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all the childcare at my house? (sorry, this is so long)(30 Posts)
Hi, this is my first ever post so please be gentle... and I'm sorry it's so hugely long. I'm in a right pickle.
I'm trying to split from my DH, finding it so hard to be strong and follow through. I said it was over 2 mths ago and we're still in the same house all together with kids. He's not exactly EA, is a kind and good man when well, but definitely manipulative, in that I find myself agonising over how to prevent his strongly emotional reactions, and dreading fallout from me making decisions. Also alcohol abuse on his part. He's on long-term sick leave (1.5 years) due to stress and depression which is he says all my fault for not loving him enough... We've had several months at relate, the counsellor thinks him manipulative. Whatever the reasons or fault, the atmosphere is horrid and I need to not be in this relationship any more. My anxiety is through the roof. The children also need to be in a relaxed home. We can keep up the pleasant behaviour at weekends but it's strained and arguments are common (him shouting about killing himself etc).
We have enough capital to split so that he can buy a 2 bed flat outright and live for over a year without money worries, and he feels he is on his way to finding work. Having meetings etc.
My problem is that he won't leave as he 'can't do anything' due to MH issues. Says it'll be several months before he's able to go. But on the other hand he insists that the children need to stay with me in this house, and that's the long-term plan. I've said a few times that if he won't go then I'll have to and he can keep the house for a year before I'll ask for my half of the equity. He shouts that if I try to take them into rented he'll see me in court. This terrifies me of course.
Partly this delaying is trying to make me change my mind, he tries to get me to come back to our bed, thinks this is all other people putting ideas in my head.
Sorry, this is so much longer than I planned! Essentially, my dilemma is whether to stay in the home, trying to be pleasant, waiting for H to be well enough to leave - following which his plan is that his 50% of the childcare will happen at my house.
My alternative is to go into rented now, taking the children and having to do 100% childcare plus demanding job while he sulks/rants, and then have all the fallout of anger. I don't love our house, and quite like the idea of renting then later on buying somewhere that's just mine. But we are happy here for now, and it feels crazy moving the children unnecessarily if H is eventually willing for us to keep the house.
Also this year we have to apply for school for DD which puts an extra twist on it. I am afraid to put anywhere in writing that the house (with H) is primary carer if we are renting out of catchment, in case we do go to court over the children.
I feel like the answer is screaming at me (along with friends): LEAVE, because he never will. But he might! I dread the upheaval, the confusion/distress for the poor children (esp if H is going to be angry and emotional), the uncertainty, the cost, his family hating me because the narrative becomes that I have taken the children away. And the escalation to a legal dispute or a hateful co-parenting relationship going forward.
I also hugely value the idea of the children keeping just one home, which is H's idea, and maybe that could work. Us cooperating in the interests of the children. I do want to always be there while they need me. Has anyone else done this, kept the children in one place with one parent and the other one parachutes in to do their part of the childcare? I can see it being a good solution in some circs, what worries me is that our circs (his issues) are not conducive to this working out. I would feel still under his beady eye somehow and the house wouldn't feel properly 'mine'. Don't know if I can put the children's needs so far ahead of my own.
Kind and good men are not manipulative men. Yours is a master of manipulation and he is still manipulating you big time. His own emotional abuse of you is still putting you through the wringer primarily because you have not managed to get this twat out of your home. He needs to be gone and he's a right one to be making such demands. He cannot do that, he is not above the law here so find your inner strength and fight back through legal means for you and your children. Coercive control is now a criminal offence after all, that is also what he is doing here.
Re your comment:-
"Essentially, my dilemma is whether to stay in the home, trying to be pleasant, waiting for H to be well enough to leave - following which his plan is that his 50% of the childcare will happen at my house.
My alternative is to go into rented now, taking the children and having to do 100% childcare plus demanding job while he sulks/rants, and then have all the fallout of anger. I don't love our house, and quite like the idea of renting then later on buying somewhere that's just mine. But we are happy here for now, and it feels crazy moving the children unnecessarily if H is eventually willing for us to keep the house".
If anyone leaves the house its him. You have children and you are their primary carer. Why should you all up and leave?.
_Do not go along with any of his ideas_; its all part of his ongoing plan to control you all even once you are out of his direct grasp. I would trust this man only as far as I could throw him; he is completely untrustworthy and will go back on his word or deny ever saying such things. Such men really do not let go of their chosen victims (the plural here is deliberate) easily and this man is going to take years of your life from now on to recover from. All this is part of his plan to control you still, he's not as ill as he makes out to be. He's punishing you for having the gall in his eyes to leave him, yes him this perfect specimen in his warped mind.
