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Please can I (finally) ask for help.

(471 Posts)
WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 16:51:38

I have been on here for 14 years under about three names. I feel like I have been living a lie offering advice about relationships and sharing funny anecdotes when my life is a fucking mess. And today, I have decided to ask for help instead.

I have been with H since I was 20 - just over 25 years. For the past ten years, my H's behaviour has become progressively worse. We have escalated from a 'bit of a temper' to what I consider to be abuse (he does not hit me). We have also escalated from 90% of the time good, 10% of the time awful, to almost a full flip. As I say, this has been going on for about 10 years and the creep has been gradual and suddenly I am in my late forties and feeling like driving my car into a wall.

This weekend, triggered by various inane actions/words on my part (mostly 'crimes' I have committed in the past - years ago - along the lines of 'being disorganised' and 'letting him down' and 'going against him' in a couple of decisions), he has:

1. Thrown all the raw ingredients for dinner all over the kitchen and then screamed at me to get out of the kitchen before he 'fucking kills me'. I left.

2. Chucked a glass of water at me and DD (14) whilst we were in my bed this morning (because DD is also in trouble for something she did yesterday).

3. Called me a cunt and fat slag in front of my children

4. Called my mum similar names to above (she died a year ago)

There's actually tons more but I don't have the energy. This is not especially unusual.

I have read every single thing I can on domestic abuse (including the Lundy book) and he ticks a lot of the boxes but not all. Our relationship began as best friends for a long time - I thought I knew him well. We dated for years before we got engaged. Everything was gentle and measured rather than the love-bombing etc that is par for the course. A few things happened to him that were truly awful but in no way justification for the way we are all living now, and this seemed to start the downward spiral. This has been like watching someone you love gradually get taken over by another person and not know how to drag the old version back out.

He drinks too much. He is unhappy. He has distanced himself from his friends and family and sees nobody and goes nowhere aside from work. He is angry and bitter and full of hate towards everyone. He paces around the house all night never getting enough sleep and he rants and talks to himself about how much he hates me within earshot of me all the time. I believe he is mentally ill but in the absence of any attempt to seek help, I think, seeing him pick on DD, I might have reached my rock bottom

DD is starting to fear and hate him.
DS (11) doesn't yet, but he is a gentle and passive person so doesn't come under fire as much as DD who challenges his behaviour and words.

I often think that this will only end when one of us dies. I don't know how to extract myself, I don't know any other life. I don't believe he will 'allow' this to end peacefully. I don't know what to do at all.

I have somewhere I could go - not really liveable long term (think pretty derelict flat but roof over your head) and not fair on the DC for much more than a few nights. I am in debt, have no access to money and claim nothing. I work freelance so have money when I work and nothing much when I don't. H has always paid mortgage and bills and I have supplemented as much as I can.

If I leave, I don't know how I can make it work. The flat has no proper plumbing and I don't have anything like the money to get it sorted. There is no furniture either. I feel frozen like a rabbit in the headlights. He makes my stomach knot and gives me migraines. He follows me around and rants and tells me off and how shit I am and I try not to feel anything and I am scared that if I allow myself to feel one little thing then I am going to feel too much and I don't know what I will do.

This is a ramble.


I feel a bit desperate and wonder if anyone had anything that might help me get my thoughts in order?

And sorry if I don't come back straight away. Sometimes H confiscates things in a fit of fury including phones/ipads/router etc.

I can't believe how mad my life has become without me even noticing sad

Kittykat93 Mon 06-May-19 17:11:59

Goodness me op he sounds absoloutely vile. You know that you must leave, he's already thrown a glass at your poor daughter - what will he do next? Punch her?

You must must get help before he kills either you or your children. Even aside from the physical stuff, the abuse will destroy their souls and mental health. You need to be strong and leave.

Anothernick Mon 06-May-19 17:16:57

Sounds horrific. Throwing things, including water, at you is assault and he could be arrested. Make notes on recent abusive incidents and see a lawyer asap. If half of what you say is true then he should be removed from the house immediately. You will need support - do you have friends or family you can confide in? Someone who can help fix up this flat to make it temporarily habitable? It's summer now so you can manage without heating etc for a few months. If you split then you and the kids will be entitled to stay in the house, though obviously he will need to be removed first and in the worst case this might need a court order. You will need to be strong and not waver in your belief that things will eventually be better. Good luck.

Elliesmommy Mon 06-May-19 17:29:10

I came from a home where my 2 parents hated each other. One parent pulled a knife on the other one night. When they separated it was one of the best days I can remember in my childhood . I was 15. Get out now. Life is too short. Enjoy your children . Best of luck

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 17:32:17

I don't have any family at all, no. Parents dead, no siblings.

I have good friends. A couple of them know he is 'difficult' but not the extent of the situation. I could never tell anyone.

H thinks he is above the law. I know he isn't, but he would absolutely disregard a court order, injunction or anything like that. He would be so furious and ashamed at having the police involved that I honestly don't like to think how that would end. I want it to be over quietly and without drama or trauma, but I can't see how. That's what's keeping my feet glued to the floor.

