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Building up courage to leave - support thread

(167 Posts)
myotherface Tue 19-May-20 10:06:42

Hi everyone,

Just seeing if anyone wants to get together to support each other in difficult relationships thinking about divorce but not quite having the courage for it yet.

I've been married for 10ish years. 3 primary aged DC. First three years together before children were amazing. The past 10 have been rocky to say the least. DH was emotionally abusive throughout a big chunk of that although I still feel he hasn't done it on purpose. I've gone through cycles of saying I'll leave, him being tearful and begging me not to and then eventually turning it all so that everything is my fault. Lots of arguing all throughout the years (can't even think what all this has done to the kids). Episodes of my depression with one of them ending me in hospital.

I've had loads of therapy, worked on myself and what I want from life. I've realised I only have one life and decided I don't need to stay married to a person I don't like. I expect it's going to be unbelievable difficult as he will oppose the divorce with all he's got. I'm going to need support and people who will remind me why I want this in the first place.

Whether you're nowhere near thinking about divorce and have only just started opening your eyes to abuse or even just your own unhappiness in the relationship. Or whether you've already ordered the divorce papers. Please join me and we'll support each other through this. There's got to be a happier life on the other side of this.

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 10:07:34

Yes please

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 10:43:39

46... 2 DC. H with history of alcohol abuse, now under control but also anxiety and anger, not under control. Came to a head last lobby with shouting, pushing and throwing things. Feel calm today... after 20 years I don’t want to be responsible for him and his needs and moods any more. He says he hates me and it’s all my fault? Well why doesn’t he leave then. He won’t... so it’s up to me. I’m not physically going to leave my home but we’ll have to sort something out. He is 48... he’s not going to change

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 10:58:27

And yes... he will oppose it and tell me it’s all my fault and that I’m hurting the DCs. So I need strength to get through that.

myotherface Tue 19-May-20 12:33:30

I really feel for you. That sounds like such a difficult situation to be in. He sounds abusive and like you need to get out of the relationship. I'm so glad you've gotten to a point of recognising that.

For me the key moment was realising that I don't need to know whether he is to blame or whether he is right and I am to blame as well. What matters is that I don't love him and don't feel happy or emotionally safe in our marriage. So I've got every right to get out even if it was all my fault (which I highly doubt).

I went through my past texts to my best friend last night. There was four years of desperate messages.. he'd been pushing the kids around, called me a lazy bitch, mocked and mimicked eldest when she was crying, asked me why all other mums could look after their kids AND the house but I couldn't, told me I couldn't be trusted to look after my own kids or even to write my own work related emails because I mess everything up. He says taken out of context I make him sound like a monster, which he isnt. And jokes that sound mean are not mean because they are jokes. He is right he is not a monster. He does most of the housework and is lovely most of the time. He.is affectionate, gives me lots of compliments, is an amazing dad 99% of the time and devotes all his time and energy to us. But there is also this darker side that comes out with any stress or tiredness. And he might not be a monster but neither is he the man I want to be married to.

Sheddingskins Tue 19-May-20 12:41:02

I left my DH in November. Long marriage, three DCs at school. It took me six or seven years to realise I needed to take the leap, six months to tell him, and four more to get things in place to do nesting. I was going to cement things with an official separation in April when the lease on the shared flat came up for renewal, but Covid has intervened and I will wait a little longer. I am so much happier now. Taking that step was so damn hard though...
Good luck to you OP...

Spain1 Tue 19-May-20 12:42:10

48 in the same boat. Need to sort myself out but have very little energy. Got great advice on another thread so I am going to take it on board & sort my life out. Someone said take back control of your life & that really hit a chord with me. No one has the right to destroy my life.

myotherface Tue 19-May-20 13:28:28

@Sheddingskins thank you so much for sharing your story for encouragement. It really helps to hear from people who have successfully gone through the process and are happier now.

@Spain1 I think that does sound like great advice. I made a decision at first to sort myself and my own life first. To make my life look like I want and thought things would then fall into place by themselves. I've been more confident and set clearer boundaries at home which has meant he has been a lot nicer (after the initial hostile protest). But after lockdown is when the true shock will come as even without telling him about the divorce I decided to start doing things a lot more. He thinks a weekend on my own is an insulting plan as I should prefer to do it with him. And this is not said nastily but with love and hurt. But I am my own person and need a bit of freedom and some me time (which I never get). So the initial step will be more time to do things on my own. I think I will probably talk to him about the divorce too pretty soon. Just don't want to do it until I can start doing something about it. Being in the same house once I'm acting on the decision will be hell. It feels so scary.

And I'm 36 but already feel like I've wasted too many of my best years in an unhappy marriage.

