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Help me remember why I'm leaving him - VA EA(20 Posts)
OK I post on here a lot so sorry. I recently told my husband our 13 year relationship was over due to his verbal and emotional abuse. At the time he did his usual lash out and blame me, and I felt very comfortable with my decision. This week he is being much more reasonable, but keeps asking me if I'm sure, if I wanted him back all I would have to do is say the word. Etc. And then all my resolve crumbles. We haven't lived together for over a month, so the worst aspect of our relationship are starting to dim a little. However I'm now obviously being faced with the stark reality of life on my own. Loosing my house, financial security, parenting alone. And I'm freaking out.
He promised change repeatedly and hasn't, but now has begged me to forgive him and promises me he is a changed man after 4 counselling sessions.
Realistically if I think back, I can no longer bear for this man to touch me. I have developed what I now can identify is serial aversion. Perhaps from having set with him whilst still feeling hurt and angry with him after he had called me names.
Help me see reality. These men don't change do they? Am I making a massive mistake, or am I just having jitters.
Ahhh predictive text! *sex aversion.
You are having jitters, do not let your resolve to become separate from him legally also crumble in the face of him being unable and unwilling to give you space/leave you alone. What you are seeing from him now is also the nice part of his nice/nasty abuse cycle which is also a continuous one.
Have you as yet sought legal advice?.
Such men do not change at all and particularly after a mere 4 counselling sessions!. He will try and say anything to get you back then revert to type i.e more of the same abusive treatment from him to you.
Re the house it is but bricks and mortar and probably to you also full of bad memories of life with him. You are married to him and thus have rights in law; you will get some sort of financial settlement.
He will NOT change. Took me years to leave mine and I'm still not out of the woods yet. All I know is that he will return to his bad old ways as soon as he feels you're safely back with him. And then you'll have to go for another loop... trust me, it's never ending and soul destroying.
@Songsofexperience. Thank you and I do know what you mean. And it is soul destroying, because your head never stops thinking and overthinking, and looking for the tiniest shred of hope.
Maybe write a lost of the bad stuff you can remember. Whenever I feel myself being dragged back into wanting to fix things with H I read my list and I remember how badly he's treated me, how worthless he's made me feel, how many times I was in tears, how many times he said he'd change and didn't even try. If your Ex had wanted to fix things he would have done so before it hit to this point. If he'd really cared he would have stopped hurting you.
I never knew it had a name before, I have sexual aversion too. Its one of the things that keep me from trying to fix things for the umpteenth time. I don't want to have sex with DH ever again. I don't want him to touch me ever again and I don't want to try and get over it. I spent most of a year pushing myself to be intimate in our relationship after he hurt me badly and it destroyed me. It destroyed every single bit if my hard won self esteem.
I had the same but he had told me to go after years of me planning to do so. Admittedly I probably incited it by starting to fight back more. Stick to it. In time you will be glad you did.
Thank you @GhostOfMe I had no idea until recently it had a name. And honestly I just thought it had been me. But I think when we were younger he did things i wasnt comfortable with and it took me being very forceful to stop him. That's enough to give you the ick. But I think when you stop trusting someone and feeling safe with them, the very idea of opening yourself up to them physically made me incredibly anxious. I did it because I thought my bodies reaction was my fault and not as a result of the way he had treated me. Its hardly surprising because it has taken me a long time to even call what he did abuse.
Wow just speaking to you all makes me feel stronger. The serial part of our relationship has been somethkng i have kept a very tight lid on, because it was just something I couldn't bear to think of, but honestly him touching me felt more and more of an invasion. Something towards the end I could barely tolerate. But I refused to think of it or dwell on it because it was just too awful to look at. If you can't see it, its not there sort of thing. And because honestly I thought something was wrong with me!
God my keyboard just doesn't want me to type sexual 😒
has begged me to forgive him and promises me he is a changed man after 4 counselling sessions.
DA therapy takes 1-2 years! Yes YEARS to be effective and..... still only works for around 20% of abusers!
He has NOT changed after 4 sessions.
You don't like him touching you so what is the point of him?
You've done the hard bit and very well done on that!
Do NOT go back.
Write a list of all the things over the years he has done to you.
You can do this! You already are!
