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Subtle EA? Or is it just me? Confused, please help

(368 Posts)
WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 12:04:46

I sincerely apologise in advance for the length of this post, feel free to skim bits if it makes it easier.

I have lurked here for sometime, have stumbled across the support thread for those in emotionally abusive relationships, have never thought of DH as abusive as he?s never hit me but I?ve been unhappy for a while and couldn't understand why, he?s not overtly abusive, doesn't call me names or put me down in any obvious way, but over the 15 years we?ve been together has done some pretty shitty things. (We?ve been together 15 years, married for 10 and have ds age 7 and dd age 5)

only months after we got together I discovered I was pregnant, I hoped to sit down & discuss it like adults with him; he burst into tears, wailed, sobbed, put his head in his hands and begged me to have an abortion. I would have done anyway but didn't feel like I had a choice. The very fact that I was considering keeping it seemed to offend him.

He once burned the book i was reading on our BBQ (when drunk) because it was called ?The Satanist? and as a Catholic it offended him, esp as his mum had cancer.

once during a heated argument he got so angry he punched the wall right next to my head so hard it left the imprint of his four knuckles in the plaster; he said that was ok, he was so angry he really wanted to punch me but punched the wall instead.

2-3 years ago he decided to get fit so was having sessions with a PT, he badgered me into going too, even though I wasn't keen; after 6 months when i?d lost 1 1/2 stone, and gone from a size 16 to a 12 (im 6ft) he told me one night as i was getting into bed that ?he didn?t fancy me anymore, my tits were all saggy and I?d ruined my body and he wanted me to have a boob job"

last year bought me some eye-wateringly expensive underwear, and despite me saying repeatedly that it didn't fit has proceeded to buy me another 4 sets of same size stuff. Gets upset when I tell him it doesn't fit (again) and says he is only doing it to spice things up and put the spark back.

once remotley wiped my iphone after an argument, and during same argument threatened to sell the car

demanded/coerced me into sex when I had recurring thrush (every month, over a period of four years), despite me telling him repeatedly how much it burned.

no help with kids - has never bathed kids, could count on fingers of one hand how many times he?s put them to bed, says he cant read bedtime stories because he?s dyslexic but manages to spend 2-3 hours on his ipad every night. I thought that was normal until an exchange student we had staying with us for the summer last year commented on how he did nothing with the kids and I did everything.

went on holiday last year, DS took the class ?holiday bear? & was soooo excited, DH said we couldn?t take bear on days out in case it got lost. I was too scared to say the bear could go in the back pack, DS was visibly crushed & in tears, i felt I had failed DS because i didn't stand up to DH.

a couple of years back he tried to persuade me to have my navel pierced, i said no, then during an argument said he just wanted a sign that I loved him, like - guess what - having my navel pierced. to my eternal shame i did it, hated it but thank god it rejected so i took it out.

says he wants me to wear sexy clothes so that when we go out he can show me off and other blokes will be jealous. i don?t really want to anyones trophy.

he wants me to be completely hairless between my legs, i?ve tried it a couple of times but frankly don't like it, thinks its degrading, don?t think im setting a good example to my dd (or ds for that matter, what will he think when sees a real bush?), (and god does it itch when it grows back in) he says I should do it for him to please him.

Says i should do things to please him even if i don't like doing it, as he would do the same for me. i have tried to explain to him that i don't understand how he can get pleasure from me doing something I clearly don't want to do, and that i wouldn't even ask him to do something that he was unhappy with, but he doesn't get it.

A few weeks ago DS was unhappy at school & with homework, after a discussion with the head teacher I was browsing the web looking at home schooling (something I considered before DS started school, not something I?d rush into but it?s always an option) he caught me looking at HE websites, didn't think to ask my opnion about it, just went straight into a tirade about how he disagreed and he was really upset that I was even thinking about it.

basically every argument turns into how he feels about it and how upset I have made him feel and how i need to change my behavior so that he doesn?t get upset and that he?s only happy when I?m happy.

I?ve stuck it this long because of what we?ve been through with his parents, his mum had cancer for years, with all the entailing chemo, radiotherapy etc, then 3 weeks after she died we found out his Dad had cancer, he died 6 months later (Feb 2009). For a long time I?ve made excuses for DH?s behavior because his parents were ill and then obv he was grieving.

Last year things seemed finally to be good, we had about 6 months where I thought we were finally coming out of the woods, but the last 6 months have been hell. We argue every week, he says its because I don't talk to him. I?ve tried to explain I feel afraid to talk to him because he raises his voice, interrupts me, and doesn't listen. He says its all down to me, only I can change it and I?m not normal.

I could go on but think even i'd lose the will to live reading it all.

In short (and thanks if you?ve stuck with me this far) is any of the above normal? would you have put up with this thus far? Am I over-reacting? And what are the chances of things ever being better? should I just cut my losses now and run?

I?ve just turned 40, have taken a long hard look at the last 15 years and don't want the next 15 to be the same.

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Apr-13 12:07:10

I don't blame you! He sounds like an absolute arse.

You would certainly be MOST reasonable to remove yourself from this life if you chose to.

I hope you do choose to.

Sinkingfeeling Thu 18-Apr-13 12:09:08

He sounds insecure and extremely nasty. You deserve much better, and so do your children. I hope you find the strength and determination to leave.

NatashaBee Thu 18-Apr-13 12:11:28

He sounds delightful! I would have reached breaking point and left already. You're absolutely right to consider what example the things you've mentioned will set for your children.

cozietoesie Thu 18-Apr-13 12:14:11

I echo those posts. I wouldn't even consider spending the next 15 years with him - and think how it's going to be for the DCs living in a house with all this going on and possibly getting worse.

I hope you find the strength to get out.

zombiefied Thu 18-Apr-13 12:16:16

I can see why you stayed, but now i think it's time to make a decision.

it was great for 6 months and then it's changed. if you are afraid to talk to him, then it's not right.

I agree with ImTooHecsy, definitely reasonable to remove yourself and dc from this.

OxfordBags Thu 18-Apr-13 12:19:12

This is very serious abuse and control. He sounds appalling, and quite possibly could have low-level MH issues. Witnessing this relationship is child abuse for your children. It is teaching your son to be an abuser like this when he grows up and teaching your daughter to be a victim and to out up with this sort of shit. Enough is enough. Get rid.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Apr-13 12:19:30

So, in short, he's only nice to you when you're obedient and you tend to do as he wishes because he intimidates you. No, it's not normal.

IAmNotAMindReader Thu 18-Apr-13 12:19:47

You are not over reacting at all. You and your children deserve better. A partner values the other persons feelings, ideas, values, emotional and physical well being.

He is not being a partner he is behaving like your owner wanting you to mark yourself as his property (piercing). I have a few piercings myself but I got them because I wanted them not because someone else bullied me into it.

He doesn't value your opinions or your physical well being (thrush) he just wants you to fall into line and do what he wants you to do, think and say.

He will not change after this length of time. If you don't want the next 15 years to be the same then i'm afraid the only way for that to happen is for you to leave this relationshiop behind and continue on the journey of self rediscovery that began with you realising you don't want the status quo.

LemonBreeland Thu 18-Apr-13 12:22:59

Main points from your OP.

You are afraid of him.

You won't stand up to him. -fear

You don't feel able to have your own opinions -fear

He expects you to do things you don't like to make him happy.

He has pretty much raped you, when you were in pain.

He does nothing with the children.

Yes he is abusive and you are being used. You are practically a single parent anyway. Make yourself a happy single parent. And allow your children to realise the behaviour they have seen so far is not normal.

ScrambledSmegs Thu 18-Apr-13 12:22:59

basically every argument turns into how he feels about it and how upset I have made him feel and how i need to change my behavior so that he doesn?t get upset and that he?s only happy when I?m happy.

Sounds like narcissistic behaviour. Clearly a very selfish man with probably little chance of changing. Sorry. You'll never be happy with him. Without him you and the children have a fair shot at happiness.

practicality Thu 18-Apr-13 12:34:19

Leave and be happy.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 12:36:14

Oh fuckity fuck. Thanks for all the replies, I really wasn't expecting so many so soon.

I think I've known for sometime that what he was doing wasn't normal, but most of the time he's lovely, buys me flowers, takes me out for meals and so on, and of course nobody ever sees him being a shit, he just turns on the charm for other people.

For years he's told me that I'm the problem and I need to change. I have massively low self-esteem, i'm very introverted and have only recently (round the time DS was born) overcome the stutter that I had since I was 4, and I'm quite naive and trusting so genuinely believed that it was me that was the problem and have been trying to change.

what do I do? my mum lives very close by, i know I can rely on her for support. and solicitors I suppose.

any top tips, things to watch out for? i'm really at a loss so any advice gratefully received.

Oh Jesus, how do I cope? I'm crying at work (alone, thank god) but he'll be coming in soon and I need to keep my shit together, don't want him getting wind of anything

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Thu 18-Apr-13 12:40:10

abusers often are lovely some of the time. It's part of how they think they can keep hold of you. It's another form of manipulation.

There are a lot of people here who will be able to point you to resources that can help you.

Have you contacted women's aid? You can have a chat with them. They will have advice and info for you.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 12:41:15

Sorry, forgot to mention that we work together, run our own business together.

Usually when we argue he tells me that I can go and get another job if I want to but i wont find one that pays as much as this one that has hours to fit around the kids school.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 12:42:39

Thanks hecsy, will give them a ring when I know he won't be coming in to the office for a while

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 18-Apr-13 12:44:34

Don't cry. It's horrible to have others confirm that you've been subjected to bullying behaviour, even if you've suspected that's been the case for a while. It's really not your fault that this man is behaving this way. If you're not a nasty person yourself, it's easy not to see it in others. Of course he buys you flowers etc.... that's pretty standard for these Jekyll and Hyde types. They can be nice as pie until you cross them

The only response to a bully is to stand up to them and refuse to be manipulated. If you're frightened, however, you may be better advised to talk to people close to you like your Mum and also have a word with Womens Aid. 'Emotional abuse' is a recognised form of domestic violence and they will have some practical advice on how to take things forward so that you can extricate yourself safely.

IAmNotAMindReader Thu 18-Apr-13 12:49:12

Plan your exit strategy. Visit a solicitor so you know where you stand financially and whether or not he would be the one who needs to leave the house. Do you joint own etc.

Gather together evidence of his financial situation to give to your solicitor.

If you need to leave have all ID and birth certificates, passports etc in a safe place.

If he gets wind he may well go on the charm offensive and if that doesn't work become a shit bag to try to break you.
Watch out for gaslighting which may be employed to get you doubt certain aspects of your mental health and back down because you think your own judgement can not be trusted.

Prepare for him to be awkward over contact with the children and don't expect it to be amicable either over that or any other detail so if you know you're on solid ground legally let him be a prick. That may or may not happen, but forewarned is forearmed.

You cannot make him invovle himself in the childrens lives if he decides he's going to show you by messing them about. All you can do is make sure they are available for contact and pick up th epieces if he doesn't show hard though that is.

It may seem dautning so take it one step at a time.

There are more definative lists of things to do on here than this. Take care, you have taken the first step to reclaiming your self esteem.

thepatioislumpy Thu 18-Apr-13 13:50:56

Hello. I could have written your post a year ago (in fact, I did 10m ago!) almost word for word. Right down to your employment situation.

I'm now free and have been for 7m on Tuesday. I can't begin to tell you how good that feels smile

Lovely, this is not 'subtle EA' this is serious physical, emotional, sexual and what looks to be financial abuse. Please speak to WA as soon as you can. Don't hold back (I did and it left me feeling terrible), be honest and take whatever help they offer you.

You're 40 years young - time to get out and live the life you should be x

Hopasholic Thu 18-Apr-13 14:02:39

There is nothing subtle about his behaviour

He is a controlling manipulative bully

Gain some strength, contact WA and get out flowers

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 18:18:10

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my post and to reply. I felt so alone & helpless I didn't know what to do, at least now I can see a faint glimmer of light at the end of a very long tunnel.

flippinada Thu 18-Apr-13 18:38:39

He is an abuser and you, and your DC deserve better.

There are lots of lovely women on here who will help and support you. Keep posting here X

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 21:32:54

Oh now I feel such a cow, came home tonight and he's applied for 2 tickets to the 50th anniversary Dr Who proms in July (I'm a massive Dr Who fan) has collected doors for new kitchen that is being fitted soon & shopped at Waitrose. Also I've had to email the exchange student who is coming in July to say which dates she can come, all the while thinking " but what if things have changed by then?"

But then remembered he made some comment this afternoon when we were discussing kitchen work tops along the lines of "i dont mind spending the money ....... unless of course you're leaving me" to which I just said "No" in what I dearly hope was a convincing tone. Really don't want to spend the rest of my life like this ...

flippinada Thu 18-Apr-13 21:38:34

You're not a cow.

It's part of the would stay with someone who was awful all the time. The good stuff every now and then doesn't cancel out the abuse.

Read back your original post as if you were an outsider, or as if your best friend was asking you for advice.

Would you be telling her, yeah, he's a great guy, stick with him?

lilachair Thu 18-Apr-13 21:39:29

Subtle? No. That is not subtle EA, that is overt.

I spent YEARS saying I'd leave if it was still bad at Christmas (usually in January). By the time Christmas came there had been so may horrific wall punching moments countered by lovely ticket buying moments I didn't know which way up I was.

Eventually there was a bad Christmas (actually they were all bad, but this year he bought me a tin a of chillis AND was a cunt) so I left.

It was very very tricky, but it's the best thing I ever did.


WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 18-Apr-13 21:53:18

i didn't know which way up I was

That's exactly how I feel, I just don't know how to trust myself anymore, things I think are wrong he tells me are ok and things I feel are right he tells me I shouldn't think that.

I so wanted to say something to my mum when she dropped the kids off after swimming tonight but I was worried I'd get so upset in front of the kids and I didn't want them to see it. He thinks its ok to argue in front of kids, I just think it damaging as they don't understand what's happening. I'll have to pop round to hers one night or arrange a night out with her, I'm sure she'll be horrified at what I've been hiding. I feel so ashamed for letting it go on for so long

flippinada Thu 18-Apr-13 21:58:43

Don't feel ashamed Wearing, the shame is entirely his.

I think telling your mum is a great idea, as you say she'll be supportive. Support is what you need.

piratecat Thu 18-Apr-13 22:01:16

a couple of tickets, some door and some shopping?

come on op

You know what punching the wall by your head means. It means "this is what I'd do to you if you didn't stay in line". He doesn't need to actually hit YOU after that - you'll censor yourself thanks to his little demonstration.

Run like the wind (and take the tickets with you!).

jjgirl Thu 18-Apr-13 22:21:45

The fact that his feelings are so dependent on the way you look act and feel is classic emotional abuse and it's at a very serious level as he has you afraid to do or say anything wrong. He has you afraid to just be yourself. Get counselling for yourself only so you can work up the strength to leave

So sorry you are struggling with this. My ex was similar, we had no kids & didn't work together, but otherwise it's all very familiar. I left him & I think you know you should do the same. He may not actually have hit you yet, but he almost certainly will. He's already come close & thinks nothing of hurting you. Any man who can get aroused while you are clearly in so much pain & distress, does not care about you at all.
You've done nothing to be ashamed of, & anyone who values you at all, will tell you the same.

lilachair Thu 18-Apr-13 22:33:34

You know what punching the wall by your head means. It means "this is what I'd do to you if you didn't stay in line".

This. This is why its domestic abuse, even if you don't have bruises.

What swung it for me was someone on here pointing out what a terrible relationship model it was for the children. And I was staying for the children.

Hugs to you OP. Talk to people in RL and make a plan and keep talking here too x

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 19-Apr-13 01:19:37

You know, I never really thought of it as domestic abuse, but suddenly reading through my opening post again and reading all your comments it seems so bloody obvious. How did I not see it? I'm not stupid and if a friend of mine told me her OH had done all those things I'd be shocked & horrified and tell her to leave for her own safety.

lilachair, i think what you said has struck a chord, I have been staying for the children, i really didn't want them coming from a "broken home". My parents spilt up when I was 12 and it really shook me. However, I think their home is already broken, I've just been papering over the cracks so that nobody can see what is really going on.

DH - actually i don't want to call him "D" anymore, he really isn't a darling, what do I call him? apart from "that bastard I've wasted precious years of my life with that I'll never get back" - said a few weeks ago that i may live in a gilded cage but its a very nice gilded cage. Right now I'd be happy with a little flat where me & kids could just be ourselves and be happy sad

lilachair Fri 19-Apr-13 07:33:57

The gilded cage thing is familiar! I felt the same. I used to sit in my big house dreaming about a tiny little house for just me and the girls. And it is lovely now i'm finally here.

I think you've made your decision haven't you? It will be hard though, these men do not give up without a fight, and they try every trick in the book. Thankfully there are lots of people who have read the book here to help you.

Have a search for posts by Olga re your rights and entitlements, you need to form a plan x

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 19-Apr-13 11:40:46

lilachair thanks, your words have really touched me, especially the Christmas thing. I always loved Christmas, now I dread each one, this years was particularly bad. H had flu but still dragged himself downstairs to watch the kids open their presents. Frankly I wish he hadn't fucking bothered, he spent the whole time telling them to calm down and not be so excited, to tidy away their paper after opening every present and then berated them for not knowing which present was from whom so they wouldn't know who to thank. It's Christmas ffs, they kids, they're supposed to be excited

Bastard angry

thepatioislumpy your post really gave me hope that I could get out of this; not easily, not unscathed, but just out. Thank you xx p.s. would you mind if I PM you? am new to this posting malarky so not sure if I'm supposed to ask beforehand blush

My mum is picking kids up from school tonight, i've going to pick them up from hers so I can have a chat with her, i'm sure kids can watch telly for a bit while we talk.

Haven't rang womens aid yet but am fully intending to when I can get 5 minutes where I know I wont be disturbed. i know I'll be blubbing within 30 seconds of talking & really don't want customers coming in to see that.

Also H is away with work next Friday so am hoping for an evening of planning once DCs in bed. Sadly mum also way Friday night to a wedding, otherwise could have done with her support. Nobody else that I can really talk to, all of our friends are mutual (surprisingly I have not been encouraged to friends of my own, apart from those that have been vetted of course)

and have booked appointment with Doctor next week, H has me so confused I was considering the possibility that I have aspergers, and I stupidly told him so. I was just looking for some explanation of why I'm so confused. Now I know it's because he's a twunt. I dont think I do have asperegers (not that it would be a problem if I was, please don't think I'm in anyway condemning people who are on the AS) but just think I am quite introverted. H thinks I should go and see the doctor, so I will, but not to discuss what he thinks we'll be discussing.

thanks again to everyone for the support thanks

flippinada Fri 19-Apr-13 17:00:38

There is hope Wearing

My XP was (and probably still is tbh) just like your H.

Free for over 7 years now, a lot poorer but much happier.

Best of luck to you.

Branleuse Fri 19-Apr-13 17:23:08

Theres nothing subtle about that.

Fluffymonster Fri 19-Apr-13 18:22:09

Wearing - Imagine your 5yo dd, in, say 15yrs time - and this is how she is describing her H.

Does it sound like subtle emotional abuse to you? No - you'd want her to be with someone who treats her with love and respect, not:

* Shows more concern about his own feelings than hers in a crisis, in fact even when not in a crisis - just generally.

* Destroying her things. Just because he didn't approve.

* Uses physical violence to intimidate. The punching of the wall is not OK - it's a demonstration of his strength and is a threat of what could happen to her head if she doesn't shut up.

* Objectifies her body. Keeps trying to get her to do things to her body like she's some sort of human barbie doll for him to play with (boob job, naval piercing, shaving pubes). Shaving of private parts is infantilising btw - to make her appear more child-like and less womanly.

* Expects her to be a trophy so that other people can objectify her too - for the sake of his low self esteem.

* He wants her to do things she is not comfortable with because it entertains him.

* He values his pleasure above her discomfort.

* Does not value her opinions.

I could go on, but you get the gist. NO IT IS NOT NORMAL AND IT'S NOT EVEN SUBTLE.

He is not a good partner for you.

You would not want anyone you cared about, anywhere near a bf or H like this, would you?

Also, would you want you dd to grow up wondering if this was normal?

JennyFromTheBog Fri 19-Apr-13 19:43:09

Words fail me.

He is a dickhead.

JennyFromTheBog Fri 19-Apr-13 19:46:19

Good post fluffy.

Agree wholeheartedly. It's not so subtle is it.

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 19-Apr-13 19:48:34

Thanks for putting it so succinctly Fluffymonster, it really hits home. I would be heart broken if dd had a bf/dh who even did just some of those things.

