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Should I leave now?

(39 Posts)
timefliesby Mon 20-Jun-11 13:00:52

I got pregnant 8 months into a relationship just as we had agreed to move in together but not discussed marriage, children etc in any great depth. We went ahead and had the baby. 8 months afterwards, I got pregnant again, having had sex twice that month and still not got my periods back regularly from breastfeeding. I did take a morning-after-pill on the one time we didn't use anything and it didn't work. None of that matters now because I adore my children and so does my partner. However we have also moved house three times in that time and our fledgling relationship has taken a battering.

Both of us come from separated families and we really don't want to do that to our children but we keep coming back to the same old arguments. He is emotionally very closed and I am the opposite. He has never said he loves me except once in a card. I would like to be married, I am still waiting a proposal 4 years on and 2 kids down. More worryingly, every six months, we have a massive argument where he says I am not an equal partner, I don't do as much as him, earn as much etc. I have always been a motivated person, I have become self-employed since having my first baby and have brought home several thousand pounds. I do the lion share of shopping housework cooking and childcare but it never seems enough. He says I am not supportive of his latest venture and in some ways this is true, he didn't get my agreement, he just went ahead around the time I was giving birth and we had to move house miles from my friends. I do support him in that I am now doing some work for this venture but he complains that I don't seem sure it's a good idea. I have 6 hrs guaranteed childcare a week for one child. The rest is whatever his family can help with so I don't have masses of time.

He has bordered on cruel at times, he threatened to kick me out when I was pregnant with my second child because I had to pop into work on a Sunday. He went mad about me using his car to go into work when I should be with family and threatened to throw me out. Other things he says are
The house only needs an hour a day - its not that hard
I sit and let the kids watch cbeebies all morning (only whilst I eat my breakfast)
May as well break up with me now than in two years and let me have half his money
I wouldn't earn enough to justify working more (when I offered to work full time)
He wants me to support him more
Not an equal partnership he does more etc
I have time off the kids when I'm breastfeeding my 2nd child.
He also said my respective 4 day and 24hr labours (the first one very traumatic) were nothing he couldn't have done

He is a good father and he does help around the house. I know that I can be a tired moody bitch at times. I'm not perfect either ey? But I am so sad and just don't know if we can ever make this work, he won't see a counsellor. Am I barking up the wrong tree? Should I just cut my losses? Thanks for your help.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 20-Jun-11 13:04:42

Yes, if I were you I would cut my losses sad sorry to say this.

It's a real shame but some men turn into utter arseholes the minute women go on maternity leave.

He sounds abusive, controlling, violent, manipulative, entitled and ungrateful. How dare he threaten to throw you out.

What are your circumstances? do you jointly own your home?

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Mon 20-Jun-11 13:06:55

just for good measure I've cut and pasted my stock answer to questions such as yours

There are only really 2 types of men that are worth living with.

The first is a very nice rich man who'se partner doesn't have to work unless she wants too and who is happy to pay for any additional help required in the house.

The second is a very nice ordinary man who'se partner does have to work but who does half of all the unpaid domestic chores to compensate for his partner working.

The worst type of man for any woman to get lumbered with is a man who not only doesn't earn enough money for his partner not to work, but won't do his share of the unpaid domestic chores either. Better to be single and get tax credits than be stuck with someone like this."

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 13:07:58

You have time off from the kids when you're breastfeeding one of them? Wtf?

And the ubiquitous 'he's a good dad' as his main selling point sad. He sounds a nightmare.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 20-Jun-11 13:18:36

Women usually write "he's a good father" when they themselves have nothing positive to write about their man.

And no, he is not a good father at all if he is prepared to treat the mother of his children like this.

Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied. At present with him you are badly accompanied.

TechLovingDad Mon 20-Jun-11 13:20:55

Why do so many women say their partner is a good father when they blatantly are not? Not beating or shouting at the children doesn't make them a good father, it's normal.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Mon 20-Jun-11 13:27:02

Sorry lovely, but what you've described is not a good parent. Not a good role model and not a supportive partner.

Sounds like a knob. WTF 'he could have handled the labours' and you''re having a nice sit down and a rest while you're breastfeeding.

and if you don't jump too quick enough he'll 'kick you out'?

I'd be a bit 'don't let the door hit you in the arse on the way out sunshine'

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 13:47:20

Regardless as to whether it looks as bleak over all to you as it seems on paper, regardless of whether things can be improved or not in the longer term, regardless of whether you feel ready to leave him right now...when a man puts it on the table that from one day to the next he could abandon his family or make them homeless you owe it to yourself and your children to actively plan for the worst in very concrete terms, even if you continue to hope for the best.

