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Physical abuse has stopped for now but is it ea now?

(62 Posts)
crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 16:40:10

Have posted about DH's violence before. He has broken a rib, given me a black eye etc in the past. I'd say in total he has hit me about 7-8 times with low grade sexual abuse thrown in. After a particularly nasty attack last summer I told him to stop drinking (violence only happened when he was drunk) or I was going to the police. He would lose his job if he was convicted of assault. My GP and counsellor both logged the incident on their systems, he doesn't know this though.

I have been working with domestic abuse services very informally since. The lady who I speak to seems to think the ea is still ongoing but I'm just not seeing it. Last night DH was pissed off about an issue with his family and blamed me but it honestly was not my fault. It escalated in him accusing me of being sneaky saying I hadn't told him something that I am sure I did. There have been a couple of other things. He has put a stop to me making a change to my job and he has pretty much made it impossible for me to attend a work team building night away by using the dc's as a reason to say no. Is it easy way out to say ea or just give and take the of a relationship?

I really can't see the wood for the trees so to speak. Have name changed. Any views would be really helpful.

TheFallenNinja Tue 19-Mar-13 16:44:12

Bags packed and on the step, locks changed, police called.

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 16:44:49

(((((hugs))))) sorry crashmat - this is abuse, and just because it isn't physical doesn't mean to say that it is any less serious.

I haven't got any words of wisdom other than LTB but I'm sure that someone wise will be along soon xx

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 16:47:02

No, it's not an easy way out to say this is EA.

This is EA and for the sake of you and your DC, you need to leave him.

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 16:49:40

ninja really? I didn't think I'd get a ltb on the first post. :-(

I just wanted him to not hit me again. I thought that would be enough and I could cope with everything else.

gilly86 Tue 19-Mar-13 16:50:40

Leave ASAP. You are worth more and deserve better.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 16:50:52

Even if you can cope with it, your DC shouldn't have to my love. Don't think for a second that they won't be affected by it. You might think it's hidden from them, but it won't be.

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 16:54:45

fliss The DA lady said the same thing but they have not seen any of the physical stuff. Though I do know it is affecting them because the middle one just shouted at me that I'm a rubbish mummy. Think he has heard this from Dh last night.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 16:54:53

The problem is that, if you have any idea that you might get hit again, even if it's only at the back of your mind, you will never know if the way you are around him is natural or whether you're still acting out of fear. Being obstructive about your job and accusing you of being 'sneaky' is not the behaviour of a man that has any intention of changing. Alcohol or no alcohol, he's simply nasty piece of work that likes making you feel crap.

Chuck him out.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 16:57:18

They might not see the punch, but they'll have seen the black eye, or the wincing from the broken rib pain. Don't underestimate the effect that will have on them when they see their lovely mum in pain.

If you can't leave for yourself, leave for your DC. You can't guarantee that he won't come home drunk and lash out at them, or even say something unforgivable to them when sober.

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 16:57:32

Darling why SHOULD you cope with it? What on earth makes you think you deserve to be treated like this? This is his problem, not yours - he is the one in the wrong. I'm so sorry to tell you this - the man is a bully. He has been caught out abusing you physically, so now he's doing it slyly in the hope that you won't see it as being "as serious" and will just put up with it.

Sorry - blood boiling on your behlaf - not helpful blush

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 16:58:03

OMG sad

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 17:05:06

I suppose that is the crux of it. I've stayed with him through the physical so he will just not comprehend me leaving for a telling off about a birthday card and changing my name on Facebook. I 'over reacted' to the assault last summer in his words so I just can't imagine telling him that I perceive this as ea.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 17:09:50

You don't need to tell him why you're leaving. He doesn't need to comprehend anything. You and your DC deserve better than this.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 17:12:49

I think that you should call your DA worker asap (tomorrow if that's the earliest time you can speak to her) and make moves to separate from this man.

Is the house rented or mortgaged? What names are on the house?

Spiritedwolf Tue 19-Mar-13 17:14:53

The thing about a relationship where there was physical violence in the past is that the threat of it will always colour the present. Both of you know that he is capable and willing to physically assualt you. That affects how you behave around each other. In addition, if he can control you with EA then he needen't resort to physical violence and risk conviction.

