Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Help please! I need to leave. How do I leave??

(30 Posts)
KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 10:35:15

I have posted about this before. I'd resolved to leave my husband as I feel my mental health worsening from the strain of being around him.

I was just trying to think of a way to leave. Money-wise. He won't leave. He has nowhere to go and is just passive.

I have told him very, very clearly that I want to separate. I have spelled it out to him and I am unable to really describe how he's reacting. It's horrible. I almost wish he'd rage and scream and throw things. Instead, he's being very... he's fawning and cringing and begging me to stay. He's offering to "live as brother and sister" and saying I can go out with other men. He's constantly hovering and fixing me cups of tea.

And then he sexually assaults me in my sleep.

I can't stand this. I am going to lose my mind. I can't even go into detail on some of the shit that is going on - there's personal stuff I can't disclose - but it's really crazy and I'm not sure if anything is real or if I'm just moving around in a delusional nightmare. I'm not sleeping or eating. I'm drinking a lot. I go out - it looks like I'm having fun. I have been going to gigs and getting drunk. And he waits for me at home and talks to me in this weird sickly sweet way. And then I wake up in the middle of the night and he's touching me. And I feel so disgusted with myself because I'm responding physically.

I hate him. I used to think he was this nice man that I didn't deserve and everything was all my fault.

I'm not coping well. I'm misplacing things and not taking very good care of my children.

I need to leave but where do I go? I'm even willing to leave the children temporarily. It's the financial burden of needing a place where they can live that is keeping me here. But I could get myself a room/bedsit situation. And then sort out everything else later?

Or would that make me a really shitty mother? Surely a good mother would stay and go down with the ship rather than walk away from the kids even for a month or two.

I do work. And I have the potential to make more money. I just need to have my own space and get on my own feet. He's taken care of everything. All the bills. I don't even know how to book a car in for an MOT or pay council tax (I'm from another country.) How did I end up here? What the fuck is the matter with me?

Does anyone have any practical advice for me?

ThePost Thu 14-Nov-13 10:37:34

If he is sexually assaulting you, call the police and get them to remove him from the home. He needs to leave, not you. Don't go anywhere without the children.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 10:40:54

I don't think the police will be interested in the fact that I woke up to my husband touching me and I was responding to it. I've been in many relationships where that is just fine and dandy. I don't think that's actually a crime.

But I do think he should know better. I have certainly spelled it out to him this morning. He says he will sleep on the couch.

I'm not calling the police. I'm not going to do that, even if everyone thinks I should.

I have left a message with woman's aid. I don't know if I qualify for any advice. I'm not in any danger. He's not even being verbally abusive. He's just there. Always there. I wish he would die.

foolonthehill Thu 14-Nov-13 10:42:41

phone women's aid 0808 2000 247...they will help you make a safety plan and get out. It is free from a land line and most mobiles and won't show up on a bill.

and domestic violence does not have to involve hitting...I suspect there is a lot of control and manipulation in your relationship and that the sexual assault is the tip of the iceberg. He clearly does not respect your boundaries.

you can do this, one step at a time

knickernicker Thu 14-Nov-13 10:46:30

Yes, I agree one step at a time. If you're not on danger you have time to plan. You really need to,sit with someone who can listen and help you clear your thoughts.
Can you sleep in a different room till you or he leaves?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 10:48:10

Rather then you leaving, tell him to leave. Be very emphatic about it and don't take no for an answer. That he has nowhere to go is not your problem any more. Womens Aid is a very good idea for practical advice and also to reassure you that you are in an abusive situation. Also get legal advice on what your rights are in the event of a divorce and how to get the divorce ball rolling. If you start that process, he will have to leave.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:04:18

YES. He has no boundaries. He's just like a jelly fish and I end up feeling like the abusive one when all I want is to not be with him.

I'm afraid of being alone with the kids. I rely on his parents for child care. I don't know how to handle things on my own, although he was working in Scotland for 8 months and I managed.

I don't want to be a single mother. I worry if he goes he'll never be able to have the kids with him. He'll maybe come get them for the odd Saturday afternoon outing but it will all be me.

Maybe that's why I want to be the one to leave. Because I know that otherwise I will be truly stuck and he'll just go sit in a bedsit and feel sorry for himself and never man up and do what is best. But if I leave I will have space and time to earn the money and get things set up.

I had proposed to him that we each get bedsits/rooms/cheap flats and leave the children in situ, then take turns being here with the kids. I have a friend who grew up that way and he says it was brilliant. He didn't shuffle back and forth, it was just that one parent was there at a time. This house plus two cheap bedsits would be no more expensive - probably cheaper - than two separate homes big enough for three children. And I really doubt that he will ever get such a home.

He's just passive and he's going to lose his job in March and he seems to think that he won't find another job. He wants to work alongside me in the cleaning business. Obviously I won't do that.

If I am free to go work, then I feel confident that I can make enough money to support the kids. All he has to do is pay his own rent somewhere and do his share of hands-on parenting.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 11:05:12

Of course you 'qualify' for advice from Women's Aid, just because your husband is not overtly verbally abusive does not mean you are not being emotionally abused, and he is definitely sexually abusive.

Whose name is your house in?

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:07:20

I think the lease is in both of our names.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Nov-13 11:09:52

"But if I leave I will have space and time to earn the money and get things set up."

Really? Or will he have the space and time to move in a replacement wife and have her pick up right where you left off? Isn't it more likely that, if he ended up in a bed-sit not seeing his kids so often, he'd have the motivation to do something about it.

Lone parenting and working at the same time is challenging but do-able. You can find solutions for child-care, tax credits (if applicable) are a good help, your ex would have to provide financially and also share the parenting.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 11:25:24

Do you really want to live in a bedsit?

