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Half my Life - very long, sorry in advance(117 Posts)
I posted a couple of times a few months ago about my marriage & as usual just hid it all under the carpet after good advice here. This year I turned 50 & also had my 25th wedding anniversary, which has really struck home. Half my life - I'm certain I cannot tolerate another 25 years with my husband.
When I look at it all logically & "from the outside" I know exactly what I would be advising someone else (my job includes marriage guidance at times!), but I just don't seem to have been able to get myself out. Pathetic, I know.
He is abusive - there has been violence in the past, stamping on me on occasion while I lay in bed, kicking me in the shins, twisting my ankle, but that stopped years ago, after an ultimatum. He did shove me into a bush on holiday this summer though while pissed & arguing. The usual "you made me so angry" - I do tend to push my luck & not back down.
He has broken things of mine in a temper, including my spectacles, over the years, recently shredded some school work of DS's as he didn't feel "included" - DS had been trying to get him to proofread it for days - in the end I did it as it had to be handed in & he felt this was undermining him - not the only copy thank goodness. Loads of arguments as I just can't hold my tongue when he's being an arse.
Lots of messing with my head, refusing to remember stuff that has definitely happened, refusing to believe things, twisting my words, getting angry over trivia then calming down suddenly as if nothing has happened, accusing me of lying & then the typical "you really are insane".
Boastful & bigoted about all sorts - he's one of the best drivers in the world, apparently - belittling of women "that bitch doesn't know what she's talking about", awful about immigrants, fat people, the poor etc. If I pull him up on anything he says "Weeeelllll" in a snidey voice. Aggressive driver & trying to make newly-qualified DS drive in a similar way - he refuses.
Blaming me for turning our son (nearly 18) against him "he's just like you - I wish I'd had all that time with him on the school runs when he was little". At the time he refused to regularly participate in school runs as he didn't want to be involved in the lift share I had going "I don't want other people's children kicking the car seats". Completely refutes this now though & says it was me that said that. DS is more like me because he simply is more like me & my side of the family in looks & personality, although he also resembles SIL's children. "I don't think he's mine". He is, guaranteed - let's have tests done - no.
Worrying me over the finances - we have a huge mortgage which eventually will be payed off but he is keen to borrow more to finance a house for DS once at Uni. I'd prefer to sell the small holiday cottage we have - he thinks this is ridiculous. Gets angry when I suggest selling a couple of his sports cars could pay off some of the mortgage, surely one fancy car is enough?
Hoarding - literally 30 years' worth of car magazines plus others relating to present & past hobbies in huge piles all over the place. Heaps of unopened Christmas presents (unwrapped but still in boxes), every greetings card he's ever received, unwanted clothes bulging from his wardrobe (he did chuck out six shirts & 3 pairs of trousers the other week as he'd run out of space - I had them in the charity shop in a trice!). Unopened post going back years. Most rooms in the house too full of clutter to be used for their intended purpose so he does paperwork (occasionally when he absolutely has to) on the kitchen able & gets cross if I'm trying to cook the dinner. Says he hates the mess too & yes we need to tidy the house but refuses to allow me to tackle it alone & won't do anything about it himself.
Empty promises about tackling the mess, the fact he would also like to have people round for dinner & to stay but we can't till the house is tidy (a very small select group is allowed, DS invites no-one at all as he is ashamed), of course I can have my own office (I've been waiting six years since going freelance). Says "If I tidied up you'd just moan about something else".
Jealousy - we did both have affairs some 14-15yrs ago during a particularly unpleasant phase, all dealt with, still drags it all up occasionally & very suspicious of my attending a local choir for the last couple of years, sure I'm carrying on with someone there. I say "come and see the geriatrics and the mostly women, if you're so bothered". He doesn't of course. Convinced I'm going to up & leave him once DS leaves home - "you women are all the same, never satisfied" - a couple of friends have recently left their husbands after long marriages.
Does virtually nothing around the house, although did actually make me a cup of coffee yesterday morning - first one this year & most likely the last - I have had a few cups of tea made fairly recently though - approximately three while on holiday. If I'm away he just doesn't bother to make himself a hot drink at all! "If you ever died or left me I'd just get a housekeeper".
Dominates the lounge/television/lighting - really annoyed if I want a bit of light on because I'm crocheting - only the side lights mind - "hurts his eyes, can't see the screen" - suggests I go & sit in the bedroom instead - I refuse as I don't see why I ought to behave like some blooming student! Choice of programme is invariably his - fortunately I like some of it, but not the bloody car stuff. The house is "his" of course as I work part time & earn much less, although we're both on the mortgage - doesn't appreciate any input that isn't financial but then mutters about colleagues' wives being much worse as most don't work at all outside the home.
