I'd like some advice please, EA and preparing to drop a bombshell.(46 Posts)
Am I in an abusive marriage?
I think I know the answer but I just need some outside help and support.
We have 4 kids and have been married for 12yrs. Am a sahm/work from home part time in his family business, he pays me a nominal wage.
He insisted I gave up work when we had kids and I agreed as I wasn't particularly in love with the job I was in at that time - god, how I miss it now.
Some instances and examples.
•I'm on anti depressants for PND and anxiety. When I told him he said "why are YOU depressed? You don't actually do anything or have anything to be depressed about"
Nothing I do is credible to him. What I watch on telly is 'crap' even though he never sits down to watch it and I watch a wide range of mainstream stuff. If I read, I'm 'lazy'.
The house is never up to his standard even though he won't lift a finger to help. If the house is noticeably tidier (to him😏) he asks if I've had cleaners or my mum round (never had anyone else clean the house and he knows that) He's never cooked me a meal in the 15yrs we've been together. NEVER ONCE!
•Regularly encourages the kids to be mean or awkward towards me. E.g. At the start of this week I had had a minor vomiting episode (I've put it down to a 24hr bug or something) and was exhausted. The house was on an even keel and the kids were fed so I took the opportunity to have a nap whilst the kids watched telly. When he found out he told the kids they had his permission to throw a cup of water on me if they caught me sleeping again.
•He has a fixation on being 'too old for that'. E.g. I'm too old for Facebook now I'm into my early thirties. I'm too old to go out dancing with my friends. I had to fight to be let on a girly weekend even though I'd sorted childcare out myself and we could easily afford it. He used to be really funny about me going out on my own but he has got better about it over the years. If we go out together he's so socially awkward that I feel I have to babysit him all night. He has little in common with my friends or their partners and is often really derogatory about them once we get home.
•I have no control over the house at all. He pays the bills. He has a credit card that I am simply a named cardholder on. He scrutinises the bill and asks for receipts. He never tells me off for spending as I only really put household shopping and stuff for the kids on it but he can get arsey if he deems stuff unnecessary. Everything is in his name so if anything breaks etc, I have to wait for him to get around to ringing up about it. We don't have a joint account and he won't really discuss with me how much we have in savings (I know we're comfortably off due to him being self employed and a well established family business) he has claimed for it not to be feasible to buy the things I believe we need for the house yet produces a few grand at a days notice when he decided on a job that 'needed doing.'
We own our home and it's in our joint names.
•sex is shit, he's quite selfish. If he's in the mood I literally have to fend off his advances and get really firm and very direct. Sometimes I give in for an easy life and I'd never use that word but there's been times when he just won't let it drop. He even once said that I ought to be glad he still finds me attractive.
I know I'm going to probably get a few LTBs and I've recently come to the conclusion that that is what's coming next but how do I do it? I have no money of my own and he holds all the cards. It'll kill his parents, who I adore. And two of our children a very sensitive souls - any separation is going to knock them for six, I just know it.
Oh you poor love.
Yes, he is abusive.
I'm sure others with children will be along to help you with that aspect, but I do have this to share.
I was in an abusive marriage, incredibly similar sounding to yours. He was controlling also. It took me months to work out the logistics of leaving. I managed to secretly find an apartment and start moving my important things out of our house and hiding them at work.
I left a 3 bedroom house with one tiny car load and never went back.
I know it will be harder for you, especially with children. Is there anyone, family, friends, who can help you? If he is anything like I suspect, when you drop the bombshell he will make your life very hard. Best to try to get yourself prepared to just go, if you make that decision.
The good news is, although you don't know about his savings you would be entitled to half of them in the event of a divorce. And half of the house.
As for his parents - I wonder if they have an idea what he is like?
I'm sorry. Its a shit situation to be in xx
Thanks MrsQ x
I have good friends but with four kids in tow, it just makes everything so much harder. I couldn't fit them into my parents house
I have thought that, about the leaving all the crap behind. I have some valuables that I could sell to get a little bit of money from which I feel would be sensible to have out of the way before I do anything drastic. I've already been on Rightmove too, our house was recently valued so I have half an idea what we're dealing with but it's just the idea of taking the plunge and making it all final.
