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How do you walk away when you have no one else in the world? I need to believe I can do this.(62 Posts)
We have 2 young dc.
Last year h held a knife to my throat and threatened to kill me. It wasn't the first time he had been violent to me over the last 15ys but it was the first time he had used a weapon and the first time I grabbed the phone and called the police.
This marked a turning point and I asked him to leave. He never would have left before but as the police and ss were involved now, he did as I asked. I dropped the charges despite pressure from the police.
He has lived in various places since then. Always claiming poverty as to why he cannot find a permanent place to stay. Slowly but surely he has managed to convince me he should come back. We had a nice family weekend the other week and it was everything I want.
I haven't let him move back in yet though as another issue we always had was debt. He is irresponsible with money and ran up lots of debt (mainly in his name) without me knowing over a period of 4-5 years.
I agreed for him to come back as long as I have complete control over the money. He won't allow that so has been playing his normal emotional blackmail games ever since.
The difference is that I have had a year to see this from a distance and even though he thinks he knows how to press my buttons, I feel like a different person now. Stronger.
But although life without him is easier some parts are just rotten. The family days where it is just me surrounded by families, I can't imagine holidays with another adult to talk to.
These are poor reasons to stay with him I know. But for various reasons, I have no other family. I have friends, one close one.
I can't even get a job to help see other adults. Before he left we were working shifts around each other. When he left he refused to look after the children so I had to quit. He also refused to help towards the mortgage so I had to claim help with the mortgage payments. This help is the only way I have managed to hold onto the house. Tbh I would love to sell the house but we are in neg. equity and would end up with a shortfall. So I am trapped.
How do you leave when you know is the only adult you speak to on a daily basis. Without him, no cares if I live or die.
I can empathise. I also have no one and cannot meet them via work, my 3 young children are the only people I talk to from one week to the next. No advice I'm afraid, just wanted to let you know you're not alone
You are very brave to have called the police and SS when he threatened your life with a weapon.
You are brave enough to face life (and all its heartaches and responsibilities) alone. You have done it for a year.
Yes, I understand the deep yearning for a life companion. This man is not it, though. Be your own best friend, rock and companion. I know it's hard. But you can do it.
Don't let him back into your life.
He is probably one of the main reasons you don't have anyone else. Without him around you will be able to make new friends.
I have been a single parent for many years. I also have no famiy. I holidayed with other single parents. They were some of the best holidays I've ever had. One friend leads to another. You just have to have the confidence to reach out. However hard you think that might be, you can do it because it's a lot easier than trying to make someone like your H happy. If you can survive him and get the strength to kick him out, you can do anything.
If you want to return to work, you can. As a single parent you will qualify for help with childcare costs.
If the house is a millstone around your neck, how about letting it out? The rent will probably cover the mortgage, allowing you to rent somewhere more affordable and so reduce the control your H has over your life.
Can you see the effect your 'family weekend' has had on you? Already you are doubting your ability to cope. Seeing a future of problems instead of opportunities. Seeing the negatives rather than the positives. You need to keep this man away from you, not bring him closer. There is nothing lonelier than being trapped in a life with someone who treats you like dirt.
Socon, you are very brave and have made desperately difficult first steps, so congratulations, be proud of yourself.
The fear of loneliness is very draining, and you have to have a very far sighted perspective to see that it's not a good reason to stay with someone who drags you down. You are more likely to find someone who deserves you if you are free and have not had your self-worth minimised by the wrong type of partner. I know it's hard to see when you are at the beginning of what may potentially be a long stretch alone. I'm at the end of that stretch and can tell you I found my years of lonely holidays and weekends very wearing indeed but I'm glad I had the courage to persevere and not sell myself short. I hope that doesn't sound smug or anything, I'm trying to give you courage to do the right thing and a belief that you can make it work out. It seems hard and uncertain now so you are tempted to settle for second (third, etc.) best, but you don't need to, and you are worth more.
Being alone is almost always temporary, and can be very enriching, and avoids setting the wrong example to your dcs.
Both my parents have passed away and there is no one else.
I did wonder about renting the house out. But I don't think he would agree to that and its a joint mortgage. He won't agree to anything that allows me to move further away from him - physically or emotionally.
There is also the problem of finding somewhere to rent now I have a bad credit history.
If I could be rid of the house, have a fresh start someone else, it would help. But that's an impossible dream.
Ok, one close friend is enough. It will take time but you will make some more. You will go on holidays with other adults. You could even meet someone new who will treat you with the love and respect you utterly deserve. Because this - what's he's offering - is NOT what you deserve.
Do I need to spell it out?
He physically abused you up to the point where he threatened you WITH A KNIFE. Will it be your dcs next time?
He wouldn't look after his own children to allow you to go to work.
He wouldn't contribute towards the cost of the house that his children live in.
He won't agree to your conditions for him coming back into your life so now he is emotionally blackmailing you. This is mental abuse. When will it be physical abuse again? When will it be one of your children that he harms.
You ask "how do you walk away?" You do it one step at a time. One day at a time. You DO NOT let him back. Let that be your starting point and your end point.
DO NOT LET THIS MAN BACK INTO YOUR LIFE.
Also, see a solicitor to find out what the real situation is on the house. YOu say it's a joint mortgage but he hasn't been contributing? I don't know this for sure, but maybe this will give you some leverage.