Spoke with my mum tonight. Guess what, apparently everyone who has met H over the last 15 years has commented on what a control freak he is and has wondered why I stay with him. Has a really good talk with mum, she offered to have me & kids stay with her, and I'm sure she would but think its best we stay it our own home for now.

I think there is no way I can stay with this man for longer than is absolutely necessary. Long enough to gather info, see a solicitor & make a plan. Not long enough for him to continue making my & DCs lives a misery.

Right, off for a small glass of wine & some food. Actually, best have food first, have felt so sick all day I have managed the sum total of 1 banana. Not sure I have much appetite but best try to eat something

JennyFromTheBog Fri 19-Apr-13 19:50:22

lilachair snap. My x was abusive, definitely, verbally, physically, financially... i walked on eggshells around him, but even he wouldn't have dreamt of forcing me to have sex when I had thrush.

flippinada Fri 19-Apr-13 19:52:32

Hooray for your lovely mum smile.

Make sure you gather what you need but also take care to cover your tracks.

ImperialBlether Fri 19-Apr-13 20:00:38

You're doing the right thing, OP. He's awful and you deserve to be happy and free of him.

One thing, your DC may be upset when you first broach the idea of separation but you might find the difference to their lives is negligible. It took my children a while to realise their dad had moved out. Obviously if you move, it's different, but they will definitely welcome the lack of tension in their lives.

Your mum sounds lovely, btw.

JennyFromTheBog Fri 19-Apr-13 20:02:45

yes, doing the right thing. Definitely. Like Lilachair says, I used to sit in our lovely home just longing for a small simple place of our own, where we'd be free of him and not hear his key in the door.

it was a very difficult decision to make, the one to leave, but as soon as I made it, and felt free and happy, i never, ever regretted it. It is hard to understand afterwards why it seemed like a hard decision! I think it's because these guys chip away at you. Reclaim yourself.

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 19-Apr-13 20:39:37

My mum is the best mum ever - present company excepted, of course wink

I commented to her how happy the kids are at her house, how much more they laugh, giggle & have fun. So do I for that matter. I think that's what I've missed most, just having fun without having one eye over my shoulder in case we're making to much noise.

I am doing the right thing. Please keep telling me, I don't want to lose my nerve. I am feeling happier just knowing that this wont be forever, and yes there will be a shit storm to get through but we will get through it.

Lovingfreedom Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:28

Yes you are doing the right's a tough decision...but we'll worth it. Your mum sounds lovely.

Lovingfreedom Fri 19-Apr-13 20:51:50

Well not we'll!

Shinigami Fri 19-Apr-13 21:09:54

You are doing the right thing flowers


myroomisatip Fri 19-Apr-13 21:25:40

smile Yes! You are doing the right thing!

I am so excited for you smile

I was where you are at and stayed for 40 years!!!! 40 bloody years! But, tomorrow I hope to move out at long last. I was utterly terrified of my STBXH and it was only from reading about other peoples experiences on MN that I realised how abusive he was.

You will get all the support you need here, take all the help you can get and stay strong.

Keep posting. I cant wait to hear that you have done it. Please dont waste any more time on him, life is far too short.

JennyFromTheBog Fri 19-Apr-13 22:07:44

nobody ever regrets it do they?

lilachair Fri 19-Apr-13 22:10:51

I'm so happy for you! Brilliant that your mum is supportive, what a relief.
Happy times ahead xx

LemonBreeland Fri 19-Apr-13 22:27:20

Great news OP. Keep strong

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 19-Apr-13 23:14:46

myroomisatip Thank you and good luck for tomorrow, please let me know how it goes, I will be thinking of you x

lilachair bizarrely, I feel happy too, then the enormity of what I'm about to do hits me and my lip wobbles a bit and suddenly I find I have something in my eye. Or sometimes both my eyes sad

And thank you all for your kind, supportive and honest words.

That people who I have never met, and who I am never likely to meet, care about my feelings and well-being when my own husband doesn't is sad, humbling and up-lifting.

And in the words of the totally insane but utterly wonderful Brian Blessed on a recent HIGNFY - "DON'T LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN" grin

I will pass on your compliments to my mum, I'm sure she'd be very pleased smile xx

lilachair Fri 19-Apr-13 23:36:16

Keep us posted, and don't be afraid to come back if you are having a wobble.

Some days I was so happy it was like euphoria, other days the horribleness of it all made me cry. There will be ups and downs. And beware, once he realises you are detatching he may well get more overbearing and controlling. Be careful what you say until you have a plan in place.

Thinking of you x

Fluffymonster Sat 20-Apr-13 00:42:28

He may sense something on the cards, and turn on the charm and be sweetness and light - so you then feel guilty.

Remember it's NOT the times of so-called 'reconcilliation' that count, it's the general pattern of abuse that is the true indicator of how things are.

Look at the things he's said and done in your OP. They're not the actions of a loving husband or a good father.

It's not normal to be 'too scared' to contradict him over your ds taking a 'holiday bear' with him on days out. It was obviously so important to ds, part of a class activity, and the whole point of having a 'holiday bear' is to take it out and about. Should've been a fun thing, that ds could've then gone back to school with various anecdotes about. He was mean to your ds, and controlling. Not healthy.

It's not normal to have so little input with the kids. My far from perfect DP changed nappies, bathed, takes them to the park, to the cinema at weekends. He insists on doing his fair share of storytime at night as it's a cherished part of the parenting role - he doesn't see it as a chore - it's actually precious quality time with them, that he enjoys. The dcs adore him. Whenever he comes home from work he always gets a lovely welcome as they're happy to see him. He makes them feel loved. Your dcs deserve the same. If they are not getting that from him - he doesn't deserve them, and they don't deserve to be made to feel they deserve what little he gives. It's emotional abuse of them too.

Stay strong.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 07:23:36

Thanks Fluffymonster. When I was chatting to my mum she said that whatever my Dad's faults were (they split when I was 12) and rubbish husband though he was, he was at least a good Dad. I remember him taking me to the park, having lengthy discussion about everything under the sun, him teaching me poetry and chess at the age of 5!

To this day my Dad is very from from perfect but I still remember those times and I still love him. I'm saddened to think what my kids will remember.

The only time, and I mean the only time H changed nappies or has does anything with them has been when there have been other people present. He never, ever plays with them, just for fun. I'm not even sure he knows how to.

All the more reason to get out and move on.

Oh god, really? Never? sad

That's so sad wearing'

You are definitely doing the right thing grin

I really do believe that whether you're in your 20s 40s or even 80s, you shouldn't have to live like that any longer than necessary once you realize how bad things are

Wishing you lots of luck & strength smile

Abuse is about power and control; this man wants absolute over you and by turn the children.

Do not be still with this person at the age of 41.

Do continue to make your plans to leave this truly evil individual and make your escape asap; I have read of many controlling abusive types on here and this man is way out there controlling (they all follow the same type of script mind you). Goodness alone knows how he came to be like this (pound to a penny one or either of his own parents were exactly the same) but that is certainly not a main concern of yours.

Abuse like this is insidious in its onset and such men can and often are very plausible to those in the outside world.

Your main priority is to continue to gain as much help as possible to leave him before the next 15 years of your lives (and your children are just as much victims as you are) are completely ruined by his insane desires to keep you all in a gilded cage of his own paranoid making. Do keep talking on here, further engage your mother's help and talk to Womens Aid.

You may also want to read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft and keep this safe at your mother's house.

Longer term I would also suggest you enrol on Womens Aid Freedom Programme as such men can and do take a long time, years even, to recover from.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 08:16:00

TheYoniKeeper - no, never. And yes, it's incredibly sad. He watches telly and pisses about on his iPad or the computer. But when we argue he's quick to tell me how hard he works for us all by going out to work every day.

Luckily their grandad plays loads with them and usually has them in fits of giggles, sadly we don't see them as mush as I'd like because H doesn't like my mum or stepdad.

Attilathemeerkat i think he gets the worst traits from both his mum & dad - his dad was a bully when H was a kid (one story H told me was his Dad forcing him to eat sprouts, by which I mean he shoved the sprouts in H's mouth and held it shut til he'd swallowed them) and his mum was a manipulative cow, but everyone thought they were lovely because outwardly they were so helpful and kind.

Why am I not surprised to see that your husband does not get along with your mother or stepdad. You should be able to see them as much as you wish; again he has controlled your access to them because he does not like them.

Your H certainly had abusive role models himself when he was growing up; we after all learn about relationship first and foremost from our parents and he learnt about abuse from them. Do you ever see his parents now, I sincerely hope not.

I hope you go onto set yourself free from such an individual; do not be with him when you are 41!. Do consider also doing the Freedom Programme as well for yourself in the longer term; its designed to help women who have been in abusive relationships.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 08:48:14

I'm glad you're feeling more positive and I'm particularly pleased that you have a supportive family that have taken you seriously and not given you some hogwash about 'stick it out for the kids'. If your own childhood was marred by a break-up it's not too bit a leap to suggest that you've been too keen to keep the peace as a result. We all like to think we can be more successful at marriage if we've been set a bad example. However, now that you've understood what's going on, it's important to be focused about what happens next.

Emotionally abusive people are highly manipulative and you'll find the 'Nice & Nasty Routine' gets ramped up from now on.... switching between guilt-tripping you into staying, scaring you into staying and love-bombing you into staying. Keep a clear head and keep listening to the people around you that genuinely have your best interests at heart. Good luck

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 08:48:51

Both his parents died about 4 years ago, but even now we are not free from their influence. Every decision H makes is appended with "I think mum and dad would have approved". When his mum was diagnosed with cancer we moved into a house along the street from them (even though we had only lived 2 miles away on our previous home)

They came along every day, used to drive me mad. And H would ask their opinion about things before me.

But that's another story altogether.

Also was just thinking, I don't remember H ever telling our DC that he loves them, which for someone who claims to be very emotional and caring is very odd. And incredibly sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 20-Apr-13 08:58:05

'Mum and Dad' in this instance are just a convenient hook for self-justification. Like these people who commit some appalling act and then claim 'God wanted me to do it'. See it for what it is.

JennyFromTheBog Sat 20-Apr-13 09:49:32

My x has improved as a father since I left him. But weirdly my reason for not leaving him was for a long time because he was a good dad. I can't remember why I believed this. confused

He didn't improve immediately, first he was sended coded messages through a four year old to me, wanting to take one child not the other, but it is now more than 5 years since I left him. He was similar, abusive - but, reading here, I realise that as bad as he was, there are worse abusers out there :-( and he only changed nappies if there was an audience.

however now when he comes he takes them places, children's museums, childern's restaurants, the zoo. He makes a heck of a lot more effort than he ever would have made with them if we were still together, when he used to shush them and make me feel guilty that they made noise when he was watching sport. He doesn't see them as often as he should of course but on the occasions when he does come, htey have fun with him, and when we lived with him he was a menacing figure who anchored any feeling of fun or lightheartedness before it got off the ground.

So the guitl we take on when we leave our children's fathers (iykwim), we generally I mean, is so misplaced. Nothing will prevent him from being a good father except himself. I think my x saw that a couple of years after I'd ceased all communication with him. That if we never ever spoke, never communicated, it became harder for him to blame me. Harder, not impossible of course. :-)

I read about fathers here who sit there shushing thier children all weekend and I think, that could have been us if we'd stayed together 'mum and ddad' for the children's sake. arghghgh, the thoughts of it.

JennyFromTheBog Sat 20-Apr-13 09:53:17

oh yes, the nice then nasty then silence routine. then nice. then anger. then silence. the space between each phase gets longer each cycle until you're finally pretty much left alone.

JennyFromTheBog Sat 20-Apr-13 09:58:28

sorry for multiple posts. To add to what cogito says, prepare for accusations of cold-heartedness. YOu are cold -hearted/selfish not to forgive me/give me another chance. You are so critical (to observe my glaringly obvious faults) a nicer woman would overlook my very minor personality quirks, but because you're a selfish bitch you zone in on slight flaws and turn them into a big deal! you're so judgemental! it's so impetuous of you to break up a family! what has prompted this? (eh, years of being ground down?) you have no reason ? (that is acceptable to me!) so you are breaking up a family on an impetuous selfish whim!

Then silence.

then "you know i was thinking about the time we got the boat to france and I realised how funny you are........."

Then, when that doesn't garner the right response, back to the begining.

Just be prepared for it. Apologies if this is incoherent and wafflly

lilachair Sat 20-Apr-13 10:57:04

That makes perfect sense Jenny . You've explained it perfectly x

PoppyField Sat 20-Apr-13 12:42:20

OP - have been lurking. You're doing great telling your mum and starting to get RL recognition and support. There will be lots more to come amongst your friends and family as you start to confide in them.

Jenny - you're very acute -you're describing my STBXH - the nice and nasty routine, then mainly nasty for years and the 'you're so selfish to break up our family' when I finally got up the guts to stop it. AND I now get the strange coded messages through my five year old 'Mummy, why are we living in Daddy's house, he paid for it.' And just last week I got the 'Can I just take DD out on Sunday' (i.e not DS who craves his attention just as much'). It takes the cake. I try to keep communication to an absolute minimum for exactly the same reason - it becomes much harder (but not impossible) to blame me for stuff. But god, the house is a different, lighter, happier place without him around. Thanks for putting that into words.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 12:48:01

Jenny no it's not waffly, made perfect sense.

And yes, that is how it is every time we argue and I don't immediately back down and apologise for "my behaviour". I am accused of being cold, unemotional and unfeeling. He accuses me of snapping at little things (maybe because I'm wound up tighter than a coiled spring and always on my guard - wonder why that would be?) and he says HE is the one who is walking on eggshells around ME.

Then he reminds me how hard he works (that's not the issue), how he is a good bloke (even if that were true, I never said he wasn't) and how I should be thankful that due to HIS efforts we have a nice big house, cars etc etc and how much worse my life would be if we split up (so my efforts of doing pretty much all the housework, childcare and working part time are superfluous are they?).

He says things to me during arguments that I would never say to anyone, let alone someone that I was supposed to love. And then, after he has talked at me for an hour (or sometimes 3 or 4, til I dont even know what year it is) in an unnecessarily loud voice, constantly interrupted me and told me everything I have said is wrong, I'm then further derided for not "ending the argument" by giving him a cuddle. If I cant take anymore of a verbal battering and walk away to clear my head, I'm accused of "avoiding the issue" and "refusing to talk" and so there is another "fault" of mine to beat me over the head with.

PoppyField Sat 20-Apr-13 12:56:30

God he is an arsehole. This is torture for you OP. Yep - when they say things you would never dream of saying to anyone, (let alone the person they are supposed to cherish most in the world) - it is horrifying. You realise that there is no respect there, nothing, nowt. It took me a long time to get over the 'If he loves me, how can he say those those things?' questions, because I felt so, so hurt... eventually I worked it out. He. Didn't. Love. Me.
It stopped being quite so hurtful and became liberating when I finally did the maths. Good luck. You are doing fab and you are working it out for yourself. I feel for you, but life will be better without him.

imustbepatient Sat 20-Apr-13 13:11:49

You poor thing. I left my ExH as he was emotionally abusive but even he didn't reach some of the lows that your H has inflicted on you.

Jennyfromthebog your posts express it very clearly, and in response to the question you put in one of your earlier ones, no, no one ever regrets leaving.

Very best wishes and good luck to you OP. I hope, as I did, that you look back on this point as the time you took your life back and started enjoying living again, on your own terms.

Fluffymonster Sat 20-Apr-13 13:52:56

You do everything with the kids while he sits back, you do the housework while he pretty much switches off when he gets home (so it seems). And you work part-time.

He may work hard in his job, but seems to be making zero effort at home, while you're taking up all the slack.

It must be exhausting, and on top of that he makes unwelcome sexual demands, criticises your appearance, and demands you to give him cuddles after he's verbally abused you, and negated what you say. He sounds self-absorbed and toxic. Your happiness is not dependent on him being around at all - quite the opposite. It's not all about him.

Big houses and nice cars are no substitution for feeling loved and respected, being comfortable in your own skin, having self-confidence, living in a peaceful, happy environment with your children, and not having your thoughts, feelings and opinions constantly ignored and negated.

Your opinions matter - of course they do. You are not behaving badly or wrong, for trying to express them. If he can't even take your thoughts seriously, and listen when you are clearly unhappy - he is GASLIGHTING. Emotional abuse heaped on emotional abuse.

OxfordBags Sat 20-Apr-13 14:03:12

Je is telling you heis all these things, caring, loving, affectionate, hands-on, and so on and so forth, but he's not actually being or doing them, is he? OP, he sounds really abusive, selfish, controlling and a shit father and terrible husband. You sound sparky and sweet and thoughtful and intelligent and giving. The sad thing is, however fab you are cannot compensate for the hurt of having such a wanker for a dad.

He sounds incredibly immature and very narcissistic. Everything is about him and how outraged he is that you are basically daring to be a real human being just like he is (which is clearly is incapable of comprehending), with needs, ideas, flaws, rights, etc. That he will berate you for hours then be angry cos you won't cuddle him is true narcissistic abuse. He is stunted at the level of a toddler. But what makes actual toddler selfishness and sociopathy bearable is that they will grow out of it wuick enough and the rest of them makes up for that tiny negative side. Whereas he will never get better than he is now and offers virtually nothing positive in any other way.

I feel like crying for your poor kids whose dad can't be bothered to do anything with, do anything for, won't even let them enjoy Xmas properly, unless it's for show. They will know this is wrong and odd, and being kids, will internalise it as being their fault.

You could do much better. Even being alone forever in a hovel would be better than this.

Fluffymonster Sat 20-Apr-13 14:15:43

It's like when one person in a relationship says "I'm not happy, there's a problem" - and the other one says "No, you're imagining it, everything's fine!"

Of course it isn't fine.

The very fact that one of them has a problem, means there's a problem - no matter how much the other one tries to deny it. To deny someone the right to express a problem, no matter how much you like the status quo is abusive.

It's telling that person "My perception, is more valid than your perception." The other person ends up questioning their own feelings and instincts, and this is ultimately very damaging - they may not have physical marks, but it's a breaking of their spirit. Which is why emotional abuse is a form of domestic violence.

JennyFromTheBog Sat 20-Apr-13 15:03:07

Maybe the quickest way to end any argument from now on is to agree, yes you're a good bloke, yes you've worked hard.

I realised my x would never apologise for being so awful to me. He just felt entitled, so it would be like trying to get a farmer to feel guilty about keeping his cows in the barn not in the guest bedroom, that is the kind of challenge you'd have to get my x to feel any blame for the way things worked out with us.. so now, I just say 'the dynamic between us failed'. The relationship was not a success. But I didn't have that mumsnet knowledge to begin with. I left my x in 2007 and hadn't discovered mumsnet. I only learned later that it's pointless seeking their understanding or their approval (!). Honestly, I sought his approval to leave him. I wanted, no needed him to understand that I'd had no choice but to leave him. So, I wish I'd had mumsnet. I could have fastforwarded myself through 18 months of pointlessness if I'd had the likes of mathanxiety, anyfucker, sgb, anniegetyourgun, bertiebotts saying to me 'don't engage, don't engage, don't engage'.

Ah well! I'm free now.

Greatdomestic Sat 20-Apr-13 16:26:54

OP, I haven't read all of the responses yet but in response to your question, no it's not. I don't think it's subtle at all, totally blatant.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 16:29:04

Fluffymonster that sums the whole scenario up very concisely, except tbh he doesn't even work that hard. He works Mon-Fri, occasional weekends. The nature of the work is such that some months we're really busy and he does work long days, but then when it's slack he sits around much of the day on the computer. I'm not saying he should be working flat out 24/7, but the times when we're not busy he does nothing extra round the house to help me. And it's not like I haven't asked. Several time I've suggested that I might be less tired if he did a bit more, like put the kids to bed or cook the occasional meal. Nothing.

OxfordBags that's the nicest thing anyone has said to me for a long time (apart from the kids, who tell me they love me every day, but you know what I mean). And you're right, he only spends time with them when he has to. Last weekend after yet another big bust up I took myself off for the day to clear my head and left him with the kids. Apparently they had a great time, had breakfast and tea out and went to a bouncy castle thingy for an hour. But mostly when we go out something happens to turn the day into a shit time for all.

And something you mentioned struck a chord. he insists that he's not stopping me going out and seeing friends. And yet, suspiciously, almost every time I go out (which is once in a blue moon) he either manages to contrive an argument just before I go out (thus ensuring my evening is blighted by bad feeling) or else he'll make a "joke" about how I'm abandoning him. Oh, how I laugh.....

I would love a little hovel, just for me & the kids. And the cats.

"I would love a little hovel, just for me & the kids. And the cats".

What's stopping you ultimately?. Please do not be with him when you are 41 years of age. Life's too short to spend it in misery with an abusive and self absorbed narcissist like your H.

