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PLEASE Help! Urgent advice needed! I want to leave my husband.

(41 Posts)
SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 08:31:51

I don't know where to start. I used to post to mumsnet quite frequently, but haven't been around in ages. This is my situation:

My husband and I have been married for 5 years and have dd who is 8 months. My husband has always been prone to mood swings and has spent most of our marriage depressed. I have asked him countless times to get help, but he flat out refuses. As miserable and grumpy as he has been, I have never been scared of him...but today I am.

We have two cats and one of them has a sensitive stomach. She was being sick on the floor this morning (laminate, not even carpet) and he absolutely went after her. He chased her into the bedroom screaming at her and when she hid under the bed to get away he sat on the floor and started kicking under the bed trying to get her. I know it might sound like something tiny, but he really scared me. He flipped out and went nuts over something so small. If he goes after our cat for being sick what is he going to be like when our daughter is sick? He grew up watching his father abuse his mother and I always thought because of seeing that, he would never do the same. But he's never flipped out like this before and before it escalates and he does something worse, I want out. I don't know what I would do to him if he ever hurt our daughter.

Here's my problem: I do have somewhere I could go for the short term. My friend is on holiday for two weeks and I know she wouldn't mind me staying at hers while she's away. I know she would let my daughter and me stay indefinitely. But I don't know what I would do with my daughter when I'm at work. I currently work part time. We have worked my schedule so I work when my husband is off and he therefore takes care of our daughter. But I don't trust him with her now and I can't afford childcare on my pitiful wages. I'm stuck here and I don't know what to do.

The other issue is a pretty major one. My husband and I are waiting for our house to sell so we can emigrate back to Canada (I'm Canadian). Obviously if I leave him, I will be stuck in the UK. I cannot see any court allowing me to take our daughter 3000 miles away permanently. But I can't afford to live in this country as a single parent.

I am so confused. He's at work now and won't be back until 6pm tonight. I need to have something in place before then. Please please help me. I need some advice.


forevercleaning Sat 06-Sep-08 08:39:19

Perhaps take the opportunity to go to your friends house whilst she is away. It will at least give you a bit of time to think clearly as to exactly what you want from your marriage, if anything.

It could be that he is under stress? Work? house not selling? financial issues? What he did to your cat was totally out of order, and his behaviour at present appears to be quite intimidating.

Once you have a break you may be able to make the right decision for you and your DD.

good luck

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 08:43:18

Thanks forevercleaning. I have thought of this but I'm worried to leave him. My husband would take me leaving for a break as me leaving permanently. He wouldn't take me back if I decided to give it another go. If I leave, my marriage is over.

So confused.

YeahBut Sat 06-Sep-08 08:45:27

Go to your friend's place and just have some breathing space to think things through. It may be the thing your dh needs to understand that his behaviour is not normal and that he needs to seek help before he loses everything. If he were willing to try to get help (seeing his GP, counselling etc.), do you think you could save the relationship?
First things first, though. If you are afraid, you must get out.
See womens aid for advice and support.

YeahBut Sat 06-Sep-08 08:49:33

Sorry hit the post button before seing your last reaponse. If he is using those sorts of implied threats - if you ever try to change things, it's over - this is emotional abuse. I'm willing to bet it's only the tip of the iceberg too. I really think you and your daughter would be better off without this fear hanging over you.
I know people say this all the time, but it's such a salient point - if this were your daughter in 20 years time, what would you be saying to her? Would you want her to go on living like this for the rest of her life?

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 08:52:51

Thank you YeahBut. I never thought of it from my daughter's perspective. I would tell her to leave him. Simple as that.

I know I have to get out but I just don't know how I can afford to. I only bring home around £140 a week. That is not enough to pay rent, utilities, rates, petrol and food...never mind adding childcare on top of that. I just want to pack everything up and get on a flight to Canada. There at least, my friends and family are there for support and childcare.

YeahBut Sat 06-Sep-08 08:57:49

Talk to Womens Aid. They help women like you every day. There is nothing that they haven't seen or heard before. If they don't know the answer to something - like your questions about relocating back to Canada, they'll put you in touch with someone who can. You are NOT alone. You do not have to endure this.

