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    • #93966

      I have started to think about leaving and I have contacted my locals womens aid. However each time I try and plan to leave i become overwhelmed with so much guilt as the children adore him and I feel soo bad. Has anyone experienced this feeling when attempting to leave? Also any advice on how to overcome this and leave would be very much appreciated.
      Thank you xx

    • #93970

      I am constantly torn between loving my little family unit and heart break how toxic it really is. My children are really starting to suffer and mentally I don’t think I can go on much longer. I hate myself for not giving my children a loving normal family life

      • #93972

        I feel the same, I am trying to convince myself that our little family will be ok but deep down my heart knows that the only way we will be truly happy is if I leave my husband. I feel sick with guilt 24/7 and I know that my children will be happier in the long term away from this toxic environment.
        However actually getting up and leaving is so so difficult.

    • #93976

      Totally understand the sick guilt thing. I’ve contacted my local service today to put a plan together to leave ASAP. I just can’t do it anymore. My children are the same, the utterly adore there dad. I hope I can give them happier life than the one we’re living now and one day they’ll understand why I had to break up our family. Ultimately I’m doing it for them 😢

    • #94290

      Me too. Don’t know where to begin. My OH my s mostly awful to our son and the thought of him hurting him (anymore than he has ) makes me feel sick but our boy even said today “I won’t tell anyone because I don’t want dad taken away. I suppose if he punched me in the head I’d have to call child line”. I told him if his dad hit him I’d call the police. Not sure if that made him feel better though. He adores him but he is starting to fight back (swear and shout back, even called him a child abuser today)
      I don’t really want any to be in this marriage anymore. It feels like my love and respect for husband lessons everyday xx

    • #94293

      I am sorry to hear what you are going through kitkat44. I was feeling so guilty about leaving but recently I have seen the effect it has had on my little children as they have become withdrawn. They both get aggressive with each other and have become really clingy towards me. I feel like I need to do what’s best for them as right now they think this abusive relationship is normal. I am hoping to leave next week and I pray that I get the courage to just do it x

    • #94295

      Hi Freedom22, it’s an awful feeling, my OH has no idea I feel so unhappy. We used to be able to talk things through but he if I’ve dared to mention how horrible and aggressive his behaviour is he just gets more annoyed or goes into a depressive state and won’t speak to anyone. I hope all goes well and you get away soon and safely. X

    • #94296

      Guilt is a tool the abuser uses freely. The FOG of abuse consists of fear Obligation and Guilt. Try thinking that by leaving you’re protecting your children. Statistics show children from abusive homes are much more likely to be abused in adulthood. They suffer much more from mental health problems. The learn from the behaviour of their parents. Of course they appear to adore their father, but you know better. If this was a stranger who used this kind of abuse, would you allow your children contact? I once heard of a video where a man beats his dog terribly then walks away, and the dog follows. That doesn’t mean he loves his dog. As a mother you need to protect your children. They are children, they don’t know any better. I don’t underestimate the difficulty in leaving an abuser but from someone who stayed for the sake of the kids I can tell you the outcome was a nightmare. Break free and teach your children that they do not have to stay with an abuser. Their self esteem and self confidence will improve and they will be happier with a happy confident mum. You cannot co parent with an abuser either. So at least on your own you can set healthy boundaries and parent in a respectful positive way. Lean on women’s aid to get all your ducks in a row x

    • #94302

      I dated two men who had abusive fathers. My abuser’s mother had stayed with his father for the sake of the kids. He, the eldest boy, imitated his father and went on to abuse me, his sister and his mother. The sister was as trapped in the dynamic as he was, just on the victim’s side. Despite being highly successful in her career, she seemed unable to move out of the family home, and her relationships were systematically destroyed by her father and brother. During my relationship the mother once tried to move out, but felt so guilty that she returned each day to cook dinner for her abuser. I think she lasted less than a month before she returned home. I hope she escaped eventually, as she is a lovely woman, but when I last saw her, her sense of duty to her husband outweighed her sense of her own worth.

      The other guy’s mother had left his abusive father in his early childhood, and brought up him and his sister’s alone. It wasn’t a perfect childhood, but she was an amazing, tough, loving woman and they basically grew up as pretty balanced and well rounded individuals. We broke up because of various things that made us incompatible as a couple, but we stayed in touch, and he and his sister’s are all in what appear to be happy stable relationships. I went on a double date with him and his girlfriend recently, and they are perfect for one and other. Even his mother, who didn’t date much while they were growing up has recently met a new man. They came round for a cup of tea a few months back, and he seems lovely, and she really happy.

