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I'm not trying to make you feel guilty, but...(35 Posts)
Sorry, I've had a few glasses of wine now, but feel the need to share my evening...
I told H that it was over about 4 weeks ago now. He's still living here because he says he is so overwhelmed by the situation and has begged me not to 'chuck him out on the street'. He has found a house he is in the process of buying, but keeps saying that it is likely to fall through (I've seen the house and the surveyors report - there is no reason to think this is the case). I've said I want to spend Christmas with my family and our DCs, but I have arranged a day just before Christmas for all of us to visit a particularly good Santas Grotto and I have offered to have him and his Dad for dinner afterwards (assuming the house isn't sorted by then) so that they can have a bit of a Christmas Day with DCs before I go to see my family (we don't live near them).
Tonight I have had to listen to an evening of why I am so bad. Just to stress, I'm not having an affair (I was unfaithful to H about 12 years ago - before we got married- but I told him about this before we got married and I have been faithful since this), he is a very difficult man to live with (he suffers from stress and depression and - although I wouldn't have thought he had more than a 'bad temper', after reading through other threads on MN, I think he does have emotionally abusive tendencies (plenty of name calling and sudden mood changes, shouting and tantrums)). He admits all this but still feels I am being unreasonable for 'throwing away 20 years' and wants to know how I am going to manage without him (He does pull his weight with household chores, but he is a very hands off Dad so I have felt like a single mum since the kids were born).
Tonight I've been accused of plotting my escape, just using him to get kids and a house (at the moment I earn slightly more than he does, despite being part time!) and bitching about him on the internet (ok - got me there, but he said that before I wrote this!).
Damn it - I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but I did need to do this - I was losing myself and no matter how much I tried to explain this he didn't understand.
And yet we still haven't told the kids and I am still play acting the good little wife. Gritting my teeth so hard I'll need dentures by the time he completes on the house :-(
Sorry again... Rant over...
'Throwing away 20 years'...better than throwing away 40.
'Not able to manage without him', erm yes, whose pants will I have to tidy up now? It's a major dilemma for me.
'Using him to get kids and house'...yes it's all part of the plan. Particularly as you do nothing with the kids, it might well seem that way.
You have to find a way to get him to leave and quickly. Keep telling him to go, make life unpleasant, stop playing the good little wife, pack a bag for him.... do whatever you have to because, the longer he sticks around, the more of this hurtful rubbish you'll be exposed to. He's clearly dragging his heels on the new house and, if he wants it to fall through, there are a lot of ways he could engineer that. Bullies hate to lose and will cling on with their finger-tips if they think they can brow-beat you into changing your mind.
Are you getting legal advice? Is the divorce process underway?
He's beginning to turn spiteful, which to be fair is not an unusual reaction in any person.
I agree you have to force the issue, if nothing else to make him accept the reality of it. Give him a deadline for moving out and stick to it; if the house isn't completed, he'll have to make other arrangements.
Is the current plan that he stays in the house while the rest of you are away for Christmas? I wouldn't be at all comfortable with that.
This is the beginning of him unravelling, it will probably get worse.
Abusers do so from insecurity, not power. So the fact you're not begging him to stay, are resigned to him going is freaking him out.
You have to let him go. It's the best thing for you and your kids.
The more he panics, the closer you are to being free.
I had this, the last weeks were physically excruciating. I was so terrified of 'losing' him.
3 years on I don't even recognise that person. Who the hell was she and why on earth did it take her that long to get out.
Please see that all the insults he throws at you are those he himself is most terrified of.
If it gets too much, tell him to move out to a b&b or a cheap hotel. This won't be pleasant. Ride through it and focus on the other side.
It is far better for the DCs to see Mum and Dad stay civil but it's not fair of him to ambush you once they're in bed out of earshot. Easier said than done I appreciate. I'm sorry this is a very stressful time. I hope he agrees that you both tell the DCs at the same time so he doesn't get his version in first.
Hissy - I keep re-reading your post. You are so right! Please post again so I can have another "ping" moment! So true about the projection with insults.