Blaming you for things that couldn't possibly be your fault, picking fights over small things and controlling what you do in your professional life are all rather nasty.

I hear what you say about give and take. We do take account of our partner's feelings, advice and availability (say for taking over childcare) when making decisions. I suppose you have to think about what happens when you disagree about something. Does he back off and say that he'll support your decision? Always? Half of the time? Never? Do you feel you could do something he disagreed with without him making your life hell?

You said he put a stop to you making a change with your job and he's making it impossible for you to go on a team building night. It sounds like he's controlling you. It sounds like you don't believe you have a choice. What change did you want to make to your work and how did he stop it? Is it really unreasonable for someone else to take care of the children for a night whilst you go to the team building thing?

You deserve to be with someone who doesn't micromanage your life. Who never hits you, belittles you or makes your life difficult. There is no such thing as 'low grade' sexual abuse, it is always appalling and unacceptable. You need to think about what staying with him says to your children about relationships, about what boys can get away with and what girls should put up with.

You all deserve better, even if you can't see it right now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 19-Mar-13 17:15:51

Who cares what he comprehends? hmm You've had enough and that's all the justification you need. Most would have got out at the first punch...

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 17:17:40

We have a property together but we rent our 'home'. Both names on it. So none of you think it would be an over reaction to leave a marriage based on the ea? It feels like I'm just having a knee jerk reaction to a bad night.

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 17:17:59

The difference is, crashmat, that you are probably now in a position to recognise that this is ea - perhaps previously you would have overlooked it as, well - at least he wasn't knocking you around sad

You are strong and you can do this - you are worth so much more than this waste of oxygen. Fliss is right - he doesn't have to understand a single bloody thing

Pandemoniaa Tue 19-Mar-13 17:18:28

You deserve so much better. He deserves nothing, let alone an explanation.

Please try and make plans to get yourself and your dcs safely away from this worthless, violent man.

Spiritedwolf Tue 19-Mar-13 17:19:49

Got lost in a chain of thought there, think I meant to say 'who never hits you, belittles you or controls you'.

DH has occasionally made my life inadvertantly more difficult smile but I can always talk to him about it and make sure it doesn't happen too often wink

BertieBotts Tue 19-Mar-13 17:22:46

No way is this give and take of a normal relationship. Even without the pa you'd be justified in leaving. You can't live with someone like this, it's not a life.

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 17:25:11

Sorry x posted. The work thing was a secondment opp which would have given me scope for moving up, in my current role I have hit a ceiling. It would have had an impact on family life (increased my hours) but only for a specified time period. The reason I can't go on overnighters is that he will not allow anyone else to look after the dc's overnight so if he won't do it I don't go. If I blatantly disobeyed him...well I wouldn't because I am scared and of him.

cjel Tue 19-Mar-13 17:29:54

Your last line says it all. You want to work He won't let you because he knows you are still living in fear. Is that how you want to live? Your DCs will be living in fear as well .

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 17:31:27

I'm lucky in that I have pretty much instant access to the DV worker as I work in public services, we are in the same building. I think it's the dc's and knowing how hellish he will be if I dare to leave him that's holding me back. The dc's adore him. I adored him.

Flisspaps Tue 19-Mar-13 17:32:40

I think it's the dc's and knowing how hellish he will be if I dare to leave him that's holding me back

It can't be any more hellish than being punched, sexually assaulted and mentally ground down, day after day sad

ffswhatnow Tue 19-Mar-13 17:35:37

Sweetheart, the man that you adored doesn't exist. You adored him and look at what he did to you.

The DCs don't realise yet that it was all a lie, but how would you feel if he hurt them like he hurt (and continues to hurt) you?

You have to do this, you have to get away from him. It will be hellish, there is no hiding from that fact, but it will get better and you and your DC will have a wonderful, safe and happy life without him. You're not alone xx

Spiritedwolf Tue 19-Mar-13 17:47:21

The only reason/justification you need to leave him is that you no longer want to have a relationship with him.

