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Left Emotionally Abusive DH but didn’t expect this, how to cope?

(28 Posts)
LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 16:55:36

I have NC in case anything here is identifying. I’m trying to neither ramble, nor drip feed, hope it’s clear.

I was with DH for 25 years, suffered from his controlling behaviour and EA for an increasingly large part of this time. DD (18) & I have always been close; but DD and DH have had a pretty fractured relationship due to his EA throughout her life. I’m deeply ashamed that I allowed that to happen, and it was the finally the catalyst for me to leave him.

After a couple of false starts I left 3 months ago with DD, telling him I just didn’t want our relationship anymore; really didn’t want to confront him with the horrible truth of just how shit he made both of us feel on a regular basis . Almost overnight we both started to feel better; not walking on eggshells the whole time meant we could take pleasure in the simplest things. I wasn’t naïve enough to think our problems were over, but was sure this heralded a new beginning for us both.

At the time we left DD was a little anxious over how visits to DF. She has been visiting weekly or so at his suggestion/insistence but with increasingly levels of anxiety about the visits and how clingy he has become.

Fast forward to two weeks ago; STBXH diagnosed with cancer. As yet we are unaware of the extent and therefore treatment options; he doesn’t have any physical symptoms yet. He is by nature a worrier/pessimist and I am accompanying to appointments, and supporting him best I can. I appreciate how stressful this is for him, and for the record, I do care. I’m also urging him to increase his support network.

However, this is where the real problem arises - the diagnosis appears to have given him licence to revert to his controlling ways. He is leaning heavily on both of us emotionally; I reckon I can hack that for a bit, but I absolutely don’t want DD to suffer further. He isn’t particularly close to family and friends, but has categorically stated that he only wants the support of DD and I, no-one else, including professionals. If we text, it’s why didn’t we call; if we call, it’s why didn’t we visit; if we visit, why can’t we stay longer, each with him becoming visibly upset. For example he called last week very uptight; I mentioned that DD didn’t look like she was dealing with things very well, and that he couldn’t use her as a crutch. He started kicking off, called her mobile, demanded that she speak to him and arrange a visit as “I’m f***ing ill!” .

Please wise MNetters, help me find a solution to retaining some distance with STBXH and keeping both DD and I able to cope.

PotteringAlong Tue 22-Mar-16 16:57:31

Honestly? I'd leave him to it. If he wants to be a twat he can be a twat by himself, cancer or no cancer.

DoreenLethal Tue 22-Mar-16 16:57:55

Delete his number and tell him to fuck off?

Just because he is ill, doesn't mean he can be a bastard to you and expect you both to just take it.

MoreGilmoreGirls Tue 22-Mar-16 17:01:11

Personally I think you need to distance yourself. You've done really well getting away from his controlling ways but are now letting him back in. Yes he is seriously ill but that does not mean he can ea you and your daughter. You need to be firm and insist he gets proper support from professionals or other family and that you cannot continue as you are.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Mar-16 17:01:54

Well, I think you know what the answer is and you won't like it

I am afraid you are still supporting the fact that your daughter is in harm's way as she has been all along

Draw the line or don't...there is no imbetween with this man

Either accept you keep yourself and your dd under his control or detach yourself completely

No more medical appointments, no more "support", no more letting him pull your strings.

You detach completely and leave him to the medical professionals, no matter how much emotional blackmail he throws your way. It's just more of the same you have endured for years, with the extra frisson of the Big C.

I know I sound harsh, and that this is the man you have spent a large proportion of your life with but he is not going to change and the truism of emotional abuse is that he will use anything to keep you under his cosh

And it's working.

Chocolatteaddict1 Tue 22-Mar-16 17:04:16

Are you sure he really has it. He wouldn't be the first to lie about a serious illness mil

Op this changes nothing. He is a cunt. Yes an ill cunt but still a cunt (if it's true)

Do not let him drag you back in - if he does have it because he will be ten times worse with the excuse of having cancer.

This is now the time to stand up for your child and yourself.

VerySlovenly Tue 22-Mar-16 17:08:56

AnyFucker has hit it on the head. Your priority is your daughter surely - don't let him do this to her.

firesidechat Tue 22-Mar-16 17:10:29

It's sort of fine to lean on you if you really want to. You are a mature adult who can decide for yourself, although the EA relationship may well have skewed your thinking. No way should your daughter be involved in all this, not in an actively supportive role anyway.

My husband had cancer and I was his main source of support, which was fine because he's a lovely man. Our daughters (only slightly older than your daughter) were expected to do very little, if anything to help him. Just the odd phone call to see how things were going was plenty.

firesidechat Tue 22-Mar-16 17:13:08

I've just read your op again and he sounds like a complete swine. angry

Don't let him near your daughter and personally I would get out yourself.

Jan45 Tue 22-Mar-16 17:21:44

You should have left him a long time ago so don't start acting like you are still with him, you can support from afar - the damage he is doing to your daughter is irreversible so please stop for her sake.

