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Please help, kicked me when I'm down and now wants to make up, can't cope

(180 Posts)
aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 08:57:53

Found out on Monday that H slept with someone four times while on two-week work trip abroad. Didn't use protection. He says he'd decided, without informing me, that we needed to get a divorce so was therefore single and not doing anything wrong (his very words). We'd had an argument the day before he'd left and he said I'd gone too far (again, didn't say that at the time). I'm in such a state I can't explain this properly.

The argument was nasty it's true. But I wasn't the only one, and he was pretty harsh, even threatening at one point. Now, he says he's not sure and is blaming what happened on the things I said. It came about because, as usual, he didn't take into account the fact that I have physical problems that make everything seem harder. It was DS's birthday and I wanted it to be great. He decided to invite his family and friends to dinner the same night, followed by six of his ex-colleagues the following evening. So I'd been cooking all weekend and preparing stuff for the kiddie party on Friday too. He hardly helped and wants a medal for what he did do. When he said in the middle of it that he was going out for a swim, leaving me with my DS and step-DS and all the cleaning, I lost it and we had the argument. I have a slipped disc (third in four years) and have been struggling with hormonal imbalance that started when I got chronic fatigue 10 years ago. It goes in cycles and my life is hugely better but I'm nowhere near to normal energy levels. Was getting back to proper weight but after this I've shrunk again, can only drink tea. The painkillers are the only things keeping me sane as one of them also treats anxiety. I'm gutted for DS too as I just can't see how we can get back from this as H says he will never feel remorse but is willing to start afresh (wtf?!).

What's worse is that I struggle to believe his version and feel he wanted to hurt me, as punishment for argument. I have no proof of that, just my gut. If he'd really decided to leave, would he have needed to tell me about OW? When he came home, we put little one to bed then he said he'd decided to leave. He burst into tears and was so distraught I softened (I'd been mad he'd not asked about DS by mail over the two weeks he was gone). That was when he told me about OW. This is the second time he's dealt with a dispute in this way, though the first time it was 'just a snog'. I'll never know, but he's such a child I believed him. Now I'm lost. Have managed to keep a brave face for DS but it's going to be hard to keep it up. H wants us to have counselling but my instinct says he wants to hurt me again by discussing it in front of someone else, humiliating others is a family trait, at least on of MIL's.

He didn't just have sex with OW, they spent time around people who know us both and to whom he probably told his version of events, that makes it ten times worse. It's horrible.
Please help, what are the baby steps to not lose it?

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 09:07:23

He's a bastard. He really thinks he's king of the fucking castle and if you fail to please him/disagree with him he's entitled to do whatever out of spite and vindictiveness.

He's training you to be too scared to speak up.

That's not love and it will make you very, very ill.

ISayHolmes Sat 24-Nov-12 09:07:33

He sounds like an utter bastard who has deliberately hurt you in as many ways as he can- shagging other people to punish you and then rubbing it in as much as possible. That's monstrous and I think you need to get away from him. He has said himself that he will never be sorry for what he's done.

First thing is to accept that that there is obviously something seriously wrong with him to behave in this way, and it is NOT anything to do with you. It is NOTHING you have done.

Then you need to think about what you want to do next. I know that seems daunting and horrible, but a day at a time is the best way to deal with things while thinking about the future. I would ask him to leave. He sounds like he feels entitled to do these things and then you're expected to instantly get over it. He is an enemy to you in this respect: deliberately doing nasty things and then rewriting history to suit himself. He wanted you to feel pain and hurt.

You deserve better.

mcmooncup Sat 24-Nov-12 09:08:10

I wouldn't waste another second.
Just plan your exit.
He told you that he considered you divorced in order to fuck someone else. Counselling will not fix this unless you are prepared to compromise some/all of your soul.

Tell him to sling his h

EdithWeston Sat 24-Nov-12 09:12:34

Whatever the issues might be in your marriage and domestic life, they are never justification for an affair.

You need time and space to absorb what has happened, to come through the first shock, and to decide what you want in your future. Have you considered asking him to move out so you literally have the time/space?

Oh, you poor love, this is CRAP. P,ease do not live like this for a second longer.
From now on DIGNITY is your friend. It will help you to be strong and help you to move on.
Other posters will come and help as well, but a few suggestions

* decide what you actually want to happen. My instinct would be to kick the cheating bastard out, but you need to decide in your own mind what you want.
* get checked out at your local sexual health clinic
* Do not beg for anything. At all. Ever. You can state your case, explain the consequences and reasons but do NOT beg
* do not engage in any arguments. His behaviour is his problem.
* His friends are his to cook for, not your problem

When you know what you want to actually happen, come back and we will help you to do it.

What we CAN'T do is rewind the clock. He HAS done this despicable thing, and whilst some women do try hard to rebuild what had been a good marriage after an affair, it is a really, really hard thing to do.

Bloody phone - tell him to sling his hook - he sounds a selfish, lazy, arrogant, bullying pig of a man.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 09:14:27

Well aint he a peach! hmm

I have nothing to add to the other posts really except to say that if you in anyway accept the blame for his cheating, your future life will be Hell.

I mean wtf - who, with a shred of decency, cheats on the false basis that you'd had a row, then blames their partner for it???

A fucking pig...that's who!

He's lazy, entitled, won't take respinsibility, and refuses to keep it in his pants. Why would you stay?

Good advice from Norks. And agree a good marriage can be worth working on, but you need to decide whether what you have is worth saving.

SamsGoldilocks Sat 24-Nov-12 09:20:21

He's a right charmer, isn't he.

Baby steps are to make a plan of what you want to happen and think about how long you need to realise it.

go to see cab/solicitor for 1/2 hr free session to discuss how separating happens etc., get copies of financial details - bank accounts, pay slip, that kind of thing. (best to keep them at a friends house).

Be brave.

Selky Sat 24-Nov-12 09:29:49

He is beyond redemption. All you can do is get away. Counselling will not help.

ThereGoesTheYear Sat 24-Nov-12 09:30:45

Good grief what a bastard.

Worse than having an affair is his attempt to blame it on you. That is despicable.

And to flaunt it in front of mutual acquaintances shock The mind boggles. Rest assured that the only person he is humiliating is himself. Any decent person knows that the way to check out of your own marriage - for whatever reason - is not by having sex with someone else and crowing about it.

So far he has:
Made you cook and clean for his friends regardless o your health
Threatened you in an argument
Cheated on you
Blamed you because he snogged someone else
Blamed you because he chose to have sex with someone else
Had unprotected sex

His behaviour is escalating and he doesn't care because he believes he can blame it on someone else. There is really something seriously wrong with his thought processes.

The fact that he has almost convinced you that you are to blame and that discussing all of this in front of a counsellor would humiliate you is testament to the damaging effect of living with an abusive man.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 09:32:24

Thank you so much all of you. I had this feeling that no-one would reply, that's how little dignity I have left, I thought no-one would think it interesting enough I truly did. I didn't used to be like this.

It's so good to hear that you don't think it's fair to use the argument as some kind of justification (I don't say the word "excuse" because he says he doesn't want to excuse it). I just feel like my mind is so clouded by all this. He knows I take responsibility for things too easily and often criticizes me for it, yet now he's using that for his own purposes, it's making me sick, as one of you said.

Norksaremessy thanks for the concrete advice. In response to the STI thing, I have asked him to get checked and he says he'll go on Monday. We've had sex twice since he came back (I know, crazy but it was more out of desperation than anything else). I'm supposed to be staying lying down to see if disc will sort itself out without surgery so it's hard to just pick up and leave. He's out for the day, which is why I'm here. I wanted to write before but he was always around. He's a musician, is surrounded by "opportunities" all the time, as he kindly told me the other night. The thing is, in the past, he always made out that he ignored them and only wanted a happy family. I think part of him truly believes that, he just can't handle me not being as strong as when we met.
Can't stop crying, this is so hard.

But I know you're all right, it's definitely not ok. Feel like he's taken an iron bar to my stomach, I really do.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 09:38:01

I bet!

Oh abd he DOES want to excuse it. Excusing it is exactly what he wishes to do. Never judge a person by what they say but by what they do.

He says he doesn't want to excuse it, but what is he actually doing? he is excusing it.

It would be laughable if it were not so awful.

mammadiggingdeep Sat 24-Nov-12 09:38:47

Some really good advice from everyone. I've got nothing to add except please look after yourself now- sounds like he has worn you down (even before the row/cheating). Please try to sat something- you can't live on tea. Take one day at a time. Good luck.

Cantbelieveitsnotbutter Sat 24-Nov-12 09:44:04

What an arse, the fact he doesn't want to excuse his atrocious behaviour is unbelievable.
Think hard about what you want, not what fog he's made you believe. Xxx

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 09:46:24

Honey, he neither loves nor respects you.

He lumbered you with all the house work, all his kids, and your kids, and went swimming? That says it all really.

That and the affair.

He considered you divorced.

Well..... Does he still consider you divorced?

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 09:47:04

pictish just to answer your last question, I would probably have gone to stay with a friend if it wasn't for DS and my back. I've had two operations in the last four years so am trying to avoid another one, especially under the circumstances.
I don't ever bring up the physical problems to make myself out to be a victim, it's just the truth and he doesn't seem to realise how hard it's been for my self-esteem
It's such a panicky feeling not knowing what your limits are anymore. I often read people on here talking about their "deal breaker", I know longer have a clue what that is. I used to be the one people came to for advice, I don't know what happened. He can be so charming and gentle at times and is loving to DS, though more a playmate than guide. I've swallowed the idea that it's me who has a problem, that I've got a problem with money (I pay more towards everything) and that I analyse things too much.
Thanks everyone, RL friends are very far away, the new ones I've met where we live are totally in awe of H so no joy there, so I really appreciate your feedback.

oh what a cock! aefondkiss having CF and slipped disc must be excruciatingly painful for you. I speak as someone who has L4/5 problems and can understand the pain.

Your health aside, your husband is never going to accept responsibility for anything and will continue to treat you like a piece of crap - but only if you allow it. You have had some fantastic advice on here, please please take it.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 09:52:56

Notquint no he doesn't. He's put his ring back on to "prove it". I've been in denial about this all week, mixed with moments of pure rage, which don't make me look good of course. I'm so glad I came on here, I can't tell you.

He says he loves me, is texting me right now about stuff he's doing with DS and step-DS.
Maybe he does love us, as long as he can have his musician's life on the road. I thought I felt heartbroken the first time, but this is so much worse.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 09:54:45

He is showing others how little you mean to him, by parading other women he is "dating" in front of them.

Does he often engineer arguments? Do you think he does it so that he can feel justified in removing his ring?

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 09:55:42

Um no. What he did, is not the actions of a person who loves you.
It is the actions of a selfish, unfeeling person, who wants it all his own way, and then to talk you round with a good performance when you start to have some clarity.

glastocat Sat 24-Nov-12 09:57:16

He is an utter bastard and you deserve better,

ImperialBlether Sat 24-Nov-12 09:58:49

That is absolutely disgusting behaviour. He has treated you with total disrespect. By telling you situations like this are always happening, he's basically telling you it will happen again. Actually I would think they'd happened before.

