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.

Have you left and been happier?

(60 Posts)
Fairy1303 Tue 10-Dec-13 12:24:32

Things are not good with DH and I. In fact they are awful.
I am finally seeing things for what they are.
It's a really horrible environment for me, and the children.
He is lazy, difficult, rude, verbally aggressive and he does nothing really to help me.

I am 90% sure that I need to leave, but I am terrified of making the wrong decision.

I keep being told by those around me how difficult leaving will be. The financial implications, the impact on the children, the reality of being a single parent, etc.
It will be messy and hideous.

I suppose I'm looking for some positive stories from people who have left, to help me with my decision. I have a step daughter full time who I will miss terribly if I go, it will mess up her whole life and I will miss DH but I can't see an alternative - these must be factors in most seperations so was leaving worthwhile?

Not sure if I make sense, my head is not very clear at the moment.

whygodwhy Tue 10-Dec-13 12:31:22

I could have been you ... I'm
Dashing out but just wanted to say it took me 6 years to pluck up the courage to leave ... It's now 4 years since we split and my life and my Ds have never been better, to live as in a happy free environment is better than I can tell you. It was tough at the beginning but with time it got better and better. I've now met a wonderful man , we're getting married my Ds and family adore him. I thank my lucky stars that I found the courage to act and move forward with my life. I've posted lots on here when I was living through the horror, if you take a look it says it all the verbal abuse and misery made for a horrific life.

Trust me, you and your children will be ok, life goes on, there are so much happier times ahead for you.

PoshPaula Tue 10-Dec-13 12:37:41

I was far happier after I left my first H. It wasn't plain sailing and there were difficult times but I was living my own life again, and there was no-one whittling away at my confidence, undermining me at every opportunity or mocking my aspirations. It took me a long time before I gathered the strength to leave but I never regretted it.

I'm sorry that our lovely child was hurt then but now that he's an adult, he says that he totally recognises why I had to leave. He and I have a fantastic bond.

pinkpeony Tue 10-Dec-13 12:48:21

I left 14 months ago now and am infinitely happier, especially since my decree absolute came through a month and half ago. Exh was abusive in all sorts of ways and it really wasn't an option to stay anymore for my and my DCs' safety and well-being.

I am and always have been financially independent. I am financially worse off after the divorce but can still support myself and DCs and it's worth every penny to be rid of him. Being a single parent without him is so much easier than before - where I was doing all the parenting alone anyway and having to manage around an abusive partner.

DCs are happy and settled, living in a peaceful, happy home. I feel like I have finally become myself again after 9 years with a bad partner. A massive weight was lifted off my shoulders and a veil from over me the day I got my decree absolute and became a free woman again. I feel like I'm reconnecting with the person I was 10 years ago. I am dating again. I make decisions in my own home. I am enjoying the time I spend with my DCs. I am enjoying my job. I am grateful that I have my DCs, my family, my friends, my health, my job - all the things that really matter.

I could keep going on for pages more about how much better things are now. Whilst I was going through it, I was agonising about whether it was the right decision, whether I was doing the right thing, whether I should go through with it. Now, having come out from the other side, I know it was absolutely the right thing for me and DCs.

Outofyourmouth Tue 10-Dec-13 12:50:52

Yes.

I asked Ex to leave the begining of this year for all of the reasons you said above. When he agreed my over riding feeling was one of relief. I have had some incredibly sad times, still do, but I know I will get over it and I feel content now, not the constant low level depression I felt when we were together.

We have two children that spend more quality time with their Dad now we are separated and they have accepted the change incredibly well. I virtualy raised them both on my own, as ex did not help, and now there is less to do as I don't have his washing, cooking and tidying! So I have more quality time with the dc's, I am more relaxed and so are they.

It took me 2 years to decide things were never going to get better, but I'm so glad I took that decision.

Twitterqueen Tue 10-Dec-13 12:52:08

I too am very, very content with my decision. I should have done it sooner but stayed because of the children. Our relationship became more and more poisonous though, so I would not recommend this.

It's not easy being a single parent. I get no financial support from him. he was - and is - a truly awful person. Other people judge you.

