This topic contains 19 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Ebrunner 2 weeks ago.

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  • #112085

    Hi All

    This is my first message, though I often pop in to read other people’s posts just to compare notes.

    I am now in my (detail removed by moderator)th year and have been with my husband for almost three decades. We have an adult daughter who currently lives with us whilst she sorts her life out. My daughter and I have suffered emotional and physical abuse for as long as we can remember. Just over a year ago, I decided I’d had enough and told my husband I wanted a divorce, I’d been to seek legal advice and was told I had sufficient grounds. Life has a funny way of stepping in though, and a family member became ill and I put my life on hold in order to support her. Then along came the virus, making things just that much more difficult (or maybe I was just looking for reasons to delay things). I’ve been trying to find ways to support myself as I am financially dependent and have no access to “our” money, applying for jobs etc, so that I could move out and rent a property, but to no avail. I’m now feeling that everything I attempt to do to rescue myself from this nightmare fails and I’m starting to feel totally hopeless and almost resigning myself to stay with the man who I feel has robbed me and my daughter of our lives. We are both traumatised and have realised that we have adopted deep rooted coping mechanisms which will take years to work through. I also believe I’m now trauma bonded and the thought of leaving is almost as scary as staying. I’m so depressed that I’m actually giving up on life and any hope I may have had for a brand new start. I even phoned the Samaritans yesterday, something I’ve never done before. I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I feel my husband has the upper hand and he doesn’t really care about my happiness so long as he’s ok. I can’t believe he can’t see the utter despair in my eyes. Interestingly, having told my husband all the reasons why I wanted out, including all the abuses he’d committed over the years, he now seems to think it’s all gone away, never to return, and he didn’t even have to make any sacrifices or change in any way. How do I get my life back? How do I overcome this trauma bond? Is there any hope?

  • #112087

    Don’t lose hope! You and your daughter deserve a better life! You are only (detail removed by moderator). What if you live to 99? What if your daughter has a child? How will you support her (emotionally) and your grandchild if you don’t have your freedom?

    Proceed with the divorce and know you have a life ahead. Yes it’s change and it will be different but do you truly want to die as unhappy as you are now and what if your poor daughter? You don’t want her to ever be in the same position as you do show her the way forward.

    Gain some self respect and get the help you need to have the life you serve!!!


  • #112094
     [email protected] 

    i felt this way once like there was just no way out. that time did come it was scarey i wont lie abit like an addiction i suppose. i felt panic the first few days then i made a list of what i needed to do and what i wanted to do. i reconnected with friends and family.i had anxiety for a few months and still do at times. fastforward 5 years im in a new relationship i have no abusive people in my life i had to sift through them which wasnt easy but was the right thing to do. i eventually got counselling (wish i had done this sooner) but this has helped my confidence – enough to find a new job after many years of being scared to leave. you will need support to do this xx you will be ok keep moving forwards, keep going you have dependents and i always said altho i felt like it giving up is not an option xx stay strong lovely xxxx

  • #112139

    Don’t give up on life. There is lots you can do to help you on your road to freedom.

    Trust me, I’m probably a similar age to you and was also married for decades but I’m out and starting to carve out a new life. I won’t pretend it’s easy but step by step, I’m getting there.

    Here are some things that you can do to help you get started.

    Call Women’s Aid who will help you start to make sense of things and they will be able to help you find your local DV charity to get yourself a support worker. Or you can search yourself, this link will help https://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/

    You can also speak to Citizens Advice and get some advice about what sort of benefits you would be entitled to if you left. Tell them that your daughter will be living with you and that she is dependent even though she is an adult. Your daughter should also get advise about benefits. When I was trying to leave, I was told that the local authority had an obligation to house those who were fleeing from domestic abuse. Your support worker should be able to advise you on this.

    You won’t loose everything. If you have no income of your own, it could work in your favour for a good divorce settlement. It is worth finding a no nonsense solicitor who specialises in abuse cases. Once you have a support worker she may be able to advise you about legal aid or put you in touch with someone who can.

    Understanding your trauma bond is a good first step towards overcoming it. I’d definitely recommend that you approach your GP. Some are better than others. At the very worst, your GP will have to make a note that you are in an abusive relationship. At best, they can help to organise counselling for you.

    If you want to leave, I promise you that neither your age, nor your finances need stop you. Where there’s a will there’s a way and there are lots of people who will help you find the way.

