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Abusive partner - 24 weeks pregnant. What can I do?(4 Posts)
I really need advice, I'm 24 and 6 months pregnant. I'm with (but not living with) an abusive partner (the baby's dad). Basically he is emotionally but not physically abusive so I can't really report him to the police but what he does is still incredibly controlling and harmful. It's a bit of a long story but without all the facts it doesn't make a lot of sense.
We have been together for about 18 months. I think he was attracted to me because I was vulnerable. I suffer from mental health issues (well managed I should add), one of which is bipolar disorder. When I first got together with my partner, I was going through a process of finding out which medication was right for me, meaning I was changing meds a lot and was kind of 'out of it' a lot of the time. Although I noticed warning signs with him even in the beginning of the relationship, I wasn't really able to see the bigger picture or string of events at the time. A few weeks in to the relationship, he began obsessing over my instagram account, finding photos I was tagged in and accusing me of having asked random accounts to display my photos. It turned out that the accusations weren't completely unfounded as random accounts had stolen some photos from my account (I was doing a lot of modelling work at the time), so I forgave my partner the accusations and his behaviour.
However, not long afterwards, I agreed to leave him in my house alone whilst I went to the gym. He was streaming a football match on my laptop. I was about half way through my workout when I got a text asking me to come home as soon as possible. Understandably, I thought this was an emergency so I left straight away. When I got home, he told me that he had been reading through my emails on my laptop and had found out a very personal story about my past. I hadn't told him this story yet as it was fairly soon in the relationship and I wasn't ready to share that with him yet. We discussed it for a long time and he promised then never to go through my things again.
Things seemed to get worse from there on, he would call me and if I didn't answer, I'd get a text saying 'I want to talk to you' and he wouldn't stop calling and texting until I answered no matter how busy I was. He would try to discourage me from going out with friends or insist that he came with me. If we went out together, he would make sure nobody else spoke to me all night and wouldn't let me go anywhere, even to the toilet, on my own. He would insist that I told him any time I had a message from a guy on social media and regularly ask me if I had had any messages in case I forgot to tell him. I felt the need to hide things from him because he tried to control every decision I made, including telling me I couldn't wear a waist trainer in the gym or have lip fillers. The one time I did go out without him, we argued. I was staying at a friend's that night and he took it upon himself to drive over 50 miles to my friends house, uninvited, to speak to me. I was asleep when he got there so wasn't answering my phone. He somehow managed to wake another friend that lived close by, who finally woke me up. When I saw him, he blamed me for being asleep and tried to make me come home. I refused because I was too tired, so he waited outside in his car until the morning. As soon as I woke up, he guilted me into coming home with him.
As much as I was unable to see how serious the issue was, I must have known on some level that I wanted out of the relationship because I turned to infidelity. Although I didn't outright cheat, I signed up to online dating. He found out what I had been doing when he went through my phone. Somehow, we got through it, although with hindsight it's clear that this should have been the end. He began to trust me even less from this point. I'll admit that I had to lie to him a lot because he wouldn't let me do anything but every time I lied, he would find out, no matter how well I covered my tracks. Possibly the best example of this was when I went to have lip fillers but told him I was going shopping. I posted a picture on snapchat wearing sunglasses. From the reflection in my sunglasses in the picture, he figured out that I wasn't where I said I was going. He tried to make me send him my location by text and when I refused, he walked out of work, drove to where I had left my car and waited there for me.
In addition to this, he was spending every evening at my house. He began staying over more and more. When I tried to put a stop to the staying over because it was annoying my family, he used to insist on staying late and getting in bed with me, promising he would go home, but then 'accidentally' falling asleep and getting angry with me if I woke him up and asked him to go home. For a lot of this time, I was taking medication that made me very drowsy so I would fall into a deep sleep very quickly, making it easy for him to stay overnight without permission. I found out later that he had been going through my phone every night whilst I slept.
About a year ago, he was raped. I was there for him all the way through. He took 6 weeks off of work for stress and spent every single day and night at my house. Because of the situation, I felt that I couldn't ask him to go home. A month or so later, he proposed. Once we were engaged, he used this as an extra excuse to stay at my house every night, saying that we shouldn't spend nights apart now that we're engaged. This caused a lot of friction with my family who didn't particularly like him because of his controlling nature and were getting fed up with accommodating him, uninvited, every night.
