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H left. Who is abusive? *very very long*(40 Posts)
Name changed for this because I'm embarrassed by my own behaviour. It will probably get long.
My husband has left me. We've been married 2 years and have 2dc, a teenager from my previous relationship and a 1yr old. The 1yr old is currently being investigated for some serious health concerns.
H walked out yesterday because we had an argument. He says that our marriage isn't working because I'm upset with him all the time.
The reason I'm posting is I think he might be abusive but I'm not sure if actually it's me. I need to work it out for my own peace of mind because at the moment I feel confused and lost.
Our relationship has been pretty terrible. I had an affair before we were married, H knows about this and forgave me. There's no excuse for cheating of course and I'm not trying to justify it but to give some idea of the circumstances, I was under a lot of pressure at the time.
I was financially supporting the family due to H having been out of work for some years, he was supposedly looking for work but in reality mostly played computer games, H was angry a lot of the time and complained a lot about me being lazy about housework (that's sort of fair, I didn't do much but I worked full time and he was at home doing nothing, no childcare or anything). I tried not to nag about him getting a job but it hurt me that he wasn't putting any effort in. He would get annoyed if I brought it up, even if I tried to do so in a non nagging way.
I lost a lot of respect for him, was unhappy in my life and should have left. The affair was escapism, with an older man who could have taken care of me, taken the pressure away. My MH at the time was very fragile which probably contributed too.
I have been violent to H. While I was pregnant we argued and he was awful to me, shouting in my face, calling me a slut and whore, punching doors and smashing things. I reacted by self harming by cutting myself with scissors. H tried to take them from me and I hit him to get him off. He then phoned the police and physically restrained me to prevent me from leaving the house, I hit out several times trying to get away. He told the police I had assaulted him and was crazy and needed locking up, they took me to hospital and I saw a duty psychiatrist who didn't think I was crazy and let me go home.
He has also been aggressive towards me, throwing cups towards me (but not directly at me, just so they smash next to me) and pushing and shoving me, including while I was holding our tiny baby.
H has accused me of being very controlling, not letting him see his friends, I don't think this is true but when DC was newborn he left me on my own with the baby 4 nights a week so he could go to his mates and I did say I thought it was too much and unfair to me. He's cut down to 1 or 2 nights a week now, I don't complain about this, I'm not sure if he still resents me for controlling him.
H sometimes gets annoyed if I call or text him while he's out because that's also controlling, if I say anything negative such as dc has been grumpy or ask what time he might be home then that's unreasonable. I've only been out 2-3 times since having DC but H has rung me every time with DC screaming and screaming in the background to ask when I'll be back (even if I've told him before I go what time I'll be back). H says he thinks I should go out more often and I'd be happier if I did but then when I do go I always end up having to rush home because of dc.
Sometimes if I plan to go out H gets irritable or at least I think he does, he says he's not and I'm imagining it, so I end up not going.
Actually H gets irritable a lot. He gets grumpy and ignores me or speaks to me with this tone in his voice. If I ask what's up he will often deny anything is bothering him, sometimes he'll eventually tell me the issue, sometimes he will just be calmer and nicer later on. I feel on eggshells when he's like that and it's worse when he says it's my imagination.
If I am upset about something H will sometimes be nice, if the thing I'm upset by is related to his behaviour at all then he's not nice. For example if I said i'm feeling very tired, dc has been hard work the past few nights and I could use a break, H would think I was accusing him of not doing enough with dc and would get annoyed with me. If I cry about anything he usually ignores me completely which makes me feel even worse.
He also ignores me if I try and bring up any problems I might have, if he'd said something that upset me for example, if I tell him he will totally blank me like he hasn't heard me speak.
H blames me a lot. For small things on a day to day basis (like not having done the shopping right, he says he's not blaming me because 'he could have done it himself he guesses' but that is still blaming me for it being wrong isn't it? or maybe not) but also for big things, teenage dc was hurt while out with friends and I was upset Hs immediate reaction was 'well it's your fault for not being stricter about where they go'.
He sometimes lies in order to blame me for things. He claims I said things which I didn't say so that it's my fault. Like saying I told him I didn't need any money for food shopping this week so now he won't have enough money to buy me a birthday present (he almost never buys me birthday or Christmas gifts anyway), when I didn't say that.
Other small incidents in our relationship include him phoning my mother and telling her I had PND (I didn't) because I was upset by something he'd done and telling his mother that not only did I have PND but also that I'm a vicious evil slut and was going to stop him seeing his baby who he wasn't sure was even his (he is sure). He has told me several times that if we split up he wants nothing more to do with the DC because it would be too hard for him to see them.
And that's my life. I know if I'd posted about any of this before there would have been lots of LTB replies but he's done the job for you and left me. He was supposed to be looking after DC when I go back to work next month but now will not be, so I'm now left sad and confused and in need of full time childcare soon.
Practical side is we rent from my family, I don't think he'll be difficult about staying away and we have no real assets to split so straight forwards.
If you've waded through all this then thank you, I'd appreciate some opinions - am I controlling? is he abusive? are we both abusive? how do I be better in future. Please be a little gentle though because I'm hurting right now.
I think he is abusive, gaslighting, pushing you with a baby, telling lies to family about you, etc - and I recommend the Freedom Programme to you. I think you have responded to his awful behaviour - I think the relationship sounds hell for you though, and I hope he does stay away.
I think this is not a healthy relationship and it sounds like you've had a hard time. I think you should count your blessings.
