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.

Finally read "why does he do that" and learned my dh is abusive

(186 Posts)
Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 08:36:49

I've only been on MN for a couple of weeks but what I've learnt here has blown my mind and opened my eyes.
I am finally reading "why does he do that" by lundy bancroft and have realised I am married to an abuser. I would describe him, from what I've read so far, as water torturer with some demand man and Mr right thrown in. I would also say it seems like low level abuse that ends up wearing you down but after something that happened this morning (after I very consciously changed my usual behaviour to see what would happen) I'm thinking that it's probably only been low level because I've always placated him and gone to him to make up after an argument.
I have to say I'm partly devastated, partly frustrated with myself (how could I be so blind when my own childhood was abusive) but very much relieved to find that I AM NOT CRAZY.
I would like support, encouragement, advice. I haven't yet made any decision about what to do.

DorynownotFloundering Tue 01-Mar-16 08:42:05

Give yourself a pat on the back for seeking advice , reading information & taking that first small but oh so hard step forward !
As long as you don't feel in danger, take time to think through your options get your ducks in a row & plan your future.
Do you have children? Is your house owned/ rented?
Loads of advice here Keep reading !!

Marchate Tue 01-Mar-16 08:50:11

I've seen your name on other threads. The book is an eye opener

You are not crazy. You are being driven crazy

Write notes. Odd things that happen, times you have questioned your memory, instances where he has sat with that grin/sneer on his face waiting for you to explode...

Take care

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 08:53:39

Thank you! I'm swinging between elation and grief at the moment. Off to drop dc at preschool and then will probably collapse in a heap.

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 08:54:54

Yes 2 kids, own house. I work part time, very few hours. Have been keeping journal for about a year, it's shocking to read. Will take notes more consciously now.

MoominPie22 Tue 01-Mar-16 09:09:57

That´s great you started a journal as evidence. What do you mean you deliberately changed your behaviour to see what would happen? What happened this morning?

Sorry I´m just nosy curious.

DorynownotFloundering Tue 01-Mar-16 09:22:07

Your own house or joint own house with Him? Is he named on deeds?

Marchate Tue 01-Mar-16 09:23:24

OP probably didn't placate her husband. That's the hardest step. Both get into the routine/game. He is nasty, she tries to make it better

Bree85 Tue 01-Mar-16 10:02:08

Whatever your decisions is, just make sure you are 100% on it so you won't regret it. I hope things will get better with you.

HoppingForward Tue 01-Mar-16 10:10:18

Hi Mamaka. I'm 27 days free of my "D"H and I can't explain the feelings of realisation and the relief of not having him here twisting my mind.

I've had to take time off work and like you I had been keeping notes, threads on here and we had that one last moment where I thought, that's it I'm ready to say no more.

I've spent a lot of time going through our paper work and working out the bills, I've applied for WTC, I've told the council so the bill is reduced and ive noted down dates for when the house ins is due to be renewed etc.

It's given me something to focus on.

We had a big bust up in front of the children, it was awful, he left for work the following morning and I locked the house up, put his stuff in my car unlocked and told him I needed space and time.

He did try and come back, joint names on the mortgage but I have the children here and I'm seeking legal advice. And he has been in a B&B since last month. I blocked him on my mobile for the first week and had myself signed off sick and stayed locked in the house.

I told friends what I had been going through, married for 15 years, the last 4 have been by breaking point. I'm only telling you all of this because I just want you to know I never thought I could do it but I am.

And I've just ordered that book because of your thread.

tbtc20 Tue 01-Mar-16 12:29:47

Hopping
How does that work then...just locking him out of your jointly-owned house?
There is no way my STBX would accept that. Did you get an occupation order? Has he been abusive towards your children or has he chosen not to see them, because again, I can't block my stbx's mobile because we have to communicate about the children.

I've had a few people wonder why I don't just kick him out, or express amazement when I say he's still in the home as if it's somehow I'm not doing enough.

Not having a good day, please excuse me if I sound harsh.

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 13:16:18

Yes exactly Marchate I didn't placate him, I didn't apologise for misunderstanding or being wrong (which I just used to say to avoid arguing) and I didn't back down. He went wild, starting waving his arms round in the air while driving, got that crazy look on his face and called me an idiot. I put an end to the conversation, turned the radio on and when he left the car I apologised to the children and reminded them that it wasn't OK to shout and that daddy had been wrong. He then text me from work to say I need help. (Not him, me!)
Interesting that as soon as I change my behaviour he steps it up.
I understand now why I used to get into such a rage, why he used to completely baffle me with his sudden mood swings and pleasant behaviour in public. I am finally making sense of it.
I'm pretty sure my name is on the deeds and he is joint tenant but I will check.

