6th January 2021 at 12:53 pm #119228
Sorry for the ranty/disorganised post but I feel like I’m going to burst if I don’t get some of this out.
Long story but husband has finally accepted that he needs to take care of the children while I work. The problem is he is applying the same pressure to their teachers that he did to me in the last lockdown that really broke me. Our children are (detail removed by moderator), very bright but fed up.
I feel the best way through this is to aim for calm, organic learning and fit in some lessons where we can, I managed to do each lesson on most days in the last lockdown but accepted that its not always going to work or be possible. I know from last time that some days will be better than others and to not put too much pressure on us as it doesn’t help learning or wellbeing in any way.
Unfortunately, he is pilling the pressure on that because he is doing more childcare it needs to be the equivalent achievement of if he was working. He also felt that I was managing it all very badly before (while holding down a full-time job working from home and being constantly criticised) and I think he is trying to prove a point that he can do it all better. He can’t, obviously, and it’s causing a lot of strain.
The problem is he is now angry at me, the house, the children, their teachers and anything and everything. Its always projected to, he never self reflects. It’s exhausting. But the anger is also very passive-aggressive, fake calm and measured, but you can feel the anger and it would honestly be easier to say it out loud than pretend everything is fine and simmer through gritted teeth.
I can put up with anything directed at me pretty much but when it involves the children my protective instincts kick in and I am not nor can I be a doormat and just allow things to happen to them that I don’t agree with.
My in-laws say my parenting is undermining him, but his rules for how they should behave (detail removed by moderator), usually in anger and are completely disproportionate to what I would consider normal children’s behaviour. Its also completely inconsistent. All I want is for my children to be treated kindly and fairly as I would expect to be; arbitrary discipline/rules for the sake of it is pointless at best and very harmful at its worst. They are very young, living in constant stress and uncertainty which I try to mitigate but I am always painted as a (detail removed by moderator). I just want them to feel loved and calm and safe and they learn so much when we’re interacting nicely. I also discipline them (timeouts and privileges revoked) and set boundires, but in what I hope is a controlled and fair way.
I feel so overwhelmed. I am shut away trying work, very behind because of the rest of last year, and he comes and tells me what is wrong with what the teachers are doing, how they should try harder and provide better resources. The way I see it they are struggling just as much as everyone else with all this and the resources (detail removed by moderator) are there to help, no one is judging for the amount we need to get through or do. He feels attacked that we get multiple messages a day from them but I just see it as them trying to make the best of a crazy situation. It feels like he is projecting but he does not see it that way at all.
It also feels like the pressure is building again and our daily life will again be hellishly crushing and crazy making. I really feel strongly that I need to get out, I don’t know how but the pressure of living like this is making me sicker and sicker, literally and figuratively. My stomach feels ready to drop out the bottom of me and I just want it to stop. We do not need to subject ourselves to this much stress for (detail removed by moderator) and honestly I feel its because he’s not very patient at teaching them so it becomes everyone else’s fault and he has to spread around the stress and misery to protect his ego.
But we’re stuck in lockdown. I am trying to do enough at work to keep things going. I am struggling.
Thank you for reading. I am sorry this is so all over the place.
Big hugs to anyone struggling.
6th January 2021 at 1:05 pm #119229
All I want is for my children to be treated kindly and fairly. That’s not going to happen from an abuser. He will sabotage your work, your social life, your children. His goal is to destroy you. To dominate you. He will use the children to achieve this because it’s the easiest way to torture you and destroy you, to make you physically and mentally ill. There is no point in arguing with an abuser. In your relationship you’ve probably always given in to keep the peace but with your child’s welfare that’s not an option. Abusers never ever coparent. They anti parent. Children are collateral damage. He abuses you and he will abuse his children too. Time to contact your local women’s aid. Or ring the national domestic abuse helpline and talk it through with them. Dont listen to anything he tells you. Abusers are liars x
6th January 2021 at 1:24 pm #119230
I remember your words of wisdom before, thank you for responding.
I feel like I’m in an infinite loop of getting courage then doubting myself. And I am scared of causing hardship to any of us.
I also feel completely soul crushed and empty.
It feels like something that could actually be moderately hard to manage (working and homeschool) is being made impossible and we’re all suffering from it, ironically including him.
I am not really in a position to leave at this moment, but will I ever be?
6th January 2021 at 1:32 pm #119232gettingtiredParticipant
Hey DizzyFossil, I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling 🙁 Please know you’re not alone. I had a miserable time over Christmas and New Year.
I think you know you need to leave, have you reached out for any support yet? It’s a scary step to take and something I’m still struggling with but I think it would really help you.