BUT my life - and our children's lives - are so, so much better.

Fairy1303 Tue 10-Dec-13 12:59:20

Thank you all so much for sharing your experiences.
I am really sad and angry with him that it has come to this - our lives together could be perfect - I took on the mother role for his daughter so he didn't have to worry about that anymore, we have a nice house, good jobs, nice area, a beautiful baby and he has ruined it all.

I tried to talk to him a few weeks ago about how I feel - he appeared to take it on board but the very next day he started telling me I was trying to manipulate him, he wasn't going to stand for it and asking me why I said all those things.

I am exhausted from managing his behaviour. His family are awful and they are all so aggressive and I just want out of it.

Lweji Tue 10-Dec-13 13:08:04

Yes. smile

and in case you haven't seen this thread or this thread.

houmousandcarrotsandwich Tue 10-Dec-13 13:17:43

Reading this post with great interest. I'm going through break up (on another thread) and worry if I'm making the right decision.
Interestingly none of you have said they wish they'd stayed and try to make things work. I have tried that and it's not working!

Maybe it's a case of when deep down you feel it's over, it probably is.

Good luck OP. X

whygodwhy Tue 10-Dec-13 13:18:47

They are the ones that lose out in the end, don't let his failings drag you down ... You and your children deserve happiness ... I thought my son didn't know as he was only 5, it's shocked me since the stuff he has remembered ... I remember breaking down at the doctors saying I felt awful that my son would come from a broken home

She said "better to come from one than live in one" those few simple words couldn't be more true

Indigoviolet3 Tue 10-Dec-13 13:25:32

I'm so glad I left my EA ex, felt so guilty at the time for not having the 'perfect' home for my DD, but 8 years on, I'm married to a lovely man with dd2 and another one on the way, so she has got a lovely family after all.
Ex still pisses me off and tries to be emotionally manipulative even now, I hate to think what life would have been like if I'd stayed! Good luck.

FolkGirl Tue 10-Dec-13 13:31:53

I didn't leave, but I kicked my ex out when I discovered his affair.

With hindsight, I realise that there were red flags I didn't recognise as such right from the very beginning (where was MN then, eh!) and my relationship was not a happy one. But because there was nothing 'concrete' I felt I couldn't do anything about it.

When he had the affair, yes, I was hurt, felt betrayed, devastated etc, but once the initial shock had subsided I was much happier.

Someone told me only this morning how I was now a different person to the one she met 3 years ago. So much happier, more confident, etc.

So yes, I am happier. Genuinely so.

Twitterqueen Tue 10-Dec-13 13:38:11

Houmous Looking back, I think perhaps I could have tried harder, but at the time each of us can only do what we're capable of at that particular point in time. IYSWIM. And I wasn't able to do anything more than I did.

And 'tried harder' would have meant additional confrontation, argument, upsetting the children.

And yes, you're right, when it's over, it's over. You can't go back. So onwards and upwards!

I keep being told by those around me how difficult leaving will be.

When my ex stole £600 from my credit card and I kicked him out, my mum told me to take him back because he had nowhere to go. MY mum.

When he terrorised me in my own home for a month, refusing to move out and I finally called the police, he stood outside my door all day ranting and raving, then broke in through a window and smashed a glass to hit me with. That time it was HIS mum who told me to take him back and drop the charges. She is a midwife, she should know better.

I don't know what this phenomenon is, but it seems to me that when people tell a victim not to leave, its more to do with their own difficulty in accepting change, than any true concern for how difficult you may find it.

I left and I have never looked back. In the short term it might be a struggle financially, you might miss him or doubt yourself. But its worth it. A relationship should be a lovely addition to your life, it shouldn't take over your life and make it worse.

roz1982 Tue 10-Dec-13 14:20:31

Me and ex h separated and divorced this year and I am now a single mum to our toddler. He was one at the time. It's not easy and I do not have the same lifestyle and finances I had before but I am so much more emotionally happier. Ex h was not abusive or lazy I just did not love him anymore. It can't be worse on your own can it??

