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I think that I need to get out of this relationship

(26 Posts)
desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 14:37:05

I think that my oh is probably emotionally abusive (he is definitely verbally abusive). I think that I need to get out but feel that I need to somehow get emotionally ready (and practically ready). I feel guilty for saying this. I feel like I have spent 12 years trying to "fix" the relationship but have now given up and moved on to trying to distance myself from him. I'm not sure how to do it though (and still sometimes wonder if I should).

I have thought about just leaving now but cannot immediately as for various (practical) reasons I think that it will be far better for the children to wait 6 months or so and also I don't think that I am in an emotional state to see it through at the moment.

The problem is that he is so up and down - we keep arguing about little things - I say something that he perceived to be critical of him, he loses his temper (shouts, swears at me, says that he dislikes me etc), he then refuses to continue with whatever we were doing (eg refuses to continue watching the film we were watching together, saying that he does not want to share anything with me as I am so awful), reads a book or something for a bit and then acts as if nothing has happened (eg wants sex???). If I bring up the previous shouting then he loses it again. Then it is all fine until the next time (sometimes hours, sometimes days later).

I don't know if the above is a standard abusive behaviour or not - but it is effective in causing me to have to really watch everything that I say as I want to continue watching films etc.

There is also lots of other stuff.

But in between the rows he is fine and so it is hard to detach. Has anyone else done this (tried to emotionally detach)?

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 14:43:52

12 years is a long time to be trying to make it work, OP. Wouldn't you be a lot happier right now if you could both agree to separate as its obviously not working, but try to keep things amicable? If you can agree that its the best course of action, then you could start organising things straight away. Wouldn't that be a weight off your shoulders (for both of you)?

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 14:47:53

Wouldn't you be a lot happier right now if you could both agree to separate as its obviously not working yes but I am sure that he will not agree. He would, I think, try to make life post-separation as hard for me as he could and, as we have 3 children and as I know that he will use them, we would need to keep in contact and deal with the children together. He does not think that there is any problem with the relationship that could not be easily fixed by my "behaving myself" properly.

thiscouldbeme Mon 05-Nov-12 14:54:46

I seem to find myself in a very similar situation, my dh loses his temper very easily, he has never physically hurt me but he shouts alot, he doesnt insult me he just swears and screams, but the worse part is that he always says its my fault, that i niggle at him instead of just leaving him to just "get it out", he is on anti depressants and most of the time hes ok, butif hes having a strssfull time or misses a few of his tabs he gets this way.....I am too getting ti the point where im thinking should i just give up, i do love him but just cant be bothered with these tantrums,
I don't know what to say to you, justhope your ok.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Nov-12 14:56:03

He is a textbook abuser. You're always awaiting his next outburst. Trying to detach emotionally from such is about as effective as spitting in the ocean.
Such men do nice/nasty very well but its a continuous cycle and one that some women become conditioned to (as I would argue you have).

Read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft. This person is within those pages.

Walking on eggshells is akin to living in fear.

No obstacle re leaving is insurmountable; do not let your own self put up practical obstacles into leaving.

Do not put up with this for another 6 months because perhaps by then you will find another reason or excuse not to leave. You're already worn down, another six months of this won't leave you feeling any happier or even more ready to separate. Also putting it off for six months just prolongs the agonies for you and your children. They see and hear far more than you perhaps realise or even care to admit to yourself. They are also being damaged here by him; the person who is supposed to love and cherish his partner. What is he teaching them about love and relationships - a lot of damaging stuff that they could themselves put into practice in their own adult relationships.

Do speak to Womens Aid; they can and will help you here.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships?. Currently they are being imparted damaging lessons. They also won't thank you for staying with such an individual in the long run.

You must know by now that you cannot act as either a rescuer or saviour in a relationship. Neither approach works and you've been trying for 12 years now.

When you are free of him (and you need help and a plan to escape him because the most dangerous time for you will be when you decide to leave) please look at Womens Aids Freedom Programme. Such men can take years to recover from.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Nov-12 14:59:29

Such abusive men always but always put obstacles of their own in the way of leaving and are also not above using the children as weapons against their mother.

thiscouldbeme - in public is your DH the life and soul of the party, Mr Nice Guy?. Abusers are very plausible to those in the outside world but I would guess that one or two of your friends are actually suspicious of him. Screaming and shouting at you is totally unacceptable behaviour, again I bet he does not act like this is public or anywhere in the outside world.

thiscouldbeme Mon 05-Nov-12 15:06:18

Atilla, my dh is not really the life and soul, he is normally a nice guy, i do believe his depression is a big part of this, he did go through a stage at work where he was snappy and speaking to people in a derogatory manner, he came home and told me about this , he was so ashamed , he is ashamed of his behaviour and does try to control it, but it does wear me down, and i dont want it to affect the children, as you say im sure they see and hear too much already, I dont know what to do.

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 15:12:55

Read "Why does he do that?" I have - in fact I've just started to read it again (to see if I would see anything about refusing to continue with a joint activity like this as this behaviour is quite new).

No obstacle re leaving is insurmountable; I agree but only if I am prepared to leave the children behind and I am not. In 6 months I will feel sure that we will end up with joint custody/me as the main carer. At the moment I think that he may end up being the main carer.

