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Struggling with guilt so I wrote a list........

(77 Posts)
pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 16:46:06

My exOH has really done a number on me. I love him, I always will, 21 years and 2 DC's but emotionally and verbally abusive increasing in severity in the last 3 years. I feel guilty as he says he has nothing and he adores me and he is heartbroken. I feel like a shell of my formal self, and I know I need to work on myself a lot. Even after typing the list, I still feel GUILTY! My sister told me to write a list today so here it is. I am posting it so I can refer to it when I wobble again.

1. Constant competition about who does more (I work FT, take a lot of the childcare pre and post work and weekends, cook, shop, taxi the kids around, he was a SAHD), the kids are now with me most of the time)
2. Making me feel guilty if I spend any of my precious time with anyone but him.
3. Constant critisism: innocuous , passive aggressive, daily comments.
4. Jekyll and Hyde: not knowing what kind of mood he would be in. Eggshells.
5. The constant comments have made me anxious about almost every action I do because he has questioned my motives : putting lipstick on, making dinner and making any kind of mess, stacking the dishwasher wrong, using my phone...the list goes on and on.
6. Not feeling in the slightest bit appreciated, its all about hard life is on you. This is a kicker because he hasn't once tried to find work since we relocated overseas and have been quite content for me to push and find work. If he was happy in the role, I wouldn't give a shit.
7. Having to modify my parenting style (I'm more relaxed, he is like a sergant major).
8. Anytime we leave the house is always accompanied by stressing/ shouting etc
9. Not believing me if I say I am tired or feel unwell.
10. His needs always trumped mine.
11. Talking over me, putting down my opinions. Teeling me I wear rose tinted glasses.
12. Dismissing any ideas over bettering myself as "wellness bullshit"
13. Feeling uncomfortable in my own home (inviting people over etc was a very rare occurance).
14. Feeling guilty about going to the gym (which he never wanted to me to join) or going out in general.
15. Feeling like I cannot be close to my family as his is so dysfunctional
16. Drinking to excess. 4 month driving ban earlier in the year, but continues to drink drive.
17. Showing the boys how disappointed he is in them when they are just being kids.
18. Attacking me or the boys personally in an argument. eg. you ALWAYS do this, look at your face blah blah blah.
19. Calling me a cunt, spitting at me, hands round my throat, and to fuck off repeatedly in front of the boys.
20. Projecting your lack of self worth onto me.
21. Rarely complimenting me, now I have left he has said nicer things to me than you have in the last 3 years put together. I've been gone a week.
22. Never giving a reason to doubt my faithfullness, but he still never trusted me implicitly.
23. Everything is always about him, passive aggressive ways of getting his own way.
24. I always did things to make him happy, not me. In the hope he would be in a good mood.
25. Lack of ambition and drive, leaving me to solve everything.
26. No affection outside the bedroom. Literally none.
27. Accusing me of making up reasons not to have sex (We did, at least 3 times a week so he wasn't not getting any, I have had ongoing issues with the coil) but refusal for him to wear condoms.
28. No desire to see me grow or better myself.
29. Miserable and negative about everything, always a pessimist.
30. Twisting what I say or forgetting whole conversations.
31. Making me feel guilty when I travel with work (or if I call home while I am away).
32) Sucking the joy out of every happy occasion: birthdays, weddings, christmas etc.
33) Mean with money.

And yet, I still wonder if it was the right decision....................and feel terrible for leaving him devastated.

mouldycheesefan Mon 20-Feb-17 16:49:55

Congratulations on freeing yourself of this crap. 💐
It's best you have a supportive sister, keep talking to her. See if you could get some counselling. You have lost a deadbeat, drunk driving, horrible man who treated you dreadfully. Keep movingly foReard one step at a tim. Well done.

user1479305498 Mon 20-Feb-17 16:51:09

bloody hell--thats some list.

xStefx Mon 20-Feb-17 16:54:20

Op he is playing the victim , and the second you
Go back to him that list becomes reality again . Keep reading it when you feel weak x

228agreenend Mon 20-Feb-17 16:55:59

No 19) hands around your throat

That alone is a sufficient reason to leave. Domestic violence is never acceptable.


