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To Leave or not to Leave (is it abuse)

(16 Posts)
MagicalCreatures Wed 23-Sep-20 11:21:22

So abit of background info -
DH and I have been together 9 years. Married for over 3.
1 DS who's 21 months.
I think I'm being mentally/emotionally abused but I'm not sure he really knows he's doing it.

I've never been able to talk to him. He sees anything I say as criticism and jumps straight into defensive mode. Since the day we moved in together, 7 years ago, I really noticed his personality. He'd go days with not talking to me just because I asked him to stop overloading the washing machine cos it could break. I've always called it 'scaring me Into silence'.
He would put me so on edge by not talking to me for days, and then suddenly one day, he would start talking again and act like nothings happened. The first few times I did bring the original argument up again because I realised we hadn't actually ever come to an agreement or compromise, he would flip out. So I soon learnt to just be grateful he was talking to me again and not to bring it up. This means that in my head, never once have we ever had an argument or general difference of opinion that's been discussed or compromised on. I've got years and years of anger build up in me where I feel like I've never been listened too or my opinion taken into consideration.

I'm pretty certain his dad is a narcissist. He holds every single characteristic. Over the years, DH has turned more and more into his father and is showing the same signs of narcissism. Even just the way my DH speaks, his voice, he's rude, strict, bossy.

I know my DH is depressed. Because of his dad, he has never felt good enough. He had a massive argument with his sister (which was his sister's fault as it was me she was horribly rude too) but his parents took her side. We still talk to them like nothings happened but his mum and dad see my DH as a pain in the arse and I know he senses that.
He's never happy in any job his had. Has switched jobs so many times and since having our DS, his attitude/behaviour has got considerably worse.
I hate the way he talks to me in front of our son.
My family are the most mellow people, they've witnessed him speak to me inappropriately but never some of the most horrible times. It's my word against his.
He's obsessed with the idea that it's me that talks to him so badly.

Last night he went off on one again and it was a prime example of me listening to him and consciously reminding myself that I didn't do anything wrong because like always, the next day I find myself playing the situation down.

He's never been physical. He has called me names before but not very often. Only when he's really lost it at me at times.
I've started trying to voice record moments but I'm never quick enough. Last night was a perfect example but it was over in a minute.
I think I want to leave. I don't think I'm in love with him anymore. But I'm conscious of his depression. He has also just been made redundant. He's threatened suicide which I've now called the doctor about but I'm certain it's all a call for help.
I'm so worried me leaving him will tip him over the edge.
My son has also been keeping me here. The last thing I ever wanted was a broken family. Having to miss out on every other Chrismas morning with my son.
He's a good dad when he wants to be but he has also been incredibly selfish since DS was born. He never helps with the nights, even now, even when he wasn't working during lockdown. Chooses the gym over us. Etc etc. (Too many examples to go into)

Sex is non existent. I don't fancy him anymore cos all I see is a bully. He also became obsessed with it and started buying me sleazy cheap outfits of the internet and wanted me to wear one everytime. He also gets nasty when I say I don't want sex. Turns on the silent mode again. Storms out the house.

There's alot more too it. Alot of nasty conversations that I've not mentioned. He ssshhhh's me alot.
There's too much to go into. I arranged marriage counseling which he didn't agree to at first but then did and now we can't afford it cos of his redundancy.
I don't think he will ever change but I'm so scared of being the one that makes the mistake of leaving.
I'm so frightened that, what if it is me that's caused him to be this way. Maybe I'm just a sucker for drama and self sabotage.

Sorry for the rambling. There's just so much running through my head. From what I've told people about things he's said to me, they've agreed it's abuse but I'm so scared.
I don't know what to do. I feel stuck. We have a flat mortgaged which we were in the process of selling to buy a house (lockdown happened) then we got a buyer but the chain has fallen through. The plan was to move back to my mum's for a few months to keep the chain down which is what I want to do but I don't know how to make it work of we still haven't sold the flat. How much longer can I stay here for?
My head's a mess

OP’s posts: |
AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Sep-20 11:45:47

It is NOT you, its him and he is responsible entirely. This is NOT on you at all. He would have acted the self same regardless of whom he got together with.