Torres10 Tue 19-May-20 14:12:45

Can I join too please. I have been in counselling alone for a year and come to realise the source of my unhappiness is my marriage
Harder for me has been that he has been a good supportive husband in the main, and my friends think I am nuts!
I just dont fancy him anymore, mind you he was never that interested in sex with me anyway, that I think is the issue. We are flatmates and I dont want to accept this as the rest if my life.
Our chat (2 days pre lockdown), seemed to end in stalemate and now it's like we never had the conversation, but it seems pointless to raise it at the moment when he just gets angry and accuses me of destroying our family and we are stuck with this living arrangement for the foreseeablesad

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 14:19:02

@myotherface yes, he does loads around the house and some women would kill for that. But always that element of control. And last night was my last straw. He says he might kill himself ... honestly my reaction is go ahead then. I have been listening to how everything is my fault since the kids were born. He had a worse post natal depression than I did. But depression is one thing... yelling at me and shoving me away is another. I’m scared in my home and that’s no way to be

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 14:23:38

For me the key moment was realising that I don't need to know whether he is to blame or whether he is right and I am to blame as well. What matters is that I don't love him and don't feel happy or emotionally safe in our marriage. So I've got every right to get out even if it was all my fault (which I highly doubt). THIS!!! why do I have to be the grown up all the time, smoothing everything and making everything ok? Don’t I have a right to happiness?

Bearski77 Tue 19-May-20 14:41:16

I'm joining too, @myotherface I have been going round in circles in my head for years now. I started counselling over a year ago, and after that first session, getting absolutely everything out, all my frustrations and anger, I felt so strong. But here I am still no further forward. Like you I've looked back over messages to friends from 6 or 7 years ago where I'm so unhappy. Like you, I'm not bothered about blame, it doesn't matter. What matters is that I can't live the rest of my life so unfulfilled and unhappy. I'm 43 and I KNOW I've wasted years of my life, and I can't do that anymore.
@R3ALLY This is exactly what I said to my counsellor - I feel like the mother of the house, making sure everyone is ok, looking after everyone, but what about me? Last night I lay on my bed watching Normal People in absolute tears, and all I could hear was him downstairs laughing at some football thing on telly. So even though only a matter of a few weeks ago we had a discussion about how I was so very unhappy and couldn't continue this way, he was devastated at the possibility we might break up, crying etc, he seems perfectly satisfied to rumble on. Then there's the kids, the house etc. I feel as if it's impossible to move forward x

NeedSleepNow Tue 19-May-20 15:08:40

I am building up courage to leave too. Married 10 years, 3 dc. Husband has always been quite controlling with finances, liking things around the house done his way etc, if I ask him to do or not do something I am usually met with shouting of "don't tell me what to do". Lots of issues with his relationship with the children, they really aren't happy. I am sick of living with someone who is always angry and negative, the final straw for me was when he picked up the garden furniture and started throwing it against the shed because I had asked him not to pull up the plants I had recently planted. The kids witnessed it and he told me it was my fault for telling him what to do and upsetting him. I decided that day that I needed to end things. I have felt so much happier just knowing that things would eventually change. I found a job (I had left work years before to be a full time stay at home mum) , started saving and decided by the summer things would be over but then lockdown happened.

I just dread the actual confrontation of it. I am certain he will make things as difficult for me as possible, emotionally, mentally, financially (I don't know how I will be able to afford a house) and with the children (despite me having done everything for them for years up until lockdown started and him not getting on with them most of the time my big worry is that he will want them to live with him 50%).

I am so worried about the uncertainty of it all but now know that I do have the strength to change my situation and the children's at some point this year.

Sending big hugs too everyone else trying to find the strength to leave.

R3ALLY Tue 19-May-20 16:29:39

He just called there, made me swear that the fight last night was my fault and that I had goaded him ... he seems to have copped that I’m on the verge of leaving. Says he will apologise if I will ... he’s an expert at making me do what he wants

takethegirloutofscotland Tue 19-May-20 18:01:54

Hey can I join
Married 16 yrs x2 dc
From the outside a good kind man but like a pp said just so unhappy which comes in waves over the years
no intimacy no sex (never was that much and he turned me away so many times I haven't recovered)

I know I need to move forward but stuck in the perpetual mind spin of the what ifs and have been for the past few years

Feeling guilty and selfish that I am putting myself before my family but I am still young and can't go on like this and don't want to look back and feel my life has passed me by

Have had the talk twice and I know he will be devastated and try to make me change my mind
I really don't want to hurt him but can't get out of this any other way. I know I need to own my feelings and take on the chin that I will cause pain
It's so bloody hard though
Sending love and strength to you all

Fuckmyliferightnow Tue 19-May-20 18:15:33

Place marking

Spain1 Tue 19-May-20 19:24:21

@myotherface one thing that amazes me with human nature is that people that I have never experienced abuse of any sort appear to have absolutely no understanding or they try to minimize what you are going through. I try not feel that I have wasted the years because I don't want to waste anymore time on him. Onwards & upwardssmile

SPP1 Tue 19-May-20 19:56:09

I'm in the same boat. Not married, no kids but been together 10 years. We get on ok, he used to be good company, I care about him but the love is gone. I can carry on for the next 10 years, but I don't fancy him, don't want to have sex with him, I'm 30 now and I want kids, but not with him. I asked him to move out 3 weeks ago. We've been to counselling. But I can't do it anymore, I'm ending it this weekend. Wish me luck.

