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I need a good talking to

(55 Posts)
WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:03:29

Hi all,

I've posted about this before on different user names. But I seem unable to actually take any advice and do anything. I'm so cross at myself but terrified of doing anything about it.

My partner is abusive and controlling. We have 3 children (between 1 & 5) and I'm desperate to get away from him. There are moments when things feel OK, but then the same old stuff happens. He also has severe OCD (re 'dirt') which is now starting to really affect how we can operate as a family, and what the children do.

I'm aware that my resentment of him and the whole situation is now so great, that I feel angry all the time. I'm naturally a very calm, happy person, but I can feel myself becoming someone I dislike, and I'm behaving in ways I don't like around the children (getting cross, rushing them etc).

There is no way my partner would have a reasonable conversation with me about this, and no way he would leave of his own free will. I honestly feel like my only option is to leave, with the children. I have found a small rental house for a short term, in the hope that we can work out a decent future.
There are so many reasons though that I just can't bring myself to actually do it.

I feel terrible that I'd be breaking up our family. I'd be taking my children away from a truly amazing house and all they know. I don't really want to be on my own, and I know it will be bloody hard. And I'm scared about how things will eventually work out. Or not.

Also my partner tells me that it's my fault the bad things happen, so I'm scared that it really is me and my children will be better off with him. I also contacted womens aid who advised me that technically he could notify the police that I abducted the children, which is absolutely not a good thing.

My best friend is aware of the situation and obviously has told me that I need to leave, and when we talk about it it feels so clear cut. But then I don't do anything, and it's all back to square one.

Please someone talk some sense into me.

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:04:43

Sorry that was so long! blush

followingonfromthat Mon 20-Jan-20 14:36:31

You're not taking them away from an amazing house, you are protecting them from an abuser.

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:40:26

But it feels so ingrained in me now that I'm the problem. I (apparently) emotionally abuse my partner, and won't have sex with him, and that gets him frustrated which is why he takes it out on me. I can see his point. But I only started saying no to sex when he hit me more frequently. I can't reconcile what is meant to be a loving act with aggression. So maybe it is my fault and I won't be doing my children any favours by removing them.

Reading that back, I sound quite needy and weak.

MillitantMargo Mon 20-Jan-20 14:43:33

Of course you don’t have sex with him. Nobody would want sex with a man that treated them like that.
You have been conditioned to think it is your fault. It’s very common in abuse victims to feel that way. Have a look at freedom programme you can access it online. x

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 14:50:14

Thank you. I will look at the programme.

One thing I also really struggle with is feeling sorry for him, and feeling bad that he will be left. In fact, in many ways I think that's the main issue. I tried to leave before, but made the mistake of telling him. He was so desperate and apologetic, and totally broken. He said he wouldn't cope and he'd end up doing something stupid (probably drink too much and rub people up the wrong way). So I changed my mind because I felt so bad for him.

I realise that sounds bonkers. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes.

MillitantMargo Mon 20-Jan-20 15:10:25

It doesn’t sound bonkers at all. My ex raped me, I eventually reported him to the police but still felt very guilty and like I was ruining his life. I now know that actually he ruined his own life, it’s his fault that he was sent to prison. No of us are responsible for the actions of another.

TopOftheNaughtyList Mon 20-Jan-20 15:10:32

OP, your partner has done a real number on you if you are feeling guilty about the prospect of leaving. What do you think will have more impact on your children as they grow up - living in an 'amazing' house, or freedom to be children, get a bit dirty etc? His behaviour is having a knock on effect on you because it's causing you to get cross with your children (to stave off him getting angry) when they've probably done nothing to warrant anyone being cross or angry. Your children will remember these bad bits from their childhood and your partner's OCD could cause them to have issues themselves when they're adults.

Think seriously about moving into that rental house. It is NOT your fault that 'bad things happen'. Your partner needs to take responsibility for his own behaviour, and you must not feel sad or guilty or bad about leaving him. It sounds as though he's brought this upon himself. I do hope you find the strength to leave and make a better life for your children.

user3575796673 Mon 20-Jan-20 15:19:47

If you stay your children are likely to end up with developmental trauma. Feel bad for them, not him. They're children and can't choose to leave to protect themselves.

An abusive house is not an amazing house.

