Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
4 more months of this?(23 Posts)
Apologies in advance as this is going to be a self indulgent rant. This morning I tried to open a discussion with H about the obvious problems in our relationship, (which are numerous but) mainly that he has no respect for me because I am not working at the moment. My field is architecture and there are not many jobs about, but I freely admit that I've not been looking too hard and been a bit fatalistic about my chances. But he feels that this makes it OK to put me down on every occasion, calling me names, speaking to me in a very nasty way, and more but I won't go into it here, all very EA.
Anyway after a rocky discussion this morning, which didn't result in anything constructive from my point of view, he said that as I'm not working I am, essentially, working for him and gave me a list of things to do/fix around the house. He said that I needed to fix the outside light which hasn't been working so I thought I'd change the bulb-- went to look for one with a bayonet fitting in the cupboard, he asked what I was doing and said looking for a bulb with a bayonet fitting, he said 'here's a pack' and they were ones with screw fittings so I-- purely out of meanness but I wanted to do a parody of how he talks to me-- so I said 'oh are you stupid or something? I said I needed bayonet not screw-in' in a nasty voice... OK I should not have done that but his reaction was to pick up a big wrench and tap it on my head, and said 'do you want this in the back of your head?' ... there was no force behind it but as anyone can plainly see (can you??) the intention was there. I (as I had done earlier in the morning) burst into tears and said 'that is violence, were you intending to hit me with that?' and he said no but you'd better start behaving yourself... or words to that effect... Then. I went upstairs and got another bayonet bulb, replaced it, the light's working... no mention, everything swept under the carpet.
OK so I have a pretty lazy lifestyle now
with plenty of time for MN I've always done every bit of the housework, cooking, childcare, even when I worked full time he never so much as lifted a finger around the house, as you could probably guess-- I did make a rod for my own back. But he has truly misogynistic tendencies and does not consider housework to be work, he thinks that I should feel privileged that he has provided me with a nice big house to clean (OK FFS I know this is b*llocks)-- he has no respect for women who don't work even if they keep house etc-- he refers to them as 'never having done a days work in their lives' which I find infuriating as we don't know other people's circumstances. As I did work full time for years, when there was a lot of work around, I feel as though I've contributed, and now some time off balances the years I worked full time... possibly skewed logic but it is a feast-or-famine profession and we are not hurting for money (yet). And now my DD is in her last year of school, she has a fantastic uni offer for next year, apologies for the brag but I am d&*n proud of her and also feel that I am, somewhat, vindicated in my SAHM role for the last few years, and really enjoyed spending this last bit of time with her. Having said that she still needs to get the grades in her June exams take up her place so cannot slack off one bit.
I posted about him before and was clearly told by the wisdom of MN to LTB-- why have I not done it yet?? well, the fact that when he's not around life is great. And fear of the unknown-- but greater than that is the fear of rocking the boat and ruining DD's life chances by my selfishness.
Anyway, after all that, my instinct is telling me that the wrench incident is 'enough' to instigate an immediate put-house-on-market-and-move-with-DD but... not sure. Maybe I should ask him to move out? don't think he'd readily agree to that!! With so much riding on the next four months for DD I'm thinking that my best bet may be to just continue to minimize... and just try to do what he says even if I'm doing it in a passive-aggressive way... it is such a shame because we could have so many good things going for us right now but I feel completely, totally sad about the situation.
I'm at home, he's driven off to our other house (a project we bought and rebuilt last year) and expects DD and I to drive out to meet him. I just spoke to DD at school and she sounded guilty but said she didn't want to go either, we've been out almost every weekend this year I think, even in the snow/rain/floods and I really think we need a break from him. He's going to be angry if we don't turn up but I so wish that he'd stay out there on his own for a while. But in the meantime the bliss of not having him here at least for tonight.
BTW re-reading my post above I didn't mean that I ever had any objection to changing a light bulb... it was an outside light that we never use anyway, just something he picked on that I hadn't done. So petty.
It really sounds like you know this can't continue. It also sounds like you do have options. I think it's very revealing that you did not answer the question in my first post. You may be safe for now. I'm sorry that I can not offer reams of advice. I'm sure others will be able to, although I suspect that you have heard it and thought about it all before. Please do not think I am being harsh. I really hope you manage to have a peaceful weekend.
hey that'snot of course after all this time there is no perfect time to get out and be done...but there is no wrong time either. After all a quiet calm and peaceful place for DD to study would be a great boon
trust your instincts. These men don;t improve with time as you know!
PS I have strong evidence that leaving at this point need not mess up your DDs future prospects...from the other place you may or may not remember why]
It's just the fear of the unknown, fool.. I am 99% sure that she would thrive, I've spoken to her about leaving/selling house/buying a flat and she seems positively exhilarated with the prospect... but, she's done well so far in this climate, to change it and risk everything falling apart around her doesn't bear thinking about.
