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Trying to find out how to get off this rollercoaster(20 Posts)
I could really do with some emotional and practical advice, if possible.
I've decided I need to leave my partner. I have two children from a previous marriage (sadly no living children of our own) and we have a hefty mortgage on our house which we only moved into last year.
I simply can't cope with his behaviour anymore and it is time to make a break. I am dying inside having to make this decision. I love him with all my heart, but he is making me ill, emotionally.
I don't know where to begin.
I've booked a house valuation and, from looking at our mortgage details last night, I have guessed at what I may be able to afford to buy. My DS and I will need to have three bedrooms and have looked online but can only find one property that I could possibly afford on my own, within ten miles of where we live now. Would I even get a mortgage as a single parent?
I desperately don't want to move from our lovely house in our lovely area. It makes me feel sick at the thought of it, our house was our forever home and I adore it and have made it our own little nest. I'm trying to convince myself it is just bricks and mortar but I feel like it is yet another loss.
In practical terms, what if our house doesn't sell for months? We will have to live together until it is sold as neither of us can afford to pay for our house and live elsewhere.
I guess I need practical help, and also help to understand how to break from someone who you have such deep feelings for? I've tried making a mental note of all the reasons we need to break up, but then I automatically go back to all the good times.
I can't live on this rollercoaster any longer. I need to be with someone who is kind and gentle and has genuine compassion and empathy. Not a tyrant who loses his shit when I'm having a hard time with PTSD. I can't tread eggshells anymore
That should be DC and I, not DS (I have more than one child)
Okay, re your last line, as difficult as it is it sounds like for your own health you desperately need to live apart from him asap.
does he accept the break up? He doesn't need to for you to be broken up, but it's a lot harder to separate with one partner resisting.
You might have to rent for a while rather than buy outright, if you can't get a mortgage alone.
Have you considered contacting a women's shelter to see if you qualify for a place? That would get you and the kids away from him for a period of time while you sort out the practicalities. That's if he is abusive (hard to say for sure based on the small amount of info you gave).
Lastly, do you have any family or friends willing to give you a place to crash for a while? Not ideal, but I know I'd sleep on the floor if it means someone dear to me is able to stay in a safe place and get some respite.
I'm sorry you're going through this. The decision to leave is often the hardest part, the rest is difficult drawn out trudgery but you can do it.
LemonShark thank you so much for you response.
I work full time so don't want to be too far away from where we are now as the children are sorted form buses to and from school (pretty crap transport links as we are not a major city) and wrap around childcare. also neither myself nor my partner can afford to live elsewhere and pay rent as we barely have any disposable income after paying mortgage, bills, wrap around childcare, travel etc.
I have a friend who lives in another town about 30 minutes drive away who has put us up several times recently when I needed to get out with the DC. She has lots of room for me and the children, but I don't want to be a burden, Even though she is more than accommodating, I just don't know how long we'd need her hospitality for. It could be months depending on the sale of the house. We have only stayed with her for a few nights before.
I don't know about Women's shelter... I kind of feel like I don't justify their help, despite him making me feel the way I do. I just keep thinking there are women/men in far worse domestic issues out there that are more in need.
I don't want to go into too much detail here, I guess I feel like its emotional abuse, but I don't know if I'm just being super sensitive, given my mental health.
All I know is I need to get away from this relationship as it's making my mental health worse.
I can't do this anymore, but I am scared we'll end up living somewhere horrible, decrepit, rough, and miles from anyone I know. We also have pets that I'd want to take with us and, looking at rentals, most places don't accept animals. I also can't bear the thought of being on the property ladder for the past 10 years and having to come off to rent. I'll never get back on again
The thought of uprooting my children again, just as they are settled in schools and have new friends (since we moved last year), just makes me feel awful. I don't know if I am making the right decision for them or for me. I had hoped that he would change through counselling, but it doesn't seem to be happening.
and it's Christmas, and I've bought all his gifts. What would I do with all of those? We have so many plans. I wanted to wait until after Christmas to see how things go, but the final straw came a couple of nights ago and I just can't do it anymore.
