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.
really upset, sad and scared(190 Posts)
Sorry in advance as this feels long to me. I've posted often about my emotionally abusive H over the past year and now with benefit of all the help I've had here and from reading books and speaking to women's aid I feel I can more clearly see what he is doing-- his tactics-- and what has been going on through our whole marriage/relationship of 25 years.
He has constantly belittled me because I haven't worked (full time, have done bits of freelance) over the past few although I have been drawing a salary from his firm, for tax purposes-- that stopped at the end of September. I have no self confidence and although I have good skills in my field it has been really hard for me to start properly job hunting and he has been no help whatsoever-- for example he picked up a copy of my CV when I'd sat down to proofread it, said it was sh*te and crumpled it up. But I managed to get a contract job, it literally landed in my lap and it is a lovely project. I started exactly a week ago. It's not the most impressive job in terms of prestige or money but it is a good way back into the loop as far as I'm concerned... and one week in I'm loving it, really enjoy everything about being at work full time again.
True to type (I had been wondering how he would respond) he seems to be subtly making problems. He has just been generally in a bad mood and I've been tiptoeing around, at the moment I'm still getting used to getting back into the routine of getting up and going to work. When I worked full time, as I did the whole time our kids were growing up (I stopped when DS was in last year of A levels, he's now 3rd year uni and DD is in first year so we have an empty nest, kids are both doing well and I'm v proud of them) his rule was that my job could never interfere with his life, I have always had to do all the cooking/childcare/clothes etc. But because he earned more money than me that was deemed fair... but of course looking back I always put myself in the position of second to him, and probably reinforced his view that he was entitled to special treatment.
Anyway to get to the point. This weekend, my first after working, he wanted to our weekend house in the countryside-- his pet project and something he has used to extremely control us (mainly me + DD over the summer, DS early on started refusing to go). I was a bit muddled up as to what I wanted to do, in my mind, I thought I should put my foot down and say NO as I could stay here plus get laundry done, do some cooking for the week, and play around with the project I have on the computer (he does NOT want me working at home even briefly as I won't get paid for it, but I would like to brush up my computer skills a bit and do some extra work on the project) but for various reasons I agreed to go. Although we had a nice time Saturday as we met up with friends, he was niggling away all day today (Sunday). For example I lightheartedly asked what the agenda was for the day, as I was making the coffee and just wanted to know what he had in mind for the day, ie work in the garden or go for a walk, and he exploded at me for using the word 'agenda' as it sounded like a work-word... he was doing his own thing on the computer and said he just wanted to be left alone so I didn't bring him a cup of coffee, which further infuriated him, etc etc and the day sort of went downhill. But we went by to see DS as we had to deliver something to him so there was some point to the day so to speak.
We got back around 6:00 tonight, I put a load of laundry in, and cooked dinner, he sat on the sofa and worked on HIS project. I transferred laundry to tumble drier eventually, after dinner I folded clothes, set up ironing board and ironed 2 pairs of trousers for him, left shirts on the back of a chair, left ironing board up as I was going to do a quick job on the shirts. NB these were ALL his clothes. We had a couple of glasses of wine, he wasn't too happy with the fact that I hadn't planned a 'pudding' for him (this was after minor niggles with the dinner) then he didn't want to watch Family Guy (my guilty pleasure and I hate to miss it) so I went upstairs to watch it on the TV in the bedroom. Was this unreasonable??
I think I dozed off, he came upstairs an hour or so later shouting at me that the house was a mess and that I was wearing a jumper he doesn't like, a comfy one I wear around the house. I think he was insinuating that I wasn't dressed for sex. So I got furious but didn't shout (this is fairly usual) and came downstairs to sleep on the sofa. I got down here and found he'd folded up the ironing board roughly and left it on the table (weird place). He's always hated it when I left the ironing board up but in this case-- as I was trying to 'catch up' with laundry after going away for the weekend on his insistence-- I thought he should give me a bit of slack. Then I found some things on the floor, papers etc, that he must have just slung down there. Plus I found my muddy boots on top of my laptop. FFS I had even cleaned the kitchen before I went upstairs, all counters were cleared, it wasn't all that bad. As usual he was just finding fault with things-- I cannot argue, yes the ironing board was up and yes there was a tiny bit of clutter and yes my boots were left in the middle of the floor. But he just doesn't help. Shouldn't he be really supporting me, in a new job, plus I've not bothered him for anything over the past week? I even take the train so he can have the car, and I have come in and made dinner every night plus of course do all the cleaning, evidently not to his standards but that is ridiculous because he is really messy himself and never even picks up his clothes off the floor. But if his clothes are on the floor it is my fault because I haven't picked them up.