I think he's done the right thing by leaving, and you need to do the right thing by making sure he stays gone.
This relationship is so dysfunctional I don't see how you could ever untangle all the issues to make it work.
Thank goodness he left. Don't ever take him back.
You clearly don't being out the best in each other and from what I've read I believe both of you are at fault. Even with him shutting in your face etc you choose how you react and you upped the violence.
Sounds like it's best for you and your kids if you do split up.
Don't have any great words of wisdom but didn't want to read and run. The way you have described your relationship it sounds as if you would both be happier apart. I don't think your H has forgiven your affair, his behaviour sounds full of brooding resentment. You have both demonstrated some poor choices, I think your joint priority now needs to be ensuring a stable home life for your DC. My parents argued and physically fought as you have described when I was a child. I can't describe how terrified I was and how it affects me to this day (I'm over 40).
Take care and be kind to yourself.
Get a good solicitor and if he does anything threatening then call the police to get it recorded in case you need legal aid. He is abusive. It's not you. I would also guess there may be OW somewhere
I think it's at least 90% him, from what you've said.
But regardless of fault, someone who drives you to self-harm is not someone to spend any more time with.
I know how dysfunctional it is and it's not what I want for my children. I also don't have any intention to let him back in. I guess I should have said that. I'm sad because despite the myriad of issues I really do love him and I wish that was enough. I'm also worried about myself, I don't want to be an abusive person.
I stayed and tried to fix things over and over again, I tried to complain less and be happier, to work harder and do more house stuff and childcare. I tried to make him happier, take pressure off him (partly because if he was happy I could be happy). I tried to make up for what I'd done, I never blamed him for the affair and I have never given him even a seconds reason to doubt me since then.
I know you probably think I'm very stupid for continuing my marriage up to this point (or for getting married at all) but I just wanted things to be ok.
It's over now but I need to understand why, why those things happened. Is it my behaviour or personality that caused him to be cruel? or over sensitivity on my part maybe? or is it him? I sometimes think it's him but then I wonder if maybe I'm trying to make excuses because it would hurt less if it's not all my fault. If I can retain some hope that I'm a good person underneath.
Try the Freedom Programme - you can do it online for free, I think you will find it invaluable
but his behaviour is his fault, so you can't accept any responsibility for his abuse and cruelty.
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"I have been violent to H. While I was pregnant we argued and he was awful to me, shouting in my face, calling me a slut and whore, punching doors and smashing things. I reacted by self harming by cutting myself with scissors. H tried to take them from me and I hit him to get him off. He then phoned the police and physically restrained me to prevent me from leaving the house, I hit out several times trying to get away"
In a courtroom, your actions would be regarded as a product of extreme provocation and reasonable self-defence. It isn't violent to protect yourself.
It really doesn't matter who was the most unreasonable now. It was an unhealthy relationship and now it's over. Focus on your kids and doing right by them and you're on the right track.
I would say he was/is abusive and you were reacting to abuse. He has done the right thing by leaving and please make sure you don't let him back. You and your children deserve better.
He's not a nice man. He's a complete prick. Your MH issues will improve now he's gone. DOn't feel guilty, either for hitting out at him to defend yourself, or for having an affair. Affairs are entirely justifiable when you're officially 'with' an abuser.
The practical side is easy quietly as I said. We rent from my family, he left and won't fight me to live here. We have no real assets and very little savings so there's not much to split.
Contact for DC will have to be arranged but I don't know if H will want to see them anyway (he's told me several times if we split he has no interest in the children). I'm not worried about maintenance for DC it would be a pittance anyway so even if he refuses to give any it doesn't matter much.
Maybe you're right that it's a waste of energy to analyse but I feel like I need to because if you don't understand what went wrong how do you avoid it happening in future.
Thank you for the links, I'm having a look now.
It's mostly him.
The more distance you put between you in space and time the more clearly you will see that.
Glad to hear that practically speaking things are straight-forward eg. with your housing
All the best to you and your DC x
Are you violent with anyone else, eg children and siblings? Do you find it hard to keep your temper within other relationships?
God, you've had an awful time with this man. I am SO glad he's gone and it's only a shame you couldn't have told him to fuck off. I think you and your children will be much, much happier without him.
It sounded like a very unhealthy relationship and from all you say I think this was down to him. I couldn't have lived with him and it's easy to see why you were self harming. I'm so sorry you went through that and am so glad he's gone.
Take your time on the Freedom Programme if you do it online. I found it quite upsetting at times so make sure you do pace yourself. I have revisited since and found it utterly invaluable. You can also do it in person via Woman's Aid and have heard it is excellent to do with others too.
No, I'm not violent with anyone else. I've lost my temper and shouted at my older DC now and then, not regularly, maybe 4 times in dcs life. I've never and would never hit them.
I rarely lose my temper generally, I think most people who know me would say that I'm very laid back. Usually if I'm upset about something I try and broach it gently and use non blaming language.
When I argue with H (which isn't often) I never start off shouting, I do get upset if he blanks me or makes fun of me, it's frustrating when he won't listen to me and twists what I'm saying. In that situation I would usually try and leave but sometimes I do lose it and shout. If I get angry enough then I'd usually take that out on myself.
I was in an abusive relationship when I was a teenager and I sometimes hit back then but that really was self preservation, fighting for survival type thing.
But then H isn't really violent with anyone else either. He's angrier and shouts more than me, he kicked my dog once . I think he used to get into fights when he was a teenager but I've never known him to hurt anyone else.
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