He really is a selfish bastard, isn't he? He expected you to cook and clean and look after his DS while he went swimming? He not only slept with another woman several times but took her around to meet friends who knew you?

He is despicable. I'm glad you pay more now, because you'll be able to continue to manage financially. You need to get him to move out.

YouCanBe Sat 24-Nov-12 09:58:59

He doesn't sound like a partner or a friend. He sounds like he is trying to destroy you. sad
Please get out.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:05:49

Jax thanks for the empathy, I'm sorry to hear that.
And you're right about the responsibility thing. I've been seeing a psychologist and she's adamant that it's not my problem but I do have an issue accepting too much responsibility (been like that since I was little, won't go into it here) we're a perfect match on that account.
For instance, at the end of the argument I pushed passed him (not great I know) but it's because he has a habit of blocking my way to be provocative when we've fallen out (when i'm trying to get away to be alone and he wants us to talk). Thing is, he says he wasn't that time and so apparently it was ok that he then pulled me by the my hair and arm into another room to "talk".
That probably sounds horrendous, but I really want to get across the idea that it's a childish rage he gets into not an abusive adult one, iyswim. Whatever though, it made me feel sick and worried about our future. The difference is I didn't then go off and sleep with someone, I thought about it the whole time he was away and got advice from my psychologist.

Yes the advice here is really good and I intend to re-read it all again over and over til it gets through.
Again, thanks everyone, this is really helping.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 10:09:05

You say you live far from your family, can you move back to where you have a network of friends and family?

Do you work? How easy is it for you to leave him?

He sounds very immature and entitled.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 10:12:01

Pulling your hair may be childish, but it's also abusive and violent. Don't fool yourself into accepting it.

He's not a child.

glastocat Sat 24-Nov-12 10:12:47

Really, how can you be bothered? He sounds completely vile!

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 10:14:50

It does sound horrendous, because it is.

It's not a childish rage rather than abusive adult rage.

He's an adult, an abusive adult. People like this can profoundly suck you in because your perception of them as a damaged child activates your 'loving parent' mode. The danger then is that your love is unconditional and you accept anything.

He's not your child. He's a very damaged and damaging adult.

ISayHolmes Sat 24-Nov-12 10:17:34

"it's a childish rage he gets into not an abusive adult one"

I have to disagree with you there, I'm afraid. Dragging you by the arm and hair is abusive, no matter what preceded it or followed on, no matter how many tears or apologies there are after. Even if it's in a fit of temper or childish rage.

He enjoys hurting you emotionally. He has the potential to do it physically as well. He is not a good person to be with.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:19:57

pictish you're right and that's what hurts, actions speak louder.
notquint I'm not defending him, but I don't think he engineers arguments to be able to take off the ring and have affairs. But I do think that when they happen, he uses flirting (emails etc.) and certain behaviours to hurt me. However subconscious that may be, that's what it feels like.

I found out about the snog by looking at his myspace page (which is not snooping) that was gut-wrenching enough. But this time, he was all over FB showing pictures of how much fun he was having in NY (not showing OW thankfully) which was pretty hurtful anyway seeing as how we left on a bad note and he didn't write to his DS once. He plays the ostrich anyway when there's a problem.

I know how bad this sounds and it's obviously one-sided because you only have my version. I'm trying to stick to the facts as much as possible. For anyone who's wondering about the fact that I have a step-DS, no I was not my H's OW ever, we met after his first split when his DS was about 2. The worst thing is, the signs were all there.
I feel so stupid.

FobblyWoof Sat 24-Nov-12 10:22:08

I've only read the OP, but this is just awful. He thinks he can do whatever he wants, with what ever "justification" he wants. And he's managed to get you to a state where you doubt yourself and wonder whether it was ok. Well, it's not and he's a complete bastard

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 10:25:43

You're not stupid. It's a horrible shock to realise that there are people out there who are comfortable with treating others so badly, and being in love with one is a spectacular headfuck.

ISayHolmes Sat 24-Nov-12 10:27:23

aefondkisses I completely believe you when you say there are good things your partner does do and that he has positive qualities as well. Really, I do. And I think everyone else who is reading and replying knows that as well, and doesn't think you're being biased and are trying to paint him as a bastard. But those things don't make up for his poor treatment of you, his cheating and his desire to cause you pain. Nothing can make up for what he's doing to you and the turmoil you're going through because of his deliberate choices.

CailinDana Sat 24-Nov-12 10:30:18

OP I think you've totally lost perspective here.

The facts are:
-You're quite seriously ill and need a good deal of help and attention
-In spite of this, you cooked for his friends while he did sweet fuck all
-He walked out and left you with all the work, despite knowing how unwell you are
-When you rightly challenged him on it, he didn't apologise, he started a row.
-When you tried to protect yourself by getting away he physically assaulted you, regardless of the fact that you have a very bad back
-He then went on a jolly and slept with another woman, four times, without protection, putting your health at further risk
-He claims to feel no remorse for what he's done but he still expects you to just lie down and let him kick you more for the rest of your life
-His "effort" to make all this better is to put back on his wedding ring (having earlier said he considered you divorced).

And you're willing to accept this? You're actually questioning your response? Where did you lose yourself so badly?

Please get the Hell away from this vicious man!

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:34:03

glastocat I guess the answer to that is that I try and see the behaviour as vile not the person, as they always have the potential to change. The problem is it's been like this from the start and the main issue of trust is still torturing me. As someone said further up, it's worn me down and now i don't even know what I think myself.
Notquint I live abroad, not far, in Europe. My family is scattered but we care deeply about one another. I'm too ashamed to tell my parents and never did about the first time. I've realised in therapy that I've always tried to protect them too. My friends would say just what you are all saying, so I guess I'm afraid of hearing that in RL especially as it would be over the phone. For now, that would just make the hurt even worse. Yes I do work (part-time because of fatigue though studying towards something else). I would be independent financially, but being freelance there's no guarantee of that lasting. I don't get sick leave either, which is also playing on my mind.
leverette you're spot on. But what do you do though? How do you leave (abandon) someone you know is a damaged child, however adult in age? I'm stuck and despite all my anger part of me still loves him. Because he has all the positives of a child too.
I wish I'd known about mumsnet the first time this happened, it would have been so good to get this advice.

Meringue33 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:42:02

Don't mistake pity for love :-(
Let him find someone else to mother him, if he insists on playing the damaged child. Meanwhile be your own mother for a while and your own best friend. What advice would you give her?

CailinDana Sat 24-Nov-12 10:43:55

You've answered the question I asked in my last post. You've lost yourself because you've become his mother rather than his partner. That is a totally unhealthy dynamic and it needs to end.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 10:45:42

He's an adult, an abusive adult. People like this can profoundly suck you in because your perception of them as a damaged child activates your 'loving parent' mode. The danger then is that your love is unconditional and you accept anything.

How true.

glastocat Sat 24-Nov-12 10:46:09

Why on earth do you think this is all you deserve? He is telling you he is a shit. He is acting like a shit. He makes no apology for being a shit! And yet you are still there. All this damaged child stuff is a crock. He is a nasty little prick and you need to get the hell away from him, no more excuses. He doesn't like you, never mind love you, he holds you in contempt and still you go back for more. This may sound harsh but you need to woman up and tell him to fuck off to the far side of fuck and then fuck off again.

HotHotNot Sat 24-Nov-12 10:46:50

He may not have thought it through with cold clarity and premeditation but he is, in effect, training you to accept the little mother role at home letting him have his "life on the road" whenever it suits him. Do you want a life where your emotional needs are ignored and you have to turn a blind eye to his affairs? When one might turn serious and he leaves anyway?

As for being an adult child, he is capable of getting therapy as you are instead of using women in his life in an attempt to heal the damage for him. Leave him to get on with it. Sort out your life the way you want it. Life's too short to accept anything else.

aufaniae Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:26

The most dangerous person in this relationship to you is in fact you.

"I try and see the behaviour as vile not the person, as they always have the potential to change."


You are a nice person and he is manipulating that. You are making the very grave mistake of judging him by your standards. He is a vile person and he is damaging you greatly. But your refusal to see the obvious - he's vile and deserves no respect from you - is what's stopping you leave. You need to get over this and quick, for your own safety.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but I recognise myself in you. I have wasted over 10 years of my life with two men whom I mothered and loved unconditionally. I excused their bad behaviour towards me as I saw it as not really their fault. (Bad childhoods, etc etc) It took me years to see what was obvious to everyone else. They were, quite simply arseholes. And actually, how I'm treated matters greatly. The last one cost me many friends and my self-esteem. It did get so bad in the end that I did at last learn that he was, quite simply vile, and that the reasons for him being like that are irrelevant!! The most important thing was that he was damaging me, and I had to get away.

This was many years ago now, but I'm still recovering from the damage to my self-esteem.

"How do you leave (abandon) someone you know is a damaged child, however adult in age?"

He is not a child!. Children learn and grow. He is not going to. The man he is, today, is who he really is. Please, make sure you are not living in the past (making excuses for who he is) or an imaginary future (of how things might be if only ...) There is no happy ending, it will only get worse. You need to accept that the way he treats you is the real him, and the truth is hugely damaging to you. You must get away from him. You deserve some of your love. He does not, he's had his chance. Enough now.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:48

glastocat I wish I could have your clarity, it would be so much easier. It's just not that clean cut for me, however illogical that may seem from the outside. I would have said the same thing as you in the past, before I got into this relationship. His family are pretty toxic (my SIL recently told me she thinks H's big brother is a "malignant narcissist"!) but as someone said earlier this stuff sucks you in so you feel it's your fault for not being good enough. That combined with my own stuff makes it really hard to see a way out.

HotHot I've wondered about the "training" thing but can't face it. And no I don't want my emotional needs ignored any more, because I want to be a healthy happy mum for DS. Oh God that's me crying again. Didn't ever expect this to happen. All I've wanted from him was to be reassuring, so that the good moments weren't undermined by all this doubt.

meringue33 how? I can't work it out sad

madeiracake Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:55

we're all damaged children in the sense fond - it's not an excuse. you are trying to give unconditional love to an adult who is behaving abusively towards you, this puts you in an incredibly vulnerable situation. Can you consider your needs as as important as his for a minute? - you'll instantly see what's wrong. He sounds appalling. CailinDana's advice is excellent as usual.

aufaniae Sat 24-Nov-12 10:59:50

Sorry, I meant to say that the truth is that this relationship is hugely damaging to you.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 11:00:24

Him being a "damaged child" is not a reason to stay though. Neither is it an excuse. Every time he is vicious and disrespectful, deceitful and cruel, it is the adult him making these choices. He is damaging the "adult you" with his behaviour, and dont you think there is a risk that he is creating further "damaged children" (ie his own children) with his behaviour?

Are you also in awe of him, like your neighbours and friends where you live now?

