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How do you get over the "guilt" and "unthinkability" of needing to end a relationship where there are dc?

(14 Posts)
scaredoffallout Fri 13-Jan-17 06:59:30

No affection, no communication, no sex. In the past, frequently being ostracised. Being fairly regularly verbally abused (which then leads to the long silences). Being called an incompetent bum who should complain about my issues to my "shitbags" (my friends and or family I presume) was the most recent gem

I do think I need to initiate a divorce as I have now completely given up trying as there is no point, and I have kind of seen the light regarding the unreasonability of it all.

But still I don't know how I will find the courage to disrupt everyone's lives (h and 3 dc) to this extent. It doesn't help that I know there were things I could have done differently in the relationship.

Should I just vanish instead?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 13-Jan-17 07:22:45

You do indeed need to initiate divorce proceedings and I would seek legal advice asap. Also you will need to find a lawyer well versed in the workings of such abusive men because your H will not make it at all easy for you to go.

It is not your fault your H has been abusive and there is no justification or excuse for his actions. He has not been at all loving towards you but abusive so he should be out of the equation altogether now. He could also have acted differently towards you but he chose to abuse you as his wife instead. He feels entitled to act as he has done and likely feels he has done nothing wrong either. He probably also thinks you do not have the guts to leave him because he has completely downtrodden you.

Contacting Womens Aid would also be helpful to you.

You won't be disrupting your childrens lives if you were to leave him; infact you and they would find a degree of peace in a quiet home without abuse and you also not walking on eggshells any more. You can show them that the only acceptable level of abuse within a relationship is NONE.

It will be far more disruptive to your children going forward if they were to continue seeing this awful example of a relationship you are also showing them. They have likely seen and heard far more than you care to realise; they pick up on all the vibes. Currently they are learning a lot of damaging lessons from you both, this is not the legacy you want to be leaving them.

scaredoffallout Fri 13-Jan-17 08:21:40

I agree.

Very difficult to unentangle everything though, and face the possibility that my children may choose not to live with me.

Will massively disrupt things financially for h if I do this and part of me feels bad as he is older than me and hoping he can stop work in the not too distant future. I can see how we could make a split work financially, but of course he is not going to see it that way.

MsGameandWatch Fri 13-Jan-17 08:23:59

It took a full scale nervous breakdown, which I thought I might never recover from and was terrified what that meant for my kids. Do not let it get to that stage whatever you do.

jeaux90 Fri 13-Jan-17 10:00:37

Guilt is a completely pointless and destructive emotion.

You have one life. Please live it xxx

scaredoffallout Fri 13-Jan-17 13:14:46

I am sorry about your nervous breakdown MsGame sad. Was it your marriage that caused it or your divorce?

This is what I am scared of. Getting divorced and having a nervous breakdown sad.

Greypaw Fri 13-Jan-17 13:31:03

It took a full scale nervous breakdown, which I thought I might never recover from and was terrified what that meant for my kids. Do not let it get to that stage whatever you do.

Yes, that was what did it for me too.

My psychologist said to me, "if your daughter was in a relationship like the one you're in now, would you think she should leave or that she should go?". And when I answered, she pointed out that I deserved just as much of a decent life as my daughter did, and by staying in the relationship I was inadvertently teaching my children that this is how relationships work.

I truly believe I got to the point where it was either leave the relationship, and either not be around for my kids at all, or be such a broken version of myself that I'd be no good for them. I was already on anti-depressants and diazepam just to get tolerate an intolerable situation that was never going to change unless I changed it. The month before I insisted my ex leave the family home, I was unable to leave the house and most of those days I was in bed, shaking uncontrollably, feeling waves and waves of adrenaline coursing through me. I had a phrase echoing round and round my head that someone else had said to me about the fact that I should stay for the children. I wish I hadn't been so influenced by that, and had made my own decisions far sooner.

pocketsaviour Fri 13-Jan-17 13:36:17

How old are your DC? Why do you think they might choose your abuser over you?

user1483981877 Fri 13-Jan-17 13:44:07

I would say you get over 'guilt' and 'unthinkability' by writing about it, talking about it, thinking about it, feeling it. Forgive me if it sounds odd, but it sounds like you know it's time to go, so you have to work through those undesirable emotions related to leaving a situation which is dragging you under. It is no longer unthinkable because you have written it here and you are heading in a direction in which it is becoming your new reality. I wish you the best on a path that will no doubt be filled with moments of doubt, but you know you have to go down anyway.

