Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Am I being reasonable?(5 Posts)
A bit of back story here and could really do with some advice.
After many years of being unhappy and putting up with a rubbish relationship I finally told my husband it was over in January after 17 years. It was an emotionally and mentally abusive relationship throughout except for the last few years as he did change his behaviour but it was too little too late for me.
My husband has put me through a lot of rubbish these last nearly 6 months and things are far from being sorted and he still believes we will work it through despite me constantly telling him no or he is nagging for sex. I don't feel like I am away from him by far despite the fact I have moved out of the family home. We have 2 dc's together so I would like us to get on for their sakes but at what cost to my own mental health.
How have people dealt with their abusive ex husbands and got it to finally sink in it is over and done with or will it always be like this? I know I haven't helped the situation by giving in previously and going back so I suppose I deserve it to a certain extent. I realised a few weeks ago I am no longer frightened of him though which was a revelation! I just feel we constantly go round in circles about everything.
Also this post is probably two questions in one! I unexpectedly met someone and we get on really well and he is pretty amazing so far. I am however so conscious of jumping from my 17 year shitty abusive relationship I've been in since I was 17 into something else that's serious. I feel I need time on my own with my dc's to remember who I am and heal emotionally as well as I can. Am I being unreasonable to ask him to give me 6 months of time on my own to deal with my shit or am I being unfair on him? I didn't do anything to discourage us and it was probably what I needed at the time but I didn't expect it to get this serious as quick. Has anyone else jumped from one relationship into another and felt ok about it? Also when you've been in an abusive relationship how do you know what is even normal in the next relationship! Thank you for any help
I don’t think anyone would advise rushing into a rebound relationship after leaving an abuser, OP. There is a danger of repeating your pattern, and choosing another abusive type, or being pathetically grateful for a crap man just because he’s fractionally better than the first.
Far better to spend some time single, to heal emotionally, but also to have some counselling or therapy to work through any issues you may have. For example, was your father abusive, was your parents’ marriage a bad role model for you, do you have low self esteem or weak boundaries, allowing men to bully you, etc. That is in no way victim blaming you for the abuse you suffered, by the way - your awful ex is entirely responsible for that - but you may have been groomed and conditioned as a child to accept poor treatment.
You could consider doing the Freedom Program online, or read books such as those by Lundy Bancroft on abusive men, to aid your exploration of the issues.
Well done on making your exit - that takes strength and courage that you should be proud of. Now it’s time to build on that, and reinforce your defences against it happening again. Good luck.
^ I suppose I deserve it to a certain extent. ^
No, you don't.
Am I being unreasonable to ask him to give me 6 months of time on my own to deal with my shit or am I being unfair on him?
It seems there that you're still carrying over some stuff your coercive ex tried to make you think- that you owe men something or you're being out of line.
A decent guy won't have any problem with waiting. You can still stay in touch as friends if you feel ok with that.
Also when you've been in an abusive relationship how do you know what is even normal in the next relationship!
I know some women feel that way after they've been in an abusive relationship long term. I had a sexually coercive ex I was with for 18 months. I can think of many ways he treated me that I let slide and have sworn to myself not to tolerate from someone again.
You could make a list of your red lines and things your ex did that you shouldn'tve put up with, maybe? And try and think of 'red flags' that happened early in the relationship and might've given you a sign of what was to come, so you spot them with a man next time.
I think this is also where a bit of time can help, so you digest what you decide based on your previous relationship. I spend/spent a bit of time going 'no, that thing wasn't ok' 'I should've blocked him after that' 'that wasn't ok either' etc etc. It's not a 100% unpleasant feeling for me, as it's affirming that there is an acceptable and an unacceptable way to treat you.
Some of the red flags can be very early on. Looking back on my ex- it was his very first opening line to me!
Other women can better advise you on how to handle your ex. I think something one woman did to get it into her ex's head that it was over was to present him with steps towards a divorce as quickly as possible, and any other necessary legal steps.
Best wishes. xxx
No, you're not being unreasonable to ask the new guy to wait. It's a necessity. Take time to remember who you are, what you wanted in life, what you can be - yourself, not dependent on a guy being in your life, etc.? Fear of being alone makes people rebound. It's tough being alone when you're not used to it. But if you can stay strong and get over that fear, maybe a little anxiety, then you'll likely love it. You can't understand yourself, if you don't allow yourself to heal and be yourself.
Please login first.