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30 years of emotional abuse

(33 Posts)
imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:11:52

NC to avoid outing.
Just that really. I feel like I've wasted the best years of my life and never been loved. I've always tried to defend myself because he just always made me feel somehow it was always my fault. Met him age 17...

I almost left 15 years ago but decided to stay for the dcs. He's never hit me but has rages and I've always walked on eggshells. I thought I was doing the right thing but now my teenage dcs tell me they can't tell dad stuff cause it might make him angry. They are careful not to say the wrong thing. They love him to bits and he's great with them 98 percent of the time. But I know I didn't do the right thing at all because I've enabled him. I thought if only I could learn how to not say the wrong thing, but following family health issues, I've woken up to know that he's always been angry and I could never have mended him.

They say you find out how strong your relationship is when it's truly tested, and our dcs health issue sure did that. He's left me to deal with all the emotional side and even after a year, won't talk about or help with the tough stuff. He puts his head in the sand and tells me to go on AD'S.

If I leave I honestly don't think I'll ever feel safe to meet anyone else. I am utterly broken.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:30:42

Hi OP
I was 20 years with a man like this. We had DC 15 years in.
I'm still working on my life (another wrong relationship (with marriage! Gah. after) and I too feel like I have never had a real love relationship.
BUT I am happy I am not living with DC dad and his emotional and financial abuse.
Even though I'm early 40s and leave been through a lot, the good news is I no longer have to live with that abuse.
Even though I feel I wanted so many years on abusive DP and now am struggling with emotionally abusive DH and realising I have sooooo much baggage from early life, I feel buoyed cos I'm not wasting any more time!
I've no sage advice, bit tired.
You're not alone and your life ain't over flowers

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:31:15

You feel broken
I know that.
But you ain't.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:31:43

You feel broken
I know that.
But you ain't.

clumsyduck Tue 21-Feb-17 22:33:43

You have so much life ahead of you op !!

And why worry about meeting someone else ?? Be single and revel in it ! Live a happy life in a happy home where you don't need to walk on eggshells flowers

DoloresAbernathy Tue 21-Feb-17 22:35:01

Imade wish I had some good advice but I'm more of a reader then poster but your post made me wish I could give you a glass of wine and a hug ( I know hugs are not very Mumsnet esk but what the hell)
Do you feel like it's time to leave?

imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:41:08

Thanks theansweris42 and sorry you had the same. I always felt that being caring, fair, reasonable was normal and right, but now I realise that just left me open to be mistreated. I'm actually a strong person underneath and resilient, but it's been emotionally battered out of me so i don't trust my opinions and thoughts.I think I'd find it impossible to be with anyone else now and I'm in my late 40s. You're still young! I hope you soon escape your abusive DH.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:47:14

You're character isn't wrong.
The abuse is HIS fault. Don't change yourself. Those who have been in abusive relationships know that it is not about being strong/weak it's that someone purposely abuses us and our trust.
It's not your fault.
We're similar age so that's enough of that smile

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:50:01

It seems you're so used to catering for him, managing his needs/moods that you've got lost....you say you'd find it impossible to be with anyone else....but that's not the benchmark, being happy and safe with yourself is what you need right now.
Never mind about future relationships, just focus on you.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:50:43

Erk. Ignore typos I am literate, honest

imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:53:43

Thanks clumsy and dolores I know it's time to leave but my dcs have big exams this summer and one has mental health issues due to the impact of medical negligence. That's another battle causing chronic stress. I'm so sad to realise I'm never experienced emotional intimacy now I know it's not the same as being intimate!
The thought of moving house is so scary. I don't belong anywhere. Dcs will be off to uni in the next couple of years. I want the best for them but it means I won't have any reason to stay in this town. We moved here for the good school anyway!
It all feels impossible. ..I'll need to find a full time job too as I only do 3.5 days atm.

imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:59:20

Theanswer thanks. I'm working on myself because I need to understand and process it all to get stronger. You're right that I've catered to him. I have argued my case plenty of times but I wasn't strong enough mainly because I didn't want to break up the family.
My self esteem was messed up by relentless childhood bullying so that didn't help. I feel I get it now. I'm not brainwashed anymore but I'm sad it's taken me this long to wake up and see it for what it is.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:59:42

It's all possible.
This very post from you is a start. You're brave and strong.
It feels insurmountable but you can deal with the things one by one.
Cos you're doing great.

