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I thought I was doing the right thing - so why do I feel so guilty?

(24 Posts)
mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 17:36:20

I have been with my H for 17 years, married for 11. We have 3 DC, all with SN.

Throughout our relationship my H has been emotionally abusive to me and to our eldest DC, sometimes physically abusive by smacking the DC and leaving marks. He throws agressive temper tantrums, stamping feet, shaking fists in public places.

This is a very small snapshot of his behaviour.

I have spent a long time lurking on this board, and a few weeks ago I decided that enough was enough. I was not going to let my DC grow up thinking this is a normal family life.

I went to a local women's aid drop in centre, and they got me an appointment with their DV solicitor.

I saw her last week, she advised me to go for an occupation order straight away, which I have.

So why do I feel like I have utterly betrayed my H? I think he has MH issues, and it feels like kicking a injured animal out into the street. I thought I would be jubilant, but I feel utterly bereft. My whole life is about to change.

He has no family, no job, no income. I feel so guilty about doing this, and taking the DCs dad away. Although he is not very involved with them.

He has always said that if I throw him out he will not bother seeing the children.

This is my second marriage, I have absolutely no worries about coping with the DC, or housing or money.

I just feel so bad for H.

Can anyone talk some sense into me?

wallaby73 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:40:37

I think you need to keep at the forefront of your mind that he physically abuses your children - hitting them leaving marks? That in itself......just once is inexcusable

Jan45 Mon 13-Jul-15 17:41:55

Possibly conditioning, you have become so used to his abuse you don't even see it as being that bad and feel sorry for him because of what is about to happen.

Just remember what an absolute vile man he is, he has been abusing your poor children and you for so long I am so glad you have finally realised that life should not be like this, your poor children have already suffered at his hands.

Keep remembering what's important, your children.

He will no doubt go on to abuse some other poor woman.

And the best news you could hear is that he wont be bothering to see the kids, they'd be a million times better off without this horrible, vile man in their life, they are no doubt already traumatised.

I have no idea why you give a fuck for this man and I guarantee once you get out the situation and cycle of abuse, you will have a light bulb moment.

pocketsaviour Mon 13-Jul-15 17:43:32

It sounds like you have been in the role almost of carer to your H as well as your DC. Does that feel/sound accurate?

I think you have spent a lot of time telling yourself that your H can't help his behaviour. You are now realising that he CAN help himself, and that it's not your problem, but it's going to take a while for your heart to catch up with your head.

Please reassure yourself that you're doing absolutely the right thing for you and your DC. He has been actively abusing them. You are doing what every mother should do; protecting them from abuse. Not to mention, you also deserve to live without being abused.

Any person who says "if you throw me out I won't bother with the kids" is no parent.

Has this pattern of making allowances/excuses for an abusive parent repeated elsewhere in your life? Your first marriage, your parents' marriage?

DeanParrish Mon 13-Jul-15 17:44:07

Well, I see your role as Mother (especially to dcs with sn) trumps his MH issues. Their needs take precedence. If he doesn't want to see his children anymore, then that proves what a really crap Dad he is.
You have done the right thing.

whatsagoodusername Mon 13-Jul-15 17:44:13

You probably feel guilty because he's conditioned you to think of him and how everything will affect him.

You're doing the right thing. No need for guilt.

blueribbons Mon 13-Jul-15 17:44:14

I think it's perfectly understandable to feel sorry for him, particularly if mental health issues are part of what has made him behave in such a way, but you've done the right thing. He is an adult, and he is capable of seeking help and trying to change. Your children are at the mercy of their parents when it comes to what their life is like, and therefore it is only right that you place their safety and happiness first.

The fact he has threatened to not see the children if you threw him out shows that he has been aware of how wrong his behaviour is - why else would he need to try to scare you into just accepting it? If he doesn't see them, it sounds as though they will still be better off, because they'll have a stable, peaceful and happy life. Think how much more guilty you'd feel if your children ended up living what they'd learned and trapped in harmful marriages, possibly passing on that same toxic message to your future grandchildren. You've stopped that and started a path where they'll have a healthy sense of how relationships should be. It's now up to your H if he wants to try to fix his own problems, you can't do it for him, nor should you. Just concentrate on you and your children for the foreseeable.

