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22 wks pregnant - to stay with controlling OH in London or leave and raise baby alone in Scotland with family?(417 Posts)
This is my first post (and a very long one), but I would really welcome some impartial views and advice, thank you in advance.
I have been with my OH for one year. We got introduced by mutual friends (one of my best friends "E", who is also married to one of his friends).
At the time we met, I had just gone through a divorce (no children) and had decided to leave my (good) job in London to return 'home' to my family in Scotland. I bought a flat in Scotland and spent my savings on renovating it.
So, I left for Scotland, but we ended up being in touch constantly, visited each other most weekends and after 3 months working and living in Scotland I decided to make the move back down south to be with him. We were crazy about each other.
At the time, I wanted us to 'date' for another few months before re-locating (again) but he didn't see the point in waiting and was quite distressed when I suggested this. He has a high-pressure, high-profile job which requires him to be in London. I returned to London on 1 July.
I was lucky enough to for my employer to offer me my previous job back. But I had no savings and depended on my OH for accommodation.
Then, it was as though the honey-moon period ended. I never seemed to be able to do anything right. This ranged from being accused of not giving his feelings due consideration to deliberately postponing the process of applying for my decree absolute from my former husband (the delay was due to the court process). I didn't "get" his job, didn't give him adequate "support" and didn't compliment him enough! He is tea-total, and if we were out for a meal at the weekend, he would get annoyed if I had more than one small glass of wine and feel the need to start a discussion about the 'dangers' of alcohol.
During the summer, my friend "E" sent me an email in which she said that she had met up with "J" (another man who she had introduced me to at the beginning of the year) and that he "said hello". My OH saw this email and took absolute offence to it, claiming that "E" was still trying to initiate a relationship between me and "J" despite us being a serious relationship. I spoke to "E", and this was not her intention, she was simply passing on a friendly message, but my OH was, and is still, fuming. He then accused "E" of being racist toward one of his friends, and of being manipulative toward both me and her husband. I have known "E" for 15 years and she is one of the sweetest girls I can think of and a true family friend. My OH then said he wanted me to stop email contact with "E", to limit text messages, and not to see her in the evenings. I felt quite vulnerable as I had moved back to London with no money and didn't have anywhere to go even if I wanted. I agreed, though continued to see "E" for lunches.
In August my OH and I were in Edinburgh for the weekend. We ended up having a big row where he accused me of "keeping things from him". He was paranoid about who I had been dating round-about the time he and I got together, and whether I was still in contact with any of these men (I wasn't). He said he had had enough and spat in my face. I was shaking and shocked, but chose not to do anything about it (now, I wish I had probably walked away at this point). The next day we had another row (think shouting/swearing), at which point I telephoned my Mum and sister to come round to the flat as I was shaking like a leaf. We ended up deciding to try and work things out and returned to London together.
Things did not improve much in late August, early September. His hatred toward "E" had become worse, I felt as though I could do no right, and one night he threw all of my clothes out of the wardrobe and all of my jewelery on the floor and told me to go (this was at 11pm at night). I told him I would leave the next morning. The next morning, he said he wanted to try and work things out. Again, for some reason, I agreed.
However mid-September I had had enough. I stayed with a work colleague one night after work and sent my OH an email saying I wasn't sure if things were going to work out and I needed some time out to figure out what was best for us. I returned to our flat the next day to find absolutely no trace of my belongings whatsoever. I couldn't get a hold of him, and it was only when I left a voicemail threatening to call the police, that his mother called me and told me all of my belongings had been packed up and were in her garage.
My Mum flew down the next day, and came with me to pick up some of my things (what we could carry as we didn't have a car). I stayed with my work colleague for a few nights and in my mind the relationship was over. My OH then started texting me saying he wanted us to talk, sent me flowers at work, and said that he still loved me. We met up and ended up talking, he convinced me to give the relationship another go. I then went to Scotland on my own for a few days, during which I didn't quite feel like myself. I discovered I was pregnant. I decided to delay telling him until I had figured out what I wanted to do.
When I returned to London, things were unusually calm between us and after about a fortnight, I told him I thought I was pregnant. He was really positive about the pregnancy and for a few weeks after that he was really sweet and attentive.
We went up to Scotland for my birthday in October. I went up two days earlier than him. On my birthday evening, I found messages on his phone which suggested he had taken another woman to dinner while I had been on my own in Scotland. He said it was a "group dinner", but I am still not sure I believe him.
