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Escaping an abusive relationship at 34. Too late?

(110 Posts)
user1498060624 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:04:00

Hi all, I need some help, thoughts, encouragement please.

I'm 34 years old and have just broken up from a 6 year-long relationship.

My ex is/was abusing me physically (grabbing me from the hair, pulling me on the floor, kicking me, bruises everywhere) and emotionally (gas lighting, belittling me, mansplaining).

He comes from a family of racists, sexists, misogynists so he doesn't know differently. He has never seen me as an equal and his dad believes all women are 'wee wifies' so that's what my ex thinks too. The mother agrees, she doesn't know any better. They all think they are an incredibly amazing family and weirdly enough are respected in the local society, yet all 3 sons have dealt with court cases, the father has killed a child while speeding with his car, my ex was in jail for crashing the head of a man in a pub fight and the middle son was a drug dealer at some point in his life. I've learned all these facts, 6 months ago.

I am a foreigner living, working in his country. No family, friends, educated, financially independent. I feel isolated and have been crying out for help for many MANY years to my family, social services, a hand to pull me out of this manipulative, nasty situation but no one helps and so I go back to him.

During this lockdown I had enough, decided its time I help myself and get out of here. Packed my stuff and I move out in 10 days.

He doesn't seem to care, no reactions. Still living together in his flat. He is on Tinder and keeps telling me how old I am, no one's gonna look at me, I lost my chance to have kids, I'm a failure for the female standards and lost my marketability as a woman.

Tinder is full of young, fresh, beautiful women, he says, who won't be as opinionated (aka educated who disagrees when he makes racist /sexist comments) as I, so he is happy with the split up and keeps reminding me that the reason he hasn't proposed yet is because I wasnt good enough for him and his family. He said the plan was to stay with me {and enjoy the perks (he does zero household jobs and I contribute 50% in his mortgage)} up until I'll be of an age that I wouldn't be able to have kids and then he'd either marry me out of feeling sorry for me, or dispose me and find someone else.

It's a toxic relationship that I've been living in for the good times and chose to block out the nasty comments, behaviour. I have always hoped that my love will change him. Delusion.

BUT, he starts getting into me and even though I grew balls to move out without anyone helping me (mentally), I do now believe that he's right. No one will marry me, I'm old now, all the good men are taken by now and I woke up this morning coming into terms with the fact that I might not have kids in my life and it was a hard realisation.

I cannot sleep at nights, my stomach is a knot and I'm utterly lost.

Help, thoughts please!

OP’s posts: |
rvby Sun 21-Jun-20 16:08:31

I left at 31 with a small son.

I'm now 36 and living with dp who is highly eligible and an absolute gem - a feminist, anti racist. And he is younger than me...

It isnt too late my sweetheart. Most educated women of 34 are only just now settling down.

Your mind isnt a rubbish bin - stop letting him throw rotten things in there. Get out, stay out, and every time you hear his voice in your head, replace it with the words I'm telling you: you are lovely, worthy, and everything will be all right. It really will. You just need to be brave.

sleepismysuperpower1 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:08:46

He is talking absolute rubbish to try and get into your head. Lots of people have kids in their 40s/late 30s, so it is definitely still a possibility for you. Good on you for leaving, all the best flowers

HowFastIsTooFast Sun 21-Jun-20 16:30:26

He is talking absolute rubbish sweetheart. I divorced an abusive narcissist of a man when I was 33 and felt the same way as you; now I'm 36 with the most fantastic DP and we're trying for a baby.

Don't panic, don't settle for any more awful Men, just get yourself out of there and take one day at a time x

user1498060624 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:35:26

Thank you for your kind words. I think the thing that hurts me the most is that he cannot see what he had done to me/ the unacceptable way he has treated me all these years and that he thinks it's all MY FAULT. He got into an argument with me about BLM and he called me stupid cow that I just repeat what everyone says without checking the facts that more black men kill white men in the USA.

This weekend his family is having a reggae BBQ weekend to 'celebrate' BLM where they wear afro wigs, play reggae music and make fun of the situation. I was invited and refused to take part. I packed my stuff and told him I'm leaving.

I simply struggle to understand How he is like he is and has these beliefs but still thinks he's right!

I concluded its because he doesn't regard me as an equal so anything I say is not worthy. If his dad or his brother would however call him off, then he'd listen to them and change.

It blows my mind and because of all this, I feel even more lonely and keep doubting myself - are they really that bad or am I perceiving them as bad and ruin the relationship? He keeps and keeps telling its my fault and I should go to a Counsellor and be checked.

I reached a point that I hate myself now. My head is foggy and I don't even know who I am.

OP’s posts: |
tenlittlecygnets Sun 21-Jun-20 16:36:16

He's talking bollocks to make you feel bad and make you stay with him. Ignore him!! Of course it's not too late.

