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Toxic relationship but feel like I can't leave

(58 Posts)
Tiggerthecat123 Mon 24-Oct-16 13:16:15

I feel like I don't know where to start with this

I left my husband for another man just over a year ago. We moved in straight away.

My new partner is very good looking, charming, successful, has a good job and lots of friends.

He was all these things for me however when we moved in, he became very controlling. I was very in love so I tried to do everything he wanted and would make him feel better.
When everything is great we have a very loving relationship - he makes me feel like no other man has ever made me feel- very loved. It's very passionate and I love him like crazy.

Here's the bad bit
His behaviour over the past year has made me into a person I don't recognise and he withdraws his affection when he is upset that I just can't seem to deal with
I also feel insecure, jealous, I don't go out (I feel like I avoid doing things that could arouse suspicion (e.g. Even going to a coffee shop or generally doing something out of the ordinary for me)
I feel like he is emotionally abusive but I can't seem to summon the strength to leave

He systematically finds fault in all my friends to the point where they don't text any more, I don't go out and unless it's play dates with kids, I don't see anyone
He made me block all male friends from social media and texting, and I've ended friendships with all men I knew because he told me to
I've not met my ex husband for 9 months (handovers of children are done via 3rd person or him- my ex is not pleased about this) or so and all communication is done via email
He accuses me of looking at men in the street or restaurants or pubs - this feels soul destroying so at times I put my head down when we're out, just to avoid arguments
He asks me to not accept help carrying the buggy (we have stairs at our train station and I was doing this 4 times a day at one stage)
He doesn't let me have workmen in the house when he is not there
There are constant accusations about other men - even last night I suggested I wanted to start a hobby and go swimming today and this caused an argument because it was a hobby where I was 'basically in my underwear' so I feel like a bit of a prisoner at times
The list can go on but for some reason I feel like I don't have the strength to leave
I just don't.

I had a good job a year ago which I gave up (basically he offered to let me be a STHM which I've always wanted) but I now find myself in a situation where I don't have a job, I'll be on my own with 2 kids
The thing that is stopping me leave apart from having no confidence and a place with no family (the weight thing really contributes) is that I will be absolutely heartbroken if I left. I know it is bad but the loneliness will kill me, also I have huge guilt that my kids are so bonded with him. They adore him and see NONE of this mad behaviour. They love him to bits and I feel like an awful mother disrupting their lives again in this way if I were to leave.

I haven't even mentioned that despite insisting that I have no friendships or conversations with school dads (I blank them) in playgrounds etc etc, my phone is an open book, he is entirely the opposite. He forms inappropriate relationships with lots of women. Basically I think these start out as normal friendships but the women end up falling for him, he does a lot of entertaining for work and inevitably they will make a pass at him or they text a lot, or a drunken evening, he has anxiety so he ends up confessing. 6 weeks ago he ended up staying at another woman's house and I know nothing happened- he was drunk and slept on the sofa, but the incident upset me beyond belief as he lied about going out with her in the first place then it was my call at 6am that woke him up on her sofa. She is very good looking this woman. Then one last thing, I discovered on his phone 3 weeks ago that he had had an emotional affair with another (married) woman. About 3 months of texts - lots of texts a day. Meeting up, drinking and not telling me. I believe they didn't have sex but I spent hours reading them in the middle of the night and it makes me feel sick. I can't forget it. Pictures of her in swimwear, him telling her I didn't listen to him and she was beautiful etc 'I need to see you' etc.

I confronted him and told him I was leaving but he begged me to stay, he cut all contract with her, said it meant nothing and I believed him
NOW the situation feels further toxic because he's now convinced that IM going to cheat on him to 'revenge him' and he's accusing me of that.
I'd never do anything to him in his life. He doesn't know what he's got.
I feel like any sign of a problem he will always run into the arms of another woman.

I think I am craving affection and I feel like there is something wrong with me like I can't cope without him and on my own.

Sorry for the long post, and sorry if it sounds garbled.
It's a very difficult situation to explain. I've never posted before.

Myusernameismyusername Mon 24-Oct-16 13:46:29

Ok I did skim parts but basically speaking you moved in with a man with your kids who you didn't really know, and it turns out he's a massive arsehole.

You cannot stay with him because you 1. Don't want to be alone 2. Are lying in the affair bed you made because 3. You will be on course to ruin yours and your kids lives.

He is isolating you and your delusional that the kids will miss him. They need a mother who is there for them and who is strong, you need to break free from this abusive relationship ASAP. You cannot fix this. Nothing you do will be good enough for him. Get out before he turns violent

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 24-Oct-16 13:59:06

The thing that is stopping me leave apart from having no confidence and a place with no family (the weight thing really contributes) is that I will be absolutely heartbroken if I left. I know it is bad but the loneliness will kill me, also I have huge guilt that my kids are so bonded with him. They adore him and see NONE of this mad behaviour. They love him to bits and I feel like an awful mother disrupting their lives again in this way if I were to leave.