I think the Freedom Programme would help you. But it would probably help more if you'd moved into the new place first so he can't undo your hard work.

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 15:28:00

Thank you all. This really is what I need to hear. It feels so difficult right now. When I see him later we will function relatively normally, and I'll question it all again so it's good to have this to come back to.

I'm just so tired with it all.

HelpMeDoThisPlease Mon 20-Jan-20 15:33:44

I've been where you are, and I wish I could give you the strength to leave. I stayed far too long for the exact same reasons...I felt so bad leaving him and tearing his life apart, to make mine better. However being out the other side, is was worth walking through the fire, and I just wish I'd found the strength to do so sooner.

My daughters are now 9 and 5 - they were 7 and 3 when I left their dad. They are so much happier and calmer now, being able to be children when they are with me (when they are in his care that is sadly a different story). I've since met the absolute nicest, most amazing man there is, and feel so incredibly lucky, life is so much happier and calmer than it ever was with my ex husband, and even when life is difficult, it is still 1000 times easier without having to deal with an abusive relationship on top of it! I suffered from anxiety and depression for far too many years, and mumsnetters were right when they told me they were sure it was made worse by him.

I would suggest using mumsnet to keep your resolve and strength. Write stuff down here, it's what I did, and if I felt myself wavering I would read back the thread, and people would support me and tell me that it is as bad as I was thinking (one of my tendancies was to try and minimise or downplay how bad it really was).

Would you want you children to ever be in a relationship like yours? Thinking about my two ending up with a husband like my ex broke my heart and I knew I would always blame myself if that was what I modeled to them by staying. Now I'm modeling a healthy loving relationship to them and they have an amazing father figure in their lives.

What would your life look like if you could click your fingers and make it happen?

12345kbm Mon 20-Jan-20 15:41:13

OP you've done really well in seeing the abuse for what it is as so many people don't. I understand why it's so difficult to move out and I'm wondering if that's your only option here.

I think there are a couple of things you need to do first before you leave the family home and the first is to get legal advice, preferably from someone trained in DV and the law. If you can't get access to money due to financial abuse, you can contact Rights of Women. If you can access cash, I would suggest you take a look at the Family Law Panel for a local solicitor. Some give a free initial session and have lower fees for those under a certain income bracket. You need to do that first before you leave the family home as it could effect your divorce settlement. Secondly you may be able to obtain an Occupation Order to get him out of the family home which is an arrestable offence should he breach it. Contact the NCDV for that as they will advise if you can get one free.

In the first instance you need to contact either your local DV organisation or the National Abuse Helpline for advice on safety planning because this is the time you are most vulnerable. They will help you to minimise risk and advise you on how to go about leaving.

Leave you must OP. You must get out of this relationship as safely and as swiftly as you can. You are doing no one any favours in staying as it is damaging your and your children's mental health. Once you have made steps to leave you will wonder what kept you so long. You have to draw on every ounce of your strength and make those calls OP. Start planning your exit now, today. The abuse will escalate over time and you may end up losing your children if you don't take action.

Rights of Women
Family Law Panel:
You can find your local DV organisation here:
National Domestic Violence Helpline – 0808 2000 247
You can contact the NCDV to get a free emergency Occupation Order: 0800 970 2070

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 15:50:12

Currently sat here (in work - snuck off to a meeting room because I'm too distracted) feeling rather teary. It's so amazing to hear things can be different.

I just managed to call the lettings agent to arrange a viewing of the house I saw. This is a pretty major step for me. The house is tiny, but amazingly it's part furnished which addresses one of the issues I'd built up for myself (I realise that I keep finding reasons why I can't do this. Silly stuff like I'd find it too difficult to build all the furniture!). And they'll accept cats which was also a stumbling block.

I suspect I'm getting ahead of myself but for the first time in a long time I feel like I might find a chink of light somewhere.

I will start looking at legal advice. I'm really scared about the possibility of being accused of abduction. I have evidence of the abuse, which I have been building up recently as my resolve has been growing.

In an ideal world I would try to get him removed from our home, but I would never feel safe.

Zaphodsotherhead Mon 20-Jan-20 15:51:06

He hits you. At that point he loses any right to tell you anything about yourself (ie, that you are 'controlling' or 'causing the problems').

His opinion is meaningless.

