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To move 3 hours from abusive husband

26 replies

Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 12:39


I moved to a country town six months ago after leaving my husband who I have a three year old boy with.

It was a big decision to leave my husband and move three hours away to another town.

I chose to move three hours away because...

  • I had no family in our city and minimal support
  • He was physically abusive and strangled me three times during our marriage and hit me. I was never badly injured or hospitalised but it was a high stress volatile marriage.
  • he became obsessed with his catholic faith and angry if I went to the shops on Sunday, tried to vote for gay marriage etc etc and was extreme about his beliefs and obsessively lecture me about them.
  • he was obsessed with my inheritance and doing the right thing to spend it well and harassed me constantly about what property I should buy and that we should buy a house together.

I felt as though every aspect of my life was controlled and he would guilt trip me about how depressed and suicidal he was whenever I tried to leave and preyed on all of my insecuriritiew that he knew about, eg he would tell me that I would ruin my son emotionally and fail as a mother in my own. He said he would kill himself and that I would never see my son again.

When I did eventually leave he harassed me in the phone, cried when I tried to do visits, blocked my car in the driveway, yelled and tried to stop me leaving and scare our son and I had to call police.

I was mentally and emotionally drained and stressed and moved three hours away because I knew that otherwise I would be harassed and I needed that’s space to not feel his control over me. I literally feel like I’m going to have a panic attack when I drive into his city or visit him because it reminds me of the emotional hold and manipulation.

I am happy in my new town and I drive up every fortnight to drop off my son and collect him to his Husband/his dad for visits.

My husband Continues to guilt me about moving here and I feel physically sick with guilt and pressure. He refuses to drive here for visits or do ant of the driving.

The other aspect to this is that he works his own hours so sleeps until midday and goes to bed at 2am. This does not fit in with a toddler so he needs his mother to help with visits. When I lived with him I felt like a single parent anyway.

I feel guilty that he is so sad and just sad about the situation.

I feel sad that I didn’t see my toddler over Christmas and that he doesn’t have both his parents with him on Christmas Day.

I feel sad I have little to no family of my own and an only child and have separated from my husband and failed at making my own family, I know my son had a fun few days over Christmas with all his cousins and his dad and grandparents, without me and I did this so he wouldn’t feel bored. But I feel sad that I don’t have the sorts of friendship groups or family of my own that can give him that.

I just feel down and sad in general and would like support.

Please no bitchy comments, I am not in the mood.
OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

StrongerThanIThought76 · 26/12/2019 13:34

OP I did the same, you did the right thing. You will get slated on here I'm sure but I absolutely understand the need to put physical distance between you.

Next year you should focus on moving on emotionally - you still call him your husband rather than stbx (soon to be ex).


DickAmbush · 26/12/2019 13:53

I moved with my baby DC, 8 hours away from my violent, controlling ex. Best thing I ever did. He was a terrible 'father' who was only interested in DC when he could use them to control me, so it didn't take him too long to get bored and stop harassing me re. contact. We're infinitely happier now. Anyone here who slates you hasn't been where you are.


RollingOutOfBed · 26/12/2019 13:57

YADNBU. He's a vile excuse for a human being and you owe him nothing. He doesn't deserve to see his son either, but then I believe that violent men should only be allowed to their children in a contact centre if at all. It doesn't sound as though he cares about your boy either truth be told when he isn't willing to do any driving.


RollingOutOfBed · 26/12/2019 13:57

Not to mention the fact that Fathers who genuinely care about their children don't abuse their Mother.


maisienminnie · 26/12/2019 13:59

why are you driving your child there? If he doesnt really see his child much when he is there, I wouldnt bother - it isnt up to you to make this work. You are best off having as little to do with him as possible.


YouretheChristmasCarcass · 26/12/2019 14:28

You did absolutely the right thing in moving. The only thing to do with an abusive ex is move as far away as you can.

Have you thought of the motivation behind why you're doing all this driving to his? Are you doing it out of guilt or fear rather than a true desire to promote their relationship? And how is he with the child? If he was abusive to you, does he show 'tendencies' with the child, such as impatience or short temper? Or does he ignore him because he 'can't handle' normal toddler behaviour? Because if he palms him off on his mother, I'd seriously be reconsidering that drive.

