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Twenty years next month, and i think its all over....(22 Posts)
Its been years since I've posted, probably 5. But could do with some advice. Finally dared have 'the chat' tonight where i said we need counselling and managed to stay calm it was pretty interesting what i learned about myself.
I do everything badly
I haven't learnt to cook well in 20 years
this is on the backdrop of increasing verbal abuse, criticism - I've been told to fuck off most weekends over the past 3 years at some point. Shut up. Fuck off.
Also it has got physical, got kicked the other day. (in slippers)
my fault i was 'being aggressive'.
we have two dds 8 and 10 i know that they are absorbing this and i know that it is toxic for them.
thanks for listening.
Time to separate- at least for a trial - then decide what you want to do, although my thought would be with violence offered it would be a very brace person who would say to persevere.
This is always for me to say behind a keyboard and will be the same for most posters, but I think a separation and being apart for a while will give you a better perspective and may help you make that hard decision
I think pulling the plug, sounds the best option. Relationships are tough & wanting the same things after 20 years, can only work if two people are rowing in the same direction. He sounds like he hates you.
Your DDs are indeed absorbing this as an example of how people treat each other in a relationship. Its no legacy to leave them.
Do not undergo any form of joint counselling with this man, its never recommended where there is abuse. No decent counsellor would see the two of you together in the same room anyway because of the abuse he has meted out. Like many such cases, it has also escalated; verbal abuse as well as now being kicked in slippers are all examples of domestic violence.
Would contact Womens Aid on 0808 2000 247 and seek their counsel re leaving.
Counseling doesn't really sound a viable option when there is so much verbal abuse. How do you feel about the let's split conversation?
I think it's important not to defend or attack because that feeds the cycle of abuse.
So try the conversation again - either counseling or mediation. His choice if you wish but the status quo isn't an option.
Start mentally preparing. Give yourself deadlines. So no improvement by 1 Dec. have splitting convo.
What would you like as an outcome of separation?
What would you accept?
Would you need to sell family home?
Where would you like to live? Look at right move for motivation.
What are you entitled to in terms of state aid?
What would you be entitled to in a divorce? See a lawyer.
Just quietly keep advancing. Copying paperwork etc. Basically get your ducks in a row, no particular hurry.
It'll make you feel much much stronger and that will change a lot of things/ the power balance. when putting you back in your box no longer works he might change. Having prepared yourself for what you may see as the worst, if you then choose not to go for it you'll be no worse off, but much less susceptible to fall for his wanker behaviour.
Thanks for the responses, its been a big step for me just to write some of this down.
I always find this behaviour very interesting.
So if you are nasty, and cannot do anything well, even cooking, why the fuck is he still with you?
The answer is, so he can put you down and make himself feel better.
Trial separation at the very least. But obviously that is easier said than done.
I have been with Dh for 20 years, we do occasionally tell each other to fuck off but it is in jest and we both take it that way. We also laugh every day, together and with the children. That is what you deserve, to have fun, be happy and be loved.
You have indeed made a small but significant stride by writing your thoughts all down.
No to either counselling or mediation; neither works if there is abuse in the relationship. He would likely not go in any case.
This is also why mediation is a no:-
To use mediation is to subscribe to the mistaken idea that abuse is related to "misunderstandings" or lack of communication. If discussion and compromise, the mainstay of mediation, could help in any way most domestic violence situations would be long ago resolved because victims of abuse "discuss and compromise" constantly. Mediation assumes both parties will cooperate to make agreements work; the victim has always 'cooperated' with the abuser; the abuser never cooperates.
Mediation can be and is ordered by judges/courts, as can counselling and mental health evaluations. They are tools in the abuser's arsenal to be used against the victim as often as he chooses. In order for mediation to work and to not make situations worse the parties involved must have equal power and must share some common vision of resolution. This is clearly not present when domestic violence has taken place in a relationship.
Mediation practitioners must be alert to the need to interview partners separately with specially designed questions in order to determine if abuse is or has been present. Many domestic violence professionals can train others to screen safely for domestic violence. To not do so risks unsuccessful mediations, at best, and increasing the victim's danger by colluding with the abuser, at worst.
A person who has been terrorized by an abuser is not free to participate in a mediation process with him, even if the mediator(s) assume or believe that they "understand". Being truthful about any of her needs or experiences in the abuser's presence or proximity practically ensures that she is in more danger later.