Stropzilla Sat 20-Apr-13 16:47:01

Please just go ahead and get your own little place, just you the kids and the cats. Keeping you in fear and effectively raping you is evil. You don't need your kids to think this is normal behaviour and YOU don't need this behaviour. You will be so much better off without him terrorising you. Why can you not just do it? It'll be hard and scary but this time next year you will be so much happier as will your kids.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 20-Apr-13 17:04:24

Sorry, maybe I haven't said it explicitly in an earlier post. I have every intention of leaving him, and as I'm not 41 til November have time to do it by then, although tbh I'm hoping for a damn sight sooner than that!

I am, by nature, a quite cautious person anyway, and I think this is one of those times when "slowly, slowly, catchy monkey" is very apt.

I am getting my head round things, I am making plans in my head and will make plans on paper that I can keep at my mums house. I'm doing my research and figuring everything out as much as I can before I act, then I can act from an informed position of strength rather than not having a fecking clue what I'm doing.

I will NOT be with this man for any longer than is necessary. Yes, I'd love to tell him to go to hell, take the kids to my mums house & breath a sigh of relief, but that would mean more upheaval for the kids. For the sake of a couple of weeks I can hopefully be a but more in control of how I go, rather than rushing into it.

Stropzilla Sat 20-Apr-13 17:07:35

Good for you! Take your time, prep what you need and under no circumstances let him know you are leaving until you are gone. Then change your number and do not let him know where you are.

flippinada Sat 20-Apr-13 17:28:00

"And something you mentioned struck a chord. he insists that he's not stopping me going out and seeing friends. And yet, suspiciously, almost every time I go out (which is once in a blue moon) he either manages to contrive an argument just before I go out (thus ensuring my evening is blighted by bad feeling) or else he'll make a "joke" about how I'm abandoning him"

My XP used to do this to me. It's awful, isn't it? In the end I found it easier just to not do stuff, but we all know where that leads.

It sounds like the saying 'life begins at 40' really will apply to you. smile

How very empowering to hear your resolve.

I did the same. I'm so glad I did 9 years ago. I am happy. There is no shouting in my life. Home is a sanctuary rather than a battlefield. I do not have to put on a false face as I walk in my front door. I relax and am grateful.

I just want to highlight another sign you're in an abusive relationship - wise as Oxford is, she should not be the person who said the nicest thing to you in months. That should be your partner.

My wake up call was after a meeting at work when a few people starting saying nice things about me and my capability - I was really touched. As I sat at my desk afterwards reflecting on how nice it felt I took a look at my life and wondered how the fuck a bunch of relative strangers made me feel better than my H! And that was the start of me questioning the life I was existing. I suffered very similar abuse to yourself. I took too long to leave. Unfortunately the cycle Fluffy talks about does happen and in my case the worse bits were much worse. So my advice is get your paperwork stashed at your Mum's so you can just walk out with the kids if you need.

Here to handhold, support, listen, and cheer you on.

IncogKNEEto Sun 21-Apr-13 09:21:34

Wearing I agree with you and all the other posters, he is not a nice man, you, your dc (& cats!) will be so much happier without his abusive self around.

If you do want a copy of the 'Why does he do that?' book I have a spare copy and if you PM me your Mum's address I am happy to post it to you. Keep strong, you will get there.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 21-Apr-13 09:58:37

Thanks so much IncogKNEEto, that is overwhelmingly kind. I'll PM you my mum's address now.

H & DC just gone out, he usually takes ds to church but has taken dd as well so I can get some rest, told him I was feeling really ill - only a slight exaggeration, I'm actually not feeling overly chipper this morning, but I can use time to ring Womens Aid and take another little step forward.

JennyFromTheBog Sun 21-Apr-13 10:45:27


I also reccomend that book.


JennyFromTheBog Sun 21-Apr-13 10:52:24

Teamakesitallpossible, I remember realising that my grandma had had an easier life than I was having. I'd always believed she'd had 'a hard life'. But a few comments from my mum made me reassess. (I mean obviously all the mean horrible comments and insults too, but....... ykwim). My grandma had had 8 children, but she made clothes out of patterns on her sewing machine and mum said that women would come round with patterns and the tea and home made flap jacks would come out and the sitting room always seemed to be full of women chatting and laughing. I realised that my grandma had her own money, was 'allowed' to have other women around to the house, she may have had 8 children but my granddad used to tell people proudly what a great seamstress she was and how the dresses she made when she didn't use a pattern were the best.

I felt so sad but somehow galvanised when i realised that two generations later my life was a milliion times harder.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 21-Apr-13 11:28:07

Just had a conversation with the lovely, lovely lady at WA, it has reinforced my resolve to leave this shitty marriage and move on. I've got the number for the local WA, they seem to have loads of support, advice etc so will get in touch with them this week.

Need to try and get to see a solicitor sometime soon, going to be tricky as I have so little free time & don't want to arouse H's suspicions. Need to find a decent solicitor first though. One of the mums at school that I'm friendly with is a solicitor, specialising in child protection, I could ask her, i'm just wary of telling anyone in case it gets back to H. She seems very trustworthy, our kids are all friends, have been to her house etc. Or maybe I should say that I have "a friend" who needs help? Although I suspect she might see through such a flimsy ruse.

Feeling a bit better now, and a step closer to freedom..

wordyBird Sun 21-Apr-13 11:57:57

Good for you Wearing!

Just to confirm what Tea said: if a stranger says something kind and it's a long time since you've heard a kind remark, that in itself tells you something's wrong.

Before my friend left her abusive relationship, I made a small compliment and recall that she was amazed. She almost treasured what I'd said. He'd made her think so little of herself, that everyday kindness was quite alien to her.

She's happy now, and you will be too Wearing smile

OxfordBags Sun 21-Apr-13 12:28:59

Yeah, and I'm not even really that nice wink

I'm an Atheist, but I just read your above post and thought "I don't know how he dare go to church, what a hypocrite!". He's hardly loving and cherishing you, is he?

Glad you've spoken to WA. Leaving this man will not only benefit you, it will be wonderful for your kids in the long run. It's not only terrible for them to have such an uninvolved, self-obsessed bore of a father dragging everyone down, but it's also terrible for them to learn lessons at life based on witnessing you being treated this way. By leaving, you can change their futures and give them a much better chance of having happy, equal relationships when they grow up.

I would confide in that friend. She sounds trustworthy and will be able to offer decent advice, not just a shoulder to cry on (which is always nice but at times like this, you need practical support as well). Don't be embarrassed, you have done nothing wrong, and she will have sadly heard it all before. What's more, her professionalism, especially with the child protection background, she is going to onow better than anyone the importance of anything you say not getting back to your OH. Perhaps she could refer you to an excellent colleague, if you don't want to make things awkward for the friendship by discussing things too much in depth?

One thing I would counsel though is to not think too much about what-ifs and future possible issues and barriers, etc., because that'll must freeze you into inaction. I say this, because I am the worst person in the world for all that! Also, his abusiveness makes you worry and overthink, and you know that freezes you, so strike the balance between planning and findout out options, etc., and just going for it smile

BooMum123 Sun 21-Apr-13 12:46:35

OxfordBags you are very wise... As are lots of posters here. Second all of it.

I suppose might also help to remember that all of us here probably have some experience of something similar to what's happening to you, whether personally or a good enough friend to realise what was up. So you're not on your own, however much it must feel like that sometimes.

And you do sound sweet and sparky and all of those things - smart, too, which appreciate sometimes doesn't help matters all that much.

Hope you're okay

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 21-Apr-13 14:01:18

I don't feel so alone anymore BooMum123 since I've spoken to my mum and all you lovely people here. To paraphrase wordyBird, I'm amazed at the kindness and support I've been shown and really do treasure it. It's making a shit situation bearable, because now I know it isn't me, it's him, and I'm not the only person who has been through this. And the fact that other people have survived it and come through it and are happy now gives me immense hope for mine & the kids future.

I think I will speak to my friend about solicitors OxfordBags, she seems trustworthy & very level headed. And yes I agree, there is a risk of me over planning, esp being a bit of a perfectionist, but I just want to know where I stand legally and what is the best way to move forward. WA sounds like they'll be a big help.

OxfordBags Sun 21-Apr-13 14:05:40

I think you'll get things right, Wearing. After all, you've had to do so mich planning and sorting and thinking and working things out in this relationship, that the silver lining is that you have all the skills needed to work this out for yourself and your Dc very well smile

PurpleThing Sun 21-Apr-13 14:22:03

Local WA may have good ideas on which solicitor to use. I can email or phone the woman I see instead of going in, which is easier.

I've just read that book and I think you will recognise a lot of your h's behaviour, even the nice things he does.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 21-Apr-13 14:30:01

I'm pleased you're looking for a way forward and outward, Wearing. Just a thought on the thing about buying tickets to something you really want to go to, and whether that constitutes being nice: from my cynical perspective it looks like he bought tickets to the right to carry on abusin'. As part of ongoing behaviour that included being respectful and affectionate it would mean something. As the occasional sweetener when he senses you're nearing the end of your tether, not so much.

Jux Sun 21-Apr-13 14:30:47

Oh that every day kindness people show each other as a matter of course! It's an asolute killer when you've been so long without it that you've forgotten that that's what normal people do.

Keep going, Wearing. Your life and your children's lives are soon going to be unrecognisable! Good luck.

Fluffymonster Sun 21-Apr-13 15:14:04

So glad you're getting support in RL wearing - I often think the hardest and darkest days are the ones leading up to a decision. You're reclaiming your life back and it takes courage, but so worth it, and better for your dc not to be in such a toxic environment. Yes speak to your friend - once you start using your energies on yourself instead of keeping the peace and suppressing your own inner voice, you'll be surprised how strong and resourceful you can be.

JennyFromTheBog Sun 21-Apr-13 16:04:07

Yes, really glad to hear you've rung WA!

I agree with Anniegetyourgun wrt the tickets. Just because a toxic person occasionally does something slightly nice doesn't mean they are owed loyalty or forgiveness.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 21-Apr-13 17:12:32

Oh my goodness, I have just read the "Out of the FOG" traits of narcissistic personality disorder. This is so my H. esp the Always & Never statements that he uses when we argue, the alienation & isolation, the sense of entitlement, the grooming, Everything, it's all him.

Even the cheating; he has told me in the past (and on more than one occasion, so it must be true) that I'm the only person (with whom he's had a relationship) that he hasn't cheated on - like I'm supposed to be impressed by that?! Is that supposed to make me feel special? Really? actually just makes me suspicious, although I've no evidence that he ever has been unfaithful, frankly it wouldn't be that huge a shock if I now found out he has been.

My mum has always said of him "it's all about him" and it is. It's like he has the leading role in the epic saga of his own life and everyone else just has a walk on part, like some weird version of The Truman Show.

JennyFromTheBog Sun 21-Apr-13 18:34:42

Is that a book or a link?

My x made me feel like that too, that I just had a minor role (that exhausted me) in the play about HIS LIFE. Also felt that he very much cast me in the role. I hadn't chosen my own role. He chose his of course.

OxfordBags Sun 21-Apr-13 18:48:12

Wearing, the most depressing but ultimately freeing thing about NPD people is that they are so predictable, so like they're all reading from the same script, that it does help you see that all their shittiness and weirdness simply has nothing whatsoever to do with anything you've ever done wrong or inadequately or whatever - it's all to do with them being pathetic, fucked-up and self-obsessed. Nothing anyone could ever would ever be enough for him, never right for him. No-one else is real the way that he is, in his mind. Everyone else's needs, wants, life, personality either exist to serve him, make him look good, feel good OR they are a deliberate affront to him, an attack, they are hurting him, he is the victim, poor him, blahdifuckingblah!

It's never been about you or the DC. So you go ahead and truly make life begin at 40 and make it about you and the Dc at last! I know you can do it smile

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 21-Apr-13 22:27:20

Jenny it's a link from the thread "support thread for those in emotionally abusive relationships: 20", under the heading websites, it's the third link down, called Out of the FOG. It lists a whole load of personality disorders. Very enlightening.

No-one else is real the way that he is, in his mind. Everyone else's needs, wants, life, personality either exist to serve him, make him look good, feel good OR they are a deliberate affront to him, an attack, they are hurting him, he is the victim, poor him, Have you met my H? grin

JennyFromTheB0g Mon 22-Apr-13 13:17:20

i think I have met him yes !

OxfordBags Mon 22-Apr-13 13:22:24

He might have been my Ex boyfriend... Is he very tall with an ill-advised back tattoo? wink

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 22-Apr-13 13:54:02

No, but thanks for the tip; if I ever meet an individual fitting that description I shall run in the opposite direction as fast as my little legs can carry me!

Actually H is tall, no tattoo though but about 5 stone overweight - which makes his judgemental attitude towards other women's appearance all the more galling & hypocritical.

JennyFromTheB0g Mon 22-Apr-13 18:34:14

wow.............. I hadn't pictured him being overweight when he was nagging you to wax this and pierce that and bleach the other. grrr. (on your behalf)

JennyFromTheB0g Mon 22-Apr-13 18:35:43

it's funny how they transfer their complexes though, when i met my x, i had a decent circle of good friends and he really had none to speak of. He drove away my friends, isolated me from them, was rude to them even when they all to begin with gave him a chance, and then....... he had umpteen strops at me about our poor social life and how we'd no friends and no mutual friends :-0 O.o

Anniegetyourgun Mon 22-Apr-13 20:14:55

Yes, exactly.

after 6 months when i?d lost 1 1/2 stone, and gone from a size 16 to a 12 (im 6ft) he told me one night as i was getting into bed that ?he didn?t fancy me anymore, my tits were all saggy and I?d ruined my body and he wanted me to have a boob job

Methinks Mr Fatty was a wee bit jealous of your achievement in losing weight and toning up. Rather than work at himself properly he would prefer to drag you down into his private pit of self-disgust. How very immature.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 22-Apr-13 20:24:12

Jenny, am I married to your ex?! Ditto with the friends. when we met I had a small group of very good friends, and many good work colleagues that I used to go for a cheeky couple of drinks with in the local pub on a Friday night. After he met them he didn't have a good word to say for any of them, and every time I went out on a Friday after work he'd ring my mobile to ask how long i'd be and who I was with and where we were. At the time I naively took it that he really wanted to be with me, now I can see it was him controlling. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing? In the end it was easier not to go out than have the huff when I next saw him.

All of the couples that we've had as friends have mysteriously drifted away. He's down to one friend that he sees regularly, I don't have any close friends, and if I did I wouldn't invite them to our house, as I can never get a word in edge ways, H totally dominates conversations or interrupts me on the rare occasions that I do talk. And yes, he moans that we never go out with friends and why don't I organise things "because I'm a woman" hmm

I do sometimes wonder whether he is a bit bipolar. His sister has had it for years & they are both very obnoxious similar personality-wise. He seems to flip from being high as a kite, rushing about doing a million things at once and "isn't life great!!!" to suddenly "oh woe is me, I have so many problems, nobody else has problems like this" like Johnny Nice Painter from The Fast Show

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 22-Apr-13 20:26:21

Annie, I genuinely hadn't thought of that, but that would make sense. And it would be doubly annoying to him because he'd badgered me into going to the gym with the PT in the first place!

Wearing I have been out of a verbally and emotionally abusive marriage for 7 months now. We are managing to co-parent our 2 and 5yr old dc very well and the divorce is underway.
You will not recognise yourself in a few months' time once you've had the time and space to relax and be yourself. Your life will be transformed, I promise you. All of my friends and family have commented on how different I look, how much more relaxed I am now.
Good luck.

Jenny0101 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:09:45

wearing yeh, My x had a nasty remark to make about all of my friends. The single one with short hair he called her sargeant lezbo hmm, although, she ended up married to a lovely man and we went to their wedding, although, he orchestrated a huge row before we set off. I nearly had to go on my own.

Jenny0101 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:11:01

ps, yes, on rare nights out he'd text me to ask where I'd hidden the sieve or something. ffs.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 22-Apr-13 21:28:50

he orchestrated a huge row before we set off

Why do they do that? I've lost count of the number of times we've missed parties, nights out because a fight has materialised out of nowhere.

Matchsticks - thanks, that's reassuring. I'm not sure how well H will co-parent tbh. I hope for the kids sake he grows up a little bit and learns to be slightly less of a selfish twat, but frankly my hopes aren't high. I am hoping that I am a lot more relaxed and happy myself though.

I feel like I owe my kids a huge apology, not only for lumbering them with a lazy, tosser of a father but also for my sometimes snappy behaviour over the last few years. I only hope that once I am free I can be a better, more fun mum. Who knows, we might even permit ourselves a laugh and a giggle without being shushed. I mean, what sort of person put the desk with the computer on it in the middle of the house under the stairs and then complains about being disturbed? Maybe one that wants to be at the centre of everything? Aah, it's all becoming clear.

Jenny0101 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:31:51

I know what you mean. After I left my x and I'd got them into new schools and sorted out a new place to live, and my family and friends were all so relieved for me, it really kicked in, that realisation that that part I couldn't fix. I could never give them a decent, kind, good humoured, sane, selfless, compromising father........ But. That was 5+ years ago and I've accepted it now. They think better of him than I do anyway, which rankles (wrankles?) but I guess it's for the best.

Jenny0101 Mon 22-Apr-13 21:35:49

ps, I also knwo what you mean about being snappy. sad I knwo they needed me MORE not less, and sometimes I was just so ground down I couldn't pull the cheerfulness out of the bag.

Daisypops Mon 22-Apr-13 21:47:12

I was in your situation a year ago. I broke free for my childrens sake. 6 months on I am like a new person and me and my children are happy and full of life.

Im still recovering. Hes still been abusive. But im stronger now and can see him for what he is.

Get your plan to together and stick to it. This is the end of a new chaper and the start of a much happier one. X

Daisypops Mon 22-Apr-13 21:48:15

Meant the end of a chapter confused

Daisypops Mon 22-Apr-13 21:52:52

Wearing...I was a shit mum when I was with exdp. I was depressed and my babies suffered. My eldest dd is 6 and there is a marked improvement in her behaviour since we've seperated.

I too am like a new woman. My mum nearly wept on sunday she said 'ive got my little girl back'

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 23-Apr-13 12:25:40

Daisypops, I'm so pleased that you've got your life back, and happy for your mum too; it must be awful to watch your children & grandchildren in that situation. My mum says she wishes she'd said something to me sooner but was worried that I wouldn't believe her and then I wouldn't like her for what she'd said (hope that makes sense, brain not functioning well today).

I'm having a really poop day today, been feeling sick since sunday and have hardly eaten a thing, I just cant face food atm. And sleep is not good either, dd wakes up every night between 1-3 am because she's had a bad dream so comes in for a cuddle for 10 minutes, then by the time she's settled again I'm wide wake with thoughts whizzing round in my head.

I just feel so sad today sad would someone mind holding my hand for a bit?

I will

<grabs hand and squeezes>

Is there anything specific you're feeling sad about?

Could you manage soup? You really need to eat to maintain your strength.

Jenny0101 Tue 23-Apr-13 12:34:42

It's not easy. You're in that phase where to be blunt, you're allowing the anaesthetic to wear off, and that is fucking brutal. I think that I tranced myself into an anaesthetised state for about 7 years (omg the shame of it now) and I was on auto-pilot. Dreadful things happened, and quite regularly, but I put a lot of effort into suppressing their meanings. ANYWAY imo, you're bound to need hand-holding right now because you are coming up for air now. It's scary because you know that change is hard. Even change for the better is effort. It's part of the human condition to resist change I think!! I'm not a brave person. I'm hardwired to be cautious. So, for a long, long time, I think I didn't allow myself to think about being pro-active and bringing about change, cos I was afraid that I would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire. (I'm the same poster as 'from the bog' btw, frequent name-changer). So, when it gets to the point where you know that whatever bumpy road lies ahead bringing about those adjustments you have to make, if you're to be true to yourself and live with happiness and integrity and cut the treatment out that you know you don't deserve, then,,, you need to take a huge deep breath. Cos although you are very very very definitely doing the right thing, the irony is that it is easier on an hour by hour basis to just do nothing. Of course it is. Even on a day by day basis I guess. The sheer amount of effort required to sort it all out!! to sort out a new life when you're tired and ground down! well, omg. it aint easy. so, here's a brew and a [handhold] grin for whatever it's worth. I hope this helps a bit. So many of us have been on this path and I don't think anybody regrets it. But I would liken it to taking the deepest breath of your life and then swimming UPHILL. That is what it's like. But you will get through it and the relief you'll feel will be like a high that you can live off, even when times are fraught with practical stresses.


Daisypops Tue 23-Apr-13 12:36:28

I'll hold your hand too.

You will have good days and bad days. But think to the future. And remember how happy and different your new life will be.