I think you might be able to benefit from counseling. The manipulative and controlling behaviour that is part and parcel of an abusive person coupled with fear and a sense of 'obligation' for having left him can leave quite a mark. You need to break those chains and a good counselor can help.


MitziK · 26/12/2019 14:34

He'd be a crap Catholic if he committed suicide - all the giving you grief about shopping, how you voted, etc, would mean nothing at judgement. He'd get a pass if he was truly incapable of doing otherwise by virtue of being effectively insane/in psychosis, but I don't suppose for one moment he'd agree that he needs to be sectioned (if nothing else because if he was like it prior to marriage, that makes a pretty good case for annulment).

In any case, the Amoris Laetitia makes it pretty clear that the Pope doesn't hold with domestic violence:

I think particularly of the shameful ill-treatment to which women are sometimes subjected, domestic violence and various forms of enslavement which, rather than a show of masculine power, are craven acts of cowardice. The verbal, physical, and sexual violence that women endure in some marriages contradicts the very nature of the conjugal union

separation becomes inevitable. At times it even becomes morally necessary, precisely when it is a matter of removing the more vulnerable spouse or young children from serious injury due to abuse and violence, from humiliation and exploitation, and from disregard and indifference

His emotional state is not your problem. His unhappiness at being left/divorced for his abuse and violence is not your problem.

You are NOT being in any way unreasonable.


Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 14:46

Thank you sincerely for your considered advice.

It means a lot as I have been on my own all Christmas and am feeling empty lonely, and can not wait to see my beautiful boy and squeeze and kiss his little face all over.

I’m sure you all have better things to do like eat pudding and play charades. I have friends I can talk to but over Christmas it’s a bit much.

I’m actually an Aussie living in Australia and I think in part I feel guilty because it’s such a beautiful town. It’s a haven for single mums, filled with gorgeous shirtless surfers, amazing weather, warm community and heaps of support, there is a part of me that feels like I’ve landed in paradise and wonders if it is all about getting distance from him. I know it is in part but in part it’s just a great lifestyle.

I think he’s genuinely upset and sad as am I about our family being torn apart. I honestly don’t think he gets it and justifies his actions or thinks I should forgive. This makes it hard as I’m basically reasoning with someone deluded. I’m soft by nature and I feel sorry for him.

He does love our child, he’s just anxious or depressed and refuseS to get help and is very detached from our toddler and doesn’t interact much, I guess you could say that about a lot of dads that are burnt out but this is just next level.

I’m doing the driving because I don’t want my son to miss out on a daddy and he realises what’s going on.

I know I can build a happy life here but my heart hasn’t caught up to my head.

I guess I just feel guilty for moving so far away and he often remnids me and says, how would you like it etc.

I had such high expectations for the life and family I would create for my son and I. It’s lonely and sad seeing other families with siblings and dads.

I don’t know why I feel so guilty and the thought if buying a house here and meeting someone makes me feel even more guilty. I would so love for a man to come and scoop me up but am trying to be independent, and work in myself, it’s lonely though,

Thanks, and yes, think I need serious counselling.

Thanks yourethechristmascarcus

OP posts:

HideYourBabiesAndYourBeadwork · 26/12/2019 14:53

No judgement here- I’ve done the same thing to get some distance from my abusive ex and it’s been a huge weight off my shoulders just having that space.

He will make you feel guilty- he’s conditioned you to because that’s what abusers do. Cut yourself some slack, you will gain confidence and make friends and firm those bonds again in time with other people. It’s hard now but it will get better. The future is yours and your son’s.


Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 14:54

Thank you Mitzik, I am not in anyway a catholic after this experience and can’t wait to have lots of premarital sex and Oral sex and all kinds of sex to make up for a 5 year marriage where sex was only allowed for children - I honestly don’t know how this became my life, I think I knew I wanted out For a very long time but didn’t know how .

Having religion forced down your throat is nauseating, I burst into tears when a jehova witness knocked on my door and tried to talk to me about the bible last week. It was enough to remind me of his trapped and panicked I felt living with that.

