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when is enough enough?

(19 Posts)
margerlyfargerly Sat 04-Jun-16 22:42:18

I am in an emotionally abusive relationship. I know it will end ultimately but I suppose I am waiting to feel as though I have done everything I can before I walk away so that I won't have any what if thoughts.

I have been with my DH for nearly 20 years & have 2 DC with him. I thought he might have been bipolar as his behaviour has been so up & down over the last 7 years or so. I discovered (accidentally) that he has been taking cocaine. I don't know how much or for how long (as he won't discuss it except to say it is my fault that he takes it due to our relationship). All I know is that it explains so much of his behaviour - paranoia, bolshiness, then extreme fatigue & listlessness.

Anyway, I'm rambling as there has been so much crap over the last few years & it all merges together so I forget most of it.

So tonight we went out for a drink & there was a pretty young girl there who was clearly wearing no bra under her top. Obviously, as it was cold where we we sitting outside, you couldn't help but notice this! My DH couldn't take his eyes off her - I felt so embarrassed. I pulled him up on this (after several ocassions) to be told that she looks good & I was being pathetic. Is this normal behaviour for a DH? I honestly don't know any more as I excuse so much of his behaviour?

Apologies for not being particularly articulate - there is a massive history of indesirable behaviour on his part & I am really struggling

I think I just need some words of support or to be told to get a grip.

MissJM1 Sat 04-Jun-16 22:47:01

On god this reminds me of my ex husband. He was also a Coke head who couldn't take his eyes off other women, and if I called him on it I was "jealous, sad, pathetic"

Getting rid of him was the best thing I ever done!

CharlotteCollins Sat 04-Jun-16 23:04:53

It is hard to convince yourself that you've done everything you could and you should now walk away, isn't it? Especially as we are often used to being blamed for any problems...

For me, I could only think clearly when he wasn't around. He went away often enough that I knew that. So, I knew I wanted out, but when I had doubts in the process of leaving, I thought, "I'll leave, give it six months and then reassess." As soon as I got out, I was so relieved and rejuvenated I never looked back!

Another thing that can help is talking to others whose reaction can give a reality check as to how skewed our boundaries have become. MN can be good for that and it also helps to tell a friend irl.

margerlyfargerly Sat 04-Jun-16 23:13:45

The few people who I have spoken to all say that I have done enough. I am acutely aware that my friends only hear 'my side' of the story. I also tell myself that all relationships have their ups & downs at times but I just feel so flat now. I'm not scared of being on my own - it's just the process of getting there. I know he will make my life hell. I know that he will dissolve into tears when I tell him. I have given him so many warning signs about his behaviour but he doesn't change. It is almost as though making me feel like shit makes him feel better.

inabizzlefam Sat 04-Jun-16 23:22:51

"He will dissolve into tears", why? He obviously has no respect for you or your feelings whatsoever if he feels it's appropriate to stare blatantly at other women's tits in front of you.
Your side of the story is what's important to you so forget his side, that's his life not yours.
It took me 8 years to leave my STBX. I dithered, changed my mind constantly, made excuses for him, blamed my unhappiness on myself, until I eventually realised that HE was making me miserable and I eventually left.
Yes I am scared about the future and money and the DCs and how we will cope, but not being with my tosser STBXH is so much better than being with him.

ImperialBlether Sat 04-Jun-16 23:26:17

What other side of the story is there? He's emotionally abusive. His side of the story would be to blame you for absolutely everything.

Think about a life without him. What would that be like?

angryangryyoungwoman Sat 04-Jun-16 23:27:49

It's enough.

BertieBotts Sat 04-Jun-16 23:31:29

No it's not normal behaviour for a decent husband.

Have you read Lundy Bancroft?

How old are DC?

You get one life. Don't waste it on him.

margerlyfargerly Sat 04-Jun-16 23:33:18

I suggested that we separate a year ago as his behaviour was dire. I didn't know about the coke then. He burst into tears & was beside himself. He is pretty screwed up himself (a few bereavements in his family) & has anger issues but generally hides them & comes across as the life & soul of the party. We have muddled along since then. When I discovered his coke habit so much of his extreme behaviour made sense. He says he has 'stopped' now but I don't believe him. I understand it isn't easy to stop taking it.