Anniegetyourgun Sat 24-Nov-12 11:02:45

That just so sounded like a man who behaved extremely badly on purpose, pushing you to your limits so you would be bound to snap, knowing he had a trip abroad so that he would have what he oddly considers a perfect excuse to shag around whilst away. I bet you had a row last time he went away too. An interesting experiment might be to absolutely refuse to argue in the week before his next trip, whatever he does or says, and see how far the behaviour escalates as he becomes more and more desperate to wind you up. But really, isn't life too short for silly games?

OK, so emotionally this man is a child. But mentally and physically he isn't. So you don't need to stay with him to look after him. He is perfectly capable of looking after himself. It didn't take him long to find another woman when he went on his trips abroad, did it? And it won't take him long to find one in the UK when you decide you've had enough. Not that he needs a woman to look after him anyway - he's a big boy.

madeiracake Sat 24-Nov-12 11:05:09

also you need to talk to your family in RL about it and to figure out what it is that makes you need to protect them from the situation. they'll love you and support you, in fact it's quite possible they're worried about you already and will be relieved that you're letting them in. is your work something you can do anywhere or are you tied to where you live?

Anniegetyourgun Sat 24-Nov-12 11:13:07

It's so much easier to have clarity when you're not in the middle of it. Seeing wood for trees 'n' all that. However, please realise that pretty much everyone who has contributed to this thread knows so much because they've been in at least one bad relationship themselves, often for far too long, so they know what it feels like. It is not easy even to see what's wrong and incredibly hard to get out of. But the first step is thinking to yourself "something is definitely not right here; you know what, I don't think it is just me" and finding out some independent views. You've taken that step. Now mull it over, and as everyone's saying, start putting yourself first for a change. It's not always a bad thing.

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 11:15:24

The clarity really comes once you've escaped and have achieved some healing.

It hurts. It hurts really badly - because if you love someone you instinctively want to be with them, support them, enjoy their company, their body, all of that...but this is one-way love. He takes, you give. He shits all over you, you wonder what you can do to help him feel better/behave better.

It hurts to give up on the dream.

But it is a dream. You're in love with an illusion. An illusion of maybe what he was at the start, of what he has the potential to be.

I wish you much strength.

Xales Sat 24-Nov-12 11:21:21

He decided he wanted a divorce, didn't tell you so was free to shag who he wanted and has no remorse. What complete and utter nasty bull shit.

I think a lot of your problems are due to be stuck in a relationship with a vile partner.

I actually think if you get rid of this nasty wanker, it will be hard to start with but you will be amazed at how much better you feel eventually.

Please consider a trip to an STI clinic he has previous form and you have no idea how many times he may have decided he wants a divorce so that he hasn't done anything wrong hmm

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 11:25:24

aufaniae it doesn't sound harsh, as with CailinDana's post it's giving me the shake I need. You're experience sounds familiar indeed. What helps the most, because I've had inklings of this through the mist in my head, is that he's not going to change. I've been clinging onto that from the start.

Parents just phoned to check on me, they must think I'm upset because of my back situation. It's too soon for me to explain it out loud.

madeiracake he sometimes criticizes me for not looking after my needs more...I don't even know what they are. I want to be a good mum, need help with that sometimes when I'm exhausted, probably don't "go for a swim" to do myself some good because I'm too tired to do so. Viscious circle. I told him last night (in a kind way because I was too raw to shout) that I just needed support, not stuff like taking the bins out, which he does as well as the shopping if necessary etc., but with trying to cope with life. I don't have the energy to even know what I need, it's like going round in circles. And when he's away there's not much time for that anyway.

The paradox for me is getting all these hugs from someone who is actually not supportive and gets angry if I'm in need of reassurance.

Sorry if I'm repeating myself. You're all helping me think about the important things, rather than, where did I go wrong all the time.

pictish I think it was you who said it would be laughable if it wasn't sad, well how about this: he tried to tell me that part of it was that we weren't having sex often enough

AnyFucker Sat 24-Nov-12 11:39:02

This man is a abuser. Please take steps to rid yourself of him. What good does he bring to the table ? What small crumbs must you hang on for to make his emotional abuse of you palatable ?

Your health problems are likely to improve when you take charge of your own emotional health, and stop relying on a man that wants to diminish you for support.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 11:39:16

madeiracake yes I can work from anywhere there is an internet connection. DS is six and I don't want him to miss school or be disrupted in any way.

I could maybe go to a RL friend's house, though it's three hours away, to get some head space. I can work from there next week, can't afford more time off. I know kids would be perfectly safe with H. He wouldn't say I was selfish I think, because I think he knows that I'm at some sort of limit.

God, if only you all could send me some of your strength, you all seem so much more sorted. I'm going to sign off and think about what you've said.

I'll be back though, need to actually note down what you've said as I'm nowhere near ready for what's to come and am still more hurt than angry.

Thanks so much for being there everyone who's replied.

ErikNorseman Sat 24-Nov-12 11:40:17

You cannot parent him. You cannot fix the damage caused by his childhood. He is not your child.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Nov-12 11:40:53

Cultivate that small flicker of anger, love

Blow on it gently and nurture it. It's the only thing that will save you from a life of misery, because he doesn't care that he hurt you and he will carry on doing it if you let this go

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 11:47:25

AnyFucker our posts crossed but I want to reply before going. First of all, my psychologist said what you did about the health problems being related. I guess deep down I knew that but couldn't face it (was blaming myself ffs).

Second, the crumbs can be magical and that's where I lose my grip. He can be really gentle and sweet (yes, I know just like a child) and of course I was attracted initially by the charisma, the music, he's a romantic, etc.

But...I've learned the hard way that all that means nothing without trust. I thought I did know that already, but somehow my confidence has gone down the toilet in the mist of it all. None of my exs were like that.

I'm sorry I can't stay on for now, I need to rest it's all a bit overwhelming though I want and need to hear it.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 11:47:32

He is a vicious bastard.

You need to get away from him before he destroys you.

madeiracake Sat 24-Nov-12 11:52:49

well despite being a twat he may nevertheless be right about you not looking after you own needs enough. actually I would be worried he says that as it suggests that he recognises this is a weakness in you and is deliberately exploiting it.

did you ever have a clear sense of your needs or what you wanted? before you met him, or before you were ill? It sounds to me like you possibly have some co-dependent tendencies and are using looking after him as a substitute for dealing with your own life at some level. If so you need to figure out why, but you need to get away from him sapping your energy before you'll feel able to do that.

'The paradox for me is getting all these hugs from someone who is actually not supportive and gets angry if I'm in need of reassurance.' EXACTLY. And because you're getting 'hugs' which aren't actually supportive they don't really meet your emotional needs, so you get more needy and desperate and go back for more and more hugs, but they still don't work. it is a viscious [viscous, viscose.. can't spell] circle, which you need to break. I've been in this situation myself (can you tell?), although it was less clear cut - no physical violence and no cheating - and my life improved immeasurably when I left. I still occasionally feel guilty about it - as I said the circumstances were different, I don't think you'd have any reason to feel guilty - but I've never regretted it.

You sound lovely btw. And the irony is that the kind of unconditional love and emotional responsibility you are offering are invaluable in a good reciprocally supportive relationship. The problem is him.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Nov-12 11:53:49

ae, go get your rest

we will be here when you are ready to come back x

madeiracake Sat 24-Nov-12 12:01:01

And the reason I sound sorted is because I'm not in the situation anymore. At the time I was a confused emotional mess.

Looking back I wish I had talked to my family about it, because they would have given me a helpful perspective in which my well being was considered important. In a relationship it's very easy to get sucked into the other person's viewpoint - it's helpful to have outside advise to establish 'normal' iyswim. But I do completely understand about not feeling ready to discuss it until you have more of an idea what you feel.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 12:02:15

Yeah - not having sex often enough.

Well hear me now - he is right. Not having sex often enough sucks. However, if he wants to have sex with you, you has to be the sort of man you want to have sex with. It is very simple. You want sex too - but not with someone who makes you feel sad and anxious. And certainly not with someone who thinks you are his mummy.
He has a choice.

AnyFucker Sat 24-Nov-12 12:07:16

hear me now

I love that phrase smile

TisILeclerc Sat 24-Nov-12 12:09:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

butterfingerz Sat 24-Nov-12 12:13:59

What you need to do is to stop mothering him, spending all weekend cooking and cleaning up after his family and colleagues and transfer all of that to yourself.

If you carry on as you are, knackering yourself out for a man (not a child, a man) who cheats on you and physically abuses you, do you think your health will improve? Fuck no.

Your post has made me so angry... I can only go from what you have written, but I feel so sorry for you. Please do something about your situation, nourish yourself and your DS, not him.

MardyArsedMidlander Sat 24-Nov-12 13:52:31

The reason you need support and rest to get through the simplest things in life is because you are supporting an emotional vampire.

When he says he loves you- he's probably telling the truth. this is his version of love- this is as good as it gets. angry

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 14:30:07

i couldn't stay away long, this is the only place where I feel there's hope atm.

madeiracake he may nevertheless be right about you not looking after you own needs enough. actually I would be worried he says that as it suggests that he recognises this is a weakness in you and is deliberately exploiting it. hit the nail on the head there...

HOWEVER, thanks to AF that tiny bit of anger I can feel wants to say No I was not like that about my needs before, this has been since the illness. I'm not co-dependent I promise, watched enough of that growing up to know that's not what I want (at least I thought so). Before being unwell, I'd set up on my own freelancing and had great relations with my clients, an active social life and lots of good friends (thankfully still do, but distance is a problem) I was into meditating and did exercise. Then we moved away, nearer MIL, to another part of the country (I'd love to say where but am really worried about being recognised as the ex-pat community here is small). And a few months later had DS. I've often felt that the problem stems from being less available to H since then.

He just came back in briefly, held my hand and wanted to be sweet to me. I felt numb but was polite. Keep having images of him with OW though thanks to you here there are also a few of something more positive, less mothering and more equally balanced.

I just don't seem to have the courage of my (emerging) convictions sad

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 14:32:20

pictish you're "hear me now" comment brought the first smile of the week, thank you!

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 14:37:34

TisL that's hopeful and I know you're right. And, whether or not he was using the argument as an excuse, it will forevermore be an unspoken threat won't it? I guess I'm still too shaky to make a move.

HotHotNot Sat 24-Nov-12 14:39:57

Not baby steps. Fairy baby steps. Getting a bit of distance in your head when with him is one. Getting some actual distance as you planned at a friends is another. Are your medical needs being met? Keep posting and consider some next steps once you have a little distance.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 14:56:26

Hi hothot, exactly, I don't think I can step very far at present without falling to pieces. I can manage in his presence by thinking of the kids and having this back pain is a blessing in one way as i have a good reason to take myself away off on the pretext of needing to rest. Yes, for the question about medical needs, though having to lie down is hard when you don't want to be in the same house as the other person.
You know what, the worst stupidest thing of all this is that I keep having waves of guilt about the argument.. Yet I know and remember for a fact that I didn't attack him as a person (I reserve that for fascists and the like), all of the stuff I used were about his line of work (music) and his behaviour relating to it (ignoring family needs, my health and only thinking about his own). I didn't call him names or use abusive language.
I have since called him selfish but I hardly think that's out of order considering.
i'm justifying myself to myself here confused

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 14:57:56

"all of the words I used" shaky typing

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 15:19:17

leverette just re-read your post about loving an illusion and that's what is hard to give up.
How true. I don't know how to do it either. My DF has an unhealthy hold on my mum, another child that needs a mother not a partner and is crazy jealous, and both prefer it when i'm strong, so I feel guilty about doing things for myself (reinforced atm by their say things about how bad it is for the kids when the parents break up...) and I haven't exactly had a role model in the strong woman line.
None of my ex partners were like this, we were always was pretty much equal, ups and downs but nothing major. But as my therapist said, I didn't marry them did I?