SpandexIsMyEnemy Sat 06-Sep-08 08:59:14

don't forget the additional help you would receive if you're a lone parents - child care 80~%, housing benefits, it's tough going but you should (i'm assuming) be eligible for the 'usual' things - but i'm not sure how it works as you're Canadian iycwim.

your best bet, if you can sit tight is to do so until monday, and then go to CAB and talk things all thru to them - they'll give you advice on everyhting money wise & also pratical.

if you really think you can't stop there go to your friends house then go there on monday.

can your friends/family in canada help with the ticket costs to fly back out there? how does your H feel about you going separately out there?

WideWebWitch Sat 06-Sep-08 09:04:08

What money do you have or have access to?

Why will you be stuck in the UK? I think you would be allowed to move if you wanted to. But I think for the moment stop worrying about that and tihnk about the immediate future.

Are you sure this is the right thing to do, reacting to this immediately?

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 09:11:22

I don't think I would receive any additional help. I'm pretty sure my leave to remain states "no recourse to public funds". I'll have to speak to IND and confirm whether or not that's the case though.

I still can't decide whether or not to leave. I'm starting to think of asking my husband to go to his Nan's (just down the street) for a couple days to give us both some breathing space. That will give me time to speak to IND and CAB and figure out what I can do.

My mother would pay for a ticket today and I could go back to Canada. But Canada border control will require proof that my husband has agreed to let me take our daughter to Canada. When we went back in May he had to write a letter to that effect. There is no way he will agree to that now because he would be concerned that I/we wouldn't come back.

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 09:15:37

Wickedwaterwitch - I have access to no money. We have two accounts, but one is overdrawn and the other is the bills account (ie mortgage). I'm sure my mom would help me financially, but she wouldn't be able to help indefinitely.

I would be able to go back to Canada, but I would have to go with my daughter as my husband would never agree to me taking her with me. And there is no way on earth I would leave without her.

I don't know if this is the right thing or not. It's not the first time I have wanted to leave him. We have had a rough 2 years and there have been many many times I have wanted to leave, but didn't have the courage or strength to go through with it. All I know is that I am no longer happy being married to him and his recent behaviour scares me. I'm just incredibly confused.

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 09:16:35

that should be:

I would be able to go back to Canada, but I would have to go WITHOUT my daughter as my husband would never agree to me taking her with me. And there is no way on earth I would leave without her.

SammyK Sat 06-Sep-08 09:27:06

I think you need to go get some advice tomorrow that is specific to your situation.

You could call refuge or women's aid today and they could put you in touch with someone to see for further advicetomorrow I think.

I understand you wanting to be prepared. Could you pack a bag, and put it someowhere so if you did need to move quickly you could just grab it. Couple of changes of clothes, passports, birth certificates, bank statements, wage slips, etc.

I think you are wise to realise this will escalate. It will escalate, so why stick around.

In the future if you wished to move back to Canada the fact your husband has been emotionally abusive and displayed intimadting behaviour wll go in your favour. As you say it is your home country, you will have friends and fanily around - a support network you are without in the UK.

Short term though I think you need to make the break.

solidgoldbrass Sat 06-Sep-08 09:31:10

If you married your husband and he is a British citizen I think that changes your immigration status anyway (I have known quite a few people marry for citizenship reasons: some of the marriages have been long and happy). Agree with those who say you need to get advice that's specific to your situation, but the courts would not order you to leave a child in the custody of an abusive man with mental health problems.

ilovemydog Sat 06-Sep-08 09:50:39

I think you need to calm down first. OK, he chased the cat, but from your post, he didn't actually inflict any damage?

if you want to leave your husband, personally I think it's a bit immature not to discuss this with him, and take his daughter on the basis of him flipping out after the cat has barfed. You say he's never done this before, which means he's never threatened you nor your DD. How is he usually with you and DD?

Re: immigration status. Is your DD also a Canadian citizen? Or was she travelling on her British passport last time you visited Canada? Both my kids are dual, and when DD visits the US, she must travel on her American passport.

If your DD has a Canadian passport, then it doesn't make sense that Border control are asking for further permission?

More importantly, perhaps you need a bit of time away from him to decide.

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 10:00:38

ilovemydog - I appreciate your message. I don't quite know how to explain why the incident this morning upset me so much. You would have to know him and his personality, but he really flipped out. No, he didn't inflict any damage but I think that was only because he couldn't get to her.

I would never leave without talking to him. I will speak to him tonight when he gets home. Either way, we need a separation...whether it is for a couple of days or permanently is yet to be decided. He can either go to his nan's or I will go to my friend's. But no, I wouldn't leave without talking to him.

