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Is there any point to counselling? In my situation, I mean. And if not, how do I phrase it without sounding obstructive?

(28 Posts)
snowshapes Sat 16-Feb-13 14:03:27

One month ago, I initiated a separation with my husband after 3 years of marriage, six years together, because I was unhappy, he in retrospect was controlling, he was – I think – acting in a bullying manner with my DD (from previous marriage, yes, I am not good at the marriage thing), well, there is no ‘I think’ about it, he pushed her in an argument, commented when I spent money on things for her, bullied her if she didn’t do what he said, in fact it was this behaviour which tipped me over the edge to ending it. There were some kind and helpful words of wisdom on here, which I appreciated.

The problem is that he doesn’t see it as over. He came to pick up DS to take him out today and wants to try counselling. I don’t see any way I can let him back into the house, so what is the point of counselling? I feel anxious when I know he is coming to see DS, how can I sit in a room for an hour and discuss what went wrong? Today, at pick up – which was not at the house – he wanted to kiss me, I said no, he put his arms around me and did so anyway, all the while saying how difficult it was, etc. I mean, he put his arms right around me, all the way around my back as my coat was open. I feel like any boundaries I set he will ignore, he tried to override my suggestion that we did not meet at the house today, using DS as a pretext and so on, I had to reiterate it a couple of times. How can we possibly sort this out? I literally feel like something is twisting inside me. Please tell me I am not overreacting. What can I say to him? He is out with DS, who adores him.

kittybiscuits Sat 16-Feb-13 14:14:14

You are not over reacting. I don't remember your original thread, sorry, but the way he treated your DD is awful, and that alone was enough reason to leave him. He does not seem to respect any boundaries that you set, and that makes for a very poor candidate for counselling.

I wonder if you feel that you HAVE to try, because of your DS? You don't have to try. If it is over for you, then it is over. He should seek help for himself, to understand how his behaviour has led to the loss of the relationship, and will probably lead to the loss of future relationships, unless he addresses his own abusive nature.

I think there will be some knowledgable people along soon to suggest you go no contact, which sounds wise to me.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 16-Feb-13 14:17:17

No you should not go. You are being obstructive but that's fine as you do not want to get back together. Surely couselling is for people who want to try, you don't.

LovesBeingWokenEveryNight Sat 16-Feb-13 14:18:05

Ps a controlling bully shouldn't be in couselling as they will twist e erythromycin g to make you the bady

TallyGrenshall Sat 16-Feb-13 14:18:09

If he can't respect the boundaries around your body and kisses you even when you have said 'no' then I think being obstructive may not be a bad thing.

If you are sure that it is over and there is no going back then tell him that, firmly. If he goes to hug/kiss/touch you then step away from him and repeat that you are no longer together.

If he was controlling in your relationship then he will continue to try to control you afterwards. You need to try to stop his ability to do it (easier said than done). Have pick ups/drop offs at the door, only talk about DS etc. If he starts to talk about how difficult it is for him, then calmly repeat that you are over and change the subject back to DS.

I've probably not explained properly but someone will be along that can help

HairyHandedTrucker Sat 16-Feb-13 14:18:49

I don't believe councelling can cure someone of being a shit. the way he years you're daughter means he avoid never be let back. also kissing someone who doesn't want to be kissed is assault, don't let your children growup thinking otherwise

SolidGoldBrass Sat 16-Feb-13 14:23:50

Tell him to piss off, the relationship is over and you will never get back with him. You owe him nothing in terms of 'trying again', you dumped him because you weren't happy with him and it was the right thing to do.

As to contact, stick to pick up/drop off at the door, do not ever let him into the house, tell him that all arrangements must be made by email and you will not be answering phonecalls or texts. Remember this man is unreasonable and the only way to deal with him is total stonewalling, Don't worry about his feelings, it's his own fault that you dumped him.

snowshapes Sat 16-Feb-13 14:37:34

That's the thing, I clearly said no, not to kiss me. It felt like over-stepping a boundary.

Two and a half hours to go till he brings DS back. Thank you all for your advice, it helps. SGB, I think that may be the only language that gets through, but then also I am scared of being that blunt, because DS has to/wants to see him, and I need to avoid acrimony for his sake. It is more that, than thinking I should be doing the counselling.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 16-Feb-13 15:05:14

Acrimony would be being unpleasant for no reason. You have lots of very good perfectly rational reasons to make a break and to have as little contact with this horrible man as possible. I would strongly recommend that you start the legal process of divorce and talk to your solicitor about how to achieve access without putting yourself or your children at further risk.

snowshapes Sat 16-Feb-13 20:33:06

Thank you. Apparently I can't just end our marriage, I made a promise etc.

I didn't imagine all the shit, though he says that was only recently, it used to be fine when I was more relaxed. Right. Because one day I just woke up stressed and thought, I know what, I'll end my marriage. sad it is like talking to someone in a parallel universe.

Lueji Sat 16-Feb-13 21:11:30

Sounds like my ex.

They made promises too.

To respect and cherish and love and all that.

SolidGoldBrass Sat 16-Feb-13 21:16:50

You can just end the marriage. His opinion isn't important. Just refuse to engage with him and, if he becomes aggressive, involve the police. Honestly, zero-tolerance is the best way to deal with an abusive, unreasonable man.

claudedebussy Sat 16-Feb-13 21:21:40

no, you didn't promise to stay with someone who bullies your child and doesn't respect your boundaries. he also promised to cherish and honour you. he broke that first.

he doesn't get to dictate the rules of marriage when he's abusive.

you're absolutely doing the right thing and you have to protect your children first.