This individual targeted you and deliberately so; he saw desparation and fear in you and he has exploited all that to his own ends.

Why would you be heartbroken if you left?. This just goes to show how much you are in his shadow of control, he has made you think you cannot possibly survive without him.

Womens Aid can and will help you here if you call them on 0808 2000 247. You need to be well away from him now. It is hard to leave but its far better than staying and being further abused at his hands. Controlling behaviour like he shows you is abusive behaviour. He has made you feel like this.

Your children need a strong and capable mother in you; this individual has systematically pulled you apart and in turn them as well. You cannot afford to stay in this at all because its not just you who is and will be affected by staying. You owe it to your children to teach them positive lessons on relationships and not damaging ones like this. You're really alone now with him because he currently has you when he wants you; in a gilded cage of his own paranoid making. You need to break away from him and also work on your own self further to rebuild your life.

adora1 Mon 24-Oct-16 14:02:20

This is ridiculous, you do know that yes?

I didn't even read it all, up to you OP but you surely must know this is nothing like what a normal healthy relationship looks like, you either stay and carry on being brow beaten whilst he shags whoever he fancies or you actually value yourself and get away from him, it's not love that's for sure.

Jinglebellsandv0dka Mon 24-Oct-16 14:13:58

tiger wtf are you doing? You .know you need to leave. Reading all that is more than toxic it's twisted.

Don't be fooled in to thinking your kids won't notice - if they don't now they will do and is there a chance they can feel his bad vibe and are all over him so he doesn't start on them?

Yoir post is all kinds of wrong - I think you need some councilling as you know this us t normal but you seem obsessed with him and willing to put up with it because you would rather that than be alone.

You need help and I don't think you can have a real objective view on your kids interaction.

If I was their dad if be going for full custody as thod whole situation can not be good for them to be around.

Sounds ducking hidious

Jinglebellsandv0dka Mon 24-Oct-16 14:14:09


kate33 Mon 24-Oct-16 14:24:34

Although he seems controlling now I bet you will look back on these days in a year or so and see that this was only the beginning. My God, op, if he has reduced you to this state in a year where the hell will you be next year? Really ask yourself that question. Now ask yourself where you want to be. Make it crystal clear and see yourself living free and happy with your beautiful children. Make it happen.
This guy is a right off, he will not change for the better, he isn't capable of being a loving supportive partner, he doesn't know how to do it. But he does know how to pretend to be that person. That's all he is, a frightened, shallow approximation of a human being. Next year he will probably leave you for his next victim telling you that he can't respect you because of how you have become. You must get out now, you have too. If you cannot do it for you do it for the kids. Contact someone who will help youm an old friend, family, even your ex if you say can he help with the kids. You will not be lonely for long, you will be too busy. The weight you have gained is so small, you will loose it when you start taking care of yourself again. You will be fine. X

CarrotCakeMuffins Mon 24-Oct-16 14:25:20

You need to get out. You cannot stay with this man. He is destroying you.
Would it be possible for you to stay with your ex until you get back on your feet if things are amicable? Or do you have any family that you could stay with?
Would you be able to get another job with your former employer?

You will be able to re-establish contact with your friends and regain your life but you must get out first.

Good luck. You can do this.

FantasticButtocks Mon 24-Oct-16 14:26:00

If you don't want to leave him, what do you want? What would be the best outcome for you and your dcs?

It sounds as though this relationship has been driving you slowly crazy, to the point where you are too afraid to do what needs to be done.

For a start I'd stop all this no contact with anyone on the planet who is male. That is beyond ridiculous and you could start by seeing your ex for dc handovers. This man you are with now should not be dictating your relationships with other people, but I guess you do already know this. Do you know why you've adapted your behaviour to accommodate his wishes?

Sorry, but I suggest you get some therapy for yourself to try to find some autonomy again.

The fact that this man is allowed to do whatever the hell he wants, and you are only 'allowed' to do whatever the hell he wants you to do, is not something your DCs need to be around.

I'm sorry you can't bring yourself to leave him, as I can't see any other way out of what has become a living nightmare.

Get some psychological help for yourself. Or nothing will change.

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 24-Oct-16 14:31:11

Send the dc to be with their dad. Then do whatever you have to do to leave hthis man as quickly and as quietly as you can. Yes you might be broken hearted but they would be for the man you thought he was, not the man he is. You'll be broken hearted at some point whether you stay or leave.

whendoes Mon 24-Oct-16 14:37:33

I second leaving as quickly and as quietly as you possibly can. You're only a year in. It will only get worse, and your self esteem will be more and more eroded making it harder to leave.

