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.
Why is it so hard to leave an emotionally abusive man?(74 Posts)
I posted here 2 years ago. I was given amazing advice from people who gave their time to help me. I can't face linking to it because I feel a big fat failure for not leaving then. I've been with H over 20 years. I found our from here and the advice I was given he is emotionally abusive. He's my only ever relationship. He's worn me down over the years until I became a walking she'll with no thoughts or feelings of my own. After my thread on here I started to stand up for myself more. I detached and started doing more with my friends and basically tried to get some self esteem. When I did this he started to reduce the ea. He would back track when I pulled him up, he started to do it less when I didn't tolerate it.
So to now. I still want to leave. I don't love him, I don't like him. I've done all the research, I've copied all the documents I need. Yet I still can't find the strength to tell him it's over. It's like he still has hold. I'm still scared of something and it's stopping me. I want someone to jump into my body for a day and do it for me. It's all I think about all day, every day. I'm wasting my life, I know it. I've read every 'what was your last straw ' thread on here.
I also feel it was my fault. When I stopped putting up with it, he stopped doing it. I could've stopped this year's ago. I'm unhappy, I've read on here that's enough reason to leave, but It doesn't feel like it is. Sorry for the ramble, I need to get it out.
Sorry I've managed to create 2 threads. I will ask for the other to be deleted.
Because they are manipulative. You believe their lies. You believe you are stupid so couldn't manage without them....
I will be in your body tomorrow , be strong leave him or ask him to go , you deserve a better life ❤️
Er.. perhaps don't tell him it's over, just leave? I think with EA, it sometimes feels as if you have to be on the moral high ground all the time - just because the other half is being such an arsehole. The truth is, you don't have to be an angel in this situation. You can actually do something because it benefits YOU. YOU are worth more. That's all you need.
Just avoid the thing that scares you. You've got all you need. You've got all the documents etc. and you've decided it's over. That means you've done most of it. What's your plan? Where do you want to live? What do you want to happen? What is the most pragmatic way of getting what you want? You are not the UN! Not the 'fairest' way, not the 'nicest' way... go with what is the most efficient and least difficult way of getting what you want. Go for that.
You've done the head stuff, and most of the hard work - just finish it off, that's all. Don't let the shame of not doing it before stop you doing it now. We can all flog ourselves about not seeing it sooner etc etc. You are where you are. Instead of feeling crap that you didn't do it sooner, feel proud that you are doing it now! Good luck.
Had to NC because I showed exDP a thread which I was on (stupid).
Just wanted to say I kind of, not 20yrs worth, know how you feel. I have left, but can feel him slowly dragging me back.. We have one dc (2) and another due in summer, so for that reason I remain 'tied' to him.. And he's SO good at 'changing' into the man he should have been..
Sorry for high jacking.
You don't want to leave because you feel responsible for him, perhaps? Are you worried about hurting him?
its hard to leave its also hard to stay gone fucks sake my ex text me today saying shit like i thought we agreed we loved each other? i actually had to reread the messages i had sent him to make sure i actually hadn't said that he gets me that twisted up i actually feel ive said what he says ive said
i want to leave my town so badly and just get away from him but my daughter is taking her gcses and we have two sons together he is totally not focussed on the kids its all on me ive tried so hard i really have but..........
you should run as far and as fast as you can imho
Not the 'fairest' way, not the 'nicest' way... go with what is the most efficient and least difficult way of getting what you want. Go for that.
Thanks for this.
Just do it OP. One thing at a time.
You feel bad about going because he has changed and is being so nice??
No he's an abusive bastard who has preyed on your vulnerability and relied on your soft side to see him through his wicked ways.
All the nasty things he has done to you but as ever you're being very nice about it all. Life isn't a dress rehearsal, so take that jump.