I do appreciate your academic arguments and knowledge and whole heartedly agree that from a catholic stance it doesn’t add up. If I was to discuss religion, I would say his behaviour is quite spiritually oppressed, dark and malevolent and that the church teachings and theology are the least of his worries.


OP posts:

Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 14:55

Thankyou sincerely for sharing and relating and the vote of confidence. It means a lot.

OP posts:

Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 14:56

That above message for @hideyourbabiesandyiurbeadwork

OP posts:

BlueSuffragette · 26/12/2019 15:01

Hello OP. It took some guts to leave and try and build a better life for you and your son. Hopefully once you get your counselling that will help you realise it was the right thing to do and help you move forward. Your ex was a violent bully. You are being too kind by doing all the driving and willingly letting your ex have your son for so long over Christmas. I understand it is because you want your son to have a relationship with his dad. However what about looking at it from the other way round. Would his dad travel every other weekend to meet you at a neutral point to collect your son. This could be a bit closer to where you live or at least half way. If his dad won't travel you have to question his commitment to maintaining the relationship with his son. You need to think about a plan re contact for holidays, birthdays and Christmas that really works. You feel your son is safe with his dad? Was he only ever violent with you? Take care. Hope next year is good for you and your son x


YouretheChristmasCarcass · 26/12/2019 15:23

I'm trying to say this gently, but why are you making excuses for him? He doesn't deserve it.

I think he’s genuinely upset and sad as am I about our family being torn apart.

No, Love. He's sad that he's lost his 'victim'. Abusers don't like to lose their victims. It's difficult and time-consuming to find and 'delude' a new one. Someone who is as abusive as he is doesn't have the ability to really understand what honest love is. They only know they need an outlet for the anger and feelings of inadequacy inside them. That's what 'love' is to them.

This makes it hard as I’m basically reasoning with someone deluded. I’m soft by nature and I feel sorry for him.

You are reasoning with someone deluded. So you need to stop because you will never make him see the truth. He's not capable. As Einstein says "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result".

He does love our child, he’s just anxious or depressed and refuseS to get help...

He's not anxious and depressed. He's upset he's lost his victim.

...and is very detached from our toddler and doesn’t interact much. I guess you could say that about a lot of dads that are burnt out but this is just next level.

Please don't make excuses for his poor parenting. Most divorced dads aren't 'detached' from their children. Their relationship with their children is probably different from a living-with dad, but that doesn't make them detached. And all parents get 'burnt out', but we still slog on and it certainly doesn't make us stop interacting with our children.

I'm sorry to sound harsh, but you need to really get that you did the right thing. And that it's up to your ex to facilitate his relationship with his son. Maybe if he had to work at it a bit, he'd value it more.

And you need to learn that you are worthy of love and respect. And that you are entitled to safety and security.


Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 15:27

Thank you so much @ YouretheChristmasCarcass

This makes a lot of sense and is exactly the truth and intellectual reasoning I need to thwart my emotions.

This means so much to me and that you are a complete stranger, who will never gain anything for your time or meet me says so much.

I hope your goodness and virtue comes back at you during the new year.

Alicia x

OP posts:

ohwheniknow · 26/12/2019 15:38

He is still abusing you. Abuse is about power and control, not the I individual acts or incidents used to obtain that power/control over you. Remind yourself of that when you're trying to make sense of things or he's pressuring you.

Somebody who strangled his child's mother is not a good dad. (And strangulation can cause serious injuries despite leaving no visible marks).

Although you're in Australia you should be able to do the online version of the Freedom Programme course if you wish. I think it would really help you process everything that has happened and learn to trust yourself again, which in turn will help you protect yourself and act in your child's best interests (rather than defaulting to your abuser's manipulation and demands).


You did the right thing getting both of you away from him. Growing up in an abusive home causes profound lifelong damage to children (and the damage is greater the longer it goes on) and you have saved him from that. Be proud of yourself.


Wereallsquare · 26/12/2019 15:50

Well done on leaving! After all the threads of women in abusive situations blaming themselves and talking about how great their partners are when they are not abusing the daylights out of them, it is really refreshing to hear from a woman who has changed her life. So happy for you. I hope you find all the things you have been missing.

I have to take issue with something:
He was physically abusive and strangled me three times during our marriage and hit me. I was never badly injured or hospitalised but it was a high stress volatile marriage.