So, with my enhanced knowledge of how abusers work, I know this is what he is doing. And I am fairly detached (which angers him) and I just let it wash over my as much as possible but I was really upset when I saw what he had done with the ironing board. I've actually been crying about it. It was just so unnecessary. So I think he is trying to sabotage my new job, and I need to get out. But now after googling flats to rent I am really depressed, I have a cat and a dog, this house works for me. And kids are coming back from uni in a couple of weeks when term ends.
When I've spoken to WA the idea of a refuge doesn't seem to fit with me-- no point in taking a room when I could rent privately. If H was violent things would be different. If he left it would be fantastic, absolutely lovely, we have a great time when he isn't around, but he needs to be in London for work over the next few weeks so not much chance of him moving to the weekend house. Plus he doesn't like to go to that house without someone else-- I think he gets bored on his own (whereas personally I love being on my own).
I'm going to call WA today, they were organizing counselling for me but I put things on hold for the new job. My question is, WTF do I do?? I was all for the idea of moving out until I realized how many problems that thew up and how much of an adjustment that would be, with the new job as priority. And it isn't really all that affordable. I know this is a question so many have had to deal with, and why staying always seems so much easier somehow. But I need to do something. I'm thinking that I can possibly speak to a lawyer about getting an agreement drawn up where we both live her but separately until we sell the house and I can buy another one, basically try to recreate the house we have on a smaller scale for 1/2 the money.
OK-- I'm feeling more angry than sad now-- I know I have been told to LTB before but I think that this is the week when I finally need to act. Inertia is not an option. Bastard. I feel like I want to hurt him and I hate myself for that. Stupid ironing board. I know I can manage him as I've been doing, but at the cost to myself of all my self worth and sanity!
I think the crying about the ironing board is not about the ironing board, but about the realisation of the loss of what could have been and the grief of letting go.
I have no doubt you will leave him and have no doubt he will attempt to be everything you ever wanted in the process - but what about all those years he could have been and never was?
Unfortunately for him he will pay significantly financially as well as probably being alone without a personal slave - after all as main carer to your DCs, they are going to need future shelter when they return from Uni, with you.
He is also likely to have to pay a joint lives order, maintenance for the rest of your lives unless of course you agree to final settlement which would probably be a larger settlement but negate future hassle in court if he plays up.
This is what you get by way of compensation for a lifetime of servitude, and you are in a far more powerful position than you realise at this time.
See a lawyer, your H is a bastard
Ok. I'm revisiting this to give myself a kick. End of the week and I'm still here, and guess what he did yesterday? He threw my clothes all over the floor. I think this is because the trousers I'd left for him to wear, ironed, had a faulty zip which I wasn't aware of. He shouted about that tonight but didn't mention what he'd done.
I leave for work before him and he's left a mess in the kitchen every day but this is direct provocation as these were stacks of neatly folded trousers and jumpers... And I'm telling myself it could have been worse, he could have ripped them or something.
I didn't say anything and neither did he, I went upstairs to change when I got in. And was shocked to see the mess, I took a picture first then picked up my clothes and took them into another room with the idea of packing them away. Now. He thinks all is ok, as I think it's better not to confront him about it so he must think that I'm contrite and sorry.(and I really don't want him commenting on how many clothes I have, it is a bit excessive but my great pleasure in life).
WA advisor has said to report to police (not about clothes but about other things, he has jokingly threatened to 'murder' me) please give me the strength to call tomorrow! H is 'stressed' right now about work and family worries (his family) and I'm sure that is his excuse but it is no excuse.
PS have been busy at work which is why I haven't done more but I have made contact with a solicitor who I had a free half hour with 6 months ago. Job still good but I don't want them thinking they've hired a nut case... So not taking any time out to deal with this sh*t.