  • #112143

    Thank you PaleBlueStar, [email protected] and Eggshells for your support and advice, all of it really pertinent and extremely valuable. I know we are all, or have all been, in the same boat and at times it can seem like the mountain is just too big to climb. It can feel like you’re alone and lost with no hope of ever finding the way out. I’ve felt like I’d like someone to take over my life, sort it out, and hand it back to me when it’s all running smoothly again. Sadly that’s not an option, and the only person who can sort this mess out is me and me alone. What’s not helping at the moment is that, once my husband understood that I wanted a divorce and had been to see solicitors, and after his “future faked” promises, he has been on “best” behaviour for the longest time. Sadly, that doesn’t wipe out all the years of abuse we went through alongside any love I felt for him. I’m feeling marginally stronger today, thanks to a good nights sleep, and valuable advice from all you caring ladies who truly understand what I’m going through. Thank you so much 😘.

  • #112159
     [email protected] 

    Hold on to your truth darling xx your not alone when you have fellow survivors in your corner. I’ve made many genuine friends on here. So valuable in moving forwards and getting stronger xx to get your oomf back 😘💪have you heard of LOA? Law of attraction ? If you believe in a good future it will come to you xx I firmly believe in this and it works. Have you read the book the secret it talks about the mind sets of some of the greats xx o don’t think you realise how strong you have been surviving this relationship and now your sharing your feelings xx your going to be ok xx 😘

  • #112166

    I totally get that feeling @ebrunner; a mountain to climb. One step at a time, you can climb it. I also recognise that feeling of wanting to hide and re-emerge with everything sorted. I used to wish I had a crystal ball so that I could look into it and see that I would be ok.

    I’ve discovered two things, 1: I am my crystal ball. It will be ok because I will make it so and 2: The journey is tough but with each and every step, I get nearer to reaching my summit and the rocky bottom gets further and further behind me. Each time you take the next step, you become more empowered because you know you’ve successfully got this far. It gives you the strength to keep going.

    Please keep talking. I’ve found this forum a lifesaver.

    • #112248

      Thank you all for your truly encouraging and inspiring help and advice, it’s so very much appreciated.

      I must admit I am struggling with the hoovering part (with occasional relapses), but I have to remind myself that a) all the whole he thought he was getting away with it he carried on regardless, and b) the fact that he’s able to be “nice” now only tells me that he is and always was capable of controlling it, in other words, it was a choice he made to be abusive (if that makes sense).

      [email protected], it’s interesting you touch on the LOA and The Secret. This experience has directed both myself and my daughter down the spiritual path to look deeper into the lessons to take away so we might understand ourselves better and avoid making similar mistakes in the future. I realise it’s not necessarily our fault that we find ourselves in abusive relationships, but we’re now hopefully better prepared to protect ourselves. The LOA states that we create our own reality and that we can manifest pretty much anything we desire in life, but you’ve got to be in the right mind frame and when you’re in the thick of an abusive relationship, that can be really challenging!
      When I’m feeling more on top of my game I do a lot of reading on the LOA and manifesting the life of my dreams, I just get impatient and annoyed with myself for not being more proactive in making it happen.

  • #112170

    Also meant to say, your OH is hoovering now. Mine did this a lot once he knew I wanted a divorce. Once the divorce was underway, the cycle of abuse became so rapid that he would hoover and then abuse me again, sometimes the cycle had gone full circle within hours. It does make it very, very difficult and keeps you in a constant stat of very high anxiety. It was also just what I needed to remind me constantly that this man was very unpredictable an unstable. I knew I was doing the right thing by leaving.

  • #112182

    Hi Ebrunner,

    I hope you’re feeling better and finding some positive energy in you. I appreciate how lonely and stressful it is at times for each of us so differently.
    I strongly can relate to the cycle of abuse and he has been so nice, (still loses sometimes) but he is really watching himself and this made me also doubt myself. But I also have lots of these niceness and nastiness to remmebr so not that easy anymore to get sucked in.

    One thing that has helped me is this forum and all the loving and caring and wise and string women here… This reminds me that firstly I’m not alone, secondly we Al get through this sooner or later so I’m going to try to do it as soon as I can.
    I hope you find your strength for yourself and for your daughter, you’re her model too and please stay strong.. I know how hard is sometimes and I was very close to my own end limit, he really pushed my boundaries and I was devastated, but I know that’s what he wants and that’s what I’m not going to give him, and I know that I deserve better. Keep your head up and put your nicest cream, don’t let him break you, never let him see you crying as this gives them more power, I know this so well now.. He put me in the highest anxiety I ever experienced and then used that again myself saying I’m not well. I can’t belive this but this was a very good alarm too. All we need to do is to do everything we can and not give it up or out, you know what I mean. I have always be too honest as if I have to report him everything, I am still, but also slowly learning how to protect myself.

    Please protect yourself in every way you can and specially by not letting his niceness get you back into his abusive cycle.

    All the best

    • #112250

      I guess these men become predictable once you recognise their MO! Did you stay in the family home after you told your OH that you wanted a divorce?

      I’m swinging between just doing a moonlight or telling him prior to moving out. I did wonder whether I would be strong enough to live in the same house whilst going through the divorce but I’m feeling that would probably be a big mistake and leave me open to all sorts of manipulation.