And over the past month or so, his behavior has been unpredictable and moody. At Christmas, he only agreed to us going up to Scotland to see my family for 3 days (we had a fortnight off) so that he could "rest properly". I miss my family SO much (we are very close) and I am told then when the baby arrives our trips to Scotland might only be once a year as we must put the baby first and it is unfair to travel with a little one. We never do anything fun because he's always tired. We discuss things only when he wants to discuss them. He couldn't make the baby's 20 week scan "due to work" at the beginning of January which I was really upset about. I then got accused of "guilt-tripping" him. A fortnight ago a huge shouting match (only he was shouting) ensued about money/looking at new houses. My OH acted like a petulant child toward me and his mother. I was left crying and shaking.
Last weekend, he completely took me by surprise by proposing. I didn't say "yes" immediately, which caused major offence - as I wanted to talk about it and I was still feeling shaken from the shouting match the previous weekend. He is adamant we get married before the baby's arrival in May even though I wanted to wait until the end of the year when I would feel more comfortable. Anyway, both my OH and his Mum put pressure on me to agree to a wedding in April.
On Friday, we ended up having a conversation about "E" - he said she is not permitted to be in our house at any time or see the baby once it is born, and that I am not allowed to send any photos of the baby to her. I said he was being disproportionate and I was told that he did "a lot" for me, that I should "be grateful" but that he had to "put his foot down" in respect of this. Given that "E" has recently moved to Manchester I am left feeling as though I am never going to be able to see her again. Is OH's controlling behavior only going to get worse?
Since our conversation about "E" he has been sullen.
I confided in my Mum this weekend and she is concerned. She said if it all felt too much I should just make arrangements to come back to Scotland and have the baby there. That my family would support me. I feel coerced by him... every time I think about leaving I seem to get drawn back into the fold. I don't know what to do now. There is no one in my family who is a single parent, and I am terrified. If we get married and I stay will I be able to take my baby to Scotland if things get worse? I know that if a friend of mine told me the above had happened to her, I would tell her she should have got rid of her OH a long time ago, but being in love and being vulnerable skews everything.
I don't know what to do. I thought about just not pandering to him over the next week or so (I usually try and keep the peace) and seeing if everything just unravels.
Go, go now. Do not marry this man, go to Scotland and stay with your family. Go now before you have the baby.
Frankly I was thinking that before I got halfway through the post.
This will get worse and worse and worse. When the baby arrives and you are at home all the time, presumably with him fully supporting you financially, you will not be able to escape.
This man is very dangerous. Run, now, tonight. Go home as soon as you can. Apart from anything else, if you go now then there is nothing he can do about it, but if you wait until the baby is born he could get a court order forbidding you to move.
Please, for your babys sake, run away from him.
And for Gods sake dont tell him you are leaving, please.
Pack your stuff and go. Take a week off work to escape and then write to them explaining that you have had to leave and are resigning. If you have a sympathetic boss, phone them when you get back to Scotland and explain exactly why you had to leave as you did, hopefully they will be more understanding if you do that.
He sounds like a total arse. Go back to Scotland where there are people who love and respect you and go via Manchester to see your friend. He won't change.... Except for the worse once the baby arrives and he decides to be more controlling.
You can do it.
You know the answer... do not bring a baby into this relationship. Go home, have the baby and make sure you have control not him. The alternative? Setting yourself and your child up for a life of anxiety, walking on eggshells and appeasement. And terrible, terrible unhappiness.
Also, sorry (!) where are you posting from?
Whatever device you are using, clear the history and from now on only use in-private/incognito browsing. Do not have your MN username and password saved either, change your password and dont save it so that you have to log in each time you open the site.
Go to Scotland be with people who actually care about you
I think you will regret it if you stay with him
It will get worse. He's neither suitable as a partner nor a father
As above...yoy need to leave,and you need to do it asap without him or his mum knowing.
This doesnt feel like a love situation but more a fear from yourself of being alone which is why you are more vulnerable. Hes a wanker taking advantage of this. You need to end it and fast. You will be fine without him...infact...probs manage a whole lot better,and you are not alone as you have your mum.
Flowers for you
I was in a similar situation. Leave. Me and my baby live with my family and it's much better. Message me if you want support xxx
I am 100% sure that having the baby alone will be easier than having it with this man.