You need soup and fresh fruit. That was my diet for a few months when I went through it.

Lack of sleep and hunger is not good.
Eat and try have a 10 min nap.

You will be fine. If I can do it anyone can

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 23-Apr-13 12:49:08

Thanks for all the hand holds (although I think I've ran out of hands for the minute so anyone else will just have to form an orderly queue wink), I think I'm just feeling so confused about everything, I'm still having little niggling doubts, well maybe not doubts but there's the feeling way in the back of my mind that maybe it is all me, but then maybe thats the part of me that is finding it too tough too face up to changing, because it is going to be such a huuuuuge upheaval and maybe, as Jenny says, you anaesthetise yourself so that you don't have to face that challenge.

I'm also really not good at subterfuge and lying, which is what I feel I'm doing by not just coming out & telling H now that its over, but I know now is not the right time, I really want to speak to a solicitor first (I have been in touch with the local WA outreach, they are going to recommend someone in the area). I stupidly didn't think it would be that hard to carry on living the lie that I've been living for the last god knows how many years, i thought, "well, i've been pretending that everything is fine when it isn't, i'll just carry on doing that for a week or two til I can get my shit together" only i'm finding its not that easy.

Jenny, what you say all makes perfect sense. Sadly it doesn't make it any easier to cope with, but understanding goes a long way in my book

soup and fresh fruit is an excellent plan, Daisypops, will go and get some now smile

I've just gone back and reacquainted myself with your fast moving thread.

Jenny and Daisy are right. This is a very hard situation to be in. You have new information but you're having to live a lie apart from when you're talking to your Mum or on here.

I found it really hard to get my head around why I had allowed myself to be treated this way and got very angry with myself and XH in the eight months I lived with him once I noticed something was wrong. Three of those months I kept my silence and it was awful. I didn't eat, I drank too much, I punished myself. Then I asked him to go and it took five months, and an escalation of the abuse, for him to go.

This could be a long battle so food and looking after yourself physically and mentally is really, really important. I will PM my location to you and I'm happy to be a RL listening ear if that's what you need.

Ahhh, cross post! It is hard to live the lie. Once you realise you are living a lie it made me feel like I'd stooped to his level.

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 23-Apr-13 13:06:39

Just seen this. You'll have seen me on the EA thread? Am cheering you on.

More easy nutrition: Weetabix; milky coffee.

Fluffymonster Tue 23-Apr-13 14:13:58

Another one rolling up to hold your hand too.

<smiles and squeeze of hand>

Jenny Great post - 'anaesthetic wearing off' - I think that's so true.

I was with an ex for getting on 10yrs - first bf, first love - in awe. I spent nearly all my twenties trying to recapture what was so wonderful in the beginning. Looking back - the relationship was pretty much dysfunctional and destructive for most of the time - but with some lovely highs (he was bipolar). Out of our entire time together, I would say I was blissfully happy for about a year, and it deteriorated to a state of impending 'mutual assured destruction' (god, we'd actually joke about that phrase in a gallows humour sort of way). The amount of energy and time, I used up trying to make it work...fuck. After countless circular arguments and life slipping by, I realised finally that the common denominator all the "you and me against the world" type problems, was HIM.

Leaving, was the hardest thing - because you sort of carry the responsibility for it. He tried to make me feel guilty for 'abandoning' him (as if anyone leaves simply on a whim, after 10yrs, yeah right). I lurched from feeling euphoric - to feeling completely numb. For a while, I felt like I was a ghost - not attached to anything, anyone...just walking around empty. Lost tons of weight over those first few mths, because nothing tasted of anything. I chain-smoked and didn't sleep. I went to the drs and got some anti-depressants, and slowly, slowly - started to heal.

Looking back now, it was the beginning of something amazing as well as terrifying. I spent my 30th birthday, staring at the four walls of my room, in a shared house with 3 other women - after living with xp in relatively comfortable 'cosy coupledom' for years - it felt surreal. I played a lot of sad songs (my poor housemates!!). Yet - being around 'normal' people, in a friendly house, with women who actually had social lives, friends coming in and out etc - was indescribably helpful. Just soaking up the atmosphere of what it was to be an independent, capable person again.

So...take up opportunities to be around other people - reach out to old friends, talk. I talked to anyone who would listen lol. I found friends would start ringing me regularly (even though the friendship had drifted before then) - just to check I was OK. Sometimes my dearest friends would invite me out - like going to a park, or a walk somewhere, and I would be a bit like a zombie, sat quietly on the perifery, not having much to say. Shit company. But it's surprising how kind people can be - they didn't expect me to be, or do, anything. Just to be there, listening to gentle conversation and chat was lovely.

Make lists of simple things to do, to get you through the day. Mine literally started off with stuff like "Get up." "Brush hair" "Eat" lol! But ticking things off was quite nice.

Schedule in some nice things - I started to go for massages once a month.

It's not easy but time really does heal. I never thought I'd be happy again - but life has a way of surprising you.

My 31st birthday was fucking fantastic btw - surrounded by friends, and loved ones, no drama, just simply me, in charge of my own life, happy - self confident, dating again, feeling strong and even though I do say so myself - never looked so bloody gorgeous in years! grin

Fluffymonster Tue 23-Apr-13 14:18:09

X - post - damn too late for the hand-holding!

Oh and I wanted to say - anyone who thinks Brian Blessed is a star and enjoys HIGNFY is, imho, obviously too funny, smart and sparky to stay with plonkers who don't appreciate them as they are. smile

GoSuckEggs Tue 23-Apr-13 14:56:36

stay strong op.

garlicyoni Tue 23-Apr-13 15:09:47

I think it helps a little, once you've swallowed the red pill / let the anaesthetic wear off, to start thinking of your STBX as an enemy. Apart from anything else, it tends to make a hell of a lot more sense of the myriad weird abuses you will now start noticing ... In this observant state, you'll probably find it extremely helpful to discuss it all on mumsnet and/or keep a journal.

As your hands are full (!) I'm sending you a companionable shoulder squeeze smile

Jux Tue 23-Apr-13 16:13:06

My shoulder's here too.

wordyBird Tue 23-Apr-13 19:00:12

Hope you managed to eat something, Wearing will feel better for a little food.

Brilliant posts here, and I love Jenny's from 12:34. It's true that even change for the better is effort (will be taking that to heart myself, Jenny).

I think the feeling that it isn't anything really, and maybe it's all me is so normal with EA, it's almost a marker that you're in an EA relationship.

It's not you though, it's him. Keep going forward.... brew

supafish Tue 23-Apr-13 19:11:52

Please leave this man before he compleatly ruins you and you DC s lives any more .

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 23-Apr-13 20:12:10

Thanks to all you lovely ladies for the hand holds, shoulder squeezes and cheers smile

Well, I feel a little better, took the kids for tea at a little local italian cafe and had soup & a bun and had a banana just now. Also trying to drink more as maybe a bit of dehydration? They do say (whoever "they" are) that we get much of our water each day from our food, so guess if I'm eating less I may be missing out water too.

Kids in bed, I'm in bed, feel absolutely wrung out. I was alomst asleep on my feet putting kids to bed. Maybe a good nights sleep will help, I just hope I get one.

Mum popped in to my work this afternoon, was nice to have a chat about what's going on with H and also just to have a laugh. Turns out my auntie (mum's younger sister) has always hated my H with a passion, since the day she met him.
As has my auntie's husband.
And my mums closest friend.
And my stepdad said, when my mum told him what was happening, that of course me & kids could stay at their house & he would lend me his car if I needed it.

I was wondering today how I should tell him it's over, when the time comes. By which I mean, do I cite the years of abuse as the reason I'm ending it, or do I just say that it isn't working anymore and we need to separate?

And second to that, what do we tell the kids? That mummy & daddy don't love each other anymore? Or that we don't want to live together anymore? I don't want to let them think for an instant that any of this is in any way their fault, they've suffered enough.

If I don't respond to any replies tonight, you'll know I'm asleep!

garlicyoni Tue 23-Apr-13 20:32:47

Oh, HURRAH, Socks! You've talked to people and they've validated you! I feel tremendously relieved; goodness knows how you feel grin So very pleased you have somewhere welcoming to go in the short term. Phew!

Personally, I wouldn't bother telling him he's abusive. You'll have to cite instances on your divorce petition and I'd do that in the least inflammatory language you can manage (though you could use the term 'emotional abuse' there.) Reason being that you've been trying to get him to change for xty years; one more sally now won't alter that, and would likely make him want to be nasty. There's plenty in your OP. Perhaps you can sum it all up, for now, as "You've been putting me down for too long, I've had enough." (I'm sure others will come up with something more exactly right!)

I'd put it this way to the DCs, too. They should know that we don't have to carry on living with people who call us names and try to bully us. Of course, it's not their fault, etc ...

Sleep well. xx

Daisypops Tue 23-Apr-13 21:06:54

You are already making progress. Don't mean that to sound patronising but I found that speaking to people empowered me.

I wouldnt mention EA. Just said your not happy and want to end it. If hes ananything like my exdp he won't accept the EA anyway and will give yoy some more EA for saying it.

I told dd's that mummy and daddy wont be living together anymore but still love them and loved eachother once. I just said it would be bettee without daddy here and it bloody well is :-)

cjel Tue 23-Apr-13 21:21:35

I want to say am in the queue hand holding.x In answer to you OP I stayed with mine 30yrs and had breakdowns etc etc, so you are not foolish in any way. Glad you've started to make your new lifexx

TheSilveryPussycat Tue 23-Apr-13 21:28:21

Ditto to the 30 years and breakdowns cjel.

Don't mention EA for reasons others have stated above. Remain strong - good that you have lots of RL back up. Expect all kinds of tricks from STBX as per the EA thread.

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 11:57:10

Morning Everyone. I spoke with my solicitor friend this morning, turns out she worked in family law for 10 years before she moved into child protection. She was just brilliant, really practical and down to earth, which suits me to a T. Sympathy & a shoulder to cry on is great, but nothing shifts a black mood (for me, anyway) than actually getting things done and moving forwards.

She ran through, in simple terms what will/could happen, talked about mediation etc, gave me the name of a good solicitor to use, which incidentally is one of the ones the lady from WA mentioned, so think I will go with them, they're only a few miles away.

She also said pretty much what everyone here has said, which is to use the least inflammatory language possible, whilst still being truthful. She said the main aim is to make a shitty situation as bearable as possible and to ensure that it is a fair a split as possible.

My only fear is that H will try and pull a fast one, he has said previously during arguments that if we split up he wouldn't be able to carry on running the business and so wouldn't be able to pay child maintenance. (he has also said he'd probably have to move away from area so wouldn't see the kids either - twunt) He's already wriggled out of paying any for his ex's kid by paying himself the absolute minimum wage and taking the rest in dividends or directors loan repayments. He's a cunning bugger who pays no heed to any laws or rules (they're just for people too stupid to risk being caught, right?) so I'm quite apprehensive about the whole thing. I'm quite happy to be honest and civil, I'm just not convinced it will be reciprocal. Maybe I need to start honing my own cunning skills now, just in case?

TheSilveryPussycat Wed 24-Apr-13 12:07:20

Yyy to honing cunning skills. It is possible to be honest (but don't volunteer info he doesn't need or talk about settlement except through sol if poss) and civil - and cunning.

Certainly hone your cunning skills; I think these will have to be fully employed.

I think your H will make your separation from him as long, painful and protracted as possible given his track record too. He will act like this to further "punish" you for leaving him.

Re mediation, I would think twice about using mediation at all because of his abusive behaviour. Infact I would not enter into any mediation at all with him. Abusive people are not reasonable at all and never will be, they use mediation to further beat their victims with.

To use mediation is to subscribe to the mistaken idea that abuse is related to "misunderstandings" or lack of communication. If discussion and compromise, the mainstay of mediation, could help in any way most domestic violence situations would be long ago resolved because victims of abuse "discuss and compromise" constantly. Mediation assumes both parties will cooperate to make agreements work; the victim has always 'cooperated' with the abuser; the abuser never cooperates.

Mediation can be and is ordered by judges/courts, as can counselling and mental health evaluations. They are tools in the abuser's arsenal to be used against the victim as often as he chooses. In order for mediation to work and to not make situations worse the parties involved must have equal power and must share some common vision of resolution. This is clearly not present when domestic violence has taken place in a relationship.

Mediation practitioners must be alert to the need to interview partners separately with specially designed questions in order to determine if abuse is or has been present. Many domestic violence professionals can train others to screen safely for domestic violence. To not do so risks unsuccessful mediations, at best, and increasing the victim's danger by colluding with the abuser, at worst.

A person who has been terrorized by an abuser is not free to participate in a mediation process with him, even if the mediator(s) assume or believe that they "understand". Being truthful about any of her needs or experiences in the abuser's presence or proximity practically ensures that she is in more danger later.

The mediator is left with a no win: either the victim's danger is increased, or she is not fully or truthfully participating, or both. The well meaning mediator may actually encourage the victim to feel safe enough to share information that could seriously compromise her safety. In any case the whole intent of mediation is lost.

To engage an abuser and a victim in a process that implies equal responsibility is damaging to both. The victim is once again made to feel responsible for the abuser's behavior, and the abuser is allowed to continue to not accept full responsibility for his behaviour choices.

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 12:27:52

Wearing, do what you have to do and if he threatens to have a breakdown, that's not your problem.

I couldn't agree more with what atilathemeerkat says. counseling or mediation is not going to help you. He won't suddenly 'get' it, as you know, he'll use the situation to his advantage. I did it and it just didn't achieve anything because I was too scared to reveal how awful he was and i had the feeling that hte woman thought i was a bit princessy or something. left me feeling a confused.

I was already bending over backwards so far my back was about to break. I was giving everything. He wanted to take more. And we set off to mediation, where he would be given a platform to say how my "behaviour" made him feel. confused

Anyway, the best thing to do is just to say no, mediation is not appropriate here because I don't love you and I want to split up. don't sugar coat it. Be quite factual. I've found that it's best not to say anything that can be argued with. eg, trying to give examples of why his behaviour was unacceptable. It is pointless, he'll come back with 'his side' and all anybody will hear is conflict, and in their ignorance and naievety they think it's six of one and half a dozen of the other.

NO. It's not.

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 12:36:28

I think what my friend was talking about, if I've understood her correctly, was not mediation as in counselling to stay together. It was mediation to facilitate the separation process, to reach an agreement about how we are going to spilt finances, arrange contact with the kids etc, and she did say that we did not have to have mediation together at the same time and place.

But points duly noted, Jenny and Attila, and thanks. I can see I'm going to have my eyes well and truly opened over the next few months.

Anyone know any good websites/books on cunning skill honing?

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 12:46:53

ah, hear you now, wrt to faciliating the separation process.

well, it took me ages to get around to reading it but lundy bancroft's book is THE CLASSIC. i identified that my x was 'The Water torturer' and 'The Blamer'. There are about six other types too. There are chapters in it that even now with 6 years distance help me because instead of getting upset thinking 'that's so unfair, how dare he just assume x,y &z' I think about 'the rewards' he was enjoying from railroading over me. ie. That is basically always getting his own way. That is a 'perk'. Who wouldn't enjoy that? Who would relinquish that power happily with good grace once they had enjoyed it for a few years?

So, with a bit of insight into his mindset, over the last six years I have 'trained' my x a little now don't get too hopeful, I really do mean a litte! that showing us (my family and me) the respect we demand gives him the rewards he previously got from walking all over us.

Let me link you to a website. I have read every page on this site. EVERY word. Hang on a sec!

"It was mediation to facilitate the separation process, to reach an agreement about how we are going to spilt finances, arrange contact with the kids etc, and she did say that we did not have to have mediation together at the same time and place."

Mediation to facilitate the separation process re finances etc will just be used by him to further beat you with. He will come at this with a perceived position of power and will use that against you as a result. You have stated yourself that he pays no heed to any laws or rules so mediation is not going to change that mindset he already has.

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 12:54:20

Yes Attila. I fear that that is how it goes.

But it doesn't look good in court if you have refused it I gather..... Never concede to be reasonable wearing, he will push push push push to get his way at your expense. It might be better to get a solicitor to draw up what you want first and then you can that to hand and refer to it 'my solicitor has advised me that THIS is fair. confused standing back here so that you can get better advice on this subject....

Here is the website that I have found so helpful. there are plenty but this one gives you a full picture and has a long list on the right hand side (scroll down) of different types of abusers and different personality disorders. A lot of it all links in, so read it all. There are pages in here that I've read fifty or sixty times. read this

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 13:13:38

Jenny, thanks for the link, I've just had a quick look, the being too nice page was esp interesting, I think that is me all over. IncogKNEEto has kindly sent me a copy of the Lundy Bancroft book, it's winging it's way to my mum's house as we speak smile.

Attila, I fear you may be right. Time to be on my guard.

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 13:19:25

Also read the page about the wisdom of letting a toxic person have the last word. It might be too early for that, but from now on before you waste vital energy going into verbal battle with him to protect your ground, think about whether it matters or not, the outcome of this verbal row in your sitting room. What matters? the legal stuff. Fight your corner of course, but legally. Save your energy for that.

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 13:26:43

Interesting isn't it the perception that needless = good. I think I have some confusion over those two. but my female friends are all good people. I have managed to have healthy female friendships, it is wrt men that I have tried (in the past) to be needless. I think. And so, like the article says, ended up with somebody who would do nothing for me, and blamed me for having needs.

cjel Wed 24-Apr-13 13:30:23

I was advised mediation didn't have to involve you being together and also that it is good to let them try and show how unreasonable they are then it looks good for you in court?

garlicyoni Wed 24-Apr-13 13:36:46

I went to mediation with mine. It was horrendous. Mediator insisted I yield a point for every point he 'yielded', where he was not actually giving out anything. He totally fooled her and I must have looked mentally incompetent, I was so anxious. As soon as we'd got outside - still on their doorstep - he raged, saying he would never disclose his financial details.

He didn't, either. We divorced without a financial settlement as I was too worn down and couldn't afford a solicitor with teeth - the one I had was feeble. If this forum had been available to me, OP, things may have turned out differently - for sure, I wouldn't have felt so broken down!

Glad you're getting your reinforcements lined up smile Keep taking care of yourself.

cjel Wed 24-Apr-13 13:39:08

How awful for you Garlic, Sounds as if mediator was incompetant not you. I hope you are not still broken

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 13:47:07

Yes, I have the whole "don't like to feel that I'm bothering people" thing. Maybe being an only child I just got used to doing everything for myself, maybe having a pronounced stutter meant that I literally couldn't ask for things. Who knows, but it's something that I'll watch out for from now on.

And something garlicyoni said a few posts back - the myriad weird abuses you will now start noticing - have noticed 3 things in the last 24 hours

1. last night H had to get me out of bed to discuss kitchen fitting with his 2 mates who are helping him. H was a total arse & rude, whereas one of his mates got me a chair to sit on and closed the doors so I wouldn't get cold (I was in my dressing gown with bare feet) and the other apologised for getting me out of bed more than once. and they both talked to me like a human being with opinions.

2. H had a go at dd this morning, she woke me up in the night again last night so this morning H said "dd, you'll have to stop waking up in the night, everyone is tired, mummy cant help daddy because you wake her up, and ds is still in bed" I thought that was so unfair!!! I quietly pointed out to him, but so that she could hear me, that all of us being tired is nothing to do with dd; I'm feeling poorly & not sleeping well generally, he is working hard & ds was up til 9 playing with his lego, none of which is dd's fault

3. yesterday morning, new units arrived for fitting, H is trying to stem a flow of water from a heating pipe he's just accidentally cut through, I'm about to leave house with kids for school. The conversation goes thus:
Me: the guys are here with the units, they want to know where to put them
H: come closer
Me: (stepping closer) the guys are here with the units
H: come closer
Me: I can't come any closer, I'm already here (I was standing right next to him)
H: [heavy sigh] Do you want me to have to stand up?
Me: No, I'm just telling you the guys are here with the units.
H: I'll stand up if you want me to (makes move like he's about to stand up)
Me: No, I'm not asking you to stand up, I'm just telling you the guys are here.
H: tell them to come here then

I mean, is it just me, or was there just no need for that whole exchange?

This is what it's like most of the time; I say something, he says "so what your saying is this", I say "no, what i said was..." cue 24 hour row with accompanying huffs and sniping.

Sorry, that was a bit ranty, just needed to vent!!

cjel Wed 24-Apr-13 14:16:57

Vent accepted.x

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 14:31:29

Sorry, just realised x post with garlicyoni - that does sounds horrendous, no wonder you were broken. I do hope you have recovered.