Yes your marriage is abusive, but you know that.
He is also being abusive to your children (telling them to throw water over you ).
And it sounds like he is also raping you.
The longer you stay the more long-term damage he will do. I bet you will be amazed by how much less sensitive your sensitive children become once they have escaped his abuse.
You will be entitled to share in the family assets even though they are his name so you won't be penniless.
You need a safe way to leave and for that both MN and women's aid will help. Any other RL support you can call on?
Please continue acting as normally as you can during this period of relocation and reframing your marriage.
I hear you.
Its only crap, at the end of the day. I don't miss my stupid expensive furniture and ornaments and TV. My bed was donated, I had no plates etc. But it doesn't matter.
Selling valuables - great idea. Please be careful with your internet history, btw.
Here's what helped me take the plunge.
I was sick of the cheating, the controlling, the raping. I used to daydream on the train, about a future me and what my life would be like. I imagined it all. The slightly messy apartment, what I would do on my first free weekend. How I would dress, without someone telling me how.
The image of me on a sofa, reading, doing nothing, got stronger and stronger. And I REALLY wanted that. That's what got me started. Taking the plunge is hard, and you may think how on earth can I do this? You are in your early 30s. That's no way to live.
The 4 kids could be tricky, regarding staying with family/friends. but it is good you have good friends. Have you told any of them what's going on?
Message me if you like.
Agree with Somerville - keep acting normally while you prepare.
And I agree with MrsQ about being careful about your internet history - and what a powerful explanation of how to take the plunge.
That's exactly it, the daydreaming, I've pictured all sorts of 'when I'm free' scenarios! It feels so far away at the moment but I used to wonder if I'd ever get the courage to leave, wether he'd change and become a good husband and I wouldn't need to leave. But now I know I'll leave. Not sure when or how I'm going to do it but I've got the realisation that it's definitely coming and I have to do it.
A couple of good friends know I've had wobbles in the past but I've not told them the full extent. My sister knows my relationship is on shaky ground but again, I've not let on fully. My sister doesn't live near and she's a worrier.
I'll bear in mind about Internet and keep removing it!
Thank you so much ladies. I feel a little more bolstered already
If my sister was going through what you're going through I would desperately want to know, Kate. I think you should tell her. Or a close friend.
And actually I think the full horror of the abuse you and your children receive is yet to sink in for you. Telling people will be hard because their reactions might feel to you like over reactions. Where's it is probably more likely that you are still under reacting.
I also think you should tell your GP. Your depression may be a result of your abuse and it could affect treatment options. And you may later be really bloody glad of evidence of the abuse, if there are legal issues over your children's care.
The sexual abuse you are receiving sounds horrific. I'm so sorry this is happening to you - having to literally fend off advances and then sometimes having to give in to keep yourself safe is dreadful and actually a police matter. But perhaps sister or close friend will be easiest to confide in. Then GP?
The more support you have the better.
But remember to cover your tracks and stay safe.
Please do tell someone. I didn't, until I left. Now when I tell people about the shit show of my marriage they tend to look at me open mouthed. I didn't really realise how bad it was til I left.
I spent a good couple of weeks after just bouncing down the street, so happy to be free. And once a week I wallow on that sofa I dreamt of, falling asleep with a book.
Your sister may be a worrier, but worriers can surprise you. Get yourself some RL support, formulate a plan and keep that dream of future Kate in your head.
Baby steps.. Step 1. Tell someone.
Step 2. GP. He is no doubt making you depressed as fuck.
There is no rush. Take your time
My sister is coming to visit soon, I will tell her. And I was supposed to make a follow up GP appointment but just never got around to it so I'll make that a priority.