Ellisandra Fri 13-Jan-17 14:52:48

My marriage was shit behind the scenes (he used prostitutes all the time) but my child never saw a cross word between us.

What she did see, was a totally disengaged 'couple' who socialised separately, and were NEVER affectionate with each other. If he walked past me in the kitchen, I'd instinctively turn my body further away in physical disgust.

There were a number of factors that triggered me to finally end it (btw: the prostitutes was only a suspicion at that point!).

But a major one was, imagining popping it to see my daughter and her husband and seeing her in a loveless marriage, never even kissing hello. And I pictured that and knew that it would be my fault.

It became more unthinkable and guilt inducing to me to give her a lifetime of shit relationships, that it was to put her through divorce.

I cried more that day over picturing that, than I ever did over the cheating.

4 years on...

Well dad is still cheating with prostitutes but at least his girlfriend (who dumped him temporarily for it the first time and turned a blind eye the second) seems to like him.

And my child sees me interacting warmly, and cuddling and kissing my fiancé every day, and likes to jump in shouting "family cuddle!"

I think she has a better chance now of picking a loving man/woman to be with.

MsGameandWatch Fri 13-Jan-17 16:23:44

It was my marriage itself OP. Seperation and divorce was sheer blissful relief compared to the day to day hell of living with him. I remember the week he left and it felt horrendous, I was a shaking, shivering wreck but then I thought about how it would feel if we reconciled and he moved back in and life carried on as before and the thought of that was MUCH worse.

I remember when I first became mentally ill after years of abuse thinking "I should have ended it before this happened, what will happen to my kids if I never get well, he will get them" I was so ill I couldn't be alone or look after my kids. But this little seed in the back of my mind said "if the day comes when you feel even just a tiny bit better you need to get him out that day" and that's what I did. I can't tell you how much I regret letting it get that far though.

MsGameandWatch Fri 13-Jan-17 16:27:50

The month before I insisted my ex leave the family home, I was unable to leave the house and most of those days I was in bed, shaking uncontrollably, feeling waves and waves of adrenaline coursing through me

OMG, I am almost crying reading that greypaw. That's what happened to me. Exactly as you describe only that went on for eight months for me.

ANewDawn Fri 13-Jan-17 16:39:53

OP I'm 10 months post convo having gone through years of agonizing over the unthinkable and the guilt. He has managed to emotionally manipulate me and it is unbearable now - were still living in same house but separate lives. 2 dc aged 12 and 10.
His behaviour has been appalling and I wish I'd just cracked on years ago. The scales have fallen from my eyes. I hate his ducking guts.
One way or another I'll be free soon and I can't wait. My advice is don't let the guilt dictate to you. His actions and behaviour are his responsibility and no-one else's. If he'd have been a decent husband he wouldn't find himself being divorced not long before retirement. Fuck him. This advice is from so un-rose tinted glasses grin

Greypaw Fri 13-Jan-17 18:41:16

Erk MsGame, eight months! I think I was lucky in having a psychologist and GP who could spot what was happening and clearly had my back. If I'd felt alone, I've no doubt I could have been gaslighted into putting up with it and thinking there was something wrong with me. How did you recover from that much stress for so long? That last month was the result of a long slow build-up for me, and during the recovery (thanks to the drugs) I found the strength to make him leave. During the slow build-up though (before the actual breakdown) I remember times the adrenaline would get so high I would pace my sitting room floor, hyperventilating, heart pounding and flicking my hands compulsively to try and burn off some of the anxiety. Do you relate to that at all?

OP, really don't let it get to that state. I'm concerned about your last crossed-out sentence, because I thought those things too, during those very dark days. Sometimes you can be emotionally abused to such an extent, and feel so trapped in your situation, that you convince yourself that "vanishing" is the perfect solution and would actually be doing everyone else a favour. This is disrupted thinking. What support to you have when you're feeling low?

FWIW, the breakdown for me was before my exH left the house. After that times were hard, but oh so liberating. The weight that had lifted was so significant. There were hardships afterwards but not of the mental kind, not to that extent anyway. I might have been impoverished and hungry with an uncertain future, but the future at least could be exciting now. It the only way to get out alive and therefore a price worth paying.

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