He has verbally, physically and mentally abused you. From now onwards you need to out yourself and dcs first. Take care of them and you.

HelenaGWells Mon 20-Feb-17 16:56:32

DO NOT GO BACK UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES. It was absolutely the right decision. You don't have to read past number one to know that assuming I've read it correctly that he was SAHD but you did all the childcare whilst at home, all the cooking cleaning, shopping and taxiing? What on earth did he actually do whilst at home all day, especially as I'm assuming the kids are at least school age?

Of course he is devastated he has to be a big boy and grow the fuck up. You did everything for him, earnt all the money, cooked all the meals, did all the shopping, did all the childcare apart from what a couple of hours each side of school? You also slept with him 3 times a week and did everything he wanted and nothing you wanted. No wonder he's upset.

It is all awful but two things really stand out to me. This Calling me a cunt, spitting at me, hands round my throat, and to fuck off repeatedly in front of the boys. this is domestic violence and is NEVER acceptable. Also this Drinking to excess. 4 month driving ban earlier in the year, but continues to drink drive. is just horrifying, dangerous, irresponsible and reckless. Please OP I would beg you to report him if you know he is drink driving, you could save someone's life.

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 16:58:32

Helena: he did do some drop offs in the morning and pick ups from school and cooked. What i was saying is I wasn't an absent parent. Thought about that about reporting him. I will do if I know he is.

DelphiniumBlue Mon 20-Feb-17 17:02:13

He's devastated that he's lost his slave, mealticket and punchbag. He doesn't care about you, ( see point 19 if you are in any doubt).
You feel guilty because he's manipulated you for so long.
He's upset because his easy life is over, he's going to have to support himself.
You say you still love him, what exactly do you mean? He doesn't sound loveable at all. You haven't mentioned any good points about him at all, and its hard to see what it is about him that you love.
Hopefully you love your children more, and will continue to be strong for them, so that they don't have to keep witnessing the appalling treatment of their mother by their father. It must have been a horrible environment for them.
I would bet a lot of money that he is not in fact heartbroken, just pissed off that you've finally seen the light. If he loved you and cared for you, he would have made sure that he didn't treat you like shit.
Keep strong and do what you know is right for your children, keep them away from this bully.

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 17:09:58

Delphinumblue: I do love my kids more of course. Me and the boys have a great bond, and I think I am a good mum. The violence was a one off, it had never happened before and that was 7 months ago after a drunken night out. I love him like I would I suppose a dysfunctional family member. We have been together since my 17th birthday. I have lived with him a longtime. In between all these episodes, we would get on quite well. I think I have been denial a long time because the thought of hurting him has always weighed heavy on my mind.

But I am out now, in my own home, with the boys. I am stronger than i have ever been.

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 17:10:55

By the way, I am a nurse (totally caring by nature), I have a Masters degree and every one I know will say I am a strong independent woman. Its what u have been reduced too so please don't judge me sad

RandomMess Mon 20-Feb-17 17:16:10


How great you are only 38 and many more years ahead of you on your own without him being a millstone around your neck!!!!

pocketsaviour Mon 20-Feb-17 17:59:05

Nobody here will judge you OP (or if they do, we all will give them a hmm face)

You have been trapped in this marriage with things slowly getting worse and worse until you don't know which way up you are, right from wrong, abuse from love.

You have done a fantastic thing winning free for you and your DC.

What is the situation now? Has he moved out? Have you taken legal advice on moving the separation forward?

Keep strong OP flowers Your sister sounds great! Keep talking to her too smile

Gowgirl Mon 20-Feb-17 18:03:02

If a man puts his hands round your throat he is statistically more likely to kill you.

Stay strong opflowers

RandomMess Mon 20-Feb-17 18:08:15

I missed #19


I think if you read up you've been stuck in a co-dependent relationship - speak to Women's Aid and book in to do the freedom programme, I believe it can be done on-line too.