      Any and all advice is greatly appreciated!

  • #112588

    Hi Ebrunner

    It’s good to hear you gaining strength with each post! You’ve had loads of great advice from the lovely ladies here. It’s so important to realise that you’re not alone and that there’s absolutely nothing new under the sun.

    I think you must stop discussing/negotiating with your husband. You don’t need his permission to do anything, including divorcing him. The fact that he’s suddenly being nice doesn’t mean you have to question your decisions. Ignore it, it’s just an attempt to distract you.

    Staying in the home while you go through the divorce is probably a bad idea. Think about all the little things that make up the day and the drama as you try to renegotiate how you do them – shopping, laundry, cooking. watching tv, using the bathroom, sleeping arrangements. Much better to set clear boundaries. Which will also mean being in control of when you engage with him.

    Find a solicitor experienced in abuse cases and find out what your rights are in relation to the property. If you own the house you will need to sell and split the assets. If you do move out, make sure you know what bills you need to keep contributing to. You need to safeguard your finances for the future.

    You will be entitled to benefits. Get advice and claim everything that’s due to you. If your abuse is documented be sure to pass on the information to all relevant agencies as you will be entitled to immediate assistance.

    Don’t think of the next place you live as your forever home. It’s simply a stepping stone to better things. Trust me, a shared bedsit will feel like a palace compared to what you have now.

    Everything is achievable once you break down the problems into smaller bites. Do at least one thing a day to move forwards. Involve your daughter too. She’s an adult and you need to support each other.

    I hope everything goes well for you.

  • #112589

    Just a thought. Apply for a credit card before you leave and while you’re still married. You’ll be more likely to be accepted because of the address on the application and what they see when they run a credit check.

    I’m not suggesting you live beyond your means. Just that you’ll need access to some credit to pay for things such as first month’s rent and security deposit.

  • #112611

    Hello Ebrunner,

    I didn’t come on the forum for a few days at the time that you first posted and got all these amazing replies, but I’m so glad that the thread has woken back up as it’s really helpful to me, too.

    I also feel helpless. Everyone on here speaks so much sense and I know they are right, but then “poor me” (husband) comes along and I am made to believe once again that my striving for independence is wrong and selfish and I am a truly bad person who should just be grateful for what she’s got.

    I haven’t requested a divorce or even told him I am unhappy in our relationship. I just don’t want to play ball. I want to do things my way, not his. I am fed up of having my soul sucked out of me. I am really fed up of his behaviour – I have a strong feeling that when I do go it will be that flit in the night, I think it will have to be, as the hoovering will be horrific.

    Anyway, I just wanted to come in and give you a little wave. Keep coming back. I live this community. There are some real words of wisdom, and often I come back and read the same words over again because they give me such strength.
    X LB

  • #112613

    Hi there!

    I’m currently on the verge of filing for divorce Ive spoken to a very good solicitor. We are married and share the home but its in my name but if your married that doesn’t matter hes still entitled to his share.
    With regards to moving out its a difficult one as the other ladies have said its difficult to go through divorce under the same roof, some solicitors advise against leaving the home during divorce as some men will use this against you and make it difficult. Also if your married and leave the home you still have an obligation to contribute to the mortgage and bills , so if I moved out not only would I be paying my share of the bills mortgage but also maybe rent on another place. I would love to just walk out with my suitcase but I know i can’t because legally I still have to contribute:( its such a difficult one and I completely understand you. Im hoping that when I do file for divorce it will be straightforward and over with as quick as possible i say quick usually a quick divorce is around 4-6 months. Im trying to take one day at a time and not look too far ahead and all the what ifs. You’ll get there ! There is just so much to think about I know xx

  • #112645

    Thank you all for your welcomed advice, every little piece will be filed away and brought out to be used at the appropriate time.

    Camel, I took your advice and applied for a credit card from my bank and was unfortunately declined, so I decided to try Martin Lewis’s credit card eligibility checker and it looks like I’m not eligible for anything. All I can hope is that I will be able to manage without. I’m thinking of popping into my bank to ask them if there’s anything they can do to help me.

    Beautifulday and Camel, although we jointly own our property, I don’t have access to any of the bank accounts and am “paid” a monthly allowance, hence I haven’t financially contributed to anything since I gave up work a few years back. Sadly I willingly gave up work back then before I truly understood the nature of what I was dealing with and thereby contributed to my lack of options now. Although the abuse went of for most of my married life, I was made to believe that I’d caused it and it never occurred to me that we (myself and my daughter) were being abused.

    I believe that there is a life lesson to learn in all that we go through, self love, boundaries, childhood issues and (self) abandonment, and if I hadn’t had this experience I would probably never have made that discovery. So, I guess you could call it a silver lining perhaps?

