Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

In a bit of a state

(26 Posts)
Gchnmum Sun 27-Nov-16 05:30:45

I'm very stressed so my head is all over the place. I am looking for some and advice and support as I am at the beginning of this process.

I have posted previously about my relationship but it has broken down for various reasons but mainly because I feel that my husband has control issues caused by anxiety. He has promised to get help for the anxiety which manifests itself in a controlling way. He also has a porn addiction (which bothers me and has left my self esteem on the floor, but even after that it's the controlling behaviour is really what I cannot take anymore). I discovered that whilst I was in hospital with a life threatening pregnancy condition he was looking at escorts. He admitted and said that he was just looking and that he has never been with one. I've spent the last two years living abroad with a baby after having a very traumatic birth and our child spending a long time in a Nicu.

My husband has suffered from anxiety before meeting me and the birth of our child triggered it back big time. I'm no specialist but I think he has health anxiety but not where he worries about his own health but he is worried about our son's health. Now I know I seem cold in leaving a husband because of this but living with this is so extreme and I understand where it comes from but it's still too much to deal with . Think extreme OCD hand washing all the time before touching our son this including me having too as well and anyone else who wanted to touch him. Wearing a surgical mask when sick with a cold or sore throat etc. Not touching our child when sick. Wanting to put a sign on the push chair saying 'don't touch unless you have washed your hands', not allowing me to go to baby groups or meeting other mums unless I had asked if their child were well, if someone touched our child he would rush home wash the part of our child's body that had been touched and change his clothes. On one occasion he was out with our son and a child 'who looked like he had chicken pox ' touched our son he came bolting through the door and told me I must take our child in the shower . I refused and he got angry and swore at me and said 'just effing do it' . In the end he had too.

The list of scenarios is endless. Earlier this year we visited the U.K. And his anxiety over the health of our child died down but now became anxiety over using public transport out of fear of terrorists and also catching measles; as the doctor who vaccinated our son for measles for said that cases were on the increase in London. This meant that in our 3 week visit I only got to spend 3 days with my family after being abroad for almost 2 yrs. He insisted that I stayed with my in laws and when I said what if I didn't, then he said he wouldn't give me any money.

I basically spent the first 15 months of our child's life indoors on my own whilst abroad in a new country. As I didn't go anywhere I was unable to make friends, my husband worked long hours and often weekends and I was very isolated and lonely. When I told him how I felt he said 'it's part and parcel of being a mum' .

I have recently come back to the U.K. and he is still abroad and due back very shortly . He had a disagreement my with some of my family members over money and work which I advised not to get involved in . The last straw was that he said if I didn't cut off all my family that he would divorce me. He said that when he gets back I must move out of our house and leave our son with him . I must live elsewhere and that I can visit our son everyday . My son has not spent a day without me since leaving the NICU. My husband had never looked after our son for more than a few hours on a few/rare when I got my hair done whilst abroad. Can he do this?

He has contacted estate agents about putting our house on the market as he wants to sell it as soon as possible in order for him to take what is his- which he thinks is the most. He said once it's sold I can see if I will find someone to live and that after he will only contribute to our son if he is living with him. (Which we will be abroad as another issue is that my husband didn't want to come back to the uk )

I gave up my job in the U.K. to move abroad with my husband for his job . My job was ok paid for what I did think admin getting £30k plus bonuses twice a year my husband works in the profession white collar field. (Sorry to be vague but I don't want to be too identifying). Admittedly I haven't been great with finances in the past and ran up debts on credit cards whilst at university that I was paying off. (Around £3k over 2 cards). When I gave up my job to go abroad I paid off my debts and had some money around £3k left . My husband said he would support me financially whilst abroad until I found a job. Just before we left I found out I was pregnant, we still decided to go and that I would be at home with our child instead of working. I have no money other than what I get from him.

He recently cleared out our joint account leaving just the overdraft which I have had to draw out just to cover my self and pay for some legal advice. I have no idea what to do? Will the fact that I went overdrawn be used against me? Can he use my family history to take our son away from me? I come from a dysfunctional family in that I didn't grow with my parents as my mum had mental health issues and my dad wasn't around when I was younger? My brothers have committed crimes. All of these he knew about when he married me and decided to have a child with me. Can he say that this means that our son should live with him? I have never committed a crime or had mental health issues, and there is nothing he can say to tarnish me i'm just very worried that he will use my family against me for that purpose.

I know I need to speak to a solicitor but I would like some advice in anyone has any. As I'm struggling to get perspective and just worrying a lot. He is back in 3 weeks and I'm just don't know what he'll do. I'm sorry if I am rambling and for any errors typing on my phone.

overthehillandroundthemountain Sun 27-Nov-16 05:42:12

I read this and I feel so terribly sad for you, OP. I am no expert and I hope you will get some good advice, but I want to give you a huge hug and to try to help.

