Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is it possible to separate amicably after abuse?

(35 Posts)
itsallgonetoshit Mon 14-Dec-15 18:35:01

I've name changed for this because ExH knew my previous name.

Has anyone got any idea on how to separate amicably when there has been abuse?

ExH called time on our marriage a week ago. He came to see DC yesterday and immediately kicked off about my attitude. He has moved on already and I am still adjusting. He took it as a personal attack when I said I might need a bit more time to come to terms with the end of our marriage. His anger is, sadly, nothing new.

He was abusive (physically and emotionally) on and off. I should have ended it years ago, I know that, but I was so beaten down and in love with him.

I need this to be as amicable as possible for the DC, but I think that the only way that will happen is if I roll over to all of ExH's demands. He has already told one DC that we were separating, two hours after we agreed that we wouldn't say anything until after Christmas, and then buggered off leaving me to pick up the pieces.

Is amicability a pipe dream in these circumstances? Is it even something I should be hoping for? I don't much want anything to do with him ever again. But I need to do what's best for the DC.

It is likely he will have a new girlfriend in the next week, based on things he has said, if he wasn't already cheating on me.

wonderingsoul Mon 14-Dec-15 18:59:52

I'm sorry your going through this.

Imo yes it is... you need to take back the power.

You decided what is going to happen. You file for divorce papers. He will play games and you know what will kill him the most is you showing him that your stronger with out him. You CAN do this.
You decided when is the best time for him to see the kids.
You decided how christmas is going to go.
Can you rearrange the living room/bedroom. . Buy new sheets... do what you want.

You need to do something to regain some power otherwise he will kick you down further, I know it hard and iv been there but even if you can fake it in front of him, do it. Greet him with nothing but breezyness it'll do you good and a bonus it'll do his head in.

You can do it xx

AnyFucker Mon 14-Dec-15 19:02:25

By definition, no

pocketsaviour Mon 14-Dec-15 19:18:26

To be amicable, both parties have to agree that although they don't love each other or maybe even like each other, they will respect each other as human beings and the mother/father of their child, and agree to keep the child's welfare at the forefront of all their interactions.

By definition, abusers do not respect their victims, nor do they value their children as human beings, only as emotional supply for them or as accessories to make them appear outwardly caring.

Have you ever spoken to Womens Aid, OP? I think you could really benefit from getting advice on how to handle a split with an abusive man. He will try to run rings round you, tell you a huge amount of lies about what he's "legally entitled to". You need knowledge and information in order to head off those lies and secure the best future for your DC.

itsallgonetoshit Mon 14-Dec-15 19:18:27

Wonderingsoul, I am worried that if I try to dictate how and when he can see DC that things will get nasty. I want to be reasonable. I can do the breezy greeting, I think.

Anyfucker, OK.

itsallgonetoshit Mon 14-Dec-15 19:28:10

Pocketsaviour, thank you for reminding me about Women's Aid. So far he has threatened to take the house, which he has never lived in, and decided he wants 50/50 custody of DC, although he couldn't be bothered to see them most weekends (he works away during the week).

I would prefer to sort things out amicably, but I'm scared it won't be possible.

kittybiscuits Mon 14-Dec-15 19:38:19

He can't be reasonable. He's abusive. You can wish it was different but save your energy for protecting yourself and your DC from him. 50/50 contact but can't really be arsed to see them. Yep. Have you seen a solicitor? You need help to start to create boundaries and distance from him. Dictating to an abuser just means not giving in to him 100% of the time.

AnyFucker Mon 14-Dec-15 19:56:42

It won't be possible so I strongly recommend you get some professionals to assist/advise you,particularly since he is already threatening you with shit.

And Women's Aid will also have lists of solicitors who are experienced with divorcing abusers. A bog standard one might not be sufficient here.

And to answer your main question: No. Feck no. Sorry.

Hissy Mon 14-Dec-15 20:45:30

The only way he'll be reasonable is if you arm yourself to the teeth with the best possible advice out there and know your rights backwards, in Swahili if possible.

Remain calm at all times, never ever rise to his twattery (which will come) and always make sure that you only ever reply after having slept on it and taken advice

Be prepared for this to be extremely brutal and painful, and hope that it won't be as bad as you fear. Be prepared to go as far as it takes to protect your position.

Did I say remain calm...

You can do this, go find a great lawyer smile

RiceCrispieTreats Mon 14-Dec-15 20:54:16

I need this to be as amicable as possible for the DC, but I think that the only way that will happen is if I roll over to all of ExH's demands.

No. That's what he has conditioned you to think, but no.

The answer is not to capitulate to the abuse and manipulation, but to be clear about what you need, what the DC need, and calmly go about putting that in place.

You don't need to fight him: that's what he loves.
You just need to be detached, factual, dispassionate. And get all the relevant authorities and support services involved so there are neutral arbiters in place (eg. contact centres, court-approved custody agreement that you will then follow to the letter, etc)

RiceCrispieTreats Mon 14-Dec-15 20:55:40

But he is NEVER going to be your friend, or accommodating. So give up on that dream.

What you're aiming for is not friendliness, but formal agreements, which are enforceable.

NickiFury Mon 14-Dec-15 20:59:24

I think you can pretend that it's amicable if it makes it easier but be aware that intense fury will probably hit you at a later date once you're free of him and no longer afraid. The thing is once the FOG starts to clear you start seeing just how awful everything was and it's very hard to stay friendly with someone who behaved so badly towards you.

