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Can you separate and still live together?

(18 Posts)
Gangle Tue 06-Oct-09 13:15:58

I have been in an emotionally abusive relationship for 9 years. Things have been getting worse and worse and probably reached an all time low when I was pregnant with DS, now 18 months when DH bullied me relentlessly. I was on the verge of leaving this summer but on the day I had an appointment with my solicitor to discuss separating, I found out I was pregnant with DC2. After much agonising, we decided jointly to keep the baby and do the relationship struggled on. A few months later though I am just at breaking point, again, as DH's behaviour is just appalling. He has always been completely selfish, difficult and nasty but also has various obsessive compulsive disorders which just make day to day life with him impossible. He constantly throws away my possessions (the latest victim being all my materity appointment cards and notes etc) and goes crazy if there is any mess in the house which is sort of inevitable with an 18 month old and a nanny share based at our house. Just so sick of coming home from a knackering job, spending ages tidying up then getting bawled out for one toy being out of place. He also goes crazy if I try to do anything to the house or if I buy the wrong bread! I earn substantially more than him and arguably pay more in terms of bills etc so it's not like I am spending his or even our money. Everything is such a struggle and involves an argument and just can't face it anymore. I also think that the constant aggression and abuse has destroyed any feelings I may have had for him so I don't actually think I love him anymore and want to try and end things as smoothly as possible. He is thinking of taking a new job in the US next year - I am refusing to go and just praying that he goes and leaves us here. We would of course have to live together until May when he leaves - does anyone have any experience of doing this and can I formalise the arrangement by having my solicitor write to him? Is there also anything I can do to keep him from throwing my possesions away?

sitdownpleasegeorge Tue 06-Oct-09 13:29:38

Could you threaten to start chucking some of his stuff away as a temporary method of making him see there might be unpleasant consequences to his selfish actions. I'm guessing he doesn't throw his own stuff out if it happens to get left lying around. Or would he agree to put it "out of his sight" e.g. in garage or shed to give you a chance to retrieve it.

I do think you need to find a safe hiding place for important documents in advance of a separation which seems inevitable.

There seem to be many issues behind his behaviour and I sympathise very much with your situation and hope someone comes along to offer constructive advice which I will also be very interested in iykwim.

Gangle Tue 06-Oct-09 13:33:27

I've tried sitdown but doesn't resolve him chucking out my stuff plus I want to be bigger than that - how can things work if he is chucking out my important papers, phone chargers (so I can't charge my phone), cheque books (unshredded), expensive gifts DS has been given (apparently he has too many toys) and I have to resort to throwing away his possessions to get even? Plus, the throwing away thing is just the tip of the ice berg really.

AMumInScotland Tue 06-Oct-09 13:47:49

Does he actually understand that, from your point of view, the relationship is over? Or are you just hoping that he will take the US job and go, without you having to actually clarify things?

I think it sounds like you'd be better off if he simply moved out - could he perhaps rent somewhere? If he hates things being out of place, surely he'd be happier in a small place of his own?

I think you need to be clear with him that you are separating - it must be difficult to live in the same house and get confusing messages about whether you are still in a relationship or not. He sounds like he struggles with boundaries - I don't think you're going to be able to be separate while sharing the house.

cestlavielife Tue 06-Oct-09 15:42:27

so you are pregnant now?

my exP also threw out dcs' toys and my stuff - i hadnt "met" anyone before whose P did that!

also was a nitemare if i bought wrong colour washing up liquid etc.

hard to imagine tho waiting til may for him to go - and how true is it? is just a carrot? can you trust him to actually go?

does he ever go away anywhere?

can you go live some place else?

i think you need oit lay thing son the line, that you cant live together any more, that eh eneds to move out live elsewhere...see how that goes down.

but if you use the argument that he clearly doesnt like the way you are or the way you keep house - if he is like my exP he will turn round and say "but you can change this is all your fault".

read lundy bancroft "why does he do that" - is a good start in analysing why he behaves like this - and make a plan for you to leave if he wont.

cestlavielife Tue 06-Oct-09 15:49:41

but to answer the question properly -

Can you separate and still live together?

sure, if you have large enough place, both mature and sensible people, both accepting of others differences...if you can communicate well with each other...

but in this case -

NO, you cannot, if the other person is wholly unreasonable and controlling. it would require immense maturity and he doesnt have that - throwing your things out, dcs things out is childish toddler tantrum behaviour. he wont ahve the emotional maturity to deal with it. my exP did not...

even when i moved out to rented place with dcs, i foolishly allowed him to visit dcs there, and he manipulated himself in.....to the point when he even stated "but we live together" - when clearly we did not.

he literally believed my place was extension of his place. scary.

ElenorRigby Tue 06-Oct-09 15:56:09

Gangle, yes people can be separated and live in the same house but in your situation would you really think it wise, given...
1) that you are pregnant
2) your soon to be ex is causing you a lot of stress through his behaviour
Really IMO I would put looking after yourself and your unborn child first. Stress and pregnancy don't mix well.
I would try to find a way of putting physical and emotional distance from the situation until baby is safely here.