I also feel sorry for him. Not as sorry as I do for my lovely DC but, I can't help it. I think he has killed the love, but I can't help feeling that he is desperate and wishing he would seek help. He was, for many years, my best friend, good company, kind and gentle. I don't know how we got here.

I can manage without the heating but not the plumbing. There is a leak from an old boiler and every time you turn a tap on, the ceiling underneath gets soggy - bits have started to fall down.

I can feel unfamiliar panic inside me and I want to smash things and punch things and I am a bit scared of how I am feeling. I wouldn't ever harm myself because of DC but if it wasn't for them, I think that I would be considering it as a viable option, if that makes sense. Because I straight up, cannot see a way out.

We have no family between us. I have no-one to turn to and he is not accountable to anyone. That's the missing bit I think.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 17:34:36

Elliesmommy Did you parents separate mutually? Or did one leave the other?

RandomMess Mon 06-May-19 17:38:01

Ring WA a refuge for you and the DC would be better than the current situation.

What about the family home is it owned/rented/size of mortgage?

Elliesmommy Mon 06-May-19 17:38:40

Police were called and a barring order was involved . My dad had to leave. The situation was unsafe for everyone. In the long run we were all happier. I see families where abuse is happening and people stay "for the sake of the children ". It's often a very bad idea. You deserve happiness. Your children deserve happiness.

RandomMess Mon 06-May-19 17:38:58

I would sell the flat at auction if need be tbh.

HollowTalk Mon 06-May-19 17:42:24

How much would you get for the flat?

Can you increase your work without telling him and keep hold of the money?

I would speak to Women's Aid and ask for help. I think it's really important that you leave him asap.

springydaff Mon 06-May-19 17:42:34

Contact your local Women's Aid. Just tell them what's going on. They know all about rabbit in headlights and will coach you along. They know their stuff.

Tell your GP bcs this needs to be documented for all your sakes, esp the children.

Imo the cause is likely to be the booze, not the other way around. Addiction turns people into selfish bastard monsters. He is showing all the signs.

You have to protect your kids. Go for it, you can do it one step at a time with support. women's Aid will get you there xxx

redbedheadd Mon 06-May-19 17:43:15

This sounds so awful. I just wanted to say, your DC will be better off away from this situation. Kids are sponges and they pick up on everything... and I can guarantee your DD will want to see you happy. There's more damage to be done staying in such an unhappy situation. You sound lovely and you deserve happiness and to find someone who treats you wonderfully. Is there anyone who can help provide moral support?

TemporaryPermanent Mon 06-May-19 17:44:34

I would see your GP and a lawyer. Get some support and perspective.

He does sound extremely ill. Do you have the same GP? it would be positive to confide in them, they can sometimes arrange to see the ill person without saying why they know they need help. But don't worry about that. Tell tour go of your terror. Look after yourself first, you sound under intolerable strain and fear. As if you are living in a prison camp.

This cannot go on. Something has to change.

FusionChefGeoff Mon 06-May-19 17:49:27

Today is a day you will remember for a very, very long time.

You have taken THE most important step you ever done as a parent.

I second the advice to ride this wave of bravery, realisation and determination and reach out for real life help.

Women's Aid, GP, kids schools, your friends.

This will reduce his power and increase yours.

It may seem terrifying now but no one runs a marathon / climbs Everest / eats an Elephant at once.

One bits at a time and you will do it.

Go well thanks

FusionChefGeoff Mon 06-May-19 17:50:01

Grrrr - one BITE at a time!

8FencingWire Mon 06-May-19 17:50:44

I would suggest ‘women’s aid’, like the above poster.
Can you access something like ‘time to talk’ for counselling?

You have to get out. Take practical steps like important paperwork, putting some money aside, insuring the car on your name etc.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 17:52:11

Thank you for all the advice. I am not staying 'for the kids' - I no longer believe it's in their best interests - or at least not unless H seeks help.
He says I need to change, that my views are warped and I have never been taught how to parent. He is endlessly screaming and shouting because apparently he is trying to save us all from ourselves..

I have been trying to take action for so long. It's one of the reasons I have never posted before. I know how it is on MN, you reveal something, people tell you (quite rightly) you need to leave, but then inertia and panic set in and people get cross with you and tell you to think of the children. I so want this living nightmare to be over but I just feel like I keep running into obstacles. I think I would have a chance if I could make the flat work. It is in our area, close to DC school and even though it's a mess, it's somewhere they know.

I can't do a refuge. Not because I don't think they are brilliant or I think it's 'not for me', but because this is the kind of step that would trigger an outpouring of rage from H. Because he would consider this to be shameful and overly dramatic. He is not very enlightened....

I know him so well and understand what makes him tick. That won't work.

AsleepAllDay Mon 06-May-19 17:53:53

Oh my goodness, please ring Women's Aid. The hotline is 24 hours and 7 days a week.

He is abusive. Emotionally, verbally and throwing things is physical too.

Given that he has threatened to kill you, you have to leave. The thought has crossed his disgusting abusive mind

DoctorDread Mon 06-May-19 17:55:00

Op. I will come back and comment properly later with practical suggestions but for now please know that people are think of you

AsleepAllDay Mon 06-May-19 17:56:16

And can you say what part of the U.K. you are in? There may be some posters who can help with local resources or the practical side of things. I know that if someone in my neck of the woods was in trouble I would try my best

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 06-May-19 17:57:32

I want it to be over quietly and without drama or trauma, but I can't see how. That's what's keeping my feet glued to the floor.