That means you absolutely need to go and get professional legal advice as to what sort of support you may or may not be looking at from him, where you stand with regards to joint property\custody etc. and start to gather the necessary information and papers to make sure they don't disappear if things go really bent. Find out what support could be on offer from the state or family and make yourself a short list of places you could live short term and longer term in the event of him making good his threats.

Deal with the above and you may find that in the process of taking back some control something clicks emotionally, leaving you clear as to whether you want to go, or stay and wait and see how things pan out.

I am so very sorry you are in this position with such a young family to care for while you manage such difficult decisions.

timefliesby Mon 20-Jun-11 14:07:49

Notsomuchasmugmarriendnow we are renting. But he has bought a development that he is turning into flats and we are meant to be moving into the first flat in two months. I think everything is in his name. I put about £7k in but he says this wasn't really my money anyway because I wouldn't have had any savings if he hadn't paid the rent in the beginning when we were together and I was on mat leave and he was earning a lot. He forgets that had I not got pregnant I was in line for a work bonus and that my salary had gone up by £13k in a year. I was just getting to that place whereby I could command a decent living when I got pregnant :-( Such is life. Money is not my forte as I am not money orientated but I think with two kids to look after, i should get savvy. So thank you also fastweb. Noted.
He is a good father though people, very hands on with them, he does nappies and play time and I can leave him in charge of them. My 2yr old adores him, it makes it a very tough decision.
Thank you again.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Mon 20-Jun-11 14:24:14

Sorry......

'I put about £7k in but he says this wasn't really my money anyway because I wouldn't have had any savings if he hadn't paid the rent in the beginning when we were together and I was on mat leave and he was earning a lot'

OFFS seriously.

He's NOT a good father, disabuse yourself of the notion. He plays with them and does nappies is not a GOOD father, a GOOD father is a parent who looks out for the security of their children. A good childminder does nappies and plays with them. A childminders costs much less than he seems to. My 2 year old used to like some very perculiar people including the smelly old drunk who used to make faces at him outside the co-op, but I wouldn't have left him with the drunk.

Timefliesby, I hope that very soon you discover a sense of self worth. You are worth so very much more than this.

waterrat Mon 20-Jun-11 14:30:03

ohmy god. I cannot believe he says that wasn't your money because you were on maternity leave. This man is seriously unpleasant and cruel. You need to get legal advice.

of course that is your money - maternity leave is also a sacrifice on your part - it's not a holiday where he 'treats' you by paying for things. You are caring full time for HIS children. How does he think they would have been cared for if you had been at work all day? by the fairy godmother?

He is not a good father - A good father treats the mother of his children with respect - and respects the time and effort she puts in to caring for them.

IN the ways in which he is good at parenting, he can do that when he has them on his own - please begin a new life without this man. you will not be depriving your children of a father as he can continue to be a father without being your partner.

The saddest part of this whole story is that he has never told you he loves you except once - in a card. How can you live without affection? It must be incredibly lonely.

Did you grow up in a family where little love was shown? I wonder why you have accepted this for so long. I would suggest getting counselling if you can. BACP website.

warthog Mon 20-Jun-11 14:30:19

he doesn't seem to understand the idea of a partnership, nor value things that you do for the family.

i'm sorry to say that i don't think i could put up with this. threatening to kick you out all the time is awful. you need to feel secure and that you can rely on each other, especially when you have kids.

only you can decide whether you can put up with it.

an ultimatum might give him a wakeup call, but you've got to be prepared to carry it through.

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 14:30:37

I put about £7k in but he says this wasn't really my money anyway

His rationalizations are irrelevant.

Do you have proof of payment ? Was it by cheque, is the transaction traceable as going from your account to his ? Your bank can help you find the relevant papers to back up your investment. Regardless of whether at the moment you wish to stay or go it would be in your best interests to go and get that evidence in your hands now.

Go to the bank and then take what they can find for you to a solicitor who can outline what other documents you need or what proof they can produce on the back of it.

My mum just got 60 grand back in not totally disimilar circumstances. The judge looked at the movement of the money between accounts, the statement a solicotr prepared for my mum at the time she was gathering evidence and deemed it clear that my mother had been investing in a joint interest even if there was no clear contract to state that in black and white.

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 14:35:15

oh and that was with the added nightmare of the counterparts subsequant bankrupsey, debts having been collected by banks (the banks were the part of the opposition in the court) etc. complicating matters horribly.

sorry for spelling. whole thing still makes me quake with rage even after all these years.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Mon 20-Jun-11 14:36:15

Fastweb. well done for being all calm, rational and practical about this. I'm sure you're a good deal more use than my outrage is blush

AnyFucker Mon 20-Jun-11 14:40:47

I suggest you see a solicitor quicksmart and get your financial situation down in black and white

when you have to leave this man (and you will, sooner if not later) he will con you and leave you and your children short of money that is rightfully yours

I am so sorry, you have picked a defective one, this is not a good man nor a good father

timefliesby Mon 20-Jun-11 14:52:57

fastweb Yes it is traceable from my account to his.
LisaTarbucksAuntie - he is doing his development for the security of his children, he isn't just a childminder, he's very hands on but I realise it's not enough to be a good father alone and that I need a good partner
Waterrat - my parents are very loving but they broke up when I was 2. My mum then went out with someone who was mentally ill for all of my childhood. I don't know whether of not this had effect although I guess I'm used to instability. I kind of thought my partner would just get around to saying it when he was ready and by the time I realised he wouldn't I had a child to look after.