Sometimes I talk to him, just to have someone to talk to. I know he can see my loneliness and I hate myself for it.
Days out are so hard without him there. Last summer holidays was hell and the thought of doing it again ... well.
I know I can, its just no fun by yourself is it? And everyone is with someone, it feels like your the only lonely person in the world.
I did look at the Single With Kids holidays last year but wasn't brave enough.
If you go fully for independence and reject this man you will - because you have to - be creative about making friends, taking holidays and getting adult company. It takes determination, imagination and commitment. If you take him back you simply won't make the effort, it'll be all about him, and you'll miss out on a massive opportunity. Plus you'll be putting yourself in danger. All abusers are nice as pie when they are trying to win back their victims. The minute you let him back into your home you'll see his true colours.
Squeever I know you're right.
I don't know why I'm so weak.
Cogito I think that's what is happening now. He has been really nice recently but when he realised there are conditions to him coming back, I've seen the man I knew show up again.
"And everyone is with someone, it feels like your the only lonely person in the world."
I'm not with anyone. Haven't been on holiday with another adult for about 18 years now. Pre DS I went on some fantastic tours to interesting places and when he was small I used to book us on activity holidays because it attracted single people and families alike and the 'activity' element meant there was instantly something and someone to talk to.
Just because you haven't found a way to make it fun yet, don't fall back on a violent man. If you do I fear that 'better the devil you know' will be what they write on your headstone....
"I don't know why I'm so weak."
You're not weak but you're choosing what looks like the easy route at the moment. It is difficult being a singleton in a world that seems full of couples but you have to stick at it
Have you looked for single parents meetups/meeting groups/networks in your area? I know there is one in my area, they meet on Saturday and Sundays at the park, organise BBQs, trips to museums etc. and help each other.
Have a good search on Google. There are also several charities that might be able to help you.
you are no weak, and everyone runs out of steam sometimes.
However: you are a success, you can do this and you can keep going.
one day at a time
I hope you don't think I'm being harsh. Really, you're not weak, you've just been treated horribly.
Try to imagine this: You and your dcs in a couple of years' time. You working. The dcs settled and happy; the three of you having happy, fun times together. You with new friends who can help you and support you. Your finances sorted out.
Now imagine this: You back with him. Physically and mentally hurting. Your finances still in a terrible mess. The children scared of what their Daddy might do to you and them.
The first scenario will only happen if you don't let him back. The second scenario will DEFINITELY happen if you do.
The problem at the heart of all this is your lack of bravery.
Very very understandable as you have vitually no one to rely on or fall back on in hard times.
I also think you very much know that this man is not for you.
You have to start somewhere.
Yes see a solicitor.
Yes be creative about making friends. And also remember to try to be a friend to others, as that is half the battle.
And you could try a church group? As part friendly place, and, for you, a possible group of people that could help you out in times of crisis.
PS the world is actually full of single parents: you just have to be in the right places to find us!
Also, use MN. Get some legal advice on here. The lone parents topic always seems to be full of helpful, supportive, lovely people. Look on MN Local - go to a meet-up, make some new friends.
You can take positive steps to make things better.
No, I don't think are being harsh Squeaver. There's just part of me that doesn't want to hear this, wants to take the easy route.
I just want him to be the man I stupidly thought he was for all those years. But he is never going to be that.
If he comes back, your right, I will be walking on eggshells trying to please him, trying to get him to stop sulking. Nothing will ever be right. I will constantly be worrying if is he lying (he lies about everything), we will argue about money, then when we argue I will worry if he is going to lock me out or worse.
I admitted to myself last night that I don't know if I could feel safe with him living him here again.
I can't afford to see a solicitor and I think legal aid for divorce has ended now.
I would like to study. Get myself ready for returning to work.
If I get a job tomorrow for example, I will lose all the help I get atm with the mortgage and there is no way I can afford to pay the mortgage by myself.
That would mean repossession probably and then I don't know how I find somewhere to live.
That said, the help I get atm (SIM mortgae assisitance) will stop when my youngest (2yo) turns 5yo. So its a ticking time bomb anyway.
Some solicitors offer a free initial consultation. Worth ringing round and seeing if you can get that for a start. Legal aid is still available where there is evidence of DV. So it's good that you called the police that time because, even if you didn't prosecute, it'll be on record. You could also contact Womens Aid, see if they have any practical tips to keep you from making a massive mistake.
If you go back to this man it will be even worse than before. He will up the ante to make sure that you don't try for freedom again. I know you feel lonely but he is out and you are actually in a position of strength regarding him you just don't realise it....yet. Is he paying maintenance? I would get legal advice to know what you are entitled to.
Please have as little contact with him as possible and do not let him know how you feel as he will use it against you. He will play the family man as he knows it is one of your vulnerable points but as soon as he gets back in he will drop this - do not be under any illusions it will continue - it won't.
As a single parent of many years I think it made me much more resourceful and tenacious than I ever knew I was and I learned to look after my and DS's interests. I had many happy days out with my DS and rarely bothered about not being part of a couple - it's your own thoughts that give rise to negative comparisons. Some of those 'happy families' will not be showing the whole picture - try and see the positives of being on your own - you don't have your bully ex threatening you for a start.
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