Re: safety, Finola I am not feeling safe, really, even though I'm at home and he's away, as he's been on the phone saying that we were meant to come out tonight (I didn't agree to that) and if he gets angry I am worried that he'll come back late tonight, shouting angry. I always give in and do what he says so I don't know if he would get physically violent. Having said that he did hit me and give me a black eye about 12 years ago... again, all brushed under the carpet, no apology or anything, my friend took a picture at the time but I minimised, I suppose, by saying I'd started it. Not sure but he does 'slightly' hurt me now and again and never says sorry. He's in a really bad mood and his insults of me have been building up all week. And I suddenly don't feel like it's my job to capitulate just to make him happy!
Well...the bad part of me wants to say. Tell him you are not coming, lock all the doors and windows and call the police if/when he turns up throwing his voice/weight around.....so much clearer than the usual run of the mill EA.
But I don't actually want you to be in danger or scared.just i feel that you should be able to spend the weekend with DD at your home in safety...it's not much to ask, just a normal human right not to be intimidated into doing things you don;t want to do.
If you choose you ARE allowed to do what you want and there is support out there to let you kick this man out.
FWIW I ended up being forced to advance my plans through no fault of my own due to DBiL putting me in danger. There is no perfect time to escape...just the right time.
Intrigued fool... BIL? I will go back and scour through the previous EA threads I'm wondering if I am subtly influencing him to escalate this just so I can point a finger and say 'look YOU are the unreasonable one'... such a waste of his negative energy as our lives could be so nice! I think that he thinks that he is behaving like a sh*thead because he doesn't like the grey weather and he gets SAD so he says.... but I've really had enough of his self-indulgent depression and I am not going to accept that he takes it out on me, I've already suggested that he takes a holiday in the sun by himself which of course he won't... even though one of his criticisms of me is that I don't organize holidays for him, I tried to organize something over half term and he just yelled at me that I was trying to spend all his money. Gah!
You are not subtly influencing him...you are gaining strength and insight and have a plan: it is classic abusers behaviour to intuitively feel that their grip is loosening and for them then to increase the behaviours that have worked before.
In my own NSDH's case he increased his "victim mentality" and also his anger, temper and breakages.....made it much easier to leave him
To save you the trouble of a trawl thru' the EA threads... I had an exit plan and strategy focussed on a particular week when it would be possible for me to be absolutely sorted and safe...by chance my SiL had a very empathic chat with me about my own FW (little did she realise then she was married to her own...my husband's brother...now she is divorced...before me!!)which she inadvertently shared with BiL...he phoned telling me he would not stand by and watch me throw his brother to the dogs and that he (who had been estranged from said brother for 7 of the last 12 years) "knew his brother" and that he was not like that and he was going to tell him what was going on...I brought my plns forward and have not seen BiL since.
PS you cannot "win" but you can reclaim your life.
Sorry am typing on my ipad so please excuse any typos.
Just wanted to tell you, if you dont mind, that i bet your DD wishes you wouldleave him or get him to leave once and for all.
Your post took me right back - you remind me of my mum - why the .... She put up with my dad's bs i will never know.... I am just trying to tell u, your Dd does not need protecting, anymore. She sees everything. All she needs is for you to stand up for yourself.
I dont mean to be mean.
I am married now and realise nothing is black and white.
But the "dont want to upset the kids' lives" story is a cop out. Your DD knows her dad.
Thanks so much MrsSpag. Yes I'm sure you've hit the nail on the head re DD. I've thought about this and as you say things are never black and white. I haven't wanted to risk the family's financial security. But that is looking really flimsy now as an excuse for lack of action.
DD and I spent a lovely evening together watching movies... interestingly she suggested we watch a movie called Waitress which she says she'd watched several times before. The movie is an excellent portrayal of emotional abuse (and an excellent movie in general!), the characters are not 'us' but the way the man behaves, said DD, reminds her of H . Wow.
Just in a bind because... the status quo has got us this far. And the academic side of things is so important right now.
I'm just wondering if I rent a flat, for 6 months as a nice, quiet, temporary solution while we consider things and put the house on the market etc. So any conflicts can occur knowing she has a safe quiet place to live/work. All I've been able to think about is selling the house and buying a new place myself, which would mean that the transition would be very conflicted indeed if we're all living under the same roof. So trying to 'make it work' has seemed the easy option.
fool funny isn't it how this runs in families... H is showing signs of turning into FIL who bosses his wife around terribly (my MIL) and they all have a laugh at her expense. And BIL went through an awful divorce (not allowed to say name of previous SIL in their house... weird??) and has no idea what he did wrong. Stupid me for getting involved with such a damaged family
thatsnot I have posted on the EA thread, but will repeat here. You have to stay where you are and he stays where he is.
If he comes back, call the police and tell them about the hitting you on the head with a wrench thing. Tell him if he comes near you that you will report him for assault.
Repeat that on a loop.
This is your chance to be free, grab it with both hands. OK so it's not planned, but this way you will get the support you need, you will get the police to take you seriously and you KNOW your DD will be with you 100%
She will thrive, you have no idea how much she will blossom when you get you and your family out of this.
This is your time love, your chance, grab it.
Just think, if your DD has done this well with H around, how much more could she achieve WITHOUT him there?
