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So confused - abusive marriage

(27 Posts)
Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 16:47:08

I am so confused and sad at the moment. I gave been with my husband 22 years, married for 11. He is 12 years older and has always been quite dominant. He has slapped me round the face and been rough with me but the violence stopped about 11 years ago.
He has a temper though and frequently loses it and I get very scared. I live on my nerves and read on eggshells around him, but we have 3 children aged 9,8 and 3 and they adore their father. I did tell him I would leave once and he threatened to have me killed.
I'm exhausted and confused about what to do, it would rip the children away from everything they know and love and I have nothing so would have to start with nothing at 43.
I don't love him anymore and I only have sex with him as I know he gets more grumpy without it. Reading this back i feel sick, what am I doing staying ??? I'm so scared but I'm more scared of being alone and penniless with 3 children.
Just need a hug really sad

Ps I went to counselling as I thought it might help, we were meant to go together but he had to pull out last minute. They told me I was in a classically abusive relationship sad

jumblebee Sat 22-Mar-14 16:51:05

That sounds really awful Polo! My only advice to you is please get out of this relationship. You don't deserve to live your life in fear of someone who should love you. I know you said the physical violence stopped 11years ago, but what about the mental abuse? What if one day he gets so angry and turns on you and hits you or your children? Your youngest is only 3, still a baby.

jumblebee Sat 22-Mar-14 16:53:45

Sorry, posted too soon!

...and none of you deserve to live in fear of being physically and/or mentally abused.

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 16:55:11

I honestly don't think he would hurt the children it's me that makes him angry, he's under huge stress too but after so many years of mental abuse I don't love him.
But he's a wonderful father and provides the family with so much, a wonderful home, private school, cars holidays etc
I can do without those things but the children will resent me for taking them away from all of that I'm

CurtWild Sat 22-Mar-14 16:55:31

It's no way to live, OP, and a complete waste of life. I'm now alone with three very small children ..not rich but not penniless either..and far happier than I was in my abusive marriage, as are my DC. Best wishes whatever you decide x

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 16:55:54

I stay because it's easier even though it's killing me inside sad

RandomMess Sat 22-Mar-14 16:57:14


You are the reason why refuges exist. Please gather your paperwork and arrange to leave asap.

CurtWild Sat 22-Mar-14 16:58:52

..oh and you DH may provide luxuries but there's one essential thing he's failing to provide and that's a relaxed live on your nerves..walk on eggshells.. A gilded cage may be beautiful, but it's still a cage.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Mar-14 17:00:47

Violence is not just physical; its emotional too and you've been on the receiving end of this for far too long enough.

Yes indeed, what are you doing by staying?. Do you want to teach your children that his abusive treatment of you is acceptable on some level because currently by staying you are showing them that very thing. Would you want any of your children to have a marriage like yours - of course not.

Counselling is never ever advisable when there is abuse of any sort within the relationship. No decent counsellor worth their salt would have ever seen the two of you together in the same room anyway because it would have been a complete waste of time. Your H does not think he has or is doing anything wrong here.

Your children are learning about relationships from the two of you and both of you are teaching them some very damaging lessons on relationships.

They also do not adore their dad either; they are likely to be quiet and very compliant around him. They react to his moods and see how you have reacted to him as well. They have seen all too clearly how he treats you as their mother; that would apply in particular to your eldest two. They have likely heard and seen far more than you care to realise and you as their mum have been completely subsumed by this person. You probably do not know any more which way is up. Living with such a man is really therefore no picnic for them either.

You have a choice re this man and they do not.

Fear amongst other reasons keeps you within this as well but no man is above the law and you can and should use legal means against him. He is not all powerful here and you are not completely powerless either. You also need legal advice and pronto.

What is more scary really; being on your own and starting again with three children and all being happier as a result or staying with Mr Abusive Man?. Your children will not thank you for remaining with someone like this if you chose to and could well accuse you of putting him before them. Your own relationship with them as adults could well be damaged as a result if you stayed. You can get out and you should get out asap with your children in tow; they deserve better in life and so do you. Womens Aid can and will help you here; do call them on 0808 2000 247.

knowledgeispower Sat 22-Mar-14 17:01:50

Cars, holidays and private school will not heal the pain of seeing their mother die inside and become a worn does husk.

Phone Womans Aid for advice when you are alone. Make a free appointment with a solicitor and find out where you stand. In your head start planning your new life with your babies.

