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AIBU to make this marriage decision?

(16 Posts)
TheBestNamesAreTaken Mon 25-Jan-16 01:38:41

I'll try to make my background brief:

Husband of 7 years, pushing 8. Found out a year or so ago that he'd met up with an ex, in secret, complete with wistful 'what-ifs' & discussion of our rocky marriage. Also found out he'd been meeting escorts, although he had emails as 'proof' this was for companionship not sex. Skipping the long detail, we agreed to give things a proper go. Obviously oversimplifying my descriptions for the sake of not rambling.

My life is in a total rut. I didn't go back to work after MAT leave with our first daughter as she was super clingy and needy, and has since been diagnosed with ASD. We now have 2 girls, 1.5 & 3.5. My house is a disaster - we run an office from it and have a nanny so I feel overwhelmed by the mess and chaos, and it often feels pointless starting to clean tidy as it literally doesn't last even an hour. Husband is slovenly and doesn't lift a finger around the house, although constantly complains and criticises.

He has raging temper tantrums, often blowing up with little or no seeming cause, calls me vile and triggering names (abusive childhood), and is incredibly disrespectful towards me. I always knew he had this streak, but in the days when the good outweighed the bad, it was less important (poor word choice but can't think of better).

I've just found out, although he doesn't know I know, that he engaged the services of an escort on Friday. He may not have gone through with it as a work crisis came up. I found out through his phone/internet records, which I know to some of you makes me an awful, privacy-violating person, but it seems it's the only way to get to the truth with him. I thought he'd stopped as I hadn't found anything on him for months.

So, our life is very complex for lots of reasons. He's a terrible parent and I know with absolute certainty my children will suffer in his sole care. My eldest girl is almost 4 and doesn't yet speak, so I can't afford to take risks with her future, and I'm willing to sacrifice my own self worth, self respect and happiness to give her the absolute best start in life and possible outcome with her ASD. This is the only reason I would stay in this marriage, and if I'm staying, there's no point confronting/acknowledging his actions, is there? If I acknowledge them and forgive again, I'm just putting out the message that I'm even more of a doormat, and he has free reign to treat me even more poorly.

The last time I tried to leave he threatened to call social services and concoct a story of me being unstable and incapable of caring for my babies. He said that even though his allegations would ultimately turn out to be false, he'd make me suffer the restricted access and scrutiny in the meantime.

Sorry, this is much longer than I intended. I know I'm making a decision that goes against the grain, as pathetic as it sounds I'm lonely and need a handhold, as I know life is only going to get tougher.

saoirse31 Mon 25-Jan-16 01:47:36

Oh god, I don't know what to advise, but your love for your DC shines through and you'd hope judge and social workers would see that.

Sounds like you'd be so happy as single parent, but it might be hard to get there

duckduckquack Mon 25-Jan-16 01:52:27

You're being incredibly brave and prioritizing your kids over everything else which makes you an amazing mum. I watched a Jada Pinkett Smith thing today where she talked about the importance of a mother finding balance and being happy, how the whole family suffers if the mum is unhappy. It struck a chord with me however I can see your predicament and reluctance to do anything that would make your kids unsafe. I hope someone comes along with some good advice.

Baconyum Mon 25-Jan-16 01:55:08

My ex made spurious allegations to ss. At no point was my access restricted and they're usually pretty good at seeing those for what they are. This is likely simply a threat to keep you in your place anyway.

I don't for one second believe someone pays money to an escort just for 'company' sorry but that's bullshit and I think you should get sti screening.

He sounds vile. It might be worth speaking to a solicitor regarding if you could get it so he only had supervised access to the dc? Given you don't feel they would be safe with him?

Frankly I'd kick him to the kerb.

sleeponeday Mon 25-Jan-16 02:23:59

You need to talk to your health visitor, your GP, and your child's paediatrician about your concerns over your husband's capacity to care for the children; his abusive behaviour towards you; and your sole reason for remaining in the marriage being your concerns over his neglect and anger issues, were you to leave him. You need all this logged, so he can't later claim, if he leaves or you do, that it was all just invented to block his contact with them.

There's no way he would be able to restrict your contact. Apart from anything else you have a nanny, who would presumably be able to say exactly what the reality in your house is and who is involved in the children's lives.

figureofspeech Mon 25-Jan-16 02:25:00

Get this moved to relationships as there are some v experienced posters who will be able to advise you.

You are being amazingly strong & rational about this. Don't believe the craps about access restriction, the courts won't believe everything that a man who pays for sex says about his ex in a custody battle.

He is terrorising you into accepting the stays who. He knows you won't do anything to upset your children, he is being emotionally abusive.

I have a dc with ASD and I know that in order for him to thrive, he needs a safe, stable environment. What you are describing is not a stable or safe environment for your dd. She won't develop with your husband around, it will be too stressful for her.

sleeponeday Mon 25-Jan-16 02:55:36

I have a dc with ASD and I know that in order for him to thrive, he needs a safe, stable environment. What you are describing is not a stable or safe environment for your dd. She won't develop with your husband around, it will be too stressful for her.

So do I. I couldn't agree more.

I also doubt a man that selfish and angry would want to spend a lot of time in sole charge of an autistic child. The levels of selflessness and patience necessary to manage their needs wouldn't begin to be part of his repertoire. It sounds a decidedly empty threat on all fronts.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 25-Jan-16 04:12:44

The last time I tried to leave he threatened to call social services and concoct a story of me being unstable and incapable of caring for my babies. He said that even though his allegations would ultimately turn out to be false, he'd make me suffer the restricted access and scrutiny in the meantime.