Bless you love. I know how mental all this seems, but really it's very simple.
this is what I learned on MY journey. I don't know if these are things you need to 'discover' for yourself for them to have meaning, but if I can shortcut your recovery and help you to the healing bit, it'll be a lot of time and pain saved.
Remember. NONE of this is your fault. YOU didn't do this. HE did.
because he WANTED to.
He will do, say, be whatever it takes to control you. he will use anyone and anything to gain leverage. He will go to the tiniest of detail to get to and at you.
This really IS war. War over control of YOU. By controlling you he gets to feel powerful.
I remember wondering how on earth he got to me and how he chose me. It's because WE are nothing like the REAL THEM. WE are the people they WISH they were. they think that by acquiring us, some of US will rub off or reflect on THEM.
They want attention, they want love and admiration, they NEED that fix due to a gaping hole in their lives. WE don't figure in their calculations, only our qualities.
They target us and get us locked in by showering us with the stuff they want back.
We respond. they are being the best boyfriend EVER so it works well. But all that being nice is an almighty effort for them, and they need fuel to keep up that kind of performance. the fuel is us and our attention. Like an addict, they become immune to the supply we give them. They want more and more attention etc for themselves, and they don't care about the price.
Eventually we will reach our maximum outpouring of emotions/attentions etc but their need for our attention increases. they get withdrawal, they get angry, we disappoint them, they turn nasty. During this process they see our concern at their mood, and our need to do what it takes to get back the perfect boyfriend they had, and see our fear of losing them.
the power that this gives them is the headiest of drugs. this is why they escalate.
I never worked out how we fall for the bollocks of chasing to get the perfect boyfriend we know he can be back again. We are relentless in our belief that if we do this, that or the other, then that perfect man will return.
Our own lack self esteem, our need to be loved and our own inner voice created by our upbringing I think is what drives this clinging on to the impossible dream.
When we wake up from this, it's the worst feeling ever, we are monumentally stupid for falling for it for so long. anyone who knew me then, would tell you how I stopped posting for a while, as I felt WTF do I know, who the hell in their right mind would listen to anything I say about Relationships when I have so catastrophically ballsed this all up for so long.
MN was my saviour, so many cared enough to tell me it'd be OK and what not and they went out of their way to help, to hand hold and to listen.
there are hundreds if not thousands here to hear you, and one day you will be the one to help them. You will!
I've not been pushing the moving out bit because I think the backlash if I did would out weigh the benefits. At the end of the day day I am big and strong enough to put up with his moaning for a few more weeks - I'm pretty sure the kids aren't up to coping with how he will respond if I told him to stay in a B&B.
You'll be surprised tbh. The pressure that'll release when he's gone... priceless.
Have faith, but don't rule it out if he turns into a complete twat.
Focus on the goal. You'll get there.
We're here for you. Lean here!
I'm going to go against the tide here and say don't take his kids away this Christmas. You've only just split, your kids are unaware. Let them have one more Christmas as a family (ish). If he's buying a new house then he can move in the new year.
It is better when they move out but by no means out of the woods. My H moved out 2 months ago and remains convinced I am having a depressive episode and all will be resolved soon, rather than like OP he is a difficult stressed out, probably depressed person who is very difficult to live with and whom many of his problems are brought on by his own behaviour (xs alcohol being a major one). When I had to contact him by text about DCs I added I'd had a crap day (3 yr old tantrumming everywhere and 9 year old moaning) he was delighted - texted back later how he could move back whenever. When I replied No we are not getting back together he turned nasty. Texting late at night then storming round because I wouldn't reply, shouting about how selfish I was, how he could stop his half of the mortgage anytime, how I didn't turn up to some work event 10 years ago and he's never got over it, how I was a bad parent because I had a haircut for 2 hours on my DS's birthday etc etc. Pure bullshit - my point is that what Hissy says is so right: he used being aggressive to make me feel bad. The most crazy thing about what he did was make me think Fuckit I can't put up with this just move back in, whereas when he is behaving well I think This is right I feel much happier. So you are not alone and you know it's the right choice and you have to keep sticking to where you want to be when it finally settles (whenever the fuck that is).