They also won't thank you for staying with such an individual in the long run. but they would currently want to stay with him for the short run and so be (I think) worse off.

Abusers are very plausible to those in the outside world this is my problem - also he is a high earner, able to support children, etc and puts me down in public so I come across as completely-cr*p-parent (hence my custody fears).

you need help and a plan to escape him I know but this is what I'm trying to do - ie create an escape plan where we end up with a reasonably amicable split and he gets to save face etc and so we will be able to discuss the children etc. I just need to emotionally detach as part of this I think.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Nov-12 15:14:03

Hi thiscouldbeme,

re your comment:-

"I seem to find myself in a very similar situation, my dh loses his temper very easily, he has never physically hurt me but he shouts alot, he doesnt insult me he just swears and screams, but the worse part is that he always says its my fault, that i niggle at him instead of just leaving him to just "get it out", he is on anti depressants and most of the time hes ok, butif hes having a strssfull time or misses a few of his tabs he gets this way....."

You not allowed to have a stressful time?. He does not have to actually hit you to hurt you, words can be painful and emotional abuse is damaging. Abuse too is insidious in its onset but more often than not escalates over time.

Please talk to Womens Aid or at the very least further look at the EA threads on these pages.

I was going to ask you how much of this is actually down to depression and how much of this is actually due to him being instead an abusive arse of a person?. Some abusive men use depression as an excuse to further their actions against their chosen victim.

Whatever he has tried to date has not worked so he needs to go back to the drawing board. You are not there to take all this from him; it damages you and any children you have.

He needs to take responsibility for his actions, something btw that abusers do not ever do.

Also citing this as your fault too is another red flag - it is NOT your fault in any way shape or form.

What is he like with other people, what is his driving style?.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 15:15:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 15:18:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 15:18:40

good for you hilde smile
onwards and upwards eh? wine

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 15:19:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Kixicle Mon 05-Nov-12 15:29:13

I am in a similar position at the moment. My husband has me going round in circles, but because I am legally disabled, it's not a simple matter for me to simply kick him out or walk myself.

Also, I'm on that fine line where I am not sure whether he is being EA or is genuinely depressed. My husband is very isolated from other people, relies on me completely both emotionally and financially, and has depression which is untreated.

We were having a good point this afternoon, cuddling and I was all ready to put it down to my imagination when he begged me not to leave him (saying any sane person would), and then I said that I didn't want to leave but he had to sort his health out as it was making me ill. His immediate response was to say that my seizures were making him ill because of the stress of worrying about them, and within a couple of sentences had found the usual flaw (the time I spend on the PC) to pick at. I can't remember what I said after that, but it was standing up for myself, and he got stroppy and walked out. He went to the shops with DS (he had planned to anyway) and sure enough, there was the tell-tale absence of an "I love you" as he left.

It's just so hard to think of him as abusive when he always seems so vulnerable. He doesn't even have a bank account.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 15:35:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 15:36:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 16:01:54

43 days ago I successfully managed to get him to leave (by subterfuge really) how?

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 16:06:01

His immediate response was to say that my seizures were making him ill because... my oh is exactly the same kixicle. I think that it is easier to see what is going on when it is happening to someone else as I can identify completely with what you are saying about not knowing whether it is EA or not. however reading what you say makes me think that your oh wouldn't have tried to blame your for his behaviour if he were genuinely depressed. Also my oh also keeps on at me about the time I spend on my computer but I know that I do this because going online is my only way out of the sppresive nature of life indoors with him.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Mon 05-Nov-12 16:27:25

When you are living with a man like this it's important to realise that he is an abusive arsehole. There is no magic button that will turn him into a good partner or good father; he is choosing to mistreat you because doing so makes him feel good. No matter how submissive and obedient and self-denying you try to make yourself, he will find something else to punish you for, because he has to keep on attacking you in order to feed his ego.
SO seek help to make your escape, make your plans without telling him, don't feel guilty. Prioritize yourself and DC, and it can be done, and you will feel so much better once you're rid of him.

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 17:15:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 17:54:29

Blimey hilde that took some guts - well done you.

How much better does it feel when you're the one in the driving seat (literally, in your case! smile)?

hildebrandisgettinghappier Mon 05-Nov-12 18:58:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 19:13:32

Empowered is the word that springs to mind. wine

desparatelyseekingsomething Mon 05-Nov-12 21:09:57

>....a mistake means saying 'oh dear - a mistake, I won't do that again' instead of being castigated for days...

this really rings a bell with me - I find that I have started to hide things (mistakes) from oh as I can't bear the hassle of being shouted at.

Do people make "escape plans"? I find that I am thinking about this but it seems so cold hearted

Lovingfreedom Mon 05-Nov-12 22:06:40

Yes - an escape plan is an excellent idea. You don't need his permission to leave or to end the relationship. You might find that if you start putting together an escape plan you get so far and then decide...sod this, why wait...let's end it now. There will always be good reasons why now is not a right time....so work out roughly what you're going to do, equip yourself with all the information/documents/details etc you need...work towards going through with it. It's not cold-hearted, it's a practical and sensible thing to do in your position.
You will find that once you are in possession of all the facts/have a plan then going through with it is possibly a lot less scary than venturing into the unknown. Making the plan is also empowering in itself as you can then prove to yourself that you do, in fact, have options. Good luck.

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