He is talking out of his abusive arse. If it wasn't so fucking depressing, it would be laughable that controlling twunts like him always follow the same script.

Please make contact with Women's Aid as you are being emotionally and verbally abused in your own home and staying with this hateful man will do your dds no good whatsoever.

As figureofspeech has said, do please report your thread and ask for it to be moved to Relationships.

dontcallmecis Mon 25-Jan-16 04:18:57

One thing at a time.

Go and see a lawyer, give the full story, and take it from there.

TheBestNamesAreTaken Mon 25-Jan-16 04:42:47

Thank you for your time, a lot of what you've all said strikes a chord.

Bacon, I didn't totally believe the 'company' line either, although I did see an email exchange showing that to be the intention. However, as it seemed he was committed to getting our marriage on track, I felt giving the benefit of the doubt was more beneficial than doggedly pursuing a truth that I'd never know for sure. I've never managed to regain trust, unsurprisingly, but I guess it's irrelevant now. I can't prove anything, but equally can't trust the words of a proven liar who has no intention of changing his ways. I guess as I never fell back in love with him, I'm a bit ambivalent now. He has become vile and wouldn't have had the second chance if not for the children.

I suspect true clinical depression, he handles stress very badly and has bouts of disengaging from the world - he's slept all day every day the last 2 weekends - so I previously felt I should stand by him. Now though the cause seems unimportant if I'm so unhappy and he's so willing to jeopardise our marriage.

I saw a solicitor about a year ago, and spent a few consultations discussing different scenarios. His feeling was that there was not enough of a case to restrict or put conditions on access. There is no direct harm or distress to the girls, and lackadaisical parenting slash benign neglect is not the same as risk of physical or mental harm. As an example, yesterday my eldest had a dirty pull up (potty training making very slow progress), which he changed as I was not around - into one of her little sister's nappies from my bag, within reaching distance FFS. No harm, no damage, but all the consistency that she needs in order to learn, out of the window for no reason other than laziness. This is typical, but also not 'enough' of a reason to impact contact.

Sleeponeday great advice, I hadn't considered sharing these concerns with medical professionals. Thank you.

He loves our children very much and I know for a fact he would go for at least 50/50 contact. He would also fight me in court if I was anything less than willing. He's certainly more persuasive than me and with more resources, and I don't think this is a fight I could win.

Figureofspeech I do agree re: the best environment for my eldest to thrive is a stable and safe one. I think, as I can't impose on his access, and he will never change (anger will just be directed at a new partner, at staff, the guy who cuts him up on a roundabout) then I need to be that stable influence, IYSWIM? I can distract, correct, influence etc if I'm here. And if I'm not around, they'll be thrown in front of an iPad all day and things like the nappy incident above will undermine and inhibit any efforts to teach them - with obviously a huge impact on eldest. Does that make any sense?

TheBestNamesAreTaken Mon 25-Jan-16 04:56:19

Saoirse, I meant to say thank you for being so kind. I'd be so happy as a single parent, I even think it'd be the making of me. But right now I also think it'd be to the detriment of my little ones, and they're the most important considerations here.

Inertia Mon 25-Jan-16 06:35:47

I agree with previous posters - start expressing your concerns to health professionals now, and in particular be explicit about the threats he has made. Have you been offered any specialist help since your daughter's diagnosis?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Mon 25-Jan-16 06:52:32

I was wondering whether the way to go is via specialist help for ASD. Does your daughter have a social worker? I'd want to get someone independent to document how his parenting isn't great.

I'd also start collecting evidence. Make sure you keep copies of the emails. Also make sure you have details of finances. Do you have access to your own money? He sounds exactly the sort of man who'd drain a joint account.

stumblymonkey Mon 25-Jan-16 06:52:42

Sorry...I don't have a lot of advice at this point (my brain doesn't work well in the morning) but in a practical sense regarding the threats of limiting your access by way of spurious claims....

- Fully brief your solicitor in advance of telling him that you want to divorce. This would mean your solicitor can advise the courts that they were aware of this threat in advance

- You can buy recording devices very cheaply from Argos so you could record his threats. Not submissive in court (I don't think) but again your solicitor can say he's heard them which is just as good

- Start writing down everything he does which counts as emotional abuse/threats/not properly taking care of his children with dates and times. Obvs do this in a way that he can't find it - like a password protected word document for example or something on your phone with an innocuous looking title. This can then be used to build up a picture of his behaviour with a view to ensuring you have the main custody and he has limited/supervised contact

Throwingshade Mon 25-Jan-16 06:59:30

Your life will be so much better without him in it, no matter what the complications or hardships - I promise you. See a lawyer asap and start the ball rolling. Your life sounds incredibly joyless and he is treating you like shit on his shoe.

Even posting on here to describe your h and what might or might not be behind his monstrous behaviour is a waste of your precious energy. Forget all that shit, he is who he is. Who cares why anymore?

You deserve more thanks

TheBestNamesAreTaken Mon 25-Jan-16 11:34:18

Thank you. I can see that this is abuse, and I know I'd be better off without him - I am under no illusions. It's jut not viable to leave right now, I firmly believe it would stunt my girl's development (her bold as brass sister just isn't at the same risk), but I think that will change once she's hit certain milestones - possibly come 1st or 2nd year at school.

However, what you've made me realise is that I do need to start laying my paper trail, so to speak, and getting prepared for a smooth transition. You've given some good ideas which I'll be following, starting with a chat to some medical professionals.

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