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Deciding to divorce after years of EA

(41 Posts)
WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 20:58:36

NC for this 😕

I'm so confused. Have summoned the strength to divorce but I'm still so unsure of myself.
H has always had anger problems but is so good at excusing it, saying it's the way i ask things etc. Was controlling with money though not now we're comfortable. That might be because I'm actually quite sensible with money!
I've been scared many times though he hasnt even hit me in nearly 30 years. I met him at 18 and feel hard for him though he admits he did the 'treat them mean keep them keen' strategy.
He's been sexually coercive a lot so i lost any interest though agreed to once a week to stop the moods. There was one occasion of unwanted groping when he'd been in a vile mood with me. He often has unexplained moodiness. Walking on eggshells began 'normal'.
Now after all these years he's gone to councelling and says that due to an alcholic mother (for 5 years from when he was around 10), he thought the way he's been was normal . He is sorry for how it's affected me and our family dynamic, but he can't apologise for something he didn't know was wrong. He also can't help being triggered. He's also forgotten the worse things.
He's trying to mend himself and is depressed so can't trust his judgement re marriage and divorce.
So I've started the process and he's agreed. He says it's my decision.
He projects and stonewalls and makes me feel crazy so why am i questioning myself. Maybe it's because i can't let go of the part i loved?? Help! i just dont know...

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 20:59:07

Sorry that was really long!

Cricrichan Wed 18-Oct-17 21:13:38

Don't question yourself. You've spent three decades walking on eggshells, having to have sex with someone to keep him.quiet etc. And his excuse is that he can't help.It because of his alcoholic mother? He could at least apologise and make it up to you.

Leave him or at least separate just so you can see what living a free life without having to put up with this kind of shot is like.

Cricrichan Wed 18-Oct-17 21:13:57

Shit not shot

OverlyYappy Wed 18-Oct-17 21:20:17

My ex was abusive, we split 5 years ago and these have been the happiest times of my life. I rarely if ever feel lonely. I feel free.

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 21:42:07

I know you're right. It's just sometimes i just feel he's still the scared little boy and i feel bad. He'd like me to be able to show him comfort as he's a victim. It's confusing that he really thought it was normal but i feel that without taking any accountability, he's expecting too much from me to accept he never realised he was wrong.
When there's no demands on us and no difference of opinion, we're fine. Him just can't cooe when i don't agree with him.
He recently told me to f off and was so hostile because i wouldn't just agree. Although he did get his way on the decision in the end of course. That's when i took advice on the divorce.

Gilead Wed 18-Oct-17 22:50:34

He is using his counselling sessions to play the victim, to catch you on the back foot and to demonstrate to all around that he is a saint. He can become more of a victim now; 'look at me, I was in counselling to save our marriage and she still dumped me'. It means that if you stay he doesn't have to take any responsibility for his behaviour, sorry, not sorry; and if you go he still doesn't have to take responsibility. Win, win.
He's actually hoping to hang on to you with his woe is me, I'm depressed and look at me I'm lonely and frightened. That's about as much effort as he's going to make. I know this because I've been there and I'm free now. Thank goodness!

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 23:02:49

That's how he feels. Like finally after all these years he's accepted it (except for memory loss on the worse bits). But why wouldn't he work for forgiveness so remorse? He says he knows he's ruined all our lives but now he's suicidal because he's dealing with his chilhood. Just feels like i almost got an apology but now its all about him being a victim and i dont understand?
Did your h seem plausible ?

I this and onder if im stuck bonded to him.<br>

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 23:06:23

I think he's only saying the victim stuff in councelling. Not saying i raged at my wife cause she didnt agree with me.
We went to marraige guidace but i felt that because the councellor had sinilar childrhood, they kind of bonded .

mineofuselessinformation Wed 18-Oct-17 23:06:55

He's not that child..
He's an adult now. Even if he knew his childhood was wrong, he still could have discussed it with you.
You've basically described marital rape (I've been there too). How does he justify that?
He's a very mixed up man, and you can't fix it if he doesn't recognise it.
Go your own way and break free.
That's a hard decision to make, I know.
BUT, if he genuinely wants to change, he will accept you being apart, and try to move on and make amends.
How things develop will be big sign as to whether he is truly trying to fix your relationship or not.
Good luck. flowers

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 23:12:54

He says he has to fix himself first and me sending him concerns about very infrequent rages at our teens, he says thay im putting more pressure on a depressed man but i say their welfare is most important.