Why did you write he is a good dad?. He is NOT. Women in poor relationships often write the "good dad" comment when they have nothing else positive to write about their man. Get it straight, he is NOT a good dad if he is abusing you (and in turn your son here.
What do you want to teach your son about relationships and what is he learning here?. This is no legacy to be leaving him, you want your son to potentially go onto to abuse his wife like his dad does?. No you do not.

The only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none.

Joint counselling is a non starter if there is abuse of any type within the relationship and your relationship is abusive on so many levels. There is emotional and verbal abuse here and re his "depression" too I would argue that many abusive men use depression as an excuse for their own abusive behaviour. He has also threatened suicide; yet another tactic in the arsenal of the abusive man. No decent counsellor would ever want to see the two of you in the same room due to the abuse he metes out towards you. He is very much a product of his own upbringing and he is transferring all of that onto you.

I would seek legal advice asap and contact Womens Aid as a matter of urgency as they can and will also help you here. If it is not safe to call them at home then head to a Boots Chemist as their consultation rooms are now set up to help domestic abuse victims.

dublingirl66 Wed 23-Sep-20 11:46:49



No one should live with this

MagicalCreatures Wed 23-Sep-20 11:53:23


Thankyou so much for your comment.
Why do I feel like I'm making such a mountain out of a molehill though.
There's so many more women out there, so much worse off than me, being physically assaulted and pushed to the edge.
Not saying my husband hadn't pushed me to the edge mentally but I feel very strong like I'm not gonna let him get me.
I just don't know why I feel this way. I'm so worried I'm imagining it all x

OP’s posts: |
SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 23-Sep-20 12:08:16

I think when you've coped for so long you get used to minimising things and working out ways around them.
It's hard to reverse that pattern and be honest with yourself about what you need to do.
Posting here is a good start though, and you're talking to your friends.
Just keep taking yourself seriously. You deserve to live free of abuse.

AryaStarkWolf Wed 23-Sep-20 12:11:21

If you're even asking yourself the question then you are at the very least very unhappy in the relationship which on it's own is enough reason to leave............but yes he sounds abusive

MarkRuffaloCrumble Wed 23-Sep-20 12:17:21

An analogy often used on here to counter the idea that “other women have it worse. At least he doesn’t hit me” etc is shit in your tea. If someone else had a lot of shit in their cup of tea and you had a teaspoon of shit in your tea, would you still drink it?! It doesn’t matter how much of something totally unacceptable you are experiencing compared to someone else, the only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is NONE.

Everything you detail here screams abusive to me. I’ll be honest, I started off thinking “hmm different communication styles, maybe recommend this website” but the more I read, the more I realised this is past saving. Your best hope is to move back to your mums without him and sell your place from there. Speak to a good solicitor ASAP - you’ll need someone with experience of abusive relationship breakdowns - and get away from this piece of shit ASAP. flowers

NotDavidTennant Wed 23-Sep-20 12:19:32

You are allowed to leave a relationship simply because it isn't working for you and is making you unhappy. You don't have to meet some threshold of abuse in order to leave.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Sep-20 12:24:37

Hi MagicalCreatures

re your comment to me that I have separated out:-

"Thankyou so much for your comment.
Why do I feel like I'm making such a mountain out of a molehill though".

You've been conditioned by him to believe this is all you deserve from him. Like many abusers too he has ramped up the power and control over you over time. When you initially moved in with him, his true abusive nature came out. The nice/nasty cycle he also shows you is a continuous one.

"There's so many more women out there, so much worse off than me, being physically assaulted and pushed to the edge".

Abuse is NOT just physical in nature and your situation is absolutely dire like theirs is too. If he were to decide that his current level of control was not working you fully into submission either he could well then decide to start hitting you and with your child present.