From the beginning of the relationship, I told him I wanted to wait until marriage before I had full sex with anybody. It was obvious that he never really respected this decision and often tried to get me to change my mind. Once we were engaged, I finally gave in when I was very drunk. He promised me that we would use protection. He later admitted that although he had been using condoms, he had been making a hole in them with an earring before we had sex. This is how I got pregnant. Although I'd often said I'd love to have a baby and give up work to take care of it, he knew I was against having children outside of wedlock for religious reasons. Like every other decision I made, he couldn't respect this one. He knew that abortion would never be an option for me because it's against my religion so getting me pregnant was his way of trapping me. He has since admitted to this and said he was scared to lose me.
My family were really unsupportive and worried about me when they first found out I was pregnant. My sister wouldn't talk to me and my mum outright banned my partner from the house. They have been taking good care of me since they got used to the idea but not without nasty comments about how I've ruined my life and my career. My partner insisted that we moved in together once I got pregnant and at first I agreed. His brother owns a flat that he rents out and I agreed to view the flat. When I looked at it, t was in a horrible area that I know to be a crime hotspot. The front door had bars on the windows and the porch stank of urine. I'm no snob but this was no place to raise a baby so I refused to live there. He wouldn't accept my decision and tried everything, including threatening to leave me, to make me move into the place. My mum was happy for me to stay at home so I told him I would only move out if he found somewhere suitable. We didn't talk for about 3 weeks until he finally accepted my decision. The only exception to the was when I had to have an early scan because I had stomach pains (probably stress related). He insisted on coming to the scan and when I refused, he threatened suicide and eventually pretended to take an overdose to try to get my attention. When that didn't work, he followed me to the hospital and I had to get security to get him to leave.
I'm worried because he claims that I've been abusive to him too. In all honesty, when I first found out I was pregnant, I was taken off of all my meds and was even more of an emotional wreck than most pregnant women. During this time, I did slap him a couple of times after he called me the C word. I also scratched him on the neck, leaving a mark, because he was holding my wrists and wouldn't let go when I was trying to get out of the car. The scratches were because I was struggling to break free but he sent me loads of texts saying I'd physically abused me and made sure he sent pictures of the scratches to me too. I think he probably made the scratches worse himself because they seemed to get worse in every picture but I can't prove that.
Quite frankly, I just want him out of mine and the baby's life. I really want to tell him it's over but he's sworn he will fight me for custody if I leave him. I used to want him to see the baby but I'm scared that he will just be a negative influence on him and poison him against me because he will be bitter that he lost me. I'm also worried because he lives with his parents and if he has contact with the baby, so will they. His parents hate me because I upset him when I refused to live in the flat so I know they will poison the baby against me too. His mum is pretty psycho, she poisoned a pond full of his dad's fish after an argument and poured water in a brand new TV to get back at him. She takes care of my partners niece every day whilst his sister works and his nieces development is really stunted as a result. She's nearly 4 and still has to use a potty because she isn't properly toilet trained because my partners mum is too lazy to train her when a potty is easier. My partners mum also swears in front of his niece all the time and leaves her in front of the TV all day with no interaction and no regard for what she might be watching. I really don't want my baby being looked after (or rather neglected) by her if he goes to stay with my partner. My partners parents have banned me from the house so in my opinion they've shown no interest in their grandchild at all and have no right to be in his life now. Because of this, I think it might be better to stay with my partner so I can make sure he doesn't leave the baby with his mum. If we're separated, I'll have no say over what he does when he has contact.
My partner has described me as 'up the wall' during arguments and I know he will bring my mental health into any custody battle despite the fact that I manage it well and function normally. I see a psychiatric nurse who said that she has no concerns for my ability as a mum at all. My partner also clearly has mental health issues although these are currently undiagnosed. He has been taking anti depressants for a few months now but no official diagnosis has been made. He is emotionally unstable, there's no question about that but again, I have little proof.
I know he will never accept it if I tell him he can't see the baby but is there anything I can do about it? Could I make it so difficult to get access that he's priced out of making all the applications? Is the abuse bad enough to demand supervised contact? Can I get away with not putting him on the birth certificate? This whole situation is causing me so much stress, I just need answers.
Sorry this post is so long but as you can see if you've gotten through it, it's a really complicated situation. Any helpful advice is much appreciated x
I wish i could offer advice OP but i can't, i just wanted to say stay strong, your clearly managing you MH well and sounds like you'll be a great mum, your already so protective of your baby. I hope you get out of this situation asap.
Please contact Womens Aid 0808 2000 247
They can help you with all of this.
Put you in touch with local support services.
His abuse is monumental. It really is.
Once you get him away then you can have your baby in peace.
Go and register the baby on your own and you won't have to put him on the birth certificate.
EA is now a criminal offence. So I would suggest to log all of this with the police.
Call 101 and ask for the DV team. They can also help you.
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