WhentoD Wed 18-Oct-17 23:15:12

He doesn't remember the sexural assault. It was a number of years ago when dds were in our room so i had to be quiet but i got him to stop. He now says we wetent compatible because my sex drive is too low.

LellyMcKelly Wed 18-Oct-17 23:31:33

You've been in a dysfunctional marriage for so long, you don't know what 'normal' feels like. Normal is not any of the things you describe. Now that it's over it is hard to let go, and it's normal to feel sad that you've had some great memories of the times you've spent together. You probably also feel a bit sorry for him and want to make the split as easy as possible on him (mainly because it makes you feel better about it). He's manipulating you. You do not owe him emotions, or sympathy, or pity. He's a grown man. He's responsible for his own actions, behaviours and emotions. They are no longer your concerns, and if he tries to share them you should stop him and direct him to his GP, a counsellor, or a friend who is good at listening. He is not your responsibility any more.

Twillow Thu 19-Oct-17 00:31:45

I know what you mean. I made excuses for a long time. But neither of us were happy. I couldn't help him change.

He can only do that himself. He may never be able to reconcile what he has done to you, and keep on forgetting/blocking. My exH does this, and still blames me for all the issues resulting from his own behaviour -
(jealousy, suspicion, attempting to isolate me from friends and family "let's move away/to the countryside/abroad", sulks, unpredictable moods, refusing to go out when something was planned, terrible verbal outbursts and tirades, breaking stuff (including our children's toys in front of them), physical violence, threatening to kill me, threatening to hang himself - I am a quiet, easy-going, non-confrontational person but somehow he suggests I was the reason for all this shit!

I read another thread here recently where people were commenting how their DP would have reacted in a particular situation, I forget what it was now, but I was so humbled by people saying that in contrast to the OP they would have got comfort, support, acceptance. THIS is what normal is, and after a while in an abusive environment, all sense of normal gets lost.
We are each ultimately only responsible for our own happiness (without at all meaning, of course, that we shouldn't be kind to others!) Seize your opportunity and blossom. flowers

Aquamarine1029 Thu 19-Oct-17 00:59:57

He is gaslighting you so that you'll stay. Don't fall for that bullshit. If he really cared he would have gotten help for himself years ago. Run for the hills.

CoyoteCafe Thu 19-Oct-17 03:22:01

If you haven't read it, I highly recommend "Why Does He Do That?" by Bancroft. Don't let him see it. Start reading it and highlight the parts that are true for your marriage. It might help you start getting a clearer picture of what is happening.

To me, it sounds like he is very controlling, and is trying to change which controlling techniques he uses because the old ones aren't working for him now. He is still controlling, he is just trying to be less scary so that you will stay.

Aperolspritzer123 Thu 19-Oct-17 06:11:58

OP my ex h had a v abusive childhood and issues with his mother. I was with him for 22 years and have been free of him for 8 months now - it has been the best time of my life! My ex started counselling and actually it made him worse and more entitled than ever to express his rage at me, he used to say 'I am entitled to express my feelings' therefore excusing himself from calling me a despicable cunt and spitting venom at me for hours at a time. I knew that was coming from the counsellor.
I realised that I had just become the person who he projected everything onto - he was abusive and isn't even sorry - he now still feels like he did nothing wrong. He can justify everything now because his counsellor must have validated it based on the messed up version of events that he told her, as abusive people do.
Don't feel guilty - it sounds like, like me, you have already tried to support him through this but you have just become the emotional punchbag. DONT LOOK BACK

WhentoD Thu 19-Oct-17 07:09:03

Thank you all. You are right about him and that I'm stuck in a warped dysfunctional version of normal. I think i get validation from him and he's accepts he's been controlling but provides reasons why he couldn't help it.
Maybe because he's so reasonable and normal with others i haven't felt i had a good enough reason to break up the family. Then there was serious illness, kids exams etc. And it wasn't the right time.
Your stories are so similar. I used to think just hit some times and get it over with but he didn't. He never showed this side to anyone else.
I think the councellor has validated him. He says if i can't understand he couldn't help it, i must just think he's evil "is that what you really think" he says . Then he says the things he's done for me. It's confusing cause hed always say he loved but would occasionally, a few times a year, do or say something that indicated he despised me and i couldn't reconcile the two things.

