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Verbal abuse

(11 Posts)
Smoothasababy Tue 09-Jun-20 22:26:41

I posted here a couple of years ago when I was worried my marriage was falling apart. The advice I got here changed my life. It helped me see more clearly and take my therapy more seriously ... but I’m not quite there yet!

My STBEXH, who I’m still living with, is a nice person in many ways. We are obviously both flawed, as everyone is & I’m not perfect but his very short fuse has been a repeated issue. It upsets and triggers me. I look back on almost twenty years and Ask why I didn’t leave sooner. I never had children with him and I’ve missed out on a lot.

Anyhow, here I am still living with him. Half the time I wonder if it’s in my head but when I write in my diary, I realise how out-of-the-blue his rages can me. I had to block my ears the other day and repeatedly say ‘please stop.’

I’m not sure what I’m asking - I suppose I could just do with some support. I finally know I’m doing the right thing by leaving but I’m stuck here for now. I can’t believe I have put up with this for so long but he honestly is a good man in many ways, which is so confusing.

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1235kbm Tue 09-Jun-20 22:34:23

OP I'm a little confused about what's going on here. Soon to be ex, so you're currently divorcing?

You're still living together because?

It sounds like you have post traumatic stress from 20 years of abuse and he's triggering that with his rages.

What's the plan OP as you can't remain like this?

Smoothasababy Tue 09-Jun-20 23:10:08

We’re still living together as I haven’t been able to find a place to live which is causing me immense stress. It’s a long story and I don’t want to get into the particulars as it could out me but it makes the most sense for me to move out and for him to stay here For many reasons and that is definitely what is happening.

I know I need to get out but I struggle to even call it abuse so I don’t think anyone even gets how bad it is. There is no physical violence: raging and some controlling behaviour but the rest of the time he’s quite nice. It’s very confusing.

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1235kbm Tue 09-Jun-20 23:42:23

OP I suggest you contact your local domestic abuse organisation which you can find [[ here]]. Also contact your local council's housing department and find out about housing.

Between them, you should hopefully either get a refuge place or emergency accommodation. Speak to your GP as well as what you're describing is serious trauma.

Abuse is always confusing because of gaslighting and emotional abuse. You've been in this for 20 years and you sound shell shocked. You need to just get out of the house OP, somewhere safe. The people in the refuge will help you with sorting out permanent housing.

1235kbm Tue 09-Jun-20 23:44:20

You can also contact Shelter for housing advice.

You haven't mentioned the divorce. You can get free legal advice at Rights of Women or FLOWS.

Smoothasababy Wed 10-Jun-20 11:35:03

Thank you. It’s a crazy situation because my DH doesn’t get it at all. He accused me of trying to make him feel bad when I told him how upsetting the rages are. He said that I’m painting a picture of abuse. I don’t know who he thinks I’m painting a picture for. I struggle to accept this is even happening even though I’ve had therapy. I still care about him and I end up making up with him.

Anyway thanks for the advice. flowers

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Weetabixandcrumpets Wed 10-Jun-20 11:51:13

Of course there are nice times, you wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes if there weren't.
I completely get the confusion. I think it comes from a place of minimising what's going on (Well, at least he isn't violent etc) and whatever other fancy name there is for someone acting like you are over reacting after they have behaved awfully (a rational adult can stop themselves getting into frightening rages) and being lovely otherwise, so you doubt yourself. Controlling is often disguised as protective.
I had 20 years of it and now that I'm out, I look back on what I experienced and feel really bad for putting the 'past me' through it, but I just didn't know what to do and did the best I could.
It'll get better and you'll find a way out. x

KellyHall Wed 10-Jun-20 12:00:57

20 years is an awfully long time, you're bound to feel confused. You're bound to have moments of doubt because you at some stage thought of your future being with him but now you know it's better if it isn't.

He's never going to stop trying to tell you it's your fault he says what he does, he doesn't want to get angry but you make him angry, you make him feel guilty, you ruin his mood, etc, etc, etc. It's all bollocks: adults should be able to control themselves without abusing others, no matter what.

Head's up - if he's anything like men like that I've known, he'll probably threaten suicide when you leave too. It's unlikely to be a real threat, it's just a last ditch attempt to make you feel responsible for him and try to stop you from leaving. You are not responsible for him, his choices are his alone.

1235kbm Wed 10-Jun-20 14:51:38

OP would you convince a rabid dog that it was a rabid dog or would you get the hell away?

Abusers don't admit they abuse. I'm not sure how, after 20 years, you have the energy or patience to do that. He's your soon to be ex apparently, why are you still engaging with him?

You don't have to be stuck there. You can move, you can start divorce proceedings, you can get into a refuge. Don't stay there while he further works to destroy your piece of mind. Once you're away, you'll wonder why the hell you stayed so long.

BraverThanYouBel1eve Wed 10-Jun-20 20:19:09

It seems confusing because it is. Good times, good behaviours absolutely happen, but if bad times are unacceptably, unreasonably, intolerably bad then the good times are not an excuse for that to happen (except of course they are a valid excuse in the eyes of the abuser). I watched 'Big lies, little lies' recently and thought that the abuse theme was done really well. Here's a clip:

I am divorcing my abusive husband after almost 20 years and yes after so many years it's super hard to find the strength but it is possible. I got stronger and stronger over the last 3 years by exercising a lot and surrounding myself with positive people. The stronger I got the more severe and frequent the abuse became. After the last incident I spent 3 days in total agony and fear then called Domestic Abuse helpline and eventually police, who were very helpful, and after that it started to get easier.

Work on your inner strength, your finances, and your support network, get your ducks in a row as much as you can, then when the moment will come when you feel ready, you'll just know.

All the best xxx

Smoothasababy Wed 10-Jun-20 23:04:04

Thank you all very much. flowers

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