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 15:00:03

"calm, rational and practical"

If I typed my emotion in there, it would be littered with capitals and rather incoherent.

I know hard it is to do what I am suggesting, inertia is often a symptom of the emotional confusion she is probably feeling. But I also know the cost of her not believing it is the current priority.

Hearing outrage is good, I think the only thing that got me through sorting out my mother's situation was the outrage of my friends who couldn't quite believe what some people were capable of doing. And it was a fabulous neutralizer against those who tried to dissuade me from practical action because they were concerned I might just succeed in avoiding mum losing out. Again.

timefliesby Mon 20-Jun-11 15:04:35

fastweb I'm listening, I had thought I should probably go and talk to Citizens Advice or something, because every time I think about leaving I just think where will I go and how will I survive? I needed to hear someone else say it. I'm too uncomfortable discussing these things with friends for some reason.

AnyFucker Mon 20-Jun-11 15:10:36

sweetheart, get some impartial advice

HerHissyness Mon 20-Jun-11 15:16:31

get some advice, find out the answers to your 'what if's' and then you will know what you are really looking at.

You will survive. You can at the very least put a charge on that development for half the proceeds I would imagine, to make sure that when he sells it, you get paid out.

CAB is a great call.

Good luck!

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 15:17:48

I don't know whether of not this had effect

My husband's mother is mentally ill *, it can and does have an impact on children growing up in that situation, not least because DH has no real idea of what "normal" looks like, so he is slower than I to note dysfunction and leap into a proactive self defense.

I'm glad there is a trace from the accounts. I'd recommend a call to your bank in the morning, no matter how bad you feel, no matter how overwhelmed you feel, no matter how it smacks of making a decision you are not ready for yet. Don't feel it is you dropping the hammer on your marriage, it is just the practicals you are taking care of on the basis of a hypothetical.

It's no different from making sure there is Calpol in the house "just in case" of a fever at 2am. Well sort of, just play it down in your head while you do it and it becomes a lot easier to do.

Deep breath, deal with the paperwork, let sleeping dogs lie about what to do about the relationships while you get on with something more concrete and less elusive to pin down. You might find that you effortlessly came to a conclusion about the love side, while you were distracted with the nuts and bolts of the unromantic aspects. He might even notice you detaching in your focus on you rather than him, stop feeling so cocky about the power imbalance, feel ashamed and come to his senses. You never know. Don't bank on it, but don't avoid doing what needs to be done because you feel it is you marking the end of your story together, because that is not what this is about.

Big fat hug love, wouldn't wish this on anybody.

*You know the longer I post here I realize what a horrible disaster me and mine look like, we appear to have managed to include just about every family defect or disaster available, I promise I am very "normal and boring", when you discount a distressingly high number of people attached to my husband and I by accident of birth

Mouseface Mon 20-Jun-11 15:27:36

<shakes head>

time

What a horribly sad story sad

I think you know what you have to do.

You need to talk to a solicitor.

You need to pack his bags or yours.

You need to walk away from this.

You owe it to yourself and your children.

fastweb Mon 20-Jun-11 15:43:41

I had thought I should probably go and talk to Citizens Advice or something

Is there is any way you can beg, borrow or steal the money and head straight for a solicitor ? If not then yes, go to CAB and the bank to sort out the papers that will protect your investment.

You are going to be OK love. Very few women sit where you are now and don't worry as to where they will go and what will become of them. Yet they all come out of the wash. Taking care of the practicals gives you the best chance of making sure you come out the other side as unscathed as possible in practical terms if it does come to an end.

If it doesn't, you will have an advantage over the majority of mums because you won't have to worry about "what ifs", cos you will have a ready made road map of how to navigate the worst of times, and can just relax a bit and enjoy the better parts of the relationship.

LizaTarbucksAuntie Mon 20-Jun-11 15:50:08

<comes back with cake>

He's done such a number on your self esteem there lovely, you have 2 children (well 3 if you count him) you can pretty much cope with anything. Go and see citizens advice, you might well be surprised at what help is out there, also how's your r/l network have you talked to any friends about it? (I only ask because it wasn't until I started speaking to people that I realised how wrong my situation was......

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