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 15:30:29

mardy in that case it's over..I can't keep this up and will not have DS think this is what women should be like in relationships.

Yes I have lost perspective as Caitlin said and I don't know where to start to change that but at least this thread gives some idea of what's important, it's like I've totally lost track of that these last few years. When people see photos of me from before this relationship they say things like "I don't recognise you, you're so much thinner now" or "I preferred the way you looked before" not nice to hear but the person probably thought I'd been on a crazy diet or something...nope.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 16:03:41

Can you ask him to move out rather than go spend time with your friends?

AnyFucker Sat 24-Nov-12 16:28:43

keep posting, love

Anniegetyourgun Sat 24-Nov-12 16:56:52

So there you are, repeating your parents' dynamic. Larkin was right!

May I also suggest you google "Stockholm syndrome" - it exactly accounts for how wonderful those rare moments feel when he treats you as he should.

AThingInYourLife Sat 24-Nov-12 17:49:30

"He just came back in briefly, held my hand and wanted to be sweet to me."

Urgh - he's enjoying this.

He's getting a little buzz out of how he's upset you and knocked you down to size.

Now he gets to offer you little crumbs of comfort safe (as he thinks) in the knowledge that you're going to be grateful.

Until the next time he needs to teach you a lesson.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 18:52:55

I think AThing has got it spot on with that.

madeiracake Sun 25-Nov-12 11:15:14

morning fond! I don't think you should be worrying about having argued with him or whether you insulted him rather than his behaviour, not because those aren't, under normal circumstances, important things to worry about in a relationships, but because what I think you should be worrying about is why you aren't a lot angrier. Everyone on here agrees that your H is treating you appallingly, and you seem to be aware of it rationally but not really feeling it. I suggest that the reasons are probably a) that feeling love and anger towards someone at the same time is incredibly painful, so it's very common for your mind to try and repress one or other of them so you don't have to deal with the disjunct and b) probably to do with your parents.

Apologies if I'm wrong, but I suspect their relationship does influence you more than you think. I say that because my parents also (quel surprise) have a somewhat dependent relationship - though quite a happy one hmm - and I have no doubt that it has set my template for the amount of attachment and generosity that's 'normal' in a relationship further over than many other people's. Which is not wholly a bad thing - there are circumstances in which being able to weather storms in a relationship is good, of course - but where it is definitely not helpful is when you really do need to leave. Like you I would say I was very independent, strong-minded, have lots of firm friendships, but I was looking at the coda website (following another mumsnet thread in fact):

and I was surprised to find I definitely tick not all, not even most, but definitely some of the boxes, in fact they are characteristics I think of as totally normal, and it would never have occurred to me to consider problematic, so you might find it equally enlightening. It also doesn't sound like expressing anger/difficult emotions was something they really supported - is it possible you've internalised that? maybe if you break up your relationship that threatens theirs? nb your therapist sounds astute and must have something to say about this?

The reason anger is important is not because it's inherently a good thing, but because it is what will enable you to detach enough from your H to be able to leave (as Anyfucker is saying). If you can't get angry on your own behalf can you get angry for your DC, whom he is damaging too? I still think it would be really helpful for you to talk to someone in RL, if/when you can - maybe not your parents, given the above, but how about that friend? I think you will be surprised by how angry they are for you and that will make his abuse 'real' in some way.

That's great that you had a strong life and character before he got started on you - I find what you say about the weight loss etc really alarming btw - can you think back to that and try and pick up the threads of where you were? It's also very helpful that you can work from anywhere (though I don't know how moving would work with DC depending on where you are, but there are lots of people on here who can give you more specific advice on that and other legal stuff, as/when you get to that point) - I think once you manage to get your perspective sorted - and your back - you will find you are in a much stronger position than you think. GOOD LUCK!! And come back and tell us how it goes.

madeiracake Sun 25-Nov-12 11:15:43

sorry - that was a bit of an epic..

madeiracake Sun 25-Nov-12 11:21:00
AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 12:07:11

great post, MC are you today ?

ThereGoesTheYear Sun 25-Nov-12 12:54:14

How's this for anger-provoking: he fell out with you so refused to ask about your DS for two whole weeks whilst he was away shock. He's already showing emotional detachment towards your DS because he know it hurts you. That's a very bad sign.

Kundry Sun 25-Nov-12 13:59:24

Hope you're OK today OP.

Can I suggest you get yourself a copy of 'Why does he do that?' by Lundy Bancroft as soon as possible. It'll help you see that he has no intention at all of being a lovely person and the nice things he is doing now are just part of an abusive cycle. As your therapist has identified, you are a rescuer - well, he doesn't want to be rescued, he likes things just the way they are.

I'd also be pretty confident that your CFS would be massively better if you didn't have him grinding you down.

MrsDeVere Sun 25-Nov-12 14:14:54

I just wanted to agree with those who have mentioned your health.
I really think that once you are free of this awful man that your physical health will improve hugely.
That doesn't mean you are making it all up. Stress and fear can actually alter your physiology. Cortisone levels etc can be total messed up.
I am not a doctor or a scientist but I have experienced it first hand.

You deserve better. I hope you get it.

aefondkisses Sun 25-Nov-12 14:43:00

Got five minutes on my own, literally (step-DS is here for the weekend), but really wanted to thank you all for your kindness. And for coming back to check up, that kind of support is truly precious to me flowers.

MC thanks, that's great information and I will check out that link. I think I misunderstood what you meant about co-dependence the first time but everything you say is ringing bells.

NotQuint he's offered to move out himself but so far I've wanted him to spend time with DS (after being away nearer three weeks than two) and his DS came on Friday night. I think if he was away I'd only see the positives, that's what I'm like confused. I've been in a state of shock most of the time so unable to make a decision.

ThereGoes yes that is definitely fanning the flame. DS is where I feel limits rising.

AThing and Annie I hear you, just struggling to believe there could be that amount of manipulation in him.

AF you know that feeling when you wake up and for the first 10 seconds you're happy then the floor falls away? It's the first day I've not woken up crying though, and I think that's largely thanks to the support I've had here.

oh blast got to go sad

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 14:47:14

we will be here

MrsjREwing Sun 25-Nov-12 15:04:36

Do you get on with DSS's Mum?

You are doing such a brave thing.

aufaniae Sun 25-Nov-12 18:07:56

"just struggling to believe there could be that amount of manipulation in him."

For someone like you or me, who are not naturally manipulative, it would take a lot of effort and thought to be that manipulative to someone.

But IME, for someone who is manipulative by nature it just comes naturally. It's instinct. He's not consciously thinking about how to manipulate you. He does it because it's second nature to him, it's his personality, it's what he's driven to do. And it's not curable! Not by you anyway. You can only be hurt by it - or choose to escape from it.

aefondkisses Sun 25-Nov-12 20:36:06


I didn't get time to say earlier that I will look out for that book Kundry.

MrsD I've got an appointment to find out about the cortisone and everything in December. After a few years of doctors looking at me like I'm making it all up, a wonderful GYN got me to do specific blood tests that showed I have practically no DHEA to speak of and that my immune system was shot! I nearly kissed her out of relief. The supplement she gave me back then has got me to the stage where the fatigue is manageable and related to my cycle but not easy. H knows all this but says he forgets because I don't complain/do anything about it. Well, actually I do complain (maybe not shouting or screaming (as on days like fateful Sunday) but when I'm at that stage it's no longer a complaint it's desperation) and I have been doing something about it (seeing therapist to manage work-life balance, working only part time).

I'm starting to see now (thanks again MN) that its lack of moral support that's missing. Zero empathy, with loads of hugs, has been a recipe for disaster for me. As MC said, this is almost entirely to do with my parents, not just their relationship template but also their not allowing difficult emotions to be expressed.

emergency got to go xx

aefondkisses Sun 25-Nov-12 22:09:29

Came back to finish replying. Feel so sad about some of the other threads on here, wish there was an MN angels strike force that could descend on some of these guys in RL sad

MrsJR yes we do get on, his ex and I, mostly talk about DSS not much else but always friendly and respecful of distance. She's made comments about him in the past when they've argued about him not taking DSS for whatever reason to do with his work, saying he was egocentric. Surprise.

aufaniae incurable..I sooo wish i'd come on here before. After the first time, the line was "I realise now that I was out of line, it's my yellow card" never again you're the best etc. This time, "how do you feel about writing a new chapter. I know i can't do moral support, but i want to learn and try". I didn't think they did two yellow cards, but I don't know much about football, so do they?

Thing MC says all of this is my rational side giving you information i know confirms everyone's opinions on here it's just that i'm not feeling angry. I was white with fury when i found out about it this time round, but within less than an hour was in tears being comforted by him...
Sounds pathetic but when you're bogged down all you see is bog hmm

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 22:30:14

aggh, being comforted by the instrument of your distress... big red flag

does that seem logical?

aefondkisses Sun 25-Nov-12 22:39:27

huge red flag AF, I see that now. Totally illogical.

That was last Monday night, since then I've been trying to take your advice about anger and what someone else said about dignity. I know I can do it, just am not feeling brave tonight. Need to sleep tbh but needed to sign in to re-read the thread and take heart.

What I realised today also is that living in a different country where infidelity is kind of glamourised or at least widely tolerated (when it's the man of course) and considered the wife's failings, you can lose your bearings quite fast. And you can go crazy thinking it's you when you know it's not ifyswim.

I'm going to go to bed now, glad I didn't miss your post. Don't know how you manage to keep track and help all these girls but please don't go on holiday wink

AnyFucker Sun 25-Nov-12 22:45:29

hey, it's called "Threads I'm On" and I keep them going for 2 days

I notice you keep disappearing for "emergencies" but you don't fool me, nor anyone else smile

you won't be forgotten here x (unless you want to...but I don't think you want to)

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 14:29:12

I absolutely don't want to be forgotten AF.

You rumbled me for running away.

And then I read a thread today that sounds just like me three years ago (I hope owlfright that you came and read about what can happen when you make excuses for someone for so long). So I decided to reply to bump up the post.

Really bad sleep and day today. Used up another box of tissues, have lost three kilos, and am struggling with anger at myself for not getting out sooner.
For DS's sake if nothing else. He's a smiley little kid and I've put a lot of effort into ensuring he has activities and friends that bolster his esteem, and I talk through his worries from school to check he's not hiding anything (as I used to so as not to worry my parents). He always goes to bed wriggling with energy and flops out as soon as the lights are out. I'm reassuring myself here that he's ok but what I do realise is that I can't play airbag for any longer.