The sad fact is that you won't be able to improve anything without putting yourself in the firing line. You say:

I am in my late forties and feeling like driving my car into a wall.

So you're suicidally unhappy.

And I often think that this will only end when one of us dies.

Which one of you do you think will have to die? Because it could be you - or your DD.

Re-read your own words. You are desperately unhappy, as I would be living your life.

You're going to have to take action. I'd consult a solicitor who specialises in divorce to establish what you can expect financially.

You can't change your DH. That's a given. But consider what your behaviour is doing to your DC, especially DD.

Consider your part in this rather than DH's. OK you're scared, but you are allowing your DC to suffer emotional abuse from their DF. You will gather the courage you need once you realize that you are the only defence your DC have against this horrible man.

Every time you tolerate his abuse you are teaching your DC that his treatment is acceptable and normal. You owe them a better role model.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 17:58:23

I did actually go to the GP a while ago. I told her that H was drinking too much, being aggressive and seemed to be teetering on the brink of some kind of breakdown. She was amazing and conjured up some false reason to write to him reminding him to make an appointment about something. He ignored it. She then called him and said she'd like to see him for a 'routine' appointment. He ignored it. She then called me and said she didn't know what else she could do other than refer me to counselling.

I am in the horrid flat at the moment. It's empty (unsurprisingly) and I have a key. It's cold and bare but it's better than jumping every time I hear a door open.

I am trying to make a list of all the things that he has said and done over the past ten years but it's so long and horrific, it's making me feel sick. I feel like I have been sleepwalking.

AHF1979 Mon 06-May-19 18:00:01

He’s going to rage however you go about this. What practically do you need? Can you just make a small strep and get quotes for the plumbing? flowers

Annasgirl Mon 06-May-19 18:02:36

Oh dear OP, please listen to all the practical advice here. You really need to escape and take your children away. I would be gone the minute my DH threw something at my child. Please you need to leave.

Now practical issues. OK so you have a place to go, not ideal but better than this. A friend of mine who had an abusive dad has just published a memoir where he recounts the day his mother left his abusive father, in the 1970's in Ireland where no woman had any rights. The neighbours helped them move a few bits of furniture and they never went back. The children were so happy - it took years to get financially stable but they had a happy home. This is the most important thing.

Perhaps people could help you redecorate and repair the flat? DO you have any friends who are good at DIY? My DC help me to paint rooms - they can manage this from about aged 11.

Please do not wait another day, take yourself and your dear children to safety.

Annasgirl Mon 06-May-19 18:05:26

Please keep posting here OP. I am sure many people on here will support you - perhaps some even IRL? If you lived near me right now I would collect you, house you and help you to paint and redo that flat. Can you get new locks on the door of the flat and prepare to move in while he is at work?

Then when you are safe you can ask for more legal help on here and IRL.

ScottishDoll Mon 06-May-19 18:08:06

that would trigger an outpouring of rage from H

If it helps at all think this - you have no idea what he is going to do because you have never taken this step before. You don't know him well enough to predict that. Stop trying to plan around his responses, that's his manipulation of your thought process at work.

I know you don't like the idea of the refuge but you will be safe there whilst you work out the next step and even if you just call W.A. they can talk through your plan and maybe help?

Please please pick up the phone and call them. Talk it through.

Well done on speaking up. Keep talking, tell your friends, get this situation out in the open so you can really see it for what it is.

The illness, bad behaviour, predicted response - not your responsibility and not your burden to carry any longer.

Elliesmommy Mon 06-May-19 18:09:03

Just to clarify and apologise - I didn't mean you are staying for the kids. What I meant is I have seen where people stay for the kids. Apologies if i offended you .

BendyLikeBeckham Mon 06-May-19 18:16:57

You don't need his permission to leave or his agreement to separate or his approval of how you do it. You need to stop thinking about his feelings, his reactions, his need to get help.

Just make your own plans for you and DC. Then do it. You may want to avoid a scene by leaving when he isn't there, or you may wish to tell him as you go, but have a friend there with you. And keep the DC away when you do this. Protect yourself and them. You all deserve a better life than this.

Maybe he will get help for himself. Maybe he won't. It is not your responsibility to fix him.

M00rhenRunning Mon 06-May-19 18:31:14

Can't do a refuge - A refuge is exactly what you need. Somewhere safe & with support from people who can help you
Your priorities should be to protect yourself & your children first
Please contact Women's Aid or the equivalent in your area

peekyboo Mon 06-May-19 18:40:35

Do you recognise that your reasons for not leaving are also reasons you are giving yourself to stay?

I can't leave, the flat is too bad.

I can't leave, he'll come after me.

I can't make him leave, he won't stay away.

I can't tell my friends, because...why? What do you owe him?

In the end, you are still being loyal to him. You're protecting his image with your friends, you haven't reported him to the police.

Your children also life with this monster. And if you don't leave now, it'll be the kids who leave and never look back, the first chance they get.

