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    • #123921

      Sorry its me again….
      I thought it was time to talk to my daughter about how I’m struggling coping with her Dad, now I understand more about emotional/verbal abuse (I couldn’t bring myself to say physical as it’s not been as awful as you ladies have experienced).
      She totally understands why I’m emotionally detaching myself from him and she gets why sometimes I’m short with him when he really hasn’t said anything wrong. As she has witnessed his moods, sulks and bullying for years. I’m ashamed to say she has seen me sobbing my heart out far too many times.
      Yet she can see the (detail removed by Moderator) or so he seems to be trying and she thinks I should meet him half way….He is talking about going away for (detail removed by Moderator) as a special treat. I can’t blame her for saying it, its her Dad after all. (If I was stronger I could of told her I can’t live with him anymore, and she would of understood).
      I didn’t know what to say I can’t tell her how bad it has been, she just wasn’t there all the time to see it when it happen when we were in our room or when she was asleep in bed when she was younger.
      I’m sat in the bath playing music so they can’t hear me cry. I really didn’t think she would feel this way. I thought she was going to say OK Mum you can do this and about time too. It hurts so much as we are so close and I know if she knew how upset I am she would be upset as well.
      I just can’t leave now, I feel I have to try one more time. I need to do what I’ve always done. Smile and be happy and go along with his plans to go away for (detail removed by Moderator) and just bury my hurt/pain deep down all over again.
      Even though I’ve been doing this for nearly (detail removed by Moderator) years, this time it seems so much harder to do and far more upsetting.
      This is never going stop.
      It’s been an awful soul destroying day, and somehow I’ve got to find the strength to leave this room and pretend I’m ok.
      Sorry for going on I just needed to tell someone how I’m feeling.

    • #123925

      Hi. How old is your daughter? My relationship was similar length to yours. 2 adult children still at home.Hes been out of the house several months now and it’s no longer a house it’s a home. I don’t think anyone realised the impact of his behaviour until he’d gone. I put off doing something for years because I thought it would be better for the children, I was wrong. Think about you , you also deserve to be happy. And if your daughter is adult she can choose to maintain a relationship with her dad , that doesn’t mean you have to.
      Thinking of you x

      • #123960

        Hello Bettertimesahead
        My Daughter is (detail removed by Moderator), I’ve also got a son aged (detail removed by Moderator). Like you mentioned you think you’re doing the best for them by staying quiet and just along with things. I’ve been making decisions based on what is best for the family rather than for me for so many years.
        I would love it to be just me and my children, I just want my home to feel like yours. No tension just a happy home.
        Thank you for listening and for support xx

    • #123926

      Hi @learntoliveagain,

      I am so, so sorry about your situation. I have struggled with the same sort of situation – same length of marriage, same aged children – and although I have left, the agonies continue. It’s really, really difficult to explain to them how it is – my kids are old enough to make their own judgements on what sort of relationship they are going to choose to have with their father, so I don’t want to bad mouth him, because I’m sure it would potentially cause the, to turn against me. But the only thing I feel I can do is to say that I was destroyed by his behaviour. That I couldn’t do it any more. So it doesn’t matter at all whether he’s “being nice” or “sorry” or “missing me” or “lost”… I have lost myself. I am hollowed out and a shell of a human being, because my needs have been negated for such a long time. I make it about me, not about him.

      I am struggling, I really am. But while I have spent the last (detail removed by Moderator) years doing everything for my children, it can’t happen any more. There is no more me to do it.

      Stay strong. Keep coming back. X*x

      • #123961

        Hello Lottieblue
        Thanking for your advice, you’ve explained how I feel perfectly. It no longer matters how he behaves I feel crushed and empty, and like I have nothing more to give.
        When I read the posts on here I know I’m not alone and that helps.
        It sounds like your children are being supportive. I always thought it would be easier when they had grown up but it seems harder as now I need to explain why I can’t do this anymore.
        Deep down I know my daughter and son are there for me.
        Thank you again for your support x

    • #123932

      It’s not the answer and you know this really. Your daughter has said one thing to you, ‘maybe meet him half way’, and your making the decision to stay based on this, when every fibre in your being wants to end it.

      You’re right, she doesn’t understand it, she hasn’t lived through what you have with him has she, nor has she been in an intimate relationship with an abusive partner; its easy for her to say maybe meet him half way but she does not really know what she is asking – does she? It’s certainly no easy thing for you to stay is it.

      Our kids need to learn how to deal with disappointment and that life doesn’t always go as we hope – and that this OK. We deal with it, we get through and out the otherside.

      What she needs from you is to see that you won’t tolerate abuse, which inturn teaches her that she shouldn’t tolerate it either in her relationships. At the moment you’re only showing her that as a woman this is our cross to bear – is this what you want for her? To feel she needs to put up with it, say if she were in an unhappy marrage? It’s not is it; so show her the way.