      Having experienced abuse for the first time as an adult, and discovered how debilitating and all encompassing it is, I don’t think this is a coincidence. I think it would be almost impossible to grow up to be happy and self confident as a child of an abusive parent, if you are exposed to it all the time. What you experience in childhood is what you internalise as normal. Viewing abuse as normal will not necessarily make you abusive, but I cannot imagine how hard it would be to recognise and leave an abusive relationship if that was normalised to you through childhood. Leaving an abusive partner gives your kids the best chance at a normal and happy adulthood. It might be hard on them for a short while, but kids are adaptable. They will adjust. And in the long run they will be much happier.

    • #95002

      Thank you for all of your support especially yours KIP, I kept reading what you wrote about the effect that it has on children and that gave me the strength to leave. I am now in a refuge with my children and I have seen a huge change in them already, they are so much more happier.
      It was the most bravest thing I ever done but seeing my kids happy makes it worth it.

    • #95003

      Well done. I know how difficult it is to break free. The longer they are no contact, the more improvement you will all see. Children copy what they see around them. Hopefully going forward the will see love and kindness and a happy healthy mum. Take all the help you can in this initial stage. It’s difficult but try to think of a future for you all. I hope you’re getting help with housing and benefits and legal advice. The very first time he abused you he gave you permission to walk away. Keep posting for support. My ex was arrested and bailed so it game me time to get the divorce started and the solicitors involved but that can take a back seat till youre settled. Power to you. Your children need your protection and you stepped up. You did the right thing x

    • #95083


      Thanks KIP, honestly your support has been wonderful. The refuge that I am staying in is brilliant and I have applied for my benefits and now waiting for legal Aid. I am going to apply for a residence order and that will hopefully give me peace of mind with regards to the children.
      I still have bad and good hours in the day, when I am feeling down I just remind myself of all of the reasons I left and I try and focus on the children being happy and care free. My eldest Child shared that she no longer has bad dreams and that just confirmed that I had made the right choice.
      I know I haven’t got an easy ride ahead especially when it comes to living arrangements of the children but I do believe it will all be worth it

    • #95087

      Freedom that’s amazing! Well done 💖

    • #95100

      Brilliant Freedom 22! Happy for you and that your children are already happier 👍 x

    • #117128

      Hi all,

      I havent posted in a while. I just wanted to update you on how me and the children are.

      Since leaving I have had counselling and CBT which have been brilliant.
      I am still at the Refuge (detail removed by moderator).
      I have recieved so much support at the Refuge and my children are thriving at School and generally so much happier. Our relationship has improved as I am happier.
      As time goes on, I realise my self worth and feel so happy I left. I also applied for (detail removed by moderator) training and I got in, so I go back to University (detail removed by moderator).
      I realised I have achieved so much in this last year and my ex partner was really holding me back from achieving my goals and dreams.
      I also want to thank all of you amazing women on here (especially KIP). Your post and conversations were all I read for a year before I left and they gave me the strength to leave. This forum literally saved my life as it educated me on all the help out there and made me realise that what I was going through wasnt normal.
      I just want you all to know that you are braver than you think and you all deserve to live happy and free.
      I love that I can watch what I want on tv, call my family when I want and chase my goals and dreams.
      I am so happy I left and I only feel guilty about neglecting myself for all those years.
      Thank you once again for all of your help and support xxxx

      • #117133

        Wow, that’s wonderful 🥰 Thank you for sharing your story. It’s great to hear how much happier and confident you are. It gives me a glimmer of hope and I’m sure it will for others reading too. Xx

    • #117162

      Freedom 22. Wow…inspiring reading how far you have come. I’m still in the early stages myself and I worry so much about managing the children with him because they love their dad. Can I ask how did you work out parental arrangements? X

    • #117387

      Hi losingbattle,
      I used to worry so much about managing the children with him as my kids also love their dad so much.
      It was difficult in the beginning as everything was so raw for me. However I found as months passed I was busy with my own goals and ambitions and I focused less on him.
      I used to struggle the day the children would come back to me after seeing their dad (I would fall into trap of feeling guilty that we are not together as a family, however I would remind myself as to why I left and would soon pick myself up).
      The only contact I currently have is email and that works best for me. We have a parenting plan in place, so we all know dates he will see kids etc.
      The children are happier and this arrangement is working for them so that makes things easier for me. The children have adapted really well to the new change in their life and I beleive that is because they can see that I am happier.
      Since I left I spent alot of time on myself mentally and physically (this was difficult as I am used to putting myself last). I found that a happy and healthy mom meant happier children.
      I guess I have just accepted that this is just a chapter in my life and not the whole book.
      I promise things get so much easier and you will start enjoying life again xxxxx

    • #117391

      Wow, just caught up on your post. Welcome to the other side 🥰 it was all your hard work and what an amazing journey. We are everything without them they are nothing without us x power to you x

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