I also hope the mediator in question has chosen a more suitable career (like potting plants or weaving tofu) and is no longer blighting vulnerable peoples lives with their wishy washy "let's all be nice to each other" worldview.

garlicyoni Wed 24-Apr-13 14:56:54

Thanks, cjel & OP. That humour will stand you in good stead, Socks grin

You're right. He IS weird! "dd, you'll have to stop waking up in the night" confused Of course, people wake up on purpose don't they?!
And lol at cutting through the water pipe causing temporary deafness.

Nice to see you had such a clear demonstration of ordinary consideration (making sure you weren't cold after being hauled out of bed) vs spousal neglect. Carry on venting! x

Fluffymonster Wed 24-Apr-13 15:09:21

1. Why couldn't the conversation happen at a more reasonable time i.e. before you'd gone to bed? At the very least apologise for getting you up.

2. It's like the equivalent of 'kicking the cat' - things not going well - take it out on something smaller and weaker. Bullying basically.

3. Weird.

Sounds like every exchange is difficult or hard work.

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 15:30:27

The conversation happened then because they had just realised that the guy who designed the kitchen (who is inconveniently on holiday this week) had dropped a bollock and mis-measured one of the doors. So there was much hasty redesigning & working around going on. H couldn't decide which of the work arounds was best and needed a second opinion (fair enough) but no, he didn't apologise.

He does that quite often to the kids. Tells them not to do certain things because it "upsets mummy". I hate that so much, and I always try and undo the damage by apologising and explaining that no, they haven't upset mummy. Mummy is just ground down from from spending 15 years with an emotionally stunted fuckwit tired, or has a hard day at work, or whatever other reason I can think of that doesn't blame them and heap guilt upon them.

but it's what he learned from his parents. We all had to tiptoe round his mum, even his Dad, in case we upset her. Awful though it is to say, when she became really ill towards the end of her life I was sure she was enjoying it, in a perverse way, because she got so much attention, and could behave in whatever nasty, controlling way she felt because she was dying.

It's liberating isn't it? Seeing him for what he is and starting to realise that it is him, not you.

Conversation 3. sounds like he puts himself in the position of victim/martyr. How very, very exhausting for you.

On the subject of mediation. If stories of what others have done help - here's another. I 'mediated' via solicitors, no face to faces required I did use relate for counselling to help me tell him I wanted to separate but that's a whole other story. I used a parental agreement I found on the internet as the basis. It covered some quite unusual things as well as finances: how secondary school was going to be chosen, how we were going to split Christmas, birthdays, mother's day, what happened in the event of death in terms of grandparent's access, who was going to sign school forms, how much time out of school we could request for holidays, who was going to organise holiday clubs, what decisions we were going to both be involved in etc.

This was because I wanted to get on paper something that meant I didn't spend years being undermined by him and him fannying around trying to use my DS to control me. I have been thankful on a number of occasions when he reverts to type as been able to just point him back to what we've agreed rather than argue the point.

Like Jenny suggests, I took control and went with an initial proposal. I wrote everything down, I talked XH through the structure and process I proposed we use (but not the content though I did hint at what I was going to propose), gave the draft to my lawyer who sent a letter stating what I was proposing, he would get his lawyer to write back and accept things. Points that weren't accepted I asked him why on an email and asked for alternative proposals (because I wanted to keep costs down) and we closed things down that way. It was awful but it was worth it. Like garlic I compromised on more than I would have if MN were around and that's quite hard to reconcile with when I'm being critical with myself. But, on balance, it's done and there is nothing I can do to change it and I had to do, what I had to do to get out so I don't dwell on it for ages.

<goes to look in fridge at tofu to see whether a new jumper could be fashioned from it>

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 15:59:36

I used a parental agreement I found on the internet as the basis. That sounds like a really good idea Tea, because I can see him being a sodding nightmare and turning every minor decision into a major battle. Christ, he does that anyway, I dread to think how bad it'll be when we've split.

And you're right, it is bloody exhausting to live with someone who's glass is not only half empty but which has a crack in the bottom of it as well.

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 24-Apr-13 16:00:19

Oh, and if you haven't any tofu you could always try crocheting some lentils grin


cjel Wed 24-Apr-13 16:17:23

we found some lovely furry beetroot opened since easter in my fridge we could use for pom poms?

Jenny0101 Wed 24-Apr-13 18:59:06

It's very difficult to get a solicitor who believes you that you're dealing with a type of lunatic. I know that my solicitor thinks I was making it up when I told him certain things about my x.

Funnily enough, my X's solicitor had obviously been told I was a chaotic, stupid, lazy, dramatic, histrionic scrounging lyinng article, so the bizarre thing was that after three episodes in court over the space of three months, I felt that my x's solicitor had a higher opinion of me than my own did. Can that really be possible??? my x's solicitor obviously got the chance to grill me in the box and I was more than able for his questions, more than able for them. I came accross as somebody who wanted the sacrifices of parenting equalised and I detailed all the things I was doing for children wrt extra curricular activities, braces, etc.... He'd clearly been told what a hopeless lazy stupid liar I was, and he was met with somebody who could not only defend herself, but defend herself well and without any toooood. It was odd. I walked out of court and my x's solicitor looked me in the eye and I felt I had his respect.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 09:29:41

Jenny, that sounds like an awful experience, your solicitor was clearly an arse. Good for you that you held your own though. I'm hoping that given the fact that the solicitor I'm going to use has been "recommended" by WA that they will actually have lots of experience of this type of thing and won't treat me like i'm an imbecile.

cjel - mouldy beetroot pom poms on a woven tofu jumper? Very Vivienne Westwood! grin

Here's a multiple choice question for all you lovely people, extra points to those who get it right first time:

so, last night was my first session at the "Creative Writing to feel better" course at a local school. I have been wanting to do some sort of evening class for ages (by which I mean years, as only now has H realised that yes, he can look after his own kids while I go out for a few hours) and was really looking forward to it. So, at 6.30 I kissed the kids night night, kissed H, said "see you later, love" and headed to the door. What was his reply?

Was it
a) have a lovely time honey, see you later?
b) i hope the course is great, i'm sure you'll meet lots of new people
c) if you shag anyone wearing corderoy elbow patches I'll smash your face in?

Any takers? Am I the only one who thinks that the fact that he said it with a smile on his face doesn't make it a joke, or in any way funny? Yes, I know his sister left her ex for someone who bought her a cup of tea on her teacher training course, but it would be nice to be trusted not to do that, given that he has no reason whatsoever to suspect me of ever being unfaithful (which I haven't btw - when would I find the time?)

and to make matters worse, when I got the course there were only 2 other people there, one of whom was the tutor, so the course has been cancelled! I'm gutted!!

AND I only realised in the shower this morning that if I hadn't told H that the course had been cancelled he need never have known and I could have had 3 jours to myself every Wednesday night. Curse my innate sense of honesty and lack of natural cunning.

Oh for fucks sake. He is a knobber. And i completely recognise what you're going through. Get yourself on another course if you can so you don't lose the impetus. Having a space where you can be yourself is very important over the coming months.

Are you starting to get your plan together?

Is an appointment with CAB worth doing too?

cjel Thu 25-Apr-13 10:06:47

you are seeing this in a healthy way, what an idiot he is.I second finding something else you could do.x

You should be on a creative writing course! I know your last post had shocking and then disappointing news, but also - it was brilliantly written. You have a talent there!

But yes - what a horrible thing to say. Its just bad on so many levels. How could "smash your face in" ever be an acceptable thing to say? Its an evening class not an opportunity to find a shag. Where is the respect, trust, friendliness? Nowhere to be seen.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 12:47:44

Gosh, thanks Lily, I am now blushing furiously at the compliment blush

Taken Tea & cjel's advice & looking for another course , sadly most of them seem to be either during the day, or are intermediate/advanced courses, or are in something I really wouldn't fancy doing (City & Guilds PAT testing, anyone?). There is a 5 week Confidence Building course, starting early June, which might be helpful but rather less fun than I'd hoped.

Re the plan: I've rang the solicitors and made an appointment (have to say the woman who took my call wasn't quite as helpful as I was expecting, but hey ho, maybe she's having a bad day). Seeing my GP tonight; the solicitor said that I might be eligible for legal aid in cases of domestic abuse but I'd have to prove it, eg with a letter from my GP. i did go my gp 3 years ago and discussed what i now recognise, and im sure the gp did at the time, was EA. however, apparently its only admissible if its happened in the last 2 years. New Government rules hmm.

H is away Friday night and all day Sat, so have plans to get all paperwork together on Friday eve (with a glass of wine) then I can leave it all at my mums house for safe keeping.

Jenny0101 Thu 25-Apr-13 12:48:52

wearing my solicitor was in his early sixties and my x's solicitor was hardly 30. A lot of these things I only realised in hindsight, luckily, so I didn't have the weight of all of these realisations on my back the whole way through court processes.

Definitely use a solicitor recommended by WA. I think that that gives the judge a bit of a headsup sometimes.

Jenny0101 Thu 25-Apr-13 12:53:24

ps, I agree, saying it as a 'joke' isn't funny. It's still a threat.

go for the confidence building course! he will HATE that of course.

Fluffymonster Thu 25-Apr-13 13:01:43

shock So NOT the normal thing to say!

What an utter, insecure arse he is. "I'll smash your face in" is never funny no matter how much someone says it was a 'joke'. It just shows how warped his grasp of acceptable behaviour, is, if he thinks that was in any way OK.

I am going through a bad patch with DP at the moment (wondering whether to start my own thread about it actually). Hanging around Relationships has definitely opened my eyes to some stuff that's been going on, on my own doorstep. But anyway - even so, I can't imagine him saying anything remotely like that, as far-from-perfect as he is. He would say option A.

Just note it all down (or use this thread as a reminder). Yet another fine example of verbal and emotional abuse.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 13:17:29

I could tell him that my GP has recommended it grin then he won't be able to say a word against it!!

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 13:25:54

oops x post again blush, I meant I could tell him that my GP has recommended the Confidence building course, not that my GP has sanctioned domestic violence.

I've just read your thread and so much sounds familiar to a relationship I had in the past, especially the extravagant gestures, but they are just part of the abuse. Getting out of it was stressful and drawn out but it was absolutely worth it and it will be for you. Remember that you and the children have got decades of happiness in front of you. Good luck!

garlicyoni Thu 25-Apr-13 15:03:14

God, he's an arse.

I'd like to think you won't be there for the confidence classes - but something like that would probably be very good for you. I'm a fan of assertiveness training. More specifically, is there a Freedom Programme near you? Could do you the world of good, and you can always tell H it's a relationship skills class ... or art appreciation; who really cares what you tell him?

SnookyPooky Thu 25-Apr-13 15:17:13

Socks I have just read your whole thread and have to say what an incredibly wonderful and dignified lady you are.
I left an EA and DV relationship in 1996 and it was the best thing I ever did. Truly liberating.
Please keep updating so we know all is ok.

BranchingOut Thu 25-Apr-13 15:30:19

Go for the confidence building course.

Hi Op, just read the whole thread. The scales have been lifted from your eyes and you are now seeing exactly what is what, and are able to make your plans accordingly to leave this hideous, abusive narc.

One concern though, just want to make sure you are covering your tracks so he isn't reading all this on the computer. It was a comment earlier in the thread about the new kitchen, and the unless you are leaving me that made me wonder. But perhaps he says things like this anyway...

You said you are not very good at subterfuge. Need to hone that skill to make sure your secret plans remain secret and private.

Wishing you the very best of luck in getting away as soon as possible.

wordyBird Thu 25-Apr-13 19:13:42

Just to second what Lily said: please do try a creative writing course some time. An article (or book) written by you would be a treat to read. I mean it!

Re your H's choice of words - I have a book with a 'red flag behavioural checklist' for a violent/abusive man. Last on the list is 'use of words such as killed, smashed or kicked in everyday language'. sad

You are making great progress though, Wearing - you'll soon be out of there and enjoying a better life. You sound very positive.

More power to you!

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 22:25:33

Thanks to everyone for the warm words of support and encouragement, I really need them and they made me smile today. And who knows, in a few years time the MN book of the month might be by W.F.M. Socks grin

I'm worn out tonight, didn't get round to mentioning in earlier posts about last nights argument with H.

because I said no to sex, (mainly because I was too tired and still felt a bit shitty) I had half an hour of him telling me how unloved he felt, how I push him away, how we never have sex anymore etc etc and when we do he now feels like its a "pity shag". I pointed out that we do have sex, we often have sex 3 or 4 times a week, it's just bad timing that I've been poorly since Sunday & before that I was on my period, so no sex then either.
Ah, yes, but it's always him that initiates it, I never initiate sex!
Erm, Except those times very recently when I have, and he's knocked me back?
Ah, but that's because he feels nervous because I keep knocking him back hmm

Excuse me, could you just move those goalposts a little to the left please? And now back to the right? And just along a bit more? And now would you just jump through these hoops for me?

Sorry for rambly post, very tired but need to vent (again)

So this morning he tried it on again, I was still a bit fed up from the pity shag comment the previous night, so said no again, so got another 10 minutes of you don't make the effort comments (not true, just not as often as he would like, but given that he's said he'd happily have sex 2 or 3 times a day I would challenge anyone to keep up with that) and then he tried it on again! I'm sorry but as foreplay techniques go that's got to be one of the worst. Then got another 20 minutes of "you don't love me, I feel remote from you" etc etc then when I got up to get kids up was accused of "walking away from the issue"

Got home tonight after seeing GP, told him doc had said I'm suffering from depression & anxiety (not that big a stretch of the truth). I put kids to bed & kept them out of his way, he was in a bad mood because something had gone wrong with the plumbing & we had no water so he was trying to fix that. And the cats' miaowing was annoying him confused. I came back downstairs, made him a sandwich, said I was going to sit down and he said "so I suppose I'm not getting lucky tonight, then" I said " no, I'm sorry, I'm just exhausted". Cue another half hour of how I'm cold, unemotional, how he doesn't know if he cope with me being depressed again ( have had depression & anxiety before - quelle surprise) how it looks like its over, how he'll have to shut the business down, oh woe is him he's such a good bloke and he's done so much for me and been so supportive in the past when I've been depressed. For the record, no he bloody well hasn't. Once I went & got anti-depressants and he threw them on the fire and said I didn't need them, and then a couple of years ago after a particularly bad row he told me to go to the doctors and sort myself out with some pills or I'd be dumped.

He's gone up to bed, come back down after 10 minutes to have another go, gone back up, came down again for another 10 minutes and has now fecked off again. that'll be me sleeping in the spare bed then.

Sorry for long rambly post, off to bed now as I can't find the matchsticks to keep my eyes open with ...

cjel Thu 25-Apr-13 22:30:31

You really need to write more - loved goal posts line!! He really doesn't get it does he? (didn't mean that to be ironic) so glad you can now find humour in this nightmare situation. Hope you have peaceful uninterrupted sleep.xx

TheSilveryPussycat Thu 25-Apr-13 22:32:03

Can't remember if I've said this before on this thread - but the miracle cure for my own depression was Divorce!

garlicyoni Thu 25-Apr-13 22:33:59

something had gone wrong with the plumbing

... like some fuckwit sawing through a pipe?

Your posts are fabulous. Do keep writing them! Apart from our entertainment the cathartic value, you'll be able to look back on this litany of fuckwittery AFTER you've split and he's tugging your heart-strings.

Enjoy the spare room smile x

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 22:34:00

Oh, and Scarlet, no I don't think he's been reading this thread, but thanks for the concern.

I think that comment stems from the fact that there is couple who we know, have kids similar age to ours, who moved into a house, spent tens of thousands of pounds doing it up then they split up. Very tragically the husband committed suicide weeks later in a local park sad

But that's another comment h has made during an argument - "if this carries on you'll find me dead in a park like X"

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 25-Apr-13 22:35:39

Oh you lovely people you've made me smile again smile

Nighty night xx

cjel Thu 25-Apr-13 22:38:20

nighty nightx

Jux Thu 25-Apr-13 22:47:56

He is a massive Twunt. A massive entitled Twunt.

It's great you can write a post like that, with all the humour, after all his entitledness. You must be knackered after all his nagging. Bloody hell, he'll be talking about conjugal rights next.

Two days' break coming up. Hope you get a decent sleep tonight.

Fluffymonster Thu 25-Apr-13 22:56:52

He sounds like a somnatic narcissist through and through - that fixation on sex. Sex is his source of 'supply' and now he's having withdrawals.

Oh yeah the threats of suicide. Emotional blackmail 101. Maybe it's a bluff, maybe it's not - but you can't stay with someone just because they might. Sorry to sound harsh, but it's their choice if they do, not your responsibility to prevent it.

It's all so predicatable too - it's like he's following the Narcissistic Abuser's Handbook. In some ways that can work to your advantage - that they really do lack originality!

Fluffymonster Thu 25-Apr-13 23:04:49


JennyMackers Thu 25-Apr-13 23:24:16

it is indeed all so predictable.... I said early on in this thread that he'd no doubt tell you you were cold-hearted and selfish the moment you stopped doing what he wants you to do, and here he is like a text book case, telling you that you are cold and unemotional. He feels unloved? ha! Enjoy the spare room!

JennyMackers Thu 25-Apr-13 23:29:06

ps, the next time he says "you don't love me, I feel remote from you" I would just agree. (if you don't think think he'd get physically aggressive with you?).

If you go over every body's behaviour with a fine tooth comb it all gets twisted. But if he says you don't love me and you reply 'no i don't'..... that'd speed things along.

what do the others think?

OxfordBags Fri 26-Apr-13 00:06:34

Christ, I feel depressed and anxious just reading his manipulative, self-obsessed, bratty whining! But OP, why are you making him a sandwich? And having sex with him several times a week, if you want to leave? I know the answer will be for an easy life, but you have a right to not make food for a grown adult capable of making sandwiches for themself, and especially to never shag him again, if you wish.

wordyBird Fri 26-Apr-13 00:57:21

Oh, the whining...Drove me mad just reading it, Wearing. How you have kept your sense of humour with that kind of background noise, I don't know.

Throwing your medication on the fire made me angry ..withholding access to medical treatment is quite a serious form of abuse.

garlicyoni Fri 26-Apr-13 01:00:26

Jenny, I agree with you! I also agree with Narcissists, if I have to reply and no unwanted practical outcomes will result from agreement. Most of the time I don't need to say anything, as they're enjoying the sound of their own voice and don't really care about getting replies wink

"you don't love me, I feel remote from you" - Oh, dear, poor you.
"if this carries on you'll find me dead in a park" - Oh, dear, poor you.
"so I suppose I'm not getting lucky tonight, then" - You're right, thank you for understanding.
"when we do it feels like a pity shag" - Does it? Oh, dear.


WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 10:26:50

And so begins another day at 6.30 with another attempt at sex and another half of whining.

Then another 10 minutes of whining.

Then he slips his arms round my waist when I'm making kids breakfast and tries to be nice.

then when that doesn't work back to whining.

All the while i am not arguing back or defending anything, and he just keeps talking and talking and talking, and i intersperse with "Oh", "ok", or occasionally "yes, I can see that"

cue more accusations of being cold, unfeeling, yada yada yada

then tries cuddling again and suggest that he comes into work and we lock the door for 10 minutes so we can be alone. I say no

more whining.

he goes off for haircut, then rings me, asks how i am, i say fine and then whoosh, off we go again on the roller-coaster of self indulgent emotion, blame and crying.

He's coming in to work to "talk". I only hope I can keep my sanity.

and following that link you sent, Jenny, I have a feeling he is more histrionic than narc, but there's little to choose between them, really.

Wish me luck, peeps xx

Luck hmm

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 10:57:04

Oh God, another 25 minutes of heavy discussion. he's gone over the road to his mate's to talk to him. god knows what he's telling them

He says this is how people behave when its over and do i want to split up?

should i just say yes and get it over with? or keep quiet until i'm ready? God this is so hard.

and looks like he might not go away after all

shit shit shit

And he doesn't understand why i've suddenly gone "all feminist"

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 11:01:20

lol here, almost, rolling my eyes @@ (e_e) at his self-indulgence. He really needs to get down off that cross! What is it my mother would say get off the cross and build a bridge :-p or in his case, maybe a park bench for himself. Oh I'm not laughing, cos I know that although the behaviour is risible, it's exhausting. One day though when this is safely behind you, you'll find yourself smiling wryly at some of the more ludicrous antics.

But I agree with garlicyoni, instead of digging all that verbal talent of yours out of the bag to construct your reply to him in such a way that it is slightly less likely to be misinterpreted and misconstrued.... a weary 'oh does it feel like a pity shag, poor you' might save you the energy of all those carefully selected words. BUT, narc or histrionic, I guess he won't just let that slide. There'll be a court case afterwards? Will you be cross-examined? You know best. Do you get a court case regardless? carefully chosen words which leave little room for misinterpretation still lead to a court case???? then, might as well shrug and say 'oh poor you' and save your energy for your book!