NickiFury Mon 13-Jul-15 17:44:44

Try to think of it as you're not doing anything TO him, you are in fact protecting your children FROM him. You really don't have a choice if you put it like that.

I was in a similar position and felt so guilty about getting ex out. I really had to force myself to think about the fact that he had attacked me in front of my five year old son who tried to protect me. I knew I could never let that happen again. The choice was out of my hands. Fake it till you make it is the truest saying ever for this situation. You're all fogged up right now from years of abuse it takes a while for things to become clear.

TheLastCarnival Mon 13-Jul-15 18:00:22

I'm afraid I can't talk sense into you as I know exactly how you feel. sad

I dropped into my local place today and also feel wracked with guilt that I have somehow dobbed him in it. For years I have been very very careful about what I say about him to others as he is very conscious of how he appears outside the home and likes to keep his "good guy" persona intact so if anything that I may have said or even hinted at gets back to him then I get yelled at for showing him in a negative light. But recently I have begun to tell a couple close friends and really telling them not just moaning about certain things he does but starting the conversation by saying he is abusive. One surprised me by saying she knew, she has been trying to get me to see it for years but I thought it was me and so I kept trying to change, but it never worked.

I need to tell people so that I have some support and back up when I do actually take the plunge, so the guilt isn't going to stop me because I know it is irrational, it is not real it is brought on by years of conditioning, by being made to feel rubbish about who I am.

Well done for getting as far as you have and courage and strength to keep going, the guilt will I suspect subside in time especially as you begin to realise you are better off without him. flowers

mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 18:02:39

Hi, thanks for all your replies.

Pocket - yes I feel like his carer. Problem is all my DC have autism, and I am certain that H is on the spectrum too.

I know that this is often said by people who are trying to excuse their partners behaviour, but the therapists that my DC see have also said the same thing. He is on anti depressants, so am I.

That's why I feel so guilty, I think. I really don't know if it's deliberate or not. I read 'Living with the Dominator' and he is a classic example of the Bully - except the part that says he will only behave like this with his partner.

He is actually like this with everyone, bus drivers, teachers, people on the phone, my mother.

But I do realise that I can't be his mother/carer to the detriment of my children, the two younger ones both have anger issues, and have CAMHS and school support for this.

I just didn't realise I would be so devastated myself.

He hasn't spoken to me for a month now, just in direct response to questions concerning the DC, no conversation or small talk.

Jan45 Mon 13-Jul-15 18:10:33

His violence has nothing to do with autism, he does it because he gets away with it.

mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 18:11:29

Carnival - that's exactly it - I feel like I've 'grassed him up' and I know he will go nuts when he gets the letter from my solicitor which will tell him that she knows exactly how thing are.

I told her stuff that happened years ago too, so it seems like I've dragged stuff up from our past, and things aren't quite that bad now, but there's always the fear that it will become bad again, depending on whether its Jeckell or Hyde who walks through the door.

Another thing is, we've a holiday booked in the summer with flights and hire car. I'm on medication for anxiety and I don't feel confident to do it on my own.

But it would be (another) Holiday from hell if he comes.

Jan45 Mon 13-Jul-15 18:12:06

Pretty sure it's deliberate when he raises his hands and leaves marks behind.

I guarantee he does not treat any other children or adults like this, he does it to you and your child simply because he can and take some kind of satisfaction in it.

Please do the right thing and protect your children.

BrowersBlues Mon 13-Jul-15 18:19:43

Don't worry about the holiday, you don't need to go just because it has been booked. Forget about it. Ring the company and see where you stand with regard to any loss and advise that you have a letter from your doctor stating that you are unfit to travel. Write it off.

You have done brilliantly getting this man out of your and your children's lives, he is so detrimental to you all. Yes it is sad that he has problems but you have to cut loose or he will drag you all down. You only had one option and that was save yourself and your children.

They will be relieved to get a break from him. Concentrate on the future. You survived this ordeal for 17 years, you got yourself out of it. You are a very capable person and keep believing that.

mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 18:21:27

Jan - oh yes, I'm definately going through with it, I've got a school photo of my DC when they were younger, and when I look at it I am in tears because they are so innocent, and I was letting him abuse them.

