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Subtle EA? Or is it just me? Confused, please help(369 Posts)
I sincerely apologise in advance for the length of this post, feel free to skim bits if it makes it easier.
I have lurked here for sometime, have stumbled across the support thread for those in emotionally abusive relationships, have never thought of DH as abusive as he?s never hit me but I?ve been unhappy for a while and couldn't understand why, he?s not overtly abusive, doesn't call me names or put me down in any obvious way, but over the 15 years we?ve been together has done some pretty shitty things. (We?ve been together 15 years, married for 10 and have ds age 7 and dd age 5)
only months after we got together I discovered I was pregnant, I hoped to sit down & discuss it like adults with him; he burst into tears, wailed, sobbed, put his head in his hands and begged me to have an abortion. I would have done anyway but didn't feel like I had a choice. The very fact that I was considering keeping it seemed to offend him.
He once burned the book i was reading on our BBQ (when drunk) because it was called ?The Satanist? and as a Catholic it offended him, esp as his mum had cancer.
once during a heated argument he got so angry he punched the wall right next to my head so hard it left the imprint of his four knuckles in the plaster; he said that was ok, he was so angry he really wanted to punch me but punched the wall instead.
2-3 years ago he decided to get fit so was having sessions with a PT, he badgered me into going too, even though I wasn't keen; after 6 months when i?d lost 1 1/2 stone, and gone from a size 16 to a 12 (im 6ft) he told me one night as i was getting into bed that ?he didn?t fancy me anymore, my tits were all saggy and I?d ruined my body and he wanted me to have a boob job"
last year bought me some eye-wateringly expensive underwear, and despite me saying repeatedly that it didn't fit has proceeded to buy me another 4 sets of same size stuff. Gets upset when I tell him it doesn't fit (again) and says he is only doing it to spice things up and put the spark back.
once remotley wiped my iphone after an argument, and during same argument threatened to sell the car
demanded/coerced me into sex when I had recurring thrush (every month, over a period of four years), despite me telling him repeatedly how much it burned.
no help with kids - has never bathed kids, could count on fingers of one hand how many times he?s put them to bed, says he cant read bedtime stories because he?s dyslexic but manages to spend 2-3 hours on his ipad every night. I thought that was normal until an exchange student we had staying with us for the summer last year commented on how he did nothing with the kids and I did everything.
went on holiday last year, DS took the class ?holiday bear? & was soooo excited, DH said we couldn?t take bear on days out in case it got lost. I was too scared to say the bear could go in the back pack, DS was visibly crushed & in tears, i felt I had failed DS because i didn't stand up to DH.
a couple of years back he tried to persuade me to have my navel pierced, i said no, then during an argument said he just wanted a sign that I loved him, like - guess what - having my navel pierced. to my eternal shame i did it, hated it but thank god it rejected so i took it out.
says he wants me to wear sexy clothes so that when we go out he can show me off and other blokes will be jealous. i don?t really want to anyones trophy.
he wants me to be completely hairless between my legs, i?ve tried it a couple of times but frankly don't like it, thinks its degrading, don?t think im setting a good example to my dd (or ds for that matter, what will he think when sees a real bush?), (and god does it itch when it grows back in) he says I should do it for him to please him.
Says i should do things to please him even if i don't like doing it, as he would do the same for me. i have tried to explain to him that i don't understand how he can get pleasure from me doing something I clearly don't want to do, and that i wouldn't even ask him to do something that he was unhappy with, but he doesn't get it.
A few weeks ago DS was unhappy at school & with homework, after a discussion with the head teacher I was browsing the web looking at home schooling (something I considered before DS started school, not something I?d rush into but it?s always an option) he caught me looking at HE websites, didn't think to ask my opnion about it, just went straight into a tirade about how he disagreed and he was really upset that I was even thinking about it.
basically every argument turns into how he feels about it and how upset I have made him feel and how i need to change my behavior so that he doesn?t get upset and that he?s only happy when I?m happy.
I?ve stuck it this long because of what we?ve been through with his parents, his mum had cancer for years, with all the entailing chemo, radiotherapy etc, then 3 weeks after she died we found out his Dad had cancer, he died 6 months later (Feb 2009). For a long time I?ve made excuses for DH?s behavior because his parents were ill and then obv he was grieving.