HoppingForward Tue 01-Mar-16 13:44:58

tbc I reached my very last level and it was over something so stupid but we argued in the night upstairs which escalated at him screaming at the children.

I got between him and them and they witnessed him pulling me out of the way, threatening to throw me down the stairs, reminding me that the only reason he doesn't put me on my arse is because he chooses not to, he called me a fucking cunt, the kids were screaming and a neighbour called the police.

The police logged it as aggravated assault and he left the house.

I locked myself in with all keys kept in locks and told him I need space and so do the children, he tried to come back but couldn't get in, I called the police but he gave up and left before they arrived. I gave them a full statement but said I wouldn't attend court and would be filing for divorce.

I put his things outside and told him I would call the police again if he attempted to get in to the house.

I have my self signed off sick from work and we leave the house via a door he doesn't have a key to, leaving all the other keys in the locks.

I'm having legal advice, it's very slow, I'm going for a non mol but waiting on the legal aid forms to see if I can have it because I work but I am still in the house with the DC. He is asking to see them but they are refusing to even reply to text messages at the minute and have blocked his number by choice. It's early days but they witnessed a situation that has happened many times without waking them when they were younger, I've said nothing to them apart from that we both love them and to take as much time as they need.

He truly messed up my head over the years and I didn't even know it was happening, I thought I was going mad.

tbtc20 Tue 01-Mar-16 13:52:00

flowers hopping

I hope things settle for you and your children soon. How old are they?

I have called the police once (it's on a thread here somewhere).

I am seeing a WA solicitor (free) tomorrow to see whether he thinks I have grounds for an occupation order. It's very hard with EA and obviously a very serious step.

I actually just want us all to be happy, but he's gone to war over it (because he doesn't like me standing up to him and his happy go lucky life style is about to come to an end).

Marchate Tue 01-Mar-16 13:54:27

It's the 'going mad' bit that's hardest to deal with. Only by making their partner feel that way, and therefore taking at least part of the blame, can they hit and name call her

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 14:03:22

Sorry hopping and tbtc to hear your stories sad my dh has never physically abused me (in fact he has wound me up so much I have hit him a couple of times, awful of me I know) and in a way the psychological abuse is just as hard - it's taken me so bloody long to recognise the pattern of abuse and name it. Actually I wonder if the only reason he doesn't hit me is because he knows my dad used to hit us and so he would be straight out the door if he laid a finger on me.

Sorry to sound dim, what does get your ducks in a row mean?

HoppingForward Tue 01-Mar-16 14:16:17

tbc I've got a couple of numbers you can call to help things along, I will go and find them for you, they have been my rock.

Keep diary notes and look up your old threads. That keeps me strong when he tries sending nice text messages or pleading and promising counselling (yeah right)

Getting your ducks in a row means sorting out your paper work, know who you are paying for what, do you have a joint bank account, online banking, do you know if you have joint name debt etc. Focus on understanding everything you have and need to keep yourself independant.

If you don't have your own bank account, get one without him knowing, write down all the contact numbers for your household needs, take control of what you don't know.

Make sure you have the marriage certificate, birth certificates, passports etc

HoppingForward Tue 01-Mar-16 14:48:47

DC are 7, 11 and 14.

He couldn't not accept it. He screamed at me I front of the DC, they saw it for themselves, locked myself in and told him I would call the police if he scared our DC any further. Emotional abuse is taken seriously by the police now. The DC won't even talk to him (youngest does but didn't see what happened that night) he is heartbroken and stays away because he thinks it will make me change my mind because he he believes I can't cope on my own but I can and I will.

I do hope that with time the DC have a relationship with their dad, he never physically hurt them but he has a lot to make up for and only time can heal what they saw that night.

I used safer places 0845 0177668 and NADV 0800 9702070

pocketsaviour Tue 01-Mar-16 14:52:18

Mamaka congrats on realising the truth about your H and your marriage. It's a strange feeling, isn't it? Like realising that you've been living underwater for years and wondering why you found it so hard to breathe, despite being told "It's air, everyone breathes it, you must have a problem!"

Please be aware that he will try now to ramp up the nastiness to bring you back to heel. (Yes, like a dog - because that's how he thinks of you and the DC; he thinks you need training. He thinks he owns you.)

When the nastiness doesn't have the desired effect of making you placate him, grovel for forgiveness, etc, he'll switch to nice. He'll buy you gifts, start calling you pet names, maybe give you sex if he's been witholding.