NickiFury Mon 14-Dec-15 21:03:06

Also are being "amicable" because you're still afraid of him? If you are the only one trying to be amicable yet still being clobbered by his nastiness all the time, then he's just still abusing you really.

The abuse from my ex only really abated when he got engaged to someone else. The penny finally dropped for both of us that now that he was committed elsewhere he literally had no rights to try to control me any more. His attempts actually stepped up for a while once he felt that grip slipping but I felt so much stronger, positively gleeful that someone had taken my place.

itsallgonetoshit Tue 15-Dec-15 05:55:16

Is the Freedom Programme a good thing to do?

I feel really stupid because in spite of all the horribleness I miss him.

AnyFucker Tue 15-Dec-15 07:38:52

Yes, please do the Freedom Prog

itsallgonetoshit Tue 15-Dec-15 08:00:30

Right, will sort that out today.

This is the worst time of my life. I feel like I am now destined to be alone and lonely forever. For the first time ever last night I thought about how dying would be a relief. I'm not in danger of doing anything to myself, if only because of DC. Rationally I know I need to be ok with being alone, but it hurts so much. We moved across the country for his job and all of my close friends are four hours away now so I can only cry on the end of a phone, not get a hug. I want to yell and scream, but DC don't need to see me lose control. I used to have a decent cathartic cry a couple of times a year, but I can't even manage that now. I can cry for a minute, then it's like a giant ball of pain and anger and grief blocks me from crying any more. I want someone to hug me and tell me it will be ok.

Here's one {{{{huuugggggg}}}}

If you want to be on your own and stay like that for the duration, that's fine! Nothing wrong with that. But, you have to admit, at the mo, your head isn't exactly in a place to know how you'll feel later on down the line, after you've done some self-healing. You may well find somebody deserving of you and indeed live happily ever after. No need to decide that right now: keep an open mind. fsmile

In the meantime, can you try to expand your local friend base a bit? Develop some hobbies, talk to people.

Here's another {{{{hug}}}}

throwingpebbles Tue 15-Dec-15 11:21:29

I thought it would be. But that lasted about a week before he got nasty
Get a good lawyer asap. Be reasonable and don't stoop to his level but also be prepared for nasty tactics.
Main thing I find is to just try and rise above it, and see him for what he is, a nasty selfish man. That way the abusive comments and behaviour aren't about me but about him

Good luck. I have a lovely new man now and my children are much happier and our home is a much happier place

throwingpebbles Tue 15-Dec-15 11:22:09

Ps. Record everything. Keep all nasty emails etc. call police every time you feel threatened. I wish I had.

CharlotteCollins Tue 15-Dec-15 11:26:34

If you don't have friends nearby to talk to/rage at, see if your local WA cab give you a support worker. Mine was with her weight in gold, just making me feel I wasn't alone, that someone irl understood.

CharlotteCollins Tue 15-Dec-15 11:28:46

BTW, the best thing for the DCs is having a safe place away from him, which they didn't have before. Giving in to his demands would start eroding that safety instantly. 50/50 is not right for your situation; try not to listen to what he thinks.

BertieBotts Tue 15-Dec-15 11:57:07

You can not, unfortunately. Amicable is kind of a two way thing and abusers don't stop being abusive when you leave, nor do they enjoy the fact that it is harder to control you, so they will take absolutely anything that they can and delight in it.

You must show him that his actions don't affect you in the slightest (even when they are slicing you like a knife).

You must not let him do anything which is actually useful to you. Don't rely on contact as childcare, nor maintenance to pay the bills (unless you have to), preferably go through CMS so that he can't withdraw payment on a whim.

Block all contact between him and you except the most basic and necessary. If possible, do it through a third party. Don't be tempted to add anything extra which is unnecessary. Keep contact between you in writing if you can, so you can save copies of anything abusive.

Agree; don't fight for things like contact. If he wasn't an involved father before, he's not going to be an involved father now. He won't get 50/50 anyway if he works during the week, so there's no point blocking it. Or he'll get it and then cancel every week. If you can stomach it, don't fight. I would fight for the house, but do so through a lawyer.

Understand that even if you give him everything he wants, he will still be abusive and he will still be looking for ways to control you.

Never ever let him set foot inside YOUR house. Have the children ready to go and hand them over at the door. Come outside and close the door if necessary - they are sneaky.

Good luck. It gets easier smile

itsallgonetoshit Tue 15-Dec-15 19:57:50

i made phone calls today. Women's Aid have allocated me a support worker and I'll be seeing her in the new year. She will refer me to the Freedom Programme. On the phone, all the questions they asked made me truthful for the first time in years. Emotional abuse, physical abuse, rape. All things I covered up.

The worst thing today is that I found out that he has been hurting the children as well when I couldn't see. Smacking them into the wall, pulling them up by their hair, hands around the neck and shaking. DC told me ExH was violent. I want to scream because I thought I was protecting them by staying.

itsallgonetoshit Tue 15-Dec-15 20:00:03

To clarify: DC told me today that ExH was violent. I asked him if he knew what that meant. He said yes, when ExH pulls other DC up by their hair and when he smacked me and I banged my head off the wall.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now