HelpMeDoThisPlease Mon 20-Jan-20 15:57:39

So happy you're arranging a viewing WinterSunshine. Going to see the house I ended up renting when I left was such a major step for me too. It was also so freeing to imagine myself there, with just my children, happy enjoying ourselves. I applied a few days after seeing it, and moving in was the most freeing thing I've ever done, it was amazing what a difference it made!

WinterSunshine101 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:14:15

Thank you so much for your encouragement HelpMeDoThisPlease. I drove past the house today. It probably isn't right for us, but even the thought is so good.

Tonight has been a massive wake up call for me. Because of the mental progress I made today, I felt so much stronger as a mum. Had a lovely evening with my children and lots of laughing. 'He' has spent the whole time asking me why I'm being 'weird' and moaning that everyone is ignoring him. And then getting angry. I suspect later on will be difficult, but I cannot thank you all enough for giving me some strength here.

category12 Mon 20-Jan-20 20:22:26

I think that's quite strange advice from Women's Aid? You have parental responsibility, couples split up and move out all the time, you really don't hear of it being called abduction - you're not planning to take them out of the country, just down the road.

WinterSunshine101 Tue 21-Jan-20 06:46:59

category12 yes, you're right. Sorry. I re read the women's aid reply and I misinterpreted/didn't read it correctly (I was rushing and a bit stressed my partner would see it before I had chance to file it away). I'm glad you posted that as it got me thinking, and then I rechecked. That's a massive weight off my mind.

crystalize Tue 21-Jan-20 07:30:56

When you become stronger and more aware, he may start sensing the change in you. Whatever you do don't discuss anything with him about moving out. It will only result in him begging and pleading, promising the earth, threatening to harm himself etc. Leave while he is out at work.

In the meantime if he hits or threatens you, report him to the police. This abuse needs to be logged. Good luck I hope you find the strength to leave him soon. x

category12 Tue 21-Jan-20 12:32:26

Oh I'm glad. smile

HelpMeDoThisPlease Tue 21-Jan-20 14:08:45

Yes seconded about them noticing a change in you, so pulling out all the stops to make you stay. Just try and practice being a rock and not getting emotionally drawn in.

Your posts remind me so much of mine. Fingers crossed you soon find the house you can imagine you and your children being happy living in, it;s out there. The laughing and enjoying time with the children can become the normal, just focus on that and getting out the other side.

WinterSunshine101 Tue 21-Jan-20 16:03:08

It's funny you say that about a change in behaviour. He has definitely noticed something even since yesterday. I think it's because I've made my decision now, and perhaps that's showing in how I react to him. He keeps asking me why I'm ignoring him etc. We meet up for lunch on a work day (with friends) and apparently I was paying the others too much attention today compared to him (not the first time he's said this, obviously. But the first time he's said it as an actual observation compared to a ridiculous accusation). I will definitely heed your advice.

Sadly the house viewing I had arranged for tomorrow has just fallen through. I have another lined up though, so fingers crossed for that. I'm pretty nervous because I feel like unless the place is terrible (and it won't be), I really don't have a reason to say no to it, other than because I chicken out. Again. So I suspect I'll be back on here after that needing another shove on the right direction.
Already I'm pre-empting everything and finding blockers (e.g. I'll need an extra car seat; I don't know how to set up a new TV; I won't have time to build furniture etc etc.). I'm starting to annoy myself with it all now. I know deep down all that is easier than justifying my every move and arguing the toss about whether my 'dirty coat' brushed against the hall way wall, or having to stand outside with my three year old when returning from a party because the bath wasn't ready for her to have a wash. When I remind myself of all that, a load of flat pack seems like a breeze.

category12 Tue 21-Jan-20 20:06:39

You'll surprise yourself how capable you are. I was afraid I wouldn't cope and couldn't do stuff.

A tv is really easy to set up - just follow the instructions - they pretty much set themselves up these days. Furniture, etc, you can do things bit by bit - it doesn't have to be done in a day.

category12 Tue 21-Jan-20 20:08:45

Oh missed out the vital bit: I was afraid I wouldn't cope and couldn't do stuff but I rocked it. They undermine your confidence, but it's all a lie.

GilbertMarkham Tue 21-Jan-20 20:14:45

Might be a useful read op.

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