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Can things ever be repaired after abuse and a marriage breakdown?

(14 Posts)
swannview Tue 10-Jan-17 13:37:26

NC due to my situation being quite outing.

Split with DH several months ago. We have three DCs. The marriage had bouts of emotional and physical abuse- name calling etc. I felt very much like I was walking on eggshells. However, I led a very comfortable lifestyle. No surviving family meant that for years I just put up because I felt I had no other choice.

I feel out of love. I never did anything to keep him home because it was so much less tense without him there. He would go out to visit friends 4-5 nights out of 7. It came to a head for me last year when I found out that a woman that we both knew, who I might add, had not been in touch with me for several years came to visit him with her mother after recently getting divorced herself whilst I was away with our children. I found out that because he felt sorry for her, he arranged a meal out with him, her and 6 other of his male friends as a moral boost hmm

I flipped my lid when I found out because he was giving her the attention that I felt I had missed out on. He swore that it never went any further than this meal, and cut all ties when he subsequently found out that she had slept with two of his friends. I stupidly never confronted her once I returned from holiday, instead telling him that this was the icing on the cake, and I wanted out.

Fast forward several months. I started to have feelings, or at least I thought I did for an old school friend, and the ex found my messages after Id stupidly forgotten to log out of FB on my daughters iPad. I had messaged a friend saying that I had declared my love for this guy and didn't know what to do. I need to add I was steaming drunk, and that nothing of any sort has happened between me and that person- he has said nothing could happen because both of our circumstances are too messy (he is going through a messy divorce etc). I guess I was looking for validation that I was still attractive, and I went the wrong way about it, and felt very ashamed for being so naive.

Over the past few weeks, the ex and I have talked, probably more than we ever did in the relationship. He realised that he was wrong to do what he did to me, and that he wanted us to get help. I admitted that I maybe didn't try as hard as I should, but I felt constantly belittled by him and consequently fell out of love.

Unfortunately we had another row at the weekend. We had stopped contact until he called this morning saying that we really need to sort out the remainder of the finances etc as we were only dragging things out. He then said that things cant go on like this forever as he has a new girlfriend. Several minutes later when I asked him again, he said he meant that one day he would have a new girlfriend, and that I was to expect for that to happen.

So to cut a long story short, I'm really not sure where I stand. Was it a slip of the tongue, considering only last week we had spent several hours together trying to talk through our problems? I want to trust him but feel like so much has been hidden from me in the past that I don't know if I ever can. Can I ever get over the way he made me feel mentally in order to give the marriage another go? We met when I was just 19. He is all I have ever known. He has been there at the lowest points in my life. He never let me want for anything, I just think he didn't know how to love. I can forgive, but how hard is it to forget?

Pandamanda3 Tue 10-Jan-17 13:49:05

Oh op im sorry your going through this💐

Iv been through the same am divorsed now, it sounds as though he's in his mind expecting it to be over, when you said about him wanting to sort the finances out.

Did he say he wanted to try again during your conversation?
It sounds as though you don't trust him full stop, that in itself would be an issue in your relationship
I guess it would be up to you if you could cope with that but as for forgetting in my case it's been 2 years and I haven't forgotten the hurt & torment my ex put me through but I'm trying to find a place for it in my life in order to move on if you get me?

If he's not keen and only you know this ' then Id
say to you as hard as it is Id draw a line under it for your own sanity and future, nobody should feel worthless especially in a marriage.

I hope you manage to find the right solution for you, do you really think he has got a g f ?

swannview Tue 10-Jan-17 13:56:53

He is out enough for it to be easy for him to find somebody. However, rewinding back to this time last week when he would message to ask me if there was anything I needed, to him coming around on NYE so I wouldn't be alone as his parents had our children- he has either been dragging it out with me to see if there is anything to salvage, knowing he has a gf to go back to, or it was genuinely a slip of the tongue.

He has been adamant he wants to try again, but there is so much to work on. At the moment, the thought of being physical with him makes me squirm, and I think that is because of how betrayed I feel.

We had so many good times together, but because I grew up in a house where there was domestic violence, it is easy for me to focus on the bad bits as opposed to the good.

He keeps telling me that no matter what, he isn't my enemy- that he will be there to help me whenever I need it. Can that love ever be found again though sad

Adora10 Tue 10-Jan-17 14:04:16

I don't think so, he's displaying a complete lack of regard to the relationship and yes I think he already has a GF, he us used to controlling you and probably doesn't want to let go completely but if you are going to settle for this waste of space I think you will really regret it; and it's him that needs to work on himself, he clearly has issues where he thinks it's fine to be both physical and verbally abusive to someone he purports to love and then says he's not your enemy, I am afraid I disagree; I think he is and he's playing you.

swannview Tue 10-Jan-17 14:06:44

Thank you Adora10- it is nice to get a different take on things, thats why Ive posted smile

I think my biggest issue is fear of the future- not knowing how/if I can cope on my own with the children and be the Mum I need them to be. It's a big, scary world out there sad

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 10-Jan-17 14:11:50

The only acceptable level of abuse within the relationship is none and he crossed that line a long time ago. Such men like the person you describe hate women, all of them.

