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.
Advice please!! Do stay or go??(31 Posts)
Hi everybody, I am new to this site and am posting because I am feeling very confused. I would appreciate your feedback and advice...
I have been with dh for 9 years and to put it mildly, he is a very mixed up man. He was physically abused as a child by his grandma, who used to whip him and his brothers. He is almost like Jekyll and Hyde.
He has a side that is charming, funny, kind, generous, loving, a great father etc etc. but he has a hidden side that only those living with him would see. On the other hand he is controlling, insecure, angry, passive aggressive, gives the silent treatment or kicks off, slamming doors etc. when things don't go his way. He is critical of me, my friends and my family. He is also overbearing, turning up when I am doing something that doesn't involve him, calling up to 8 times a day.
At first I believed that all of the attentive behaviour was romantic but it makes you feel watched and a bit paranoid. His mood can change like the wind, and you start to second guess his moods and feel like you are walking on eggshells. He has OCD and makes up little scenarios in his head - and if things doing go along with the plans or procedures that he has got in his head, he just can't handle it.
We also get into arguments, usually because he is not happy with something that I have said or done whilst we were out together. In 9 years, we have had around 8 big fights, where I have ended up being hit, grabbed around the throat or shaken and dragged around the room. I have fled the house on 2 - 3 occasions to get away from him. One of these incidents ended with me calling the police and he subsequently has a police caution for DV against me.
Each time there would be drink involved and DH would always call me a psycho (which I'm not) or an alcoholic (nope, I'm not) during these rows. In my mind, I believed at the time that he would start the rows - usually by accusing me of flirting (which I wasn't) and then the name calling would begin when I would finally react after 20 or so minutes of being taunted and shouted at. I.e. I would shout back and he would say - "There you go again, look at you... You're a psycho!!" and then of course things would escalate from there. Because of this name calling, I always believed that I was partly to blame for this.
However two weeks ago I arranged to go out with an old friend. DH was moody and distant with me for the entire week leading up to the night out. He would drop things into the conversation like describing a dream he had where my friend and I were flirting with men during our night out (we didn't, haven't & wouldn't). He said that were going to get really really drunk and come in late which was really disrespectful to him. He said on the Wednesday morning, in front of his teenage daughter that 'there was going to be a divorce on Sunday' because of what I would get up to on my night out.
I kept to my plans and went out for a lovely meal with my friend, had a prosecco and G&T. We met up with him and some of his friends briefly in a club where they were drinking, for about an hour, on our way home from the restaurant before getting a taxi home at about 11.30, he was being a bit funny with me still, and didn't want to come home, so I left him out with his friends.
Minutes after I arrived home, he arrived and immediately started an argument with me. He said that he was 'disappointed' with how I had acted when my friend and I came to meet him. He started saying that I had ignored him in favour of my friend and got really jealous and said loads of horrible things about us both.
I told him he was being immature and that I would expect better from a 45 year old man and his response was to hit me. Twice. Full on face slaps originating from his shoulder. I was thrown back. I told him that it was over and that he would have to leave. He said that he would never leave, rushed at me and tried to pick me up and lock me outside of the house. If I hadn't held on to the range for dear life, he would have got me out. I am only 8st and 5'1"!!
I locked myself in the bathroom and he unlocked the door from the outside and came in 3 times to try and taunt me into fighting with him, squaring up to me and saying the cruellest things to me about me and my friend. I looked down and didn't say a word In the end I left and stayed away for 2 nights. I was covered in bruises, had a handprint on my left cheek and bruising to the eye socket and jawline for about 5 days.
What was different about this time is that I was sober. I knew it was nothing that I had done. Which then leads me on to all the previous times that I believed in my heart that I had been taunted into a fight and then hit during that fight. So I had clarity that they were not my fault either.
Two weeks later I am here at home still. I have told him many times that it is over and he is so apologetic and loving and is now going to counselling and talking about his past. It's really hard. I feel like something broke inside me that night and I can see him for what he really is. I feel detached from him and I don't think I love him any more. He is of course all over my like a rash, being loving, sweet, crying... which makes me feel uncomfortable and pressured.
I dream about being away and starting a new life with my daughter. I think its the guilt that is keeping me there.
Has anyone been in this situation before? Do men like this change? Can they?? I just wish I knew what to do. Do I give it one last try? I feel like as time goes on, this will all be brushed under the carpet again and I will feel compromised.
Thanks - sorry it's such a long one!
Next time he may kill you.
Give it another try and you roll that dice.
You do know what to do,that is why you're here.The hard bit is doing it and doing it it without putting yourself at risk.