I know he loves our DD, but he has no patience for her. He's quite happy to leave her in her highchair all day with the television on so he can play on the computer. When she does make a noise (any noise, happy or sad) he screams at her to be quiet. He tells her to "shut the f*ck up" and calls her stupid all the time. Maybe he thinks because she's so young it's not a big deal. Maybe he won't be like this with her when she is old enough to understand, but I don't know.

My dd is Canadian and British. We flew over in May and I had both passports with me. But I was also told to take a letter of permission from my husband that confirmed he agreed to the holiday. It doesn't have anything to do with her nationality and everything to do with the Hague Commission which protects against parental child abduction.

I do appreciate that I cannot rush this and I need to discuss it with my husband before any decisions are made. I do think we need some time apart though and will tell him this when he comes home tonight.

ilovemydog Sat 06-Sep-08 10:14:30

OK, so you leaving him wouldn't be based on an isolated instance. Good.

The Hague Convention is to protect children from abduction amongst other things, but what I cannot understand is why Canada puts further restrictions on its own citizens? When I've gone to the US with DD on her US passport, US Immigration just say, 'welcome home.' smile and this with a DD who has her father's surname.

What would happen, for instance, you went to Canada and you didn't have a letter? Further, it's a bit odd as Border Control have absolutely no way of knowing that the person signing the letter was your DH (unless it was notarized) Would they not let DD into the country?

Am glad you will discuss it with him tonight. Hope you have some support locally as this must be incredibly traumatic for you.

May I suggest that you are prepared for worst case scenarion should be flip again? Make a list of things you need to take - passports, credit cards, valuable documents, necessities for DH. Keep it light.

malovitt Sat 06-Sep-08 10:15:49

I'm sorry, but telling my baby to 'shut the f*ck' up would totally unacceptable.

ilovemydog Sat 06-Sep-08 10:17:05

Also, may be an idea to take your profile off public display as it may identify you.

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 10:26:05

thanks ilovemydog. I can't say I completely understand Border Control either, I just did as I was told.

My main source of local support is in the States for the next two weeks, so unfortunately, I'm on my own at the moment. I'll figure out what I need and will do it. She'll be there for me when she gets back.

I just put my daughter down for her nap and packed up an emergency case. There is everything she would need in there, plus a few things I wouldn't leave behind. It's in her room and my husband would never think to look in it.

Now how do I take my profile off public display??

malovitt - no need to preface your comment with "I'm sorry". I find it completely unacceptable as well. We have gotten into so many arguments in the past few months about it, but nothing I say seems to make any difference.

Mamazon Sat 06-Sep-08 10:26:12

If you are sure you want to leave then leave. make sure you take anything you may need like passports and wedding/birth certs etc.

go to your friends. at the very least it will give you a couple of weeks to sort yourself out and get your head straight.

I think the incident with the cat was probably an extreme mood swing but if he is unwilling to seek help for this then they are only going to get worse..and you are right to be worried.

Maybe you staying at your friends may be enough to kick start his motivation to seek help.

Either way, as soon as your leave you should contact SHELTER. you will be officially homeless and they will be able to helpo you find accomodation. as for childcare, you will now be a single parent as as such you will be entitled to enhanced rates of Working tax credits and will have a contribution made towards childcare.

Moving back to canada shouldn't be a problem unless Dh takes you to court in order to obtain an order preventing you. but seeing as you are canadian i think there would need to be very strong grounds to prevent this.
Maybe contact womens aid for some proper advice on this (they aren't only there for women experiancing domestic abuse, they will be able to advise you on whereabouts you stand legally too)

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 10:36:41

Thank you for your advice mamazon. I will ring womens aid once my daughter stops babbling in her cot and drops off to her nap.

I feel better after spending 2 hours on mumsnet. Thank you all for your advice and support.

ilovemydog Sat 06-Sep-08 10:39:27

as you mentioned your dh spends time on computer, you must delete 'history' which shows your browsing history. best to be safe. also, be sure and take any automatic passwords off things like email etc

SummerC Sat 06-Sep-08 10:44:52

I wouldn't have thought to do that ilovemydog. I will make sure I clear all history and passwords when I sign off.

pellmell Sat 06-Sep-08 10:50:07

(sorry if you don't do hugs)

Good luck, whatever the outcome.

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