28th July 2019 at 11:19 pm #84518
I have been with my husband for over (detail removed by moderator) years. Slowly but deliberately over those years he has become more and more volatile and aggressive. Not really physically, although the threat is always there, but he is verbally and emotionally bullying, criticising and belittling me and using massive outbursts of rage and anger which terrify me. I dont think there are any vile names for a woman that i haven’t been called repeatedly. All the while i genuinely believe i have been kind and loving and have tolerated so much without ever having done anything to warrant his anger. I have forgiven so much, including an affair, (detail removed by moderator) years of him being unemployed and making no effort to find work and now forcing me to let him help run my small business, which had been my joy and my potential lifeline away from him.
We are together now all day every day and he will often belittle me in front of the people who work for me.
He makes threats of physical violence against me but doesn’t really act on them. The fact that they are there though means I can never stand my ground or say no. I never wanted us to work together but he was so threatening that I was forced to give in.
I want to leave him but am so scared. Partly because I know he will not let me go without massive amounts of pressure and abuse but also because I am worried he will try and turn my children and family against me. My children are both young adults and know what he is like(not the affair but the anger and bullying) but nonetheless they love him still. Also I dont want him to be able to take my business away from me as its how I survive financially. He is very controlling and has made me give him the banking details of the business as a way of controlling me.
I worry that what I am going through seems trivial compared to most of the people on this forum but the best way to illustrate his behaviour is to say that i never feel relaxed around him. I think through every thing i say really carefully. I limit my contact with friends and family as he hates most of them and in general I know I cannot be me. I am a damped down version of myself. I am worried as everything I’ve read says dont leave the home as you will be penalised if you do. I’m worried that if i tell him i want to leave him before i go he will stop me or hurt me. i also think he would deliberately harm my business out of spite to stop me being able to go or would destroy the house to stop me having half to sell.
Outwardly to most people i have kept up a pretence of being ok but I’m not living i am existing and dont know how to escape .
please tell me if you think i am just indulgent and this is normal? He says all couples disagree and that I am overemotional and mentally unstable. Im not sure how to find the courage?
29th July 2019 at 9:21 am #84531blue eyesParticipant
Hi Cornflower, you will find that everyone on here absolutely understands the feelings you describe. I do definitely. I spent years debating whether to go go or not, resolving to then losing courage the next morning or because he had started to be nice again. It would have been easier if he had been continually nasty then I would have known where I was. I was with my first one for over (detail removed by moderator) years, the second one a few months but he was worse and I was in a much worse state mentally with him and for the last few years afterwards. So for nearly (detail removed by moderator) years I have been tormented abused bullied. I have been in a dreadful state. I am on my own now and although its lonely especially on weekends, life has started to improve bit by bit. I volunteer in (detail removed by moderator), they are crying out for volunteers and they have casual registers for the odd days work which can eventually lead to jobs. This has made such a difference to me. I talk to people now and I am more confident. I wish I had done it years ago. Now its very rare for someone to be horrible to me, I would say its unusual. If I meet people like that now I move away. Whereas during the relationship my whole world was full of abusers, him, his mother, horrible “friends” I had. People treating me like dirt seemed normal and I thought I must be if they were like that to me. I haven’t got any close friends but I have acquaintances and work colleagues and I am more friendly and open to people now. Its never too late you know, don’t let worry about him or your family stop you saving yourself. I used to want to be rescued. I rescued myself in the end but I had support from Rape Crisis, not because of rape but because of domestic abuse, they provide support about that too. They were the first people in the real world I had come across that understood and got me. The women in the support group the other survivors were great and the volunteers and workers too. Its just about keeping searching for support. Some groups I went to didn’t feel right. Rape Crisis do the Freedom Programme too. You need time on your own, maybe can you find the time to go for a walk by yourself or can you develop a hobby so the focus can be on you a little bit. Its really hard, but try to think about yourself more and try to find support from Woman’s Aid or Rape Crisis, they have helplines. Rape Crisis have listening support. They can provide much needed validation. Also keep reading and posting on here. Good luck love Blue Eyes.x
29th July 2019 at 8:21 pm #84586LisaMain Moderator
Welcome to the forum. You are certainly not overemotional and mentally unstable, what you are describing is a very abusive relationship with a high level of control.
You must be feeling completely suffocated by him now he is working with you as well, i am sorry he has taken that safe place of work away from you.
I know it can feel very daunting the thought of ending a relationship like this, but you have been brave enough to take a first step and post on here which is amazing. I would suggest that the next step is to secretly find out the answers to all the questions you have relating to leaving him through speaking with the helpline on 0808 2000 247 and your local domestic abuse service, you will also need some legal advice which you should be able to get some initial advice through your local domestic abuse service. Once you have gone through everything and have all the information about what your options are you can take your time and think about what you would like to do.