I've also written down a list of all the things he's done for when I think I might be softening towards him. I bought a copy of living the dominator, so that I can keep reading the Bully, and then the Friend sections.

I've been trying to get on a Freedom Programme, but they all run during the day in my area, and I am at work.

He will be leaving this house for certain, keep reminding me of how bad this is.

I think it must be quite bad as the solicitor said I would get an occupation order, a non molestation order and legal aid.

I thought you only got that in very severe cases ( although the there is more that I am too embarrassed to post).

mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 18:27:29

Hi everyone, have to go for a bit, DS wants the iPad, and it is actually his, so I'll hand it over.

Just one thing that might be usefully to anyone wanting to escape - I went on the Women's Aid website and followed a link to my local area drop in advice centre. I saw the solicitor for an hour free of charge. She is a specialist DV solicitor and deals with cases like this for a modest fixed fee which can be paid in instalments, if you don't get legal aid.

sensiblesometimes Mon 13-Jul-15 18:27:37

You are doing the right thing know that ...Change is tough it is unsettling ...fear of the unknown perhaps ...but you rational head knows that you can do this ..and you can
Maybe it's like a bereavement the end of something.... but the start of a new life free from him and his problems will that feel :-)

AnyFucker Mon 13-Jul-15 18:36:26

Well, I feel sorry for him too and I am a right hard case where abusive men are concerned. He has ruined his life because he has thrown away many chances over the years to acknowledge he needs help and to go seek it.

However, he is where he is. You cannot control it, you didn't cause it and you cannot cure it.

Protect your boys now.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 13-Jul-15 19:00:26

You do the Freedom Programme online here:

springydaffs Mon 13-Jul-15 19:05:15

Feeling story for him will pass - promise. You've broken the spell he had over you - that is initially challenging. Autistic or not, he is not a good man.

Then you'll have to cope with volcanic anger which, in many ways, is harder.

Then you'll get to indifference. It takes a while but you will get there.

You're doing the right thing - absolutely, completely and utterly. Well done flowers

(What's the bet your anxiety evaporates once he's gone)

springydaffs Mon 13-Jul-15 19:09:13

I hope you're not going to be in the house when he receives the letter?!!

Please tell me you won't be there mylife.

WhatifIdid Mon 13-Jul-15 19:27:32

Do you think you might be grieving your marriage a bit too OP?

I think it's inevitable that you do feel the loss of your partner, even if they are shit. Afterall you've hoped for a long time that they would bot be shit and would change. Letting go of that hope and realising you are now single is a loss in itself.

But you are definitely doing the right thing. You have absolutely no choice but to put your DC first and protect them. The Dc have no choice about being subject to his violence. It is your job to take that decision for them.

He on the other hand has the choice to seek help, and who knows perhaps things could change for him in the future.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 13-Jul-15 19:43:57

can do - it's not an order!

mylifetoo Mon 13-Jul-15 22:13:04

Springy- my solicitor is having the papers served to him by the court bailiff, I will have my served to me by bailiff at work, she will liaise with me on the best time to serve him. I can stay with one of my grown up daughters if I think he will be likely to kick-off.

*What if*- yes I think I am grieving for what I thought my marriage was going to be, this is my second marriage, and I always believed that this was IT, my soulmate for life.

Soon found out otherwise though.

AF - I've lurked on this board for ages, only usually post on SN and 'the other' board, but I've seen loads of your posts, and you always tell it how it is, and yes, you are dead right.

I've seen the online Freedom Programme, but I really wanted somewhere where women can give each other some moral support too, finding this boards is great for that though. I'm going to speak to my GP about getting a certificate for cancelling the holiday due to illness, that would be a great relief, I could book a more local break with my boys then.

I usually take them on my own anyway, but this time we were going further afield, and I'm not confident about it. Although my older daughters tell me to grow a pair, that I always took my elder three on my own (I have six DC, three from first marriage, grown up with children of their own), it's not that easy when you have had your self esteem squashed, and end up on ADs.

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