Oh he will do everything in his power to stop you leaving, he will resort to all sorts, he'll be super nice, then he will get nasty, say your mental blah blah
Don't be afraid of the future, embrace it
Thank you kirk I really wish you could so it would be over.
hill I laughed at I'm not the UN. But you've nailed some of the reasons I think. I can't afford to move out. We have equity in the house but it will need to sell before I can get any. It's half his house so he doesn't have to go and probably won't. I worry about being worked on and relenting and being back here again in 2 years. I suppose I'm most scared of that, not being strong enough. I wasn't the last 2 times, I gave in. Even though in knew (from experience ) wouldn't change.
bertie yes I do feel responsible, I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to hurt anyone, I just want to be happy.
quite he is doing exactly that. He stopped doing most of the controlling stuff so as far as he's concerned he's changed so there is no longer a problem so what's my problem. He being nice but I really don't think he is. He's better but I wouldn't describe him as nice. What he doesn't realise is that I was treated badly for so long, I react the same. If I leave a bit of a mess and he comes in early, my stomach still drops through the floor expecting a barrage of what the fuck have you done all day. If it doesn't come I still get the stomach drop. In bed if I move too much or snore I used to get a hard kick in the ankles. So I still sleep nervously expecting that kick even if it doesn't come. I'm constantly on edge. It's just in me now. I'm not sure if im making sense to you, im finding it difficult to explain. I know I don't live him that switch has definitely flicked but it's just this last hurdle. Thank you for all the replies.
It sounds as though physically moving out is the final act and to all intents and purposes you have left him in other ways. Have you had any help or support in real life to get you through the damage this relationship has caused? It is very difficult. Really you are doing well, and please give yourself a big supportive hug!
You need to tell him ' I'm not happy in this relationship. I haven't been happy for years. I want to separate. ' Then maybe see a solicitor to see how to move for forward. Good luck.
easy I've had counselling for 8 weeks. It helped a bit but I didn't get to the point where I was able to leave. I have a supportive family who are lovely. I have left all but physically, it's just the words won't come out.
zaza yes that is what I need to do. I need to realise it's ok to make my happiness important. I don't feel like I can even though I want nothing more than to spit those words out.
I was thinking today maybe I could be hypnotised, which is ridiculous I know.
I am also in your position. My h had improved massively but I still expect the same reactions. Even if he were totally perfect the love has gone. Have you tried suggesting a trial separation. It might be easier to explain to him that you need a short amount of time away to get yourself right and to trust him again. The when you are gone you can work on a longer term plan.
It's hard because we are afraid of taking the first step. My abuser walked away but I stopped all contacts. It was hard at first because I did not understand why it was important to just "let it burn" and embrace the pain. Once I took the first step it became easier but it still hurts sometimes.
I don't know why I still miss him either. It's even more confusing when my abuser is not only abusive, but not very attractive, terrible in bed and probably the most arrogant ass I've ever met. I mean physical attributes aren't important for me and I always get hit on by more attractive and successful men. But they are not attractive on top of being abusive?? That relationship was definitely the lowest of the lows in my life.
Oh remember I'm sorry you are in this position too. I feel the same. He could turn into husband of the year and it wouldn't matter one bit. The Love has gone long ago. In some ways it would be better if he reverted back to bastard ad at least I would feel like I had a reason.
allofyou I'm glad you are making a happier life for yourself now. Can I ask though, did you want to end it before he actually did? I wish my h would leave, but that's the coward in me.
They make it hard to leave that's why it's so difficult. They know the buttons to press, etc. I have no advice because I'm in the exact same situation. I know it's caught up with wanting his approval or/and permission so I can leave. But I also know that he isn't going to give that because he is getting what he wants out of this relationship. I've given myself permission to leave and yet I haven't done it.
I am no help at all but I can relate to how you feel
Ladies , it will be the hardest thing you have ever done , but sometimes life isn't easy , I want a tattoo what doesn't kill you makes you stronger , I have had a year of hell its hard work worrying about where I will live , that I can't even concentrate on my job , that I was going mad , but with your rl friends and family and your mn virtual friends and strength you will find a way , not the journey you planned a new road with you all calm and with peace of mind , I don't want to tell any of you what to do but don't leave it too late like me , dig deep and do what's right for only you , comfortable and easy isn't always the answer ❤️❤️
Join the discussion
Please login first.