Last year things seemed finally to be good, we had about 6 months where I thought we were finally coming out of the woods, but the last 6 months have been hell. We argue every week, he says its because I don't talk to him. I?ve tried to explain I feel afraid to talk to him because he raises his voice, interrupts me, and doesn't listen. He says its all down to me, only I can change it and I?m not normal.
I could go on but think even i'd lose the will to live reading it all.
In short (and thanks if you?ve stuck with me this far) is any of the above normal? would you have put up with this thus far? Am I over-reacting? And what are the chances of things ever being better? should I just cut my losses now and run?
I?ve just turned 40, have taken a long hard look at the last 15 years and don't want the next 15 to be the same.
My tips. Write a timeline. just bullet points and dates. it will give you clarity. I was told to register the behaviour with as many professionals as possible, before he regsters anyhting that could be damaging or harm your chances of having the children. So I went to see my GP, a counsellor (was anyway) my solicitor and finally I went to the police who were brilliant initially but when I did have to call them out weren't as good but it did put the wind up him and he backed off. It's hard work. leaving is just the first step. the abuse will escalate, stay strong, you can do it. Life on the other side of an EA relationship is sooo much better, recovery will take time...be prepared for that. Good luck x
Good luck, hope you find a really strong one with pugilistic tendencies!
Super tip, TheSilveryPussycat, many thanks.
Have just looked on the Resolution site. The firm I'm considering using has about 8 solicitors who are accredited with Resolution, 3 of whom have a min of 16 years experience, are partners and have specialisms in domestic abuse. Will be giving them a ring tomorrow
Thanks for the tip Silvery, will have a look at that site.
And yes, I think H is somewhat unpleasantly surprised that his bullying tactics no longer seem to be working!
I would say: Do not discuss settlement further, at the v least till you have had good talk with a good sol. You and the DC may need more that 50pc of stuff. Did I post on here about finding an experienced one in a good family law firm - I did this by searching on Resolution site, and selecting sol who graduated a couple of decades ago. As a bonus, she was a partner. She was also v good.
I think he's been thoroughly taken aback by you! Yes, you will certainly need to put it all down in writing and go through solicitors.
These 'conditions' he's setting "yes we can split tings 50/50 but only if you do x and y, (and don't you dare expect me to do the same by the way)", weel, you only have to smile and nod, don't you. He can't enforce any of it because he has no right to.
Good news about new friends and supportive old friends. everything's comingup roses, as they used to say!
Just noticed this had been updated recently - so pleased to read your post Wearing. Hope you have a fab weekend with your Mum and Stepdad - it's amazing how having something to look forward to can give you a boost.
I daresay your H has been completely wrongfooted by you forging ahead, he no doubt thought he had you sufficiently downtrodden enough that he could rely on you staying in your miserable rut. You showed him. This is the beginning of the rest of your life .
Hi HansieMom, please don't panic, I'm ok!!
Sorry, didn't mean to cause alarm. I guess I stopped cos I didn't feel a need to post much and then I just lost track of how much time had elapsed since I posted last!
H still living in house, says he cant afford to move out. We're barely speaking and its really uncomfortable but I really don't see a need to talk to him at the mo.
Saw a solicitor last week, who basically confirmed that my idea of how to proceed is more or less what the courts would agree with. ie split assets 50/50, and contact with kids is one night a week and either 1 night at the weekend or 2 nights every other weekend.
Tried to sit down and discuss with H in the hope that we could agree something.
HA! I should have known better!
I outlined my childcare proposals.
He said that wasn't enough contact and he wanted more.
Ok, I said, what do you want to happen?
Well I want more contact, says he.
Yes, but how will that work in practise?
then he said he would give me 50% of the assets, but that when I die I need to leave £50k in trust for the kids; apparently this is so that if I hook up with some neer-do-well, the toe-rag wont be able to get his hands on the kids money .
and he asked me what I'm going to do with my wedding ring and that I should give it to dd when she's 18. WTF?
have decided to do everything via solicitors, unless by some major miracle H suddenly becomes a reasonable human b....Oh, hang about...
still need to find decent solicitor, the one I had dealings with last week i really don't want to use, just didn't get a good vibe and given how bloody expensive solicitors are I at least want someone who is professional and approachable. think I have found one in nearest large city, not too far away.