I can see the logic behind waiting for him to do something worse but its flawed. Too many women stay because they married him, because its been 10/15/20 years, because they had children or didn't leave after the first affair, or the first black eye. They believe the adadage that they have 'made their bed' and now have to lie in it (apparently indefinately). Rubbish. This obligation doesn't really exist. Just because you weren't ready to leave before, doesn't mean you can't leave now or in the future. You don't need to spend another minute/day/months/years with someone just because you didn't leave when things were at their worst.

Its punishing yourself to stay through daily misery waiting for a day bad enough to leave. Its cumulitive, every day he's with you he's adding straws to your back, the last one could be light as a feather, but its the huge load he's spent years putting on you that makes you leave, not really the last straw. IYSWIM (I'm not calling you a donkey!)

You don't deserve a life sentence of fear and unhappiness. Nor do your children. Maybe they've never seen him hit you. But they'll see the way he talks to you and about you. They'll see the lack of positive words, touches, expressions between you that ought to be there. They'll think its normal.

He doesn't need to understand why. Emotional abusers are unlikely to admit/acknowledge it anyway. If they had that amount of empathy, they wouldn't treat people the way they do. You don't need to justify your reasons for leaving with anyone else. You've had ENOUGH. That's your reason.

Startail Tue 19-Mar-13 17:49:01

He doesn't love you, he doesn't trust you and he doesn't respect you or your work.

It isn't going to get better.

You can wait until next time you have a 'proper' argument or leave now.

You wouldn't be posting here if you hadn't had enough.

It isn't always the big things that push people over the edge, you might forgive him hitting you because he's drunk or you think there was a good reason for him being cross (you shouldn't, it's unforgivable).
But something small, but totally unreasonable can be all it takes to say fuck it I deserve better.

You do deserve better!

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 18:26:39

startail and wolf You are both so right. Something about last night has obviously rattled something in me as I have spent bits of today gathering info about benefits I may be able to claim CTC and WTC and the like. I've wrote down a solicitor's number hidden in my work diary and I even looked at houses to rent, all the while saying to myself 'just in case' but I think my sub conscious is saying 'Just get out.'

The thing that could be the tipping point is I shocked myself last night. DH had a go at me about my facebook-he says he didn't know I had changed it from an anonymous name to a shorter version of my name. I definitely told him at Xmas I'd done this but he gaslighted me. I knew he had. He called me sneaky and got angry and I just went and deactivated my account. Like a dead behind the eyes mouse. I did it without thinking just to appease him. What I wanted didn't feature.

crashmat Tue 19-Mar-13 18:36:19

Sorry that last post sounded so self pitying. What I was trying to say was once upon a time I would have told him sod off, it's up to me what I call my self on fb, but I didn't.

TheFallenNinja Tue 19-Mar-13 18:41:52

Seems to me that you didn't want him to hit you again after the first, then the second, then the third etc etc.

Hence the immediate LTB. If a dog bit me once I wouldn't hesitate to have it put down. The same goes for hitting.

cjel Tue 19-Mar-13 19:39:57

Self pity is allowed when you are just realised what a mess you are living!!!

magimedi Tue 19-Mar-13 19:41:44

Leave him. Now. Please.

You are worth so much more than this - don't stay with someone who has hit you.

It will be tough but it will be so much better.

tribpot Tue 19-Mar-13 19:47:15

This sounds a bit like what they call a 'dry drunk', an alcoholic who isn't actively drinking but has in no way attempted to address his or her problem, so exhibits all the same behaviours except the actual drinking itself. It's like saying to an alcoholic 'the problem is you're drinking'. But the problem isn't that they're drinking, the problem is they're an alcoholic. The 'problem' isn't that he's hitting, the problem is he's an abuser. He can choose to manifest the problem in different ways, but it doesn't change the basic fact. He is choosing to abuse you because he doesn't think enough of you not to.

I would imagine he will make out that you have been totally unreasonable in leaving him after the violence has stopped. But your last few posts say it all. You are simply avoiding any situation that might cause the violence to happen again. So it hasn't stopped, it just isn't happening at the moment.

