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To feel guilty about leaving abusive partner?

(17 Posts)
Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 09:07:45

ExP has MH issues and I can't deal with it anymore. I don't want to out either of us, but he goes through my phone, constantly asks where I am, sends me insulting texts if I don't reply fast enough that are nasty and manipulative (WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME, I hate you you're the worst person ever, I didn't mean that I love you, you're a horrible person), threatens suicide or harm if I do something he doesn't like. He regularly has outbursts, over things I can't help, like the taxi being late or having to queue - strangers have had to get involved before because he's reduced me to tears in public and refused to get out of my face when I ask him to. He doesn't respect my consent, when I was 3 months pregnant he didn't understand I didn't want to be touched and kept jumping all over me trying to initiate even though I was asking him to stop, he eventually burst into tears and said I didn't love him. He has broken possessions in anger and gets very aggressive. He has mood swings and I never know if I'm going to get the decent guy or the intimidating, difficult one. There are many more things but this is just a few.

He has some severe MH problems that mean he can't look after himself. I have to make his phone calls, make sure he goes to appointments, and pretty much look after him. His issues mean he is in his outlook very childlike, and I am turning into a carer not a partner. The whole situation is making me feel very drained and I just can't cope anymore.

A recent incident made me realise that I don't want me and my son (who will be born next week) to live at the mercy of this mans mood swings. However I feel incredibly guilty - a lot of his issues are caused by his MH problems. I've tried to help him, make appointments for him, encouraged him to see a counsellor, but I just can't live with him sad it never gets better even though he says he won't do it again. But I feel like I'm abandoning him when he needs help.

Can someone reassure me or advise me or just listen sad thank you

Sighing Thu 06-Aug-15 09:14:44

He's your exp and you're still very involved. I know it's hard to stop being responsible when someone cannot manage their life. Have you advised his care team you are no longer together? Do you live together (because that needs to stop). If you flag that he is now single, without support that may attract a reassessment.

Sighing Thu 06-Aug-15 09:17:15

You are not responsible for him. There may be a root for his challenging behaviour, but that does not mean you have to accept it. Particularly as you (naturally) want to raise your child with a consistent environment.

midnightvelvetPart2 Thu 06-Aug-15 09:19:36

Sorry to hear this OP flowers

You are able to leave any relationship that makes you unhappy, you don't need his permission or his approval. You can leave it for whatever reason you like, you don't have to justify it to anyone.

Stop feeling guilty, you are not responsible for his happiness or his mental stability or his ability to cope with his MH challenges. You are about to have a baby smile & this baby will need you to be focussed on them, not stressed because you are overwhelmed with your partner's demands along with the baby's needs. If you cannot cope & you are not happy in the relationship then you are absolutely doing the right thing.

If you wobble then consider that your relationship will be modelled as a normal adult relationship for your baby. Whatever form your relationship takes, your baby will grow up thinking that its the norm & its how to conduct a healthy adult relationship, which may cause them problems down the line.

If you need support then Womens Aid may help smile

IJustLostTheGame Thu 06-Aug-15 09:21:11

Yanbu for feeling guilty and yanbu for putting your baby first.
It's a tough tough decision and I feel for you.
But I think leaving would be best for you. A new baby sucks all your caring ability for a while
You don't know how your partner will react to this.

Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 09:32:42

Thank you all smile we don't live together, he used to split his time between his parents house and mine.

The issue of his instability impacting the baby is what has made me leave, as I really don't think it's fair.

What's upsetting me is despite what I've written above, he isn't intentionally horrible. It's almost as if he is a child so I feel like I'm leaving someone vulnerable.

I know I'm doing what's right for my son but I feel so upset by it

IPokeBadgers Thu 06-Aug-15 09:48:59


first of all, have a hug flowers

That sounds like a very difficult situation to be in and i am not surprised you are drained.

YANBU to have left.YANBU to put your baby and yourself first. YABU unreasonable to feel guilty.

Ask MN to move this to relationships where you will find lots of great people who can advise and support you. Many have been through the wringer relationships-wise, and there may be someone who has come out of a similar situation who could provide meaningful words of wisdom.

Your ex-P might be a vulnerable adult but he has family who can support him. Your child will be totally vulnerable and will totally rely on you as his/her mum to protect and do the best for him/her....and that probably does mean limiting your and your child's exposure to a mentally unwell adult who probably will not cope well with the attention you are having to give to the baby.

good luck and please dont torture yourself: you are doing the right thing for you and your child.

Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 09:56:53

Thanks. How do I get this moved?

You are right he wouldn't cope well, when I'm with him I have to spend all my time making sure he is okay, and he gets very upset when I do other things as he thinks I'm rejecting him.

I keep hoping he'll get better but I can't stay hoping it does when his behaviour is so difficult.

cestlavielife Thu 06-Aug-15 09:57:32

sounds like my exp.
it is up to him to get the help he needs as he is an adult.
you cannot be responsible for him
you have a new baby to think of.
focus on baby and you.
arrange set times when he can meet and see the baby, preferably with someone else around.
it is up to him to get help and support you cannot do it for him
you did not cause this and you cannot cure him.
set your boundaries.

speak to your midwife and get yourself some support and strategies eg by talking to nhs counsellor.

BeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 06-Aug-15 10:01:28

We'll pop this over to relationships for the OP now.

Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 10:03:00

Thanks - that's what I'm doing about contact, rules are going to be I or a family member has to be there with him.

You're right I can't force him to get help, a lot of the time he doesn't recognise his behaviour do he doesn't think he needs it which is the problem. I think I need to accept I can't "save" him from this.

I've spoken to my midwives who know the situation and have been very kind

WhyCantIuseTheNameIWant Thu 06-Aug-15 10:16:18

I can and will happily listen. Been there. In the end, my ex left me and ds, while I was pregnant with dd.
It felt like the whole world had been lifted from my shoulders!
Ds (12) is now far more relaxed and sociable. Dd has never known her dad.
After the split, people used to ask "do you miss him?" And similar questions.
When I thought about it, to answer them, I realised that I didn't!
I didn't have to go quietly in to the next room in case he was about to blow.
I didn't have to come home from a 10 hour shift to find a sink full of washing up, as he didn't fancy getting off the sofa...
And dropping down to lone parent benefits was actually an increase in money as he isn't here to waste it!

You need to have a quiet hour, with a pen and paper. Alone.

Write down why you fell for him?
Why you stay with him?
How much of his anger you think is MH?
Is there likely to be any improvement with medical intervention?

If his health is bad, he might qualify for a carer a few days a week.
Is there anyone else around who will help him? His parents? Brothers/sisters?

Decide as objectively as you can. Be honest. Try to avoid baby hormones.

If you think there is a big chance of medicine helping him (and assuming he is lovely if he takes it...), then it might be worth holding out.

If he is likely to refuse meds or they have little effect, then it will be safer to leave. For you and baby.

Don't be afraid of being on your own. It's actually quite liberating after putting up with a grumpy one!

We have never looked back, but I know all situations are different.

It will be bloody hard being a carer for him and dealing with a newborn.

Good luck.

Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 10:23:14

I feel like a weight has been lifted myself. I was very surprised that I feel less upset than I have in a while since leaving. I actually have energy to focus on myself and my family

I'm not sure meds would help, he was on them but there was no difference. I encouraged him to see someone about changing them if he wasn't happy but he just said "they won't help" and hasn't seen anyone.

He has a supportive family who do a lot for him, so he won't be on his own. I just feel sad because he says all he wants is a family of his own, but unfortunately his behaviour and refusal to address it means that is difficult

Thanks for the advice

badtime Thu 06-Aug-15 10:49:23

Do you think, when he says that he wants a family of his own, he has any conception of what that means, in terms of the responsibilities and the changes in priorities?

It doesn't sound like that is something that he wants at all. His lack of insight into his MH issues seems to apply to other aspects of his life.

FWIW, I have MH issues myself. When I got together with my partner, despite the fact that I was unsure that treatment would work, I sought this treatment and really, really worked on myself because I felt it was unfair of me to expect my lovely partner to put up with my 'ways'. I am currently in a much better state (although I have been slipping slightly due to planning my wedding).

Your ex doesn't care enough about you or your child to try to get better. Just because he has MH problems doesn't mean he isn't also a dick.

Feline09 Thu 06-Aug-15 10:55:19

Do you think, when he says that he wants a family of his own, he has any conception of what that means, in terms of the responsibilities

No. He seems to want the nice bits without understanding that with those, you also have to be responsible. He often says he doesn't want his life to change when our baby is here, but then when I say to him that's unfair on the baby I get "but what about MY feelings? I don't see why no one thinks about me!". He manages to warp everything so it's about him

I think that's it - he expects everyone to put up with him without making any changes. I also have my own MH issues but I make sure I deal with them.

ALittleFaith Thu 06-Aug-15 11:21:51

OP I've 'reported' this thread and asked for it to be moved to relationships for you.

It's understandable that after being with your P for some time that you'll feel guilty for leaving, especially since he's so ego-centric and blamed you. I do think you're doing the right thing. If he's like this before the baby is born, he will be much worse afterwards. Everything revolves around a newborn and the sleep deprivation is tough. Do you have family support?

hooliodancer Thu 06-Aug-15 14:00:24

Reading your post reminded me of my mum, I was the baby.

She didn't leave- not because of guilt, although that played a part I am sure. It was more she felt she had to stay because in those days divorce was frowned upon. Gradually though he forced her to stop seeing her friends and family, so she couldn't go because she had no support.

Her life was utterly miserable. Before she died she told me she had never felt true happiness since she married him. She was 19 when they married, 87 when she died. Her only topic of conversation was 'him', how awful he was, how controlling. If she went out he would sit in the dark waiting for her to come back, having not eaten or drunk anything, then blaming her for his hunger.

He had mental health issues- was sectioned once when I was about 3. I am sure it was awful being inside his head, but he ruined someone else's life as well as his own. He had a good go at ruining mine too.

My childhood was awful, living in constant fear of him blowing up over nothing, or watching him drive off with a load of pills, telling us he was off to kill himself.

Please please don't put yourself or your child through this. You have done nothing to deserve what you describe. Let the professionals heal him. You must live your life and be happy, not give up your life to help him.x

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