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Emotional abuse- starting to think I'm wrong

(6 Posts)
LisaB777 Sat 10-Sep-16 12:16:54

Get a solicitor and lots of good advice. Make sure you have a good support network with a good friend or two for you. They are both critical.
I am 1yr separated and in the process of divorce. I was with my ex for 20 years. We have two boys (15 and 12) and married for 11 years. He is a controller, manipulator and mentally abusive. I have been 'gas lighted' for years and can only now see what was happening, now I'm away from him. I left the family home with the boys after I found out about an affair. My world had fallen apart. All my married life's value put in to question.
He controlled everything. The house, business, my car... Had all be changed in to his sole name. My wages were paid in to our joint account for which he didn't want me to even have a card!
My upset, anger and all the other emotions I channelled in to find a new start for me and the boys. I set up a credit card (to build my credit and purchase the necessaries for a new home). I set up a new bank account and had my wages transferred. I then found a rental house and moved Nov 2016. I kept myself busy so I would fall apart.
It was devasting as I felt I was giving up on my marriage and letting my boys down. But now I can see that he gave up on the marriage a long time ago, not me. I'm am responding to a situation I didn't ask to be put in.
To the outside world I was doing great. Going to work, able to hold a smile. In private I was falling apart. Crying, (which really isn't me), not sleeping, not eating. I've gone from a size 12 ( which he said was fat!?) to a small size 8. I still have many sleepless nights - as that's when my brain chews over everything with nothing to distract me. My thoughts are my worse enemy... All the memories, all the conversations... Wondering where I went wrong.
But I'm glad I left. He was only with me so I could finance everything... He just seemed to be waiting for someone better to come along. He's in a new relationship now... Someone else from the first one he cheated on me with. That one was married.
I've found myself a solicitor and petitioned for divorce, with adultery with an unnamed person as the reason. I had to file a 'matrimonial rights of interest' on the house to make sure he didn't sell up and keep all the money. I have to get a court order to fight for the financial stuff, but it's essential. The worst part was the mediation meeting and having to sit in a room with him. He made me feel like cr*p. All my confidence, composure... Everything, just drains the moment I see him. He manipulates everything to make himself look like the better person. But at the end of the day, he's not.

He's angry as he will have so show his finances. Unfortunately they won't be genuine as he has a lot of hidden income, in the way of cash from self employment, that I can't prove. It's maddening that on paper his wages are so low he gets legal aid, but can afford holidays, race mortorbikes, a new van, a car, a mortgage, partying, play tennis 3 nights a week, wining and dining the new woman. But... He's scared that HMRC will investigate him and that is why he's being even more abusive. I've had to block his emails now, and I've forwarded them to my solicitor.

I have a few very good close friends who have picked me up emotionally on a regular basis. I get messages from them everyday, checking how I am. Not sure where I'd be without them to be perfectly honest. And my boys are amazing.

I am focussing on my future of getting the finances sorted so I can buy a new home for me and the boys. Hopefully the family home will be sold so we can start again. He will always be part of their lives, but not mine. I am now trying not to look back and analyse the past. It's had enough of a post-morgen. He is nolonger the man I fell in love with, and I have to remind myself that on a daily basis.
I will be stronger and most certainly wiser, after all this.

My advise to you, were you to ask, would most certainly be don't stay with him because you're too scared to leave, be it for financial reasons, or because of the fear for the future... It's one of the hardest thing to do, but it'll be worth it. For the first time in many years I am starting to feel like a person of value, with worth. Get a strong network of support as you will need it... It's a roller coaster ride, but I'm starting to realise that even that is better than they way I was living before, with him - Doubting myself when he told me I was paranoid, he even told me I was mentally ill... All wrong, just part of the control abusive manipulation.

I hope this advise will be useful...

fivetosix Wed 07-Sep-16 21:17:56

You are an absolute diamond. Thank you for all of your help and support. I'll ask for the thread to be moved smile

OP’s posts: |
Morasssassafras Wed 07-Sep-16 20:10:00

It takes a little while for the fog to clear but it will. Give yourself time and treat yourself as you would a friend.

As you have a child with disabilities then it's probably best to have someone check over your benefits and make sure you are receiving anything you are entitled to. Citizens advice bureau could do this for you and are normally available in most towns in the UK. You are right to be concerned about what may affect your benefits so CAB again would be able to advise.

It sounds like for the financial side of the divorce/separation you very much need to see a solicitor to ensure that your rights are protected, women's aid would be able to point you in the direction of one experienced in cases of abuse, especially as he owns his own business so may be able to disguise how much he gets paid for child maintenance reasons.