Gangle Tue 06-Oct-09 23:00:48

thanks all. Yes, I am 16 weeks pregnant. I have tried talking to DH many times about separating but he won't listen/respond - I can't get him to listen to me at the best of times, let alone to something he doesn't want to hear. I don't trust him to go AT ALL, infact, if I refuse to go then I am worried he may not go either but then take it out on me an accuse me of stopping him doing want he wants. I've tried selling it to him as a trial separation to see how things go but he won't agree. It's way more than him just chucking my things out but don't want to go into great detail of how impossible he is as I would be here all night. Things have just reached a point where they can't continue. Is there anyway around this though other than me having to more out? Just can't face the upheaval of moving DS and being in a totally new location with him and a newborn. I have of course asked DH to go but he won't, surprise surprise. P. S - Came home tonight to find my Ugg boots and DS's Neal's Yard Bubble bath (1/3 full) in the bin.

moondog Tue 06-Oct-09 23:03:34

OMG, is he mentally ill?
How can it be that he throws stuff away?
What is his logic?
I would have thought that destroying or hiding maternity notes was illegal actually.

CarGirl Tue 06-Oct-09 23:05:05

seriously I'd just rent somewhere and move out pronto assuming you can afford to.

Gangle Tue 06-Oct-09 23:11:53

As I said, that's not even the half of it. If I leave my car keys out he takes my car without me knowing, drives it until the petrol runs out then goes back to his car. Last time he took it he incurred 3 parking tickets (seriously) which he didn't tell me about - only found out when I got the reminder through. I do think he is mentally ill - no other explanation. I have pleaded with his family to help and they have tried to speak to him but nothing gets through to him. I was actually wondering if I coudl report him to the police or something or get a restraining order just to keep him away from my stuff! Only a small part of it but at least I wouldn't literaly feel under siege.

Gangle Tue 06-Oct-09 23:13:23

sorry, can't type.

Slambang Tue 06-Oct-09 23:20:23

Sorry Gangle but it does sound like you are living in a hellish situation. (Deff sounds like your dh has a serious MH problem to me).

So.. how would separating and living in the same house help? Your h would still have access to your stuff and if he does have MH problems no amount of court orders or injunctions would stop him messing with you or your stuff. His behaviour is not rational so rational legal documents are not going to help.

Sorry but it sounds like a real physical separation is the only way you can resolve this.

6feetundertheGroundhogs Wed 07-Oct-09 00:21:06

OMG, Gangle, you really do have to get the hell out of there.

Seriously, he's got to have got serious MH issues, otherwise the car thing, the tickets thing, the throwing your boots, your maternity notes, all that together is so agressive.

For the sake of your health, your DC and your pg, you have to leave.

I lived in same house for 9m with my exH, after deciding we would split, but before I actually left. It was hellish, but i didn't have any of this psycotic behaviour.

Seriously, please get out.

PoisonToadstool Wed 07-Oct-09 07:43:21

Oh my god, Gangle, everyone is right, you have to get out. Separating is not the issue it's living with this man. He is either ill or twisted. When you say he drives your car till the petrol runs out - do you mean he drives it just to make you run out of petrol?

How can you stay another day in that house? Is there a friend or family member you can stay with? I jsut can't believe this, throwing things away - it is bizarre. Do you confront him?

Have you spoken to anyone abotu this - I think in your shoes I'd at least be asking my GP for advice???

cestlavielife Wed 07-Oct-09 10:40:41

ok so when he refuses to go what's his reason? you are his family? you should stick together no matter what? or what? does he say "but i love you" or what???

i agree he sounds unhinged -but like my exP - until he really does something violent then it is hard to get anyone to take notice - also as he is an adult, unless he is bad enough to be sectioned then only he can seek help. and they didnt even section my exP when he had attackd me and my son and was covered head to toe in bruises and cuts from his self harm... prob because put in hosp setting he became calm and sane. his behaviours were saved for me...

does your H behave in same way for other people or just you?
why does he think he is entitled to do this to you? (rhetorical question)

having said that -

yes - talk to your GP about his behaviour - they cant do anything unless he seeks help but you might be able to get it recorded.

talk to your midwife about his behaviour - they supposed to be trained to spot signs of domestic abuse (and lets face it - this is abuse)

think realistically - who could you go stay with? where could you move to? how much do you need to rent?

who does house belong to?

see a solicitor for advice on a legal separation and how to do it, what rights you and he have to the house etc - whose name is it under?

i dont think that you can do much while you live in same house - he will just go more mental if you put some kind of order on him. not something you want to live with...

what advantages /support / help DOES he give you?

speak to womens aid helpline or local womens org domestic abuse hotline - to get some perspective.

see a counsellor if you can for yourself.

speak to your friends and family - you need to let people know what is going on here, you going to need RL support in this.

forget his family they prob cant see it!

keep a log and journal of these behaviours. this is very important.

there is no telling how he might react when you leave - you going to need support.

please listen carefully to the others - you need to make a plan to leave and be safe. it wont be easy in new place but it will be a lot better than what you going thru now. he aint gonna get better if he doesnt even recognize what he doing.

my exP threw my and dcs' things out - i can see now that was beginning of the downward spiral...

please please talk about this to your GP, to your midwife and to a solicitor.

PoisonToadstool Thu 08-Oct-09 21:13:10

Gangle, are you okay?

ElenorRigby Sun 11-Oct-09 15:14:45

Gangle, how's it going?

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