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Has anyone been in a relationship which started off awful but then improved considerably?

(17 Posts)
ListenUpEverton Wed 09-Nov-16 05:07:04

Ive been married 9 years and unfortunately it started off terribly. DH was borderline abusive. I had no say in major decisions, house, finances, children anything really. He was disrespectful and cruel to me. I was deeply unhappy. It was pretty bad for me and massively affected my confidence and self esteem. I am ashamed to say that I didn't have the courage to leave and stayed for 5 years till I couldn't take it anymore and told him I was going to leave.

After this he improved massively and he tried to rectify things. But tbh alot if things he made decisions about without my consent arent rectifiable and has resulted in us living in debt and just being generally poor. I feel his decisions have ruined my future, my life and I can't get past the pain and heartache he has caused.

Im stuck in the past and I have a very strong urge to leave. He really wants me to stay but I can't get rid of the pain he caused me. Some of the stuff he has done is unforgivable.

Has anyone else been in a relationship which started off bad and then improved. Did you get over the past?


seven201 Wed 09-Nov-16 05:17:15

What has he been like for the last year or so? Is he trying to get you out of debt, being supportive, loving etc? If the answer is no then it's 100% vote for you to leave him from me. Don't be talked around. You know you shoals have left much earlier but you can't turn back the clock, all you can do is sort out your future. Start planning leaving - sort out your paperwork, accommodation etc. You clearly are not happy but you WILL be if you leave and start afresh.

ListenUpEverton Wed 09-Nov-16 05:35:25

Things have been ok. The debt will take us most of our lives to repay and we really don't have any means of paying it back sooner.

It's more my feelings that I can't seem to get over. I do love him but not the way I would if I truly loved him. I can't for fear of being hurt again.

ListenUpEverton Wed 09-Nov-16 05:38:04

I also feel so much resentment towards him for ruining so many things for me. The financial side is the thing thats really hard to deal with. It affects everything in mine and my children's lives. He's ruined it.

seven201 Wed 09-Nov-16 09:40:14

Hmm "things have been ok" doesn't sound good enough to me. Obviously I have no idea what goes on at home but that statement is quite telling. Or do you mean ok only because you still hold this resentment? If it's just the resentment then counselling might help, although I appreciate you might not be able to afford it. There are probably some good websites about it I guess.

papaverorientale Wed 09-Nov-16 10:45:39

Honestly I think you could limp on but once someone has been abusive, the relationship is tarnished. You'll never fully trust him again. You'll never stop feeling angry or resentful on some level and you know, you have those feelings for a reason. Honour yourself by listening to them.

If he has properly engaged in therapy and truly changed then you have a chance but lasting change in an abuser is rare.

ijustwannadance Wed 09-Nov-16 10:51:08

Is it a large mortgage debt? Could you sell up and rent? Declare bankruptcy and start again on your own with the kids?

RiceCrispieTreats Wed 09-Nov-16 11:55:18

I think you're experiencing hope over reason.

Yes it would be nice to imagine that HD could morph into a better person. His track record says otherwise, though.

bibliomania Wed 09-Nov-16 11:57:33

You don't have to stay because you "owe" him because he made an effort to improve. You're allowed your feelings. You're allowed not to want this any more, regardless of what he wants.

ListenUpEverton Wed 09-Nov-16 13:09:32

He wasn't properly abusive, but things like not talking to me for days on end for no reason, not letting me have a say in where we live, not sticking up for me, didn't support me after I had the kids.

He changed massively to the point where things are fine. It genuinely is ok. I really don't have anything major to complain about. I'm not saying he's the most amazing husband on the planet but he has lots of good qualities. He helps me with the kids, housework, shopping etc. He has changed so much.

But it's the resentment that I can't cope with and the what could have been if he hadn't messed us up financially.

ListenUpEverton Wed 09-Nov-16 13:12:21

It's a massive betrayal and I'm really struggling to feel loved no matter how many times the says it. I don't fully trust him to not treat me badly again. Life is such a struggle financially.

bibliomania Wed 09-Nov-16 15:44:38

I think it's important to separate out walking away from the relationship and walking away from the debt.

From the relationship, you're fully entitled to walk away if the trust is gone. You're not obliged to pretend it never happened.

I don't know what your financial set-up is, and what would happen to the debt if you did leave. Would you still feel better if you left him, but found that you remained liable for the debt?

MorrisZapp Wed 09-Nov-16 15:48:13

He 'helps' with the children? But didn't when they were small? This isn't a good father. I couldn't love any man who wasn't as engaged with parenting as I am, sorry. I hope that doesn't sound smug.

Lottapianos Wed 09-Nov-16 15:53:38

'He wasn't properly abusive, but things like not talking to me for days on end for no reason, not letting me have a say in where we live, not sticking up for me, didn't support me after I had the kids'

All of those things sound 'properly' abusive to me OP. It sounds like you were truly miserable with him and I don't blame you. 'Helping' with kids, shopping etc is absolute bare minimum stuff for a parent, it doesn't matter whether they are mum or dad. No-one gets a gold star for any of that.

Walking away from the relationship because you want to is a good enough reason

QuiteLikely5 Wed 09-Nov-16 15:55:49


Resentment is like drinking your own poison.

After the way this man has treat you I'm not surprised you still feel hurt. He was abusive to you and that has scarred you emotionally which is still affecting you to this day.

I believe that you are better than this man and that you and your children deserve better.

Don't lower your standards and settle for second best just because you feel a bit of pity for him.

See the CAB about your debt. Is it in your name?

You can do all sorts with your life - retrain in a career you love - childcare costs are paid or heavily subsidised - you can improve your financial situation.

Love is based on trust and respect and I think you are realising you don't have all of these things in your relationship.

Stay strong

Dragonbait Wed 09-Nov-16 16:02:38

Hello. I'm going to give a different perspective. Not myself but my mum and dad. My dad was awful to my mum and psychologically abusive for years. I'll not go into the details but she was ready to walk and he realised and he changed. She had a nervous breakdown several months later as she struggled to cope with the improved him - she was on edge waiting for it to turn bad again. She had a lot of counselling and as part of that they encouraged her and my dad to sit and talk through all the things that they were angry about. They had to allow each other to speak without interruption. The rule was once everything was out they were to put it behind them and move on. My mum told me they ended up talking right through the night. This was about 25 years ago. They stayed together and things have been much better - I actually feel sorry for him sometimes now as my mum takes no prisoners now ha! Only you will know if your husband is worth staying with though and whether things have genuinely changed. If it's about letting go of the past then try some counselling. On the other hand I left an abusive husband and would advocate this all day long! He resolutely refused to accept his behaviour was bad though! Good luck x

FrogFairy Wed 09-Nov-16 18:43:23

Like dragon above, my parents marriage was pretty shit for over twenty years. However my father has mellowed a lot with age and nowadays I would say my mother wears the trousers.

As a child growing up in their house, I would not recommend it.

It sounds like you don't love him any more. If the debt is in his name it would be much easier should you choose to leave.

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