Make a journal of all the incidents.That will help when you waiver or to help you see if you are unressonable.
Do your friends also have concerns about him?
Start by phoning a mortgage broker, use moneysavingexpert for recommendations.
What has been the trigger for this decision? Do you fear physical safety?
Everything is always daunting at the start but it will be do'able and there will be solutions.There maybe losses but your health is more important. I am massively downsizing following divorce and it pains me but as you get older you know its not about money but the people in your life.
Just take one step, maybe mortgage and see where that takes you.If you have a pension you can take 25% tax free at 55 so that could lower a mortgage.
What has been the trigger for this decision? Do you fear physical safety?
He said something that he knows would be a massive trigger for my PTSD, it was a horrible thing to say which has just made me realise that he will never be willing to comfort me or show me any kind of solidarity or empathy. We had a huge trauma last year, but it effected me in a way that I never imagined. It effected him too, but not nearly as much as me. He wants to move on and I am desperately struggling to, despite numerous attempts at counselling.
His reaction to my struggles is anger, guilt tripping, martyrdom. He also makes me feel very confused when he's angry, using words and phrases I've never heard before (and I am not stupid, I have a pretty extensive vocabulary). I often feel lost for words when he shouts at me, and I just sob, which makes him angrier. He is never physically abusive, never. But he is very powerful with words and his voice. He is very intelligent too so I often feel stupid. I also feel forgetful when he asks for specific examples when I try to respond or justify myself. I have a terrible memory, but I know how he makes me feel, even if I can't pin point exact instances.
I think writing a journal might be the way to go here so thank you for that. I did once write a diary which helped as I wrote down a lot of the things he's said when I'm already feeling low and just need his compassion and arms around me. I just wish he'd make me feel safe, but he doesn't, he makes me feel nervous. I bottle stuff up for fear of making him angry. I could probably cope with his anger if I wasn't feeling so low already, but when you feel like you're at rock bottom, someone yelling at you just pushes you into the basement and I become an empty shell.
My friends and my family have seen his temper and don't know how I put up with it. But at the same time, they really like him because he has such a wonderful side to him. He is very very likeable and considerate of other people which seems to justify his behaviour
Ok, I have just spoken to a lovely mortgage broker who has given me an approximate figure of how much I could borrow which seems to be feasible. I kind of feel a bit less daunted by it all now he has put my mind at rest slightly (for now). So thank you Hermonie for your suggestion. I have a pension but I am only in my 30's so 55 is a way off yet , but that is good to know.
It's made me realise I can do this on my own, that it is possible. But I guess it all depends on if our house is actually worth what Zoopla has estimated - real life valuation next week. And if someone will actually buy it for that price, or if someone will buy it at all over the next few months.
Or maybe my partner will buck his ideas up and realise his behaviour has been shit, and change for good...? Weirder things have happened, but I am not holding my breath
God I hate this. I am going to miss my house, I was looking around it last night just thinking how lucky we are to have it, but the misery just isn't worth it. All the good times my partner and I have together and as a family. My children really get on well with him too.
Just seems to final and the end of something that could have been so wonderful if it weren't for the trauma messing us up
I also feel desperately sad at leaving the only man who ever loved me for me. I didn't have to pretend to be someone I'm not. The sex is great and he and my children get on so well.
What are the chances of that happening again? I'm not sure I want to be with anyone else, despite how he's made me feel the past year or so. Underneath that side to him, things are so amazing
Have you sought counselling for the trauma? I'm wondering if it was a late miscarriage & that he has been unable to express his grief (in a better way than shouting) or to comfort you. You do mention several good things so it might be worth trying g to get some outside support
Sorry if I've completely misread this.