You really have to get away from him. Can you go to the other house and change the locks. You shouldn't have to rent when you own two houses.
Please, please get away from him. You need to take that final step. You will feel so much better, and so will your children. He must not know what you are doing, because you are about to take all his control from him, he will have no power over you. Present to him as fait accomplis. Move to the other house and lick him out. If he turns up shouting the odds, call the police. He won't be so 'brave' then. Honestly, you will feel so much better once you leave. It is worth any inconvenience.
I hope you aretalking to the police.
Never take those threats lightly.
He keeps punishing you and it may well get worse if he suspects you want to leave. Could you arrange somewhere to go to and take a day off when he's at work?
I'd probably have a quiet word with your boss and explain that you need to take one or two days because you are separating and it is not amicable. You could simply leave at that.
I am frankly very worried for your safety. He sounds a complete misogynist. He may not have raised a hand to you yet but I think he sounds capable.
He put muddy boots on your laptop
He couldn't have stated his intention to walk all over you and your new job any more blatantly than that.
Good luck OP. You know what has to be done and I am confident you will do it xxx
Why are you still there OP? It is just the practicalities of moving out with everything else going on?
I know how daunting it is, but remember that you may get help with housing costs (Housing Benefit) & perhaps other help too depending on your salary.
Get yourself out, let him deal with his own washing & ironing! Imagine his rage at finding the faulty zip & having to repair it himself!
When I left my DH I did it with a 4 year old who had just started Reception & a 4 month old baby. I left my marital home, my car & my job & I have not once looked back! It really is worth it & once you start doing it its not that actually that difficult. Its like a huge ironing pile, you look at it for weeks & dread starting it but once you start you think this isn't so bad. Its a simplistic example but it works. (I left my iron there btw, didn't iron a thing in 2 years)
There is never a good time to leave, there is always a reason why you can't. Yours is your job, but perhaps if you didn't have it then your reason for going would be 'I have no income' or 'I have no job'.
Just do it, just jump in & I guarantee its not as scary as you imagine it will be.
He is a complete, raving lunatic or at the least an oversized, petulant man-baby. My initial temptation would be to take his fucking clothes and dump them all over the place but I don't know if he is actually potentially dangerous so will defer to people who know more about these things. I just can't work out if he's a complete arse who would be and if you called him out on his behaviour or whether he is dangerously controlling and could escalate.
I think you know what you have to do OP. Honestly, why are you wasting your life with this pathetic twathead? Get yourself out and you will look back and laugh at some of the absurd things he has done. In the meantime keep safe and get organised
He threw your clothes all over your room who does that? I know you know what you need to do but I really hope you do it - and soon.
Be careful. Ensure he can't see your Mumsnet comments or get into your computer.
He's one angry man.
There was another thread a few weeks ago from a poster called Devons who was suffering from abuse in the home. It's all quiet now and she hasn't posted for ages. Perhaps her partner discovered her postings on Mumsnet. Other Mumsnetters concerned in case the abuse racked up.
YOu have to learn to behave. That's why he's having his tantrums, to get you back in your box. It's obedience he's after - to your master and lord.
It is a hellish way to live. Really. Once you go, it will feel like you're on holiday
for a year . He's so used to having a slave - not even servant, but slave - he is not taking it well that that his slave is rattling her chains.
He genuinely believes your role is to serve him. I mean genuinely. he will push for it at all costs. Forget man-baby, that assumes he has some level of conscience. He doesn't and he never will.
Get out lovely. You'll get a whole heap in the settlement. Get the ball rolling. You dont have little ones to think about, you have your legs, your arms, to do with what you will.
Just wanted to update. He's spending the night in a police cell. Last night he said he wanted to 'smash my f-ing face in', not once but twice-- the background to that was a fairly ridiculous argument over a computer program we both use in our work. In the interest of getting a record of the incident I dialled 101, before I finished the call there were two police at the door and another in a second car outside. Sh!t. He wouldn't come downstairs, they came upstairs and unprompted he said that he'd threatened to smash my face in but of course he didn't mean it, he had freedom of speech, etc. the policeman who took him away was threatening to put him in handcuffs.