I told H that today actually. Really stopped him in his tracks by saying (admittedly through a flood of tears sad) that I wouldn't spend a second longer trying to understand him, that his "excuse" of having checked out of the marriage (without telling me) was not admissible full stop no explanations, that I would not accept him separating his role as father and husband anymore i.e. if one's defective the other is too because they're RELATED, and that I can't see counselling helping because he's burned his bridge to me. He didn't know what to say and I think was genuinely shocked.

Couldn't have done that without you all, so thanks. Got a little dignity back and, especially, healthy thinking. I no longer feel like my opinions are completely invalid angry

CailinDana Mon 26-Nov-12 14:40:33

Well done for saying all that aefond. You are absolutely right that he can't separate his roles as father and husband, they are entirely dependent on each other. He can't kid himself he's a great dad while at the same time treating his son's mother like shit.

One thing though - he may have looked shocked, and I hope you got some satisfaction from that, but don't be fooled into thinking you're going to turn his thinking around or that he'll suddenly change into the perfect husband. He won't. He has treated you with the basest contempt and no one who has an ounce of true feeling for you would do that. He might have lost faith in the marriage, it happens, but to then say he "considered you divorced" and felt he had the right to fuck around because of that is far far beyond acceptable. As you say he has burned his bridge. Don't repair it. Please.

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 14:54:44

Hi Cailin, good to read you I really took your previous posts to heart.

Although my resolve isn't strong enough yet, I made myself the promise last night that I would not lift a finger to do any bridge repair work.

You know what, he didn't lose faith in the marriage, he just doesn't like not getting his own way. I am now trusting my instinct every inch of the way and it says, he was trying to punish you. My eyes are well and truly open.

Reading owlfright's post earlier was like time travelling. When my H "snogged" (hate that word) the first OW I knew it was all wrong, that my limits had been passed etc. but couldn't cope with that truth, because it didn't sit with the person he was 99% of the time (I thought). NOW, I know that it was perfectly consistent with him 100% of the time, because my main issue with him was of not taking responsibility angry

Once the hurt eases I'll make the baby steps. I don't know why infidelity is such a knife in the back. It's not like I own him. I guess for some of us (dying breed) sex means something more than copulation so the thought of him sharing that intimacy with someone else is just awful.

Bad day, but again, thanks MN girls flowers

CailinDana Mon 26-Nov-12 15:08:35

I'm liking the new tone in your posts a lot!

Infidelity hurts because it shows a lack of respect. It's not old fashioned to expect respect from your husband, it's absolutely fundamental to any half decent marriage. You don't need to justify feeling hurt by it, and the fact that you feel you do need to shows what a number he's done on you.

You may look back on this in the future as a good day, the day when you finally started to value yourself again.

I've been lurking ae but wanted to say: "You don't own me" stops being entirely true when someone promises fidelity.

If he promised to be sexually faithful to you, then he was, in a way, saying "this is a part of our life together with is ONLY ours. We own it together, and share it with no-one else."

It's not the sex, really, that makes infidelity so awful- it's the broken promise. It's the taking-away-of-something-meant-just-for-you-two.

You're not being petty, jealous, controlling or whatever (which you seem to hint at worrying about with your 'I don't own him' phrase) - you're hurt because he lied and broke his promise. And that's what a marriage is, a promise. Well, he broke it. Of course you're hurt. That's the rational response to have.

Keep on keeping on, ae, you're being amazing.

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 16:46:30

Thanks for the encouragement cailin and blackcurrants. When I read your posts each of them gave me a "hell yeah" moment smile. We're talking about basics here and I'm doubting myself, like it's my failing FFS and FFS again.

If my gran was still around she'd have quietly had his guts for garters (loved her sayings) and would be having strong words with me...if I'd have managed to tell her, which brings me back to the central issue. Needing to feel vindicated in not accepting that this is my fault, stop feeling ashamed (where's his shame?), remember what the important values are and, most of all, that actions define the person, not fancy talk.

Just have to start putting this properly into action in my own life. Spent all afternoon listening to RL friend on the phone, and was perfectly happy in that role (she doesn't know, too far away, too young, too starry-eyed over H) and am now too drained to think about my own situation! Seeing repetitive patterns all over the place, friends who have same responsibility issues as H and with whom it's one-way (not long-ago ones, they're great). If my eyes open any wider they'll pop out! angry

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 16:52:49

just want to add that i've got plate loads of stuff going on too, it's just that it's more to do with not setting boundaries and shouldering too much, as opposed to not taking responsibility, showing respect, listening or valuing others, for instance.

AnyFucker Mon 26-Nov-12 17:49:19

hi, aefond, I saw your posts on owl's thread and thought they were fab (although of course your new-found wisdom has been gained in the worst possible way sad )

I hope she does come here because what you say is so true. The disrespect starts with something like a snog, and if that goes unacknowledged and the relevant steps taken to make sure it never happens again then it will, and it will escalate.

You sound like you have done a lot of thinking and some lightbulbs have switched on for you. Very painful stuff, but necessary I think or you risk being a doormat all your life, in thrall to a weak and inadequate man. Not what you wanted for yourself, is it ?

aefondkisses Mon 26-Nov-12 18:39:06

oh AF I hope those lightbulbs will stay switched on. They're kind of blinky at the moment. It's all thanks to MN, you and the girls here and I probably should have added that on the owl's thread.

I don't feel like I have any wisdom to impart. I just feel so strongly like saying to her what I wish I'd heard in my own case, back at the "snog" stage. It was one of the most heart-breaking moments of my life, and that's saying something.

None of this is what I wanted, no. There were signs from day one, loads of little things that I let chip away at my value system, with help from poisonous in-laws and lack of proper support.

I don't know if I'll make it out, despite all these strong words today. But if I can convince one single person not to follow the same path it'll be good for me too.

Thanks for being there!

AnyFuckingDude Mon 26-Nov-12 18:49:11

we are always here smile

I hope you do make it out. I think you can...but you have to be ready. I wonder what exactly would make you decide enough was enough.

TranceDaemon Mon 26-Nov-12 20:15:10

Just read the whole thread and wanted to say that I'm so glad that you are here and getting support. The Lundy book helped me enormously to stop feeling guilty and caring. It will give you your mind and your truth back. The other name for Stockholm syndrome is Traumatic Bonding, and it explains so much about how abusive relationships work. It will get easier, and clearer. Once your eyes are opened its impossible to close them.

I will be thinking about you and I hope you find the strength to get away.

madeiracake Mon 26-Nov-12 20:15:55

good work aefond! don't beat yourself up about not having got out earlier - it's a process - it's not just a question of where your limits are but also how quickly you respond to things, which may be months/years. maybe the first time he cheated was the turning point, but it's only now it's percolated through enough for you to act on it and leave (we all hope).

do you find it problematic that your friends are starry eyed about him? you need to identify the ones that aren't and talk to them.

sorry your gran's not still with us btw. but that's the way to think about it - be as kind to yourself as someone who really loved you would be to you even if there isn't anyone actually filling that role at the minute.

right have to go now as have a deadline, sorry, but you can do it. onwards and upwards!

madeiracake Mon 26-Nov-12 20:19:15

nb will be back later though.

madeiracake Mon 26-Nov-12 20:37:27

ps I like 'we are always here' AFD - sounds like we're the fates or something.

I bet not all your friends are starry eyed over him. Some will just not want to say anything negative. sad

good luck, keep on keeping those lights switched on!

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 07:53:59

AEfond, it's me owl. Thank you for pointing me towards your thread, I have read it all. I'm so sorry you are going through this.

The similarities and parallels are unbelievable. I'm wiped out this morning, and can't think straight but when I've gathered myself together I will be back with a proper post.

For now I am sending you an unmumsnetty sisterly hug to wherever you are in the world, and hoping for a manageable day for us both.

AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 10:06:23

How you doing this morning, aefond ?

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 10:30:43

Hi AFD, still feeling effects of sleeping pill so not as shaky as yesterday morning, thanks, and managed to eat breakfast smile. Noticing a growing addiction to mumsnet..but it's a lifeline so I'm hanging on to it.

We had a long talk last night. Or rather, tried. I feel like I have an invisible shield thanks to you guys. A massive bullshit deflector. He talked, I just kept up the "not admissible in this court" stance. Felt really sturdy in my mind, albeit not in actions (let him hold my hand, BAH!).

However, I just read an older thread where the woman kicked the guy out immediately after finding out about PA. So wish I'd had the strength to do that, as I don't think I've actively shown him THE LINE. It's clear in my head but not sure he's got it yet. He'll get the most almight shock if I end this.

owl thanks for coming on, I'm worried about you as I would a little sister. Keep on posting, it really helps you get some mental strength back. Private message me any time. It sucks but you have an opportunity here to save yourself.


AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 10:33:46

Please don't regret what you didn't do in the past. You, too, have an opportunity to save is not too late. Don't consign yourself to this crap.

MrsFlibble Tue 27-Nov-12 10:41:55

aefondkisses i really feel for you, you really to get rid of this man (used that term loosely), hes seems totally incapable of being in charge of his own feelings, blaming you and really being just cruel, you deserve so much better than this piece of human garbage, he has no respect or love for you, get some counselling for yourself and decide if this man is the one you want to but your faith in forever. I certainly wouldnt take this man back after cheating four times and using an argument to justify that (couples argue big deal), he just wants his cake and eat it, dont allow him to use your heart as a doormat.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 10:43:53

trancek I'm ordering that book today, it seems to have been recommended on loads of threads. I've not got the concentration to read yet but I will.

MC and Jax interesting points about the starry eyes. This is a lot to do with his line of work, but he also has natural charm and a sense of humour (part of the reason I fell for him anyway).
HOWEVER [angry ) I see now that this also has to do with boundaries. I've been unwell since moving here and had a baby in the midst of it all. I'm realising that part of the problem was that I simply wasn't thinking straight (cf illness) and began accepting the mild flirtation going on between these new "friends"/colleagues of H and H himself (my old RL friends would never do that).
This was hurting me but I kept thinking that it was my fault for being overly sensitive/jealous (as H would say). But new MN-fuelled self says, actually I don't want friends who flirt with my H, and I don't want an H who flirts back. That's not jealous, it's basic respect so to Fuck with that angry.

Blinky lightbulbs but they're definitely on.


aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 10:44:46


to angry not to correct that, hmph

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 10:45:44

it's such a relief to feel vindicated, I can't tell you.

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 12:06:56

thanks for the reminder MrsF. I'm showing him a strong front but it's true I have a really short memory and it's a worry. A week ago I felt liked I'd had my guts, heart and brains ripped out and I'm already forgetting the detail.

AF I think I'm losing myself in that, and of course it's so much easier to help someone else I've been shifting my attention to owl. It's such a habit and I know it's a way of avoiding dealing with my own stuff, but it's so deep-rooted in me it's frightening. And of course H has got entirely used to that and knows how to "work me".

Just had a wobbly moment where he glibbly said he had a gig at New Year and thought we could go along together i.e. I sit and watch on my own (as per) and when he's done all the client wooing we eventually do something together. Having put up with some swooning from other women who don't give a hoot that it's in front of me.

