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Is it possible or even safe to make him leave?

(29 Posts)
shrubbery Fri 19-Feb-16 12:29:22

The best way I can describe living with my partner, is that I feel like I am caught up in a big storm, being buffeted by gale force winds and torrential rain. The storm has no consideration for anything in its wake and cannot be reasoned with. You can try to fight it, but that is even more exhausting. When my partner goes out or away, everything is so much calmer and the sun starts to come out.

Without going into all the detail, I'm trying to see a way forward.
We've been to Relate, which did take the wind out of my partner's sails for a little while.
I've been to Women's Aid. They were fantastic and really helped me to try and make sense of some of the confusion in my mind.
I've found a job that will allow me to work around looking after our son and that would hopefully enable me to pay the all mortgage and bills and be self sufficient in caring for myself and my little boy.

But, and this is a huge but, my partner absolutely will not discuss our separating. After trying to talk to him about it countless times, I tried again at Relate, and he behaved as though he was completely stunned and that the suggestion of separation had come out of the blue.
He has done this over other things as well, being adamant that something has not happened, even if I am standing in front of him with absolute physical proof that it did happen. I don't know if it is total denial and that he does completely convince himself or whether he is just very good at lying.

He says he hates living where we do, that the people and area are boring and the house too small.
He works away from home most of the time - either a big commute or stays away all week - the job I have been offered is right by my son's school.
Our son is settled at school and happy with his friends. I do not want to take him away from this or his home.
We have a lot of animals that I do not want to re-home. It is not fair that their welfare should be compromised.

How do I safely move on from here?
I do not know how my partner may react if I were to leave (with our son), if he really is in complete denial.
For all the above reasons though, I'd much rather my partner moved out. He spends a lot of time away anyway and has virtually no day to day responsibilities here. He could just walk out and there would be little change. He cooks a lot, but that is it. I care for our son, all the animals, the house, the cleaning, the garden and all the diy and repairs.

I have offered to buy him out of the house (we have a joint mortgage), and he says he is not leaving and that he will not let me destroy our family.

So finally, my question - is it possible, or even safe, to make him leave?

RealityCheque Fri 19-Feb-16 12:47:15

No one can advise you on safety as they don't know him.

Assuming that there is no safety issue then you are unlikely to be able to 'make' him leave his own house.

Go and seek proper legal advice.

hellsbellsmelons Fri 19-Feb-16 12:48:09

I think you need some legal advice.
If you want to end a relationship then you certainly can.
You can ask him to leave but if it's his house too you cannot make him.
You can serve him with divorce papers and you can force a house sale.
But you will need to know all your options.
Contact a family solicitor in your area and have a chat with them about what to do.
You could call Womens Aid again and ask them for local contacts that are used to dealing with abusive men.
I would also report to the police via the 101 number so they have on a priority in case you call the emergency number.

You can get away but it won't be easy to stay in your current house and you will need legal help.
If you do via Womens Aid you may be entitled to legal aid.

something2say Fri 19-Feb-16 12:50:35

I don't think you can make him leave no, as he has his name on the mortgage and you jointly own the home. I'd start with the CAB. Ultimately you may have to sell your share to him (via solicitor's letters if needs be) and move out yourself. In an ideal world, he would do what's best for his child, but a DV perp often won't do what's best for the child.
Also look up DV services in your area and see if there is a solicitor they can recommend for a free half hour appt. Then, make one and take qs and a pad and pen with you to write it all down.

pocketsaviour Fri 19-Feb-16 13:19:58

You can't force him out immediately, but starting divorce proceedings will kick things off and he'll be required to make a suitable financial settlement with you - and you retaining the house is a more usual outcome than being forced to sell, provided you can afford to buy him out.

I would make a solicitor's appt as soon as you can to find out where you stand and what processes you'll have to follow as part of the road to divorce.

Remember - your H cannot block you divorcing him; he will say things like "I'll never give you a divorce!" or "I'll get custody of the DC by saying you're an unfit mother!" This is the usual bullshit that controlling, bullying men come out with. Make sure you have a solicitor who is experienced in dealing with abusive men, and who is prepared to reassure you about what is legally possible and what is not.