HollowTalk Mon 06-May-19 18:42:20

Does he hold down a job? He mustn't be treating others as he treats you and the children, otherwise someone would have fired him or flattened him.

Is there ever a moment when he's "normal" and you can tell him that you can't cope any more?

Can you ask your neighbours to report any shouting to the police, every single time?

Sally2791 Mon 06-May-19 18:49:08

Please escape and take your children to safety. Women's aid will help and lean on your friends.

funnylittlefloozie Mon 06-May-19 18:54:37

Have you left the children with him? My advice would be to sell the flat to one of those dodgy property companies, and use the cash to get the hell away from your husband. He sounds ill and very dangerous.

He has threatened to kill you and you are terrified of his reactions - this is TOTALLY NORMAL for women in your position, but please, for the sake of your children, unfreeze and get out. The period before you finally act is always the most scary, because once you take that first step, nothing is ever as bad again.

If you are near Luton or Milton Keynes, you and the kids can stay with me tonight.

Frenchfancy Mon 06-May-19 18:55:50

"can't do à refuge because it will send him into a rage"
You need a refuge to be safe. I assume he knows where the flat is. Get out now for the sake of your dd.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 18:59:13

I honestly can't go to a refuge. I know it's true that I can't predict with 100% certainty what H's response to anything would be (and I like to believe that there will come a time when I accept it's not my problem), but right now, I can predict with 99% certainty that this will be a red rag to a bull. For the DC sake - they have witnessed far too much already - I don't want to do anything that is going to provoke extreme behaviour.

I keep thinking about how he behaves as a default now and I don't understand how things have got this bad. How did this happen without me realising what our life is like? If it's ok, I just want to write it all down. You don't have to read or respond. I think I'm doing it to record it. I can look back at it when I need to. Here goes:

He breaks things, he shouts, he rants, he lectures, he threatens, he whispers nasty things when he thinks nobody else can see him. He follows you round jabbing and spitting, he wakes you up, he stops you sleeping, he bins dinner so nobody can eat, he breaks more stuff, he keeps you up all night whilst he rants on about how sad the world makes him and how much he hates everything that I stand for. He regularly throws food and drink at me. He has spat in my face several times. He tells me it's not my fault that I'm a cunt, because my mum was (she wasn't - but she was strong minded and independent). He takes things away at the snap of a finger - phones, technology, credit cards, money, router, house keys, work stuff, car key - anything that gives me or the DC any independence can be confiscated for any reason at any time to ensure he has the power. We can't plan anything ever because life is too unpredictable. We can't have people round, we don't go out anywhere as a family. On the rare occasions when we have plans - a holiday, a wedding, a party (very very rare), he waits until two days before then announces that we aren't going. We then spend the 48 hours in the lead up begging and pleading to go because a) we were looking forward to it and b) it would be rude and embarrassing to cancel, and then at the last minute he either concedes or tells us to go without him. But the damage is done, the joy has been sucked out of whatever it was and it's ruined. We can never look forward to anything just like in a normal way - a nice plan a few weeks down the line. EVERYTHING is ammunition.

He mostly screams and rants about things that I can't do anything about. Things that are abstract ie: I'm disorganised (I didn't used to be but I don't think as clearly these days) or I always go against him when he wants to discipline the children. I often do. But I am not against him per se, I am against insane and erratic/extreme responses to a minor infraction. Or else he follows me round, shouting in my face and prodding my forehead about something vague I did a long time ago - several years often. And how he can 'never forgive me'. Again, nothing I can pinpoint to an action that I can change or stop. It really just feels like an excuse to rage. I think he doesn't know how NOT to rage and be angry now. It is a default state and perhaps the only way he can feel anything. I don't know.

He is ok during the day but then by around 6:30pm, he starts to unravel. This is, surprisingly, before he has even had a drink. He then fuels his anger with alcohol but I can look at the clock and think, ok - 6:30, here we go... I don't understand how that works.

OK. Thank you. I feel a bit purged.

I am going to walk round the flat now and make a list of things that would have to happen to make it liveable . If it's ok, I will keep using this thread to ramble, procrastinate and get some of my rage out. Thank you to all of you who are posting. I can't believe i've finally said all of this 'out loud'.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 19:01:23

If you are near Luton or Milton Keynes, you and the kids can stay with me tonight.

These are the posts that I can never quite believe on MN. I am not, but what a lovely and generous offer. Thank you.

IncrediblySadToo Mon 06-May-19 19:02:10


If it was me, I’d call the police next time. Tell them he’s getting increasingly violent and you’re terrified of him. Tell them you don’t think he’d stick to staying away, but you don’t know what else to do.

Is the run down flat jointly owned?

He does sound mentally ill. Many years ago a friend of a friends DH changed like this. It turned out that he had a fairly slow growing brain tumour. He only went to the GP after she’s called the police on him. They lived apart for 2 years, the first while he had the tumour removed and various treatments and reverted to his old self and the second year to make sure everyone felt safe living together again.

I’m glad you’ve posted for help. I’m sorry you don’t have any family to help you, but you should trust at least one friend to talk to I’d hate it if any if my friends or acquaintances were going through this alone I’d want to help them 🌷

ScottishDoll Mon 06-May-19 19:03:01

OP please cut and paste that post and send it to your friends, right now, please tell someone in real life.