I have moments of feeling so strong but then my resolve withers again. The shouty arguments aren't that frequent, when he makes one of his withering quips, the kids are usually nearby or I just don't want to be bothered with the fallout. I used to need to be riled up to retaliate and stand up for myself but it's becoming easier now to put him in his place in a calmer manner. I don't know how far off the Its Over talk is but I feel I should get the stuff sold. He's not unused to me selling the odd few bits on eBay etc so that wouldn't ring any alarm bells for him. He's out of the house for such a large chunk of the day it's actually fairly easy to hide stuff from him and he's an absolute technophobe which has also worked in my favour up to now as he barely knows how to turn stuff on but I will continue to remove web browser stuff just to be safe.
I know what you mean about the underreacting, I know I'm playing it down. I may try to proceed without claiming abuse, unless I have to. I feel guilty for potentially blackening his name one minute then feel he deserves everything he gets, the next. I tend to flit between the two.
I know he's controlling but he's had a very traditional upbringing. I honestly don't think he sees himself as controlling or abusive. His parents are lovely to me and the kids, they are very careful not to be interfering etc, but my god they are old fashioned. Very 'women should stay at home and only brought out as trophies at special occasions' his dads incredibly racist too but luckily saw the look on my face the first time he said the P word in my presence and now very rarely repeats it. I know I need to reduce contact with them all for the kids sake.
I'm not making excuses either really, my grandmother was really very racist too, amongst quite a few other big faults, but my father is well rounded and accepting of everyone. I know you don't automatically inherit bad traits against your will.
bottom line is that I feel this is so massive and daunting right now but at the same time I know when I'm settled into my new life I'll wonder why I didn't do it years ago.
Thanks so much for the support
Your sofa, and your cat, are beautiful MrsQ.
I can't wait for that to be me
Just wanted to say hi, and you can do it! Being here is the first step! My partner was by no means anywhere as bad as your DH sounds, but I know what you mean about him not seeing it. Mine was depressed and paranoid and made my life a complete misery but it's as though he didn't see it as controlling.
The hardest hardest thing I ever did was leave, I still loved him more than anything, but I also had a teenage DS and knew I had to! The first night in that new house...it felt like a weight had been lifted! I was so scared but as soon as I was in that house it was exciting too.
You can do it, and you'll wonder why you didn't do it before. Good luck xx
I could have written your post, except I only have two DDs. It's shit isn't it? I'm in exactly the same boat with the sex too. We did come to the brink of separation a few months ago after a particularly bad spell but he talked me into staying. It was ok for a few months but now he's under some stress in his new job (he's forever hating and changing jobs), and he is being shitty again. We have good days and we have bad days but overall I think my love for him has pretty much gone. I feel pangs of something for him sometimes - sadness, sympathy, but I don't enjoy kissing him really any more. It's sad I know. I need to leave really but my kids are so young and my family are miles away and can't offer too much practical help. Keep me posted on how you get on. I don't have advice really but want you to know you are not alone
I've been on the brink a few times, I always lost my nerve at the last minute. In may this year I was ready to tell him when he came in from work. I'd thought of nothing else all day. I was sick with nerves and I was so sure that I was doing the right thing but for some reason he was all sweetness and light when he came in so I didn't and now we're nearly five months on and I wish I'd done it that day so much.
I feel a bit stronger now I've set my heart on leaving, I know I will. Before I would always wonder if I could, if it was right, what I would do etc.
I never told anyone because a) I didn't want to admit it and b) telling someone means there's an expectation from that person for you not to be weak or useless, iyswim? If I told my friend the full story she'd say LTB and if I didn't it could make her start hassling me about it when I really want to do it on my own terms.
What the fuck. He gave your kids permission to throw a cup of water on you?? That's so cruel. He's not only hugely disrespectful but he's teaching your kids to disrespectful. You deserve so much better. Leave the crank!!!
