nothing in the event of a split - and nor will you be condemned to a life of poverty. He may think he's been clever, but it's not as black and white as that by a long chalk.
Am so sorry he's putting you through this humiliation - you are, at least, recognising it for what it is.
Also, as suggested, start to gather - if you can do so safely - as much evidence of his assets etc. Keep this in a safe place - ideally with someone else you trust. If all your friends really are his too and you can't trust them, then perhaps your mum ?
Oh - and being a good father is also being respectful and kind to those children's mother, and he most certainly is NOT doing that. I'm afraid he's not the good father he likes to portray himself as - and sooner or later, one of the children will overhear something when he thinks they're asleep, and they will pick up on your unhappiness, caused by him, even if they don't immediately understand the ins and outs. So please don't let worries about taking the children away from a "good father" stop you from protecting yourself. Otherwise - your kids are going to pick up on your "life of humiliation" (as you described it) and take away some very unhealthy lessons from the way their dad treats their mum.
I know you didn't want "LTB" messages but my conscience won't allow me to suggest that you do anything else I'm afraid. I feel so very sorry and angry for you. How dare he treat you like dirt the way he has - and yes, the way you conceived your 3rd child was technically rape and gobsmackingly cruel to inflict pregnancy upon you like that. It may be a step too far for you to think of taking any action against him regarding that and I think it's more important right now for you to establish what your rights are and how, potentially, you could get away from him - but it may be something to consider in the future if you felt strong enough. I'm genuinely sorry if me making such a suggestion upsets you - that's the last thing I'd want to do - but you need to be left in doubt what he did was rape, and although it goes without saying that any sort of rape is unspeakingly awful, there is a particular cold calculatedness about this if he did it to get you pregnant - and therefore more dependent upon him, more "trapped".
Please call WA - they will have dealt with countless women who have no immediate means to pay a solicitor.
He's not a good father, he's a cruel abusive rapist actually which does not make him a wonderful father.
Take the contents of the safe and as much form the house worth money that you could sell on and walk.
I'm from a very traditional Indian back ground form a religion you'd think would be highly critical of divorce, not a single person has condemned me for walking out of an incredibly abusive marriage. Everyone who knows and loves me and my children are furious I didn't take my money with me when I left.
Any money he has in the safes is your children's, it does not make you a thief to take money to feed, clothe and house your children.
All sound advice. Clear your PC searches and MN logs. It sounds as if he would lock the PC in a safe if he could isolate you this way. Be safe.
This man has got your head in a spin and totally skewed your perception of life. You are in your 20s. You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Even allowing for the fact that you're pregnant with your third child and may want to stay out of paid employment for a few years, you have so many opportunities to build a fantastic new life for you and your DC. You are still very young and you have a degree. A new life beckons. The only thing holding you back is your H.
Your H's decision to have sex with you and get your pregnant deliberately against your wishes is basically rape and a betrayal of the highest order. I hate to say it but a man capable of doing that to his wife has a deeply entrenched view of women - one to which your lovely DDs will eventually be exposed as they become less children and more young women. Please bear that in mind, because I know that often when we can't leave for ourselves because it's too scary, we can sometimes find the extra strength for our children's sake.
I'm not going to lie to you. Leaving won't be easy. It's not going to help you to sugarcoat it. You may have to fight tooth and nail to get anything from your H, and even then you may not receive it in practice even if a court demand it in theory. However, we have a welfare safety net in this country for this sort of very reason. Should you end up a single mother on benefits for a few years while your DC are very young, you'll cope. And when their demands are less on you, you'll have a degree to fall back on and a life free from someone dragging you down at every opportunity. You'll come back fighting and build a new life.
I don't think you're ready for that move just yet, and it won't help you to push things. For now just keep thinking about the possibility of freedom and the benefits for your DC. When you're ready, a trawl through the MN archives, or a new thread on here, can give you really good advice about how to prepare for leaving and what steps to take practically.
You poor darling
He is highly, highly abusive. It's very common for abusive men to trap women into pregnancy, it's a way to control you. And he raped you in your sleep. Anyway, I suspect you know that, and you need strategies.
1- you are not unstable because you don't have a job. With a bit of support yo can get independent of him and there are benefits to keep you afloat until you can get back to work
2- you aren't broke - the CSA will make him pay maintenance, which you will have on top of benefits.
3- you need professional help. You need to speak to someone about your legal rights, and you need help to see your way out if this. Women's aid will help. Please don't think you aren't being abused 'enough' to call them - they are there for women like you. Please call.
4- fuck what anyone else thinks. Seriously. If you stay with him your life will be ruined and so will your children's. They will learn such an unhealthy model of relationships from you and him.
Oh and ex husbands do not get automatic residency of children if the mother is on benefits.
You are the main carer and always have been (from the sounds of your posts).
I have three friends whom I met in contact centres who all were on benefits when they got divorced as their ex's were as abusive as yours is financially, they had nothing and two had to flee with the help of women's aid to refuges.
All three are the main carers of their children, they have all fought tooth and nail and are living amazing lives holding down professional jobs now, the time on benefits having been a life saver for them giving them breathing space to begin anew.
You won't lose your children, one friends ex tried to make her out to be mentally unstable as she suffered depression (not surprising given the wanker she had been married to) he didn't get far. She's a secondary school teacher now and her children are firmly ensconced with her.
I have no wise words about your marriage.
But if his staff have to phone you to ask him to shift his sorry arse out of bed to do his job, than they do in fact know he's a git.
You might find that very few people are surprised when you divorce him.
Join the discussion
Please login first.