      She might not fully understand now, might never, lets hope so really hey, but she will come to understand eventually why you left him and that this was the right thing to do for you and for her too. Kids often only know what they want, and rarely what it is they need and this last until they fully mature; she speaking from the child within, which is ok, but it’s not really what she needs is it; nor what she needs from you to do.

      You can do this, to drag it out will only lead to further abuse and trauma. I’m not going to lie and say it’s easy getting to the other side, you’re at the begining of the end, and there’s a lot to wade through yet, with a lot more heartache, but when you get to the otherside you will know it was all worth it and the right and best thing to do; you’ll gain yourself back, only you’ll be a stronger and wiser you, your sanity will be restored; but you will also have an even closer relationship with your daughter, because when you are free of the abuse you won’t need to hide things from her, you will be more available to parent and enjoy her as well – she can’t see this now, she has no experience of just the two of you, mum free from him, but when she does she will get it and know herself that yes this is better – this was needed x

      • #123963

        Hi Fizzylem,
        Thank you for your support and advice.
        I really want to be the strong woman she can look up too.
        It feels right now like it’s an impossible task, like I need so much strength to tell him I can’t live like this anymore when I don’t have any engery/strength left to use. I just wish I wasn’t me.
        I guess my daughter suggesting I meet him half way has knocked the stuffing out of me. I know how hurt she would feel if she knew how upset I was by what she suggested.
        Like you said I hope she never understands how I feel and that if I ever can get to the otherside of this she will see a stronger, happier confident me.
        I cant thank you all enough for your support and for you kind words x

    • #123936

      Hi, same situation, same length of time. 3 kids, 1 thinks her dad is trying really hard and I should give him another chance. 1 has mixed feelings, she knows how bad things are but can see he has changed but my youngest who has lived with it longer, just wants me to be happy.
      I tried so hard to make it work but I have come to realise it never will. Take a step back and watch and listen. Mine seems to be changed and likes to tell me how much he has changed but there is an undercurrent of it’s still my fault. He never cries about how much he has hurt me or how sad he is for the pain he has caused. If you actually listen it’s about how his childhood made him like this, or the fact he can’t read.
      If your daughter was in a relationship with a man like her dad, what would you be advising her to do?
      It’s taken me to have some counselling to realise that I am worthy of happiness too. My girls are all worried about the change in the family dynamics but they have their own lives to live.
      Think about one thing that you want to do that you know he won’t allow. If you suggest doing it he will not be happy. For me it was seeing my sister, part of the new person he has become is that he tells me he has changed because he lets me see her without getting annoyed. That is not a changed man.
      If he was serious about putting you first, he would agree to move out to give you the space to decide what you want.
      Lundy Bancroft has a website with a checklist of things that show if it’s genuine change.
      I know it’s hard, trust me I do but you are worth more x*x

    • #123970

      Hello Catjam,
      It’s such a strange feeling when other people say their situation is similar when you’ve spent so many years thinking it’s just you, and no one will understand how you feel.
      If my daughter was in a relationship with someone like her Dad I would be telling her to leave not to stay and keep hoping he will change.
      I understand what you mean my taking a step back as he keeps telling me he is trying but he gets annoyed with me because I can’t forget all the things he has done and for the cruel things he has said over the years.
      Surely you shouldn’t have to try, shouldn’t it be a natural thing to be kind to your wife and children.
      He used to say when we were younger that he would never let me go and that I was his. At first I thought it showed how much he loved me now I realise years later it sounds unfortunately more like a threat.
      I thought pretending life was ok was difficult but I’m starting to realise its the leaving that is a struggle the none stop scenarios played in my head and how he will react is exhausting.
      Thank you again for you support it really does help xx

      • #123978

        I can so relate to this – “shouldn’t it be a natural thing to be kind to your wife and children?”
        Sometimes, I speak to friends, and they say something along the lines of “does he know that you feel like this” and sometimes I say (when I can be bothered) “what? Does he know that it hurts me to have him talk to me like an idiot? Does he know that it’s wrong that he treats me like a piece of s**t? Have I told him that being treated as worthless by his family makes me feel horrible? Is that what you’re asking?”

        There are so many things that have been said on this thread where I am on the same page.
        Yes! Our daughters want both their parents to be happy!
        Yes! They are seeing their fathers unhappy and therefore want to fix it!
        Yes! The ideal in their minds is that we go back and everything is ok.
        The extraordinary thing is that my daughter knew, knew when I was still there, that I couldn’t stay, she could see what was happening. And a big impetus for me to leave was to say loud and clear that this was not acceptable, it was not ok. For my daughter and for my sons. And I have to keep going back to that and in a way I am martyring myself because I feel I have lost them. I have walked out of the family home and left them. (They are all over 18). But I’m having to say that all that matters is that I show them what’s important for them and their futures, and that the relationships that I have with them may have to take a back seat as a result. It’s horrible.