Lueji Tue 19-Mar-13 19:52:50

Just that you used the expression "disobeyed him" is enough to say leave the bastard.

Yes, he'll try to make it hell when you leave, but you will have your own sanctuarium. Your home, where you'll feel safe when you get in.

Been there and totally worth it.

Your children will also see him for who he is.
And think that at some point he'd probably turn on them too. sad

kalidanger Tue 19-Mar-13 20:01:01

I shouldn't think the DC 'adore' him sad They have learned to be sweet and compliment around him as they are scared of him too.

kalidanger Tue 19-Mar-13 20:01:28

Compliant, I mean. Not compliment.

Chubfuddler Tue 19-Mar-13 20:01:56

Just leave. Honestly you just need to get yourself away from this poisonous environment, which incidentally is also harmful to your children. I left my husband a few weeks ago, things were very similar to what you describe. I just couldn't go on.

It hasn't been easy but in all honesty it's been a hell of a lot easier than I expected (touches wood).

You don't need things to be "bad enough" to justify leaving. They are bad enough believe me. The only acceptable level of DV in a marriage is none.

ApplyYourself Wed 20-Mar-13 00:04:49

you cant stay with a man who has broken your rib. you cant bring children up with him.

leave him as soon as you are able

OxfordBags Wed 20-Mar-13 09:50:34

OP, he has abused you in every way possible. The physical and sexual abuse should've been enough to leave. You do not need his permission to leave him. You do not need a reason that he will find good enough - even though you have more than enough reasons for anyone to scream 'leave him NOW!!!' at you. You don't even have to give him a reason.

You are scared of him, you daren't 'disobey' him, you alter your behaviour and stop doingnthings you want because of what he says to you and how he says it, your Dc are badmouthing you because of how he talks to you... How is this NOT emotional abuse? It's hardly not abuse, is it, sweetheart?!

There's something more imporant you must understand - living in a home with abuse of the mother is massive child abuse for the DC. Seeing you treated like shit, whether with fists or words is appalling emotional abuse for children. And you know that they know you're being abused, because they're repeating his words. Do you understand that every day your son stay in that home is another percent more likely that he will grow up to be an abuser himself as an adult? Or that any DDs you have will be abuse victims? Do not lie to yourself that you loving them and them loving him means that this is not abusive to them, because it is.

Children who grow up with abuse always appear to adore the abusive parent. This is not a genuine reflection of their feelings, however, because it is simply a survival mechanism - make the dangerous one love me, make sure the dangerous one doesn't hurt me.

Any man who treats his partner that way is a terrible father and should have limited (if any) contact with them. He is destroying any chance they have of normal personalities or futures with every passing day.

TisILeclerc Wed 20-Mar-13 10:05:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Sugarice Wed 20-Mar-13 10:59:07

Please leave him, you are worth so much more than living like this this and you are entitled to a good happy life with your children.

Does he let you lead that happy life the way you want to live it?

I think you are well on the road to leaving this bastard anyway, just muster the courage, it will be the very best move you ever make for yourself and your children.

Great post TisI

delilahlilah Wed 20-Mar-13 11:12:04

I have been in a similar situation. Leaving was the best thing I ever did. I just wish I had done it sooner. You will not believe the relief you will feel, when you are not expecting him to come through the door. The simplicity of not being worried what sort of mood he might be in, treading on egg shells to keep the peace because you are afraid of him.
He might be angry initially when you leave, but immediately after that he will try to get you back in any way he can most likely, so be prepared for him to tell you he can't live without you and all sorts of other emotionally blackmailing crap. Don't listen to it, it is designed for him to get his own way and the status quo would quickly be resumed if you went back. I feel confident saying this, because he is still minimising what he has done to you.
You and your DC will be better off. If he is violent / threatening then he doesn't need your address he can contact you through a solicitor.

hairtearing Wed 20-Mar-13 11:21:57

I agree with all others leave him , and I doubt tbh it is the last of PA if you stay.
He doesn't look after his kids? what a waste of space, Out of interest why was he so bothered about your name on FB? is he possessive,jealous too?

cestlavielife Wed 20-Mar-13 11:27:49

your dc arent able to go to supermarket and sdee dads in a row and say oh yes that ones mine i adore him - they only know what they know.

where do you see yourself in five years time, or when kids grown up? with him? no - he has beaten you and undermines you. you keep him sweet now because you fear his violence...

you dont need to wait for the DC sake - rather it would be better to leave now and let the dc develop relationship with dad separate to you.

it wont be easy - but it will be far ebtter than stayng once you grow free from this control. DC will blossom too.