You don’t deserve to be treated like this and now you have found this forum you do not have to go through this alone anymore.
Take care and keep posting
10th August 2019 at 8:15 pm #85462
I know this sounds like a stupid question but if I call the help line will the number show up on my phone bill. My husband checks all the bills and if the number comes up and it isn’t part of our free included calls he will quiz me about it? Is 0808 free and something i can call with out it showing on our bills. He checks both landline and mobile. thank you
11th August 2019 at 12:09 am #85478LisaMain Moderator
it’s not a stupid question, your safety is really important. The 0808 number is free from any mobile, landline or payphone. I would advise checking with the phone provider about the number showing on the bill.
29th July 2019 at 10:15 pm #84602HokeycokeyParticipant
Hi cornflower. You’re very courageous already. You are clearly doing your best to survive under what must be very oppressive circumstances if he’s also working along side you and has the opportunity to bully you at will.
Please do call women’s aid to get help with some of your questions. It will help you to gain a little control.
I escaped recently but only with the support of women’s aid, this forum and a very understanding GP.
Like you I was frightened by his anger and his rage because he would make threats to hurt me. I explained to my doctor and her reply really stuck. She said , you will leave him at some point because you can’t live your life being “on guard “ forever. She said if you leave him now or in 5 years time he isn’t going to like it and there will be consequences.
I couldn’t bear to think about being with him in 5 years because it was only ever going to get worse.. so I made careful plans over a few months and ended the relationship.
It’s really hard and it hurts like hell but I have peace of mind that’s priceless.
Take care and keep posting x
29th July 2019 at 10:24 pm #84603BeautyMarkedParticipant
I just wanted to add my support and say that this is not trivial at all and you need not feel that way. The advice here is superb. I just wish you all the best in finding a safe way out. Everything you describe is sadly very typical of an abusive and controlling relationship and it’s no wonder you’ve had enough. You should always feel welcome to post and get support here as this is where you’ll be most understood. If I hadn’t found this board, I’d have done so many more foolish things than I have. The ladies here are an inspiration x
31st July 2019 at 9:24 am #84681BraveParticipant
Welcome to the forum. It does take a huge amount of courage to leave. I know that, as I have only just left and it took me a long time and several attempts to do it. I didn’t succeed before, I realise now, because I did not seek out the right kind of support. This time, I saw my GP, a counsellor several times, and asked WA and a homeless charity who provide emotional support for for abused women for advice. I also met with a lawyer. Professional advice and help is so important. I am finding that now, even more so now that I have left. Friends and family mean well, but they do not really understand (in fact they really have no idea)what we have been through. I find that some conversations with family make me feel worse, so am considering not talking to them about any of it,. at least for now.
So, I wish you all the very best with building up your courage to leave. None of us deserves to be treated in this way. I decided I had to save myself, and the only way I could manage was to put have a support system in place. It is very early days for me, but I know for sure I have done the right thing. I know I still need support, so called WA yesterday and also made a counselling appointment. I would urge you to ask for help. I did not do that for far too long, but am so glad I finally did.
1st August 2019 at 10:33 pm #84799
Thank you all so very much. I have never voiced my fears before and just hearing you all acknowledge that I am not overreacting is like a huge vent of emotion. I smiled to myself a lot today because your comments made me feel that there are other good kind people in the world. In a way it has given me more reason to go because I know I could build more friendships once I am away. Your spontaneous kindness and support is in direct contrast to his criticism and destruction. today felt like the world was more balance with good people! I had no idea that WA and the helpine could provide practical support like advising me how I can get solicitors advice etc. You have no idea how your messages have helped me. I am grateful. small steps but in the right direction. thank you again.
19th August 2019 at 5:04 pm #85989EscapeeParticipant
(My favourite flower by the way!) Hope you’re still feeling justified and you’ve started to be able to plan your escape :).
I’m leaving in a few days and then doing a long distance move in a few weeks. I was wondering today why the abuse has had such a marked effect on me these past few years (I have put up with it for a very long time) and I realised that it was because I am no longer a busy mum. Before I was up and busy from morning until I snuck off to bed – I would spend about a hour or so in his company. Now he is my sole company, I can’t let the abuse wash over me anymore – it hits me full on. I’ve been really ill – in part because of the constant state of hyperawareness I am in (I’m so skinny I could slip between the pavement cracks!)- this could be your story too so please trust your judgement – it’s not you, it really is him.
WA are being amazing – I know that once I’ve left I’ll need emotional support until I’m strong enough again to face the world on my own terms. I have been told of so many good things I can access, from an outreach worker through to groups that offer friendship and something to do. And I say thank God for you amazing ladies too, who really get it and are taking back control and are living proof that it can be ok.
Keep the faith Cornflower 😉 xx
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