Lots of low-grade control stuff going on like being habitually late for meals (although this has improved a lot lately, since I just started dishing up without him), not "allowing" me to start the dishwasher if he's still in the room as he hates the noise, but he "forgets" to put it on if I ask him to, sending me out of the kitchen if he's on the phone even if I'm in the middle of something - life would be much easier if he had an office he could actually USE - sigh!
Reading all of the above seems surreal, crazy that it has gone on so long, makes me think I ought to have left years ago. We do still have fun & get on really well at times, usually on holiday & after a few drinks. Not real life though, is it? Part of me thinks I've missed the chance now after all those years - I feel an idiot.
I'm really worried about how to disentangle everything. I could afford to rent somewhere while the financial stuff got sorted I suppose. I just know he will make things really difficult if I announce I'm leaving. he won't open post, won't sign documents, could very well damage things of mine, shred paperwork & cause a real nuisance. All of these things can be overcome, of course - I'm just scared.
Worried too about the fallout for DS - he's a big boy now though, thinks his father is unreasonable "he's the most selfish person I know", hates the arguments & refuses to be downtrodden by him. He also thinks I'm unreasonable because I nag about stuff - stuff that drives me nuts admittedly - agrees I need to stand up for myself more. He tries to hold his own at the dinner table but we both just get "you're WRONG, that's RUBBISH, I'm not discussing this any more - the conversation is OVER".
I don't need telling that it's awful or abusive, I just need to find the strength to make the move. I've been looking for places to rent & even looking up solicitors, which has really given me a lift. Nothing will happen till DS moves out, but I feel lighter just contemplating it as a reality.
So what was the thrust of all the good advice here after your last post Op?
The thrust was to LTB - correct, but easier said than done. I still have to do it of course.
25 years? Jeez! 25 minutes and I'd be off. 25 days and he'd be under the patio. You certainly short of grounds to divorce for his unreasonable behaviour.
First things first. Make an appointment with a solicitor who specialises in family law and offer free initial consultations so that you can establish what you can expect financially if you petition to divorce.
Start gathering all important documents such as birth certs, marriage licence, passports etc and, if necessary, start opening some of the post to gain information relating to outgoings/debts etc, and keep them in a safe place. Do you have a friend/relative who could store a box of paperwork for you, or can you keep it at work?
When do you expect your ds to move out and why can't the pair of you move out now? If he's off to university he'll need a home for the holidays.
Well, you've got it all off your chest.
Are you ready to start the ball rolling?
certainly won't be short of grounds etc
I'm getting there, slowly - I just feel so disempowered
You know what, you only get one life. This is not a trial life and you get some re-do. Get out there, do the work and get happier.
Make an appointment with a solicitor and you'll start to feel empowered.
Think how liberating it will be to tell the twunt "Hire a housekeeper. This farce of a marriage is OVER".
The mother of a friend of mine recently died at the age of 97. She was unhappily married for 25 years and only left her controlling h after the dc had left home. At the age of 50+ she got herself a job and moved into a 2 room flatlet in a then somewhat rundown part of London.
On holiday alone somewhere on the south coast she met a widower and, after a couple of years of long distance courtship, she moved into his beautiful house and they had 35 gloriously happy years together before he died.
The longer you leave it, the less time you'll have to live life joyously.
In any abusive relationship, it can take a very long time to get to the point of leaving. Sometimes it takes a really drastic event to push it into action. If your self-esteem and strength need building up, why not try some counselling for a while? And/or do you have a close friend or relative who can help to boost you into action? Maybe work on dis-engaging from it all - so that whatever H does, you don't care and are not bothered. That is where you want to be - rather than still feeling anger, hate etc as then you are still emotionally involved. That's just my take on it - I finally left ex-h after living through 6 years of physical and emotional abuse (it was a 16 year relationship in total). By that stage, I felt almost nothing but relief for it all to be over.
What kind of help do you need, love ?
You don't need us to tell you how bad he is (he sounds like one of the worst pieces of shit I have read about on here, and there have been many) You don't need us to remind you that nothing is ever going to change.
So, you have two choices. Stay and accept this is how the rest of your life is going to be. Or instruct a solicitor to initiate a divorce and let the process carry you along.
The world is not going to stop turning if you end this. Millions of people have divorced and come out the other side and you will too. I don't know what else to say. Yes, it would be shit for a while, but there is an end point. If you stay married, the only end point is when one of you dies.
Why are you waiting for your DS to move out? You and your DS might have a lovely peaceful year together before he goes to uni. Including this Christmas, dare I say it.
Staying at the house with him whilst going through divorce will be hell. He won't be reasonable and you will manage to cope much better away from him. What are the barriers to that? Could you afford a place? Just somewhere for a while whilst you get the divorce and split the assets.