On the plus side am making new friends and mutual friends of ours are pleasantly and surprisingly supportive. also kids away with H this weekend so I'm off to scotland for the night with mum & step-dad. Woo yay!!
Please update. I am worried about you especially as communication suddenly stopped after he found papers of yours.
Going through your stuff? At least he didn't deny it. There really is no low that these men wont sink to. Which is why I'm going to recommend that you don't assume that he wouldn't get physically violent. He never has been before, but that doesn't mean that he wouldn't. I know it's so hard to believe it of someone you used to love, but it's possible.
I married my abuser, knowing he had a temper but thinking he'd never become violent. I was proved wrong a week after our return from honeymoon (I was 21wks pregnant). But then I thought he'd never actually physically hurt me. I was proved wrong there too after our baby was born, in many small ways but a proper assault one night with our baby son in the moses basket right next to us. And then I thought he was too attached to his 'family guy, great father' image to do anything worse. Wrong again - he assaulted me in front of his daughters.
Abusive men have their own code of conduct, which means they can justify and explain away their actions to themselves. He could easily get violent but justify it to himself somehow. Stay safe, write everything down. Have you contacted WA yet? (You may have said, but can't remember now, tired brain, up too many times with DS2 last night...)
Twat. Flee the country, indeed.
Interesting about things that "didn't need to be said". Does he mean things like him being an abusive arsehole? and instances of that abuse?
And now he might consider moving out? Is this an effort to appear reasonable?
It sounds like a veiled threat....... but really he has nothing over you. No matter what either party says it tends to sound like white noise to judges and solicitors I think. yap yap yap he said yap yap yap she said..... that's all they hear (imo). So let him hang himself! let him say what he wants to say, let him get as nasty as he wants to be. Meanwhile you'll be busy lining up your ducks and taking good advice and generally putting your affairs in order.
Ps, send me a postcard from Barbados ho ho I shouldn't mock him.
Thanks for the concern BobblyGussets, I don't think he would get physically violent, if that's what you mean, because then there would be definite evidence of abuse and I think he's too much of a coward to do that. His "loving husband and doting father" image would be shattered. His modus operandi is the hard stare and the cold voice, which is scary enough, but not scary anymore, now I know what a scheming, calculating, devious shit he is.
Oh dear, now he's accusing me of getting ready to flee the country, just because I have taken the kids & my passports to my mums.
And this from a man who 2 days ago was asking me to take some time and think things through and maybe I'd give him another chance
I dont know if he actually read the printout of the thread. He hasn't said anything directly about it but made some oblique comment about how it could get messy if things were said that didn't need to be said.
And in the space of 24 hours he has gone from "he'll never leave the house, he's invested so much effort in and he wants to buy it" to "maybe he would consider moving out"
Yes, I think he is scared, now that his power is waning.
Be careful now OP. Are you and the kids safe? I don't want to frighten you, but if he has felt angry and humiliate by reading this thread, make sure you know 100% that he wouldn't "Up the ante".
You are doing brilliantly, with your DCs, your Mum and your friends. You have some good ones out there and a happy life waiting for you.
Well, I think if he were to show this thread to a solicitor then said solicitor will tell him he hasn't a leg to stand on. Re-read your op.
He is a shit. Invasion of privacy.
It sounds like he's getting scared. Maybe all those people he's been talking to have reacted a bit like your friend who used to work with you, and he's beginning to realise that few people actually believe his crap.
What a cunt. Perhaps reading the thread will give him more of an insight into what a cunt he actually is At least he will be in no doubt about how you feel, and why.
OMG. He is an arsehole to do that. And it shows you how ridiculous it is, his wanting another chance one second and sneaking behind your back with the intention of sabotaging you in court (?) the next second.
Well, don't worry tooooooooo much. I have to pm you something in a sec as it's just TOO identifying to say on here, but, what have you said on this thread that he could use against you? You haven't used your real name, or his. He would be laughed out of court if he tried to produce a print out of this conversation as evidence of , what............ ?? Evidence of your unhappiness? Evidence of how you've put up with being unahppy for five years?