If you can summon the courage to pass a police station on your way home and go in and let them read that post please do.

KooMoo Mon 06-May-19 19:04:13

Sounds like horrendous abuse of the highest order which could accumulate into your demise. 2 ladies a week are murdered by their partners.

Get out love, whilst you still can. You and your daughter deserve to be safe.

MrsMoastyToasty Mon 06-May-19 19:05:09

Fuck what he thinks about refuges being shameful. Think about yourself and your children ONLY.

KooMoo Mon 06-May-19 19:05:54

You and your children.

ScottishDoll Mon 06-May-19 19:06:11

If you want to know if his behaviour is calculated ask yourself this, does he ever break things that matter to him or only other people's things?

With the best will in the world you are never ever going to understand why he does what he does because you aren't like that. You can only affect your own actions and get your children out of there to safety.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 19:06:12

peekyboo Mon 06-May-19 18:40:35
Do you recognise that your reasons for not leaving are also reasons you are giving yourself to stay?

Yes. I do. I have posted today to try and break some of the inertia and patterns that I use to keep me stuck. You are right to point this out. Thank you.

Elliesmommy Mon 06-May-19 18:09:03
Just to clarify and apologise - I didn't mean you are staying for the kids. What I meant is I have seen where people stay for the kids. Apologies if i offended you .

Not even a bit.

HollowTalk Mon 06-May-19 18:42:20
Does he hold down a job? He mustn't be treating others as he treats you and the children, otherwise someone would have fired him or flattened him.

He runs a business. He is lovely to everyone at work. His partner has noticed that he is a bit 'angry at the world' of late however. He mentioned it to me in a 'concerned friend' kind of way.

IncrediblySadToo Mon 06-May-19 19:06:19

Cross posted with your last post.

Fucking hell, that’s even worse than I thought.

Does he have family near by?

Prawnofthepatriarchy Mon 06-May-19 19:07:02

The more you say the worse he sounds. He sounds quite seriously mentally ill, and I would urge you to be very careful of your and the DC's physical safety. Make your plans and either get out without saying anything until you're gone or, at the very least, have someone with you when you tell him.

I'm not surprised you're scared of him. Seems entirely reasonable. So start planning secretly.

You say you can't go to a refuge because of how he will react. But it sounds as if his reaction might be so explosive that only a refuge will be equipped to keep you safe.

peekyboo Mon 06-May-19 19:08:14

Tell your friends.

You're on the phone, I assume, posting on MN. Call a friend, ask if they can come round. Text one, ask if it's ok to have a chat.

You're alone, talk to them.

JaneEyre07 Mon 06-May-19 19:11:00

From a complete outsiders point of view, you need to stop putting his reaction before what YOU need to do.

Who gives a flying fuck if he has a strop about you going into a refuge? You won't be there to see it, hear it or have to deal with it. You and your DC will be safe, have ongoing support to build yourself a life away from him. They will hold your hand EVERY step of the way. And what he does and says from that moment on won't even figure on your radar.

I know you're battered and worn down, but take a breath and stop putting him first. Get your phone, ring WA and go from there. Baby steps if needs be. But you can do this and you have to flowers

Prokupatuscrakedatus Mon 06-May-19 19:11:43

If he can hold it together for others, than his actions to you and your children are deliberate. He chooses to treat you like shit.

Everything is better than for you and your DC to live likes this.
Yout children have no choice, get them out.

Wadingthroughshit Mon 06-May-19 19:13:20

I have never ever been so disturbed reading a MN post, I have got tears in my eyes and feel panic in my chest. You cannot underestimate the absolute seriousness of this. He could kill you. This is so abusive. You must get out of there. I know you say he will rage if you go to a refuge, or get the police involved, which I completely believe, and the risk of physical harm/death is higher when a partner tries to leave, so you must not do this alone. You have to tell your friends, you have to. You have to get help, if not for you for your children. Please listen to people here.

TemporaryPermanent Mon 06-May-19 19:14:29

In your first post you sounded as if you thought there was some level his behaviour had to reach before you could 'legitimately' end it.

You can end a relationship because you want to, because you want life to be different.

But his behaviour is extreme. If you want permission to end it, you have it from me. I recognise little fragments of similarity with my first husband, who I left in 2001, particularly the stopping/controlling outings. I still get days of joy just knowing I'm no longer married to him. And he was nothing like as bad as your h. He sounds extremely ill.

I don't have a spare room but PM me if you want a safe floor space for you and the children for a few nights. I'm near the south Midlands.

TooTrueToBeGood Mon 06-May-19 19:14:48

At the moment, you're in a cage of your own making because you're focusing on the problems and disregarding all possible solutions. That's OK, it's perfectly natural. You know whichever way you choose to move forward it will mean a lot of changes and unpredictable reactions from him and thst is bound to be scary.

Start taking some small steps. Please call Women's Aid. It's just a phone call.They won't manhandle you into a refuge nor manipulate you to do anything you're not happy with. They will listen, they will understand.

