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.
Hand holding needed(88 Posts)
I recently had my eyes open to the fact that my marriage is an abusive one and am struggling to cope with the fact that I let it go on for so long (25 years) and the pain it has caused my dd and ds.
I was always aware that things were bad, but not just how bad!
Anyway I have now started separation and told stbxh he needs to leave ASAP. He did agree before Xmas but is now acting like nothing has changed. I am planning to tell children tomorrow that I am divorcing him and tbh am falling apart but determined to see this through.
I told stbxh that I have confirmation from professionals that he is ea and he didn't bat an eyelid, still continues to verbally abuse us all daily.
Reading others threads on how they got through this has helped me so much and really just need some moral support and encouragement as am terrified I will cave ( I did two years ago when I tried to leave)
You can do this, you sound strong
Do you actually have a plan? Will you be able to answer the children's questions about what's going to happen and when?
You are doing the right thing. You will gain a better life for yourself and your children. You are setting a great example for your children. You are showing them that abuse is a deal breaker in relationships. You are showing them how to leave an abusive relationship if they ever get tricked into one themselves.
Grit your teeth, keep your eyes on the prize, and stick with it. Keep thinking of how wonderful your lives will be when it's all done and dusted. It will be rough in the short term but that's just short term pain for long term gain.
As someone who has done this and survived it is WONDERFUL to be free!
You have made up your mind. That's the biggest step. Good luck for telling the kids. Keep on with your push for freedom - it will be worth it
I also caved in when I tried to divorce my husband two years ago but later regretted it because nothing changed.
I filed for divorce again in July after things went from bad to worse. I am soon to be divorced and feel so much better for it. I am getting my power back and can finally see an end to an intolerable situation.
You deserve better than this. Get legal advice and get the ball rolling. You can do it.
Lonely, no advice- as u know I'm going through something similar, just to let you know I'm here if u ever want to talk x
Thanks to you all, redmapleleaf, I am not sure what to tell the kids and cannot decide how honest to be. I think that by trying to keep a level of calm in the house, I have normalised things to the kids and they almost pretend it's not happening.
Stbxh can make them cry one minute, calling them terrible names and telling them he hates them, but five minutes later turns into Disney dad and they seem to forget.
He makes them feel very guilty and previously they have been distressed because they say he cannot look after himself.
My plan is to tell them that I cannot tolerate his behaviour any longer and that is why I am divorcing him. We need to have the conversation about how this relationship is so abnormal, but don't want to overload them.
It is really hard whilst he is here and he has said he is not prepared to 'hide his feelings' from them says 'why should he!!'.
I think the most heartbreaking part for me is seeing how this has damaged them and I am struggling with the guilt of that as well as finding the strength to see this through.
Bumping for you
OP, the best gift you could give your DC is to say "no more" and follow it through
It seems your H is following the script in now ignoring the fact you said you want to end it, because it simply does not suit him right now
My suggestion is that you tell your DC the truth and then make an appt with a solicitor to start the divorce rolling. Don't discuss it with him any longer. The only person who will gain from that is him as he will get more opportunities to confuse, guilt trip and discombobulate you.
Expect him to up the manipulation and mind games. Expect him to attempt to involve the children in them. You must rise above all this, or more decades of your life will be served on the altar of him. Make 2016 the year you put an end to it.
So, if they recognise that he can be nasty a lot and make them cry, why not say something like...
Dad can be really mean and nasty and you have started to realise just how wrong this is and that it is not healthy to live with someone who acts like this so you have told him to leave. Explain that the way he acts is a form of bullying and no one should have to live with bullying, (and you've given him lots of chances to change) so sadly Dad will have to live elsewhere. You could elaborate more on this if they are older.
Thanks for advice, this is kind of what I told them 2 years ago when I asked him to leave, the saddest thing was when they both said I was a nasty person and they didn't mind him acting the way he does, that's just him.
Reading through others threads, it seems he fits the same pattern as so many, I truly understand why the kids feel the way they do, after the event when he is calm and rational I question my own sanity and have always doubted the severity of the abuse. It was only through reading, talking and seeking advice that I was able to see that it isn't in my mind.
I have today contacted a solicitor with a view to meeting them next week, I am not sure that mediation is going to work because of the manipulation and I am aware that I am going to need someone to fight my corner for me.
Today he is calm and happy - so too are the kids and it is breaking my heart that I am going to shatter them, but inside I have no doubts that it is the right thing to do and will find the strength somewhere.
I am working tomorrow morning, but have decided that tomorrow afternoon I will tell them, and will probably take them out for a drive/walk to do it.
Kids don't like their status quo to be disturbed. They will be fearful for the future. They will excuse their dad's behaviour because he is their dad and they have had no choice but to do that over the years. A kind of Stockholm Syndrome if you wish.
So now he is gaslighting them. That's how it goes. They won't liek the change initially, but they will thank you down the line for showing them that no-one has to tolerate abuse from anyone especially not their own parent.