Because if you divorced you may well get the family home as part of the settlement.

What your husband does with his life after you separate is not your problem...

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:25:52

I dearly wish he'd find a replacement wife, but he won't.

I'm not sure he will be able to provide financially. He's going to lose his job in March and I think he's going to maybe find some job like stacking shelves at Asda. I don't care. I will earn the money. I feel very strong and confident about that. I'm just freaked out about the bills and taxes and other things I've relied on him to take care of.

I think his mother will still watch the kids after school. But I want him to sort that. I want him to talk to HIS mother about care for HIS children. He doesn't really talk to his mother. He just doesn't communicate and leaves it all up to me. And I am dreading this. But he has to tell her about the split. I'm not fucking doing it. I'm sick of doing all that family stuff.

I still hope that I can get him to do the arrangement where we both have separate bolt holes to go to when we're sharing the parenting. I really, really don't think that an every-other-weekend thing like I see other people doing is good enough. I would rather we alternated weeks. And even though with his commute he works longer hours, I still want him to be on duty and have to worry about the child care and school runs and bedtimes for that week.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:27:55

The house is rented. We have no assets. The bank account and the car are in my name. So, there's not going to really be any settlement.

I am not sure if "bedsit" is the right word. I just mean a very small studio apartment. Actually a studio would be fine. And if the kids aren't living in it I don't even care if it's in a crappy neighbourhood. It can be done very cheaply.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 11:29:19

You can go for 50:50 custody, that's up to you.

But I would question how much you are going to enjoy living in a bedsit without your kids. The theory is one thing, the reality another.

Bills and taxes are not a problem you can learn how to do that easily.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 11:30:42

Ah I see I inferred incorrectly you owned the lease.

If that's what you want to do then go for it.

katy you will lead how to do all that stuff.

If you have enough common sense to run your own business, then you can learn how to pay the bills, council tax and all that stuff.

Where he lives is not your concern. And I think that by each of you taking turns in living at home, it's going to be difficult to have clear boundaries IYSWIM but I could be wrong.

As for the childcare/mother issue. Do you think he is actually going to step up? Because it sounds as though it's all on you and whether that changes is questionable IMVHO

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:39:42

I would miss my kids, of course, but I would really welcome the opportunity to force him to do all the grunt work. He's got the typical "go to work, work hard all day, come home and collapse in front of the telly while wife sorts everything" mentality. I will need to work long hours, myself, if I'm going to be financially independent and I'm pretty sure that I want to dump the parenting into his lap for half the time and make him sort everything.

I feel very strongly about that. A big part of the problem with our marriage is my resentment about the role of traditional wife and mother. I love my children and want to give them what they need but I refuse to be what people think a mother "should" be while the man is allowed to just fuck off and send money. Oh. Hell. No.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 11:41:44

"As for the childcare/mother issue. Do you think he is actually going to step up? Because it sounds as though it's all on you and whether that changes is questionable IMVHO"

That's just it. I am going to force the issue. I would literally walk away and be unreachable for help so that he has to do it.

And I think he will, too. I do think he loves his children and he's not a monster. He does try very hard to be helpful and stuff. I think just like I need to learn how to pay council tax and book MOTs, he needs to figure out school lunches and doctor's appointments.

lizzzyyliveson Thu 14-Nov-13 11:46:58

Do not do this! I have taught a child whose mother abandoned him and the psychological torment that child went through was terrible to watch. It was the most appalling thing I have seen in umpteen years of teaching. The child raged at everyone, threw chairs across the room, took scissors and threatened to stab people. This is a child in lower primary. You are the centre of your children's world. If you move out like this you will damage them.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 11:48:12

If you have 50:50 custody then he will have to step up to a certain extent, but I don't know that he's likely to change that much.

foolonthehill Thu 14-Nov-13 12:00:12

You worry that you would not be able to manage as a single parent....but you would. it's him talking not you....of course you can sort childcare, work, life....you will have all that extra mental energy retrieved from dealing with him. Remember how you did it all when he worked away? You can do it. Co parenting from a studio flat is not going to work if he's not going to pull his weight.

You seem to be under the illusion that he will be forced to man up just because you are no longer there. Have you considered the possibility that he wouldn't and your children would be left in the mess coping without you?

Of course many men can and do parent well and independently. Is he one of them?

Don't leave your children if hey won;t be well looked after.

KatyTheCleaningLady Thu 14-Nov-13 12:05:27

foolonthehill He will do as well as I do. He's not irresponsible or uncaring. But, if I don't step entirely back and make him deal with everything for his equal share of the time then everything will definitely default to me with him just spending some time with them on weekends.

And for fuck's sake, lizzzy I'm not abandoning my children. I am talking about 50/50 custody. That is not abandonment.

foolonthehill Thu 14-Nov-13 12:08:07

Then if he is an excellent parent and you can do it I would suggest you get some legal advice and start the process.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 12:09:46

I agree with fool. I think you are banking on him changing because you want him to, not because it's likely.

The friends of mine whose mothers left their fathers for being crap dads, would tell you that their dads were just as crap after the divorce too, often more so, because they were left to their own devices.

I think you need to confront your fears of 'being alone with the kids' because I think this fear may push you to action & decisions you regret.

Twinklestein France Thu 14-Nov-13 12:14:19

x-post with OP. If he's not doing 'as well as' you now, he's not that likely to do as well when you split. He won't have you standing over him for a start. If he tends to collapse in front of the TV after a day's work, that's not necessarily going to change just because he's got custody of the kids.

He doesn't have to be irresponsible or uncaring to cause problems for both you and your kids, just slack & passive.

This would matter less I think if you weren't considering him living in your house for 50% of the time.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now