RealityCheque Fri 19-Feb-16 13:53:11

You cannot get a divorce if you aren't married.

shrubbery Fri 19-Feb-16 13:55:27

We aren't married. I'm not sure exactly how that affects things.
If it were just me, I would just walk out and get legal advice on forcing a sale. Actually, I'd have done it years ago.
But, it's not just me. I want to make life better for our son and I don't think that losing his home, school and friends as well as trying to deal with the separation of his parents, would be a better life for him.
I have told my partner that if he will not discuss separating, I'd have no option other than to go to a solicitor, who would write him a letter telling him that if he will not co-operate, the matter would be taken to court. He still will not discuss anything.
It scares me that if things do go as far as court, it will then be out of either of our hands and that the things I'm trying to avoid happening to my son will happen anyway.
Women's Aid do have a legal clinic, but you get a very short time slot and I'm trying to understand as much as I can before I go.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Feb-16 14:06:25

I would act soon, do not stay in this for simply your son's sake. He won't thank you for doing that to him. He is also picking up on all the unspoken vibes here; he knows that things are not right between you and his dad and have not been for some considerable time. If it was you alone you would have gone years ago; that should also tell you something.

If your partner won't discuss it (presumably as well because he in denial and may also not want to be seen as the "bad guy" who ended the relationship) then you might as well pull the plaster off and get on with the process of separating now. You need legal advice in any case but your own rights in terms of the law are scant as you are unmarried. You are still seen in law as two separate individuals; what is his is his and what is yours is yours. This split may also prove to be very protracted.

pocketsaviour Sat 20-Feb-16 09:57:56

Sorry I missed you weren't married. Take legal advice asap but it's unlikely you'll be able to stay in the house if he wants to act the cunt and force a sale, which seems likely.

Women's Aid may be able to advise further - you spoke about it being safe but didn't say specifically what you feared. Are you worried he will abuse you, or is it just about being difficult?

shrubbery Sat 20-Feb-16 18:51:37

pocketsaviour - If he really is completely in denial about us separating, I am not sure how he might react to something as blatant as a solicitor being involved, or us actually walking out. I don't know how people react when they are confronted by a reality that they have been deluding themselves does not exist? I'm scared he might do something drastic to stop it from happening.

He doesn't want to force a sale, nor will he consider the idea of either one of us buying the other one out. He will not discuss any of it. He just says that no one is going anywhere and that the family is staying together.

I think that amputating my own head would be easier than getting away from him.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 20-Feb-16 22:01:59

DV perps only act in their own interest. If you can make it in your partner's interest to move out and sell you his share, then it could work. But it's a long shot: he will want to fuck you over for the temerity you show in leaving him.

It might be best if you accept that you will need to sell up and move out, and start looking for a nice smaller home for you and DS and animals.

It's a shame that you may need to leave your home, but there's a lot that's unfair about dealing with abusers, and as long as you and DC and animals are alive and healthy and able to move on to a happier life, it will be for the best.

RiceCrispieTreats Sat 20-Feb-16 22:08:19

Please listen to your gut feelings that he will react badly, and get a good plan in place to safeguard yourself.

When I was in a similar situation, I framed our separation as being in my then-H's interest: I played along with his view that I was simply irrational and emotional, and (with the help of our marriage counsellor, who knew this was DV and wanted to help me get out), stated that I needed time apart in order to get over my feelings and go back to being a good Stepford wife to him. So he willingly agreed to a separation, which he thought (and I let him believe) would be very temporary.

Once we were no longer living in the same place, I got the ball rolling on a divorce, and a court order keeping him away from my place of residence. All our interactions from then on were via solicitors, I had my address flagged with the police emergency response vehicle, and that's how I dealt with his being hit by the reality that I was really leaving.

WombOfOnesOwn Sun 21-Feb-16 04:09:39

What a lovely example you're choosing to set for your son:

It doesn't matter how badly you treat women when you grow up, dear, as long as you lock them into a mortgage and a baby first. Women will stay with men for the sake of the house and the child, so you can grow up to be a raging ugly beast just like your father with no consequences!

Isetan Sun 21-Feb-16 05:57:20

If you want this situation to change then a) you're going to have to force the change and b) be prepared to make compromises to realise it. You need to let go of the hope that he will see things your way and play ball, the status quo is his preference and his obstinance is his key to maintaining it.

The 'Why should my life/ the life of my child/ the life of the animals change to accommodate him' thinking, is keeping you stuck. You have options and yes, some of those options won't be to your exact liking but choosing them will bring you closer to extricating yourself from a toxic relationship.

Go and see a solicitor and find out what your options are.

ChalkHearts Sun 21-Feb-16 06:34:31

I'm sure Your son would rather move house, schools and friends than live in a storm.