You need to leave this man. He is damaging you. You need to create some distance. So what if he wants to divorce you? He is no good for you. You will be better off without his damaging ways.

You need to create a support system for yourself. You mention family. Could you go back to them? Who is telling you that you can't contact them? Him? Could you see your GP and explain this story? He is showing severe symptoms of OCD. Please look up support networks. There are some great ones in the UK but I'm not sure if you are here. For finances: could you explain to your bank, any credit card lenders? Get yourself as much financial advice as possible.

Lastly, lawyers. He is making up the rules over house selling, etc. Please consult a lawyer and discuss this. I have done the same for a different scenario and have been charged nothing. It will give you so much confidence to never armed with the facts.

Strengthen yourself, OP. You need to look after yourself. Do it for your son, if anything.

Wishing you all the best flowers

Gchnmum Sun 27-Nov-16 06:01:37

Thanks so much over the hill for replying. I feel so bad, like I have caused this .

I paid off my debts other than my student loan which I don't have to pay back until I'm in employment over. I took out the overdraft in a panic as he cleared our joint account out and knows I have no other access to money other than child benefit. He controls the money and now that I have said that I want to separate he will not give me a penny more. He gave me £3k when I got back to sort out the house, bills, food and our son (we just moved back from a hot climate so our son had no winter clothes) . I now have about £1500 plus to the £2000 I took out today which covers the solicitor fees. Do I need to leave my son with him? If I go somewhere away from him will he use it against me?

overthehillandroundthemountain Sun 27-Nov-16 06:23:54

Can you contact Wonens Aid? Oh I really hope that someone in the know will contact you soon to answer your questions. About his using 'mental health problems' against you for your son - don't forget that his OCD is pretty severe.

I would imagine that the courts would be in favour of you having your son, given that you are the main caregiver.

PoldarksBreeches Sun 27-Nov-16 06:59:55

Firstly you need to divorce him and restrict his contact with your son as his mental health issues and controlling behaviour will have a seriously harmful effect on him growing up.
Secondly you need urgent legal advice about finances.
Thirdly you need to work out a way to get back to the UK with your son with his permission because otherwise he may be able to stop you.

margiebargie Sun 27-Nov-16 07:36:23

Firstly, you have done nothing wrong, it's irrelevant what your brothers have done in the past, if you've been the primary carer of your son up till now, there's no chance your dh can suddenly kick you out and say he's looking after him from now on.

Secondly, just because your husband "says it" doesn't make it true. My MIL divorced FIL after discovering years of infidelity; he ranted and raved about all sorts of things, accused her of just being after her money, denied the ow, said the law was an ass etc. etc. In the end, the judge and both legal teams got pretty exasperated; it was clear to everyone what the facts were, they ignored all the hot air. She got her divorce and her settlement.

Use these three weeks, and the physical distance you have. Get as much done as you can - go and see a solicitor asap and tell him/her all of this. I would print out a bulleted list of the main issues and take that with you in case you feel flustered trying to explain everything in a fixed time (I know I would).

Tell them you need it sorted and you need it sorted fast. His OCD and controlling behaviour is hurting you and it will hurt your son. You need him out of your life.

Ask the solicitor what they think the best course of action regarding your house is, but you need to be away from him when he returns to the UK. I don't know what your rights are but either you need to be in the house and he has to go somewhere else, or you should go and stay with family.

I know this must be hard, and your husband has ground you down, but remind yourself this is it - this is your chance to have your life back, to have a quiet, peaceful life with your son without being bullied and controlled. Your husband's OCD and heath anxieties are not your responsibility, btw - don't give them a second thought.

Be strong, be confident, be determined. You can do this!

Enough101 Sun 27-Nov-16 07:40:37

Who the hell does he think he is, telling you that your child will stay with him and YOU will visit during the day?! No, no, no! OCD and controlling aside, he can't tell you what to do. I know it's really hard when you live with someone like this, I have done and you end up believing everything they say. Spend the next few weeks looking for your anger at being treated this way and finding your voice. It's not easy. Agree with a previous poster, ring women's aid. They are great. I know he has anxiety, but that carry on has ended up making you anxious. You look after yourself and your baby now. Good luck. Xxxxx

Gchnmum Mon 28-Nov-16 03:59:41

Thank you all for your responses. Everyday I speak to my husband he is different. So today he was very calm, polite and just spoke about our son. I still let him speak to our son everyday via FaceTime/Skype as I really don't want to keep them apart. I just don't want to hand our son over to him, as I really don't know whether he would give him back. Sorry that sounds so horrible I know he's not a possession but he's only a baby and needs his mum.