"Not saying my husband hadn't pushed me to the edge mentally but I feel very strong like I'm not gonna let him get me".

He is trying to and will eventually succeed in destroying you from the inside out entirely because he hates women, ALL of them starting with their own mother. Your own recovery from his abuse will only properly start when you have divorced this man. It has not even started yet.

"I just don't know why I feel this way. I'm so worried I'm imagining it all"
You are not imagining this at all. He wants you feeling like this; coerced, seemingly trapped and without a voice.

For your son as well as your own self you need to become free of your abuser. How can you be helped into freeing yourself from your abuser?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Sep-20 12:26:41

Again I would urge you to seek legal advice asap re all of this.

Abuse also is NOT about communication or a perceived lack of, its about power and control. He wants absolute over you and your son and he does not give a fig about his child either. He will try and use your son as punishment against you for leaving him because in his eyes he thinks he is a perfect specimen.

Mumoftwo1994 Wed 23-Sep-20 13:18:43



Thankyou so much for your comment.
Why do I feel like I'm making such a mountain out of a molehill though.
There's so many more women out there, so much worse off than me, being physically assaulted and pushed to the edge.
Not saying my husband hadn't pushed me to the edge mentally but I feel very strong like I'm not gonna let him get me.
I just don't know why I feel this way. I'm so worried I'm imagining it all x

It's not a good thing that you're essentially saying at least he hasn't hit me, just leave if you can for your own sake and your son, he can't grow up thinking this is normal

OfTheNight Wed 23-Sep-20 13:19:42

It’s certainly abusive behaviour. It really doesn’t matter if he’s depressed or his dad is a narcissist.
He’s choosing to control you through fear.

My ex was the same. He also quit job after job because he was unhappy and that left us in a very difficult position financially. I was also unhappy in my job, but I was too afraid to leave it and cause more instability.

He did progress from emotional and financial abuse to physical.

You don’t need to stay with this man. It seems very scary going it alone, and like you I often said other people had it worse. But really, you’re clearly very unhappy. It’s not right for you and your son. Yes you may have to split custody with him and yes it might put you a step back in house ownership, but you’ll be happy and safe.

You definitely don’t want your son to grow up thinking this is how it should be. One of the turning points for me was seeing my 3 year old little boy starting to copy his dad and trying to tell me to shut up and calling me stupid, even going so far as to push me.

Get support, tell your mum or a friend or someone what is going on and get away from this man.

widespreadpanic Wed 23-Sep-20 16:54:08

He’s gaslighting and stonewalling you. I’d leave for the sake of the child as he doesn’t need to grow up thinking this is how you treat women.

anotherdisaster Wed 23-Sep-20 17:00:54

Hi OP, he sounds very similar in ways to my ex. You put up with it for so long that you do start to question whether there is even a problem. I did it for years. I used to try to explain his behaviour to some friends but I always ended up making it sound petty and not that bad, then I'd convince myself I was partly to blame.
You are doing this too!
He will be using his depression and threats of suicide as a way of keeping you there and making you feel guilty. Do not fall for that. Being depressed is NO excuse for abusing someone you're supposed to love.
Keep the flat on the market and just move in with your Mum anyway.

carreterra Wed 23-Sep-20 17:44:37

OP, it wasn't your quote but
"he is very much a product of his upbringing and is transferring all of that on to you"
There is only so much of his behaviour that relates to his upbringing, he has to take some of the responsibility himself, he is an adult behaving like a petulant child.
My ex had a horrendous upbringing, which he told me about in the early stages of the relationship. I realise now that this was a tactic he used with other women, to get them on his side.
My advice is start to plan your escape, I had a 2 year escape plan, but i only lasted 18 months into it, I had literally had enough. Plan practical things like finance on paper or on your phone's memo (ensure you have a screen lock) Best wishes for your future .

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 23-Sep-20 20:07:23

What I further meant to add is that his upbringing was and remains a red flag here. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents. Abusers always think it’s someone else’s fault, it’s never their own.

I hope you do manage to get away from your abuser.

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