Have you actually sought legal advice to date from a lawyer who also has vast experience in dealing with such manipulative men?. You really need to see such a person. How is this individual actually a fit person to look after his children?. He is really enjoying this, the power and control he still has over you all and it goes without saying that the plans he has re the children and house are all his and his alone. You've had no say in the matter and he does not want you to have any say either. His ideas are all for his benefit only.
Re this comment:-
"I feel like the answer is screaming at me (along with friends): LEAVE, because he never will. But he might! I dread the upheaval, the confusion/distress for the poor children (esp if H is going to be angry and emotional), the uncertainty, the cost, his family hating me because the narrative becomes that I have taken the children away. And the escalation to a legal dispute or a hateful co-parenting relationship going forward".
He is not readily going to leave he has this all worked out and has you where he wants you; in the house and ripe for further controlling. I could not give a toss about his family actually and what they think; they're the ones who have made him abusive after all. They are likely to be as abusive as he is, they'll side with him ultimately leaving you high and dry.
This man will drag this out for as long as you enable it and he is able to; he is emotionally abusive and gets a rise from seeing you and in turn his children suffer. All this person cares about is him. You are really bit part players and he alone is in the centre of his universe. He wants you to be the bad person here so he can go around telling all his useless mates, "oh she left me".
These tactics are all pretty much typical of what such emotionally abusive controlling types do; its textbook really.
In order to help others i.e. your children you have to help your own self first. You have been putting your own self now long enough dead last and this bloke took full advantage of you; you were targeted by him.
I would leave and rent. He has no intention of moving out. He's continuing to manipulate you with threats about taking the children. I doubt very much he'll do any childcare. I certainly wouldn't be letting an emotionally abusive alcoholic unsupervised my house.
Speak to a lawyer and put the house up for sale now. You and the children are much better off living stress free without him than they are trapped in that house with a man who refuses to leave.
Let him rant.
Let him take you to court.
He'll get nowhere with that.
He had MH issues and is an alcoholic.
I can see the courts will love this nice easy case.
Rent somewhere and feel the weight lift from yourself and your DC.
which is he says all my fault for not loving him enough
I hope you don't listen to this BS!
You are not responsible for the happiness of another adult.
They are responsible for their own happiness.
Get out and get free. You'll be so glad you did.
The only regret you will have is wondering why the hell you didn't do it sooner!
If when you've gone he starts to threaten suicide, call the police immediately.
No doubt he'll be bluffing and they will soon tell him to stop wasting police time.
Thanks Attila. It's difficult to explain him - I think the manipulation is inadvertent, one parent was a horrendous role model for that, H is desperate not to be the same but I can see it happening. I feel sorry for him, he wants to be a good person, and is really unhappy and lonely. But he is panicking and saying all these things to keep me paralysed. I genuinely don't think he's trying to make others suffer, he just doesn't know how to behave well.
Anyway, that's him. As for me, I've had legal advice but she didn't really have any ideas about how to deal with the stonewalling, refusal to engage, emotional outbursts. She gave great tips for a sensible conversation to be had... if both parties were rational. Clearly didn't work. I wasn't too picky on solicitors because originally H seemed willing to be reasonable so I thought we'd just agree a plan and get the solicitor to draw it up into the consent order etc, but now the 'I'm not going anywhere' has set in. I've not yet engaged the solicitor for the full process, just had initial consultations. It's all fear of starting the process for real, because of the fallout. I know I need to grow a backbone. He's dangling the prospect of a harmonious future where we respectfully co-parent and I so want to believe he can do it. So much.
If you don't like your house and like the idea of renting, I would move out personally.
The thing I picked up on was about your dilemma of waiting for him to be well enough, he may never be well enough and that's years of wasted time for you.
Thanks all. I feel like the manipulation thing is distracting slightly, so just for a moment can I ask... imagine his MH issues are resolved (they are definitely exacerbating his behaviour), and he is well again and back to being a functioning human. Never mind whether that's possible, please just imagine? He is a wonderful dad in many ways, creative, encouraging, loving, he brings so much to their lives. Do you think the co-parenting at one house can work? One parent having to sort of make themselves scarce while the other is on duty?