Any man who puts his hands on your throat will murder you, so please do not downplay the risk of death you faced at his hands.

Stay strong. Forgive him if it benefits you, but for God's sake do not forget or engage with him or his family.

Spend some time on your own, learning to really enjoy your own company and to love your self before getting involved in another relationship. You may even seek some therapy if you have not yet to unpack all of the madness that you have been through.

I wish you the happiest life ever.


Stayawayfromitsmouth · 26/12/2019 15:53

To be honest you did completely the right thing moving away. The only wrong thing you have done is to still be in contact with this arsehole and to facilitate contact with your son.
Have you started divorce proceedings yet?
Get a well known divorce lawyer so you can retain your inheritance and assets.
Make sure you write a diary of all incidences of abuse, denigrating, the religious control, etc that you remember and how it affects your son.
Stop driving back.
Get a therapist. But meanwhile read the book 'why does he do that'.
Sounds like you are still living in fear of him.
Good luck and well done for escaping.


KatherineJaneway · 26/12/2019 16:29


PickAChew · 26/12/2019 16:36

You've done exactly the right thing. The lifestyle in your new town is an added bonus. There is absolutely no reason why you should continue to be miserable.

My ex wasn't violent towards me but I still moved to the next county so I could live my life without being likely to cross his path. Fortunately for me he moved to another continent. Less fortunate for his next victim.


YouretheChristmasCarcass · 26/12/2019 16:36

You're welcome, my dear.

I've been where you are. Not as severe and (thankfully) we had no children but I understand how they get in our heads and turn our thinking to their own purposes. It took me 18 months of counseling to get that man out of him head and see that my thinking had been 'bent' by him to suit his own purposes. But my life since I cast off his 'shadow' has been pretty damned fantastic. Met someone wonderful, married him, raised two fine sons, and now 30+ years later we're living our dream retirement. Never doubt that you'll come through this and life will truly be good again.

We aren't strangers, not really. There is a fine chain that links all survivors of domestic abuse to each other. Because no matter the type or severity of the abuse there is a commonality to our experiences. Someone helped me, so I help you. And somewhere down the road, you will reach out and help someone else to survive the road you're currently walking. And you will realize, as I have, that we do gain something. The knowledge that our experiences (as much as we wish we hadn't had them) were not totally in vain, because we have used them to help someone else.

And thank you for the good wishes. I wish the same for you.


flirtygirl · 26/12/2019 16:36

You should not be doing the driving and he should not know where you live. And it probably was not worth letting your son continue a relationship as at that age, having just a mum would be normal to him.

However everything you have done is reasonable and you should stop beating yourself up about it.

You have done the best thing for yourself and for your son. You need to build a life and forget about your ex. Read about fear obligation and guilt and trauma bonding. I was the same but over time it all eases.

Also the religion stuff is a red hearing. That is not what made him abusive. He is abusive because he is abusive.


Motoko · 26/12/2019 16:44

Click here this is the link to the free pdf version of the above mentioned book.

Do read it, because you are still in the grip of his abuse. Your son should not have contact with his abusive father, let alone it being you facilitating it by driving to him every two weeks.

Do have counselling. You need help to let go of the guilt you're wrongly feeling, but is a result of the abuse. Try to find a counsellor who specialises in domestic abuse. It's better for children to have no contact with their fathers, if the father is abusive.

You did absolutely the right thing, to put so much distance between you and him. You were in danger of being murdered by him, that's not scaremongering, but fact proved by studies, based on him strangling you 3 times. You are very lucky to still be alive and be here for your son.

Get a divorce.

Look forward to a better future.


GabriellaMontez · 26/12/2019 16:47

So glad you escaped and saved and protected yourself from this man. He's a shit husband, father and catholic.

Stop driving your son to him. Enjoy your new life with your son.


Mummylovesbags · 26/12/2019 17:08

@motoko thank you so much, this PDF is so accurate and in depth and this has helped me enormously.

Thank you all, I had been feeling so empty, lost and flat all day and this
helped enormously and my heavy heart feels much lighter.

I intend to get further counselling, press on with my Life here, continue building a house and a Happy life for my boy.

OP posts:
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