RandomMess Mon 06-May-19 19:15:53

Your long post is exactly why you need to go to a refuge even if it means going in the clothes you are standing up in and your birth certificates and passports.

It is utterly chilling, if you go to the flat what's to stop him following?

PinaColadaPlease Mon 06-May-19 19:18:29

My goodness, I think you've lived with this for so long you are a bit desensitised to how truly abusive his behaviour is. Your children must be scared of him.

If you went to a refuge, you could leave whilst your husband is out and he would never know where the refuge is. You could then get help to claim any benefits you may be entitled to and get the flat organised from a place of safety.

If you are happy to do so, can you give an idea of which part of the country you're in? Posters may know of local organisations that may be able to help you.

If he throws things at you or jabs you again, please call the Police.

Frith2013 Mon 06-May-19 19:18:39

My ex husband sounds remarkably like your husband - whispering under currents of drivel to me, shouting, throwing things etc.

Mine went absolutely insane when I left - trashed the house, went screaming hysterically to the neighbours and phoned everyone he could think of (including my family) to say the children and I had died in a car accident.

The PLUS POINT was - I was in a refuge. So in my own room, door with CCTV and access code closed behind us. I turned the phone off for 3 days and then dealt with the fall out.

Honestly - I think it would be a good move for you.

freeingNora Mon 06-May-19 19:20:19

@woodfortrees flowers I was you 3 months ago. My children are younger one day we had a similar incident and I surprised us both by throwing him out clean on his arse and locking the door behind him. I do not recommend this course of action it’s dangerous but what I will say is that for the first time in years my children are being children sleeping well laughing. I sleep well I’m still scared but I’ve learned to stop thinking about him first. My life is finally my own. You have been groomed to accept the abuse and put his needs above your own Get help get to the refuge sod his ego so what if he’s embarrassed n starts raging he’s always raging anyway by the sounds of him. He should be ashamed of his behaviour and so what if people know that he’s a monster. Alcohol amplifies what’s already inside you. Women’s aid will help you or a local DA helpline please call someone just to talk it through. I know that stbxh rages would have led to him killing the children and me that made my mind up

Frith2013 Mon 06-May-19 19:20:45

PS - no way could I have dealt with talking about my marriage on the phone to women’s aid. I can barely talk about it 14 years later.

So all my dealings with them were my email - perhaps this would suit you as well?

ThePerturbedPenguin Mon 06-May-19 19:20:50

I know you are making steps to leave and that takes an enormous amount of strength - every second your children are in this environment they are being irreversibly damaged.

Of course he will rage and shout when you leave but you say he rages and shouts and is nasty to you all at the slightest thing and all the time. The difference is you would be away from him and things would steadily improve from there.

Re the refuge - if this is the best way to get away from him quickly, why does it matter how it feels? How would he know where you are? You don’t owe him ANYTHING and you can keep your children safe from him.

My heart honestly breaks for you reading this.

Do you have good friends who you trust? If so, why is it you won’t discuss this with them? It’s not a similar situation but I’ve had horrible/depression anxiety in my life and I always thought I would never ever ever ever talk to any of my friends about it. It was simply unimaginable. But I have, and they’ve been wonderful and now I feel silly for not talking to them before.

peekyboo Mon 06-May-19 19:21:04

The other issue is, by telling strangers online and not friends who love you, you don't have to actually do anything about your situation, or face up to it in real life.

Are you using MN as an outlet for your feelings rather than as a way of helping yourself leave?

Frith2013 Mon 06-May-19 19:25:17

I’m in the Welsh Marches if that’s helpful. It’s unlikely you’re local (no one is!!)

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 19:25:31

*TooTrueToBeGood Mon 06-May-19 19:14:48
At the moment, you're in a cage of your own making because you're focusing on the problems and disregarding all possible solutions.*

This rings so true. I recognise that I have boxed myself in with fear and what ifs. I think that's why i am fixated on the flat. I feel like it's a step I can take without things escalating too much too fast. It makes me less fearful because it's less likely to provoke anger.

Option 1: I can see that I am making you angry, I thought I would give you space and go to the flat for a while.

Option 2: I am leaving you whilst you are at work. I am going where abused women go and where they won't let you over the threshold. Just by my being there, it is confirmed that you are an abuser.

Option 1 is a step, but it's less inflamatory (in his eyes). I know everyone is saying fuck his opinion, but I am projecting to the outcome of his opinion if that makes sense....

Sally2791 Mon 06-May-19 19:25:35

If I can help in any way please pm me. My situation was not quite like yours but I empathise with the fear and living for years in a bonkers world. I have got out, it wasn't easy but I feel safe now

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 19:29:48

I have to go home for a bit now. I'll come back to this as soon as I can.

Thank you thank you flowers

RandomMess Mon 06-May-19 19:32:54

But he can come to the flat, then what?

What if he insists you can't take the DC?

You need to leave without warning him.

Is the marital home owned or rented? You could go to the refuge then sort out appropriate housing, gauge his reaction etc.

He is very likely to be incredibly angry either way that you have dated to leave him the consequences could be awful.

PinaColadaPlease Mon 06-May-19 19:33:40

You don't tell him you're leaving.