Re your comment (that I have separated out)
"Thanks Attila. It's difficult to explain him - I think the manipulation is inadvertent, one parent was a horrendous role model for that, H is desperate not to be the same but I can see it happening. I feel sorry for him, he wants to be a good person, and is really unhappy and lonely".
He blames you for his unhappiness when its really all his doing. You are not responsible for his actions. His actions have caused all this to arise and he has done this because he is abusive and controlling. Controlling behaviour like he is doing is abusive behaviour. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents; look at what his taught him. They taught him how to be abusive and he has simply go onto repeat that in his relationship with you. He would have been abusive regardless of whom he married. You think he wants to be a good person; well he already thinks he is that. He honestly feels he is and has done nothing wrong here; his mindset is that warped and damaged. You were not put here to fix and or rescue anyone like this and trying that will really destroy you. You and he need to be apart because he is really tying you up in knots.
"But he is panicking and saying all these things to keep me paralysed. I genuinely don't think he's trying to make others suffer, he just doesn't know how to behave well".
The first part of this sentence is correct and its working. Your second sentence is making excuses for the inexcusable; it does not wash I am sorry to say. Reading "Why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft may be an eye opener for you but ensure he never sees that book.
"Anyway, that's him. As for me, I've had legal advice but she didn't really have any ideas about how to deal with the stonewalling, refusal to engage, emotional outbursts. She gave great tips for a sensible conversation to be had... if both parties were rational. Clearly didn't work. I wasn't too picky on solicitors because originally H seemed willing to be reasonable so I thought we'd just agree a plan and get the solicitor to draw it up into the consent order etc, but now the 'I'm not going anywhere' has set in. I've not yet engaged the solicitor for the full process, just had initial consultations. It's all fear of starting the process for real, because of the fallout. I know I need to grow a backbone. He's dangling the prospect of a harmonious future where we respectfully co-parent and I so want to believe he can do it. So much"
You really do need to see another solicitor and one who has vast experience in dealing with these types of manipulative men. Ask them outright. Your H will never be rational and will continue to lead you down the garden path. He does not care who he hurts in the process. You're already copping the fallout from him of not acting so it is high time you pulled on your big girl pants and start getting serious about getting him out of your day to day lives. You can live outside the gilded cage he has constructed for you. What he is promising (a harmonious future, yeah right) and what he will actually give you (a whole new level of pain) are two very different things.
Be careful in all your dealings with him and give nothing away. Seek the advice of another Solicitor and get him away from you.
Only you can answer this question, will it work for you do you think?
Are you prepared to give it 6/12 months or 5 years+
I personally think it doesn't work, have had friends doing it and it's exhausting from what they have told me, but that is them and you need to make that decision for you.
What you can't do in that situation is move on, and if you decide you want to move on more emotional strings will be pulled the next time you have this conversation.
If you have the money to move out then that is what I would do. It's what I did and from telling my ex to moving date took a week.
Siting around waiting for him to see sense and move out is a waste of time.
Don't do it. (Let him co-parent in your house.) You are going to want your own life. If you have your own place and space then whatever he puts you through (and it could get nasty?) you can get away from it to an extent. If he is regularly coming into your living space he will have too much presence and influence over your life. Not commenting on this solution in general but in your case (manipulation etc) I think it would give you all the misery of splitting and none of the freedom or relief.
I think you should go. Rent. He has no interest in changing the status quo. As long as you stay - things will stay as they are. He is trying to buy time with promises of this that and the other in the future but if you do nothing and wait for this time to elapse - you will find you have got to the end of it and nothing has changed.
If you want things to change then imo - it's going to have to come down to you forcing change by moving out and accepting this means he is going to have the mother of all tantrums about it.
Have you started formal divorce proceedings yet op? And if you have, what does your solicitor advise?
No, not started the divorce proceedings. Solicitor is waiting for me to say go. I feel like a total wimp, I am honestly a strong and capable woman with a successful career but I can't seem to gather the strength to push the button. I was ready to go 2 months ago but after all the inertia and the swaying back and forth between thinking ok I have to go, no he said I can stay and he'll go, no he's said he's not going so I have to, no he says he we will go but not yet... again and again I've lost my resolve and my courage. Each time I have wrenched my head around and managed to find the positive in the path that's ahead and then the path changes. I know this means I need to be the one deciding the path, and I'm so ashamed to have lost the courage to do it.