    Anyway, I feel like I’ve been on a wild and crazy rollercoaster ride this last week, I’ve had my highs and my (very) lows, but I’m overwhelmed at the sisterhood of all you lovely ladies and the support and I intend to come back as frequently as I’m able. Hopefully one day, I’ll even pop in to tell you all that I’m finally free and living the life I was always meant to live, and to offer encouragement to others starting out on the road to freedom!

  • #113349

    Hello again Ebrunner

    What you have described is financial abuse and against the law. And your husband doesn’t have automatic rights to the equity in the house just because he was earning.

    Get copies of absolutely everything – deeds to the house, your bank statements, his if you can get hold of them.

    It’s an annoying fact that you need to demonstrate that you’re a good risk to creditors. So having never borrowed money is seen as a negative not a positive. Sign up to a credit check website (experian, clearscore). It’s free. You need to check whether you have a poor credit rating because you’ve never taken out a loan or credit card. And not because your husband has used your name.

    I can understand why you’d feel paralysed into staying while you have no money of your own. Finding out the facts will give you strength. Try Citizens Advice to start with – whether you can get priority housing, what benefits you will be entitled to. Also speak to WA and take advice on how to divorce an abuser safely. Don’t just leave unless you’re in immediate danger.

    All mountains are climbed one step at a time.

  • #113397

    Thank you for your response @camel, I haven’t been on here for a few days so I was surprised to see I had a message.

    I have sought advice from a couple of different solicitors and have been told that I’d be entitled to half of everything, so I’m sure my husband doesn’t have a leg to stand on financially. I don’t know where the deeds to our house are kept but I understand that they are all kept electronically nowadays. As for bank statements, we both opted to go paper free quite a few years ago. One of the solicitors I consulted with told me (removed by moderator). I actually still have them but they’re slightly out of date now. Thank you for your advice re credit check websites, I will look into that.

    I phoned CA To find out about possibly claiming benefits and all they really did was to send me a link to apply for Universal Credit but told me that I would be unable to claim anything whilst sharing the house with my husband. They also sent some links to other websites relating to local property rental etc (not much help when you don’t have an income).

    It almost feels like the system has been designed to make it as difficult as possible to remove yourself from abusive relationships.

    I don’t believe I’m in any immediate danger but I feel I will find it very difficult to stay in the same house as my husband as I’m sure he will pull out his armoury of manipulative weapons and, once again, make it difficult for me to divorce him.

    My best ally, my daughter, has had just about enough of him following another episode of him exerting his authority over her, and has now decided she will be moving away as soon as she can make arrangements, so I’m left feeling more alone than ever and another potential escape route has been taken away.

    I’m sorry I sound so negative at the moment. I’m in such a bad place right now, probably feeling lower than I ever remember feeling before. It seems like every avenue I take I’m hitting a brick wall.

  • #113401

    Hi Ebrunner

    Please don’t apologise for how you feel. And you know what they say, once you’ve hit rock bottom the only way is up.

    Your daughter leaving could spur you on. Whilst she’s there to lean on, things are just about bearable.

    Citizens Advice were probably as helpful as they could be. It’s true that you can’t claim benefits until you need them but at least you know you’ll be entitled to them. I’m not up to date with benefits but I believe they include housing benefit (capped) and council tax. You could consider renting a room in a shared house. It’s a good short term solution, they’re usually furnished and a lot cheaper.

    It’s interesting that your solicitor said not to take photos of spreadsheets. Are you allowed to take a note of where your husband has accounts at least?

    Speak to a solicitor again before you leave, to make sure you’ve done everything right. Like filing for a legal separation, for example. Make sure you pick one who understands financial abuse. These days, husbands are not allowed to leave their wives destitute.

  • #113542

    Morning Camel

    Once again, thanks for your response and support, I very much appreciate it.

    I think you’re right in saying that my daughter leaving will give me the necessary shove to finally free myself. I really don’t want to be here after she goes, there will be nothing to keep me.

    I need to seek more legal advice regarding the photos I took. If I have no proof, it’s difficult to tell whether any financial assets have been hidden away from me and in these situations who knows what underhanded tactics will be employed! A lot, if not most, of the account are online only.

    I did speak to one of the solicitors about legal (or judicial) separation and was told there was no point in doing that and I may as well head straight for divorce. Again, I have no idea why that would be. It’s all a mystery and unexplored territory.

    I’m interested to know if any/many women here have been able to leave the marital home with most (all) of their possessions and not had to ever return. I’m trying to figure out whether that’s a possibility for me as I don’t relish ever having to return once I’ve made that break. I may post this on a separate thread.

    I just want to say how much I appreciate everyone here and express how much admiration I have for all you ladies and what you’ve been through 💝.

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