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 18:08:19

pocketsaviour: I moved out mainly because I knew he wouldn't, the boys are mainly with me. He says he will change etc etc. I tried to leave in the summer after the throat incident. He persuaded me to stay. I have some great friends, not many locally as I live overseas, but I have a good support network. His is generally ok with the boys and they like spending time with him (for now) and he is a better person when I am not around.

Its taken me a long time to build up my confidence enough to be strong enough to leave. I think I need therapy because his negativity is still in my head. He wasn't always in my face aggressive, but a lot more passive aggressive most of the time, which actually made me question on occasions if I was losing the plot. His mother was here in Jan and I saw how he treated her with the same tone and contempt as me, and it upset me he did that to someone else. Then I started to realise he treats me like that too, and I am better than that.

My parents, friends, colleagues who I have told have been very supportive. People are checking in with me daily. Ironically I am usually the go to person for advice, but I haven't been able to take anyone elses up until now about my own situation. We aren't married, not that that makes much difference, and soon i will tell him we need to sell the house and instruct legal advice. For now I am treading carefully.

ptumbi Mon 20-Feb-17 18:09:18

He really has done a numner on you OP! It's not so much that you feel guilty for doing what you've done (well done btw!) - he has made you, over 21 years, feel that you should feel guilty - so you feel guilty if you do and guilty if you don;t, IYSWIM!

You will eventually stop feeling guilty, because he will no longer have that 'hold' over you. And then, you will see what a f-ing cunt he is.

Until then, keep going. And you have doing the right thing! 100%.

Zumbarunswim Mon 20-Feb-17 18:09:43

Congratulations on leaving! He sound scarily like my estranged husband. He's conditioned you to think only his needs matter. It'll just take time to get a normal perspective. Just appreciate every moment of being away from all those horrible things you've listed. cake

pudding21 Mon 20-Feb-17 18:20:11

Sorry about interchanging "you" and "him" in my first post. I was writing it as to him and changed it to you for the sake of the post. Thanks for the support smile

RandomMess Mon 20-Feb-17 18:43:32

Thank goodness you weren't married, I think he is just devastated that his meal ticket has gone and he's going to have to support himself!

noego Mon 20-Feb-17 19:29:26

If you where put on the stand in court and tried I'm sure a jury would find you not guilty.
So walk free OP.

onanotherday Mon 20-Feb-17 19:33:31

Pudding💐💐 well done...stay strong.xx I could tick nearly every point...including the spitting and grabbing you round the neck. I was so shocked..been together 20 years. I fought to 'change'him..make him see the lovely family he had. i did the pick me dance when he left....i didnt know then that he would go on to fail in every area..later diagnoise with BPD..alcoholic..etc...l've got a professional job etc ....just didn't see it. I called him my soulmate. took years for me and dc's to move on. Just please don't look back.
Im 49 now and still hopeful of a new will get through.x

pocketsaviour Mon 20-Feb-17 19:33:40

Not being married is actually a good thing because if you were he would potentially have a claim for spousal maintenance, being the SAHD.

I'm glad you have such good support around you. Listen to those people, okay?

It's so hard to leave an abusive relationship. You have had years and years of listening to him tell you that you're worthless, that nobody else would ever want you, that you are making a fuss over nothing. It destroys your confidence and belief in your own mind.

You are doing really well.

Is there any organisation locally which is similar to Womens Aid in the UK?

Do your children have UK passports?

oneohfivethreeeight Mon 20-Feb-17 19:41:33

He sounds a total shit and you are well rid of him.

Greaterexpectations Mon 20-Feb-17 19:49:42

Pudding, what a strong woman you are, having the strength to live through all that and then the even greater strength to leave. Keep reading that list and adding to it if you feel a wobble coming. We're all here willing you on flowers

ZaZathecat Mon 20-Feb-17 19:52:56

You have NO reason to feel guilty.

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