The absolute, total and utter shit has been rummaging through the files in my bedroom while I've been out. Most of the stuff I've kept at my mums but one of the files has the letter from my gp and the printout of this thread, that I took to the solicitors on tuesday.
when i challenged him about it he didn't deny it, just tried to change the subject by asking "what's going on"
no doubt he's printed off copies to show his solicitor as well. Oh fucking fuck
Not too bad, Branching & Jenny, thanks for asking. Obviously I've had better weeks but on the whole it hasn't been too bad. H has been trying the nicey nicey approach, suggesting that I just have some time and space and maybe we could give it another go. I put him straight on that one. "But why won't you give me another chance?" he said. "Because you've had 15 years of chances and you've blown the lot" was the reply.
The kids seem to be okay so far; they've mostly been discussing who is taking which cat and whether we can get a house with a garden big enough to fit a trampoline in!!
Emotionally it has been rather a roller coaster. Some days I have felt almost euphoric - like the day that I bought myself some socks & nightwear all by myself without anyone commenting on it. . And then H will say something knobbish and I'll be overcome with anger . And then by the evening I'll feel so miserable that I've sat and sobbed on my bed . But mostly I've just felt a huge sense of relief that I've made the decision and I can start putting my life back together
STILL haven't seen a solicitor though, went along on Tuesday, with the letter from my GP confirming that I'd suffered abuse so that I could claim legal aid, which the solicitor had asked for. then they said "Oh, but we also need to see personal bank statements and business accounts" I mean, did it not occur to them to let me know that before I went? Yes, I know I could have asked but I kinda figured they tell me what I'd need to take, given that they must be used to doing divorces by now!! So there's a lesson learned. However, as I have now officially joined the ranks of the unemployed and am now claiming JSA that's all academic anyway.
KIds are sleeping at my mum's tonight and are there all day tomorrow. Have spent the evening clearing all the junk out of the spare room where I've been sleeping and turned it into a proper bedroom again, with my pictures on the walls and my clothes in the wardrobe. I may even by a plant to put on the windowsill I haven't been allowed plants, they leave marks, apparently . And candles can drip wax on the carpets and stain, so not allowed those either. I have a vision of the first week in my new home - I'll have 100 candles lit every night, houseplants everywhere and NO television on
anyway, time for tea, and Dr Who - my perfect evening in
Thanks Tea. I'm getting to the place where I feel it won't matter. Quite soon. I'll be 'set up' (secure) and I'll have a job and have peace, and I feel that that point at which it no longer matters that I wasted those years, it's juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust there. It's not that I'll forget it, but a few more ts to cross and is to dot and it won't matter any more.
I'm sure they don't acknowledge it but tired is right .... onwards and upwards.
Wearing - that's exactly the approach I've taken with my DS. He's now 11 and I feel the approach is starting to pay off. His Dad moaned at me about the presents that DS buys him for Christmas so I had a little exploratory conversation with DS about it - it turned out he has been moaning at DS and calling him tight . In the discussion with my DS I identified three pieces of information that, whilst I hate the situation he's in, give me hope for the future. My DS was able to tell me he felt very angry about it but had told his father how it made him feel. He said that that it wasn't normal to be so rude about presents and he was glad I had taught him about present manners because that was a better thing to do. And he said he was glad we don't live together because he loves his Dad and me but we're really different people.
I am vigilant to the opinions that DS picks up in his other home - and I challenge those that I think are entitled, when he says things in a way that is self centred, and teach him about body language, language patterns and other people's feelings.
So what I'm saying is that, if he remains interested in your DC, your H will continue to be a negative influence, as well as a positive influence in other ways, on them. That there will be times when your heart breaks for them and the situation they're in. But if you give them positive influences and keep open the lines of communication then not only do they grow up understanding what normal is but also are able to talk about it at quite a young age. I really do have the most wonderful, kind, generous, caring boy.
My DS is quite lucky in many respects that his father has remarried and that it seems to be quite rare that he is on the receiving end of the EA behaviour. His poor DSSis though has moved out at 13 to live with her Dad because she can't stand ExH. These fuckers don't change and it seems to me like they need to behave like that with someone to feel good about themselves.
On the bright side, my DS lives normally the majority of the time. I'm sure your DC will too.
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