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Advice - emotional abuse?(8 Posts)
Hi there. I posted on here two years ago about my relationship. I'm looking for confirmation about what I suspect is emotional abuse but as is the case I think in this type of relationship I no longer know my head from my arse. Sorry this is a bit of a long one but could do with advice on how to go or how to get him to go! Feel free to skip bits.
We've been together for 12 years. 3 kids aged 4,8,11. Where to start? Examples of his behavour include; blaming me for everything - we moved abroad to Asia 5 years ago, it didn't work out. He blames me for the spending of most of our money (we sold our house to fund our move and the move didn't work out), the situation that we find ourselves in now (renting instead of a mortgage). As far as I am concerned we discussed every decision we made but now he is saying that I was the one that made any decisions. He basically blames me for his unhappiness.
Two years ago we split up because his unhappiness dragged me down so badly I ended up depressed. I had to quit my job because I couldn't cope with the break up and having 3 kids. He has drank a bottle of wine (if not more) every night for 5 years which I think is a dependency on alcohol. He can get depressed every few months and has black episodes where he will give me the silent treatment for weeks at at time. I am a happy positive person but I honestly feel that when he goes into these episodes it just weighs me down. When he is in one of these episodes he will blame me for how he is acting. He won't help me with the kids - I work everyday and then I have them at the weekend too (he works saturdays) when he goes like this as he won't get out of bed on a sunday until lunchtime and then will be unresponsive after that.
This current episode that we are in has lasted 6 weeks. During these 6 weeks we have either not spoken to each other for fear of a screaming fit or we have had a screaming fit and it has turned really nasty (it did become physical a couple of weeks ago - he tried to take my laptop off me and there was some pushing and shoving which got out of hand. For me that is that - enough. It won't get better from here on.)
When he gives me the silent treatment I can't help but get really angry - how dare he treat me like this? I work hard, I am a good mum and a good wife - but he says I am a nasty bitch. If I shout at the kids (when they are being hard work!) he says all I do is screech. This is not true - I tell them off when they need it. I think I have shouted once in one week and that was because the dog pooed on the kitchen floor which is disgusting. I shouted because he wanted the dog and promised to take the dog to work with him so that I never had to look after it and of course I have looked after that too for the past 2 years.
I think what has happened over the years is that his sarcasm and nastiness, his silent treatment, his depressive episodes and his blaming have made me either respond with anger or I just don't know what to think or how to view myself anymore. I feel like I have lost myself completely in all of this. When I respond with anger he makes me feel like I am mad. He has even suggested that I am mad. He makes me feel confused about what is right and wrong. Over the years I have constantly apologised to him and tried to change and adapt my behavour when things have gone wrong and when problems have occured in our relationship - as though I am always the problem and that is because that is how he has made me feel. He has never apologised to me ever over anything.
I have told him that I am leaving him and taking the children and I have had no response (this unresponsiveness in itself is not right - it's like he is in an emotional void half the time) I managed to get my daughter into an excellent secondary school and want to move nearer to the school for her sake. He refuses even though the area is lovely (we live in a beautiful part of the countryside now which he hates. It is a lovely place to raise children but he is scathing about it and that attitude is also not nice to live with) So I think to hell with it. I'm doing whats right for the kids. He did say a couple of weeks ago that he would go and get his own place but I don't think he has been looking. I want him to go. I would feel like a weight has been lifted if he does. Obviously I can't make him but right now we are avoiding each other, not speaking and the home has become tense and horrible. I have sat in bed every night for 6 weeks whilst he lays on the sofa watching telly. We are in separate bedrooms - I have my little one in with me. And I know that even for the sake of my kids who will be learning from his self destructive behavour, none of it is good. Please, any advice? Thanks for reading
Stonewalling is one of the WORST kinds of emotional abuse. It destroys a family.
The only advice you need is to be told to keep strong and know to the very core of your being that you HAVE to get out.
Keep talking to us, we'll be with you for as long as you need it.
That does sound really miserable and draining - and there are some classic ea tactics going on there - stonewalling, blaming, gaslighting, treating you with total disdain and lack of respect.
My advice would be to plan an exit now. The more info you have, the more you are prepared, the better you will feel about the split and the less daunting it will feel.
You say you'd like to move nearer your DDs school. If he is dragging his heels about going, why not move yourself and Dc to new house in the school's area. Then it is all in your control. It's the beginning of May now. You could plan to move at the beginning of the summer hols and look forward to a fresh start for you all with beginning of the new school year.
I'm sure you are right, the DC will be picking up on your relationship and the tension in the house. Get them out of there and you will all feel better.
Oh and by the way, you DON'T sound the slightest bit mad. You sound sensible, intelligent and together. Don't let him sap any more of your confidence. Detach from him and start your exit plan.
Thank you! And thanks for saying I don't sound mad. I guess that is the classic - sapping confidence and confusing me til I don't know which way is up. I forgot to say in the above post that I have asked him over the last couple of years to make some decisions about what he wants to do in life, where he wants to live due to his unhappiness. I told him that he needs to take responsibility for his own decisions and things we have done together instead of blaming me when they don't work out! But instead he has carried on drinking and blaming. It makes me angry when I look in the recycling box which will be full of his bottles and realise that we have not gone on holiday for 5 years because, according to him, we don't have any money. And he has drank thousands of pounds (and smoked!) of money over that time. I'm not saying he shouldn't have a drink but I think it is a massive factor in how he thinks and acts!
I am definately planning my exit strategy but it feels like a long time to live like this til I find somewhere. I guess I have to stay strong and patient. The one thing that I have realised this time around is how apologetic and scared I have become. I was terrified that someone was going to come on here and say "well, you sound like a right bitch" I suppose being told that over a long period of time is not good for my mental health!
I realised this a couple of weeks ago when I went into work and burst into tears - I had spent the entire easter holidays with the kids without a break. I had taken them on my own to wales and I was pretty exhausted. He didn't help me load of the car or unpack when I got back. He just watched me and my daughter do it all. When I got to work I was knackered and just burst out crying. My boss is fantastic and she made me realise that I have to get away from him before he completely destroys me. I suppose the more I have it confirmed then the more I believe it - and don't just think it IS me being a bitch! So, thank you. I do need to stay strong. Especially when I do find somewhere. It is so scary. But then his distance over the years means that I have done most of this alone anyway so I can do it. Just scared! x
You have tried and given this relationship every chance there is and more.
Time to move on. He will never change
It feels a lot scarier than it actually is. I promise.
You are not a bitch, he really is awful. You really DO have to leave.
Run and don't ever go back to him. He won't change; only find more nasty ways to control you and make your life and that of your DCs worse.
There is a very good thread on here that I have found very helpful. here. Out of the Fog was very informative and Women's Aid has practical information. Ask for RL help. Friends, family, GP and WA.
Thanks. JamNan the link is fantastic. Thank you. x
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