I know that lawyering up immediately may not be your first thought but if he has been abusive in other ways then he may find financial ways to continue the abuse now so it's best to get everything set out clearly

You will be able to manage financially. You may have to think more carefully about what you buy and where you shop but people survive on less.

Get the right team of real life people around to give support in their area (da support worker, CAB adviser, solicitor) and you will be fine. You can of course do it on your own if you'd rather but support is there for you to make sure everything gets done. If you have any friends around then use their support too.

You might also get more advise and support over on the relationship board as many people have been through this before and can give you their own experiences. Either report your post here to MN and ask them to move or just do a new post.

You can and will get through this, and be happier flowers

fivetosix Wed 07-Sep-16 18:59:19

Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. I will contact WA- thanks for the heads up.

My head is a big fog at the moment. I've done the best thing I can by making the decision, and I know I need to take it one day at a time, but I still feel under his control.

We have two houses in joint names. One has tenants and so the rent covers the mortgage. There is also the family home. I am continuing to stay there and he has moved to the flat above his business (which is in his name).

I do not currently work and am classed as a carer for one of our children who has a disability. I would love to be able to return to work but am concerned that it would affect what I am entitled to and leave me in a worse off position. I feel as though I need 'something for me', to have something new to focus on and make my children proud of.

He has told me that he will leave everything that is here to me. His family has two commercial properties overseas that he would benefit from and also he would have the money from the sale of the business over here.

My biggest worry is about being able to juggle the finances. I have always left it up to him, and whilst I know the money that comes in and out, I have always felt like I've had a security blacker knowing that finance was his department.

I would be left with £650 each month once all bills have been paid. That does not include food shopping. It is doable right? hmm

OP’s posts: |
Morasssassafras Wed 07-Sep-16 18:37:10

Of course he doesn't want to lose you and will tell you anything he thinks might work to stop it happening. This is because he doesn't want to have to train a new wife/partner and be on his best behaviour whilst doing so.

Benefits will indeed stop when the children are older as will child maintenance, that doesn't mean that you won't be able to support you and your children by then. Your children will be able to see the difference between dad buying them things and mum caring for them day to day. They will appreciate the difference.

Do you have a domestic abuse support worker or an IDVA? If not then please consider contacting either women's aid or your local service. No you aren't wasting their time and they will be able to give you practical and emotional support.

Your stbxh has been abusive for years and I completely understand how hard it is to make the first move away from that. You've got this. Your life will be infinitely better without him in it.

The best thing you can do for your children is to show them that abuse is not a normal way to live flowers

fivetosix Wed 07-Sep-16 18:10:07

I have been married for 13 years in which has been a turbulent relationship. We have 3 DC. There has been physical violence in the past, emotional abuse, threats and although it's been a hell of a long time coming, I finally plucked up the courage to tell him last week when I was away that I wanted out.

He was in agreement that we had reached the end of the road and moved out his stuff from the family home before I returned. Whilst I certainly know that there is no road ahead (I just don't love him anymore), he spent the best part of two hours on the phone this morning telling me how he has done all he ever could and more to get the family where it is today. He told me he had plans to buy me a brand new car, that he had been finding a family holiday for us and that he was prepared to drop everything last week and fly out to try save the marriage.

Two years ago I contacted the police due to DV and took out a court order but mediation/family involvement meant that we gave things another try, but to be honest, nothing has improved. I am fed up of the constant jibes, belittling, anger, feeling of no worth. He leads a very relaxed lifestyle going out to see friends at least 4-5 nights a week because to be honest, I've never done anything to try keep him at home. I've always been happier when he hasn't been there.

To get to my point- the cars, holidays, new home, money etc don't bother me in the slightest. We had nothing when we got together but we were happy, because that's all we knew. He is making me feel ungrateful and selfish for not appreciating 'all he has done' and the decisions he has made for the family. He says if he didn't love me, it wouldn't have done any of it. I just can't get out of my head the times I've been hit, spat at, sworn at and shouted at being called names. I feel as though he is brainwashing me, and more than anything, I feel emotionally drained.

He tried to turn the tables to tell me that once the kids have grown up, help in the form of money from the government will stop, I will struggle and be left with nothing and the kids won't want to know me because he will provide more than enough for them. Why do I feel as though I have been emotionally blackmailed to the point that I am actually questioning if I'm doing the right thing?

I have no surviving family and his are overseas. I feel very alone and isolated sad

OP’s posts: |

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