I get that you care but he doesn't care so you don't have to feel guilty.

Funny how his own family don't want to know when he has cancer - only you are responsible for what you do, he can't make you do anything.

Guiltypleasures001 Tue 22-Mar-16 17:22:09

I'm going to ask the question even if it does sound shitty, he has got a real diagnosis hasn't he?
Seen the letters or doctors etc, I doubt very much he would give you the same consideration to be
honest if it's true.

I think you and your dd need some space physically and mentally from him if not permanently, you've done your time he is not your responsibility or your dd's please don't allow him to continue to abuse you both still.

LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 17:24:24

Thanks for the quick responses, and the support. AnyFucker - you've hit the nail on the head. Chocolate, I was at the appointment when they told him so I know it's true (but I do think I went along to hear for myself so he couldn't exaggerate things to me later).

Suddenlyseymour Tue 22-Mar-16 17:29:21

I've just finished cancer treatment - it does not give me licence to be a cunt; and strikes me he is milking it for everything he can get. Your daughter needs actively sheilding from this, she NEEDS you to protect her from his behaviour, and it is absolutely OK to walk away from this man even if he is riddled with it.

LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 17:33:16

You're right Suddenly When he got referred to hospital initially, I had a sinking feeling. No, not that he was seriously ill, but that if he was he would milk it for all it was worth. Really didn't want to be right on this one.

LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 17:34:55

I thought the hardest thing was walking out the door. It's not, it's going to be telling him not to ea DD

curren Tue 22-Mar-16 17:37:50

When my aunt was diagnosed with cancer her and my uncle relied heavily on their oldest dd. My cousin.

To the point it was abusive. She couldn't go out ever. She needed to be at home incase her siblings needed help, mum needed help, dad needed help.

Had to be available for appointments and treatment. Had to support everyone and if she got upset she was told to get a grip as she wasn't the one dying.

She never recovered. She won't have kids as she is scared she will get cancer and her kids will go through the it. Scared they will take on the responsibility of caring for her.

She doesn't speaking by her father anymore, even though the pressure mainly came from her mum. She is mad that he let it happen.

Your ex is a twat. He may be ill, but he is using this as his new manipulation.

Personally I would tell him straight and then block his number from her phone. He is continuing to abuse you both and again you are letting it happen.

As pp said having cancer is not a license to be a cunt

VerySlovenly Tue 22-Mar-16 17:41:10

Least, you don't need to tell him not to ea DD, you need to keep her away from him so that he can't. Telling him won't work, ever. Much much easier said than done I know. flowers

Joysmum Tue 22-Mar-16 17:47:28

I totally agree with everyone else. You've made the move to protect your DD before, it's time to do so again.

No matter what people are going through it doesn't give them the green light to be a destructive arsehole.

I'm afraid his current behaviour just goes to prove you were right to remove yourself from him, and would be right to continue to maintain that distance.

Now the question is, how when you've once again disengaged from him can you protect your DD. She needs to know that she needs to protect herself and how best to deal with the various emotions, found and guilt that'll bring her at such a tender age flowers

LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 18:23:44

curren wow, that's an eye opener, thanks for sharing it.

joysmum thanks for the flowers. You're right, protecting DD, is my number one priority, I just don't where to start. I have an added problem with timing that I'm away a fair bit in the next few weeks, and although she's perfectly independent at home I suspect he'll use that to try and get her to visit/chat more often.

LeastOriginalUsername Tue 22-Mar-16 18:32:27

Sound advice VerySlovenly

Mag314s Tue 22-Mar-16 18:40:55

Does he really have cancer??????

Mag314s Tue 22-Mar-16 18:42:46

Oh sorr. it's true.

Cut and run as much as possible. If my abusive x got cancer now I wouldn't feel obliged to help him.

APlaceOnTheCouch Tue 22-Mar-16 18:43:07

If you are choosing to still accompany him to appointments, use that time to help put a support network in place. Tell the medical staff that he needs referrals to relevant networks and also that they can't rely on you and DD to provide his care. It sounds harsh but (depending on the type of cancer and his prognosis) if they think he has support to call on then their care package will be different than if they think he is on his own.

AnyFucker Tue 22-Mar-16 18:55:07

You can't "tell him" not to emotionally abuse his daughter

You have to ensure that you do not hand him the loaded gun. And you do that by getting him out of your life and supporting your daughter to draw her own healthy boundaries

If you stay in a situation where he is able to continue to manipulate you, then your daughter remains vulnerable

Belikethatthen Tue 22-Mar-16 19:05:11

You really don't need to support him when your relationship is over.

Exh was diagnosed with cancer after he left and he kept me informed by making sure all his medical letters were sent to my home and sending me pictures of his scar confused. It didn't affect his social life or the way he treated me though.

You have either ended it or you haven't. No need for guilt either.

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