I felt the same. His angry outbursts and him withdrawing his love but still expecting sex made me feel worthless and scared. But instead of him seeing the anxiety and harm he caused as something he needed to fix he saw it as something I needed to get over. And things just got worse and worse till I couldn't stand him touching me. When I told him I needed some physical space his reaction was to tell me how much I was hurting him, and to try and push past my boundaries meer hours later. I see the sexual aversion as saving me, because everytime I think of trying again my body goes no way I don't want him near me. Saved by the Ick.
I understand and sympathise.
I really don't think these men change. I agree with the suggestion of writing a diary of his bad behaviour that you can refer to when your resolve is shaky.
My ex promised it would stop if I withdrew the divorce nisi. I did, but after 6 months things went back to his normal. In my experience when you reach to point of finding their touch unbearable, it's finished and that doesn't return.
How has he changed? Remember it’s actions not words that count.
Unless he has agreed not to fight you during the divorce and offered you a generous financial settlement in writing etc he hasn’t changed.
Unless it is extremely carefully done by someone experienced in working with domestic abusers, counselling is not helpful. The process of counselling may challenge the abuser but ultimately it validates them and the abuser can become even more abusive as a result. Don Hennessy in "How He Gets into her Head: The Mind of the Intimate Male Abuser" says that he finds domestic abusers who have had counselling to be harder to work with than those who have not and notes that Lundy Bancroft ("Why Does He Do That?") says the same. Don Hennessy is also very clear that the ultimate aim of the abuser - with his colossal sense of entitlement - is to have his partner at his disposal sexually in a way which absolutely prioritises the abuser's needs and pays no heed to what the female partner wants. This is the right above all others than he wants to preserve and that he will fight hardest to retain.
So now your H realises he may have lost you and his access to your body, he thinks he can attend a few counselling sessions and say the right things for a little while and it will all be okay. Of course, he is wrong. The truth is even if he were permanently changed (which he won't be), he has already killed your love through years of abuse and you are entitled to walk away. Remember - he created this situation. You didn't. He's blown it. He will probably never admit that but that is the truth.
You're bound to have mixed feelings and remember some good times - this is, after all, the guy you chose to marry and have children with. Obviously you loved him deeply. So it's painful and conflicting to walk away but it's great that you are.
And you're absolutely right to conceal your intentions. The most dangerous time for an abused woman is while she's leaving and the period after she has left and emotional abuse can turn into something physical and much more dangerous.
All the best for your move on Thursday. Onwards and upwards, OP.
@Cheesestring84 I've been feeling f positive. But I suppose that is part of it all. I'm just working on being the best I can be for my daughter and forging a future for me and her.
@GhostOfMe thank you for this. I totally agree. I think my head is completely confused and is overthinking everything. The one thing that is strengthening my resolve is the physical reaction my body had when he came near. I've never had a panic attack before, but the idea of him coming near me filled me with panic. I just tensed up. And whatever else has gone on, that alone should tell me things are not going to be fixed easily.
@JustBeingMoi my mind is conflicted and over thinking too. Its hard to pull myself out of the dynamic where he blames me and I feel guilty and like I need to try and fix things because it's my fault he's angry/sexually frustrated/feeling unsupported insert whatever emotion he's using to get his way this time. Years of gaslighting mean I struggle to trust myself and I feel worthless. I can't even hold on to the idea he's abusive, I can think certain incidents were abusive but then my mind goes but, he's exhausted/angry/we haven't had sex for ages. Because there's always an excuse and he always makes me feel at fault for his behaviour. And I know I need counselling to work that all out, but can't access anything while he's wfh. If he knew he'd just hold it against me.
So my mind is a mess of doubt, guilt, fear and feeling worthless and conflicted, but my body doesn't have the same hangups. I think my bodies showing mr what I really feel deep inside. It's showing the certainty that my thoughts lack. The idea of H coming near me also fills me with panic. I feel nauseous and scared. I'm holding onto that, I don't want to get past it, I don't want to even try. I did last year, tried to force myself into intimacy to 'fix' things and it was horrible. Kissing someone while your body fills with panic. I can't do that to myself again.
The logistics and the effect on the kids of spending time with him when I'm not there scare me. I don't want to not see my kids every day, let along not see them a few days every week. But I don't see any other choice. My body's screaming no at me, so I have to find a way to leave and make it all work.
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