WhentoD Thu 19-Oct-17 07:18:12

Lelly i know. I do need to let it go. My best mate died recently and she was my rock but she wanted me to get out of this shit.
Twillow "am a quiet, easy-going, non-confrontational person but somehow he suggests I was the reason for all this shit! "
He says this to me. Then he tells DD i should stick up for myself more but when i do, he can't take it.
Aperol (i like aperol!) He does use me as his emotional punchbag. Maybe I'm emotionally concused...
I read lundy bancroft and it resonated with me very much 😟
If this was a friend in this situation, I'd be thinking get out now. You've served your sentence. My DD will be devastasted though and i worried she'll drop out of uni and she's just started, but misses family time. She doesn't realise its only her that makes anything good at home.

whoareyoukidding Thu 19-Oct-17 07:34:58

I used to think just hit some times and get it over with but he didn't. He never showed this side to anyone else.
I could have written much of what you post! My EXH used to threaten to hit me, too but one day I said 'oh just bloody hit me then if you want to so much' and he backed down and at that moment I knew I was free of him. I was married for many years and although I kind of felt sorry for him too, it was wonderful when the marriage was over. Be strong OP.

WhentoD Thu 19-Oct-17 08:16:35

Whoare, i think just the same and he reacted similarly. Hearing everyone else's stories just validate why i can't imagine ever being in another relationship. All these men are out there and you can't tell them apart from the notmal ones!
My H set up a dating profile (i caught him out by an email i saw). He never actually paid the subscription but when i tead the profile he described himself 'as an open book' and 'an easy-going guy'. I just think of all the others that see themselves like that.confused

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 19-Oct-17 08:23:57


re your comment:-

"My DD will be devastasted though and i worried she'll drop out of uni and she's just started, but misses family time. She doesn't realise its only her that makes anything good at home".

Its no reason not to free yourself from this man, I would also think your own childhood may have some bearing on you choosing this man at 18 too. He targeted you really because you were young, naive and had no life experience behind you.

Keep on with the divorce proceedings; he will revert to type soon enough. He is no different from the many other abusive men who are written about on MN, they all work to a script and they hate women, all of them (particularly their own mother).

Your DD may well actually feel a sense of relief that you are finally ridding yourself of your abuser of a husband. She may well have also left home because of how crap things were within it too, she could well be far more aware of how things actually are at home. She certainly deserves to see more positive and life affirming lessons on relationships from now on rather than the damaging crap she has seen to date.

Men like you describe can take a long time, years even, to recover from. I would second the Lundy Bancroft book recommendation and would also suggest you enrol yourself on the Freedom Programme by Womens Aid. The last thing you need going forward is another abusive relationship.

WhentoD Thu 19-Oct-17 08:51:51

Oldest dd will be sad. But she does know what he's like. She's been known to tell him he's being rediculous! He listens to her as he wants her to think well of him.
He was shocked that I'd taken legal advice. I think he thought he was in control of the decision.
He wants compassion from me to help his recovery but lacks empathy for me.

Twillow Thu 19-Oct-17 09:03:22

OH yes to:

being (or wanting to) be well thought of by everyone outside

abusing counselling to twist things to his side (our counsellor told him we should be able to say 'stop' to each other in an argument. I tried this, at 3am one night during a tirade, and he said I was being rude to him!

WhentoD Thu 19-Oct-17 09:21:56

Sounds just like our councelling! Councelling said H felt i didn't show it when i felt overpowered it decisions. H actually said he wanted me to stand up to him. He's not a mind reader bla bla. He would respect my opinion...except when instead of just giving up i continued to state i didn't agree on something. Then he would just lose it because he felt he'd made a good argument and evidenced why he was right. And i was causing an argument because of my "emotional need to be heard". confused

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