I got the BS deflector out and said quietly that I couldn't say we'd still be together by then. H went white but stayed calm. He's gone out, told me to eat, is being nice. On the inside though, it was difficult. I need more strength to deal with the reality of a split with the "festive period" coming up.


AnyFuckingDude Tue 27-Nov-12 12:19:51

Oh dear. Your romanticism about the "festive period" will be the undoing of you, if you let it.

It's just another day, love. Another day where your self esteem is trampled down to the bottom of your thoughts and you put a false smile on to please him.

AThingInYourLife Tue 27-Nov-12 12:32:25

Oh, aefond, you are really something.

To be so funny and astute when you are in the middle of a big crisis like this says so much for you.

You're amazing. Keep going, you'll get there smile

I don't see why being miserable or living a lie is more important over the 'festive period' than at any other time.

You are going to be as unhappy as you decide to be, I suspect - as in, he's not going to magically become a better man. You are going to decide how much misery you are willing to put up with, for the "festive period" or any other period.

I want to tell you something mind-blowing, though, so pay very close attention:

the amount of misery this man creates in your life could be.... NONE! YES! NONE!

You don't have to take his shit.

But he is unlikely to change.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 13:31:23

Thank you aefond, your posts today sound very strong. You should be very proud of yourself, I know how hard it is.

I've left a message with a councellor, I do hope she calls back and can see me soon, I need an appointment in my diary before I change my mind. Maybe she will help me to fix myself, what an amazing thought!!

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 15:05:51

ok so I've just had to rewrite my reply twice and still MN keeps logging me out ahh!
I'll try and be brief in case it happens again.

Just had long phone call with RL friend who's too far to come round but was so supportive it feels great. I knew she would be but saying it all out loud rather than in my head as I have been all week was really good. Much love to her if she ever lurks here, she's not a member but might do since I've been singing your praises for the last hour!

Thanks AF for the red flag, you're right. And even if I'm only romantic about it for DS I know now that even that is incorrect thinking. Finding it difficult to unpick my old ways but trying as hard as I can.

Athin smile defence mechanisms are out in force, humour is definitely one of mine. Thanks for all the support and great advice. Have written down almost everything you have all been saying these last few days, having it on paper really helps.

blackcurrants keep the strong words coming! I'm going to keep thinking in capital letters, it helps:


ha enjoyed that smile

now for real life [sceptical]

aefondkisses Tue 27-Nov-12 15:17:38

that would be hmm

owl if you're there, that's great you called a counsellor, but you don't need fixing. UNLESS you decide, like I did, to put up with it a day longer.
But I'll copy this to your own thread otherwise we could miss each other.
Hang in there, the support here will help you get through until your appointment. Keep posting, even if you think you're questions are crazy, stupid, etc. no-one here will think that.
The fact that you're here show's you have strength, you'll see it's rock solid once you stop trying to understand his behaviour.

Owlfright Tue 27-Nov-12 16:19:49

Some one (or maybe more than one person) on MN suggested I see a counsellor to look at why I'm willing to accept so little in a relationship. So that is my plansmile.

aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 00:47:01

so much for strong sad

he decided the couch wasn't doing it for him (said the boiler's making a noise) and that he could just lie next to me, that we both need our sleep so it's no big deal. So I quit the bedroom immediately and am now in spare room, told him he hasn't got it. But not feeling good at all.

didn't follow my own plan and started explaining sth. It was just that I got so annoyed at the offhand way he said his cousin might come and stay this weekend. I couldn't let it go and said well given the situation I didn't think it was appropriate and didn't want to play happy families. He'd decided it wasn't a problem and that just because we are having problems doesn't mean we can't have people round. I mean WFT? He saw me cry for four hours straight the other day!
Then he started on about the past and it just escalated into the same old pattern, provokation, denial, you're the one who attacked me by banging into me, etc. He said I was paranoid and brought up an example of one time I was upset when pregnant. It's rubbish, don't even want to go into the details.

he brought up what he did in NY for no reason I can see other than to make me feel bad as it wasn't to start a conversation but to end one. As if to say, and look what I ended up doing cos of you. Heart gets pummeled yet again.

Can't believe I fell into the trap again. It's because I said it was over, he's angry and won't even admit it. It's been like this the whole time, passively making me feel horrible about myself and denying my feelings unless they're the "right" ones.

Never going to sleep now, but so need to, this is horrible.

Leverette Wed 28-Nov-12 00:56:51

I'm sorry sad

He needs to leave IMO. You don't need this bullying from him.


aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 01:17:09

thanks leverette, I thought I was making progress too. he'll be away from work from Thursday midday until saturday so that'll be a breather.
going to try and rest, we're an hour ahead of you here so not great as need to be up early.
thanks for being there

Leverette Wed 28-Nov-12 01:25:51

You are making progress... which is why he is upping behaviours aimed at putting you back in your place.

Hope you can get some sleep x

ladyWordy Wed 28-Nov-12 01:48:51

Don't worry, you are doing fine aefond. It takes time to go through this process: as with illness, recovery is rarely a simple one way street. brew

In my experience, clarity and strength comes when you are away from the cause of the trouble. When you are back in the same room with them, you get sucked back into their twisted energy/mindset, and lose track of your own wishes and resolve.

Keep at it, though. Because soon, your own voice and strength really will come through for you. smile

AnyFuckingDude Wed 28-Nov-12 07:33:45

You are not U to not not want house guests at this time.

Tell H if he wants his relative to stay, they can both fuck off to a local hotel

In fact...your H should be fucking off from your house. Permanently. You can't really still want him, can you ? Imagine living like this forever, unless you STFU like a good little wifey. Bollocks to that.

aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 07:45:17

i know he's the one that should be fucking off but I'm starting to feel like I can't stay a second more in this house. I'm trying to work out where I could go so that we only have to see each other for a short minute when he gets back on Saturday. He can look after DS and any other family member he choses, i just want to breathe and not be in familiar surroundings.

Had about four hours sleep so totally wired and upset. Got to work in a minute so am trying to get head straight.

Talking last night felt like being sucked down a drain, where you feel increasingly sick and dizzy.

If it was obvious verbal abuse, like swearing at me, "obviously" rather than insidiously, putting me down, throwing stuff to make a point etc. it would be clearer to me. I think the problem is it's so passive which ends up making me the one raising her voice. Then it doesn't feel fair. I agree bollocks to that but why is all the strength gained this last week draining away so fast?

I think ladywordy is right, I can't be around him or I'll just get stuck again.

aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 07:50:42

oh and he said he went to sti clinic on Monday and they told him he had to wait until January to do the test, but surely that's just for aids? What about all the other shit you can catch? It's like if I don't find out for him it's too bad, he just won't take responsibility.

I can't get out of my head his you attacked me first when "you banged into me" thing. Yes I did push him (not with my hands, by walking into him), because I thought he was deliberately blocking my way as per and couldn't take it anymore. Is that "the same" as pulling someone into another room by the hair and arm? That's a genuine question by the way.

When i pointed out to him that he once punched my hand (the one holding the gear stick) during an argument in the car, he shut up. Could hardly say I started it then could he.

CailinDana Wed 28-Nov-12 07:59:51

I know you need answers to these questions but trying to reason things out with someone like him will only drive you demented. He already has you questioning yourself left right and centre. The fact is, he is a nasty shit. It doesn't matter whether you pushed him or not, it really doesn't. It doesn't matter whether it's the "same" as anything else. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO JUSTIFY HOW YOU FEEL. He has you absolutely believing that your feelings don't matter and that if you do have any ounce of feeling you have to justify it down to the last letter. Meanwhile he is totally justified in pulling your hair and your arm (because "you started it"), shagging around (because he "considered you divorced") and inviting his family members round (just because). So, he can behave any way he likes, with no need to explain it but you need to explain your every breath.

Stop it. You don't need to explain yourself. Take ownership of your feelings.

CailinDana Wed 28-Nov-12 08:00:35

Oh and get your own sti test and then never sleep with him again, please, it's not safe.

aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 08:04:02

thanks cailin I will get tested, been stuck lying down all week but am working today so will get it together. I have no intention of sleeping with him, which is why I slept in a different room since he decided he was reclaiming ours.

thanks for the reminder about justification, I want so much to get back to the strong place I was the other day.

have to work sorry, but really appreciate the support.

ErikNorseman Wed 28-Nov-12 08:06:23

No STI clinic would tell him that. And no, pushing past someone who is blocking your way is not the same as dragging someone by their hair.

AThingInYourLife Wed 28-Nov-12 08:21:44

His tactic to get you to stop saying your relationship might be over is to browbeat you into accepting that it is not.

So he moves back into your bed against your will, presuming that his presence in your intimate space will break down your defences.

Well done for moving elsewhere.

Same with the weekend guest - if you have to act normal in front of his cousin all weekend, that will make it harder for you to resume hostilities.

Don't let it happen. His cousin will know anyway when the spare room is occupied by you. So make it clear you will not be pretending.

And he's lying about the STI test. Through his teeth.

Oh, and yes, he brought up his NY girlfriend again because he gets a kick out of making you cry.

That shows him he is powerful.

He is a very cruel man.

AnyFuckingDude Wed 28-Nov-12 08:28:04

What cooling said

AnyFuckingDude Wed 28-Nov-12 08:29:25

Cailin, this new MN AP means you can.t see what you are typing and auto correcting toshock

aefondkisses Wed 28-Nov-12 08:33:13

struggling against tight deadline but am reading intermittently, so thanks all for replying so quickly.

panicking a bit, realising that it would always be on sinking sand

CailinDana Wed 28-Nov-12 08:43:30

I think your instinct to mother him is still in your way. It seems to me like you're still clinging to the hope that he'll suddenly become a decent person one day, say he's truly sorry and start taking your feelings into account. And when that doesn't happen, you act like a mother rather than a partner - you sigh and let it go and continue to hope. Having that sort of faith is admirable and commendable when it comes to children - you should hang in there, you should let things go. When it comes a partner that sort of faith is incredibly foolish. You are not his mother. You are not responsible for how his life turns out. He is. He is a grown adult. He is who he is, there is no more growing for him to do. It is his duty and responsibility as your partner to love and support you, just as much as you love and support him. And he just doesn't do that. Not at all. He is not a partner. He is the one who has caused the relationship to fail, by not playing his part. You've tried for a long time to compensate for that, but you need to stop now, it's killing you.

AnAirOfHopeForSnow Wed 28-Nov-12 09:19:43

See a lawyer, start devoice and put the hoouse on the market - sell house take half the money and rent your own house with you and the children.

He is so controling you cant change him you need to get away or it will drive you crazy.

This weekend i would tell said cousin you are no longer a couple as he slept with someone else and you are spliting up. If the cousin is a decent person they will say sorry and leave.

Just be honest.

Dont get into a converstion with your ex. Use the repeated record techqueic. Think of a phase and repeat. something like "I have said its over there is nothing at this time i want to hear or say to you".