I felt I was good with words too. I think once upon a time, when I first picked up on how unreasonable he could be, I felt that I had the 'armour' of being articulate and being emotionally intelligent, and self-aware, and empathic, and reasonable.... and i felt that that was armour that would pave the way through any difficulties. But it didn't work out like that. The skills I thought would lead me through relationship difficulties were actually a red rag to him.

OxfordBags Fri 26-Apr-13 11:02:40

It's not feminist to exert totally basic human rights, what an absolute knobhead! I've met toddlers less self-centred than this pathetic, inadequate excuse for a man. He asked you if you want to end things - just say yes!

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 11:12:18

x post

wearing i had to lie to my x because he was physically abusive. But if your h is not abusive I would just go for the blunt truth.

He can twist what he likes and he will. He'll tell all your mutual acquaintances that you left him because you were shallow, because you were lazy, because you gave up too easily, because you got bored with his reliable solid decency confused you know the script. Poor me! It'll be a staggering work of great fiction, his own piece of fiction, and he the protaganist will be the underdog, championing the good fight against evil.... (you)

To begin with I felt the weight of that very heavily, wondering what the neighbours had been told, what his aunts and uncles and so on thouht. But although I wasted years trying to defend my right to leave him, I realise now that it would have been sufficient to say "the relationship was not working, I was extremely unhappy, I did not love him".

He believes that whoever he tells his version to will buy into his sense of entitlement over you. And the truth is, when they hear it, in that moment they may well buy into it and nod and sigh and stroke his paw and say 'poor you' but most normal people understand that relationships don't always work, that one party can leave even if the other half doesn't want him/her to leave, that we have all at some point ended a relationship or not wanted to initiate one....... These things float around the backs of peoples heads, so, if to begin with it seems like you're being cast as the villain of the piece, just bide your time and hold on to that certain knowledge that even IF he were perfect (ha ha ha) you'd be entitled to end the relationship.

I'd tell a few people that you were extremely unhappy in the marriage. The relationship was totally disfunctional. People can't argue with that but they understand it. Sometimes, the more details you give people the less they understand!!! because to begin with thy understand the basic premise that you're entitled to leave a relationship that makes you so miserable, and then sometimes they hear a few more details and they're confused, they think they have to make sense of it all, they form opinions!!!

I made the mistake (I now feel) of wanting everybody's understanding and blessing to have left). Years later I understood that I owed nobody an explanaition. I left because I was unhappy and the relationship was so disfunctional. And now, years later, when I say that the funny thing is people nod and smile and understand. To begin with I feel I tied myself up in knots looking for people's blessing. BUT that was my state of mind at the time. I was not as 'solid' as you seem here now.

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 11:14:40

Just seen the feminist comment! ofgs what a manipulative arse.

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 11:56:15

On the site I linked to earlier I found this, a healthy relationship quiz. I'm going to link it because it just puts it in writing, you're not asking too much. He will tell you that you want to end the relationship because you're a feminist, you're selfish, cold-hearted blah blah blah, if you ever doubt yourself for a moment, quickly refer to this quiz!

here it is

laverneandshirl Fri 26-Apr-13 12:33:36

Wearing - just wanted to say have read your story and good luck with getting out. It's really tiring putting up with all the whining but you know it's because he definitely knows his power over you is waning and he is getting more and more desperate. I found when the whining started the best thing to do was to repeat over and over in my head a phrase like 'I can be free of this now' so that I didn't listen to the details/questions/rants.

I wanted to say that if you feel like he is bad mouthing you around town then I suspect (as was revealed in my case) that virtually everyone around you will be well aware of what a twat he is and will be sympathising with you. You'll be amazed how many people will come up to you afterwards (even his supposed best friends) and say 'how did you put up with it for so long!'.

The kids and you deserve some peace. If it were me I would just calmly (as possible!) say 'the relationship is over, I'm not going to change my mind, we will need to make arrangements for parting ways, I have to go now but will be in touch to discuss'. Pls go and stay with your Mum just to get a bit of space away from him. You don't need to give up ownership of the house just get out of his territory initially.

Every time he starts whining and goading you into answering another question repeat the phrase and then start your inner mantra! Don't stay too long, be assertive and say 'I'm leaving now'. He will cry, shout, demand, collapse, rage for as long as it takes because he thinks it will wear you down into giving in. If he won't let you leave the room say 'If you do not let me leave I will call the police, this is not acceptable behaviour' or you could try 'I told x that if I wasn't back by x o'clock to ring the police because they would know that something was wrong'. Watch him profess shock at 'how could you think I would do something like that' - have a little ironic chuckle to yourself.

Deep down he realises what a horrid little man he is and without you he's going to have to face up to that and make some changes. It is not your job to make him better - in fact you can't do it, only he can.

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 12:43:27

Oh well, the deed is done. I've told him it's over. TBH i just feel a huge sense of relief.

Our mutual friend from the business opposite came over, she was helpful, i just explained that we weren't happy, i realised that things he said and done over the years weren't right and i couldn't go on like that. She's been married before and just said it would be best to tell H and get it over with, then we can both move on.

So I did, not nastily, just very quietly and calmly told him that i wasn't happy and he wasn't happy and its over. he was quite calm too (maybe shock?) said i should think it over, said if only we'd talked this could have been avoided. He said I could move out and leave him with the kids! Er, NO! Said he's not leaving the house. he kept saying he can change, we can make it work, look at what i'm throwing away, please rethink etc

And surprise surprise, apparently I'll never find anyone else who loves me like he does. Well, thank fuck for that, maybe I'll find someone who does actually love me, instead of saying that they do and then treating me like shit.

i'm planning a life of singledom for now and the forseeable future, i just want to be me and do things i enjoy without being judged.

I also feel suspiciously calm. I suspect it may be the calm before the storm...

Jenny, they are wise words - don't explain too much or people become confused. i do feel a need for people to understand just how awful it has been but in reality do they need to know? As you say, relationships break down all the time and people accept that, they don't really need to know the nitty gritty of it all. And I suspect that if i go around telling everyone just how awful he has been, even if the believe me, i will just make myself look like a twunt for bad mouthing him.

laverneandshirl Fri 26-Apr-13 12:47:38

Sorry for waffle above, was getting all annoyed for you!

The other thing I was going to say was that my mother left my absolute arsehole father when I was 12 and it was the best thing ever - felt like my real childhood started. Even at 7 or even 5 I understood that my Mum was good and my Dad was an arse. Do be prepared for them to grieve over the loss of a real father figure and to want to sort of find it in him even though it's bloody impossible. That is their journey and it needn't make you feel bad. In staying with him I guarantee you their lives will be made much much poorer. A simple 'none of this is your fault' will work wonders.

Will be thinking of you all.

laverneandshirl Fri 26-Apr-13 12:49:16

Well done Making - ignore my posts - I'm so pleased for you and the kids.

Enjoy your new life!

laverneandshirl Fri 26-Apr-13 12:53:21

Oops typo plus pred text - Wearing not Making!

Well done wearing, glad you did it.

I think your H had read the same book mine had, his words when you said it was over match almost word for word! Although I had the added benefit of "You'll start looking your age and no-one will want you" hmm and yo know what, he was wrong on both counts!

Good luck with the rest of your life. There'll be a shitty bit for a while now but it will be worth it.

cjel Fri 26-Apr-13 13:04:20

I assumed all his family were on 'their' sides and this week had txt from one b-i-l with family news and another s-i-l rang to say they wanted me at neices wedding and neice had said she wanted me there, said they weren't happy about what had happened and hinted heavily that they would rather I was there than 'them' I haven't needed to say anything they made up their own minds. Qiuet dignity - better than whinging!!

Jux Fri 26-Apr-13 13:19:34

Well done!

Congratulations Wearing you are so brave, well done.

I feel you are going to be happier when its all shaken out.

Also looking forward to the book by W.F.M. Socks (PLEASE have that as your pen-name!! (I guess maybe not))

But what is going to happen with the rather crucial question of who moves out and who has the kids (when)?

Surely as he doesn't bathe or put kids to bed (re-reading the OP) is he really suggesting you leave him with the kids?!?!

Well done you. You will not regret this one bit.

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 14:48:00

Surely as he doesn't bathe or put kids to bed - Lily, I dont think he even realises that these things need to be done!

He is still being a manipulative git, has said he wants custody of the kids, and when we tell the kids we're splitting up we should tell them that its my decision not his, and that he's worried that I'll take them out of the school they're in. And have I thought how this will affect the kids, they'll be so upset to have to move house and leave their playhouse behind.

Not half as upset as having to live with a mummy and daddy who don't love each other anymore.

Thankfully he has still gone away for the night, so I can relax. and I'm thinking of having a day out with the kids tomorrow, somewhere fun.

Well done. You are a focused lady.

You have a very, very wise friend.

Have you thought about leaving the house with the kids? And go today?

BTW Get those documents to your Mum's house.

The first step is done smile

PoppyField Fri 26-Apr-13 14:50:44

Hi OP,

Been following your thread. God he's a shocker. How are you coping? Good sense of humour seems to help. Remind me again why you haven't split up yet... no offence... but what are you waiting for? Don't you want to know that there's a last time for everything i.e. having those rows, those circular nonsense conversations, having sex with him etc. Goodness... I bet you would like to know that you done that with him for the last time ever... can you be sure of that one even?

You're doing wonderfully I think... just gotta make it final.

I am grateful you wrote down that 'Come closer' conversation a couple of pages ago. It was so remnicsient of the kind of nonsense dialogues I would have with my STBXH. They left me feeling totally dazed and thinking 'WHAT was that about? and 'did I just take part that conversation and still have no idea what it was about or how I got roped into it?' The countless times I had the 'So what you're saying is this...' and I'd go: 'No, what I said was...' exchanges. I thought I was going mad... which is precisely what they want you to think. It messes with your head.

Good luck today, tomorrow etc etc. What's next?

PoppyField Fri 26-Apr-13 14:51:45

whoops sorry - wrote that and didn't post for a couple of hours as toddler-type incidents kept getting in the way. Apologies if I'm out of date!


See you're safe this evening. Still get those papers out of the house today. Once he realises his manipulation isn't working this time he could escalate his attempts to keep you weary voice of experience speaks

garlicyoni Fri 26-Apr-13 14:53:18

Hurrah! Hope you'll find every bit of support you need to stay focused, and have a lovely day with DC.

PoppyField Fri 26-Apr-13 14:58:31

Yay - congratulations! I'm well behind with the news.

Well done. He needed to be told. Love the idea that he wants you to 'think it over', like you hadn't done that for YEARS. Yes I had that too: someone who says they love you but treats you like shit - great combo!

All power to you.

TheSilveryPussycat Fri 26-Apr-13 16:43:35

Great news that you've told him!

Expect life to become a bit of a rollercoaster, and doubtless he'll become even more of a twunt. One step at a time and stay strong: freedom ahead! For tips and support, there is always the EA thread.

Try not to pay heed to those things he is saying - just reserve decisions about those subjects for later.

He will not stop saying them. Just nod etc and say whatever's needed without fully engaging with him. He's not going to listen to you anyway. A few stock phrases like 'we'll talk about that when I've had a chance to think what's best' 'I'll think about that one' yeah yeah whatever

You don't need to be pressured, try and keep calm and best of luck!

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 17:44:36

Oh wow, brilliant news. It's done. You handled it really well. grin wine flowers

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 17:54:30

I'm half-laughing half eye-rolling here, another one (me) who got told she was no spring chicken after I left him! how if I didn't come back in {glance at his watch} 72 hours, I'd have burnt my bridges with him and that would be THAT! my "last chance" to get back with him.

And just in case I thought I was young, my xfil rang me and I took the call but with a heavy sense of dread. He cut straight to the chase. What age are you now? 38 I said. "really he said, thought you were 43 or thereabouts". like hell, He never thought that at all. I don't look old for my age, he was just trying to tell me i was old and worthless. My xfil is worse than my x.

My son is no angel but he will have a lot more respect for women. It stops here. My son's wife will not be on mumsnet 2037 telling people what a selfish entitled bully he is.

JennyMackers Fri 26-Apr-13 17:55:59

cjel agree with regard to quiet dignity. I wasted too much energy trying to get people to understand how bad it had been. I should have saved that for my friends.

wordyBird Fri 26-Apr-13 19:32:30

Oh well done Wearing, that was brave! <pompoms> He may become an even bigger pain in the short term though - if he goes for any more wall punching, get yourself out of there.

so far, he has been wearily predictable hasn't he:

- I'm not leaving the house
- I want custody of the children (the ones he does nothing for)
- it's your decision, you tell them
- think of how upset they'll be not to have [fill in the blank]

Not too original, Mr Socks.

Has he tried 'you're an unfit mother' or 'I'm talking to social services' yet? Extra points for, 'you have MH problems and I'm calling a doctor'.

I'm using humour against him, but I know it's not really funny to have to deal with.

Stay strong and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it, Wearing.

WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 21:33:17

Yup, cjel, I too am aiming for quiet dignity - what a wonderfully calming phrase that is smile

And humour is the one thing that will get me through - the day I can't laugh in the face of adversity (and drop ice-cubes down the vest of fear) will be the day that I truly do give up.

have spent the evening assembling a box of goodies - passports, driving licence, mortgage statements etc, to drop at my mum's tomorrow. she's away at a wedding til sunday but has left me her spare key "just in case". she also said pack a bag for the kids with a change of clothes and a school uniform - have clean uniform drying and empty bag waiting to be packed in the morning.

Despite it being a crappy day i'm feeling the best I have all week.

Thanks to everyone for the support, I really couldn't have done it without you smile and thanks to IncogKNEEto, the Lundy Bancroft book arrived, i have skimmed through bits and by God, does everything just fall into place! I can see me reading this book many, many times.

cjel Fri 26-Apr-13 22:26:21

You sound so organised, well done. Whats the Lundy Bancroft book about?

wordyBird Fri 26-Apr-13 22:28:13

ice-cubes down the vest of fear ! grin

garlicyoni Fri 26-Apr-13 22:30:32
WearingFuckMeSocks Fri 26-Apr-13 22:44:13

ice-cubes down the vest of fear - sadly I can't take credit for that one, wordyBird, it's a quote from Blackadder (cant remember which one, now, though I suspect Blackadder the Third) but still very funny grin

And my middle name is organised! I have to be careful not to let it it creep towards OCD though

cjel Fri 26-Apr-13 23:06:56

thanks garlic I'll look them up Can't get past your name without remembering Brian!

garlicyoni Fri 26-Apr-13 23:09:31

grin Ah, Brian. Hull seems so much more interesting now!

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 27-Apr-13 07:53:27

Oh dear, the charm offensive has begun. woke up this morning to a long and "heartfelt" email from H.

Anyone fancy playing fuckwit bingo? it's very easy, just shout "fuckwit" when you spot a hackneyed cliche

we misunderstand each other, like at the Eiffel Tower and Sacre Coeur

losing you has made me think

i thought i had apologised for burning your book and punching the wall and was forgiven, honestly. im sorry

lets go away as a family and have some family time together

I'm sorry I forced you into running the business, I just wanted to say "look Mum & Dad, we did it"

lets do Relate, this whole problem is down to a lack of communication

I still love you, and all I have done is to try and make it work

Changed his tune since yesterday hasn't he? And how come, suddenly, (overnight in fact) it has gone from being "all my fault" to "he is wrong and he can change" hmm

I would suggest it's useful to have some admissions of unreasonable behaviour from him in writing.


I wouldn't respond either.

Useful for evidence of unreasonable behaviour?

God, they really do follow a pattern.

Watch out for I'm so unhappy, my life is ruined, I have nothing to live for next.

Hope you have a lovely day out with the DC smile

JennyMackers Sat 27-Apr-13 09:43:23

oh god. The weariness of this phase. you'll get through it with your wit and grit but his poor me script may not change that much....

I second not responding. NOTHING sends the message quicker than not responding. The messae being I guess that what he thinks of you is none of your business! His feelings and emotions are his own to manage now.

JennyMackers Sat 27-Apr-13 09:45:20

It is like fuckwit bingo isn't it! remember about 8 pages back I said to you that my x refered back to an early pre-kids trip to France! ha ha ha! bingo fuckwit

Enjoy your day out with kids.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 27-Apr-13 10:20:01

Jenny, I remembered your words when I read that line and it just made me laugh in a hollow, bitter kind of way

I haven't responded to it. I was going to send a very brief response, along the lines of "this changes nothing. It's over" but won't bother doing that. He'll find out tonight anyway.

Watch out for I'm so unhappy, my life is ruined, I have nothing to live for next - thanks I will, and will try not to shout Fuckwit! when he does grin

JennyMackers Sat 27-Apr-13 10:39:15

oh yes, after nostalgia comes anger that you won't just buy into their script.

I don't envy going through this right now as my drama is nearly six years old now, but I envy you that you have this level of self-awareness during it. And mumsnet! I only figured it all out afterwards. I think I discovered mumsnet about a year after I left him. I think you have an advantage that you are seeing things so clearly right as you are going through them. I only gained your clarity 18 months after I left him, so, your recovery and your 'rebirth' grin will come sooner. The phoenix! I sometimes think of myself like that! a little mini phoenix, but it's like Anno Domini

Funnily enough though, I have 'trained' my x to treat me with respect. He will take the children for four hours later (no more, four exactly! and this from the man who claimed he wanted full custody. He can't manage a weekend. He calls it Saturday. I call it four hours! but still, four hours of free time is what I have now! So, it gets easier. It does become the past. The Past.

bestsonever Sat 27-Apr-13 11:55:42

"all I've done is try and make it work"

that's the key sum-up of what he'd like you to think. He's still out to lay the blame at your door and he's still playing victim, so not changed has he, not surprising as you can't wave a magic wand and switch a crap personality overnight.
Stick to your guns, his behaviour will be so deeply ingrained it would take years to improve on it, and he's not even started the journey as still in denial.

Fluffymonster Sat 27-Apr-13 12:10:36

Well done for staying so in control.

Ah yes the offer of a family holiday as the carrot to tempt you back in with. There's usually some holiday/bribery offer isn't there?

And of course, it's a communication problem (yes - his complete lack of ability to do so, in a reasonable and respectful way). Useful deflection too - implying it's a two-way street and if only you understood him better. So it's still all about him - and the underlying message is how you could still adapt as part of the process.

You've already been adapting for years! Idiot. I agree - don't respond - save yourself the time and energy, as he really hasn't evolved enough to grasp that concept.

I'm waiting for the "How can you do this to me/us/the kids?" line. Maybe with a few tears.

Then...maybe sulky silence?

Then anger and back to verbal abuse/threats/blackmail.

Fuckwit bingo!

Jux Sat 27-Apr-13 12:53:05

Oh yes. Fuckwit! Fuckwit! Fuckwit! Fuckwit! Fuckwit! Fuckwit! and so on.

Ignore. Dignified silence is the strongest weapon, and your best tool.

Well done on not replying.

garlicyoni Sat 27-Apr-13 14:53:20

Yes, well done, Wearing! Assuming you're the Sacré Coeur to his phallic tower hmm, serene silence suits you well wink

wordyBird Sat 27-Apr-13 16:39:46

Hope you are having a lovely day out with the DC, Wearing smile

Oh yes, FW Bingo is where it's at! It's all so hackneyed, I don't know why they bother - but the same stuff keeps churning out, FW after FW...

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 27-Apr-13 17:32:22

Had s smashing day out with kids, lots of fresh air & exercise. Yay!

H back home, has turned into super dad/husband. Has cooked tea and is practically tripping over himself in his eagerness to see to the dc's every whim. It'd be funny if it wasn't so pathetic.

Oh, and dear god the lines.

Please give me another chance
I can show you I've changed
I really see now how awful I've been.

No, no and no you really bloody don't!

And then

I'm really worried about your future - (you don't need to be, it's no longer your concern.)

It's been such a rush decision, please just take some time - (I've had 15 years, I think that plenty)

There isn't much money - (oh yes there sodding is)

Do you want my inheritance? confused

And when nothing worked a crack appeared in the facade

Is this what you did to your ex?

Oh dearie me.

Today I have been mainly using the stock phrases. "I don't love you", "it's over, nothing will change that" and just for bit of variety "that's something to discuss with a solicitor."

I have a bag packed for me & kids and spare key to my mums house if it all goes a bit Tonto

garlicyoni Sat 27-Apr-13 17:51:04

All good smile Well, as good as may be hoped under the circs! Isn't it galling to see a fuckwit demonstrating the nice, thoughtful husband and father he could have been all along? Could have been if he wasn't such a fuckwit, that is.