Is it a knee jerk reaction to a bad night or a final straw breaking your camel's back.

Thats how it was with me. Ex dp whined and whined to everyone that I had left him because of one small incident. what he didn't tell people was that it was the last incident in 5 years that I was prepared to put up with.

he is controlling your work, controlling your mind. I bet you still walk on eggshells because you say that you are still frightened of him. You are not a rubbish mummy. If you are already working with a DV worker then she can help you get out of there ASAP.

Do your dc's really adore him? THey will be frightened of him too. What you see as adoration is them trying to please him to keep him happy so he won't kick off at them.

Just pack a bag today and ring her.

I'm so sorry you have sufferred for so long at the hands of this vile man.
Oxford puts it perfectly.
Please try to listen to all the advice on here and what everyone is saying.
So many of them have been there and really do know what they are talking about.
Good luck - I wish you well for the future with your DC but it must be well away from this man!

crashmat Wed 20-Mar-13 17:16:38

Sorry all, can not post when dh is around because he will be hovering and I have been working.

I have given the matter so much thought last night and today. I was trying to work out why I didn't leave at the first punch and why indeed I am waiting for him to attack me again so I have permission to leave. I think he has controlled so much of my life for 8 years that it doesn't feel normal to make such a fundamental decision about our marriage without his input. I defer to him about whether or not the dishwasher is full enough to turn on or if I can put a lamp on so to make a decision like this without his permission seems so wrong. So out of my comfort zone.

Hairtearing he was bothered about my name on fb 'in case old boyfriends track you down.' I have never ever cheated on him.

Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement, it is hard to process this when I have the normal everyday needs of 3 dc's and a job to do. I can't give it the time I need because I keep being interrupted!

Toasttoppers Wed 20-Mar-13 17:20:40

Please leave this abusive man and get your dc away from the environment. Your last post is both sad and petrifying, he has conditioned you totally you are so frightened of him. He may very well hit you again as well, no one wants to live in fear like that. Emotional abuse is enough to leave someone and you do not have to justify anything to him ever.

delilahlilah Wed 20-Mar-13 17:42:00

Very seriously crash, you need to make absolutely sure that either he doesn't know you're going to leave or that there are people with you when you do. You need to stay safe. Put together all your important paperwork and either keep it at work, if that is safe, or with a trusted friend / relative.

The level of his control is worrying from your last post. When you do leave make sure he doesn't have passwords for fb / email etc and change your name and security settings on fb again. Make sure you have money in a bank account in your own name that he cannot touch / block. You also need to block him from calling you - changing your phone number is probably best. You will likely get a deluge of text / phone calls swinging between anger and self pity - it's easier not to be aware of them.

This isn't should you leave, but when you leave. I am not taking this lightly, I've been there and know how hard it is but you are not safe and therefore it is not a good place for your DC. You really need to make this a priority, and make the most of the support here.

crashmat Wed 20-Mar-13 17:56:54

Delilah I hear you. There is no way I would tell him directly I am leaving. It is too unsafe. I would just go.

It's the fallout after that I am very concerned about. Last time he hit me he didn't even bother with an apology. It was my fault because I had spoken out of place. There would be no pleading for me to come back, it will be war. He has already said if we were to separate he would not play nice.