You’re a wonderful Mother and an intelligent, kind person. You and the children do not deserve this. X
6th January 2021 at 1:49 pm #119234
The hardship is already being caused by staying and sadly you can now see how he’s turned his abusing behaviour on the children. It’s they who will suffer long term from being around abuse. Abusers stunt our growth so you can imagine the effect it has on a child brain. I stayed when I should have left around the ages of your children when I tried to break free the first time. He kept me trapped and my son is now estranged and has become abusive too. Your children are learning how to treat you by their father. Start slowly again. Building up a support network. Reaching out. Talking to a solicitor. A therapist. Women’s aid. Abuse always gets worse as you’re finding out. Be kind to yourself. It’s a lot to take in but life free from abuse is a new start for you all x
6th January 2021 at 11:00 pm #119278
@gettingtired Nice to hear from you, thank you for your reply, support and kind words.
There have been some far more intense discussions/arguments since we last spoke. It feels harder to push it back down every time now.
I have been speaking to a therapist since before my first post here actually, he is fantastic but remote-based obviously, and I think he (the therapist) is pretty much just waiting for me to get to the point of leaving.
I have reached out to step-change for some debts I still have, they should be manageable but I am also scared to go ahead and get them sorted as it will give me less cash-flow in the meantime which I think I will need. Then again I do have a supportive family who would help me.
I have also contacted women’s aid with some practical concerns about leaving and logistics.
I’m so sorry you had a tough time over Christmas 🙁
Has there been any developments your end?
@KIP I agree and I don’t really see how it can go any other way. In amongst all of the c**p is what seems like genuine care, it always makes me question myself and whether I am reading too much into things. Certainly, he thinks I am. I have tried to discuss it with him but my words always get twisted, this side of it is very noticeably worse. There is also talk from him of feeling suicidal, of wanting to try, of ‘loving me’.
I honestly don’t think I even understand what love for a partner is anymore it all feels so twisted. With my children its pure and so easy to love them, but there is a dark feeling in my stomach with my husband and fear, always fear of what is about to happen. It seems to be the cycle of abuse, but without physical violence or even a raised voice from him I feel like I’m making it up.
KIP if you don’t mind sharing how did you finally break the cycle? I am so sorry to hear about your son. Mine is being quite challenging at the moment and I think he must be able to pick up on the atmosphere surrounding everything.
7th January 2021 at 1:39 pm #119310gettingtiredParticipant
I’m glad to hear that you’re happy with your therapist and that your family will be supportive of you. Sounds like you’ve started to get the ball rolling which is great!
Not really, like I said Christmas and New Year were pretty bad. I’m trying to keep up with the journalling, educating myself and using the forum. It’s still really hard but I’m hoping I will get there eventually. The past few days have been calm so I’m starting to feel anxious about when the next bl*w up is coming.. This is the first time I’ve felt like I’m getting to recognise the cycle properly so I’m hoping that means I’ve made a bit of progress.
Please keep us updated of how things are going xx
7th January 2021 at 6:21 am #119288
I went to women’s aid and I then understood that this man chose to abuse me. I quickly educated myself (Living with the Dominator) although it still didn’t really sink in. I was too traumatised and frozen but it sunk in enough for me to end the relationship. What tipped the scales when when I realised that absolutely nothing I could do would ever be enough for him. That I was heading for a complete breakdown and he simply didn’t care) He assaulted me and was arrested. It was that time with zero direct contact that allowed me to break they cycle. It wasn’t easy. It was a leap of faith. My body and mind were screaming to go back to him, to appease him but that was just the programming and brainwashing and reacting automatically almost by habit. Nothing will change until you escape. All the excuses I made to stay got me nowhere. I’m single, independent, the fog of abuse has all but gone, I can think clearly. Trauma closes down the rational part of the brain and the fight flight and freeze part kicks in. It’s amazing how much more headspace returns when it’s not taken up by keeping safe. Get your ducks in a row. That’s my only regret. He turned my children against me. Stole a lot of money from me. I’d do the divorce differently. I’d be prepared. But sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. It I’m free. I’m happy and I hope in time my children will see just who the liar and manipulator is. My ex is a dangerous man to cross. Sometimes it’s easier to side with the abuser and that’s a choice my adult children have to make. My door is always open to them if they choose but without the abuse x
7th January 2021 at 3:18 pm #119318HettyParticipant
My ex sounds very like your husband. He was like a sergeant major with his kids and mine. So much stress and shouting. The rages were hideous. Some of what he was ranting about I didn’t disagree with. Teenage kids not pulling their weight etc, but the way he interacted with us all was horrendous. I often felt like a child myself despite being in a highly respected profession making responsible decisions on a daily basis. I never wanted to go home or have any family time. He ruined every holiday. He’d nit pick at me and the kids constantly. Every challenge was so wounding to his ego I’d be made to pay for it, either in that moment or somewhere down the line.