And every day you stay with him is one day less that you can meet a new man...

user1498060624 Sun 21-Jun-20 16:36:41

Thank you so much for your encouraging words. It took all my strength to pack my things and do things robotic without thinking or crying.

OP’s posts: |
SandyY2K Sun 21-Jun-20 16:45:41

It's never too late to leave an abusive relationship.

You did the right thing. Its not too late to meet anyone else and have kids...he just can't believe you were strong enough to leave him.

Stop communicating with him. Him and his family are examples of why racism is still present. Generation after generation are full of ignorance and it results in black people suffering.

Hold your head up high. Let him faff about on tinder like a fool.... his comments simply show he is both ignorant and arrogant. Be glad that you don't share a child with him...because he would take them down the same path.

mellowww Sun 21-Jun-20 16:52:01

Love everything you say I have also had said and done to me, and worse.

Just now my hair has been pulled, my throat grabbed. I've been told all the bad things again.

I think I'm actually now properly allergic to him.

So please please understand that it is a script, used by total fuckers who are fighting their own stupid demons. We have just wandered into their paths, unfortunately.

All we have to do is to step back out of their way.

Let him tumble on in his hatred and vitriol. Let his insides be wrecked by vicious stupidity.

Aka, let him fuck off 🙂

You know the truth about yourself. Right don there in you somewhere, possibly hiding behind a big rock or warehouse box until the fuss dies down and it's ok to come out, you are very much still there. Feeling foggy and numb is just a protective shield around you for now. Yes yes you are doing totally the right thing by making yourself go through the motions of sorting to go. You can feel later. Just go now.

34. 🥰 Lovely age, and still have probably 10 years or so for babies and setting up your new family and life. Think about that beautiful future and leave this darkness behind. (And I'm not even going to start on the BLM fancy dress party - couldn't even write that!).

2/3 years to find someone. You can easily have two kids before you're 40. No problem at all.

It wouldn't matter if you were 34 or 44 or 54 - a man like him will still find your weakest point and try to snap you there. Oh yes I forgot - I was also ducked and pinched just now. And have a nice little bruise from a couple of days ago.

Fuck him. Fuck them. We have to be strong and wash them out of our lives with bleach. Get them gone. Chuck them out with the rubbish.

And live your lovely life. Of course you're fine. Of course have stacks of time. Years and years. The sooner he's gone, the sooner you can be happy. Why are you even waiting 10 days? Xxx

mellowww Sun 21-Jun-20 16:53:53

I wasn't actually ducked 😂

Weird autocorrect ....... I was flicked.

Lampan Sun 21-Jun-20 16:55:34

I have been Tindering on and off for the past few years (I’m mid-30s now) and can assure you that there are PLENTY of men who will be interested. Your ex is just trying to make you doubt yourself. Ignore him.

SandysMam Sun 21-Jun-20 17:04:17

Oh my god he sounds horrendous, his family even worse. Run for the hills and be grateful you don’t have kids with this horrible man. Do you have anywhere you can stay if you leave NOW? Even 10 days sounds to long. Could you ring women’s aid and try to get into a refuge or stay in a b & b or on a caravan park? You need to get away from this dangerous man before he does any more damage.
You sound so lovely, good luck with your fabulous new future.

Meckity1 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:08:32

My late father had an epic, respectful and appropriate love life right into his eighties. There is no cut off for falling in love and finding great relationships.

Other, more knowledgeable women on here will be able to discuss stuff like the freedom programme with you. I just wanted to let you know that he is wrong. There is every chance you could have a wonderful, fulfilling and epic romance with a great partner. And that's something he could never have because of his world view. It's cut him off from even the chance of it.

Muslimah2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:11:33

Move back to your country, be close to your family and friends and rebuild your life again

Regretsy Sun 21-Jun-20 17:12:46

My good friend was single at your age and despairing, but went on to marry a lovely guy and they’ve had a healthy baby. I also found a gorgeous younger man in my thirties. Your guy sounds hideous and I bet anyone on Tinder wouldn’t touch him with a barge pole. Get the hell away from him, you’ll be so much happier promise.

Millykitty Sun 21-Jun-20 17:14:03

Please please leave ASAP. I think you should contact the police or a friend to be there as you pack your things in the car. The most dangerous time is now. When they know you are leaving. I would pack my things right away leave ASAP don’t wait 10 days. Call the national domestic abuse hotline (24 hours) 0808 2000 247 - tell them you are leaving and need to work out a plan to leave safely. They can help if you need to find a shelter to stay at.

You are moving onto your lovely life, as a young 34yo. You are so young & have plenty of time to meet someone. He’s just being abusive and trying to control your actions by ruining your self esteem. He sounds absolutely horrible.

When I left my ex his abuse ramped up 10x to the extent he shocked himself. It was horrible. Police became involved later that day but I wish I had some proper help involved when initially asking him to leave.
I am thinking of you

Bunnymumy Sun 21-Jun-20 17:18:47

He CAN see what he has done. Because he INTENDED to do it.

