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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

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.

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