DaemonPantalaemon Sun 21-Feb-16 06:47:55

So you would rather stay with an abusive and gaslighting liar, than move to somewhere else? Surely you can rent a small place near your job and son's school while the house is sorted out? And surely the welfare of the animals is not more important than ensuring that your son does not grow up in an abusive environment. Unlike a lot of women, you are actually not stuck. You are not married, you have a job, you can sell your house. Make the right decision please, if not for yourself then for your son.

shrubbery Mon 22-Feb-16 16:48:12

He has started being nasty and aggressive towards one of our dogs now too. Would it be very wrong of me to return her to the breeder? I have never given up on an animal before for any reason - most of the animals I have are rescues in the first place. (She was a sort of rescue as she has a disability that meant no one else wanted her.) She is quite a big dog, and apart from what she is having to put up with here, awful as it sounds, it would be easier without her. It would be easier for me to find a place for me and my son to live if it comes to that and with my changing circumstances, she would be alone all day whilst I'm at work and then the long walks she needs would have to be after school and I think it would be too much for my son. I currently take her for a big hour or so walk and run whilst he is at school.
I don't know if I am thinking rationally or whether I am desperately trying to get away from as much additional responsibility and stress as I can before I completely fall apart.

pocketsaviour Mon 22-Feb-16 16:59:20

If the breeder will take her back then yes I think you should do so if he is being horrible to her.

LeaLeander Mon 22-Feb-16 17:00:25

You are focusing on the wrong things.

He is a vile abuser; getting away from him at ALL costs should be your goal.

Your son will survive moving - many, probably millions and millions of children each year - change schools and households and are not damaged by it. Living with a controlling abuser is what's going to damage him.

Yes, call a rescue and find new home for the dog(s). It's a shame but to be honest adopting animals when one is in a precarious situation oneself is really not prudent. What other animals need re-homing?

Do you have family you could move in with? Or friends?

Again, focus on what is most important: Your son's long-term emotional stability and mental health. The details of where he lives and goes to school are trivial compared to the damage being done by someone like your boyfriend.

CQ Mon 22-Feb-16 17:10:42

OP read through this CAB stuff as a start point, but I think you will need a solicitor. If he is impossible to reason with then Family Mediation is pointless and yet the courts always ask for this to be considered first.

There are foster homes available for pets belonging to people fleeing abusive relationships. I think Dogs Trust may have some links on this, but not sure what other pets you have? It is really really hard to find rental property that allows pets but you must not let this stop you getting a better life for your DS.

shrubbery Mon 22-Feb-16 17:24:22

Thanks for your replies.

LeaLeander - "It's a shame but to be honest adopting animals when one is in a precarious situation oneself is really not prudent."

I'm sorry, I don't want you to get the wrong impression of me. I haven't adopted an animal for several years and it has only been in the last few months, since I basically hit crisis point and started to talk about things, that I started to realise the reality of the situation that I have been in for nearly 11 years.
I think I had been hiding a lot from myself and my family. Now that I've started talking to my family and being honest with them about what is going on, they have been talking about things regarding my partner that happened and concerned them in the past and I have absolutely no recollection of much of it, like him apparently shouting at me in an airport when I was holding our baby and upsetting the people around us. I think I have blanked a lot of the painful stuff out of my mind.

shrubbery Mon 22-Feb-16 17:40:17

If he would just move out, I think I could cope with all of this.
If me and my son have to move out and his father stays in the house, not only will he wreck it and devalue it, but there would be so much mess to sort out - I don't know what I'd do about the chickens, guinea pigs, fish and dogs and the garden and allotment that I have put years of effort into, would all be ruined.
I really can't cope with all of this. Living in this house has been the first bit of stability I've had since I was twelve. I used to have to swap between my parents houses every 5 days and then I've lived in 16 different places since then.
I think I will completely fall apart trying to get through all of this and I don't know that I'd be able to get myself back together afterwards..
If I just go back to being doting on my partner and stop trying to change things, then everything will settle down, my son will be happy to stay with his father whom he loves and won't lose the rest of his life and nor will the animals.

LeaLeander Mon 22-Feb-16 17:43:57

Do you have any friends or trusted family members who could talk with him about leaving being the most practical solution? Clergy? It doesn't sound as though he will listen to anything you say.

Would it be possible to re-home the chickens and take the fish and guinea pigs with you wherever you go? Are they indoor guinea pigs?

Sorry it's been so rough. I would hate to leave my home too. But I'd rather live in a cardboard box than let a controlling tyrant bully me and my child about. Once you start telling people in your life about this, his power will diminish and you will feel stronger.

buckingfrolicks Mon 22-Feb-16 23:00:53

I'm so sorry shrubbery for what you're going through. Your home sounds wonderful apart from your partner being there. Could you try mediation? Relate has a service

Him saying no ones going to split up his family sounds terrifying. Wishing you strength,

Jux Mon 22-Feb-16 23:21:40

If he is hurting the dog you can call the police. Then you can tell them about his behaviour toward you too.

You have already told him what will happen if he won't discuss things, so do it. Go to a solicitor. Do it tomorrow.

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