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Husband left six weeks ago-struggling need advice

(85 Posts)
Samsaraschoice Sat 01-Mar-14 10:14:35

I've never posted anything on here before so please forgive me if I do it wrong. I don't know all the abbreviations etc.
I am also 50 years old so don't even know if I'm allowed to post on here.
The problem is my beloved soulmate, love of my life husband left me six weeks ago. This is following a six year marriage (no mutual children, I have three but they have all left home this year, he has two but didn't see them much).
We are very different. He is a tradesman with no education and a very bad childhood involving desertion by his mum, sexual abuse and violence. I am a post grad educated professional but had a pretty bad childhood too with an abusive mother and alcoholic partner. We met three years after my last divorce and fell deeply into fairy tale love. He put me high in a pedestal as his princess and he was my hero/knight. Until he left we were still very much in love and having regular beautiful sex and were very affectionate. But the big downside was that he had become nastier and nastier and seemed to go into rages at the drop of a hat. We lived in my nice house and had a lovely lifestyle mainly paid for by me and he became more and more resentful and lost his self esteem which I fully acknowledge was my fault for not validating him enough and for trying to improve him re speech manners clothes etc. (which he originally said he wanted, but actually deeply resented). After a year or so, he started to show occasional violence towards me and the children. He would do things like push me from one end of the house to the other, shout right in my face, hold a clenched fist in front of me and he attacked my two sons several times, once picking up my 13 year old by his t shirt and legs and throwing him out of bed into the floor because he had been cheeky to me. He also put him in a hedge when he was 17 and grabbed my 20 year old son by the neck gouging bloody nail marks out of his skin.
In the last few months despite ongoing affection, he has had a hair trigger temper and the tiniest thing I said would set him off.
After telling me repeatedly to f***k off in the pub after I had been sitting on his knee watching a band and I disagreed with him about whether they were like another band. He demanded that I get the f******g car and drive him home imediately. I was so shocked that I was crying as I tried to drive and he told me I was driving too slow and he got out of the car and stomped off ahead of me in a rage. Eventually I persuaded him to get back in the car and once we got home he started to pack his stuff. He told me that I had five minutes to admit I was wrong or he was going. I said through my sobs, that I couldn't say I was wrong just because he was telling me to, so he went.
In the next two weeks he was nice by text and said his aim was to get sorted and he begged to come back, but I said he needed anger management first and counselling. He quickly changed regarding coming back and turned very cold and hard and has now said it is definitely over although he can't rule out regretting it in six months or a year and may then come looking for me.
Yesterday he came to mend my roof as I had lost tiles and it was leaking. I was hopeful that this kindness meant he was starting to think about trying to resolve it, but to my absolute horror when I got home, he had left me a bill for his time for £80 and he also took the money from a jar I had told him about (because I thought he would need it for materials).
I felt like I'd been punched in the gut. I had just about got over the horrific endless crying, insomnia, panic attack stages of aching loss and fear and have lost a stone in weight, but last night I couldn't sleep at all and feel really dreadful again this morning.
I am now beginning to think that this man is totally toxic and damaged too much and I should run, but there is another side to me that thinks I'm fifty years old and I have no one left at home and he is good looking and fit and when he is nice, there is no one more loving.
Part of me desperately wants to wait and give him time and see if I can help him, but the other side says to give up, that he is a selfish abuser and any man that sends his wife a bill for helping her is an absolute bastard with no hope. He cannot see that he is wrong in anyway for this and is angry that I have not thanked him for the work.
Any advice would be very much appreciated.

Mum2Fergus Sat 01-Mar-14 10:18:47

Honestly?! I think you're well rid...pick yourself up and be thankful to have him out of your life.

GuybrushThreepwoodMP Sat 01-Mar-14 10:25:08

Firstly of course you are allowed to post on here!
Break ups can be awful, no matter what the circumstances are. You describe him as nasty and resentful. He sounds like a bully who couldn't handle the fact that you occupied a more traditional 'male' role because you are successful in your professional life.
Honestly? You can do better.
But you're still hurting- that's normal. It takes time. Do you really want him back? It doesn't sound like he was loving or respectful towards you.

moonriverandme Sat 01-Mar-14 10:31:35

I think you are well rid. Better to be on your own and healthy than sick with someone else. The way he has treated your sons is totally unacceptable.

tribpot Sat 01-Mar-14 10:40:28

he became more and more resentful and lost his self esteem which I fully acknowledge was my fault for not validating him enough

Yeah. That's exactly what happened. And not the fact he suckered you in with this fairy tale crap, waited until you were emotionally dependant on him and then started acting like a prize tosser, cocklodger and abuser all rolled into one.