You now realise he won't change and the being 'nice'wont last.For yourself and your daughter's sake get out of this relationship.
Talk to friends,family about what is happening but above all be safe.
my ex DH was like this on a smaller scale. He was sexually abused by his sister when he was a child (I did not know this when we were together)and he was a very angry person. When life went his way he was the nicest guy in the world but he had a very dark side and would get very angry over non significant things. I had all that, the sulking when I went out, the ignoring me for days, it was like walking on egg shells and my whole life was governed by what mood he was in. He says he was never violent to me because he never actually hit me but he did things like head lock me, kick me, push me and twist my arm behind my back.
He would never have left and so one day I got my son and my handbag and went...and never looked back.My main reason for going was because I did not want my son growing up in a household like this, for this behaviour to be deemed by him as normal and I have explained to him this is not how relationships work and you cannot treat people like that.
He will not change, well he will, he will get worse and worse and as AF says, the final result could end up with him killing you. You cannot brush this under the carpet, you have to pull up your big girl pants and face things head on....out that door.
It won't change.This behaviour is deeply ingrained and you risk your life staying with him.
Do you have family? What about the friend you went out with? Do they know? Please get out today.
Men like you describe do not change.
Why do you feel at all guilty?.
Start a new life with your daughter and yourself. She certainly cannot afford to learn such damaging lessons on relationships.
You know the honest answer already. He's increasing in physical violence. Yes he had a shitty start at life, doesn't mean he can destroy yours in the same way. If you feel strong enough leave straight away and report to the police. Get it logged. Have you got somewhere safe to go? Don't fall for all the niceness in between incidents, its always there brewing under the surface. Regardless of how hard he is trying and even if he could change he has treated you worse than an animal, and you deserve more.
You also need to show your daughter this isn't healthy. What would you do if it was a friend? What would you say? Then tell yourself the same. Its tough to leave, but it possible.
I stopped reading when I got to him grabbing you by the throat.
Why do you even want to try, the man is physically, emotionally and verbally abuses you, this has fuck all to do with love, he just wants to control you, you are nothing but a convenience to him and when you are an inconvenience, he just closes you down like you are nothing.
Please get out of this horrible situation, I pity that poor daughter of yours, having to suffer this shit, it's not her fault is it.
It's like a scene from Jeremy Kyle; I get that some women find it hard to leave an abusive man but fgs, your child, what about her?
He will NEVER change, and I don't care if he was beaten black and blue as a child, he's choosing to abuse you; he likes the power, the control, what a sad weak bastard of a man.
Up to you OP, I assume you have all your faculties and are choosing to stay and allow this to carryon, don't mean to sound harsh but you are the only person who can change this situation.
Why would he, he's loving having you like a puppet and see all that accusing of flirting, cheating etc, that's called projection, in other words this is what he is doing to you and making sure you are not doing the same.
One last try is just you basically setting yourself up for more of the same.
You are a person in your own right, go out there and live a life you want, don't allow this weak person to dictate the rest of your life; you can change things.
Please go to the Police and report the attack. Contact WA. Get some advice form a lawyer and get him out of the house.
I agree with AF. Next time he might kill you.
Please please call Womens Aid 0808 2000 247
This vile human being is abusive at the highest level possible.
I don't give a shit about his past.
HE is in control of how HE behaves now.
And HE chooses to attack you and abuse you in every way there is.
Womens Aid can help you with an exit plan.
Do have family or friends you could go to or talk to.
The 'nice guy' will be gone soon enough and you will be at risk again.
Your poor DC having to live with this.
What a horrible example of a relationship for them.
Your DC will become a victim of abuse or like your DH, an abuser.
Get out now.
Save yourself and save your DC.
If you really aren't ready for that yet (which I doubt you are, although posting here is an excellent 1st step) then please get and read the Lundy Bancroft book Why does he do that?
In reality your first step is to get any important documents out of the house to a friends or work or somewhere safe.
Passports, birth certs, marriage cert, bank account details, his wage information, pension info, etc.....
Then pack up an 'escape' bag.
Put it somewhere he won't find it but is easily to hand.
So money in there, an outfit for you and DC.
Then when you feel strong enough you need to call Womens Aid.
Get out safely. Right now you are in real danger. WA can help you with all of this.
Did you get photo's of your injuries?
If you still have the bruises then take pictures now.
Report him to the police for assault.
If a person in the street did this to you, what would you do?
Report that person of course.
He did this to you where you are supposed to feel safest.
I'll say it again.
AND DO IT AS FAST AND SAFELY AS POSSIBLE!
You cannot save or rescue this monster.
But you can save yourself and your DC!