YoucancallmeQueenBee Tue 10-Dec-13 14:26:48

I left & I'm happier. I've been without him for 11 years now. Yes, it was tough at times as a single mum but that didn't make me miserable in the same way as being with him did.

My DCs were a toddlers & a baby, so have never known any different. I think kids are adaptable though & would rather be in a happy environment than a miserable one.

maparole Tue 10-Dec-13 17:31:50

I'm immeasurably happier and so is my ds. It's as though I was battling through a flooding river with a huge lump of concrete on my back and now I can just stand up and walk normally.

I've only recently left and things are tough: money is a worry and the ex continues to be a FW, but none of this seems very important at all compared with being able to relax.

maparole Tue 10-Dec-13 18:03:16

Actually, thinking a bit more about it, I know why my current worries don't seem too bad: they are all things I can and will take care of, eventually. Contrary to what my ex was always telling me, I am a competent and capable person and all these issues are within my control.

Whereas, the ex being an abusive FW was totally outside my control

I kicked my ex out 13 years ago and never regretted it. Being a single parent was much easier than being a parent with an abusive twat of a partner. Thanks to that decisionI have been able to make so many more strong life changing decisionsdecisions and my life has moved in so many directions that would have been impossible if I had stayed with ex.

Yes I am happy

Chocberry Tue 10-Dec-13 18:35:44

I left in March after 13 years. For me the first few months were very difficult. Adjusting to being a single mother has been challenging. But it has been sooo worth it. Myself and the dc live in a much calmer and pleasant environment. No resentment, arguing and tense atmosphere any more. Having gone through this I now feel like I can deal with anything, I know I am strong and my life is gradually improving a little more each day.
Don't get me wrong I have still down days but these are becoming less and less with time.
Financially I am coping well, I work part time and claim tax credits. I am also studying with the open university.
Don't listen to others who have no experience of the situation. It is scary to make a life changing decision but imo its scarier to live with regret.

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 10-Dec-13 18:36:19

He walked out to see his 16yr old gf at his mates and the next day I had a solicitors appt and double bolted all the doors. I was in a homeless hostel for 7 months with no money nothing and my under 3yr old ds.

It was awful I had nowt whilst he holidayed in Cancun and rented a big flat somewhere for himself and spent tens of thousands.

13rs later I'm re married to a truly fab man and it was the best decision I ever made. I cannot describe or remember half the things he tried to do to me to bring me down, it was all about control and even now still try's it on hmm.

My mantra now is the mums net mantra fuck off to the far side of fuck and when you get there call a cab and fuck off a bit further.

every minute you stay is a minute less you have in your new life,
You never get it back.

RedBushedT Tue 10-Dec-13 19:22:17

Yes. I left two years ago. I have two children and although it was hard at first for them they are now so much happier and calmer!
I was worried about the financial implications too but I'm actually better off in many ways as I get to manage all my own money. I started out working just 16 hours a week with tax credits to to up but am gradually increasing my hours. I'm loving my life now. leading was the best thing I ever did. Just wish I'd found the strength to do it much earlier!
Staying in an unhappy marriage is a slow torture and despite my thinking I was doing it for the children etc it's very clear now that they had picked up on my misery. Seeing them gain in confidence is fabulous and I finally feel like I'm a worthwhile role model for them!

Another happy leaver. And both XDH and I have found new partners and are remarrying next year.

It's tough and messy in the short term, but well worth it in the long term. Like childbirth.

BertieBowtiesAreCool Tue 10-Dec-13 19:29:34

YES. So much happier. I could not have imagined my life today if I'd stayed.

I don't regret "not trying harder" in the slightest, in fact, I am fully convinced that there's nothing I could have done, XP and I were totally incompatible even if he wasn't a total arse.

thatstripedthing Tue 10-Dec-13 19:36:27

Leaving was easy for me when I resolved for myself that the reason we had to split was because of his behaviour, not mine. I still get all the abuse and attitude - but I don't need to care about it anymore. The abuse I get, though, is motivated by his incredible disbelief that I didn't go back to him when he said I should. And each day has been happier than the one before.
If you think more about going than staying, it's definitely time to act...

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