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:01:33

Does it help to know it's not only you and make you believe you're not crap?

fusspot66 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:04:35

I think you'll get there in your own time. Read all you can, get your so called ducks in a row, this is only midpoint in an average lifespan for a woman.

imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:16:17

Thanks. I feel in a better place than 3 months ago when I felt 'in the wilderness' and so confused. It does help that I'm not alone and I'm not crap. Years ago I helped a friend get out of a physically abusive relationship and I recognised a lot of the behaviour in my own relationship but thought I could make it better somehow. I do know now that he was responsible for his actions though.
It was such a gradual process and I got swallowed up. Like I've wanted to break out of the box but it kept getting smaller and I couldn't see straight. I can see straight now but I can't see a good view of the future yet.
Because he decided I had to be the responsible parent for the dcs in terms of child care and the home, I've only worked part time and now I need to get myself into a better job although I'm quite fortunate that I can just about be financially independent. It will be hard though.

imadeamistake123 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:18:29

Yes I'm reading all I can to get ready for this battle!

theansweris42 Tue 21-Feb-17 23:20:35

For me, insight was/is very precious and strengthening flowers for you

imadeamistake123 Wed 22-Feb-17 08:47:55

Yes you are right. It is. But it's also troubling how I let him become the boss! Now he knows I'm not taking it any more he's a lost soul because he can't depend on my reactions any more. He always had control of money even when we earned the same. I excused him due to his upbringing but it was all wrong how i pleaded for things. It was like my money was his as soon as I was paid though he'd say we are saving for things! I should have come to mumsnet years ago and saved myself a lot of heartache.

itcuddles Wed 22-Feb-17 09:15:12

Imadeamistake you may feel like it's impossible to be with anyone else at the moment, but that's because you need to be alone and work on the confidence and self esteem this man has stolen from you. There is absolutely no reason for you to spend the rest of your life living like this. You deserve happiness and real love!

imadeamistake123 Wed 22-Feb-17 11:07:29

Thanks itcuddles but I don't think I could have a sexual relationship now after too many years of unwanted sex. My sex drive was too low according to him but I think it was because of no emotional connection that I just didn't want it. He could really nasty sometimes then come to bed and have sex with me when I was feeling so unloved. I think it's damaged my perspective on love and sex. But I will learn be be a happy single, middle aged woman!

curvyfrog Wed 22-Feb-17 11:27:42

When you leave, and I am saying when, you will take a while to resurface. I was told by a family friend who lived through a long term abusive relationship, it takes about five years to truly mend. But you will mend. Slowly, surely, things will improve.

If you have suffered much, it takes time. There is no easy way, but there is sunshine waiting through the clouds.

imadeamistake123 Wed 22-Feb-17 13:23:45

Curveyfrog, thanks. I know you are right. Realising it was all so wrong is the first step, it'll take a long time to rediscover 'me'. I need to except it will take time.

pudding21 Wed 22-Feb-17 14:20:19

imadeamistake123: Firstly, well done for posting on here for a start. Its kind of the first steps into admitting what you want to do. People will tell you to LTB and thats easy to say but I am where you are (just a little further along). I left a 21 year relationship nearly two weeks ago. I felt I had totally lost who I was, like all the time what I said and did were to apease him so he wouldn't get angry and verbal and emotionally abuse me. He has always been a bit challenging and insecure, but this escalated over the last few years. First thing I did was process what was happening to me.

Second was to try and get myself mentally and physically stronger. I started going to the gym, it was release and a bit of an escape. I started reading about EA and its impact on me and the kids. My father is a great dad to me now as a grown up, but he isn't kind to my mother and emotionally abuses her too. I think that has given me the idea that its ok to stay in a relationship where the other person always puts their needs above yours and destroys you, to make them feel better. Its NOT.

Third thing was to work through all the doubts: how would the kids cope? Finances? Friends and family? Work etc and decided, for all of the rest of my life to be happy and successful I needed to work on myself first.

It is still very raw for me and I will tell you that I feel terribly guilty for leaving and taking the kids with me (they are still seeing him regularly) I feel "lighter" than I have in years. I feel like I don't have to answer to him why or what I did etc. I don't have to walk round on eggshells. I am a long long way from being ok and back to myself. I probably need therapy. But it can be done. There will always be a reason not to, you have to start thinking of the reasons why its best for you and your family.

Good luck and keep posting, then you have a record of how you feel.

imadeamistake123 Wed 22-Feb-17 17:46:18

Pudding, thanks for posting. I hope to be as strong as you. You sound just as I feel. I'm at the processing stage and know I can't stay like this. It's scary though! I've started councelling while I can afford it. Marriage guidance didn't work not surprisingly as he didn't engage and wouldn't go back. I need to get back to exercise too.
It must be hard seeing your mum being abused😕.
I've always put others first, but that's meant walking in a lot of eggshells...
I like the ideal of feeling lighter like you. I get that feeling temporarily when he works away. I wish he'd get a job a long way away again.
My children will be off to uni soon so it'll just be me. I don't know if that's easier or harder really because I won't feel in a family any more.
Good luck on your journey too x

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