A lovely policewoman wrote 4-5 pages of notes, seemed genuinely concerned and told me he was clearly abusive, I think I sounded a bit like a know it all, as I kept saying I knew all about abusive relationships and had been in touch with women's aid... No idea what happens next. I've only had about 3 hours sleep, planning to work tomorrow. Today i mean! But I imagine someone will call, evidently he won't be spoken to and presumably cautioned until after 8:00 and I will be on my way to work. I'm feeling v v sorry for him right now. He has no idea he was doing anything wrong.
That must have taken so much. That is such good news; a real warning to him.
Please please don't waste time feeling sorry for him. Think about it logically. He's an adult. He lives in the same world as we all do. He's intelligent. How could it possibly have escaped him all these years that this is no way to behave. He does know that it's wrong to act like this.
Turn it round.... Would you ever consider saying something like this to someone? Anyone?
I think not. (I say this as someone who had an EA partner. The hardest thing for me was stopping feeling sorry for him when he was a bastard to me! Logical?????)
Good luck and well done again
Please keep talking, we are here to support you and we care about you
Who do you think deserves your sympathy most right now?
Go look in the mirror, she's right there.
This can go one of two ways.
You have a massive wake up call which makes you both realise that you are worthy of so much more. And you do whatever it takes to get that.
Or he comes back with his caution and carries on as before. And you let him.
It's up to you to choose your own happiness. He cannot control that.
I speak as someone who is working through the former, but with far less years and crap under her belt. My marriage may or may not survive, time will tell. I will do whatever is right for me, no matter how remorseful my DH is, and how little he realised his behaviour was wrong.
Right now, you need to put YOUR feelings and needs above everything else.
How many times have you raged at him over trivialities and done something aggressive designed to belittle or intimidate? Why should he get away with it?
I for one am glad you picked up the phone last night. Do not let him tell you that he was only giving as good as he got or that you overreacted or have damaged his reputation.
OP that is how I finally got rid of my abusive exh - arrested by the police. My advice to you now - solicitor and start divorce proceedings and get legal advice. Now the ball is rolling keep up the momentum.
Good luck it won't feel easy but it will definitely be worth it
Aargh. I have very red eyes today, not helped when I work on a computer all day! Thanks for all the support... Still thinking that its my fault, at least somewhat it is, he was b:thing me out yesterday before I called the police, saying I hadn't organised anything 'social' for pre-Christmas-- how could I when he never likes anything I organise, like going to winter wonderland in Hyde park, I am planning to go with our friends, it is a great laugh but when i told him he said its naff and expensive. WTF can I do??
I really don't want him to come back. I'm secretly hoping he will be sufficiently jolted to go permanently to our weekend house- this is what he offered to do when he realised police wanted to take him away. I wonder what they are going to say to him- policewoman assured me I wouldn't be left high and dry with him back here, but I was acting so concerned about his welfare when she was here, she suggested it might give him the kick he needs to start behaving himself. I'd rather he just F's off.
Anyone willing to bet he will be either 1) threatening to throttle me or 2) threatening to do himself in? I wonder what today will bring.
I don't know but keep your phone close and charged fully.
Perhaps start telling him to fuck off and get out of your life would be better than carrying on doing his ironing?
"how could I when he never likes anything I organise"
That is the crux of it. He will never like anything you do, because that is not his purpose. YOur role is to be wrong, his is to be all-powerful and right. He sets you up to fail and attacks you for failing.
Please let this be the day when you say "ENOUGH. NO MORE"
We will help you
1). You did not bring any of this on. He chose to behave in x way that was threatening. The police have reinforced beyond any doubt how unreasonable he is.
2). I wonder whether he will be nice as nice can be today. Designed to confound you, make you doubt yourself, and think he's not so bad after all.
Watch out for that!
funkyi am thinking that now the cat is out of the bag so to speak I cannot risk being in the same house/room as him. DD needs to be collected from uni, on saturday, just finishing first term, no idea how we will manage that but the car is registered in my name so presumably I could take it without asking (lol) drive it over to collect her things perhaps Friday, then I could tell her... Oh sh!t! What happens next?
Join the discussion
Please login first.