The mediator is left with a no win: either the victim's danger is increased, or she is not fully or truthfully participating, or both. The well meaning mediator may actually encourage the victim to feel safe enough to share information that could seriously compromise her safety. In any case the whole intent of mediation is lost.
To engage an abuser and a victim in a process that implies equal responsibility is damaging to both. The victim is once again made to feel responsible for the abuser's behaviour, and the abuser is allowed to continue to not accept full responsibility for his behaviour choices.
He is currently with your halfessex because he actively the power and control he has over you; this is what abuse is all about. He has truly managed to ground you down over the years and now your children are seeing this in front of them as well.
Twenty years is a long time but do not fall into the sunken costs fallacy trap; that will simply enable you to keep on making poor relationship decisions.
I would seek the counsel of WA and use their help in order to leave him - and before Christmas as well. There's a reason why Solicitors have their busiest months at the beginning of the year; its because families have desperately hung on for the festivities and then it all falls apart post Christmas.
Do you have any family nearby who could take you in? It honestly sounds as though it's game over for both of you. I couldn't see any signs of mutual affection or respect in your post, and yes it IS very toxic for your DC who will be only too aware of the dysfunctionality and abuse going on as part of everyday life.
I really can't see what counselling or mediation would achieve even if he were to agree to it. It sounds as though this has been getting worse over a significant time frame and ask yourself honestly what there is to salvage.
If it were me I would be making plans to start afresh with my DC and having a chat with a solicitor as a starting point unless you have a pretty good idea of your finances and if you could afford to find yourself a place on your own, or else stay with family.
thanks for all the info, its a great help
so if mediation or counselling are not appropriate - what is there to do? This is the father of my children who i will be having to communicate with for the rest of my life.
Even if this is the end, in this current fug of negativity and scorn, which I imagine will be ongoing, how can we continue to parent our children in any reasonable way?
In our talk yesterday he did mention being depressed for the first time which i suppose i have really known about for a while
its hard to know sometimes what is someones personality and what is them just wallowing in darkness
he talks to no-one about his feelings, last night was the first time Ive got some 'honesty' from him in ages
Separation can help it get the atmosphere calmer so it doesn't always have to this way.
Would he see the GP for depression?
Your only real option going forward is to separate from him. Its not doing your children any favours to see all this being played out at home. Its also not their fault their dad has decided to declare his own private war against you.
You are not responsible for his actions full stop. Its up to him whether he chooses to see his children going forward and would they at all want to see him anyway?.
How much of his behaviour is due to he being depressed and how much of it is actually due to him being an arse?. Some abusive men do use depression as a reason or excuse to abuse their chosen victims.
Nobody can control how they feel. However, full-grown adults can control how they act. If you feel responsible for holding your partner’s life together, it’s because they made you feel that way.
Ok, I'm fairly of the view two sides to every story. So you've explained what you have learned about yourself. What did he learn about himself? Did he proactively attack for no good reason or was he reacting to uou telling him the bad stuff about him?
He tells you to shut up or fuck off, do uou do the same to him? Shout st him, be abusive?
He kicked uou, which is not ok ever, but have you ever lashed out st him?
sorry, I see so many of these threads where women talk about the fact their husbands are prime shits, with no reference to their own behaviour, yet my own personal real,life experience is normally the man has a story to tell as well.
For example I have friends who are in a bad way marriage wise. She talks about all the bad things he does. All the unreasonable things he does, how emotionally abusive he is. He talks about her, about her anger, her demands, her unreasonableness, how abusive and intolerant she is. Neither of them ever ever think what they personally have done is wrong. It's all the other one. The truth is both of them are behaving terribly.
And yes, sometimes it is all one person. But very often there is a wider picture and both parties are contributing to the marriage breakdown.
Bluntness, I'm glad you make this point. This is an abusive relationship and that has two sides. I do undermine him with the kids (as he has very strong views on everything and its my impulse to soften that). He might be telling me shut up fuck off because I am insistent about something , like needing some help around the house, like wanting an apology from being called something bad in front of the kids. When I get abuse from him I say 'don't talk to me like that its unacceptable' so the kids know that its not OK. I know that our communication has become very negative, and that's on both sides. However, I try and talk about things, I like to try and unpick and understand and suggest changes.