God no, don't have 'one last Christmas'. It would be grim. Very grim. The emotional temperature would be beyond boiling point and it would be asking for trouble.
OP, have you considered whether a staged (very staged) withdrawal would work. Eg, 'I need some time apart to work out my feelings', or some such line, so that he leaves without having to face up to the fact that it's finished at the same time. In the new year you could have worked out your feelings to know it's over. It might be kinder to let him face it in stages, and get him out sooner.
You won't push the moving out and I'd bet he'll do his utmost best to not move out.
You do need boundaries established and deadlines.
And not to believe to be strong enough. That's how we end up in deep crap and keep putting up with it, even if we hae apparently put an end to it.
Essentially, if you fear the backlash you're not as strong as you think. And you'll still let yourself be bullied every time.
You need to find the actual strength to take the bull properly.
Or recognise your weaknesses (that's actually empowering) and that you need to enforce the clear boundaries to survive this.
Fine separate but most divorced parents share Christmas set up a proper arrangement
I suspect if he turned round n said ok you go to your parents ill keep the kids we'd be reading a very different thread
Be fair from the outset but you have to try to parent by consent
And separate your relationship from that of his with the children
Good luck it's not easy
Why do you get to decide who has the kids at Christmas? In his shoes I'd be pissed off at the token pre-Christmas day thing.
Yes separate properly and start to live apart but you need to set the trend right from the start that the kids see both parents at Christmas. In our case, we hand over at tea time on Christmas Day so alternate years they spend Christmas Eve with me/dad.
That's my point really. Why shouldn't the kids get to see their dad Christmas? Esp as they're unaware of what's going on. It's only a few weeks away, can't you two get on for that one day? The last Christmas they'll prob have with you all together. I def wouldn't tell them this close, it'll taint the day.
Maybe the op needs the support of her family around her at Christmas after going throughout all this crap from her H? If he is normally miserable and unhelpful why would anybody think he would be different at Christmas? It would probably be a horrible, emotionally charged atmosphere, not one that the children would enjoy at all.
Op needs to continue as she has started, and backing down over Christmas now would be seen by her H as a chance that she could have her mind changed, she needs to stick to her guns. He already seems to be rewriting their life to suit his view of himself as he victim. Who in their right mind would think that their wife had a 20 year relationship with someone just to get a house and kids? Of course it must be a conspiracy, because he has done nothing wrong at all has he, it's not his fault at all, in his mind.
Good luck Op, I know this is going to feel hellish, but once you are out the other side you will be so relieved.
Good luck, OP. Hissy's posts are spot on.
fifi I do understand your point! but H really doesn't 'do' Christmas. I can either stay at home with H, Dc's and my FIL which will be incredibly tense and stressful for all of us, or I can spend the day a a big family knees up with all my relatives (we hadn't been invited before because H wouldn't have gone). The kids will be with their cousins and I can be with people who aren't going to be pointing out how I have wrecked everything.
The pre-Christmas thing is his idea - I'm really not looking forward to it at all. Which has it pretty much spot on.
You are plotting your escape, quite justifiably. But I've heard the line "just using him just to get kids & a house" so many times that I realise it's a standard response for blokes who refuse to confront what they may have done to nuke the relationship.
Perhaps start by telling him you need to draw up a schedule so you know when things will be happening by, for e.g. council tax purposes etc. Obviously he's not going to have exact dates, but you can push him to give reasonable estimates.
He may think that by hanging in there that you will weaken and back down - the schedule may make him realise otherwise.
And for goodness sake tell the children! Why have you not done so yet? They need to know.
Thumbwitch they are 4 (twins), so I thought it would confuse them more if we told them and then nothing changed for a bit. I thought it might be better for us to tell them at the point that things start to happen (from their perspective anyway).
They are pretty smart monkeys, so I think they have started to notice the changes we have made (H takes them to visit FIL at the moment rather than him coming to the house, for example).
Ah sorry, didn't realise they were so little - but yes, even at that age they will have started to pick up on things so some preparatory work would probably be a good idea.
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