After leaving my child confided in me how utterly powerless he felt at not being able to stop him raging. We were all so hyper vigilant I began shouting at the kids too – telling them to be quiet and keep the house immaculate for fear of him flying off the handle.
In the end I woke up one day after being stone walled then called names. I thought I can’t take another day like this. It took me a long time to get to the point I was ready to walk out the door. I knew I’d have to leave as he was going nowhere. I grieved in the relationship for a long time and sought support from my local domestic abuse service. I felt so ashamed to be in this situation. But it’s not our fault. I too thought about hardships in terms of moving out of the area so a longer commute to work and of course the financial repercussions. In the end I knew I’d be completely destroyed and my son would spend his adulthood recovering from trauma. It simply wasn’t worth staying for. I could see the trajectory and it wasn’t good. Once I accepted the monster and knew he wasn’t going to change (journaling helped) I started seriously planning my exit. Here I am in a different house calm abs peaceful. My child is happy. He really didn’t care about what we left behind once the internet was sorted! He just wanted his happy mum back. It’s true what they say about kids just needing a happy mum.
You’re not alone on this journey. We are all going through it. This forum has been my saviour. Xx
12th January 2021 at 1:06 pm #119637StilliRise2bParticipant
I could have written this myself,I don’t want to highjack your post so will write my own when I am ready.
But Just know that this situation you are in is exactly the same I am currently living it too. My husband been homeschooling the kids too and the stress we are all under is tremendous to the point where the little ones have been asking me everyday if they have to do any homeschooling today. The last incident we had was so bad, he got so angry at the kids you could hear the rage and anger in his voice, he put them in timeout several time because (detail removed by moderator), I also work from home,and could hear him shouting with such anger. I knew I had to intervene but was so scared, until I took my courage and walked in (detail removed by moderator) and saw the sheer terror in the eyes of my kids, they were shaking with fear. I lost it then and hit him ( i have no excuse) but the sight of my poor babies just broke my heart I was mad at myself for letting this happen and mad at him for putting them through this.
He said (detail removed by moderator), I apologised for hitting him but explained that the anger and state he was in was scary everyone. Since then he has been sleeping (detail removed by moderator) and hasn’t spoken to me, nor has he gone back to homeschooling. I guess he is punishing me for disagreeing with him.
I am walking on eggshells around him, I am depressed and just want to run away.
I am sending you a virtual hug and hope that you are stronger than me and put an end to this situation.
12th January 2021 at 7:41 pm #119651
Virtual hug right back at you!
I’m so sorry you’re going through that.
Walking on eggshells here too.
Please feel free to message me if you ever need to talk. Also not hijacking if we’re going through the same thing xx
13th January 2021 at 2:34 pm #119674LottieblueParticipant
@DizzyFossil, reading your first post it all sounded so familiar. My kids are a bit older so I (thankfully) haven’t had the home schooling thing, but the constant anger and irritation went on for (detail removed by moderator) and more. I saw it as my duty to try to fix, to try to pacify him and to try to create an environment where there was nothing to make him angry. Classic walking on eggshells. I just wanted to protect my children (our children) and never thought of myself needing protecting too.
I constantly told myself “things would get better when…”: when the children were bigger, when there was less stress at work, whatever – I suppose now it would be when lockdown’s over. But I gradually realised that this wasn’t about outside influence, this was about him. And as the children grew up I realised that we were all in the same position. While my instinct to protect them remained strong, of course my ability to do so weakened, I could no longer usher them out of the room with “let’s put the telly on!” or “bath time!”. And I realised that however much I hated it, they hated it as much. And on top of that, I knew that they could see the imbalance, the inequality. That his behaviour ruled the mood in the house, no matter what anyone else was feeling, thinking or doing. And I knew that this wasn’t a place hey wanted to be, or, very soon, would choose to be.
It killed me. It destroyed me inside. And when the kids started drifting off (they are still dependants, but away most of the time) I realised that I had moved from doing everything from them to my entire life revolving round his needs and wants and me just not featuring in our marriage, our life… I was a nobody. He was so used to controlling everyone and everything with his bad mood and unacceptable behaviour.
It took the most phenomenal amount of courage but I have left. I wish I had woken up sooner, although I wouldn’t have had the strength to leave sooner. Just start building up your support and planning your exit, even if you don’t use it for a while. That sort of behaviour will gradually destroy you and your children.
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