MummyParanoia101 Mon 06-May-19 19:37:12

2 spare rooms here in North Yorkshire between York & Leeds. I have experience of DV too flowers

Loopytiles Mon 06-May-19 19:37:33

It is not safe to leave the DC with him. They need to be with you.

Singlenotsingle Mon 06-May-19 19:40:32

At least if you went to a refuge, there would be people there and protection. If you stay at the flat, presumably he can get in? He's obviously mentally unstable. Have you never called the police when he's gone off on one of his terrifying rants?

Horsemad Mon 06-May-19 19:43:56

You are making excuses for him.

Just leave when he's at work & get to a place of safety (refuge).

AsleepAllDay Mon 06-May-19 19:44:18

If you're in a refuge, you're at least physically safe from him and around people who can support you and the facilities will be working.

Don't discount this option because you're afraid of how it will 'look.' You should aim to be very low contact to NC as soon as you leave anyhow

AnyFucker Mon 06-May-19 19:46:11

It won't work to try and appease him by leaving in small baby steps

You have been trying to keep him sweet for decades. It's not working. Something has to change and it needs to be your mindset.

Frith2013 Mon 06-May-19 19:48:27

Please don’t tell him that you are leaving.

AnyFucker Mon 06-May-19 19:51:43

In the manner of all abusive men, if you signpost you are leaving he will escalate.

Your children will in danger from him. This is where family annihilators get their justification from. They see their women and children as possessions and if they cannot have them, no one else can.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 19:51:59

Dont tell him you are leaving ...but please think about if there is you can trust and tell them so they can offer support to you

AsleepAllDay Mon 06-May-19 19:52:31

Don't tell him when you go. That's THE red rag to a bull. He won't be able to track you down to a refuge or get in.

Please please please just get as much paperwork and any small valuables, grab the kids and go. Can you invent a long appointment or a shopping trip?

shivermetimbers77 Mon 06-May-19 19:53:06

You and your children are in grave danger. I have worked in trauma services for children who have witnessed their father killing their mother and I am very, very worried for you. Please don't try to appease him or go to a place where he knows the address/has a key. You need a refuge, and an injunction. Please listen to all the warnings.

tootiredtospeak Mon 06-May-19 19:53:29

You have been really brave posting. I bet if you took your DD to that flat and asked if she would rather live there than at home she would say yes. The only think I wanted in life when I left my abusive DP was to fall asleep at night without anyone in my home that could hurt me either with words or actions. I think you should go to your GP and tell her everything the ranting to himself makes me feel like he should almost be sectioned for his own mental health. Keep strong but just think this. What is the worst he could do if you just left and let the whole world know Police and all that he is abusing you, what would he actually do. Sometimes the reality is less scary than the thought. If you actually think he could hurt you or your children then you are more at risk than you are even admitting and you do need to take drastic steps.

AsleepAllDay Mon 06-May-19 19:53:50

I'm so scared for you OP. Does he go to an office or make site visits for his business? You can give him the slip then, keep the kids off school because they're sick

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 19:54:23

Sorry if there is someone you can trust...

RunningOutOfFucks Mon 06-May-19 19:54:56

So do you place your shit of a husband's ego above the safety of your precious, innocent children?? Really??
I completely understand your predicament and can empathise with you, as well as sympathise, I'm sorry to be so blunt, but really - this man is dangerous.

You will never regret leaving. You will always regret staying. ALWAYS.
You need to put your children first.
This piece of shit will be ok. Your children will NOT if you continue to expose them to this kind of behaviour.
You have the power to change this. You can do this xxx

Senseiwu Mon 06-May-19 19:57:34

It doesn't matter that he was lovely pre-dc. Abusers often are because they still have your full attention and adoration. It seems like your husband has become like this since having dc which is a classic sign of an abuser - they have you locked down and can begin to treat you like the possession that they see you as.

Why are you doing the leaving? Why can't you change the locks when he's out and call the police? I'm not sure how injunctions work but surely this merits one? If it is that you can't pay the mortgage then put in a claim for benefits.

If you can't do the above then a refuge is the only other option.

Your dc have only ever known this life. Please show them something else before it is ingrained in them that this is how a relationship works.

WhatWouldDavinaDo Mon 06-May-19 19:59:37

Thinking of you OP.

Just over a year ago, I wanted to leave ( bad relationship but nothing as extreme as yours ) & was so scared I wouldn’t be able to afford a place on my own & make it work.

Now, I am so grateful to my previous self that I made a leap of faith. Life is tough at times but always, always 100% better than if I had stayed.

The sense of freedom I have now & hope for the future is amazing!

Best of luck, I wish you all the best for you & your kids. Please, please leave.

HelenRose1111 Mon 06-May-19 20:01:12

He doesn’t need to know you are going to a refuge!
He doesn't to need to know you’re going at all.....he threw away any right to know where you’re going when he began his abuse.
I hope you get away before something any more awful happens to you or the children. He sounds awful.