Be kind to yourself.

knowledgeispower Sat 22-Mar-14 17:04:01


AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Mar-14 17:05:27

"But he's a wonderful father and provides the family with so much, a wonderful home, private school, cars holidays etc
I can do without those things but the children will resent me for taking them away from all of that I'm sure"

You're wrong there on all counts and NO he is not a wonderful father. Not a bit of it because of the way he treats you as his wife. Your children are seeing their mum abused by him on a daily basis.

He can provide them with material things but emotionally he is a deadbeat dad.

They will NOT resent you for taking them away from this toxic environment; they are as much victims in this as you are. Material stuff counts for nothing if their home is not a sanctuary. Their home is currently akin to a warzone because of their Dad's private war against their mum.

You are indeed the reason that refuges exist; he will destroy you completely if you were to stay - and run a higher risk therefore of your children entering such abusive relationships themselves as adults.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Mar-14 17:06:22

It is NOT easier to stay.

Easier to leave than to stay; he will destroy you all and all he wants to do with you is drag you down with him.

BlueJean Sat 22-Mar-14 17:07:04

Your children are still all under 10 .They might complain at separation from friends and after school activities if you move them away from their private school but they really wont care that it is private.

Many many children move schools for all sorts of reasons so please don't let that particular problem affect your decision to leave.

For a child a wonderful holiday is a nice time with people who love them all doing nice things. Making sandcastles on the beach and eating ice cream. Exploring new areas,picnics,making holiday friends. All of these can be easily accomplished within a few miles of your own home-wherever that may end up being.

I know you have concerns about the financial side of things but money does not buy back a childhood free from fear. They can hear and see how their father treats their mother. They most likely think they will be next.

Dont let them grow up thinking they have to please others just to live a peaceful life.

Descalzada Sat 22-Mar-14 17:07:58

I agree refuges exist for you and for me in 2007. I should have gone to one but I thought they weren't for people like me. One of my biggest regrets is that I stuck it out for as long as I did but Thank God it's behind me now. I got out in the end. I left in my 30s but I am older than you are now, and every year that's ahead of you is valuable! you have more years ahead of you than I do and I plan on enjoying the years ahead of me. I deserve to enjoy them. I did my hard labour in the slammer of an EA and sometimes physically abusive marriage.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 22-Mar-14 17:10:49

If he cares so much about them, I am sure he would continue to pay their school fees if you lived apart. If you think he wouldn't, well that tells you something. sad

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 17:15:43

I just asked my 8 year old daughter if daddy shouts at mummy a lot and she said yes, I asked her how it made her feel and she said she doesn't like it .. Oh boy.
I'm shaking with fear, he will be back from the shops soon and I know he'll be angry as his card got declined because I hadn't transferred money into his account. He leaves me to look after the finances but I wish he didn't as I get the blame for our financial situation too sad
I try and keep away from him ... He's back !

Logg1e Sat 22-Mar-14 17:25:38

Why don't you get in touch with Women's Aid? Just for information - no need to make any decisions.

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 17:29:21

I will if I can get some time alone he works from home a lot ATM. sad

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 17:29:49

Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to me x

jumblebee Sat 22-Mar-14 17:31:51

You don't know for sure that he won't hurt your kids. The emotional damage is worse (in my opinion), you said your daughter notices that her dad shouts at you a lot, she may well grow up thinking that is normal. Yes couples do bicker but your situation is far from bickering.

It will be hard leaving. You won't have the same lifestyle that you do now. But all those material things don't matter one bit. I can sense from your last post how scared you are of him and I really really do feel for you. Please, even if it is just contacting women's aid to talk, it is a first step. You really do not deserve to live like this OP, you deserve to be happy, please believe that.

Polo2014 Sat 22-Mar-14 17:54:21

Sometimes I do stand up to him, but that's usually out of pure frustration from days of him
Going on at me.
Sometimes he apologises or sometimes his anger escalates as a result so then I have no choice but to back down before it escalates further sad

Logg1e Sat 22-Mar-14 18:08:18

Has anyone suggested that you "should be standing up to him"? We want you safe and happy.

PortofinoRevisited Sat 22-Mar-14 18:53:32

How do you know his card was declined?

Whereisegg Sat 22-Mar-14 19:34:29

If you are in charge of the finances that should make things easier wrt you leaving?
Arrange all the bills to come out on the same day and leave the day before with the money, or can you squirrel some away?

Do you have friends or family close by that you can get things like birth certificates and passports to?

Do you have your own car?

Try not to change your behavior as if he suspects you are leaving he may well revert back to physical abuse.

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