Sorry I realise that's not very helpful and not telling you anything you don't already know. I apologise. I don't know how to help your situation. I was with an abusive man who actually ended up sodomising me. I ran from OUR house with not a single possession and I've not seen him since. Although I heard he got a roughed up quite badly not long after It all seems a little hazy now but my life is good and nothing is impossible. Good luck to you OP
Hi! I'm not sure I have much to add but yes, your marriage absolutely does sound abusive and you have every reason to try and leave and create a new future for yourself and your children. What you say about your children being encouraged to abuse you too has hit quite close to home too. It's horrendously cruel. Sorry I can't offer much practical help but wanted to add to the voice of support
Maybe not sell things just now but 'make them disappear' so that you can sell them at a later date when you really need the money IYSWIM. If you sell them now then sell them for cash so he can't trace it. Don't let your guard down. Go see a solicitor for some free advice. Do more reading on the divorce threads on here. I've considered splitting with my controlling, manipulative H for many years but finally did it a couple of months ago. We are still living in the same house which is a bummer. I have found the information and reality checks on mumsnet a life saver. Prepare, prepare, prepare. Oh, and I also spend a little time every day looking at houses on rightmove, planning how I would decorate, etc, sitting on my sofa on a Friday night after work with a glass of wine in my hand watching some rubbish on the TV. It may well be a daydream but it gives me a path with light at the end of the tunnel.
OP, get yourself onto this website to find out what tax credits you are entitled to.
Then take yourself onto this website to find out what child maintenance you are entitled to.
You don't know what he earns, I suppose, but have a guess - don't forget that the CSA or whoever they are now will want him to supply details of his salary. He might not tell you but he'll have to tell them. Don't, under any circumstances, do a deal with him - he will lie about his earnings and you will be much worse off.
Do you think you have to be the one to leave? Finding somewhere new for five of you will be hard - I would accept the house may well have to be sold, but there's no reason why you and the children should be the ones to leave first.
I would ask your sister to sell those things for you.
Thank you so much everyone, just knowing I can have a little rant or browse for similar stories on here is helping, even though I don't know you - THANKYOU.
I've just spent the day rearranging and tidying. Making sure my things are ready to be mobile if need be. I have a single friend quite close by who I know would let me stay if I turned up in the middle of the night but I'm still hoping that it might be more amicable, he knows I'm not happy so I'm thinking the talk might not be that much of a surprise.
The thing is with this house, it's incredibly close proximity to his work. I can't stay here as he'd know exactly where I was at all times, his business is never going to move. It's a very decent house and I'd find something suitable with half the money even if I had to move out of the immediate area and the kids had to share.
Thanks Imperial, I will take a look at those links!
Hi, little update.
I spoke to my single friend and told of my plans, we had a chat and she said her door is always open so I'm thinking her house might be my safe haven. I've made arrangements to sell a couple of my valuables and am taking the rest out of the way to store at a safe place so that I have a little insurance backed up. Any of my clothes, bags, and shoes that are worth selling are now on eBay with quite a few bids pending so I'm hoping to get a couple of hundred from that. It's funny how my once prized possessions, that I thought you'd have to prise out of my cold dead hands, suddenly became insignificant when compared to my new life that I'm hoping to create. I even hopped on Pinterest this afternoon and picked my colour scheme for my new bedroom, wherever and whenever that will be. Something he'd never go for in a million years.
I've priced up cars (we only have one between us and it's his baby. I honestly want nothing to do with it)
I've looked at the running costs of the houses in my bracket and it's not looking great but I think I'm going to have to lead with just wanting half the house and leave everything else. I could take him for half his stake in the business and some other assets but I couldn't jeopardise our kids future like that and I honestly couldn't wreck his livelihood that was there long before me. I'm thinking that he'd be able to buy me out of the house then instead of going through the lengthy selling process and things might get on a bit quicker.
Hopefully, in time, he'll be sensible and see that as a good trade and not stand in the way. I know you'll think I'm being naive but we live in quite a small area and there is a lot of family ties and strong friendships entwined around us and I need to avoid as much shit as possible. Ive looked at solicitors & I'm going to go for a chat to size up my options and whatnot.
Annoyingly he's being on his best behaviour and being really tactile. Not only do I feel a complete fraud returning any slight affection whatsoever, it's going to be really hard to dump someone who's being all lovey dovey when your main argument was his coldness, hostility and bastardishness. I know I need to stand firm, I'll never be happy in this relationship. I just need to remember that.
Join the discussion
Please login first.