You ask what is there to do - leave is what there is to do. Or ask him to leave. Neither of you are happy and the way this unhappiness is being played out will be having an impact on your children that you shoudn't underestimate.
He may well be depressed. But that's a possible reason, not an excuse. You can encourage him to go to his GP to explore it, and be supportive if it is the case that he has depression and seeks treatment for it, but ultimately it's not up to you to "fix" that.
Plenty of parents separate but continue to co-parent perfectly well, if not better than they did when they were together, as they are probably, individually, a lot happier being out of a toxic relationship.
It doesn't have to be permanent but I would suggest you look into the practicalities of a trial separation to see how you both feel. But give it a realistic timescale. And be realistic about who needs to move out. Are you the primary carer? Will it make more sense for you and the children to stay in the marital home?
What do you get out of this relationship now?. What needs of yours are being met here?.
Re your comment:-
" When I get abuse from him I say 'don't talk to me like that its unacceptable' so the kids know that its not OK".
But the problem is that you and he are still together so they receive mixed messages. You are showing them that currently at least this treatment is still acceptable to you on some level.
There are two sides but yours has been subsumed completely. He has never let you express yourself at all because he wants to play at being Big Man in his house because he is at heart inadequate and simply sees you (this supposedly strong woman) as a challenge and someone to take down with him to his base level.
Abuse is also not about a lack of communication; its about power and control. You have discussed and compromised constantly; he refuses to do that.
Ok, I think i get what you are saying, maybe you nag, he explodes? Picking him up on abuse is the right thing to do though.
Is there a way round it, a way to fix it? Can you sit down together and come up,with some ground rules you must both adhere to? Things you must both do to stop the negativity?
There is really nothing to rescue and or save here. He has and will continue to refuse to co-operate with you; its his way or no way as far as he is concerned.
You have been together for a long time but do not fall into the relationship trap that is the sunken costs fallacy. What you forget here is that the damage has already been done and your children are seeing this directly as well.
Actually reminds me of a time recently where the couple I mentioned had a major row during an event at my house, I had to seperate them. I remember another friend saying to me after, who was there and witnessed it, said " it's a shame, they've just got to that stage that they irritate each other," .
And that irritation can lead to abuse. If the irritation is enough. And I'm not sure if it can be fixed to be honest.
Your children have no choice in growing up in this poisonous and toxic relationship and its time to start prioritising what's left of their childhood.
Don't stay because you have kids and think you're stuck with him through that connection.
There's no comparison with what you're enduring now, and being free of him for the majority of the time.
I divorced the father of my 3 kids after 20 years and I'm much better.
Your kids will soon grow up, and your contact then will be minimal. My three adult kids make their own arrangements to see/not see their dad, I've spoken to him once in 18 months.
You're your own person. Cut loose, you deserve better than to be kicked, slippers or not, it's bloody unacceptable.
Set the bar high for your kids
Hi People. So glad to hear you. Tonights post is called a bonfire night themed story. Its called 'mushy peas and mint sauce'
dp is from a mining village in what i think of as the 'northern midlands'
bonfire night in his childhood meant bonfire toffee, penny for the guy, hot dogs and 'mushy peas and min sauce'
busy day, nice evening, finished making a guy at home, allotment bonfire then and pub fireworks
i didnt seek him out when the fireworks went off as he was chatting to someone which at the moment i think has gotta be a good thing
later came home for food (he left some onions on - i didnt have a go!)
complained about me not being with him as fireworks went off
he gave the kids a small cup of mushy peas and mint sauce
little dd (8) face says wtf is this
bigger dd (10) tries it
little dd puts it down in disgust
dp days ok go to bed you are not having any dinner
(there is pizza and hot dogs to follow this pea and mint delicacy)
i try and suggest that may be a little harsh
eventually get told im a 'fucking imbecile' in front of dd (10)
me and dd(10) hatch a plan and sneak salad and pizza up to little one.
this is family life in my house.
you have me all thinking with your messages , thanks for your support.
and btw, im not going anywhere. If he doesnt want to love or respect or value me - surely he has to get the fuck out and we just both somehow be really fucking skint? i love my neighbourhood and it gives me a lot of strength to live here. this is the kids home and their community and they are not going to live anywhere else and im going to stay right here with them whatever happens. Ive no idea how it works, but im hoping thats possible!
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