BertieBotts Sat 04-Jun-16 23:33:31

You don't need to hear any other side - you have given him lots of chances to change and he doesn't.

The cocaine would be enough!

Emotional abuse can be so hard to quantify because each little thing taken alone feels so easily explainable or dismissable, but all together it's hell. It's a total living hell. Death by a thousand cuts.

BertieBotts Sat 04-Jun-16 23:35:13

It doesn't matter that it isn't easy - it was his choice.

They always cry when you say you want to leave. It was the last weapon my ex had when the threats and intimidation and making it my fault failed, and it always worked. I'd always crumble when he cried because I felt compassion for him. I wanted to rescue him so much that I didn't notice I was drowning until it was almost too late.

BertieBotts Sat 04-Jun-16 23:39:40

And it wasn't your fault he started taking coke. The three Cs of addiction. You didn't Cause it, you can't Control it, you can't Cure it.

Why Does He Do That is downloadable as a PDF. I recommend paying for it because it's an absolutely brilliant book which will change (and may well save) your life and I think it's more than worth it but if you're stuck for the cash you can download it illegally for free.

margerlyfargerly Sat 04-Jun-16 23:40:40

Kids are 9 and 13. They obviously don't know about the coke but are aware of his pendulum mood swings.

I saw a solicitor last year & may revisit him.

What practical things should I be thinking of? House in both names with mortgage. We both work.

HeartsofOak Sat 04-Jun-16 23:51:26

Have you got any joint accounts? Take half out. Any joint investments? Get copies of all paperwork relating to them.

Get all your docs - mortgage statement, passports, marriage cert.

Make sure you have copies of all bills, acc no.s etc so that you can get them into your name/his when you split.

Does your sol advise staying in the marital home? You should get to keep it with a contribution from him for mort as your dc are still so young.

Will your dh agree to move out?

goddessofsmallthings Sun 05-Jun-16 00:32:19

I understand it isn't easy to stop taking it

While you've been knocking yourself out to "understand" your h's behaviour, it seems to have escaped your notice that you've passed the point where you should have stopped taking it for the sake of your dc as well as yourself.

As his crocodile tears are designed to keep you pandering to his needs at the expense of your now near bankrupt emotional resources, you're best advised to harden your heart and proceed to divorce without apprasing him of your plans and he'll need to see it in black and white print before he gets the message that all the tears in the world can't wash away his unreasonable behaviour over the past 7 years.

One of your dc has lived with their df's unpredictability for half of their life while the other has no memory of anything different and this alone should be more than sufficient cause for you to put an end to your unhealthy relationship with him.

As for the "what ifs", there aren't any because, despite ample opportunity to do so, your h is not willing to change his ways and prolonging your marriage is enabling him to continue treating you with contempt.

AwkwardAvocado Sun 05-Jun-16 00:41:27

Completely agree with Heartsofoak. Make sure you have all documents (for you and DC) and any special personal items together and out of sight, just in case. Also, make sure you have access to all finances, and access what is yours before (and if) you confront DH. Try to anticipate anything that he could do to interfere with you moving on and living your life. Maybe contact schools soon after if you decide to separate and it doesn't go well, just so that they are aware, especially if you feel that you or the children are threatened in any way. I would also suggest letting a friend know beforehand, especially if drugs are involved or he may react unpredictably. At least that way, they can check in on you. Also, I was once told never to leave the marital home unless you absolutely need to.

AwkwardAvocado Sun 05-Jun-16 00:43:34

Sorry that you are going through this. I hope you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. You deserve better for yourself flowers

AnotherEmma Sun 05-Jun-16 00:43:52

Have you spoken to Women's Aid? If not please do: 0808 2000 247 (open 24/7)

Have you read "Why does he that?" by Lundy Bancroft? If not check out this thread (which quotes the book at length) and then read the whole book.

For legal advice, you could start by calling the free Rights of Women family law helpline.

Money-wise, if/when you leave, he will have to pay you child maintenance, and you may be entitled to benefits such as child tax credits - you could check at or ask CAB.

CharlotteCollins Sun 05-Jun-16 07:51:56

Tears at the end were one thing that helped me to leave. I realised he would only take me seriously if I threatened to leave. But if I didn't mean it, that would mean I was being manipulative! There was just no way forward which involved me being heard.

Great idea to focus on practical stuff. Go see that solicitor and see what your options are.

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