You say you didn't have to pretend to be someone you're not... but you did? You had to pretend you were okay so as to not trigger his temper. You didn't feel safe. Feeling safe with the person you love and share a life and finances and bed and your body with is an absolute bare bones basic necessity. If you don't have that, all the nice fun times in the world and sweet nothings in your ear are completely meaningless. I feel able to tell my OH when I'm upset or down or angry or afraid or depressed cos I know whatever the reason for it, he'll hold it with me and make me feel cosy and secure and loved for a little while. That's what you are in a relationship for, so you have support and love and you aren't going through all of the aspects of life on your own. If the other person can't even make you feel safe and you have to act fine when you're not then the relationship is pointless and empty at its core.
People like him have to be charming and charismatic to balance out the anger and aggression or nobody would go near them. They have to have plausible deniability that they're a decent person so that they're believed when they act like you're just being hysterical or hormonal or irrational for not wanting to be screamed at. There are literally millions of charming funny interesting charismatic men in the world. Most of them are also able to treat their OH with respect so she doesn't feel afraid around them. You know most men would do anything to avoid their partner feeling afraid? He's the one making you feel afraid. That's fucked up.
"His reaction to my struggles is anger, guilt tripping, martyrdom. He also makes me feel very confused when he's angry, using words and phrases I've never heard before (and I am not stupid, I have a pretty extensive vocabulary). I often feel lost for words when he shouts at me, and I just sob, which makes him angrier. He is never physically abusive, never. But he is very powerful with words and his voice. He is very intelligent too so I often feel stupid. I also feel forgetful when he asks for specific examples when I try to respond or justify myself. I have a terrible memory, but I know how he makes me feel, even if I can't pin point exact instances."
Write that on a piece of paper and stick it on your fridge OP until you're stronger. Those aren't the actions of a decent man. You can get good sex from someone who loves protects and cherishes you and your children and doesn't do this to you.
I'm glad your family and friends have seen your temper and 'don't know how you put up with it', they will believe you when you say how bad it's been. They might like him superficially but they won't respect him, and they're probably just trying to be neutral as they know that taking a stand against him to you will just make you cling to him harder (us against the world). I bet loads of them will be so relieved when you're away from him. It's sooooooooo much lovelier and calmer and enjoyable to be single with lovely friends and family and your own life and freedom than to be saddled with a man who makes you feel unsafe and disrespected and belittled. You'll meet someone lovely one day when you're ready, and you'll know what you don't want to accept in a partner ever again.
So glad you got good news from the mortgage advisor too. You can do this! You're stronger than you think. This man isn't gonna be your problem anymore. You're setting a brill example to your kids, they'll realise that this isn't how a relationship should be.
Yes I've seen several counsellors and have kind of been passed from pillar to post a bit. I'm now awaiting to be set up with yet another counsellor which I will have to pay and, with money being tight, I don't know how many sessions I can feasibly afford. I have been down the NHS route (looong and ended up with CBT which wasn't really what I needed as it seems a bit of a sticking plaster), I have also had bereavement counselling which was free (charity) and she was awesome, but she suggested I might need to explore more than just bereavement so advised me to use a counsellor with wider help (which I am waiting for currently). I have also used my corporate health care for counselling which was rubbish. We have also tried Relate but it became too pricey and seemed to be getting nowhere, plus we wanted to explore individual counselling.
Yes it was a miscarriage (two) and they effected me terribly. Like being hit by a truck, mainly due to him not wanting to try again. I haven't been able to recover from his decision.
Before all this happened to us, we were inseparable. We couldn't get enough of eachother. But I feel there is no going back now. I can't stop pining for the child I'll never have with him, and he will continue to feel justified in being angry at me and intimidating when I am having the odd bad day. I have tried keeping my 'bad days' to myself, but he sees right through me. If I say 'nothing is wrong/ he will get pissed off with me for not talking. If I tell him what has upset me, he shouts and points his finger in my face, and swears at me. There is no compassion, no just being there for me and giving me a hug. Just rage.
Generally I do try to act as though everything is totally fine, but bottling things up can't be healthy in the long run and not being able to talk to my 'soul mate' just kills me. No matter how happy I try to be day in and day out, I am on eggshells - worried he will see through me and make me talk, thus causing him to become angry and I am just not strong enough to cope with his rage.
