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My abusive husband

(172 Posts)
TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:06:11

I know Mumsnet is fond of LTB, so AIBU to seek your support? Here's my story condensed into bullet-points:

* Children: 3yr old DS and 4yr old DD. I was a SAHM for 4 years until recently when I started work. My wage: 13K. Husbands wage: 42K.
* I've been with my husband for 10 years. During this time he has gradually become more and more abusive: financially (me no access to money, him taking out secret loans), emotionally (gaslighting, putting me down, manipulation, foul name-calling, sometimes in front of the children), physically (manhandling me, stalking me, tracking me with GPS, waterboarding me), and socially (telling the community that I am a slut, making all the parents at the children's school gossip about me).
* 6 months ago my spirit finally broke and I started an affair with someone from work. This new man has treated me with dignity and respect. For the first time I feel valued. Although I've never lived alone in my life I feel I really ought to leave my husband. I can't take any more. After discovering my affair, my husband has really escalated his abuse. Life is unbearable.
* I have started The Freedom Programme after my new therapist referred me. I am finding it harrowing but helpful.
* My parenting: After postnatal depression and years of being criticized and undermined by my husband, my confidence in my parenting has reached rock bottom. I actually went to citizens advice and said the children would be better off with him, that he was the better parent. In my heart, I don't know if this is true. On paper: he is the better parent: he attends all school appointments, he has excellent family support (I have no family), he's a confident parent, and he can provide a better lifestyle (his income is 4x mine and he drives).

My questions for you guys:

* If I leave and find my own place, giving him full custody of the children - what would be the implications of this? Can he force me to take on more childcare than I am able? (I have zero family support and low income). He's suggesting 50/50.
* If I leave the marital home (only his name is on the mortgage) will I still be entitled to the assets upon divorce? What about spousal maintenance?
* What else should I consider?

Toffeelatteplease Thu 25-Jun-15 15:10:24

He waterboarded you?!?!

You start by talking to woman's aid, getting a very good solicitor

Welshmaenad Thu 25-Jun-15 15:11:45

Do you want to give him full custody of the children? I imagine he would make contact very difficult for you. Do you think a man who treats his wife the way he has treated you is capable of being an excellent parent? Money and ability to drive mean nothing, children need live and s strong emotional attachment not an ATM and a taxi.

I assume you are accessing the Freedom Programme through a local DV organisation. My advice would be to ask them to find a space in refuge for you and your children, and refer you to a good family law solicitor once you're out of the marital home.

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:12:41

Toffeelatteplease I'm in contact with the local domestic violence organisation. They seem very slow with getting things organised though. Said they'd put me in contact with a solicitor weeks ago but nothing so far.

I'm wondering whether getting the health visitor involved may be an option, but then again it could cause a lot of extra drama.

ShaynePunim Thu 25-Jun-15 15:13:32

Please contact Woman's Aid and speak to someone before you leave your home, unless you or your children are at immediate risk.

Good luck, OP.

I am sure you are a good parent and it will work out for you and your kids.

elderflowerlemonade Thu 25-Jun-15 15:14:17

I absolutely wouldn't hand over my children to that man. Cold day in hell and all that. Absolutely no chance.

ShaynePunim Thu 25-Jun-15 15:14:57

PS if the local DV organisation promised you to put you in touch with a lawyer, keep calling and calling and calling until you get somewhere. It's very hard and takes balls but sometimes it's the only way. Good luck.

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:15:34

Do you think a man who treats his wife the way he has treated you is capable of being an excellent parent?

He has excellent family support (his parents do the bulk of the childcare). If I leave, he has said that his parents will stop doing 50% of the childcare, leaving me to find someone to do it. I'm terrified to be honest.

Welshmaenad I wouldn't want to drag the children to a refuge, away from their home, their school and the grandparents that love them. I would however consider going to a refuge on my own. What would happen if I did that?

Toffeelatteplease Thu 25-Jun-15 15:17:06

Please please chase up the domestic violence serice, they are vastly overworked but you do matter and you need their help now.

Alternatively walk into any solicitors ask if they do legal aid and whether they will take you on.