      • #124077

        Hi @Lottieblue,
        I totally get what you say about friends.
        One of my close friends who would do anything for me just doesn’t get what I say, even when I’m really upset. Her advice is either tell him how I feel and if he doesn’t like it kick him out or go away together for a couple of days to sort it as she thinks that will fix everything. I can’t get her to understand so I’ve stopped talking to her about things.
        I’m so sorry to hear that your relationship with your children has suffered, that’s what I’m so worried/scared about. I already feel I’ve let them down when growing up.
        You are so strong though to have broken the cycle, I I just need a little of that strength x

    • #123973

      We all fell for the “loving” comments initially, that when looked at through the lens of abuse are actually possessive and controlling. Our culture seems to equate strength of feeling, extreme devotion and dramatic actions with love. I saw this great cartoon on Facebook that demonstrates it. A couple is watching TV where a man is saying to a woman “you’re my whole world, I couldn’t live without you”. The man watching TV asks the woman if she feels that way about him and she says “you’re a very important planet in my solar system, but I have other planets too, like my friends, family, work, hobbies” then he says “I like that. I’m really happy to be an important planet in your solar system”.

      I agree that your daughter doesn’t understand. I know you care deeply about how she feels but you don’t need her permission to do what’s best for you. You can tell her that you don’t want to share all the details but you know that there is no way to meet him half way. You also don’t need your husband’s permission to leave him. You don’t have to explain that you’ve had enough. If you can find a time when he’s out you can just leave.

      Sending love and strength xxxx

      • #124078

        Hello @ISOPeace
        Thank you for your message and for sharing the example of what love and respect should sound it. I don’t think my husband has ever spoke like this unless it’s been when he has wanted something from me (it’s heartbreaking to think about).

        I need to try and stop wanting to keep everyone happy at my own expense. I need to hold on to the fact I don’t need permission and I’m not doing anything wrong. So difficult though.

        Thank you for taking the time to help me through this x

    • #123983

      LTLA, I’m often struck by some of the user names we choose, yours says to me this is where you want to be – which you could, if you choose this.

      You are that strong woman, she’s inside, just utterly worn out; sadly this is what happens alot, happened to me too, we stay until we’re so worn out we feel stuck because we have no energy to do anything and fear making a decision, become riddled wth self doubt. Sadly, this is common. But yes, it does take strength to leave.

      If it is possible it is always better to get your ducks lined up before leaving; perhaps this is you? Maybe for now, all you really need to do is decide you’ve had enough and you are leaving? That for now you are going to plang and think about what needs to happen when you do; giving yourself time to get your affairs in order and gather the information you need.

      I’ve learnt that when I feel I have no energy and I’m emotionally worn out, it’s support I need. Maybe for now your focus is to pull in all your support, let trusted friends, family and support services like WA know – so they can help you to think about what needs taking care of and the best way to approach each aspect.

      Talk to only those people who understand and will support you, and put the rest aside for now. This will help you find the strength you need. The women on here will help and a support worker from your local womens aid could be good. Maybe reach out to a few of the women on here in a private message, lots of women make supportive friends who get it by doing this. For now, build and shape your support, and this will make you stronger. Take one day at a time, one task a day, until you feel stronger.

      Maybe tomorrow book that counselling if thats what you’ve been thinking about doing, or speak to your friend saying you’re thinking about leaving, or call WA for a support worker – mine was invaluable – you get the idea, think about what you need now, at present only, then work through, getting this / things / people in place – one at a time before moving onto the next x

      • #123986

        Really great advice @Fizzylem – I second all of it. x

      • #124087

        Thank you @Fizzylem for your support and your great advice. I think concentrating on one task at a time will help as looking at my life as a whole is so overwhelming it makes me feeling like I’m drowning in my thoughts & emotions.

        The support from you all is incredible, you’re an amazing group of women that have gone through so much and come out the otherside stronger.

        I thought I would be able to help myself get through this on my own but I now know I can’t as I feel better about my situation (most days) after joining the group posting on here its the thought that I no longer feel alone. I’m learning though that even when you’re feeling a little stronger something can be said that will totally floor you.

        When you speak to someone from WA do you get to speak to the same support worker each time so that they get to know your situation without having to go through things each time you call? Also will they help out with the counselling side of things?

        Thanks again Fizzylem for helping me and for reminding me that the right support is available and for reminding me I chose my username for a very good reason.

        So a massive thank you again to you all for getting me through the last fews days xx

    • #124248

      It sounds as if your daughter feels responsible for fixing her parents’ marriage. No doubt she’s become very attuned to the mood at home and does what she can to smooth things over. This is quite normal for children living with an abuser, even if the abuse isn’t directed at them.

      I’m sure she meant well with her comment but don’t forget she is still only a child with no relatable experience. Try not to be crushed by what she said. When you feel calmer, tell her that you want her to stop worrying about you. Reassure her that you don’t expect her to take sides. Remind her that you’re the grown-up, you look after her, not the other way round – then ask her how she’s coping. xx

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