Nothing helpful to add but wanted to wish you strength and determination. Your DD sounds like she is ready and willing to support you.
My best friend's dad was ea. I knew even from age 6 that things weren't right at their house. The mum eventually kicked him out in our A level year, she aced her exams and is doing well in her chosen career 12 years later.
She says it was the best thing her mum ever did and wishes it had happened years earlier.
In your shoes I'd ask my DD how she felt about it the next 4 months and whether she'd prefer him around or not. She's nearly an adult and she will have an opinion. You might be surprised.
You are not causing him to escalate, that's the mindset bis abuse has created in him. NOTHING you could ever do could be responsible formaking him threaten you that way.
You say you have a lazy lifestyle... But you do everything around your big home, run the family, all childcare and have worked f-t too. This is not lazy. Again, he has ground you down so much that you believe his crap. By your own admittance, he is a misogynist.
What he did is truly terrifying to read. He is escalating - his normal shitty, emotionally abusive treatment of you isn't griding you down as much as it once did and isn't giving him his pathetic buzz quite so strongly, so he's stepping up the abuse. In a book or film, the wrench incident would be the key moment where the audience realised that he was going to start beating the crap out of his wife,or even kill her. Seriously.
You must surely see that your DD out that film on DELIBERATELY to highlight that she knows you are being abused. And there's a more important thing to understand - yes, DD might be happy and achieving well now, but between you, you two have trained her to be a future abuse victim. You're a hard worker, a clever person, working well in the past, etc., and yet you ended up with a pig who treats you like shit, dealues your efforts, blacks your eye, threatens tour life with a wrench purely for just being a bit snappy and daring to point out he's made a small mistake.... Need I go on?! How will thing be different for her in the future? She too will pick a man like her father and tolerate abuse and minimise and find excuses not to leave, just like you. Unless you show her that you DON'T have to tolerate abuse. Unless you show her that women can and should leave abusers. The cruellest things about abuse are that abuse of a mother is also abuse of the children and that it makes women too scared and ground down to leave and yet by staying, it makes them a secondary abuser because it teaches children that to a use or be abused is normal and right. They can learn no decent, normal, functional way of being in relationships.
Far from messing with her hopes for her exams, I believe that leaving him she will do miles better than she ever could do with him around. How can she truly concentrate n studies when she's worrying about her mother being abused? And I bet he isn't Daddy Wonderful who values her as a cleer, strong young woman either. You owe it to her perhaps even more than yourself to end this relationship.
thanks all, Oxford you post is what I need to hear, what I am thinking to myself but hard to admit. DD and I are going out for the day then meeting friends for dinner, no idea what H will do will probably be quite remorseful later... I need a clear strategy to get out of this, may discuss with my friend tonight as she knows a bit about what's going on. I won't be online for a while but hope to update when I've got an idea of how to move forward... I could just move out and rent a flat, but that sort of 'surprise' will have to be a one-off, no going back effort so I'd need to get it right.
I would suggest you really need to deal with the emotional relationship as a priority otherwise you could get yourself a nice little place and he would be round all the time (it happens would you believe!!). Alot of people find relationship counselling very helpful - and yes going alone works too. Its a space to see your part as welll as that of the other one because unless you change your responses you will struggle to change the relationship over all. In a long relationship with joint lives type issues this is a real challenge. Like you say hes been getting away with responding to you this way that hes going to be very shocked to get a boundary set in his way. That unfortunately is when the situation escalates and no doubt partly why you havent felt the strength to challenge it. Where children are aware of relationships between their parents being very strained they are more that able to deal with a separation if thats whats necessary as they love both but dont like living with the fall out. I hope you can access the necessary support to make some decisions, whilst you arent working this would be an excellent opportunity. It might not be the work he had planned for but its important for the well being of your whole family.
Hi... thought I would bump this for my own benefit, I am so grateful for all the input but embarrassed to report that everything is still being swept under the carpet as per usual but this morning as I was driving him to the tube he had another 'go' at me (happens on an almost daily basis as he thinks he can nag me into getting a job) and he asked me to give him the figures, for what money I'd earned over the past few years that I haven't been working, to give him the date I was last paid and amount (knowing this was several years ago) presumably so he could hold it up in front of me and make me feel like s%^t for contributing so little to the household... I got defensive (I could have let it wash over but he was pushing for a fight and wouldn't stop until he got a reaction) and said that I hated his stupid house (which is his pet project) and the stupid house we live in (big house worth £££) and I agreed with him that I am worthless and wanted to get out of his life so was going to sign over my part of project house to him... now this gave away part of my 'game' which is that I intend to put big house on the market and take a larger share of the sale price in return for giving over my 1/2 of project house to him... he doesn't know what I am planning wrt big house (!) but said that I couldn't get out of my half of project house because we'd have to pay stamp duty on the signing-over. I'm now worried that he thinks I am up to something as he spent ages shouting at me not to waste 'his' money presumably talking to lawyers. Apologies for this v v long paragraph. Stream of concious but I wanted to write it down, have to go out now but am going to press 'post' against my better judgement!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.