I hoping to get an appointment with a solicitor this week to discuss my rights in relation to whether he can sell the house straight and take what he feel is his. Also in relation to what access I need to give him to our son. I'm just worried that when he gets back their be a physical tug of war type situation. I'm also worried about when he finds out that I've taken money out of our overdraft that he's going to go ballistic. I've never ever taken money out of our accounts or spent any from our joint accounts. Can he use this against me? I did take out the whole overdraft amount but that is only because I know he's not going to give me any more money and I need to pay for a solicitor and he's cleared the account out that I have access to. Shall I pay the money back and just try to claim benefits instead? Would I be entitled to anything while everything is so up in the air?

Enough101 Mon 28-Nov-16 06:40:47

Hi again, I don't honk he can just decide to sell the house like that if its in both your names. It sounds to me that he is trying to do this in advance of getting solicitors involved so he can get the share he thinks he entitled to, rather than what he is actually entitled to. Sorry to tell you but your husband is abusive bully who has made you think less of yourself. Your upbringing has absolutely nothing to do with your ability to look after your child. It doesn't impact on him st all. You sound like a great mum and a great wife who tried her best but just couldn't put up with the control. Think yourself lucky you are getting out now, in a few years time this would have ground you down completely and start seriously impacting on your son's emotions. He is bulldozing you with the house, the care arrangements and telling you he will only contribute to your home if your son is left with him. Sounds like he has completely knocked the confidence out of you. I am in a similar situation right now and it's really hard, both what is going on and realising that the person is a 1st class bully. Lose any sympathy you have TODAY! He knows well what he's doing and his anxiety and OCD is no excuse for trying to run your life. Get to a solicitor this week and you will feel much better as they will reassure you that your husband can't do any of what he is currently threatening to do. Bully through and through. Also ask the solicitor re the overdraft, I imagine you don't need to pay it gave in right now - how are you expected to feed yourself and your son otherwise? When you get a minute, lookup narcissist as that's exactly what your husband sounds like to me. Best of luck, let us know how you get on with the solicitor and PM me if you would like. Xxx

Enough101 Mon 28-Nov-16 06:41:34

Don't think not honk!

greenfolder Mon 28-Nov-16 06:46:31

If the house is in joint names he cannot just sell. If it is in his name only get to a solicitor and see about legal action to put a charge on it.

ChampagneCommunist Mon 28-Nov-16 07:12:20

You can't get a charge/mortgage on it if it is in his sole name; you need a Matrimonial Home Rights Notice

MrsBertBibby Mon 28-Nov-16 07:24:43

I'm a family solicitor. Most of your fears are utterly unfounded. No time to answer fully, but for now:

Are you getting Child Benefit? If not, apply immediately, forms are online. It takes a while to kick in, but unlocks other benefits for those with children. That's your job for today.

Is your home in your joint names, or just his?

Gchnmum Mon 28-Nov-16 12:51:34

Thank you for replies

I have an appointment with the solicitor tomorrow and I have called women's aid and I am waiting for a call back. I have recently just started getting child benefit . So that is the only money coming in. An estate has already called me this morning about listing the property for sale and my husband has emailed me details of another estate agent he has asked to sell the property . He keeps saying we need to deal with the practicalities but at no point has he mentioned solicitors. Does he think I'm that stupid ! Both our names are on the mortgage and the deeds. So I know he can't sell it without my agreement .

MrsBertBibby Mon 28-Nov-16 13:11:18

Great you have CB sorted, and a solicitor. Have you applied for tax credits? That's your next job, phone them and set the ball rolling.

Do you have your son's passport safe? Make sure it is somewhere he can't get it.

Don't worry about your family background, or your debt, the Court won't care about those things.

Talk to the solicitor about getting a prohibited steps order so he can't take your son, and an occupation order so he can't throw you out of the house. Make sure your solicitor knows where you have been living and when, so they can advise correctly on whether you are entitled to a UK divorce and get the grounds right..

LondonRoo Tue 29-Nov-16 11:44:37

Well done OP! When I got divorced (admittedly under much less difficult circumstances as there were no children involved, although there was a big dispute about property and assets) the best advice I had was to get a solicitor immediately and let them do the work rather than trying to deal with my ex myself.

My ex, much like your's, seemed to think he could dictate the show. My solicitor kept me steady and on the right track, prevented me from reacting when my ex seemed intent on creating difficulties and by the end of it didn't cost that much in the scheme of things - especially because I sought advice early and let him take the lead so things stayed as simple as possible.