I could afford to rent a small place. Bizarrely we are getting on a little better at the moment - I feel calmer because I'm coming to a decision, I expect, so less likely to rise to the bait when he's being an arsehole. I am worried about an erupting shitstorm, escalating nastiness etc. I plan to have an "asset week" sometime soon when I'll be doing a bit of snooping. The hoarding makes it very difficult to keep tabs on his paperwork. Mine is pretty much organised - it has to be for my work.
He is stressed to hell with his work, which doesn't help, & part of me feels awful at the thought of leaving him to fester with the magazines, eating takeaways & getting pissed every night. I used to love him - or at least I used to think I did! I was very young when we married & it really was a mistake. I even remember a small pang of regret on honeymoon FFS. So much family expectation, cost, jobs, eventually DS, years rolled by.
We don't even have sex these days - over a year since the last time & it was sporadic for ages before that, although we are still in the same bed. I go to bed & read, he rolls in hours later after watching some crap on the television. I don't really fancy him anymore, although he still thinks I'm gorgeous, but makes no effort to make himself appealing. We used to have a great sex life, in the beginning.
It all sounds utterly miserable. Wouldn't you rather be alone ?
Exactly what Clara says. You are not pathetic. It's very hard to recover enough of yourself to leave after years of abuse. Build yourself up and keep taking steps towards getting ready. You won't regret leaving this bustard for one second x
Can you imagine the relief you and your DS will feel when you are off in your own clean, tidy home without the stress of your DH's nastiness?
My grandparents had a really crappy marriage, that finally ended after 25 years. My GM had a second silver anniversary with her DH2. She'd say "I've been married for 65 years..... not to the same person, mind - that's the secret to a happy marriage" - time for you to live the rest of your life without this weight around your head (and heart).
He thinks you're gorgeous??!! Why doesn't he show it in word and deed?
No doubt you are gorgeous, OP, but he's treating you with less respect than he'd give to shit on his shoe.
It's not as hard to leave as you think. I left my first H and we'd been together for 20 years. Your assets, if acquired whilst married, are joint. It doesn't matter who has earned more during this time - it's a 50/50 split. Also, if your H has a Pension, you are entitled to half of it now (in cash equivalent). So, let's say his Pension at the moment is valued at £100k and yours is valued at £40k, that's a total of £140k, so that's £70k each, so to make you whole, he has to give you £30k cash. Anything bought when married (like homes/cars) is also to be divided 50/50. So, if he wants all the cars he has to give you cash to half their value. To do this, he can either get a second mortgage on the house for the sum he needs to pay you (paying you for pension, cars and equity) Or you can sell the house and then divide up the equity - giving you more cash to account for your pension being less and him taking the cars. You can also go for more money because you've had the part time job to raise kids, so now you earn less, so you have been economically disadvantaged. Council tax - you get a 25% reduction if you're the only adult in the home.
If the house is full of tons of his shit, I'd be tempted to see if he can get a second mortgagee to buy you out. Then you can just take your stuff and go.
The relief is immense. Please just do it. I can remember the feeling of euphoria being inside my own calm home and closing the front door at night, ready for a lovely peaceful evening.
Now remarried to the most lovely man, who I've been with for 7 years. and it's great. Go go go
The gorgeous thing is weird, isn't it? I think it's all to do with his ego though. He comes out with stuff like "I'm so glad you didn't become all fat & shapeless after having DS". That would be because I worked very hard to regain my figure & have kept exercising & eating well ever since & luckily am from slim stock. Fine for him to have a beer gut though, clearly!
Do you have anyone you can call on for help - eg, moral support, emotional support? Practical support? Think about who might ask, if you had to (you do).
Consider talking to Women's Aid. You are not ending a normal relationship, but an abusive one, so you cannot safely declare your intentions in the normal way. You could ask for advice on how to proceed.
Think about a counsellor, if that's possible - not to explore your feelings necessarily, though that will help. The point here is having someone to talk to as you make your way out, and help you build confidence as you take each step.
Life is far too short for this OP. You must leave.
Good luck! You CAN do it! My Mum never left my Dad, because she thought it would be too upsetting for me and my sister. She told me not to leave ExH. After I left and she saw the kids were ok, she said to me "I could have left your Dad after all". There was immense sadness in her eyes. At that point, she felt too old to actually leave. She now loves my DH and completely agrees I did the right thing. She's still with my Dad. They argue constantly, don't seem to like each other very much, never go out, talk over one another.....need I say more....x
He won't "fester with the magazines" if the marital home has to be sold, and if buys you out he'll have to gut it before any self-respecting housekeeper would want him an employer.
In any event, however much you walk away with will be scant recompense for the 25 years you've endured, and I hope you set your ds up with some it because he's had no choice but to stick it out for 17.
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