The only question you need to be asking yourself is why you didn't leave when he started assaulting your children. For many people in abusive marriages, that's the line in the sand that can't be crossed. And yet you seem more concerned he's billed you for his time. That's not abuse. Throwing a 13 year old boy around is abuse. I'd imagine your children couldn't wait to get away from him.

He doesn't have an anger management problem unless he's going around punching customers and friends. I would suggest you spend your time more usefully on looking at the Women's Aid course on pattern changing, to help you recover from the abuse you have gone through.

handfulofcottonbuds Sat 01-Mar-14 10:50:34

samsara - I am sorry you are struggling with this.

I agree completely with trilbpot, my limit would have definitely been reached when he assaulted your children. That is absolutely abhorrent! If you ever think that he will change or you are tempted to go back to this nasty bully, please think of that. The damage that can do to a child can be everlasting.

From what you say, you are well rid of this abusive bully. I'm sorry to be harsh. All of it together is way too much to put up with but the attack on your DC alone should be enough for you to be able to get over this nasty violent man.

MrsBennetsEldest Sat 01-Mar-14 10:55:27

I'm so sorry you have been treated so badly by someone you care deeply for. However, he put his hands on your son. He should have left that day with his gonads in a carrier bag. He then repeated that disgusting behaviour and still got to stay.
He comes across as your bit of rough and you were doing him a favour by polishing him up a bit until he was more acceptable.
He was your hero/knight who attacked your sons but that's ok as you were in love?
Stay away from this so called man, please.
I think counselling to improve your self esteem would help you see you do not need a man like this, or any other man for that matter, to make you happy. Your age is irrelevant.

PandaFeet Sat 01-Mar-14 10:57:22

Surely being with a man who physically attacks your children and threatens you is a scarier prospect than being alone?

Do you have friends? Do you see your children regularly (or do they stay away because of him)?

BeCool Sat 01-Mar-14 11:13:13

You deserve much much better than this abusive bully.

You call this man your beloved soulmate and then catalogue a long list of dreadful behaviour towards you on his part - do you really think a 'soulmate' would belittle you, be violent towards you and your children, steal from you etc etc? Of course not.

He has done you a favour by leaving. Do yourself a favour and don't take him back.

I wonder what state your self esteem is in - pick yourself up, be kind to yourself, throw away those rose tinted glasses and remember all the dreadful things he has done.

He is not a knight in shining armour, he is a brute and thug and he is abusive. He has shown you who he is. BELIEVE HIM.

skyeskyeskye Sat 01-Mar-14 11:18:59

Welcome to MN (Mumsnet!) and can I say first that you are well rid of him. 50 is no age at all to meet somebody else, somebody who will treat you properly and not abuse you.

I agree that counselling and the Womens Aid Freedom programme would both help you. My friend did it after an abusive relationship and it really changed how she felt about herself and her self esteem.

She realised that it was better to be on her own, than married to a man who treated her and the kids like dirt. She met somebody else after 2 years and is happy with him now.

I haven't been in an abusive relationship, but I have had the heartbreak. I know how hard it is to stop wanting to be with the person that you felt was your soulmate, but believe me, if this man was your soulmate then he would not have treated you like that.