When that doesn't work either, he'll either switch back to nasty, or he'll turn on the waterworks. Waaahhhh, he didn't mean to hurt you, don't you know you're his only reason for living, without you he'll definitely kill himself.

When that doesn't work, he'll be back to nasty, but this time he'll ramp it up by saying he'll tell everyone you're an unfit mother and he's taking full custody of the kids. LOL. When he says this, be reassured that it's all part of the abuser's script and he has no intention of giving himself any more childcare requirements than necessary!

All of these things are typical; all of them mean nothing except to open your eyes further to him following a typical abuser's path. Because his object here is not to make you happy; it's to make himself happy, and fuck your happiness because it's not on his radar. He does not want a functional, happy marriage: he just wants you to obey him.

ErniesGhostlyGoldTops Tue 01-Mar-16 15:12:35

I was you. In my case it was a book by Susan Forward but that is detail. What I did was re-read it and then go into a period of quiet observation and doing exactly what you did, change my reaction. It sent him into further and further abuse until he stepped over a line and I left. I went quiet and more contemplative. I did not abuse him back I just must have appeared impervious to his nasty nasty ways and it destabilised him to a point where he was out of control and he grabbed me by the throat to try and get a reaction from me.
He thinks this was why I left and it was of course but it was the two years of psychological abuse I had endured to get to that point. It was subtle as he had a lot of self respect and didn't want it to be obvious at the beginning but as time went on he just ramped it up until I bought a book because I though I was the nutter as on paper he was perfect for me. There he was on every page writ large! It was a revelation. I advise a period of quiet observation providing he isn't violent as it will be a chance for you to harden your heart against him and get your ducks in a row as others have said. If he gets violent get the police involved. LTB definitely though. It's no life. I hear about him from time to time and it's never good news! His mother told me he was a wrong un. I wished I had listened to her sad

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 15:54:53

Thank you to everyone who has replied. Your support is really helping. Pocketsaviour your post was v helpful. He has said in the past he would go for full custody as I'm not fit to be a mother.
Ernies that's exactly what I had decided last night. No more games, just observe.
I've decided that in 2 weeks (after a big event she has) I am going to get my sister on board and show her the book and the descriptions of the abuser. She has always been my biggest supporter. It will be such a relief to tell her.

Outaboutnowt Tue 01-Mar-16 16:20:05

pocketsaviour shock a friend of mine is in an emotionally abusuve relationship - well actually she is trying to leave, and the pattern you have just described is exactly what her OH is doing, to the letter. I'm shocked. He has done the unfit mother thing, the tears, the kindness and gifts, the threats. He has been trying to cut her off from her family too, in recent weeks I think he has definitely escalated the abuse.
I'm trying to support her to see what he is doing, how he is manipulating her and messing with her head. I was surprised by how difficult she is finding it to actually leave him, but I've never been in her shoes and I'm beginning to realise the hold he has over her after years of mind games and control. It really is horrible. SS are encouraging my friend to go into a women's refuge to get away from him, I am hoping she will.

Anyway sorry to hijack the thread but this is really interesting and I think I'll tell her about the books mentioned.

Hope you're ok OP. I think you're very brave and I hope you have support around you to help you to get through this and make a happier life for yourself.

Mamaka Tue 01-Mar-16 16:58:12

Oops, forgot all about quiet observation when I picked him up from work and asked him to explain to me what happened this morning. He tried to blame me for it, did not show any remorse and brought up other completely irrelevant issues to try and distract me. I kept on point and said that either we change the way we are together or separate, to which he replied, as I knew he would, he doesn't want to separate because it will break the kids hearts. I said then we have to change because the current situation is damaging and insecure for them and isn't any better than separating. Oh and you are being abusive. His answer was ok then let's separate...and who have you been talking to?!
I'm gobsmacked. I guess I really thought his love for the dc would override everything.
We have decided he will stay until his new job begins which is much closer to home (so I can keep the car) and also means he should be able to afford a room somewhere. I'm in no danger and have a lot to sort out.
Can't actually believe this is my life I'm talking about.

ErniesGhostlyGoldTops Tue 01-Mar-16 17:17:30

Mamaka Please be aware that you are now in the most dangerous phase. I am not posting this to scare you but it will get seriously weird from now! Make sure you are safe as de-stabilised and on the back foot where these types hate to be, they become something altogether unfamiliar. Now he has agreed to go you would be wise to not go too close to the bone again but just beetle on until moving day. Do not fold. You will be breathing air again soon hopefully!

Marchate Tue 01-Mar-16 17:21:42

Also, telling him he's abusive can be counterproductive - he will start listing ways in which (according to his warped view) you are abusing him

Be careful. His 'games' will become more intense

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