I was with someone like this for a decade and leaving, even with family nearby and no kids, was practically impossible. 5 years on and I still struggle with the after effects.

JoJoSM2 Mon 24-Oct-16 15:00:56

The relationship sounds awful... Good luck at sorting yourself out flowers

hellsbellsmelons Mon 24-Oct-16 15:04:15

I agree with a PP.
Get onto Womens Aid right now - 0808 2000 247
Why the hell you would put your poor DC through this is beyond me?
Get out and do it fast.
This is an awful awful lesson on relationships you are teaching your DC.
Once away, ensure you do Womens Aid Freedom Programme do avoid controlling, abusive dick-heads in future.
Please also get the Book 'Why does he do that' by Lundy Bancroft.
Read and digest.

jeaux90 Mon 24-Oct-16 15:08:37

He does sound really narcissistic to me. You really do need to start building a plan to leave. You should start rebuilding your friendships so you have support too. Is your ex husband a reasonable person? Could you talk to him? Be strong OP you know what you need to do, this is your life and he is ruining it for you and your kids. Xx

Tiggerthecat123 Mon 24-Oct-16 15:17:50

Thank you for your posts and help. I guess I am posting on an anonymous forum because I know it is all so wrong and I know I need to get out so I guess I am (oddly) looking for confirmation that this is toxic/abusive but also looking for words of encouragement that I can do it, and it is the right thing to do and I will be alright, more than alright, it will lead me to a much happier life for me and my children

To all those that judge, 'lie in the affair bed you made yourself' all I can say is that I never thought I would find myself in this situation/relationship and feeling so emotionally weak and unstable but he has brainwashed me and knocked my confidence so badly to where I'm at the point that all his behaviour seems normal as it is my world. One year ago I was a confident attractive woman who never could have dreamed that relationships could be like this.

I guess I'm doing this looking for help so thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for those reaching out to me and taking the time to reply

ElspethFlashman Mon 24-Oct-16 15:18:56 summation:

This man is systematically destroying you; you are letting him; and you are making your kids watch and learn.

mumofthemonsters808 Mon 24-Oct-16 15:19:07

You are only twelve months in:

HE has isolated you from your friends
He has encouraged you to leave your job
He is insanely jealous
He messes about with other women and don't be so ridiculous to think he does not sleep with them, of course he does.
Your self confidence is at an all time low, you look at the floor
I nearly fell off my chair when I read the steps at the station part WTF

What more does he have to do before you leave ?,

Myusernameismyusername Mon 24-Oct-16 15:21:14

The reason I said it about lying in your bed is because you have to accept your own role in this because otherwise you will keep going down the same road over and over.
Jumping into dangerous relationships without knowing the person you will live with is really,really silly when you have kids.

Also it sounds like the relationship with your ex husband is pretty damaged and all round, none of this is good. You have to take control. Own your decisions. Do what is right for your kids. Yes he has sucked you into this but you made some of these choices too if your own free will and you need to face up to reality and make the best choice for you all.

Myusernameismyusername Mon 24-Oct-16 15:27:34

I'm sorry you think it is judging you I want to point out that you are not the only victim. Your ex husband and kids are too. You owe it to the kids to be strong and put their welfare above your heartbreak.

Go to you GP and speak to someone. Call Women's Aid

GiddyOnZackHunt Mon 24-Oct-16 15:27:58

I am (oddly) looking for confirmation that this is toxic/abusive but also looking for words of encouragement that I can do it, and it is the right thing to do and I will be alright, more than alright, it will lead me to a much happier life for me and my children
Yes it is.
Yes you can.
Yes you will.
Yes it will smile

Myusernameismyusername Mon 24-Oct-16 15:32:27

You can do it.

Myusernameismyusername Mon 24-Oct-16 15:36:25

Also for the record, I said you CANNOT stay with him because you feel obliged to stay with him after having an affair and moving in with him and because it would upset your kids.

Dawndonnaagain Mon 24-Oct-16 15:37:08

Today I went to do a bit of shopping with my son. We pottered a bit, took our time, got a bit of cake and a take away coffee. I said Thank you to him for spending the time with me and allowing me to get a take away coffee because that's a huge treat for me. He (very, very gently) told me off, 'Mum, it's nothing special, it's normal for people to do take their time and grab a coffee when out'. I have PTSD because I lived with what you are living with for over 20 years. Go, now!

Gymnopedies Mon 24-Oct-16 15:38:40

I think you need to leave and block him/ignore any contact from him. You can then start to build your life back. Good luck, you can do it!

Gymnopedies Mon 24-Oct-16 15:41:52

Oh, and the DCs will forget about him soon enough. You are their mum, you need to protect yourself so you can take care of them.

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