Bingo! (FW) grin

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 27-Apr-13 18:24:04

Ah, the inheritance is his parents flat; when they died he bought his siblings' share & rented it out. he recently sold it & paid the money off our mortgage. Apparently he should be allowed to keep that because it was his parents money so now it's his, not ours, and I'll be getting an inheritance when my mum dies shock

And now he's reading kids a bedtime story! Grrrrrrrrr!

cjel Sat 27-Apr-13 18:30:49

Amazing one minute 'love you to bits I can change' and the nexr 'My money your not getting any?' Its so boring to hear isn't it.xx

JennyMackers Sat 27-Apr-13 19:15:32

//Hard hat on wearing., or rather sick bag on your lap I think.

Tonight Matthew I'm going to be SuperDad, but I want a bloody medal for it.

Love the telliing comment "is this what you did your ex?' you're not entitled to end a relationship, ending a relationship is selfish, cold-hearted, wrong, misguided, cruel ..............not your decision?! confused ???? Not, something that sometimes, often in fact, happens!

And just to be super charming he calls you a gold digger!? His devastation at losing you is not so extreme that the tally sheet isn't buzzing with money iin and money out thoughts. And he feels hard done by of course !

PoppyField Sat 27-Apr-13 19:16:27

Wearing, I like your style. And your stock phrases are brill. He's still awful. I get the shivers reading your OP. Keep on going.

N.B. It may well turn out a good thing that he tipped that money into your jointly-owned house (me, cynical?).

Fluffymonster Sat 27-Apr-13 19:38:52

Would it be worth getting a bank statement to show what is in the joint account now, in case he starts emptying it?

General question - once the other party realises that you're leaving, what's to stop them from basically clearing all the funds out?

Agree with jenny about the implied message that you can't possibly have the right to end the relationship. Let the feet-stamping begin!

Though that will mean letting the Super-Dad facade slip - which won't be that far off as he's probably far too self-absorbed to really want to look after them for extended periods.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 27-Apr-13 20:36:15

Jenny - I think a hard hat and a sick bag are in order. And you're so right in your earlier post about having the insight while I'm actually going through this, it is a godsend. I would probably have cracked by now and given him just one more chance.

Fluffy - the box of goodies I packed while he was away has bank statements taken just last week, both personal, business & kids bank accounts. And it's at my mums house, nice & safe grin

JennyMackers Sat 27-Apr-13 20:40:25

Yeh, I fell for the act. I left. I actually fucking left !! and then went back. (argh, so ashamed). He bought me a chomp and a dandelion and I wrote a list of changes that would have to be made... and for about three weeks, maybe he was changed. But then later he refered to my "tin pot parade" - when I left him. OMG. I only came back to him out of guilt. Leaving and staying gone was what I really wanted, but months later he refered to that as a tin pot parade.

EllaFitzgerald Sat 27-Apr-13 21:03:30

The kitchen doors and the food shopping is for his benefit too. And yes, he might have applied for the tickets, but it's no good doing one nice thing when everything else he does is awful. Don't let it sway you, stay strong.

EllaFitzgerald Sat 27-Apr-13 21:06:25

Am such a twit! I got to the end of the first page and completely didn't notice the remaining ten pages. blush

arghh try not to get too wound up by the inheritance thing. (Petty?!) That one truly will be in the hands of the solicitors so you don't have to fight it face to face.

Sending you really best wishes, feeling for you as you have to stay strong and calm. It must be very hard to be in the house with him.

JennyMackers Mon 29-Apr-13 11:37:35

Just wanted to say 'bon courage' for the week ahead.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 13:40:23

Thanks Jenny, much appreciated smile

Things have just been ticking over, no major dramas to report.

H still trying to be Superdad, built a lego ship with ds last night, read both dc bedtime story and actually sat in the bathroom with ds while he had a bath. He has never, ever, EVER done that in the whole almost 8 years of ds life.

and he's still trying to be nice to me, let me show you i can change, why wont you give it a try etc etc. thought he was going to be a twunt over the business premises (its in my name, not joint, and we're 6 months in to a 3 years lease - complicated) but then this morning he's been surprisingly calm and practical, sorting things out seeing solicitors etc.

he still says he wants 50/50 custody, but according to my solicitor friend that's falling out of favour and now normal practise is one parent has custody, so the kids have one home, and the other parent has access. still don't understand why he wants 50/50 custody of 2 kids he hasn't arsed himself with all their lives, other than a) to be spiteful, b) to try and convince me he's going to a better dad so i relent and welcome him back with open arms. or both

have appointment with local WA lady this week, and calling in to CAB this afternoon for some general advice, so things moving along.

Oh, and it's killing him not knowing what i spoke to the doctors about last week grin, (which was his shitty, abusive behaviour, which obviously i'm not going to tell him that). he keeps saying there's something not right, there's something your not telling me, i'm really worried about you. ha ha ha!! i think he may be finding the power shift somewhat uncomfortable

cjel Mon 29-Apr-13 13:48:14

Love the idea of power shift, they really don't like it do they? mine got his ow after i started to get a life (only college and hobbies not om) and my daughter told me that he wouldn't like me going to college as he'd think I was going to grow away from him and leave him!! I think it was him raising the bullying steak - if you don't go back to how you were see what I can do!!
Glad you are keeping things moving forward and have no major dramas. Enjoy the control you are gaining over your life!!

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 17:06:32

Oh silly, silly me.

I've just had a thought about why he is pushing for 50/50 custody. (Apart from it being another example of him trying to force his wants onto me) Maybe he thinks that if he has some control over the children then he'll still have some control over me?

Or is that just me being too cynical?

HansieMom Mon 29-Apr-13 17:32:34

I think he thinks with 50/50 he will not have to pay any maintenance.

wordyBird Mon 29-Apr-13 17:51:21

No, not cynical - you're spot on, Wearing.

They always want custody, because it's a way to control the partner through access to the children. Continued aggression, attempts to reclaim territory, using children to spy on mummy and report back to daddy, whatever you can think of - it's rarely about the children, usually about continuing control and intimidation in some form. Because men like this do next to nothing for their kids, so why would they want custody...they couldn't cope with it!

- oh I see you have another line for FW bingo there - I'm worried about you <eye roll!>

JennyMackers Mon 29-Apr-13 18:46:46

iF HE says 'look how perfect i'm being why won't you give me a chance etc" you could say that now that you see he is capable of being half decent but chose not be for 15 years, it makes you even more certain it's over. He can be a good dad (sort of, to order, with a gun to his head). He can ACT half decent (although comments like 'is this what you 'did' to your x? spill out).

I agree with custody! they ALWAYS try it. If he got fifty fifty custody, he'd be busy his half of the week and yet you'd get only half the CA and no maintenance! oh he's such a devious article, and he thinks he deserves another chance!?

JennyMackers Mon 29-Apr-13 18:47:37

Sorry, I mean, I agree with wordybird.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 19:17:41

H has a new proposition.

He has suggested that he buys me out of my half of the house if he can get a mortgage.

Given that I don't trust him as far as I could throw him (and given that he's 19 stone that really isn't very far at all) I'm now racking my brains as to how this is in some way doing me over. Is he hoping that if he keeps the nice big house the kids will choose to live with him instead? Is he hoping that him being in the big house and me being a small house/flat will somehow give him some sort of status over me? And am I now just becoming really paranoid? confused

And what's more annoying is he is being, on the surface, very calm and reasonable. It's really disturbing me because it is so out of character hmm

And the bloody CAB was shut when I got there this afternoon, don't see solicitor til tomorrow and WA woman not til Thursday.


Think I will spend the evening drafting a financial/parental agreement type thingy as a starting point for discussion.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 19:27:58

Oh now I'm really pissed off

H just returned with ds from Beavers, " ds has something to say about our house, haven't you?" smirks H

" yes mummy, I said we wouldn't give our house away to anyone would we mummy? Not for anything, and we' ll never move away from here will we mummy"

What. A. Bastard.

Does anyone have a punchbag I can borrow? I feel a sudden and uncharacteristic urge to hit something angry

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 29-Apr-13 19:31:06

Do not engage with him in discussion re settlement etc, instead talk to sol, and think hard about it. If pressed just say "I'm thinking about it". I know it's hard to wait till tomorrow, but stay strong there. Above all, focus on what you want, for you and DC.

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 29-Apr-13 19:31:48

x-post. What a cunt

wordyBird Mon 29-Apr-13 19:37:31

Don't let him unnerve you with his bright ideas and propositions.

He is trying to take control, and in the process push you off balance -which is inherent in his nature really. And now he's using the children to do it (see earlier posts sad )

How about another mantra: Thank you. I will discuss that with the solicitor.

To DS, what about thank you darling, but houses are for mummies and daddies to discuss, so don't you worry about it. or whatever works for you.

JennyMackers Mon 29-Apr-13 19:37:58

oh dear. What a tosser. Your son won't be upset though. He's only parroting in that precise moment what he knows his father wants him to say. I told my children that I was very unhappy and had to leave.

You're not being paranoid about STATUS. I remember my x and his bitch of a mother yelling at me that I'd never get custody, I was unemployed, I didn't even drive, I didn't own a home or a car blah blah blah, oh yeh, I'd been on anti-depressants. They threw that in too. (wonder why?!). I told his mother that I wasn't unemployed, I was a mother to two children and that there wasn't a judge in the world who'd hold that and not being able to DRIVE against me. And I said the fact that I've no rights to any property is evidence of financial abuse. They didn't HEAR it. Not a word of it. They were convinced that I was a nothing and a nobody and that the judge would give them custody because they were home-owners and he had a qualifications and a job and a car. Obviously a bit further down the line, various solicitors disabused him of some of his delusions but to begin with, he thought that society and the judge and jury would see me as the same pathetic unreasonable loser with no rights that he saw.

JennyMackers Mon 29-Apr-13 19:41:09

Wordybird, that is a good mantra.

Because 90% of what he says now is just drama baiting, and it WON'T MATTER in the long run. All that matters is the final shakedown so 'i will discuss that with my solicitor' is a great mantra.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 19:55:47

Silvery & wordyBird, sound advice thanks. Its pretty much what i did say i.e. that's something I'll discuss with my solicitor. will repeat to self and him when the need arises. And also I'm thinking about that is another good one.

Sadly I still want to punch him.

And now he's saying I have an attitude and he can tell that i'm angry!! No shit!

<breathes in deeply and exhales calmly>

aaaaaand relax.

Jux Mon 29-Apr-13 20:06:46

Tosser, isn't he? Just trotting out your mantras to the rubbish he comes out with will (hopefully) give him a false sense of security, so he won't rack his brains too hard for ways to do you over for the moment, and when he realises how wrong he is it'll be too late.

LineRunner Mon 29-Apr-13 20:19:49

JennyMackers is right that actual lawyers will disabuse him of his delusions.

The person who gave my ExH the biggest kick up the arse (that he deserved) was his own barrister.

WearingFuckMeSocks Mon 29-Apr-13 20:28:56

you may have a point there re lawyers.

since he's seen his solicitor he's conveniently forgotten about his £125k "inheritance" that he was going to keep back from me and now wants to split everything 50/50. grin

<repeats to self "I'm still thinking about that. That's something to discuss with my solicitor">

To be honest I expect you'll continue to feel angry at him for a long time yet.

There will be the knobby things he says and does. There will be the false image he portrays as he presents his best face. There will be the genuine improvements he will make with regard to parenting his children because he now has to get involved. There will be dismissing of the abuse you suffered over the years. There may be the occasional ramp up and extension of the abuse you suffered.

It is natural. And each day will provide you with new things that will send you through the cycle of denial, anger, depression, acceptance and then move on.

I found my feelings one of the most overwhelming bit. I had spent 10 years suppressing how I felt in order to live with him so I initially I couldn't even recognise many of the feelings. Then boom. I was free to feel. And boy, did they all arrive at once grin

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 30-Apr-13 12:12:34

Thanks Tea, I'm trying NOT to feel quite so angry, or at least not let it show, because he is still the kids' Dad and whatever shite he has heaped on me over the years he will still be (sadly) a small part of my life, much as I would rather, for my sake, he wasn't.

I think what I mean is, me being angry at him will only hurt me; he won't give a monkeys how i feel per se, but will use it as an excuse for him to be upset and create more drama, and may well use it as ammunition against me somehow.

He has made an appointment at Relate this afternoon and asked me to go. I said no. I have lost count of the times I've suggested Relate to be told that it wouldn't do any good; to quote FW "If you won't talk to me now, you won't talk in front of someone else". And the one time we did try it, he put on such a good act that I could tell it wasn't going to go anywhere.

Now he's suggesting that we rent the house out (Thats something I'll speak with my solicitor about grin) so we can both afford to rent somewhere, and in a year or so we might move back in together and i'll give him another chance shock Not bloody likely!

Good grief! Leave him to his delusions and sort your life out, you're doing great smile

Fluffymonster Tue 30-Apr-13 12:58:05

The fact that he's trying to now use the kids in some sort of chess game is sadly typical of abusers. He's just trying to manipulate you, don't fall for it - and it sounds like ds was prepped with all the "he has something to say to you" - business. Yeah, right. Why did he need prompting then? He probably got ds to repeat after him until he had the phrase set in his head. FW.

He's not thinking of their welfare - otherwise he would try to keep the discussions out of their sphere.

Dignified silence - do not engage, or it will be all too easy for the kids to become unwitting messengers in a game of verbal tit for tat. I like the stock phrases wordyBird suggested.

And believe me - underneath his calm and reasonable exterior he is probably seething.

Good for you. That's a great approach to take and you're absolutely right about how he would use your anger, just like the offer to go to Relate - it will become part of the story of how he tried to make it work and be used to justify your unreasonableness.

I think feeling the anger, recognising it and only using it, or unleashing it, when it helps you will work for you and your children in the long run.

And hmm at his continued persistence at not listening to you and what you want. I hope he is in denial on the change curve rather than this being the new pattern with regard to respecting your opinion.

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 30-Apr-13 13:34:24

it will become part of the story of how he tried to make it work and be used to justify your unreasonableness.

Just what I was thinking this morning, Tea. I will be the one who threw it all away, didn't give him another chance, broke up the kids home etc etc and he will be Mr Good Guy who battled bravely, against all odds, to save his marriage but twas all in vain. (cue dramatic music and rolling credits - "tune in next time for more heroic adventures of the indefatigable Mr Socks")

And now he's got Valium from his gp so he can continue the poor me story to anyone who will listen. hmm

Yes my ExH still has heroic adventures in dealing with me grin, each email is worded in such a way that makes him a legend in his own lunch time.

I suspect he shows his wife.

Unfortunately, he hasn't really ever got over his whole PA way of communicating so this is me on receiving them ....

grin as I realise I only have to have these conversations over email
[tea] as I get on with life happily.

or brew even

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 30-Apr-13 13:54:16


Fluffymonster Tue 30-Apr-13 14:37:03

Oh, and it's killing him not knowing what i spoke to the doctors about last week , (which was his shitty, abusive behaviour, which obviously i'm not going to tell him that). he keeps saying there's something not right, there's something your not telling me, i'm really worried about you.


And now he's got Valium from his gp so he can continue the poor me story to anyone who will listen.

Oh!!! Fuckwit bingo!!! grin

He's doing that "Anything you're suffering, I can suffer too - and more" routine! Oh god this actually made me laugh - that is so pathetic.

LineRunner Tue 30-Apr-13 14:56:26

Tea I so recognise that!

cjel Tue 30-Apr-13 15:52:32

remember 'quiet dignity'!!

JennyMackerz Tue 30-Apr-13 16:30:29

yes Fluffy that is it precisely isn't it, anything you suffer I suffer more. BINGO.

The valium proves his suffering is worse!!

It's a worry he is prepared to use the children in this way sad Next he'll be grooming them to say that they don't want mummy and daddy to split up, and it's never, ever going to happen etc. What a nasty piece of work he is. I should nip this game in the bud and have a firm word with him about not using the children in this way ever again.

WearingFuckMeSocks Tue 30-Apr-13 23:16:59

Bud duly nipped - told H never to do that again. He said ds brought up the subject himself and said how lucky we were to live next to the river and how he'd like a house by the sea one day (which is actually the kind of thing ds would say) However, i also said it was a bastards trick to ask ds to repeat it to me.

Have just come back from seeing "The Taming of the Shrew" at the theatre with my mum. Has anyone else seen it? That is so NOT the play to go and see when you've just realised your H is a controlling, manipulative shit. I had no idea Shakespeare was such a misogynistic git shock. Very unsettling & a bit disturbing towards the end, when Kate is broken.

But the acting was brill grin so that's ok then!

wordyBird Wed 01-May-13 00:48:05

Good for you, Wearing. I bet your STBX hardly knows what's hit him. Good! It has to be done.

'Taming of the Shrew' is a ... challenging play isn't it: certainly misogynistic, and hard to play sensitively yet with whatever intended humour can be found there. What do you think of the theory of Shakespeare as syndicate of playwrights - not just Will himself? Maybe that would help us feel better about plays like that, not sure hmm

Excellent grin

LittleFeileFooFoo Wed 01-May-13 03:27:12

Wearing, I have been lurking, but I'd like to say that you're doing great, and you'll be so relived and happy when you're away from him! You can do this, and you're doing a great thing for the kids, and the cats!

I hate Taming of the Shrew too for exactly the same reason. I saw it at the RSC many years ago and it felt like I was watching a car crash. I felt like a dirty rubbernecker. If it makes you feel better I tend to think of him as a mirror of society rather than inherently misogynistic and remind myself that even Elizabeth herself, who was pretty amazing all round, was at it "I may have the body of a woman but I have the heart and soul of a man". Very rousing but frankly my response is "My arse".

Morning and excellent response to his trying to wriggle out of his manipulation.

Fluffymonster Wed 01-May-13 10:20:10

So ds saying he likes living by a river got turned into a worry that the house might be given away and he'd have to move. I wonder how that happened. hmm

Glad you're showing him you can tell what he's playing at.

The sooner you're rid of him the better!

Stay focussed on that - the rest, all the manipulation, using the kids etc - is just to mess you about. He doesn't care if they get stressed in the process. If you're too busy feeling angry, guilty, enraged, indignant, defensive etc. it all takes energy away from thinking about legal matters, rights and a future without him.

BranchingOut Wed 01-May-13 17:44:20

How are you doing OP?

monsterchild Wed 01-May-13 18:47:48

I'd also like to say you are strong enough to do this, and you'll be soooo happy when you've gotten away from him!

I'm glad your family are so supportive and that they are there for you.

And I agree, I think times before the 20th century were pretty misogynistic, it wasn't just Shakespeare!

WearingFuckMeSocks Wed 01-May-13 20:02:25

Thanks for all the support, you lovely people, it keeps me going smile

Mum sent me a text saying she'd told her sister that me & H had split up, my auntie's exact words were "Thank Christ for that" grin

Today has been a bit of a funny day, and not in a ha ha kind of way. Been sorting out the business, closing down utilities accounts, arranging card payment terminal return etc, so i felt that i should have been upset, but i really wasn't. i was just ticking things off a mental "things to do" list, which seems never ending, but i will get there, one step at a time.

H has been his usual self, a bit "oh woe is me", he came into work this morning, started to apologise for his awful behaviour over the years but then somehow - and i don't quite know how it happened - suddenly it was my fault for not standing up to him or talking to him and i've done some really awful things to him to but he doesn't bring them up all the time like i'm doing with his faults confused. he really needs to practise apologising!

At the end of his waffle i merely stated quietly and calmly that I hoped that if and when he does meet someone else he treats her with a bit more respect than he's shown me. What was that about quiet dignity, cjel ? wink

Oh and he said that in the future, as he's going to be reducing his hours at work a bit, he'd like to be able to just ring me up and pick the kids up from school "spontaneously" if he finishes work early. All together everyone..... "That's something I'll think about" grin. Like shite he will, it'll just be another way of fucking up my day!!

AND i've worked out that between child tax credits, child benefit and JSA til I can find a job, I should be able to manage financially until we sell the house. I have to admit that my biggest worry was getting into debt just to get by.

appointment with WA tomorrow, feel a bit of a fraud for going now I feel like i'm getting my head around things, but i always think its good to take advice when its offered, and I might learn something new.

AND my mum is having kids for a sleepover next weekend so might see if i can arrange a night out with a couple of friends. Woo Yay!

anyway, sorry for the long post, but im feeling a bit better about my day than I did at the start of it, so thanks smile

JennyMackerz Wed 01-May-13 20:09:14

Don't feel a fraud for ringing WA. You have 15 years of being disrespected under your belt. You're very self-aware now, and you're putting and end to it, and well done for cracking on with the admin tasks required to break away, but you are more than entitled to have WA's ear for 20 minutes, so don't feel a fraud. Just because you're self-aware doesn't meant that you won't be bolstered by their validation and another ear, a human to human audience (as brilliant as we are here on MN). They might also have some good practical advice for you although it really sounds like you're on top of things.

