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Confused - sorry, long.(32 Posts)
I need some advice - I have lurked on this board for months now and have seen some excellent advice given to people in a similar situation to me, but I need help as to what to do next.
I've been married 11yrs, 2 children aged 9y and 6y. For 11yrs I have been unhappy, but things have got worse and worse. I can finally admit to myself and everyone else that I am being emotionally abused, as are my children. Up until 4 months ago, I did what I could for an easy life. I always used to say however, that if he was physically violent towards me, that would be it. But, he never has been. He has been rough with the children - but the emotional abuse towards them has been worse. He has sat them down on numerous occasions and told them 'this is your fault (the two of them and me)'. He has isolated us from seeing my family.
Things are coming to a head. 2 weeks ago he got frustrated with me for not making an effort with our relationship (I have been silent, because he doesn't listen so there doesn't seem to be any point in talking, unless it is to agree with him that he is right and/or that I am wrong). He then, at 1am, broke one of the railings on our bannister. I got the blame for that too, 'at least I take my frustrations out on something. I can fix the bannister, can you fix our family?'
Last weekend he rang my sister and told her not to visit (as planned) - she has always been aware of how he has treated the children (from what she has observed - he thinks it is nothing wrong, just his parenting) but I have now told her everything. This weekend he stopped us all going to visit my brother/mum. When I tried to raise the point that I wanted to go, he said, in front of the children, no, I need to value the 4 of us before everyone else.
This last week he has spent following me around the house at bedtime so I can't be with the children on my own. When my son asked if we could go and sit upstairs on his bed together for 5 mins before bed he said that he thought I was being rather manipulative.
Today my sister rang to talk to them - he didn't let my son talk to her on his own - son was v quiet on the phone (he was upset as his dad had just been going through his school report and focusing on the negatives rather than the positives) and she asked whether he wanted to go somewhere else and talk to her. When he went with the phone upstairs he got pulled back down. I took the phone and said we would ring her back.
He then proceeded to tell me and the children that she was trying to find out too much information about what was going on in the house and she was not our family. Later, he took them both separately and said that she (she has got a legal background) was trying to find out information about the family so she could tell the police and put him in prison.
So - I am confused because the children, despite all this, love him, and when he is good with them, love being with him. When I end this, he is going to be vindictive and manipulative.
I have sought legal advice because I am a f/t working mum - he was made redundant 4 yrs ago and has set up his own (failing) business so has been SAHD by default. I have supported him and the family and he thinks he is too good to get a part-time job working at minimum wage. He has never had a good work ethic.
He controls all of his family too. His sister spoke to me about all of this 4 months ago - it finally gave me permission to accept the truth. However, since then, he has told me that he has 'told her off' for talking out of place, and when we met up after that, she didn't mention a thing.
I am frightened that he will try and take the children from me.
Work are great and are letting me change to school hours. I was hoping to wait until that was securely in place for a few weeks before ending it. I don't know if I can wait any longer.
I haven't logged the bannister incident with the police, WA or the GP yet. I have either been really busy at work, or with him all the time.
How desperately should I do that? Who should be around when I tell him? I don't want to make a scene in front of the children, and I want to make it as pain free for them as possible. I would love to be able to sit down with them and just say, 'M&D don't love each other anymore so we are separating', but I know that he won't do that.
I am planning on telling school after half-term.
Hi, I just wanted to offer some support and say I hope this works out for you. You really need this awful man out of your life. It sounds like his sister and your own sister are possible sources of support, can you talk to either of them about that?
And yes, get in touch with police and wa as soon as you can.
I cannot be certain that his sister will support me, as she will be torn between doing what is right for the children (being with a happy mum and dad - together or apart - versus what is right for her brother).
I am frightened that if just my sister comes then he will tear us both apart with his words and say that he never did it.
The children have been trained to not repeat outside of the house what was said inside it.
I would honestly leave with them and go to a refuge. This will establish you as their main carer. I think your H is being increasingly abusive because he is realising that he is losing his grip on you.
Your dc don't love him - they love the dad they wish he was. It certainly isn't healthy for them at all in anyway.
It's not a court of law, you don't need any evidence or even a reason to leave him.
Ring WA and get advice and support.
What's the housing situation?
I think you should really call the police and report what had happened, then make yourself and the children safe and ask him to leave. The police will support you while he leaves if you want, you don't have to report a crime for this, just tell them you are worried about a breach of the peace. Get them to back you up and your sister over for moral support, he won't hurt either of you with the police there.
Get him out and then worry later about legal stuff. It is very unlikely he would get custody of the children. A skilled social worker or cafcass officer will understand the real picture and that the children have been conditioned to lie.
Housing situation - we own our house, however, solicitor went through our assets and the little equity we have on our property is evened out by the negative equity on a flat (3 hours drive from here) that we rent out.
I have some assets/savings in my name alone from before we got married that he wouldn't be entitled to.
I have a well paid job, but with debts of his that I am paying off, we struggle to make ends meet.
Getting the police round is such a frightening prospect. For me and the children.
Thank you for your support.
I would talk to women's aid, confusedanon.
He's working hard to isolate you now and it sounds as if you feel quite threatened.
It's good that you have taken legal advice, but you need support with this next step.
....you can email them if you aren't getting the chance to phone
Can the children go somewhere while you ask him to leave? It is frightening and having to get the police is horrible. But him breaking the banisters and making you frightened will be utterly horrible for the children and very destructive in the long term.
You say he has isolated you from your family. Is there a way you can contact you privately and ask for some help? I was in an abusive relationship for years and felt so scared and ashamed to ask for help but when I did, my family and friends were just waiting for me to ask and didn't judge me at all.