Good luck

MyLittleFireBird Wed 28-Nov-12 09:54:42

Haven't read all 6 pages, but if it hasn't already been suggested already, please do get hold of 'Women Who Love Too Much' and read it.

madeiracake Wed 28-Nov-12 11:17:33

aefond - the reason you feel dizzy and like you're sinking in quicksands is because he is doing everything he can in your conversations to ignore and deny your feelings/needs/point of view/general existence as an independent person. you tell him you're breaking up and he invites his cousin for the weekend? it's delusional. even worse with the trying to put blame onto you for his violence and cheating. are you familiar with the term gaslighting? that's what he's doing.

and because you're a highly empathetic person who generally seeks consensus in conversations (continuing on the assumption that you have a lot of my emotional weaknesses - I'm guessing you're generally very conflict avoidant?) you sort of emotionally believe him even though rationally you know he's wrong and this sends you into a tail-spin. actually it would send anyone crazy, and it's totally normal to want someone who has hurt you to at least acknowledge it, but you're probably particularly susceptible to it. you have to accept that you will never get him to admit what really happened, don't even try. you know the truth, just hold onto that and ignore him. 'your behaviour is not acceptable, please leave' rinse and repeat.

actually I think you're doing really well in a really short time. I am in awe tbh. I think going away and leaving him to get on with it is an excellent idea, but I think chucking him out would be even better. text him while he's away and tell him not to come back if that's easier?

nb std thing is a total joke - of course they test immediately. it's just another way of him enforcing the idea that you and your body and your safety are not important.

right back to my deadline - good luck with yours.

madeiracake Wed 28-Nov-12 11:37:05

and to answer your question: no of course pushing to get past someone who you have every reason to believe is blocking your way isn't the same as pulling you in another room by your hair. that's a classic domestic violence victim-blaming move. your observation that he insidiously provokes you and then uses any outburst against you is spot on. he is the one manipulating here not you.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 28-Nov-12 11:53:41

He's got every right to say the relationship is over if, in his mind, it is. You can't keep a person with you if they don't want to be. However he does not have the right to unilaterally declare it's on again. You both have a say in this.

I can see why you think in some ways he's like a child; it's like a naughty schoolboy pinching you and then shouting "pax" when you start to retaliate. Later on you just know he'll go "pax non" and pinch you again. But you have to obey the rules of "pax" otherwise... er what? Otherwise he'll stop getting away with it!

Married life isn't a playground, and actually, even if it were, you shouldn't have to put up with such silly tit-for-tat games. It's called bullying and most schools have a policy on it, which ten-year-olds are deemed to be old enough to understand. Your husband is not ten.

madeiracake Wed 28-Nov-12 11:58:57

also: you don't have to justify yourself to him. I suspect what's happening is that you are having two entirely different conversations - ie you are trying to establish as a shared truth that you didn't do anything wrong and he is trying to establish that you are still under his thumb. you will never get him to agree with you because that's not the conversation he's having iyswim.

What an abusive fucker he is, Aefond. Physically, emotionally, verbally - he's horrible to you.

You don't have to take it.
You can leave, or make him leave.

Tell other people that he hits you, sleeps with other people, and calls you names.

Watch their faces, the shock and pity... it might help you realise that people don't live like this, they just don't. You don't need to live like this.

He's never going to change, he persecutes you because he enjoys it.
He's a cruel man and you're in his power.

Get out.

glastocat Wed 28-Nov-12 17:29:41

What black currants said, with bells on. If you stay with this abusive twat he will drive you crazy, honestly your life will be so much better without him dragging you down.

aefondkisses Thu 29-Nov-12 07:43:52

thanks for your replies, I was feeling too sick and sad yesterday to come back and when I did I was convinced the thread had disappeared, couldn't see it for looking, and was too depressed to search for it, and gave up.

annie I totally agree, and it's true we were both thinking along the lines of separation after the big argument he's blaming this on. Except that I went off to my sister's with DS for a break and to think about it while he was away whereas he fucked someone else and was taking her to gigs where there were mutual friends. They slept together four times and he didn't use protection. I'm sorry if I'm repeating myself but it's like I need to remind myself, otherwise it's too hazy here to think. He's away for two days now maybe that'll help.

I broke down last night (not in front of him) because out of the blue he asked "when are we going to tell DS?" in this blank, serious voice. I'd had four hours sleep the previous night (after leaving him in the comfy bed angry) and feel like throwing up if someone even mentions food and was about to go to bed. I just said I refused to talk about something so serious just before I needed to go to sleep. But in private I was a mess afterwards.

I know this is all wrong and abusive in a very covert way (no-one will believe me and I don't want to focus on rare explosions of anger as it's the daily grind that is fucking me up, the haze that makes you feel it's you that's crazy). But for now it's too hard, despite the light bulbs and all this wonderful advice.

I might not be back for a while, going to see therapist and have to work a bit, but I'll check back, you're all a great reality check.

AThingInYourLife Thu 29-Nov-12 08:27:48

Look after yourself. We'll be here when you need to come back smile

ladyWordy Thu 29-Nov-12 19:43:39

Take care aefond. Hope you feel better soon. brew

Owlfright Fri 30-Nov-12 09:49:47

Thinking of you AEfond.

aefondkisses Fri 30-Nov-12 10:39:48

Just wanted to say thanks for looking out for me. I'm not doing too good tbh, though H being away makes it slightly easier. DS is in school so I've time to think. Working from home has been a blessing as it means I can rest a lot. Am still waiting for surgeon to get back to me so that's another source of worry as don't know whether I'll need to go to the hospital or not.

The therapist agrees with everyone here that he shouldn't come back (she gave me an extra session yesterday because I was in such a mess) but I just can't see what the next steps are to do it. I'm trying not to feel like a failure for that but it's hard. He's so confident we just need "a breather" it's like we've been on different plains forever, as MC pointed out.

Had a wee talk with DS yesterday and he was surprisingly relaxed about it all. Having a step brother probably helps, he sees that his parents are still "friends", and that they both adore DSS. I worry though that he's not letting on that he's worried as he's been waking up very early when I normally have to wake him for school. I'll bring it up again later as there is just no way I'll let him become like me hiding his emotions to protect his parents, no way.

What I do know is that I'm not playing along anymore, largely thanks to the advice I've had here. His actions also helped shut the door, though I've found that I sometimes forget (in which case immediately come back on here, even if just to re-read this thread). Yesterday he kept trying, by text, to impose his view on me (that it's not over etc.) but it didn't work and he just stopped replying, one small victory I suppose.

This is a bit long, but it's because I can't stay on long. Even typing this feels tiring. We're due to talk later on the phone so I'm going to go and write out my position properly so I don't get overwhelmed by the big illusion yet again.

Will be back when I can, huge thanks and good things to all that have helped x

aefondkisses Fri 30-Nov-12 10:42:14

"good things to you all, you've helped so much"

mince brain, sorry blush

ThereGoesTheYear Fri 30-Nov-12 10:59:50

aefond you're processing so much information, even in the best of health you'd be exhausted.

For years you've minimised and mentally discarded the information about your H that doesn't square with your opinion of him (ie that he's an OK husband, can be very charming and fun, and worth holding onto). Now you're starting to reevaluate his behaviour seeing that he's abusive, and cruel, and your brain can't hold the two contradictory views at the same time. You may find that you're revisiting past actions, stuff you thought you'd forgotten about, and seeing it for what it is. This is all pretty draining stuff, but its good for you to find out what your opinions on his behaviour and what's acceptable in a relationship.

It's great that he's not around right now as he's pushing the 'nice guy' lie, but his texts and calls are still intruding. Your therapist sounds switched on. Distance is your friend. How would you feel if you had zero contact from him for a couple of weeks? It's the very least you could demand at this stage after what he's done and I think that you would get a lot stronger if he left you to gather your thoughts.

Apologies of I've missed it but is he still inviting guests to stay this weekend? This is a ridiculous idea. That he could even consider this is yet more proof that his strategy is to act as if his version is the only thing that counts and if he steamrolls ahead you will have to go along with it.

olgaga Fri 30-Nov-12 11:36:49

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olgaga Fri 30-Nov-12 11:47:45

Hi - first airing of my updated advice and links post. Unfortunately it doesn't now fit as one post so I've had to split it into two. Ignore the above incomplete post which was a mistake!


It is useful if you can get to grips with the language of family law and procedure, and get an understanding of your rights, BEFORE you see a solicitor. If you are well prepared you will save time and money.


The welfare, needs and interests of children are paramount. Parents have responsibilities, not rights, in this regard. Shared residence means both parties having an equal interest in the upbringing of the children. It does not mean equal (50/50) parenting time - children are not possessions to be “fairly” divided between separating parents.

A divorce will not be granted where children are involved unless there are agreed arrangements for finance, and care of the children (“Statement of Arrangements for Children”). It is obviously quicker and cheaper if this can be agreed between you but if there is no agreement, the Court will make an Order - “Residence and Contact” regarding children, “Financial Order” or “Ancillary Relief” in the case of Finance. Residence and Contact Orders are likely to be renamed Child Arrangements Orders in future.

You can also read about issues relating to child contact and get advice from, Rights of Women, Maypole, and publications Cafcass publications.

Parenting advice also be found at Family Lives and The Parent Connection. The Gingerbread single parent freephone helpline is 0808 802 0925 Monday 10am- 6pm, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - 10am to 4pm, Wednesday 10am-1pm and 5pm-7pm.

The Government has recently updated its information on all aspects of divorce, separation and child maintenance, here. Download the Sorting out Separation web app or go straight to Tools and Leaflets.


Get word of mouth recommendations for family lawyers in your area if possible. If you have children at school or nursery, ask mums you are friendly with if they know of anyone who can make a recommendation in your area. These days there are few people who don’t know of anyone who has been through a divorce or separation – there’s a lot of knowledge and support out there!

Many family lawyers will offer the first half hour consultation free. Make use of this. Don’t just stick with the first lawyer you find – shop around and find someone you feel comfortable with. You may be in for a long haul, so it helps if you can find a solicitor you’re happy with.

If you can’t find any local recommendations, always see a solicitor who specialises in Family Law.

If you take legal action to protect yourself or your family from domestic violence, you may qualify for legal aid without having to meet the normal financial conditions. The income of an abusive partner will not be taken into account when deciding whether you qualify for legal aid. See below for further links in relation to DV.

Whether or not you case involves DV, you can find out about Legal Aid and get advice on the Community Legal Advice Helpline on 08345 345 4 345, and search in your area for Community Legal Advisors.

See also the Govt guide to divorce and access CAB advice.

Rights of Women have lots of helpful advice on their website, or you can telephone their Family Law helpline on 020 7251 6577 (Mondays between 11am-1pm, Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 2pm-4pm and 7pm-9pm, Thursdays between 7pm-9pm and Fridays between 12noon-2pm).

Co-operative Legal Services offer DIY/Self-Help Divorce packages, as well as a Managed Divorce service. Their fee structure is more transparent and they have a telephone advice line as well as offering really good advice on their website. Take a look at the recent Mumsnet Q&A with Christina Blacklaws, their Director of Family Law.

Resolution is an organisation of 5500 family lawyers in England and Wales who are committed to resolving divorce and separation disputes constructively. Through their website you can search for a Resolution Lawyer in your area.