I know right now you just want to get out safely but see if they can get your children out too

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:17:30

Please contact Woman's Aid

Can Women's Aid offer more than the local domestic violence organisation, or are they the same thing?

elderflowerlemonade He has never hurt the children. All abuse has been aimed at me.

dreamingofblueskies Thu 25-Jun-15 15:17:33

Someone who waterboards anyone, let alone his wife, is not a good parent. He sounds vile and you need to get yourself and your DC away from him. When was the last time you spoke to the local DV organisation? Maybe it is worth chasing the solicitor up?

elderflowerlemonade Thu 25-Jun-15 15:18:24

What is water boarding?

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:18:46

Toffeelatteplease Re: getting the children out, I have literally no support. I couldn't look after them on my own. I have no family and my wage is low.

elderflowerlemonade Thu 25-Jun-15 15:19:07

He has hurt the children by calling their mum a slut in public shock and treating her like shit!

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:19:28

Re: the solicitor, what kinds of questions do I need to be asking?

elderflowerlemonade Thu 25-Jun-15 15:19:57

I understand it's difficult with no family.

I really empathise with that part. I'm sorry.

Goldmandra Thu 25-Jun-15 15:20:00

I know your confidence is rock bottom but please ask yourself why you would want to subject your children to a future with someone who behaves like this.

Your children would be better off with you in a B&B on benefits than with a man who treats his family the way he has treated you.

Please don't hand them over to him. Once you are free of this abuse and your self confidence is being rebuilt, you will see that your children are safer with you.

Mandatorymongoose Thu 25-Jun-15 15:20:02

To answer your questions:

If you left he couldn't force you to look after your children if you didn't want to - you just wouldn't go and collect them.

You would probably still be entitled to a proportion of the value of your home as an asset of the marriage - you'd need to discuss with a solicitor.

Spousal maintenance is probably unlikely, it doesn't seem very common but again - discuss with a solicitor.

I do have to ask why this is your plan though? Is it what you actually want to do? or what you think would be best for the children? or ...?

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:20:36

He has hurt the children by calling their mum a slut in public shock and treating her like shit!

In that case, did I hurt the children by having an affair?

Welshmaenad Thu 25-Jun-15 15:20:55

There may well be a suitable refuge nearby so that the children can stay in school. HE says his parents will stop childcare, he would, wouldn't he?

I used to work in DV support and the level of abuse you are experiencing is very high, and quite frightening. Have the organisation done a CAADA-DASH (or DASHRA as some call it) - a questionnaire about the abuse? My feeling is that you would score as high risk and really ought to have had your case referred to a MARAC (multi agency risk assessment conference where agencies discuss safeguarding strategies) by now. It's my opinion that SS should be involved to support you and assess the risk he may pose to the children.

If you choose to enter refuge alone you will still be safe; but given how controlling your DH is I dudpect you may end up having to go to court to get contact with your children.

I have worked in refuge and seen lots of children come and go. They do ok. It's not as traumatic for them as you think.

CakeLady1 Thu 25-Jun-15 15:21:54

Get yourself and your children away from him. It will be hard, but there is help available. Be strong x

elderflowerlemonade Thu 25-Jun-15 15:22:00

I don't think it's the same thing at all! You didn't set out to hurt anyone - it was an unfortunate by-product if you like.

One of my friends had a similar situation actually but her children were older - God, her 'D'H was vile!

wannabestressfree Thu 25-Jun-15 15:23:06

I can't believe you think leaving them is a viable option....you can get childcare and help.

TheWhiteFlag Thu 25-Jun-15 15:25:22

please ask yourself why you would want to subject your children to a future with someone who behaves like this.

Because all abuse has been aimed at me, never them. Leaving with me would do much more damage to their stability than staying in their home with him.

Once you are free of this abuse and your self confidence is being rebuilt, you will see that your children are safer with you.

If that happens, perhaps I could try to fight for them?

I do have to ask why this is your plan though? Is it what you actually want to do? or what you think would be best for the children? or ...?

He's pressuring me to leave. Threatening to cut off water, electricity and internet (need the latter for my work) when he leaves for work each day. He's very erratic and life is getting worse and worse living here. I have regular panic attacks and feel scared a lot of the time.

ElkTheory Thu 25-Jun-15 15:25:23

I can't advise on the legal side of things but on a purely emotional level, LTB is surely the only option. And get the children the hell away from this man. Water boarding is torture. Report him to the police for that.

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