I hope you have a great night with your friends. Eat, drink, be merry and give them the good news that you're free now. Lol at your aunt!

monsterchild Wed 01-May-13 20:11:42

Good for you, OP!

I'm glad you will be able to manage until you find a job too, that is a relief.
Don't feel bad about going to WA, they likely will have more info for you, and can offer answers you may not have thought to ask here.

I suspect the FW is testing the waters to see if he still control you from afar with that comment about getting the kids "spontaneously". He'll only do it when he knows it will be a bad time. Expect him to start excuses/arguments when he's to have the kids and he finds out you've planned something!

cjel Thu 02-May-13 12:37:28

Am very impressedsmilefeels good though doesn't it? I had to ring estate agent this week to say I notice they had an offer on a house and they said yes and I dropped into conversation 'well just to let you know I'm joint owner' He had marketed and sold a house I own half of!!!was agreed in our settlement, but he has had a year so far and hasn't signed it yet!! Reassured agent that I wasn't objecting but thought they should be aware!! Once a control freak always a control freak!! Deep breath quiet dignity!!!xx

Jux Thu 02-May-13 14:16:40

You're fantastic, Yummy! Well done.

cjel, he's a delight, isn't he?

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 02-May-13 17:05:49

Just had an hour with the lady at WA (which in a bizarre twist is literally round the corner from my house in a women's refuge!) and feel SO much better just for having to spoken to someone face to face who understands, and has seen it all before (and worse, no doubt).

She is referring me onto the Freedom Programme, and there is another programme after that, can't remember what it was called but its more about building up confidence and having the nous (is that the word?) to spot EA in the future and not repeat the cycle again.

which would be nice. smile

Think I might go out for a walk, H is due back from swimming with the kids in half an hour (still being SuperDad) and I fancy a stroll and some fresh air and sunshine

LineRunner Thu 02-May-13 17:21:58

Good for you, Wearing smile

I am also interested in those programmes if anyone else knows more about them. I need a bit of that nous as well.

JennyMackerz Thu 02-May-13 19:55:15

yes, i would do the course, no matter how self-aware you are (and you are very self-aware for somebody at this stage in the 'exit' iykwim). But, I had been congratulating myself on having seen through my x, and for not being (first) in a realtionship with anybody, and then (finally) being in a relationship with a very nice man........... but ironically, I had allowed a critical person a peripheral role in my life. He wasn't a boyfriend, or even a friend. But this person used to interpret my actions back to me an give them the most critical interpretation possible, he used to race to judge me but covered it up with a top layer of banter, and telling everybody that he really was fond of me, as though that were some fucking prize. Anyway, it is only relatively recently, 5+ years on, that I thought, hang on, why the fuck am I defending myself to you? I had slipped back into that old familiar defend-myself role with this person. He is utterly toxic this man. He is a wolf in sheeps clothing. He is all banter 80% of the time, but subtly encouraging women to blame themselves for everything they struggle with whether it's their children's fathers not being involved, not enough money, you name it, it's your fault. He is a toxic nob.

JennyMackerz Thu 02-May-13 19:56:42

Anyway, the point is, it's only fairly recently that I realised that despite the fact that I've considered myself wise to my x's mindset, I had returned to the old defend-myself role with somebody else. And i have not dropped the rope. I do not engage with him AT ALL now.

JennyMackerz Thu 02-May-13 20:00:31

.......... and, although I left my x knowing with absolute certainty I would never again have a toxic abusive bf, I somehow allowed this person airtime, becaise, they weren't a bf, so, I didn't recognise how badly they could still drag down my self-esteem. How judged this person made me feel. He was (and is) nothing to me, but yet I verbally engaged with him and that was enough to make me feel dragged down.

If I'd gone on a freedom course I don't think this would have happened to me.

JennyMackerz Thu 02-May-13 20:07:26

Sorry for the hi-jack here, but what I'm trying to say here is that it scares me a little that despite my understanding of my x's mindset, despite my awareness that it was HIS problem and that I didn't deserve to be treated like that, and that there was nothing wrong with me,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I still somehow confused ended up repeating that role of having to defend myself all the time........... that torture of having somebody think the worst of you no matter what you do, having to set the record straight all the time.. argh! somehow sad I managed to step up to that role with the one toxic arsehole in my wider casual acquaintance. It's like a fear, thatsomehow, i made myself known to him. By defending myself early on. I should have just shrugged the first time he insulted me, or tried to drama bait me, but I HAD to set him straight didn't i??? I had to singlehandedly cure the world of misogyny, even if i dragged my spirit right down in the process.

I have learnt EVERY lesson the hard way. On the hoof. And if I could go back in time and learn the lessons quicker from a course, I would. And I really believed that I was self-aware and yet I still made some fatal errors. I was never one of those stereotypical women portrayed that believes it's 'love'. I neverr thought that that shit was love. I wanted out. AND I STILL WENT BACK FOR MORE WITH A CASUAL PERIPHERAL ACQUAINTANCE


JennyMackerz Thu 02-May-13 20:10:04

i HADN'T returned to my x, but i'd returned to the role on a part-time basis

two glasses of wine on board here. i'll leave it here nwo. ! multiple posts! wine wine that's my excuse.

LineRunner Thu 02-May-13 20:34:14

JennyMack I do know exactly what you mean! I have had a bit of an alarm-bells moment in my head with a couple of friends in the last two years.

WearingFuckMeSocks Thu 02-May-13 21:09:41

No problem for the hijack JennyMack, and all I can say for someone with winewine under their belt you're remarkably eloquent grin. And yes, ISWYM about continuing to play the role even after you've realised that your ex is a controlling, manipulative tosser to get suckered in by people you aren't expecting to do that to you.

LIneRunner, i think lots of places offer Freedom Programmes, you can self-refer and local WA should have details for you. Our council website has details of the course as well and it is run in a children's Surestart centre not far from us. I'm sure it wouldn't take very much digging for you to find one close to you.

H has gone out every evening this week, which suits me fine so far. He's asked if he can go out tomorrow night, I said yes, as long as he can stay in Sat night so I can go out. Have nowhere planned yet, if no friend are free I may well go to the cinema on my own! I have no shame grin

I might have a look too actually. Maybe not Freedom but perhaps something else. I'm sure the only reason I don't suffer the same as Jenny is because my DH won't let me be an apologist, put myself down or allow my internal soundtrack to go there. If he sees me starting to make jokes at my expense he points out what I'm doing. WRT friendships I don't really do casual friendships (I'm happy with my five friends) so I'm not at risk there but perhaps I should be protecting myself emotionally - socially and financially I am very independent as a result of LTB all those years ago.

Your plans Wearing sound lovely. I used to go to the theatre matinee performance by myself to get out and about. Me and about 300 merry widows of Bath in their 70s and 80s. I actually quite enjoyed it as I saw a bit of culture, drank gin and listened to them talk about the war and their lovely husbands.

As a result of my separation and being a single dude I now like going to a restaurant for a meal by myself, a book festival to listen by myself, out to a pub by myself and to the cinema. I also like holidaying alone - in a youth hostel so I meet people - but alone nethertheless. A book or a copy of Grazia and my phone and some time treating myself - nothing better. I'd love to come with you. I won't talk or anything wink

Enjoy your space this evening. You deserve it.

Jux Fri 03-May-13 07:46:26

i love doing those sort of things alone! Theatre, cinema, restaurants, anything really grin

Lucky for me, really, as dh hates culture with venom, and is a pita if I drag him along. We can't afford much atm, so I don't go any more, but will have no problem resuming my solitary intake when things look up financially! Only I'll be taking dd with me, I suppose, but that'll be more fun than going with dh!

PenelopePitstop72 Fri 03-May-13 23:58:15

Ive just read your initial post and was chilled by the remarkable similarities you dh showed with mine. Funnily enough, after turning 40 last Feb 2012, and realising i'd spent much of last decade crying and being sad and confused, i finally plucked up the courage to ask him to go in October.

I'd seen Womens Aid since the july beforehand when i began to open up to a friend and she gave me a huge reality check. WA are great. Soooo glad you have visited them and are moving forwards. This is not an easy path though. So expect highs and lows. Him going was liberating. i could breathe again. and felt happy, really happy . and i didnt waken in the morning and wish he'd disappear out my life anymore. And it proved to me id done the right thing.

But then a few months later i began havi doubts when he was very supportive when my teen daughter was playing up. Not a side he showed when he was here. He usually liked to upset and bully her. Although sometimes he was also her best friend too. Oh the game playing. Just like a game of ping pong, same as he made me feel. I began to think....maybe theres a small chance. I got emotional and let my heart rule my head. I never acted on it though and a couple of weeks later i was back to normal again. Then he told me he had girlfriend. As someone who has said to my WA keyworker "any woman is welcome to him, god help her", i wasvery surprised by my reaction. i was completetly floored at being replaced so quickly. felt ghastly for about a week, no eating/sleeping etc. then gradually improved, and im back on top again some weeks later.

So when/if you wobble....that is ok...just hang in there...doubts and what ifs are fine and normal....and just stick with the same direction of travel. Yu are on the right course. Despite anything he does, or says to convince you otherwise. I have still to get through the formal separation/divorce stuff and re-mortgage house etc but every day i grow stronger which i will need to be for that. He still does his bit to hurt and control suck up to my teen daughter and try to breakdown our relationship. And he still blames me for everything and tells me to change and that im the real abuser. but i just rise above that now. And funnily enough like yours, he was little use with dds when we were together, and he even now complains that im giving him chores if i ask him to bath her occasionally. He'd prefer to play on iphone/ps3 for that time.

In short, youve been very brave and are doing best for yourself and family. Id keep seeing WA if you can. very sensible stuff they talk. You deserve far better, just like me. Welcome to the rest of your life.....scary at times, but mostly just full of happiness and stability. I have such joi de vivre right now, because its been stifled for far too long over last 12 years.

Best wishes. X

WearingFuckMeSocks Sat 04-May-13 18:01:55

Thanks Penelope, it's reassuring to hear that other people have been through similar experiences and come out the other side. I'm just finding it all a bit hard at the minute, he's still living in the house with us at the minute and I'm finding it really difficult to be civil because im finding myself becoming increasingly angry at him. The SuperDad thing is really bugging me; it is no exaggeration that he spent more time with them in the past week than he has in their whole lives. he's taken them for a walk today, watched TV with them (which he has NEVER done) taken them to the park and now he has taken them for a picnic with their friends to the little grassy park next to our house. Grrrrrrrrr!

And I'm really annoyed because we told DCs today that mummy & daddy are separating (more on that later), so this afternoon when he comes back, he told me the "funny" tale of how dd said to him that ds would have to go and live with daddy because ds is too sulky - when ds was standing right next to him, and then repeated it again to DS shock

Told H calmly that I didn't think that was very funny, to make "jokes" about where the kids are going; think he is trying to get back at me because when we told kids this morning I said they would be coming to live with me and they would see daddy every week, and apparently we haven't agreed that yet confused. Then he started trying to provoke me, was annoyed that I'd stuffed all his laundry from the tumble dryer into a basket so it got all creased! ha ha ha ha - I've been asking him not to do that for years but he carried on doing it.

I think I wil have to ask him to move out, now that the kids know what is going on. there is just a horrible atmosphere, he wants us to be friends. HA! and wants us to be civil, he's still trying to get me to agree to things, he wants us to talk just the two of us before mediation - not likely, he'll just try and steam-roller me into submission.

off to the theatre tonight, on my own. i'm feeling quite giddy at the thought of it grin

cjel Sat 04-May-13 18:16:50

Still quiet dignity wearing Brill. No discussions because then you are being 'unreasonable when you don't agree!!Hope you have a lovely eveningsmile

PenelopePitstop72 Sat 04-May-13 19:30:45

Funny what you say about Superdad thing. My DH is still acting that out too - 6 months on. With littlest, and also with my teen DD, infant worse with her. He lends her money - yet moaned completely about me spending anything on her before. He calls her. Has taken her out to cinema and for meals and even let her practice driving his car - all things he would never ever do before. He completely resented her before. But now winning her over by showering with affection and money.

It must be hard living together at moment. The month of October was like that last year for us, and it was hellish. Again superdad made lots of appearances. I fully sympathise, but there's light, so hang in there.

Also completely get the "saying rubbish things in front of kids" thing. So inappropriate! If I had a penny for every time I'd pleaded with him not to say things, I'd be very rich indeed. What arses they are!

It's almost like they're twins separated at birth. Ha ha ha. No joke though, if you read accounts of other peoples experiences with Domestic abuse, it's like reading an account of your own life. Bloo frightening really. These men are cut out the same mould. It's a definite set of traits that are common. But then it's also comforting to know other people have gone through same and that leaving is completely the right thing to do. They WILL NEVER change.

I wouldnts say I've come through it. It's all still really raw. And I have to learn to stop doing all the automatic thinking and behaviours I used to do when with him. But I'm getting better at dealing with it, and seeing his stupid behaviour for exactly what it is.

Have a great night out. X

Jux Sat 04-May-13 21:03:16

Have a good night out!

If you tell him to go, do you think he would?

It's horribly confusing for children, even if the parents are living separately but the NRP comes in, puts them to bed, has meals, etc. On the pne hand their parents are separating, but on the other hand they are apparently both still there. You could appeal to his 'better' self on their behalf, but he hasn't actually got a 'better' self, has he?

Worth seeing a solicitor to see whether there is a way to get him to go legally.

Hope you manage it, and good luck.

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 05-May-13 08:40:54

Well, it's been an eventful 48 hours.

Friday I was at work when a friend, (who worked for us for a while when we ran the business from home) dropped in. I told her that me & H had separated, she was shocked, then we were chatting I decided to confide in her so told her there had been abuse involved, I didn't go into great detail, just an outline, but knew she would understand as she's a trained counsellor. I started waffling about how hard it is and how I can't really tell anyone because they probably wouldn't believe me.

She looked me straight in the eyes and said "Socks, you're forgetting - I worked in your house, and I saw what went on. He's a big man, he's very loud and very overbearing, and there were times when I was scared of him." We had a really good chat, and I felt a lot better after talking to her.

Then H came in and, in front of my friend, started talking about "my attitude" and how I'm nasty to him and how it's going to affect the children if I can't be civil to him. (Btw I'm not actually being "nasty" to him, I'm just not speaking to him unless I have to, which clearly he doesn't like as he still wants us to be friends confused) I could tell he was trying to goad me so was very calm, didn't engage and ended the conversation when I saw where it was going. I was shaking inside, and felt so belittled that he'd done it from of our friend. She took him to one side and spoke to him, then he went off and she talked to me again. She said I'd handled it really well and she could see H was just trying to bully me, and that if hed talked to her like that she'd have been scared too. In a way I'm glad she was there because so often it's just me & H and I'm left wondering who was at fault in the exchange.

To be honest I think I'm doing well just speaking to him calmly. I've never hated anyone so much in my whole life as much as I hate him now. I hate what he's done to me for the last 15 years, I hate what he's done to the kids and I hate him for now trying to wheedle his way into the kids affections by going totally OTT and trying to prove what a good dad he is.

So, we told the kids yesterday that we're separating. God, that was the worst thing I've ever had to do. There were tears, obviously, and lots of questions, dd just wanted to know if she could take her toys to the new house when we move, and I told ds that I knew how important a garden is to him so I would look for a house with a garden. They recovered from the shock remarkably quickly, and I told them that they can ask any question they want, no matter what it is.

So later on the swings, ds asked me "mummy, dyou think you'll remarry" shock cue much umming and erring from me, "well, I might get married again one day sweetie but probably not for quite a while yet", ds continues "why don't you marry [insert name of girl in his class at school]'s Dad, then we'd be step brother & sister !!!

Time for breakfast, dd wants me to keep her company, may post more later x

TheSilveryPussycat Sun 05-May-13 09:08:53

You are doing amazingly well. I was stuck under the same roof as Ex for a year while divorce and settlement were going on, but at least mine wasn't trying to be friends, and kids were young adults. I found it helped to think 'this is one of the last conversations like this that I'll have with you'. Also validation from the friend is worth its weight in gold!

JennyMackerz Sun 05-May-13 10:14:29

Well done well done well done brew it took me 18 months to get to the point where you are now. You are not only doing the right thing (and I never doubted I was doing the right thing) but you are on the fast track to regaining your sanity and your life and your independence and happiness.

I'm not surprised the children took it in their stride tbh. They may have this new superdad character playing a recent game, but you are their rock. The truth is for all this recent role play, they don't have "two rocks". They have one rock. That's obviously you. And that's why my children coped so well with a separation. Although, I say coped, the word really would be flourished.

Have a nice day


JennyMackerz Sun 05-May-13 10:15:01

ps, i mean 18 months to get to not being goaded, not defending myself, not responding to the drama baits. (was a bit unclear there)

Jux Sun 05-May-13 12:02:19


Well done!

Lweji Sun 05-May-13 12:15:38

Good for you. smile

I suspect most people you know will be like your friend.
These men can't really hide who they are. Just some people all the time. Not from everyone all the time.

Your children's reactions are somewhat expected. They must have realised way back that something was not ok, and it doesn't sound that they are that attached to their dad.
Remember that they will reflect your emotions.

Shinigami Sun 05-May-13 12:22:21

Bloody well done smile

Fluffymonster Sun 05-May-13 12:51:20

You're doing so well keeping calm!

His attempt at trying to get your friend on side by putting the blame on your 'attitude' seems to have backfired.

Breaking the news to the kids must've been so difficult, but it sounds like you handled it well. They may be upset because of the sense of uncertainty about impending changes etc - but not exactly heartbroken, if ds is already lining up a potential new stepdad and stepsister! Bless him lol. Shows how replaceable they think he is...

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 05-May-13 14:58:51

I've been lurking on here and have found it really helpful. Socks you are in the place I was in a year ago; handling it so much better than I did though. My dh also very 'poor me', manipulative etc.

Jenny your posts are amazing and something you wrote was a massive eye-opener for me - it was when you said you wanted your dh's approval for leaving him. I did that too. Cue two or three years of the same argument where I tried to get him to take responsibility for screwing up our marriage with his EA... it never worked and he still doesn't see it. I lacked confidence in myself so much it was as if I couldn't permit myself to leave unless I could get him to understand I had no choice. Eventually it didn't matter any more.

FWIW a year on I feel the fog is finally lifting and I am no longer beating myself up all the time or feeling crippled with guilt about the marriage ending. The grieving is coming to an end and I am looking forward, confident I have done the right thing and feeling like my own person for possibly the first time. I am 42 and was with my dh for 15 years too.

Sorry, that all sounds a bit hijacking and I don't mean it to. There are so many of us at various stages of negotiating new lives that aren't dominated by these damaged losers...

Socks you are doing brilliantly. Your anger is understandable, but try not to let it get in the way of the progress you are making; don't let it mess you up. The perfect Dad thing must be particularly irritating. But while your kids might be enjoying the oxygen of some more attention from him for once it can do nothing to reverse the many years of you being the better parent, so don't be anxious about that.

Sending you love and strength, and to all the women who've broken free from one of these dysfunctional, stunted individuals. flowers

WearingFuckMeSocks Sun 05-May-13 18:01:07

Hi everyone, thanks for all the words of support & encouragement smile

have spent the afternoon at my mums, just lovely and relaxing sitting in the garden in the sunshine with the kids playing & laughing. Ds laughed like a drain when the wind blew so hard my plastic picnic plate flipped over and dumped my sandwich in his lemonade grin.

tired, I know what you mean about Jenny's posts and needing approval; if I hadn't read that I would probably be trying to explain to everyone, including H, exactly why I was leaving when really, as many people have said here, the fact that "the relationship broke down' is sufficient information in most cases.

Fluffy, you echo my mum's words from yesterday with your observation Shows how replaceable they think he is.... dd drew a couple of pictures of all the family yesterday and said "They're for Daddy for when he leaves. I want daddy to move out and you stay here with us mummy, because we don't do much with daddy do we, except when he takes us to school sometimes". She's 5, and she has him sussed.

He is at the minute systematically working his way through all our friends to "talk" to them about us. I suspect he thinks that if he gets in with his version of events first they will believe him. He obviously hasn't reckoned on my new-found quiet dignity grin. Whenever he starts talking and trying to get a rise I just repeat in my head "Don't engage. Quiet dignity"
Works a treat!

Anyway, Superdad is taking kids to the beach tomorrow, so will give me time to get everything together that I need for the solicitor on Wed.

Quick question - should I take evidence of the abuse to the solicitor? Not that there is much, but i have a letter from my GP and wondered if i should take the email from H where he admitted punching the wall & burning my book?

Shinigami Sun 05-May-13 18:31:52

Definately take it!

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Sun 05-May-13 18:44:33

Yes yes yes take the evidence of abuse to the solicitor, absolutely.