DivorceAid is another useful website with lots of advice and a search facility for specialist family lawyers.

Take a look at Wikivorce, a Government sponsored charity which has a very informative website. However, be always be wary of “DIY low cost divorce”, but few divorces are amicable and straightforward enough for this to work. Good legal advice may seem costly but it is usually a worthwhile investment.

I found these family law firm guides informative and easy to read – Terry and Woolley & Co. There are others of course.

Some family law solicitors publish online feedback from clients – Google solicitors by name to see if they publish recommendations or feedback.


You will be encouraged to attend mediation. This can help by facilitating discussion about arrangements for children and finance in a structured way in a neutral setting. However, it only works if both parties are willing to reach agreement. If there has been violence or emotional abuse, mediation is unlikely to be appropriate or useful – so make sure your solicitor knows your concern. Often solicitors will be able to recommend a Family Mediator in your area who they have worked with in the past.

Always get legal advice, and make a note of what you want from the process, before you begin mediation. This is important because while a Mediator should have knowledge of family law, and will often explain family law, they are not there to give tailored legal advice to either party - so it’s important to have that first.

You can find a Family Mediator through National Family Mediation or the MoJ Family Mediation Helpline.


Before your appointment with a family law solicitor, get hold of every single piece of financial information you have access to, and take copies or make notes. Wage slips, P60s, tax returns, employment contracts, pensions and other statements – savings, current account and mortgages, deeds, rental leases, utility bills, council tax bills, credit statements. Are there joint assets such as a home, pensions, savings, shares?

This is the useful Divorce and Separation calculator.
You can calculate Child maintenance using this calculator, and Tax Credits here.
MoneySavingExpert has a handy 5 minute benefits and tax calculator, so does the CAB.


This is a key question. If you are married, generally speaking you have greater protection when a relationship breaks down.

You can find useful guides to the differences in legal issues here in the CAB Advice Guide and also at [[ Advice Now]]. This page on the Child Maintenance Options website also refers.


When it isn’t possible to access financial information, or you are aware that assets are being hidden from you, then obviously you will not be able to reach agreement on finances and need to discuss this with a solicitor.

If there are children, as you cannot divorce without adequate arrangements being agreed on finance and children, you will have to apply for a financial order anyway.
If there are no children, and you are unable to agree on finances, you will also have to apply for a financial order.
During this process, parties have to declare financial information going back 12 months. So it is in your interests to act quickly once you have made the decision to divorce.

The main considerations of the Family Courts where parties are unable to agree a settlement are (in no particular order of priority):

1.The welfare of any minor children from the marriage.
2.The value of jointly and individually owned property and other assets and the financial needs, obligation and responsibilities of each party.
3.Any debts or liabilities of the parties.
4.Pension arrangements for each of the parties, including future pension values and any value to each of the parties of any benefit they may lose as a result of the divorce.
5.The earnings and earning potential of each of the parties.
6.Standard of living enjoyed during the marriage.
7.The age of the parties and duration of the marriage.
8.Any physical or mental disability of either of the parties.
9.Contributions that each party may have made to the marriage, either financially or by looking after the house and/or caring for the family.

(cont below)

olgaga Fri 30-Nov-12 11:47:51


If you are living together (cohabiting) you don’t have the above protection when a relationship breaks down - however you may be able to secure housing for yourself and your children. If you are not married or in a civil partnership with each other and you have helped pay for the home, the other parent may not be able to sell it or prevent you living in it without a court order. But you must get legal advice and will need to give as much evidence as possible to support your case.

If you have not helped pay for the home you may not be able to stay, even if you are the parent with the main day-to-day care of the child.

If you are not married to each other and the home is in your name alone, you can apply to the court for an order to exclude the other parent. (You can’t do this if you are married to each other or civil partners, unless there has been domestic violence against you by the person who is to be excluded). Read this and talk to a housing adviser to find out your rights and discuss your options (telephone contact for Shelter in the linked leaflet and also below).

OTHER SUPPORT – Domestic Violence and Housing

If you are in immediate danger of domestic violence always call 999.

Otherwise, call The National Centre for Domestic Violence on their 24 hour helpline 0844 8044 999, or text NCDV to 60777 and they will call you.

Women?s Aid and Refuge have a 24 hour freephone helpline, 0808 2000 247.

Shelter also has a freephone helpline 0808 800 4444 8am-8pm Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm Saturday and Sunday.

For Local Authority Housing advice look at your LA website. If you have problems getting help with emergency housing from your local Council this can sometimes be resolved by taking the matter up with your local MP.

NB some of the above websites will have different advice and contacts for England, Scotland and Wales where the law or services may differ. If so they will provide the correct link for you on the website.

Please let me know if there are any broken or out of date links.

olgaga Fri 30-Nov-12 11:48:27

PS I have reported the incomplete post and asked for it to be deleted.

madeiracake Fri 30-Nov-12 21:34:07

take your time aefond. and good luck xx

Leverette Fri 30-Nov-12 22:48:34

Thinking of you xx

ladyWordy Fri 30-Nov-12 23:36:59

Olgaga, you are a gem. smile
Aefond, bravo to you for not letting him impose his views on you. Another step forward.
Hope you will get as much rest as you can. We are here if you need us.

hopespringy Sat 01-Dec-12 15:42:04

How do you leave (abandon) someone you know is a damaged child, however adult in age?

You find a CoDA meeting. You will recognise yourself there.

hopespringy Sat 01-Dec-12 15:54:19

sorry, posted before I was ready. He is an abuser and you are codependent imo, which is why you are drawn to one another like magnets.

Looking at codependency is challenging stuff on the one hand - but on the other it is a huge relief to recognise characteristics that don't work. It's not a 12-step group for nothing, codependence is an addiction.

I also think your ill-health is directly linked to your relationship. I'd put money on it that it'll clear up when you get out.

Lueji Sat 01-Dec-12 16:05:30

Stop thinking of him as a child.
You are not responsible for his behaviour, you can't fix it.

If you treat him as a child you enable the "childish" behaviour.
A child wouldn't get away with such thoughtless behaviour, not in my house.
He should not too.

If he is emotionally a child, then your marriage vows are null because he couldn't consent.

He is an adult and should face his responsibilities to you as an adult.
Why would you want to share your life with a child anyway?

aefondkisses Mon 03-Dec-12 09:30:18

thanks olgaga, that's very helpful and will give me something to lean on when I'm strong enough to make a move.

theregoes it does feel like it's too much to process, thanks for identifying that. It's a very hard lesson and I'm struggling not to sink into regrets. When he was away for a few days it was infinitely easier to think straight, so you're right about distance. I actually had an inkling that I might be able to go it alone during those two days and felt energetic for the first time in ages.

So now he's back and is begging for a second chance and I'm all over the place again.

hope and lueji I know you're both right I truly do. MC put me onto the codependency thing and I've been studying the parent-adult-child system so I do see very clearly where I've been going wrong and how I couldn't express my boundaries without cracking up or crying, which didn't get the message across at all.

Seeing that clearly though it's been hard for me to sort out the responsibility thing.

Also, I think we grew apart because I thought I was trying really hard to work out my share (reading up on it, seeing a therapist for three years) when in fact I was still carrying the load for both of us and buying into his idea that it was somehow my fault. Still mothering him as Cailin would say.

He still can't handle it that his behaviour hurts me and makes me angry. Even as he was trying to persuade me last night that we should stay together, he had to bring out his "but I didn't love you any more after everything you said" line because he couldn't handle it that I was sticking to my guns about the line being crossed.

So I said I couldn't believe him about the second chance thing because how could there still be all this love when he could hurt me again by rubbing my face in what happened and try and make me responsible for it?

I've read other threads where people are trying to recover from an affair that happend years ago and are still suffering. I can't face that prospect.

I know it's not about what he wants, it's about what I want. It's just so bloody hard to focus on that when the idea of breaking up the family is so awful. Despite knowing that it's most likely better for DS and DSS anyway. Our whole relationship has been built on dilemmas in fact. I'd love to think this is the last one I'll face, I really would.

cakehappy Mon 03-Dec-12 09:52:02

Hi, been lurking and here to handhold. You have alot of people supporting you here, you deserve so much to be out of this situation. This can be your last dilema if you allow it to be. You have been downtrodden for so long, its hard for you to see clearly how awful this man has been to you and I guarantee your children are better off in a happy, healthy single parent home with a strong mummy. My parents stayed together far longer than they should have and I saw alot of things I wish I hadnt. Trust me they didnt do us any favours, and while they " stayed together for the children", they messed us up while they were at it. Dont let this happen to your kids aswell. Totally behind you 100%, take care of yourself.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Mon 03-Dec-12 09:56:36

This can be your last "dilemma"

Be strong. This man will continue to be one "dilemma" after another. Nothing he is saying would convince me otherwise. You are not convinced either, but are frightened to break free and change your life.

Should you stay in a relationship out of fear ?

aefondkisses Mon 03-Dec-12 10:15:21

cake and AF, to combine your posts, that's what my parents did: stay together for the kids out of fear. And it didn't do us any favours at all, proof being this nightmare.

I am frightened to break free, it's true, but also of making a mistake. I know in my head that I'm not responsible for this (other than for not respecting myself much earlier on in the relationship, which is quite a big piece of the problem) but don't feel it properly yet. Self-doubt is the problem.

This voice keeps saying give him a chance, you haven't tried counselling yet. But mostly I feel in my heart that there's no hope, and the inner conflict is a killer.

Thanks for the support, this place is a haven.

Lueji Mon 03-Dec-12 12:01:30

I totally understand your position.

It was only when ex verbabally threatened my life and DS's that something clicked in my head and I trully decided that it was over for good.

Nothing he could say after that could possibly make me go back on my decision.

He still can't handle it that his behaviour hurts me and makes me angry. Even as he was trying to persuade me last night that we should stay together, he had to bring out his "but I didn't love you any more after everything you said" line because he couldn't handle it that I was sticking to my guns about the line being crossed.

He can handle it, of course, he can. He just doesn't care.

You have to decide either way and then it won't matter what he says.

And what experience says is that people don't really change.
He'll do the same again when you have another argument, or you'll be afraid of having another argument in case he strays again.

Lueji beat me to it.

Of course he can handle it. He just doesn't want to, and isn't going to.

This could be the LAST time you have this dilemma. This could be the LAST anguish you carry over this man. He's not going to change, but you could change the situation so he can't hurt you any more.

Close your eyes and imagine not having to do all the work of these feelings and worries, ever again. They sound exhausting. Imagine them being gone, for good.

Does that feel tempting?

AThingInYourLife Mon 03-Dec-12 14:49:48

"but I didn't love you any more after everything you said"

If he can stop loving you instaneously and completely after one row to the point where he decides your marriage is over and gets himself a new girlfriend, he can do it again.

That is both a warning to you that his "love" is meaningless.

And an argument to him for why the break up is a good idea and he will cope with it just fine.

Corygal Mon 03-Dec-12 14:52:48

Get him out.

ThereGoesTheYear Mon 10-Dec-12 23:52:32

Hi aefond how are things?

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