You deserve better than him, much much better. thanks

Samsaraschoice Sat 01-Mar-14 11:23:47

Thank you ladies. This is so helpful in confirming that I should let him go. But it is so hard. I just had another flood of tears at the thought of losing him, because 95% of the time he was a lovely gentle kind man who couldn't have been more loving and our lovemaking was the most romantic intense thing ever. I have never had such chemistry with a man before. He is not my bit of rough by the way. He is very well mannered and polite and gentlemanly normally.
My sons are all grown up and have left home now, so no danger to them there. I didnt actually know about the bed throwing incident. My son only told me last night. I did know about the Hedge and the other incident, but at the time I just intervened and told him how it was utterly unacceptable. But my sons were large 6' men by then, but he still reduced them to tears.
We discussed it with the counsellor, but she seemed to play it down and because of my own low self esteem, I accepted it when he promised not to do it again. I do have very low self esteem and think that because I had an abusive mother, I don't know where to draw the line or judge what is ok.
I made excuses for him when he attacked the kids when they were older as they were being gobby and extremely disrespectful and I wondered if they needed a strong hand (I know, I'm so ashamed) and when we went to counselling he didn't do it again after being told firmly it was wrong. The counsellor said he just didn't know right from wrong and had learnt abuse from his father and dealt with it every day on the building site. He also stopped shouting in my face and shouting at me endlessly which she called annihilation. So I thought he could learn, but the temper has just got worse and worse. He has never hit or kicked me so he doesn't think it's abuse. He accuses me of controlling him and pushing him all the time, which I think I was guilty of. But stupidly I just thought I was helping him grow. He blames his temper entirely in me and says that's why he had to leave because he didn't like the angry man he was becoming. But he won't go to anger management although he might go back to the old useless counsellor.

I have a new counsellor now and she is marvellous. I am seeing her every week.
But I can't get rid of the desire to 'help him' and regain our earlier relationship. Idiot I know. I think I'm codependent.

Samsaraschoice Sat 01-Mar-14 11:26:06

Ps. Yes I do have friends who are being wonderful and I see my sons occasionally. They are all away at uni and jobs etc. but we talk on the phone.

LEMmingaround Sat 01-Mar-14 11:26:31

He sounds vile (although i am not sure how him being a tradesman has anything to do with anything!!) and you are well rid of him. I would have got someone else to fix the roof. You need to cut contact completely.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Sat 01-Mar-14 12:10:27

Samsara welcome to MN and don't worry about posting styles or whether you should be on here. There are people of all ages and if you stick around you can expect good company, sound advice and also support.

<He blames his temper entirely in me >
Stop right there.

I'll be blunt with you.
You're not mourning the loss of your hero or your white knight. You're mourning the loss of the man you want him to be and who you initially thought he was. You talk about helping him to change himself, but you can't do this, he's an adult and he is responsible for his own actions
It's not Pygmalion, it's real life.

To me he is a verbally and physically aggressive bully and beyond this he's also unchivalrous. I'm not going to talk about what you should have done when you first saw through the veneer, what's done is done now, but I actually think that as an educated woman with years of experience, you know what he's like you don't need anyone to tell you that he's not good for you and that you're well rid. Obviously his leaving is a shock and you're going to be sad and upset, but think about it realistically, you now have an opportunity to rebuild your life with someone who will be a partner, who will love and respect you and who you can enjoy a good life with.
The longer you hang on to this man, in your life or just in your head, the more doors you close for a happier future.

With regard to the comment that you seem more upset about him charging you to fix the roof rather than his physical violence, well, it's often the small things that are like the straw to break the camel's back.

Ask your friends and ask your family. I'd put money on it that they're all breathing a sigh of relief that he's gone. Don't confuse the fantasy of the good times with the reality of how this man's treated you and your sons.

FabULouse Sat 01-Mar-14 12:58:58

Can I ask why you didn't report him to the police for physically attacking your sons?

How is your relationship with them now? Have you sat them down and explained that you now realise you were totally mistaken to have acted in the way you did and that if they want to report the assaults to the police now, you will support them in their decision and be a witness?

BrandNewIggi Sat 01-Mar-14 13:06:08

Please do not take this man back, or wait for him. Maybe he can be fixed, seems unlikely, but he would be the only one able to do that.
I think one year from now you will feel the utmost relief for having escaped from this bully.

gamerchick Sat 01-Mar-14 13:07:22

he's done you a favour by leaving.

let him go.

You're 50, not over the hill and I agree with others for him assaulting your kids.. i'll bet they're happy he's gone.