This has torn us apart. Apparently it is very common after babyloss. I thought we were stronger than that, but we are not
Sorry crossed posts LemonShark thank you for your encouragement. I know you are right. Just need to convince my silly old heart
You are very young so don't feel you need to tolerate his behaviour.
I wonder if the house purchase was actually the trigger for him to start acting abusively? It seemed to be the trigger in my situation.
I couldn't make sense of why the man who previously seemed to adored me just switched off all compassion.The times of kindness were when it suited him, not me.
After a period of time i couldn't relax when he was kind as I knew he would switch to be horrible.
How long have you known him?
Hermonie I am the wrong end of my 30's but thank you
I can really relate to what you've just said. We only knew eachother for 6 months before we discovered we were expecting (against all odds for me), so we went head first into selling our flats and buying a house. Then our baby died, but we carried on the house purchase as we wanted to try again and needed the extra space for our baby. So all in all, we have only been together for 2.5 years. We should still be in the 'honeymoon' phase but have been through so much trauma in that time that it has been taken from us
I often wonder if he would have turned into this despite what happened. Because we moved into our house just after we lost our second baby. It is very hard to tell if it was the trauma of losing or, as you say, the actual house purchase. Again, as you say, I couldn't make sense of why the man who previously seemed to adored me just switched off all compassion.The times of kindness were when it suited him, not me.
Also this After a period of time i couldn't relax when he was kind as I knew he would switch to be horrible.. I am on eggshells things when are good, for fear of things going to shit again. It could take anything. He is like a ticking time bomb. Sometimes I just think I should 'man up' and just deal with his anger calmly, but I can't he turns me into an emotional wreck. Mostly because he has got me to confide in him so I am already feeling sensitive at that point, therefore I haven't the strength to fight back.
Maybe I should learn to keep my mouth shut when he asks me if I'm ok... Just smile sweetly and say "yes dear!". But when I do that, he gets pissed off that I don't open up to him. I need to be a better actor I think. Or just take a deep breath, fight back the tears and fight back. I don't know.
So far today I have gone from sobbing, to thinking how relieved I'll be when all this is over, to desperately wanting to stay with him, to not giving a shit. It's all very confusing
It'll settle in time, OP, the conflicting feelings and thoughts. In my experience, once things reach a certain point and get this bad, it's almost impossible for them ever to be good again. You can try paper over the cracks but there'll always be massive painful cracks you can't stand. It's hard to ever be truly happy with the person again.
Even if you shoved this all down inside and tried to play act things were okay, they wouldn't be. You'd just be lying to yourself. Go live an authentic life x
I recommend the "The verbally abusive relationship" by Patricia Evans because it was the book that helped me name what was happening to me.
It does have some strategies for responding but I think when you get to the stage in a relationship that you have to have a management plan in place, its time to get out.
I suspect his change is because you need him to respond to you kindly and he jiust doesn't want to.
I believe abusive men are fundamentally weak and selfish and cannot give to others, especially outside of the honeymoon period.
You are just seeing him as he really is, a very unpleasant man.
I don't really have anything helpful to add, but I really, really feel for you op.
LemonShark has some good words of help and advice on here - I hope you manage to find your way through this difficult situation and out the other side. There is a much happier future waiting for you without this man.
Hermonie thank you for the book recommendation. I downloaded it to my phone and I'm hooked! On page 39 and have been nodding furiously since page 1.
It's quite the eye opener!
For some reason I feel strong today. (Might be the book!) He's wondering around the house all deadpan and monotone.
I am desperate to say to him in times of his rage to "pipe down" and ignore him. As the book says "he's dumping his toxic anger on me and to stop it immediately"
If only it were that easy at the time eh?
Hindsight and all that... today I feel strong enough to do that.
to you. You are going the right thing getting out. Your kids will be fine and resettle. You can make a new 'forever' home. I'd rather live in a manky bedsit than in a mansion with an arsehole!
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