I think this is what is holding me back from walking now. I need to find the resolve and emotional resilience to deal with it. I'm not sure if I have that. He told me that my childhood sexual abuse was my fault, I ask people to hurt me. I can't just turn away from that. I have on one shoulder the rational me saying nonsense, on the other I have the dark part of me wondering if that could be true.

cjel Wed 20-Mar-13 18:05:40

NO NO NO. You are not to blame, but your abuse is in a way, as you grew up believing you were worth being mis treated. Start to listen to the positive msgs in your head and don't listen to that dark side of you. YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME> YOU ARE WORTH GOOD TREATMENT > Please repeat that over and over until you start to take it in. See a counsellor and they will help you unpick your dark stuff so you can be at peace. I too was led to believe that it was my fault because of my childhood. I no longer believe it and love looking after myself. Like the ad says 'Because you are worth it'xxx

tribpot Wed 20-Mar-13 18:18:14

Crashmat do you see the connection between your childhood abuse and the fact you have ended up with an abuser? Please make a different choice for your children.

Rationally you must know you aren't to blame for the abuse you suffered - and suffer - but I appreciate how difficult it must be to fight the conditioning after what amounts to a sustained campaign of torture. You have retained enough sense of self to know this is wrong. You can break out still. Keep posting.

EggyFucker Wed 20-Mar-13 18:28:26

Crashmat, you need RL help to leave this man.

Please access it. The help is there, if you really want it.

If you don't think you are worth it, think of your children. They deserve not to have these damaging lessons as their only example of how men and women interact in the home. They will think this is normal.

crashmat Wed 20-Mar-13 18:33:54

trib I do see the connection. I have undergone enough counselling and seen enough psychologists to know that my core beliefs and baselines in personal relationships have been skewed. Due to the fact it was a member of my family who sexually abused me I am now certain that what I view as 'family' and the way family members treat each other is not the norm.

It kills me to think that I am exposing the dc's to abuse. I know all about the cycle of abuse and thought because I was not actually carrying out the abuse my self they are protected. I can see now that exposing them to my marriage is harmful.

Jux Wed 20-Mar-13 18:58:07

Crashmat, just imagine having a life where you are not walking on eggshells, where you don't have to appease anyone, where people treat you like an adult, where you are listened to, where others are interested in your opinion, where you can have a disagreement without worrying about being hit or punished in some sneaky way, where you can call yourself what you like on fb, where old bfs can look you up and you can just be friends, where if you need to go out with work then you just get a babysitter.....

The list is endless! Make it yours.

delilahlilah Wed 20-Mar-13 20:59:55

You can leave him, and he will not find you. You can put legal barriers up. Report anything he does, and keep records of everything. He's bound to say he won't be nice if you split to frighten you in to staying and doing what he wants.
You will find the war easier than you find your life now. Call women's aid, don't wait. Do this quickly, his lack of remorse is frightening.

OxfordBags Wed 20-Mar-13 21:11:24

OP, anyone who says a child is responsible for being sexually abused is not just emotionally abusive, but a foul, subhuman freak who is not fit to be part of decent society.

Re: your DC. Sadly, yes, by living in a home where their mother is abused so appallingly, they will grow up with no other model of how to behave in their own adult relationships. It's like training daughters to be abused and training sons to be abusers. You were abused and grew up to fall for an abuser and rapist (of you). Seeing their mother being abused is emotional abuse for a child - what hope for them to not internalise that as normal as you once did? Your love is not enough - the love of your family (even if it wasn't as good as the love you tive your DC) was not enough to stop you continuing the cycle. Just because they are not beingpbysically hurt in some way doesn't lessen the likelihood of them growing up to be abused or abusive.

The abuse is all his fault, but by staying, you become culpable of exposing them to abuse and all its terrible effects. This is perhaps the most cruel aspect of being abused, because the father's abuse of the mother emotionally abuses the children and the mother staying and taking the abuse is its own form of abuse too.

The way you live now appears to be true hell - surely leaving cannot be worse? This man is v dangerous if he doesn't even pretend to care that he's hurt you. He is a misogynist and v dangerous. He might well behave appallngly when you leave, but you can and must get loads of agencies behind you.

SucksToBeMe Wed 20-Mar-13 21:18:59

Lots of great advice here OP.

My mums best friend who had a abusive husband. This month twelve years ago he stabbed her 58 times,leaving her two beautiful sons without a mother.

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