Also google 'co-dependency' you will find yourself there!
Wow! He's absolutely abhorrent.
I hope you've taken in all abovementioned and making plans to get out quick.
Good luck OP
Can you seriously imagine if your DD was in a relationship with a man who did this to her????
This is her future if you stay!
It really really is.
If you don't believe us then google 'the cycle of abuse'
You might not want to leave for you but you absolutely have to protect your DD.
She has no choice in this. Don't make her another victim.
Lots of people have horrible childhoods growing up with abusive families. This isn't an excuse for his behaviour. He's making choices to hurt you, to control you and prevent you from leaving.
Please phone Women's Aid/ Refuge's National Domestic Violence helpline. They will help you leave safely.
You need to leave ASAP. Who will look after your daughter if he kills you; its only been in the news recently where a poor chap was killed by ONE punch- think how easily it could happen. How do you think he will behave towards her when you aren't there to take it instead?
You are teaching her about adult relationships. What lesson do you want her to learn.
If he was truly sorry and capable of change he wouldn't have done it the first place.
I'm really shocked that anyone would ask for a second opinion on this. Breaking up this toxic marriage is long overdue.
Keep yourself safe O P.
Please phone women's aid. Get out now. Totally agree with AF his behaviour is escalating and next time he may kill you or your daughter. ( many kids get hurt trying to defend mum from an attack ). He may be charming now but next time will be worse ( and he will hold it against you - you forgave me, I am sorry, I can't help it ).
You deserve more than this.
Thank you so much for all your replies. Quite hard to read, but all totally right. I appreciate your time and it has helped me so much. I find that over time I have normalised his behaviour and hence this is where the guilt comes from. I have only my Dad and brother for family and couldn't talk to them and my friends are very diplomatic and wouldn't be so honest and frank in what they say, so thank you.
Just to let you know that my DD is from my first marriage. He also has two DD from his first marriage and none of this violence has ever been whilst they are in the house. But they are all aware of his 'moods' and used to walking on eggshells around him. I know that I cannot control his relationship with his two DD's but I want better for my DD. This is a major cause of concern for me. I want to show her what is important and what she must stand for in life... how can I do that if I am not even doing it myself??
I have already said to him 'what if someone had done this to one of our girls? You would tell them to leave' and he agrees. I am fully aware of the example that I am setting to my DD (as she is my responsibility) by staying and being a doormat.
So, the latest. He took me out tonight for a 'make up' dinner. Over the course of the conversation, I told him again (4th time in 2 weeks) that I cannot get past what he has done and it is over. He has come home, packed his bags and gone. I feel relief. I am in the house on my own.
I will report the abuse to the police. And see what tomorrow brings.
Please bolt the door from the inside OP. All the doors in the house, actually.
I'm glad he's gone and I hope his absence helps you maintain your resolve.
This man is dangerous. He doesn't deserve you
Thanks Janice. I have one door that I can't bolt.
I have called the police and they want to see me. Scary stuff.
Well done for sticking to your guns. I got more and more horrified as I read your opening post.
He is so violent and he knows exactly what he's doing. He's also paranoid and insanely jealous on top of it.
I suspect he knows you can do a lot better than him, so he tries abusive reversed psychology, by accusing you of flirting and making up his stupid dreams.
On top of the violence, he's suffering from Othello syndrome (Google it) and that didn't end well.
Delighted to hear you've found the strength to get him to leave! So sorry OP , but I've been there too . Please lock the doors and switch off your phone.
I could have written your original post - even down to your DH's abusive childhood, the overly romantic start followed by obsessive calls when I'm away from home, me and my DS (his stepson) walking on eggshells for years, the escalating verbal abuse and insane accusations - leading to to a police caution for hitting me.
And don't get me started on the endless 'make-up dinners' . We could have bought a house on what he's forked out for those.
Thanks Sandy and Lapsed.
It is so amazing to hear from people who have been there and bought the T-shirt. I have no one to talk to really and its very isolating as you know.
OMG! I have just googled Othello Syndrome.... its him
I read your post as it really resonated with me. Exactly the way my husband behaved. The same accusing, sulking, alcoholic taunts, psycho name calling. Except for the physical abuse. He never hit me but would throw things,threaten suicide, break things. He actually broke his foot kicking a wall in temper. Of course it was always my fault.
It was not. It's not. Get out of this relationship now. I know what it is like to question yourself, when you think maybe there is something wrong with me. There isn't.
I broke up my marriage. I never looked back. Get yourself back. Have faith in yourself. Keep you and yours safe
Thank you. I am so glad you found the strength to get out. x
Join the discussion
Please login first.