Diabetes123 Tue 19-May-20 20:47:47

Me too but I left 2 weeks ago (

I'm 48 2 DC's married 22 years together for 30. Knew things were not right forever but never had the guts to leave....until now!

Very very difficult decision as he is a good man no particular reason for leaving other than I don't love him anymore which is very sad. DC's have taken it badly especially younger one who will not speak to me at all. Eldest one worried bout me (she is 19) and much more understanding). So here I am living on my own in a house I am renting without my DC's but the feeling of relief is massive.

Hugs and support very much needed.

takethegirloutofscotland Tue 19-May-20 21:21:46

Well done @Diabetes123 hugs
It takes such courage to walk away
The feeling of knowing things aren't right is awful
I hope your kids will come round soon and realise you are happier xx

myotherface Tue 19-May-20 21:22:42

Welcome everyone. I'm so glad there's quite a few of us here to support each other through this. And at the same time I feel so sad that there's so many of you out there feeling as awful as I do.

I had therapy tonight. I told him about my unhappy marriage for the first time and gave lots of past examples of hubby's bad behaviour. He seemed really shocked and said that was behaviour of someone extremely abusive. It suddenly feels like my eyes have been opened. I've been told by multiple therapists and mumsnetters he is abusive. I never believed it. And now I suddenly see it although I'm still wrestling with doubts and what if it's all my fault or there's nothing abnormal here thoughts. But I think this is it. I think this time I'm really going to do it. Need to write a to do list to start arranging for separation.

What would you do? Behave normally until I have a clear plan and the lockdown is over? Tell him straight away and get it over with. Start preparing separate bank accounts, finances etc and then rent somewhere? Or wait for the lockdown to end until I rent somewhere? I have no idea how to proceed.

myotherface Tue 19-May-20 21:39:30

@Diabetes123 I'm sending tons of hugs from here too. And a massive well done!! The kids will come round. And things will work out and it will get easier. But you have done it!! Sending so many warm hugs and thoughts.

Will comment more on everyone else's messages tomorrow when I've at least had some sleep to clear my head.

Diabetes123 Tue 19-May-20 21:40:16

Youcantakethegirloutofscotland and motherface

Somehow you will find the strength to do what you need to do I promise.

Whether that is staying where you are or finding the strength to leave.

Advice: don't rush it talk to your OH's tell them how you're feeling and why you want to leave (I know this is extremely difficult hurting the ones you care about the most) but you cant shoulder everyone's emotions including your own. As a mother its very very difficult to put yourself own happiness first believe me I thought I was having a nervous breakdown a couple of weeks ago when I left (

Telling someone you've spent most of your life with that you don't love them anymore and you want to separate is probably the hardest thing you will ever do in your life. However the alternative is living the rest of your life unhappy and living in denial and that's not fair on you, your OH or your DC which is eventually what I came to realise.

Quite honestly I am still very anxious, terrified, lonely, but I know in my heart that I've been true to myself and its for the best.

Miss my kids like crazy (

Only you can make the decision and it wont be easy whichever way you do it if you do it but you deserve to be happy everyone does.

Hugs ()

Starhaf Tue 19-May-20 21:48:09

Personally, unless you are in danger I would spend this time sorting out finances yes, but also sorting out what's in your head. It's not going to be easy, & I would say that if you can prepare yourself now for what's to come you will face it with more strength when the time comes. It will come& you will know it when it does.

It took me years to get the strength, no just for the initial onslaught, the torrent of his emotions etc. But by then I'd sorted my emotions out mentally, knew my decision was the right one that there would be no going back. Never.

I realised afterwards that I'd separated emotionally as well as physically from him some years before. There's usually a moment when it suddenly dawns that you deserve something different - whether it's better or not I couldn't care. But I knew deep down that I wanted, needed, deserved something very different, even though I didn't & couldn't know exactly what that 'something' might turn out to be. But I knew it didn't involve him.

From the point of breakup forward I had prepared myself for a year of shit. And yep, it's been tough but at no time time have I ever doubted my decisions. His actions since marriage meltdown day have served only to confirm my decision was totally & utterly the right one. His behaviour toward me & my daughter was simply appalling at several points, and now almost 10 months later it's still not great, However, each of his actions simply confirms my decision that he is not in my future & actually now builds my strength & determination for change. Major change.

If you do decide to do it know in your head that you will get through it. The storm will pass. Preparing for it saved me. Doing what I could to unravel our finances before I left was helpful, but not vital. The emotional preparation however, I would say was key.

marypoppinsreturns Tue 19-May-20 21:54:49

Can I join? We've been having a difficult time for several years now. I can't put much detail as my husband knows I go on here and I'd be nervous he would spot me if he ever looked. It's good to know I'm not alone and this may help me finally make some changes.

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