TooTrueToBeGood Mon 06-May-19 20:08:09

Can people please consider that whilst they may be genuinely well intended, some of the comments being made are seriously lacking in empathy. Some of them are actually borderline abusive. Dictating to, shaming and criticising a victim of abuse is unhelpful and bloody hypocritical. Victims generally can't progress as fast as you'd like them to because by the time they realise they need help they've had most of their spirit sapped by the abuse. Be gentle and compassionate or just be quiet.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:10:40

Op can you break down the practical situation in the flat so we can offer solutions there.
Do you have running water?
Is it plastered, or really a shell?
It may not be as mammoth as you think.
You need to leave.
I’ve been where you are...
In fact, I’ve been so exactly where you are i could barely read your post. I promise you light at the end of the tunnel.
I had to, like a previous poster, take a leap in the dark and hope someone would catch me.
It was hard, but like the other poster, I thank the glimmer of sanity in my lowest moments as fueling my escape path.
A refuge would be good for you.

Awks Mon 06-May-19 20:17:45

Well done for taking this really important step. We are your friends here and we are all good people rooting for you so lean on us. Make plans quickly then start your new life before summer - imagine how marvellous that will be x

Gallusbisom Mon 06-May-19 20:18:58

You know yourself this will not get better. Depending on where you live, you will have a range of options. There are protective orders that you can use to get your partner to leave but they will involve calling the police, which for many women is a huge step, that is without cost. Civil orders cost money and you need to act fast at a time when you are most confused. You are now in fear of your life and that of your children. I do appreciate you are trying to survive and what a job you have done. Base your decision on what you know and not what you hope for. You know best the risk he poses, my strong advice is if you decide to go do not tell him. Do you have a friend or family member who can let you stay with short term? You are not alone. Take care lass and be safe x

Poppyinafieldofdreams Mon 06-May-19 20:25:11


Re read your post as if it is from a stranger.

The post your reply on here.

OrdinaryGirl Mon 06-May-19 20:25:39

OP, you brave, brave lady! Just to add my voice to the others. It's just about doing the next right thing. You don't have to fix everything today - just make the call to WA. Then the next right thing will present itself.
We are all here for you - please keep talking to us - and make sure your husband can't find this thread.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:34:32

Yes. It’s amazing the wealth of knowledge this bunch of strangers on the internet has.
We are with you.
There are legal experts, plumbers, benefits experts, therapists, women who will drive 200 miles in the night to pick you up, doctors , people who know where to source furniture for free, people who can point you towards cheap rooms, everything...there’s just so much help out there.
Just make a tiny step and ask women’s aid for advice. Keep posting.
The shame is all his.

berrylands Mon 06-May-19 20:41:01

WoodforTrees, your husband sounds like my father, who was diagnosed later with several mental health problems.
You said this guy was once your best friend and is now clearly unhappy. I think the best you can do for him is getting him to see a psychiatrist. Ask your GP if there's a way you can force him to do this. He might be a danger for himself as well.
Get away from him, and get the children away from him. They might look like they are not being affected but I think they are being severely damaged. No amount of therapy when they are adults will compensate for a childhood living in fear.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:42:09

Op can I draw your attention to ‘the keep’ app from the cithrah foundation.
The app hides as a reminders app in the victims phone. It allows you to record incidences of violence , abuse or coercive behaviour with accuracy. It will help you keep a record of abuse with times and dates and may help you in the event of a future court case, if ever there was one. Not just a court case, but also reports for police, women’s services etc.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:44:22

I’d say escape first then he can deal with his own psychiatric problems later. There is potential for a huge escalation of violence if suggesting an abuser needs psychiatric help and will alert him to your thought track.

Bobbiepin Mon 06-May-19 20:45:30

OP please get all important documents, bank details, yours and the kids' passports etc and get them out the house. Get them hidden. Get pictures of his bank statements and anything that proves how much he earns, how much he has in savings. It's a small but vital step in regaining control. There might not be an escape tonight, but you've made a massive step today.

Please also tell someone in real life who can check in on you.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:45:58

After you have left and reported him and you are safe, you can explain to his business partner that you believe he needs mental health support.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:49:50

Also it can give you headspace to pack a little bag with some toothbrushes, soap, light changes of clothes and leave it with a friend, , or at the flat. Even just disguise it in a carrier bag or whatever and don’t let your partner or children see it. In case you need to dash to a premier inn in an emergency.

WoodforTrees Mon 06-May-19 20:50:40


In haste.

Have scanned responses and will read in details a bit later.

My scan throws up refuge, refuge, refuge. I thought that it would be safer to make a less dramatic / more subtle exit - I am hoping that if I go to the flat I will get a bit of a "Good - fuck off then" and he will feel like it's on his terms. I don't give a fuck about pride, this just seems like a less dangerous route. Does anyone else with experience recognise my logic here? Am I thinking this completely wrong?

I'll be back as soon as I can.

And thank you. From the bottom of my heart.

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:52:02

How is the flag in terms of safety? Are there close neighbours? Is it in a block? Does he have a key?

leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:52:17


leatherflamingle Mon 06-May-19 20:53:09

He may start saying it’s unsuitable conditions for the kids? And come round on that basis?

MrsMozartMkII Mon 06-May-19 20:54:28

I see your logic. If you feel safer that way then that's what you do. Speak to the Refuge people anyway.

If you're in Scotland or the north of England, I have spare beds and the means to get them to you.

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