Samsaraschoice Sat 01-Mar-14 13:29:32

I don't know why I didn't report it to the police. I thought that this morning myself. Perhaps because my son was 20 and forgave him. The 17 year old didn't forgive him and never wants to see him again. Yes I apologised to him last night. I am also furious with the counsellor as my son once saw her alone and told her about the bed incident and she never said a word to me! I'm sure that's unethical.
I also think that you get conditioned to accept things as it slowly gets worse. Also the counsellor didn't seem too bothered by it which meant he really minimised it.
I suppose when so much of it was lovely and everyone who meets him thinks he's a really sweet gentle quiet man (which he was most of the time until recently) it's hard to let go.
I asked the counsellor what she thought of him when I saw her alone and she said she liked both of us, but she couldn't live with him as he wasn't consistent enough. I then asked her if a friend wanted to go out with him, what would she say and she paused and said "I'd say go for it". So that really made me feel he can't be all that bad. Having said all that. I have since been told that counsellors are supposed to refuse to treat couples where there is violence involved.
The reason I said he was a tradesman is because he says the biggest problem is the intellectual and earnings difference between us and that he never feels good enough.

BrandNewIggi Sat 01-Mar-14 14:10:53

Why give so much weight to what the counsellor thinks of him? She is seeing the very very tip of the iceberg when it comes to his behaviour.

Allann01 Sat 01-Mar-14 14:12:32

I am so so sorry your going through this. It's going to be a mix bag of emotions but believe me when I say this...LET HIM GO, YOU CANT HELP HIM. I can say that as I too have just recently became free of exactly the same situation. My so called soul mate, the one and now my ex smacked my 2 year old son and marked him for 5 days. Ex wasn't my son biological dad. I stupidly forgave him and hoped he would change. I got abused sexually, mentally and verbally whilst my son got mentally abused and physically abused. But again it wasn't all the time. When it was good it was perfect, but when he was pissed off my god did I get it. He was never wrong and it was always my fault.

I understand your pain and questioning and it was only when I walked away realising I can no longer take his crap and the constant arguing because of my son was so called taking the piss out of me, I told him to go. He also had a 5 year old daughter who started doing the same towards my son and now apparently I have ruined her life. That guilt and blame has been left at my door, but needless to say, thanks to women's aid, family and friends, 1 month on free from him I am in a lot safer and better place. I am waiting to go on to the freedom programme so I can rebuild my life and not make the same mistake again.

I did call the police and he did get arrested for ABH against my son and domestic and violent abuse against me. But he's such a clever man he told police that I did it all so all charges were dropped. Due to him moving less than 7 miles from me, I am having to be relocated to start a new life.

Stay strong and realise your self worth is so much more than this man. It's tempting to want to go back, but don't. Next time it could be you that he hits or hurts badly. These men that behave like this need to be hung from their balls. Unfortunately it takes you a while to see and realise what damage they have done, by that time it's too late as your already sucked in.

Big hugs as I know you need them wink X x

livingzuid Sat 01-Mar-14 14:15:25

No words of advice just sorry you are going through this. And the first counsellor you reference sounds useless. There are many bad ones out there unable to counsel where there is abuse in the home. Often you will see advice on these threads too that joint couple counselling or where a partner is abusive is not at all advisable.

Honestly my first thought was there is no loss in this man being gone. Your sons might also be pleased and happy you are away from him. He sounds like an abuser. Pushing is domestic violence.

Good luck thanks

Lweji Sat 01-Mar-14 15:00:30

You are so well rid.

I was blinded by the red flags in your initial post.

A life alone is way better than with such toxic abusive people around. It really is.

Even if they seem to be good 95% of the time.
No good time compensates for when the bad times are really bad.
It is the bad times, IMO, that define a relationship.

Divinity Sat 01-Mar-14 15:07:53

You are already realising that the nice 95% of the time is tosh. Well done. If he demands the £80 tell him you did not have an agreement and you will be happy to call the police over the money he stole from you. Twat.

thanks to you and your sons.

FabULouse Sat 01-Mar-14 15:22:00

I'm sorry that you were treated so badly by this 'man' and in addition, that you were very much let down by the counselling you've had. Your situation is a good example of why it is so incredibly important that counsellors recognise abuse and don't minimise it to vulnerable clients who are just starting to work out what's going on in their relationship. Wishing you well for the future without this nightmare on your shoulders.

ageofgrandillusion Sat 01-Mar-14 15:22:27

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