And every time I dither I lose another property that's advertised - I phone up and it's just gone. Just happened again after I spent a few days willing myself to see a future there. God I do sound pathetic! I want to give myself a slap sometimes with my constant dithering and hand-wringing.
BlueFolly you sound brave. Did you take the children with you? What did you tell them?
Be the strong woman you want to be, leave, rent and build a calming, relaxed home for your Dcs
You can do it
You aren't responsible for his mental health or his behaviour. You are responsible for your health and wellbeing and that of your children. You need to make decisions based on what is best for you - not him. He may have depression but he has to take responsibility for his own health. You can't make him do this and his promises clearly mean nothing if he won't follow through.
It's possible he'll be a brilliant co-patent after you separate but chances are he never will be. Start from perspective that he won't and if he changes, then co-parent. Right now, make the choices that will help you be happy, healthy and a good mother.
It is very difficult to leave and you have indeed dithered but in your circumstances there is really no other option for you going forward. This man wants to control all aspects of your lives (again the plural is deliberate) and such men never ever let go of their victims easily. He is still pulling your strings here and manipulating you like a puppet.
Show him you are deadly serious and start divorce proceedings properly. You need to be free of him, he will really stop at nothing to destroy you and in turn your children (who are also indirectly copping his abuses of you their mother). They are also learning about relationships from him too.
Inadequate and abusive men like him like "strong women" (but also with a shaky sense of self esteem, perhaps also not seeing a great parental relationship and little innate self worth which in your case he has certainly exploited) because they see them as a challenge to bring down. He has not quite succeeded yet but all his plans re the house are for his benefit only; you people are not being at all considered in his mad schemes. He targeted you and deliberately so as well; he saw an opportunity to exploit your own vulnerabilities, hopes and niceness use them against you.
In response to your question about co parenting from one house,Myers, there are cases where it works, apparently. I read about a divorced pair who did this just recently. However, they were on very good terms and for some reason neither wanted another relationship.
For you it would be a disaster, anyone can see that. He would be going through your stuff wanting to be a part of your life. Your DC are young from what you write, they will cope. You will cope even if he isn't helping or doing his share, he doesn't now so it could be much easier for you.
I understand your hesitation. You are still stuck in a relationship with him even though you know it's a bad one and needs to end.
I wish you the strength to find a good, experienced lawyer and make a clean break. This current impasse is not good for you or your DC.
He will not leave and you cannot make him leave until the divorce settlement goes through. Renting is the way forward - let him "take you to court" - protecting your children from the effects of his behaviour makes you a good mum.
He won't 'get better.' Being depressed doesn't inevitably make you behave so badly - he's responsible for his own actions. His intent is to keep you right where you are, cooking and cleaning and providing a nice home so he has it all on a plate.
Tell him you're separated for good. Stop cooking, cleaning etc for him. No more laundry, he can get his own meals because you have separated . Get back to either that lawyer (if you think she's good) or canvass opinion for a lawyer who has dealt with manipulative men before.
There will be sulking. There may well be suicide threats. If there are, report to the police and let them deal with it. Threatening to kill themselves is s manipulation tactic. Let the professionals deal with it.
Do NOT agree to childcare at your house. No more joint counselling - that a huge nono with a manipulative or abisive partner.
One thing I've found true time and again is that the thought of doing something is often worse than doing it and once you've set something going it develops a momentum of its own.
Call your lawyer, give her the green light
Thanks everyone. Definitely a big part of ending this now is trying to stop the pattern for the DCs, I don't want to model a crap relationship for them to copy in turn. I don't know about being targeted, he likes successful people but he's brought me down.
Also my job involves a few times a month a long commute that far exceeds nursery / breakfast club / after school club hours, and my family is too far away to help. I rely on H's help those days. Each of these issues I guess is surmountable, there just seem to be a lot of them.
Argh how does anyone find the strength to jump off this cliff?! I read all the threads and am so in awe of the people who just do it.
I think you should go, OP. It seems you are trying to talk yourself out of it because it would be difficult. You know he will rant and rave and try to make things impossible for you, and that's because he is losing control of you.
Take the plunge and go, be free. You won't regret it, you would however regret staying in a house with him for years with a horrible tense atmosphere and you having to walk on eggshells. Not nice for your children to be around either.
If down the line he DOES sort himself out (which I'm sorry but I doubt he will), then you always have the option to move back in and try and co-parent.
Yes this will be a big change for you and your children, but it will be a good one.
Good luck . You already know the right thing to do.
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