I read somewhere on mumsnet that when someone shows you who they are you should believe them. It will not get better it will get worse. Change your number, your email address etc.
Run and don't put his name on the birth certificate either!
Another one voting for secret plans and leaving him. I think if your family were reading this they would be begging you to come home to them. Being a single parent can be tough but it's very rewarding and your child will get to be part of your extended family and you can rebuild your friendships (including with E) so you won't be alone by any means. Good luck. The most dangerous time for a woman is leaving so please be careful.
The spitting in your face is a big clue to what he is like. He is becoming more abusive and controlling.
Go back to Scotland where you have your own home. He knows E is your best friend and that's why he's trying to separate you from her, so she can't advise you to leave him and stand up for you
I am so sorry to hear of your situation. Your OH is, in short, not a nice man at all. He is a controlling, abusive bully.
He accuses you of being dishonest because he is paranoid.
He spits in your face.
He shouts and swears at you.
He tells you who you can and can't be friends with.
He throws your things out of the house when you want to calmly end the relationship.
He tells you you won't be able to see your family.
He tells you you must marry him on his terms.
If I were in your shoes, I would think that this moment is the fork in the road. On one side, you could be stuck with him forever - and he will not change, most likely he will just continue to get worse and worse as he has done. On the other side, you can raise your child in a warm, loving environment where you have freedom from this arsehole.
I don't know why you would alter your behaviour to see if everything unravels - bad idea with an abuser. He'll either be sweet for a time and lure you in more until that wedding ring is on your finger, or he'll get even uglier, which is something you shouldn't want to risk.
If you are married and he is on the birth certificate, which he naturally would want if you are married, then you are pretty much stuck with him even if you divorce him. I think by staying with him you are making yourself even more vulnerable. In Scotland, surrounded by your family you will have a support network. In London with your OH, you are dependent on him, and soon will have a baby in tow too - just how he'd like it.
I know you say you are in love, and you probably are - but I don't think you should be in love with a man like this. He is, simply put, bad.
If I were you, I'd go back to my family and not put his name on the birth certificate, and build a happy life. You can get over love - being married to an abuser is a much harder thing to get out of.
Go home to your family. You can find happiness there - you won't with him.
He spat in your face.
You cannot think of marrying this man, having him in your child's life on a daily basis and letting that little boy or girl witness their mum being physically and emotionally abused for the duration of their childhood. Don't do it to your child, and don't do it to yourself. You deserve so much better than this.
Pack your things, get on a train and go home. Your family will look after and support you, that's what they're there for.
Go back home before the baby arrives.
It will be much harder afterwards and also he may do his best to prevent you moving away with the baby.
OP, I know I have just posted already but I forgot to say something:
Run. Tonight. If he is not home, pack your essentials, grab your money/any documents, order a cab and go.
You could try calling your friend in Manchester. You could be with her in 2 hours 15 mins, Euston to Picacdilly Manc. She sounds like a very good friend, and I think all you would have to say is that you're pregnant, he's abusive, and you're fleeing him.
You may not realise how terrifying your situation looks to us outsiders reading your post.
I didn't read your whole OP as there was no need.
Leave him. Tbh the title stating he is controlling is enough.
Go home now. Don't tell him. Get your stuff packed in secret and just go. I know it sounds daunting but it is possible. I got myself a new live in job and left a man. He was not happy when he found out. I had no help. You are lucky your mum is supporting you. Let her help you and get away from this abusive controlling man. It will only get worse once the baby is born and you will be more vulnerable.
Run - go. Do not marry him, go and be with your family in Scotland. I don't know what it's like to be a single parent but anything must be better than the toxic relationship he's offering you.
I was in a very sim situation a few years ago. Please pm if you want to talk as I'd rather not go into too much detail on here. The only advice I will give you is run away to Scotland as soon as you can. Do not wait until the baby is here as he can block you leaving England legally via the courts. He cannot do anything whilst you're still with child. Do not tell him or give hi, any indication that you're leaving. Now you have to have to play the game and make your exit as soon as possible. Christ if you can't get to Manchester I'll drive you there myself. And I do mean that. You need your support network ie your family. I too was the only single parent in my entire family and it worked out better for me.
Please make arrangements to leave this man. No good can come from it.
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