BOF Sat 16-Feb-13 21:23:29

Absolutely agree with SGB.

FarBetterNow Sat 16-Feb-13 21:46:27

Re maariage vows:
he broke his vows first by treating you and your daughter badly,
therefore you are free to leave.

I wish I had understood that many years ago.
The kissing must have been repulsive for you.
Councilling won't work as he can't keep to boundaries.

TheSkiingGardener Sat 16-Feb-13 22:03:31

Totally wrong situation for counselling! He is refusing to respect your boundaries, which is abusive and ridiculous at the same time. I really think you need to formalise your separation and lay down written contact rules.

HairyHandedTrucker Sat 16-Feb-13 22:25:40

If you let him do this now, he will manipulate you forever. Either he loves his children enough to want to spend his time with them or he doesn't.

He can blame you but if he would put his own feelings above his children or hurt them to spite you.. you don't want him around them! And it makes sense to find that out now and for your kids to get used to the idea early on rather then let him fuck them for years before leaving their time

HairyHandedTrucker Sat 16-Feb-13 22:26:53

him fuck them around for years before eventually leaving them.

drunk and typing badly

snowshapes Sat 16-Feb-13 23:19:36

Thank you. I felt quite positive last night, and then after today I was doubting myself all over again, so your words have helped.

I am more or less sure I am doing the right thing. I know I feel better, it is better for DD, she comes out of her room more, there is more laughter, and she has made a couple of comments out of the blue which make me realise it is better for her. I am less sure for DS, he misses his daddy, but I agree that it is better now than in a few years, and the atmosphere there used to be meant that I had got to the stage I found it hard to think straight and be myself, so that would not have been good for him. But surely a bit of a mess, and I will be seen as the bad one, as I initiated it. Goodness knows what DS will grow up thinking. I don't trust H not to bad mouth me, in a not very obvious, subtle way.

The kissing - yes, I read that back and thought maybe I was being a bit melodramatic, but he used to regularly do this, when I didn't want physical contact, he would back me into a corner so I couldn't get away without obviously having to push past and reject him. Even when I mentioned this, it would be like - so can I kiss you or am I backing you into a corner now? arms around me and then never mind if I wanted to. It is one of the reasons I didn't want to meet at the house. He would argue he just wanted to show affection, and I am unaffectionate, but I found it intimidating for reasons I won't go into.

But yes, taking on board the advice about formalising things. Thank you again.

snowshapes Sat 16-Feb-13 23:22:30

HairyHandedTrucker, cheers, by the way. I would like a drink, but am at home with two children - happy enough with my hot chocolate and favourite TV programme (uninterrupted).

Narked Sat 16-Feb-13 23:31:20

You're not overreacting to the kissing at all. The fact that he won't listen to you when you say no and overrides your clear refusal speaks volumes.

wordyBird Sun 17-Feb-13 00:50:34 is a complete sentence.

If he touches you without your consent, that is sexual assault.

Also, if he wants counselling, let him go and get it.

You don't want to, so don't. He wants you to go - well, he is going to be disappointed then. That will be good for him.

- He doesn't really want counselling by the way: it's just a ploy to see you, manipulate the counsellor, and get you back under his control. You cannot take anything an abuser says at face value. sad

You have certainly done the right thing in ending the relationship. Stick to your guns and do talk to a lawyer. I do remember your earlier postings and am very glad you have taken steps out of there, thanks well done you.

tallwivglasses Sun 17-Feb-13 04:22:34

Yes I'm pleased you got out too. Disengage. Don't get into discussions with him. Keep him out of the house so he can't molest you, or have a friend come round. If he complains say 'If you want to see your son, that's the way it is.' Repeat as necessary. Practise saying 'Don't touch me.' If he has a go at you, Ignore. It's likely he'll get nasty but if you don't rise to the bait he'll give up eventually. If he carries on call the police. Keep a diary. I'm so glad your dd is happier now, you did the right thing.

SolidGoldBrass Sun 17-Feb-13 12:53:33

Why should you want to show affection to a man who bullies you and your DD? It's fine to feel the complete opposite of affectionate towards him, he's horrible.
Is DS big enough to walk down the front path to his dad? Or do you have to physically hand him over (ie a toddler)? Because keeping yourself physically out of reach of this man is a good idea.

snowshapes Sun 17-Feb-13 14:58:13

DS is a toddler, so needs to be physically handed over. My main aim is to keep things are normal and routine for DS as possible. At pick up yesterday evening, I did clearly say again, no, don't touch me, and this time, he didn't, but then that pre-empted the rest of the conversation.

I am not sure if he will be aggressive - in arguments, he was always completely emotionless and rational, whereas I got increasingly wound up, so I think it will be more at the psychological level, or through the children, or professionally (we work in the same field), I don't know.

Thank you to everyone for the reassurance. I woke up this morning feeling like the wicked witch of the west, but there are so many things in the course of the day where I am just so aware that we wouldn't have been able to do x.y or z without it being an issue. I have this sense of fore-boding, but I'm guessing that once it is legally sorted and things have settled, that will be gone.

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