Right now you just need to use all your resources to getrid of him
If the debts are in his name and aren't tied to your joint assets, would you be liable for them if you split up?
Money aside, you deserve to live without this constant abuse as do your kids. I would try to get away as soon as possible as everything else can be sorted out afterwards.
Separating from him is scary, but that doesn't mean it's the wrong thing to do. You have to protect your children because they don't have anyone else who can.
I won't be liable for the debts in his name. Financially I may struggle a bit - but only because I want to reduce my hours (and therefore my income) to be with the children. He hasn't contributed a significant amount financially for almost 5 years anyway.
For the first time in weeks he has just come to me and said, 'I'm sorry if I have upset you,' and for the first time ever, I haven't accepted it. It feels strange- because for an easy life I could have just said, you've been crap, don't do it again and then moved on. Instead, I said 'it is just a word, and I don't think you have any idea what you feel sorry for.'
Be careful, keep safe. I am concerned for you as he will realise you are distancing yourself.
You may find things are not as financially dire as you first thought, finances wise. You will get discounts on Council Tax, you can contact utility providors and some give better rates to lone parents, you may get more tax credits if you are earning less etc etc.
I agree with PP, be careful. He will see the change in you. He's tried saying sorry, but when that doesn't get you back in line he might try something else. Make sure this remains your private space.
Be very careful now.
Call Women's Aid and talk through an escape plan. That does not necessarily mean you leaving with the children, but may well do so. If they offer you a refuge place take it. You will be much much safer there than anywhere else for the moment, and once you're there you can sort out all the legal stuff which would probably include legally removing him from the home and keeping him out, so you and the children can go back there (but you may find that you simply don't want to).
Yes, report the bannister incident as soon as you can, and any other threatening behaviour. Keep a log - on here if you want to. Does he know you go on MN?
OK - I'll be careful. I just didn't want to concede to the apology at the time and didn't know what else to say. Maybe I need to say something tomorrow morning just to keep the peace a little?
I have kept a log for 4 months of all incidents - it is all saved on a secure email address, and he has no idea I go on MN.
If the thought of leaving gets scary, compare it with the thought of staying, which would scare me a hell of a lot more.
As others have said, be very careful and stay brave.
Be careful, this is such a dangerous time when you realise and start to make plans.
I'd walk into a police station and ask for an appointment with their dv unit, tell them what you've told us. Contact women's aid, do the same.
If it wasn't for the timing I'd think you had the misfortune to end up with my ex. The police removed him from our house after he accused me of assault, bit complicated but a fairly typical abuser's script which I was lucky they recognised.
Please don't leave things to chance and stay safe. Your levels of insight are great but you have to be really careful about how much he knows you know, iyswim. My ex 'only' became violent when I turned round to him and said 'Iknow what you're doing' (pre mumsnet) I wouldn't consider doing that for a heartbeat now.
Good luck ((hug))
Oh my goodness, this sounds awful. I hope you are ok.
Please make him leave as as soon as you can. You must contact the Police, Womans Aid and a solicitor. Once they have this all on file you can use this against him incase he try's to take your children.
The previous posters are correct, he is apologising because he can sense something is wrong. Once he realises that you want him to leave he will turn nasty don't give him the chance. Make sure if you have a joint account empty it ASAP. Have all of your paperwork in a safe place.
Please contact the Police ASAP so everything is logged.
Do you have a joint account? TBH, I'm not sure of the wisdom of emptying it until you're on the point of leaving or as soon after you've left as you can, as that is a very sure way of letting him know something serious is up.
Do get all financial and legal documents copied and put in a safe place - at a friend's or at work, not at home. If you all have passports, take them too.
Please do involve rl agencies, police dv unit (call 101 and ask for it), Women's Aid, who can advise you on a solicitor.
Just sending a message of wishing you the best .
Definitely chat to WA and the police DV department, you need professional advice on these matters. It sounds like you have support from family members too which is a huge bonus, use them to help you too , I'm sure they would in heart beat.
You can do this.
Update and more help please.
4 weeks on - I had some excellent legal advice and also logged the incident with the police. Over the last few weeks I have stood my ground and stopped paying his bills/loans. He has retaliated only with words. I kept recordings on my iphone of many of our conversation - it made me feel less confused of the circles our conversations we were going in. General conversations over the years have been that if I say I am unhappy, he says either 1) well you shouldn't feel that way, or 2) ok, I acknowledge that, but I did it because you did this, this and this and therefore you were wrong. I sent the voice memos to my best friend, who reassured me I wasn't crazy. They 'mysteriously' all disappeared about 5 days ago.
I saw my own GP last week, documented how I was feeling.
In the meantime he has showered the children, particularly my oldest son, with love- he was the one that used to get the brunt of his abuse.
Tonight he sat me down to see how to make this work - I haven't been brave enough to end it yet - not sure what I was waiting for, perhaps something really bad happening - just been scared to end it, what would happen to the children etc. We went round in more circles.
Then, he told me that he'd found the voice memos and sought legal advice. His solicitor is saying that it is an offence that I recorded him covertly, then sent them to a 3rd party. He is talking about taking an injunction out to get the memos deleted, and that my friend and I are risking our jobs (we are in the medical profession). He made me delete that conversation that we were having (and I was recording) at the time, then ring my friend to get her to delete them. However, she didn't answer the phone.
Was I wrong to record them - for my benefit? And perhaps as evidence of his verbally abusive behaviour? I will ring my solicitor in the morning and ask her what to do next.
Wish I had done my law degree and could offer you some real input, but sadly I didn't.
So have a hand to hold and I hope someone with real knowledge comes along soon.
Please do try to get him out and away asap.
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