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really could use an outside perspective

(11 Posts)
Til80 Sun 11-Nov-12 18:53:38

I've been married for 14 years, he is not English and we live in his country (in Europe) We have a 12 year old son. It is not my favourite culture in the world, but I have settled here, learned the language, got a good job and made some good friends (mainly with other foreigners)

Would you call this unreasonable?

1) For many years while I was at home looking after our son, hubby (who had a well paying job) would give me an amount of pocket money a month. Out of this I had to pay for all phone calls and flights back to the UK to visit family - i was permanently in debt on my credit card, because it was important to me to see my family and for my son to build bonds with his grandparents, extended family etc. Worth mentioning that my husband had savings of 50,000 pounds Plus and I had none. (still don't)

2) He refuses to come back to the UK with my and son to visit family
3) He has made my family unwelcome - they no longer visit
4) A few years ago when I asked for a separation he threatened to quit his job so he wouldn't have to pay anything to us.
5) He has the entire house furnished in his style (not mine) and if I so much as put an ornament out he moves it away. The house is no reflection of me whatsoever
6) Earlier in the marriage he completely refused to have a 2nd child, although I desperately wanted one
7) We never ever go out together, we never go away together - over the years he has always put off any suggestions we go and do stuff as a couple only
8) He never ever compliments me (more he tells me I need to lose weight - I am a size 12) and never ever says sorry.
9) He has no friends who come around - so essentially there are no visitors to our house - I always go to my friends houses.
10) We have completely different views on life, completely different interests

So why have I stayed with him?

1) We just live our separate lives (I now have a good job and he has lost his) there was a time when we had big arguments but now it's this quiet living of parallel lives

2) Our son is an only child. The sort who finds change and upheaval really difficult

3) He is a very good father - they have a great relationship

4) In some ways I still love him despite the above - and despite not seeing a future for us as a married couple

5) I am concerned that because I have no family here - and basically neither does he, that our son will have no-one to really turn to in hard times...I have some good friends but it's not quite the same

6) I am so afraid of causing pain to our son and actually to him. I've been reading lots on the internet and actually am taken aback by how many really really heavy websites (especially in America) pile on the guilt by saying how divorces completely ruin children's lives, especially boys, that to divorce without physical violence is just selfish etc etc.

This is my first post after lurking here for a long time.

AlmostAHipster Sun 11-Nov-12 18:57:10

What absolute tosh about the divorce thing. I've been divorced twice and my children are the happiest kids you'll ever meet - precisely because I divorced someone who was making me unhappy!

We only have one life. You deserve some happiness too.

mummytime Sun 11-Nov-12 19:04:39

I have no idea why you are still with him. See a local solicitor, and see if you can chuck him out. Which country do you want yo live in?

gimmecakeandcandy Sun 11-Nov-12 19:18:53

Outside perspective? LEAVE. Why are you ruining your life by being with this awful man and what an awful role model for your son. You don't realise how much happier you would be without him. You have lost all perspective if you think what you are living is a life.

If my daughter ended up with a life like this I would despair.

fortyplus Sun 11-Nov-12 19:19:59

Your husband is a control freak. He may have a great relationship with your son but he's the most appalling role model. I rarely offer the usual 'Leave the bastard' advice but in your case I can't begon to imagine why you stay.

Your son will cope provided that he has a close male role model - your father, perhaps?

Move back to the UK - divorce doesn't ruin children's lives, parents do. Better now than when he's 15 or 16 and has to leave the friends he's made at the stage when he's become less dependent on you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 11-Nov-12 19:21:06

Your reasons for staying within this to date are to be frank appalling and reason 6 is just selfish on your part. He should not be the glue to hold the two of you together; infact you and your H should not be together at all now. Divorce does not necessarily ruin childrens lives; parents in abusive marriages hanging on for spurious reasons ruins childrens lives.

What do you think you and this man are teaching your child about relationships. Two words currently suffice - damaging lessons.

Amongst all of that reason 4 is particularly bad, how can you stay now knowing yourseld that you do not see a future for us as a married couple?. What is there to love about him exactly, what do you get out of this now?. Do you know what love is?. It certainly is not with this person.

He is patently NOT a good father to his child let alone H if he has treated his wife, the person he professes to love, with such contempt. Your son has also learnt such damaging stuff from his father as well as you and may well grow up to replicate such controlling patterns within his own adult relationships. Have you considered that along with the possibility that your son probably knows far more about his unhappy homelife than you would care to admit?.
Children are perceptive and they can pick up on all the bad vibes at home; he knows all about yours and his dad's parallel lives and his dad's private war engaged with you.

However, it is never too late to break free of such control and you can still limit the ongoing damage already done even now. You and your son are paying a high price for being controlled by this person; you are both in emotional pain already. Divorcing your H may well be the freedom that you both need and themaking of both of you; you are truly in a gilded cage of his own making.

You can break free of this controlling man - and controlling behaviours like he has shown in 1-10 are all abusive. He is a textbook controller; this is precisely how they operate. Abuse is not just about physical violence; its mental violence as well these people do. He has also deliberately isolated you and withheld funds (financial abuse); again all are hallmarks of controlling men.

Why has he done this; well in your case it is because he can (abuse is about power and control and he can control you) and you have become conditioned over the years to accept his ill treatment of you. Abuse like this as well is insidious in its onset and it was likely there in the early days of your relationship as well. You either minimised it to yourself or ignored it but such abuse can and does escalate as has happened here over time. He likely targetted you.

If you were to read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft perhaps the scales would fall further from your eyes. Another publication I would suggest is "Living with the Dominator" written by P Craven. These are on Amazon.

Read the UKs Womens Aid website (they are on the web) and make a plan to escape him. Enlist the help of all your friends and reach out to your family again. The first step to get out of such abuse is often the most difficult of steps to take but ultimately take it you must. One day your son will leave home, what then for you?. You (and by turn your son) cannot afford to waste any more of your life living such a pitiful half existance.

Til80 Sun 11-Nov-12 19:34:25

Thanks for your messages - I haven't really spoken about this to anyone, you sometimes think you're going crazy or imagining it.

Anyway I am going to see a female divorce lawyer specializing in family law in 2 weeks. My son still needs a dad,so I am not about to leave (the country) where I live - but it's true - I don't need this marriage and my son doesn't need to see this as a model of a marriage either.

QueenieLovesEels Sun 11-Nov-12 19:45:18

Absolutely. Start again and live your life where you make choices that make you happy because your needs have been ignored for far too long.

gimmecakeandcandy Mon 12-Nov-12 19:45:52

I'm glad to read you can see you don't need this kind of crap in your life!

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 12-Nov-12 19:53:38

Congratulations on having lined up an appointment with a divorce lawyer.

You really need to leave this marriage, for both yours and your son's sake.

JamJars80 Mon 12-Nov-12 20:11:45

I know this sounds like a really random thing to say but your DH sounds like that guy Julia Roberts married in sleeping with the enemy!
Ok so I know your situation isn't thankfully quite as extreme as that, but I completely agree with the other posters, you need to make a change and please don't leave it too long. You say your son doesn't like change and he seems really sensitive, have you maybe considered it might be because of the way your dh has been with you over the years? Maybe it's nothing to do with that but before it does start to affect him, you need to get out.

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