I do not think you need have any worries regarding custody of your child. You have been the primary carer since birth and there would be grave concerns about the impact of your husband's behaviours on a child's wellbeing (e.g. isolating him from other children/families due to contamination fears, lack of spontaneous response if your child needs or wants physical attention - you can't stop to wash your hands before picking up a child who has fallen over or is upset, wearing a surgical mask is probably quite frightening for a child and potentially involving your child in decontamination rituals).

It sounds to me like your husband has a serious mental health issue that he needs to seek treatment for and for his sake and that of your child, I hope that he does.

However, in the meantime... I wouldn't be worried about a relatively small amount of debt, going overdrawn (what choice did you have) and crimes committed by other people that have nothing to do with you.

You have rights too - your solicitor will certainly look after your interests and make sure you know what to do.

My standard answer to anything like phone calls from estate agents or nonsense from my ex was a polite but quite firm, "I can't answer that until I've spoken to my solicitor."

The estate agent will also know the score about putting houses on the market with joint owners going through a divorce and won't want to act without your agreement either! Quite simply - they won't want to waste their time marketing a property that all owners haven't agreed to sell!

It may not feel like it but by getting good advice now from Women's Aid and a solicitor, doing things in a step by step way with the right advice behind you... you really are coping extremely well. You and your son will be absolutely fine... stay calm, take advice from your solicitor and know that a year from now, you're going to be in a very different position.

Roo

LIZS Tue 29-Nov-16 11:56:28

He's abusive, possibly mentally ill. He won't get custody of your young Ds on the basis of your family's circumstances especially with his behaviour. Let him divorce you , if not do so anyway. Your life and your ds' has been unreasonably and irrationally restricted by his bullying and obsessions. You both deserve better. Women's Aid or CAB might be good places to start regarding setting up alone. You may find access to benefits etc are initially restricted having been away though. Can you work again?

debbs77 Tue 29-Nov-16 12:36:30

Goodness me, this is heartbreaking to read. Please don't question yourself! You hold the cards here, he has controlled you to the point where you question everything xxx

TheMadGardener Tue 29-Nov-16 18:14:36

Your husband, as others have said, is an abusive bully. His threats are empty. He can't just sell the house as you are the joint owner. You are in the UK with your son at the moment, yes? Make sure that your son's passport is in a safe place where your husband cannot get to it should he attempt to leave the UK again with your son. Do you have a trusted friend or family member who could keep passports/documents at their house? If not, you could rent a safe deposit box somewhere, or your solicitor might be able to suggest a safe place.
You can stay in the house with your son and your husband cannot force you to leave. If he turns up being aggressive and demanding entry, you can call the police and get him removed if you feel threatened.
Make a list of the things you are worried about, or the things your husband has threatened to do, and go through this list with your solicitor or Women's Aid, or both. They will be able to give you good advice about the best way forward.
Vindictively emptying the joint account to try to deny you access to money will look very bad for your husband legally. You need to insist on getting your fair share of assets in the divorce and should be entitled to more than 50:50 as you will be the main caregiver for your son. ]
Good luck OP at getting rid of this horrible man.

Gchnmum Fri 02-Dec-16 13:40:55

Thanks once again for all your replies it has been very hard for me and I have definitely had moments of wavering about whether I am doing the right thing. I saw my solicitor this week who has advised me as you all have said above that I do not need to leave the house or my son in his care. As I don't feel safe being in the house when he gets back I am going to move out to family. But I do need to allow him access to his son though, so she has advised me to go through mediation to arrange this. His passport is safe and away from our house. I have started packing my things and applying for benefits which is making it very real to me. He has swung between being very aggressive- telling me I should leave immediately and that me and our son are on our own now, to telling me he's loves me and wants to speak to his son. This really is emotional torture for me. I feel like I am having to start my life over again right from the bottom.

tipsytrifle Sat 03-Dec-16 14:01:06

I'm so relieved you have somewhere to move out to. It will also be reassuring and generally safer with your family around you. It might help you retain the new perspective that has led you to know that you can't stay with this man any longer.

You aren't starting from the bottom, except maybe materially but even that will (in time) be resolved. You're starting from a position of having some space from this man to get your stuff and ds out of his way. You're starting from a stronger mindset than you've ever had, one that recognises how impossible this situation is. You're starting from a healthy and natural desire to protect your son and give him a good life. Try and remember that chocolate

Nanny0gg Sat 03-Dec-16 16:13:25

Was your son born in the UK ?

Footle Sat 03-Dec-16 16:50:31

Stay strong, OP. Your son is a lucky little boy to have your protection.

Gchnmum Sat 03-Dec-16 22:40:21

Thank you Tipsy and Footle.

No son was not born in the uk but he has a British passport ?

Nanny0gg Sat 03-Dec-16 22:51:22

Ah. Just asking as I didn't want there to be further complications for you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now