You and he need to stay apart; he has done you no good whatsoever and he saw something in you at 19 he could and has indeed exploited to his own ends. A nice lifestyle counts for nothing where there was physical and emotional abuse. You were likely in a bad place yourself when you met and he has been anything but your knight in shining armour. He targeted you and abused you (and in turn your children) instead.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships here?. You mention a DD; would you want her to have a relationship like the one you had with your ex?.

I would limit all contact with your ex now to e-mail discussions about the legalities only. He is still trying to control you here by trying to manipulate you. You seeing him puts you on the backfoot in any case, he is still trying to control you. If he does have a new gf it will be only a matter of time before he starts to try and control her as well; a leopard does not change its spots.

I would also talk to Womens Aid if you have not already done so and enrol on their Freedom Programme ideally in person ( but it can also be done online).

grittypetal Tue 10-Jan-17 14:12:59

am in a similar situation just that the gf is already there and the guy is only moderately adamant he wants to try again. Giving it a go for a bit still for lack of alternatives at the moment. ... watching with interest

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 10-Jan-17 14:19:23

"We had so many good times together, but because I grew up in a house where there was domestic violence, it is easy for me to focus on the bad bits as opposed to the good".

I was wondering what you learnt about relationships when growing up and your familial background has played and shaped why you were with this individual in the first place. We after all learn about relationships from parental example. You repeated what you were shown.

Abusive men are not horrible all the time but the nice/nasty cycle is a continuous one. You were walking on eggshells which to my mind is code for living in fear. The so called "good times" were probably not all that great really and likely decreased in frequency over time. I would read up on the boiled frog analogy as well as the sunken costs fallacy.

"He keeps telling me that no matter what, he isn't my enemy- that he will be there to help me whenever I need it. Can that love ever be found again though"

He is a wolf in sheep's clothing and is certainly your enemy here. He knows how vulnerable you still are and will push your buttons accordingly. He is lying through his teeth and will say and do anything to get you back because like the abuser he is, such people do not let go of their victims easily. He is incapable of loving someone else apart from his own self, his actions towards you (and in turn your children who likely heard and saw far more than you perhaps realise) were not loving at all.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 10-Jan-17 14:22:33

"I think my biggest issue is fear of the future- not knowing how/if I can cope on my own with the children and be the Mum I need them to be. It's a big, scary world out there"

You will be able to manage and admirably so; he has also tried to teach you that you are and will be nothing without him. What support is there is place for you; are you in contact for instance with domestic violence agencies?. What is your Solicitor like?.

Being with him at all will be a lot more scary, no actually a lot more horrific a future for your children as well as you. He is an ex and an ex for good reason. He abused you and in turn your children as well.

swannview Tue 10-Jan-17 14:41:48

Thank you for the replies everyone.

Yes, he has put the fear in me that I will struggle without him. One of my DC is disabled and so I am in receipt DLA and CA. When looking for work, I need to have something to suit school hours as I have no childcare, and I am petrified that I won't be able to make ends meet. I am in receipt of child benefit and tax credits, but I have never been savvy with finances- I always left it to him, and so I am worried that this is all going to end in one huge mess.

I think I have found myself in contact with him because I am lonely. I have a small handful of friends, a couple of which know the extent of this, but other than that, I am a very lovely person. I think because over the past year I have felt so stabbed in the back by people I thought cared, I am not very weary of who I have contact with, and in turn this has led me to become rather depressed and detached from the world- hence my contact with him.

He promises the children holidays abroad (his parents are overseas). He is about to go into partnership where he has the potential to earn a lot of money and he drives a top of the range car. How can I compete with that when at the moment I'm struggling to see from one day to the next, and shoot down my hopes and dreams because not being good enough is all I have ever had told to me sad

Floatingaway2017 Wed 11-Jan-17 13:17:47

Im in a similar position to you op. No advice but you have my sympathy. flowers

MorrisZapp Wed 11-Jan-17 13:24:24

So after years of abuse, ignoring you and physically assaulting you, he suddenly wants the chance to change because another man may have been on the scene?

Pathetic show from him. He only wants what he can't have. If you take him back he'll revert to type as soon as he gets comfy again.

If his career flourishes, great. He'll have more money to support you and your kids, a solicitor can help you with this. You've been through the hard part, don't blow all that bravery and hard work on the emotional tantrums of this toddler-man.

Floatingaway2017 Wed 11-Jan-17 13:27:43

I also am held back by fear. I grew up poor as well as having an abusive dad and though I dont fear struggling in the short term financially I hate the idea of taking away the comfortable life my children currently have away from them.

However in my heart I know this relationship is a bad one and has been holding me back for too long. If I dont do it now I will just postpone the inevitable. But like you I have that hope that he will come to his senses and it can all be fixed.

I always keep in mind though that if someone tells you who they are believe them. Dont let fear of the future hold you back from a happier life.

Hermonie2016 Wed 11-Jan-17 17:01:54

I do think your family background could be influencing you here but before committing to him or anyone else why not get counselling.

Why are you worried about finances when he has a good income? Have you seen a solicitor ?
I understand gear makes us want to keep everything the same but if he has a history of abuse he is not likely to change unless there is extensive work.
If he's prepared to go to solo counselling then that would be a positive step. Do you really want to put your children through the upheaval again?

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