Think of him as a playground bully. Because that's what he is. He needs to hurt his victim to feel the big man.

He will say any old shot in order to do so.

On the off chance you left and never met anyone ever again - so bloody what? A life of bring able to do whatever you want, whenever you want and not be judged or shat on 24/7 would still be miles better than staying with this prick surely!

I'm worried he knows you are leaving in 10 days though. He will do all he can to make you feel like you wont make it on your own between now and then. His goal is to stop you from leaving by making you choose to stay. Dont let him.

And please, if you feel at risk,call the police. It's what they are there for.

You are only 34, you could have another 60 years left. Live them free. Dont worry about meeting other men (which you undoubtedly will) you will need to take time when free to work on your boundaries anyway.

No matter what, it will be an adventure. It's a good thing. Go!

MoreGinPlease2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:23:15

He's talking nonsense to try to upset you. I left my emotionally abusive ex at 34 after 4 years and he told me I'd never find anyone as great as him. Yeah right! It took a year of counselling and recovery before I actually felt free and happy. It's now been 2.5 years and I'm engaged to a truly wonderful man and we're expecting a baby. Leaving my ex and staying away from him was the hardest thing I've ever done. It'll be incredibly hard but don't let him continue messing with your head, especially when it comes to your future and the possibility of meeting someone new.

ElizabethMountbatten Sun 21-Jun-20 17:24:02

I left an abusive bastard at 28 with all the same fears (I had 2 DC then). He too was an abusive, misogynistic, lazy criminal from a criminal family.

I believed everything you believe now. I met the love of my life at 29, had a child with him at 32, married at 33 and now I'm 36 and life is peachy! My sister has left an abusive partner at 36, is now almost 38 and I swear she's going to marry the absolute diamond she's with now and have a baby with him. I know she wants to and he feels like the luckiest bloke on earth.

It's not over for you. You've got way more going for you than an ex con with no respect. You'll win, I promise. You already have.

user1752463586 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:24:25

I think the thing that hurts me the most is that he cannot see what he had done to me/ the unacceptable way he has treated me all these years and that he thinks it's all MY FAULT

Abuse is about controlling you.

All these behaviours are designed to control you.

If he convince a you it's your fault then you put up with it and he keeps control of you.

If he convinced you nobody will ever love you if you leave them you stay and he keeps control of you.

Abuse is about control. Not logic or truth or fairness. There is no point engaging with him; you can't reason with someone who is only interested in controlling you.

Remind yourself of that when he gets inside your head or when you find yourself getting sucked back in.

Is it safe for you with him knowing you plan to leave? The most serious violence occurs when an abuser fears losing control of his victim - you leaving is the ultimate loss of control (hence all the headgames to try and get you to stay). Most women who are murdered by ex/partners are murdered when they tried to leave or in the months afterwards.

Can you leave sooner (without telling him)?

user1752463586 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:31:43

Freedom Programme course is a good suggestion. You might find it a revelation.

user1498060624 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:34:12

Thank you all for your incredible encouragement and support. I thought you'll make fun of me staying with him all these years despite the signs. I thought you'd say that I deserve what I got.

I'm leaving in 10 days as its my annual leave. I fly back to my country for holidays and some time off to think what I want for my future.

My options are:
1) Move my stuff to a friend and, while away, rent one of the flats I have on my realtor's list. As I already have a job here perhaps it's best I stay here even if I have no family or friends just because I have a job.

2) Quit my job and move back to my home country. I have my own flat there and have my family and friends, BUT no job and not the best job prospects either.

It's a huge dilemma and I'm hoping these days off will give me the answers I'm looking for.

OP’s posts: |
user1498060624 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:48:10

He is well off and keeps reminding me how rich he will be in the future. I've akwats been financially independent and money proud and I think THIS is killing him.

Judging from our female acquaintances, there are plenty of women who would put up with his behaviour for the lifestyle he offers.

I paid half for all his furniture, mortgage and bills, and also renovated his flat and covered the entire cost of the work. I never milked him or relied in him.

He keeps saying someone else will enjoy the perks and describes himself as a bloody good bloke on tinder which makes me think, maybe he has already found someone else!

OP’s posts: |
okiedokieme Sun 21-Jun-20 17:48:36

I thought I would never find someone else because my self esteem was rock bottom from my ex, but I did and so will you!

MoreGinPlease2020 Sun 21-Jun-20 17:54:19

Take the time to think about what you want. Staying somewhere just for a job may not be the best solution, especially if it allows him to rub your face in his so called success (be that financial or dating), but only you know where you'll be happiest (or where you'll have the potential to be happiest). I had to move away because of the harassment and ended up moving closer to my parents where I had no friends and no job, but there are groups you can join, so making friends isn't difficult. Work out what you'd prefer to do and don't rush into a decision, so if moving your things to a friend's gives you some breathing space, take it.

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