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.
Joint counselling after end of EA relationship(13 Posts)
Left H 2 weeks ago after he pushed me and swore at me in front of 3 year old DD. Reported him to the police and he has been charged with assault.
He isn't allowed to contact me, but it has become clear through his contact with the DC (conducted through other family members) that he still believes I will be going back to him and it can be sorted out.
He was EA throughout our entire 20 year relationship and frankly I am very happy to be out. I know that I have done the best thing for me and the DC.
MIL has called to say she is worried about his state of mind and would I consider attending a joint relate session with it after his trial in order to go explain to him my POV on the whole situation.
I told her that relate weren't recommended in cases of abuse and that I would have to think about the possibility of a counsellor who specialises in abuse. From everything I have read though I just don't think he is ever going to accept that his behaviour was abusive. He does have MH issues (when he was arrested he tried to stab himself). I feel very sorry for him that he is missing the DC and the perfect life he thought he had, but he needs to realise that his actions caused this. I understand that he is seeing a counsellor independently.
Just not sure what to do. I definitely need him to understand that I am not going back, but tbh was just going to get my solicitor to send a letter with proposals for divorce, finances and DC etc. Also, agreeing to MIL proposal might actually give him false hope..
I went for counselling with my abusive husband and I wouldn't recommend it at all. It still makes my blood boil to remember it. He lied to and manipulated the counsellor and made me look crazy (cos he was lying and putting the blame on me ) also disengage from his mother. It's in her interests to believe he is not that bad and you know he is but she will always side with him. Stick with your plan of solicitor- it doesn't matter what he thinks or expects. He will have conditioned you to think that his wants /needs are your top priority and it'll take you time to realise they no longer are! Enjoy this new freedom, it takes some getting used to.
Firstly - Don't feel sorry for him!!!!! The fact that you feel this about someone who abused you physically and emotionally is part of the abuse in itself.. don't fall for this manipulation, it's not going to do anyone any good and you have yourself and your dc to think of now. Cut ties, start divorce proceedings and let his mummy look after him.
This is part of the manipulation and hold he is still trying to have over you. Don't even consider it. You've done an amazing thing.
I think counselling for YOU Eould be very helpful though so you can heal xx
"MIL has called to say she is worried about his state of mind and would I consider attending a joint relate session with it after his trial in order to go explain to him my POV on the whole situation".
What you told her anyway is correct; joint counselling is NEVER recommended where there is abuse of any type within the relationship. Do not go down this particular rabbit hole. MIL is acting in her own interests here by saying that and certainly not in yours.
Such men never let go of their chosen victims easily and you are already seeing evidence of this. Your H is already using his children via family members as a way of punishing you for having the gall in his eyes to leave him.
I was wondering why you feel sorry for him; ok so you have history together and all that but he has never given any of you any consideration whatsoever. His actions were steeped in wanting absolute power and control over you and in turn these children.
I sincerely hope your Solicitor is well versed in the ways of such men like your H because he is likely going to make this whole process as long and as drawn out as possible (again as punishment against you and in turn your children).
I would certainly look at enrolling on Womens Aid's Freedom Programme as this is for people who have been in abusive relationships. Men like this take an awful long time, years even, to recover from.
What Atilla and secretlifeofbees said ^
I get you feel some element of guilt, I feel the same (almost identical situation). Ex also thinks we will still get back together, keeps telling me he knows I have feelings for him. i do actually, I still love and care about him, but the damage he has done over the last 21 years (escalating in the last 3) is too difficult to put behind me.
He is in a mess mentally, he has recently been put on anxiety meds and anti depressants. He thinks if he "sorts" himself out I will go back. I won't because I can't forget what he did, even if he says he was mentally ill at the time (because he did nothing proactive to sort himself out, it took me to leave for him to do that, or try to).
I am helping him from a distance, because I want the boys to have a positive role model in their lives, not one that abuses and control their mother. I have hope it will make him a better father in the end. I feel like I need to take my own advice, but do what you need to do for YOU and your DC.Let him sort himself out. I have been holding his hand for 21 years and I feel like I have three children. He might be in a bad place but he can only help himself.
Good luck and well done for being so strong, i know it isn't easy.
Thanks everyone. I don't think that MIL has mentioned this to him, I just think she believes she is trying to help. I should clarify that I feel sorry for him mainly because I have come back to my family 300 miles away from where we were living, and therefore he is going to be separated from the DC. This is very good for me however, I won't have to live near to him, so his abuse can be kept at a distance.
not very pithy mantra is that I did everything based on his want and wishes for 20 years and now it is my turn to do what I want (obvs with regard to what is best for the DC)
Atilla and Bees I am having counselling as well and it is very helpful. Have enrolled on the Freedom Programme; having to do it online as no course near me.
Tell your Ex MIL to go to counselling with him herself if she's so keen.
Do not engage.
pudding The "sorting himself out" yes, it is so tedious. He drops into conversations with the DC about how he is getting up at 6am every morning, going running, doing yoga etc etc. He "accidentally" sent a picture to DD of his computer in a skip. He has paid his therapy fees out of our joint account and then refunded them from his personal account. The only reason he would do this is so I would see it.
I am pleased with the progress I have made, because it doesn't annoy me, it just makes me roll my eyes at the tedium of it all.
So glad to read a message on here, from someone who has got out from under an abusive relationship and knows to not have joint counselling and to put your daughter and yourself first, cut ties and get on with you life. It very much is your turn, all the very best.
I was also with my ex for 20 years and I totally get your feelings of obligation or guilt etc the best thing to do is NOT be drawn into anything, he isn't your responsibility anymore. He is a fully grown man with the capability of making his own choices. He has chosen to act like this, you on the other hand have chosen not to be like him and exercise your absolute right to say you've had enough. End of. I have been manipulated for so many years that I couldn't even see it til now, not properly and I am still learning! (He left 1 month ago today). The trick is to just not engage at all unless it's regarding the kids. My husband is living in a flat somewhere.... I don't even know his address! I haven't asked because I don't give a shit!
I am starting divorce proceedings on the 4th April and I know I'll have to ask him where he lives which is really annoying me as I think it will give him some satisfaction in some way... well at least until the divorce petition lands on his doorstep anyway!
You've done a really brave and amazing thing for yourself and for your dc
Finally What can I say, I definitely credit MN with giving me the courage to do it. There have been some heartbreaking threads on here over the years, but the advice on those made me see that I wasn't overreacting, his treatment of me was wrong, and that I would be believed. It's just the hurdle of getting through the next few months now. Even if I am knocked over by a bus tomorrow, at least I will have died free and having set an example to my DC.
Well done for getting away after 20 years of abuse, and remember, he's had 20 years to rectify his behaviour, it's only now that you've left that he's behaving like a victim; you have to be firm here, and stand your ground, reiterate to them both that the relationship is over and you have moved on!
He's just pissed off he's lost the control over you; it's not even about him changing or accepting his behaviour and seeking counselling, for HIMSELF.
It's all blah, blah, OP, if he'd wanted a family he should have thought of that 20 years ago; I bet you wish you'd left sooner.
Your post is so refreshing, someone who has got out of an abusive relationship; of course it can be done, look at you, you're great.
Join the discussion
Please login first.