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How do you prepare to leave(18 Posts)
Have been reading these boards quite a lot over the past few years and posted once or twice for advice under different names.
Main problem is that DH had an abusive childhood. He is as a result very sensitive about being 'belittled', 'put down', 'patronized' etc. This includes when I disagree with him, or challenge him in any way.
He becomes very angry when this happens. I think he is also depressed and anxious (runs a stressful business) but he won't recognise this/ seek any help. Is miserable most of the time though.
We had counselling a year ago, but it didn't really help - the counsellor just told us to spend more time together, suggested ways to communicate etc. I now see a counsellor on my own, which is really helpful.
Last night it came to a head. I had been to a school meeting - system here changing - and was trying to explain to DH new system (he had not been to the meeting). It got into a disagreement about the facts. He yelled at me that I was 'trying to put him down', he cannot have an opinion, I just talk over him etc. At no point did I interrupt him or talk over him, I just disagreed With him ( had sat in meeting for an hour and a half so felt reasonably well informed about it). He eventually came up close and yelled 'you fucking bitch' in my face. I had my hands up to defend myself and pushed him away, it was pretty intimidating. He then started yelling that I had 'laid hands on him'.
throughout all this, DS aged 9 was awake. I kept asking DH to keep his voice down but he wouldn't. I went up and comforted DS but I know I have to go.
Question is: where do you start? Do I need a solicitor? Financial advice? I will have to leave the house since it comes with DHs job. Where on earth do you start? What should be the priorities? Really grateful for any advice at all.
I'm not too expert on this but hopefully someone else will be along soon! From other threads I've read I think speaking with a solicitor is first port of call and take advice from them. Sorry you're going through this hope you and your son can get away and begin to rebuild soon
I wasn't married so leaving for me was a lot different. I would definitely contact womens aid or at least check out their website as there is a lot of help there re: financials etc.
What I would say is that when you do end things, don't go into all the reasons you're leaving. This was something that I probably would have done had I not read the advice on here. But as you say your DH can get angry etc. when put down, the best thing to do is just tell him it's not working out and that YOU want to end things. He may then play the victim but at least it is better than a big argument. It's a losing battle when you explain to them all the reasons why you want to leave, as it'll make him more angry. That's probably the only advice I have really. But just get all your ducks in a row, look into renting if you can't afford to buy a property, also keep saving money. Good luck and it definitely sounds like you need to get out soon xx
Call Women's Aid. And go see a solicitor, or several solicitors, for the initial free consult. You should be able to get some good advice from those guys.
Take along information with you like how long you have been married, how much money each earns, what your housing/financial situation is like. Make clear to the solicitors that you have a high-conflict/abusive partner and see if they seem to have a clue about that. Women's Aid may be able to recommend specific firms.
Do you have friends or family in the area who would offer support, whether logistical or emotional? Start telling them what is happening and get them in your corner.
I know this is a hard situation. Best wishes.
Totally agree with meowimacat, dont bother explaining why you are leaving, it will only end up with shouting, tears, aggression etc. Once I stopped telling my DH off for everything he had done to me (and it wasn't that much, and I have done my fair share to him as well), then it all got a lot easier and we started working together on how to do it best. We have even agreed to stay living together for another 3-6 months so that we can both save for deposits on new rentals.
But of course you should hope for the best and expect the worst. So do prepare. As you don't own the house, I am not sure that you would benefit much from seeing a solicitor, unless you are financially dependant on him or you disagree about living arrangements for your child.
Work out in your head how you would like to do it, and present it to him. I find it much easier to talk about the practical side of things than the emotional, and hopefully so will you.
You could even consider taking up the counselling again for help with the breakup?
Thank you for all the advice. I appreciate the point about not getting into blame, explaining reasons etc. Can see why that would not work and will stay off the topic.
No, not forces. We are luckily financially Ok - thank God I kept working - but will need financial input from DH to afford another house. I hope he is willing to give it.
Have contacted a relationships counsellor to talk through my own reasons for leaving. I can't see that attending with DH would help.
Women's Aid, I thought was more for directly abusive situations? dH has not hurt me physically, in fact he would probably say that my pushing him away was abuse of him. But I will look t the website.
Thank you again.
I would talk to Women's Aid anyway. If he uses anger or his mental health issues/sad past to manipulate you into not disagreeing with him, it is certainly deeply unhealthy and possibly emotionally abusive.
Raising voice, calling you a fucking bitch is definitely verbally abusive. Abuse isn't always about hitting, and it's not always about some psycho who carries out a coldhearted, deliberate campaign of abuse. Maybe he can't do any better, but if it's possible he's going to cling onto you and blame you and dick you around like most abusive partners, you will be better armed if you get advice from the experts.
Take a look at this thread if you haven't already
but if it isn't useful to you, don't waste time on it, just focus on moving forward with your life.
With respect op, the main problem is not that your dh had an abusive childhood, it's that he is an abusive adult. A lot of people have been abused as children who don't do it to others. Yelling and swearing at you is abuse. Indimidation is abuse.
Hitting you is just another abusive behaviour but it isn't in and of itself where abuse begins and ends.
I went out with someone like your dh. I would make a completely neutral comment (not even a vague connection to him) and he would go mental, saying that I was belittling him. In the end he did hit me (that's when I left), and he pursued a private anger management course because he'd been losing control at work, swearing at colleagues etc.
You're worried about the way your express yourself because you think what you say to him is connected to his reaction, but it isn't. He's a bully, his anger is out of control and no one can get it in hand but him.
Op I had one similar to you - he felt "I disrespected him" or I critisied him - when I used to ask him to do things - he had previously hit me as well - I called the police the last time - he was arrested and charged and I have a restraining order against him. Do call women's aid - they have local branches and I used to see someone to talk through things. Take care
Thanks. I will look at the thread. I looked at the WA definition of abuse and it doesn't seem to fit DH - only the one about having to change your behaviour to avoid conflict.
I'm sorry arousingcheer that you went out with someone similar. It's the completely neutral comments which elicit such a strong reaction, isn't it? I just disagreed with him last night. I don't see that as a personal criticism of him, but he does.
The thing is, the rest of the time he is great. Supportive, helpful, generally great with the kids who adore him.
Am so confused. Will read the thread signalled and see if that helps. Thankyou all.
I'm on your side op. Don't sell yourself short.
'The rest of the time' is when you're keeping your mouth shut, making sure he doesn't feel threatened, second-guessing yourself, stopping yourself expressing an opinion or making some neutral comment that he may unaccountably find offensive or enraging. 'The rest of the time' is not coincidentally ok and 'great', because you're contorting yourself. He knows he can't be an arsehole 100% of the time, so that's what's happening 'the rest of the time'.
I don't care how supportive someone is if they might at any stage start shouting that I'm a fucking bitch.
I was sort of lucky in that arsehole ex knew there was something wrong with him because of his troubles at work so he did agree that he needed help and we were able to have counselling, which meant I could say what I needed to say and work out what I wanted to do. In that safe space I had a lightbulb moment where I realised I'd never be able to trust him again and I wanted to end it.
I'm now married to someone who is great, supportive, normal and lovely most of the time and never shouts at or insults me. I can tell him when I'm annoyed without worrying he will hit me or pull the phone out of the wall.
Thanks. Am at home and we are just about to have the conversation. I feel scared for some reason. Not that he will hurt me, but about what is to come. Worried about being lonely, and that I am making a mistake.
I know I need to do it though.
Good luck, OP. You're doing the right thing.
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