It's not too late to show them that valuable lesson.
Thanks AnyFucker, it's nice to hear that people feel it isn't too late, this is a big issue for me as I do sometimes feel that I have left it too late to repair the damage done to them.
Never too late for that /Lonely the time is always right to do the right thing
Never too late.
Aren't you still learning new things/concepts every day ? So are we all.
Hi, Lonely, good to see you. Great going on the solicitor front. Taking one step leads to another, and then another. You are strong, you have survived years of abuse, but you - the essential you - is still there, alive and starting to kick! Your children will be OK.
I am seriously questioning my sanity, stbxh behaved appallingly at dinner, made ds cry and threw his dinner away whilst muttering obscenities about her, now 3 hours later is walking around like he has won lottery and chatting with kids like it never happened, even worse they too are acting like nothing went on!
This actually scares me as it makes me question how insane he is ( or did I imagine the whole thing)?
Not sure how just more I can take, have arranged a phone call to solicitor tomorrow morning, I need to do something fast.
Good, well done. Phone call and some advice asap.
Your children play along with him out of fear. They will be happy and chatty with him because they need to appease him, so he won't turn on them. I expect you do a bit of that too. It's self-defence.
You are right that the sooner you can get him out the better, but you also have to think about not being able to get him out and what your alternative plan of action is.
Write this all down with dates and times. Keep a record of it all, big stuff and small stuff. As detailed as you can.
While you're all still living together, make sure you have copies of all financial documents you can find. Hide the passports, birth certs etc somewhere safe, preferably not in the house if you can manage that.
Don't question your sanity! It's obvious that you are seeing his EA behaviour quite clearly!
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Try not to engage with him and his behaviour (good or bad behaviour). You are not happy and he is the cause of your unhappiness. That's all you need to know!
If your children are very young, you don't need to go into details with them, just that Daddy doesn't treat you or them nicely and so it is better if he lives elsewhere. If they are older, you can be a bit more up front, but don't overload them with examples. They see it, even if they don't want to admit it. And you're doing the right thing for them, even if they 'kick and scream'. They'll see the truth once he's gone and they understand what living in a peaceful home feels like.
Phone Women's Aid, and investigate the Freedom Programme. WA will give you real life support and help without pushing you for decisions or action. The Freedom Programme with help you see what he is doing in a different light, strengthen your determination and resolve, and you will see that you are not alone, there are other women who are in the same situation and it is NOT your fault. Also strength lies in numbers. When you know you're not alone, being strong is easier.
Thank so much, wish I had this support 2 years ago, nay have found the strength to leave thaen.
I have been in contact with women's aid, firstly because I wanted someone to confirm that this is abuse, that was really hard and I literally crumpled when the support worker said she was appalled by my story and there was no doubt this is abuse
I am hoping to do the freedom programme soon, in the mean time am reading the book.
I don't understand why, as an intelligent person, I still doubt myself so much.
I am not sure what I will do if he refuses to leave, something I need to seriously consider and talk to solicitor about.
Yes, I have stopped engaging with him at all, he likes to insist I say good morning and good night to him, I now refuse as it feels so creepy.
You doubt because he's programmed you to doubt! You've been indoctrinated, just as a kidnap victim develops Stockholm Syndrome.
This Tinpot Hitler tries to make you say good morning and good night ?
My blood is boiling.
Jux is right. Your dc play along with him to appease him and deflect his abuse away from them. If they can just keep him sweet, see, maybe he will be "nice dad" for a while. When they were tiny they never looked further ahead than the next 5 minutes. Now they do it out of habit. Appeasing abusers is a terrible life skill to have to learn. It affects all your future relationships. I have a few posts on here under this name about how I lived this as a child. I was the scapegoated one, my sister the golden one.
These days I have minimal contact with my parents even though they live only a couple of miles away. My mum didn't protect me from him and still she appeases him in her 70's. She only has an abuser for company now.
Don't let that be your future and your children's future.
Lonely, you doubt yourself because you have spent many years being trained to believe he is right and you are wrong, unless you agree with him.
No one can say "I'm intelligent and independent, and it would never happen to me". Yes it could, and sometimes I think the stronger and more independent you are, the more likely it is that one of these horrible arseholes will fix you in his sights. Higher mountain to climb, greater reward in defeating it.
So, for now, get a plan together. Talk to WA a lot, get as much support and advice from any and every source you can, get financial documents rogether, copies of P60s, find and hide passports, birth certificates etc.
How do you feel about telling people? The more people you tell, the more likely you are to find sympathetic people who can help you with practicalities.
Remember, it's not you, it's him. He's done this. He's the one who should feel shame and guilt.
You're doing so well Lonely.
Agree with AF that appeasing an abuser is a terrible life skill to learn, it has so many knock on effects. You're unlearning that now, and showing your children how to unlearn it. That is such an amazing gift to give yourself and to give to your DCs, you are literally unlocking the rest of all your lives right now.
Join the discussion
Please login first.