17th December 2021 at 11:31 pm #135720
I will try to keep this relatively short. I have actually been in touch with my local DV team for a while. They were trying to help me get out, find a house for me and the kids, put an escape plan together, etc and then we went into lock down. I was actually relieved. I struggled with the whole process and was having panic attacks everytime I even looked at houses online.
As a bit of background I have been with my husband half my life. We have (detail removed by moderator). Things were fine until a few years ago when I found out he had been sleeping with women up and down the country (detail removed by moderator). I sensed he was lying to me so started digging. It was bad. Drugs. Prostitutes. Dating profiles. Dogging. Sexting. My world shattered. I confronted him. It was the most mind blowing experience of my life. He denied every piece of evidence. Stonewalled. Blamed. Claimed he’d try to kill himself (detail removed by moderator). Started accusing me of cheating. Checked my phone while I was asleep. Threatened me. He claimed he had ptsd and went to a therapist for emdr. Went on anti anxiety meds. 3 times I told him I was leaving and he amped up every time. Sobbing on the floor. Threatened to kill me (in a round about way). Threatened to kill any man that touched me…I have a lot of male friends and had to warn them not to message me ever again…I was so scared.
Each time i confronted him he would turn into this person I didn’t recognise for an hour tops. Then just suddenly stop and declare he was going to the supermarket like nothing had happened. Or if it was late at night he would get up the next morning and start cooking breakfast like all was right with the world.
The last time I tried and asked for a divorce he just said no I am fighting for you. And that was that. I have never tried again. We have never discussed it again. We just went back to acting like a happy family with pasted on smiles.
I have done the freedom programme, I have read all the recommended books. Watched all the videos. DVAP did a risk assessment and told me we are considered extremely high risk and my case was sent to a MARAC board a few times. He has (detail removed by moderator) which I have always assumed is the main reason. I kept telling them that he has never even punched a door. He is not aggressive. He doesn’t call me names or shout at me or say outright nasty stuff. He doesn’t tell me I can’t go out or what to wear. I work. On the face of it I have plenty of freedom.
Through educating myself I can now see that he controls me in other ways and always has. Very subtle stuff that I can’t always put my finger on but I was so codependent I was completely oblivious until the wool was pulled off my eyes and he showed me his true self.
The reason why I am posting in this section is because I have been waiting for the abuse cycle to spin. I put up a tonne of boundaries. I haven’t had physical contact with him beyond the occasional brief hug for a couple of years. I stand up for myself more. I don’t let him see when he is triggering me. I am so much better at not reacting to his moods. I don’t pander to him anymore. He has respected every boundary I set. He appears to be a changed man. Almost always pleasant and cheerful.
But I know the manipulations now. He still tries to push my buttons. He is still lying. He triangulates the kids. He creates chaos in the house all wrapped up in fun and games. And in the background he destroyed my credit rating by not paying credit cards for months on end and nearly bankrupted us in the process. But he is so d**n nice all the time! I have been waiting for the dark moods and belittling comments and more obvious controlling behaviour to come back but it hasn’t and I am starting to think that maybe I got it all wrong. Said all those horrible things about him to DV(detail removed by moderator) and the school and therapists. Possibly destroyed his life. And I got it wrong all along.
I still want to leave but feel like I would be betraying him if I went back to DV(detail removed by moderator) or started looking for houses again. If I was wrong I have so much damage already.
17th December 2021 at 11:54 pm #135721
To clarify, I have no desire to stay whatsoever. I despise him. I can’t wait to be out. But I am struggling to believe that he will hurt me. If a can find the strength to tell him I am leaving it feels so much better than sneaking off and creating unnecessary drama and more damage to him. If I go the route DV(detail removed by moderator) recommend the police and social services will be involved and I could end up destroying him.
Maybe he is just a cheating piece of s**t and I over reacted because I am scared of conflict?
18th December 2021 at 12:24 am #135722Twisted SisterParticipant
I don’t think I can agree that you are overreacting. His behaviour sounded very erractic, unpredictable, dangerous, and scarey. you said it, he threatened to kill you, and the fact is you don’t want to stay with him anyway, and now you have had an insight into his possible reactions. Nobody would want to do this like this under ordinary circumstances, but these are far from ordinary and you are better safe than sorry.
Its not creating unnecessary drama, he may well create unnecessary drama, but you are not, you are trying to keep the drama out of your actions by just going without fuss as you plan.
I don’t think you’d be human to not pass all this through your mind though before doing something so big, and in this most unusual of ways, but its the only way he’s left you, so that you can avoid any conflict and escalation of his behaviours.
18th December 2021 at 12:38 am #135723
Thank you @Twisted Sister.
I think I struggle so much because it’s like I am married to 2 different men. The one I have known for what seems like forever and the monster I saw briefly a couple of years ago. I know logically that they are the same person but when he is home and laughing and joking I can’t quite believe he ever did and said all those things. It’s crazy making.
What I do know is that I am scared I just can’t quite decide what I am scared of. Is it just fear of such a massive change or fear for my safety?
18th December 2021 at 1:49 am #135724Twisted SisterParticipant
Many will recognise the jekyll and hyde analogy, and its hard to believe both exist when seeing either! yes, crazymaking, and I don’t see why you are not feeling fear for both your safety and the prospect of massive change. They are both immense consideratins for you. Again, its only natural to have some fear around such a change, but also especially for stepping away from someone you know has this inside them and never knowing how or when it could manifest.
Take your time, do your deliberating, and be safe xx
18th December 2021 at 7:02 am #135725WaterspriteParticipant
Hello I am good enough YES you do know the answer. I hear that you want to leave having found out this man you have given everything to is a cheat a liar and has no respect for you and you want out. You are afraid of leaving it’s a massive step and you know life will be turned upside down for a bit. Finally you are scared because he has made threats etc but more than that part of you senses the risk he is on leaving and part of you can only see the false self he presents to you and the world most of the time.
My ex made an attempt on my life too identifying to write here when he got wind of me changing and like yours most of the time he was nice sure there was terrible abuse but most of the time was good until nearer the end and that was simply terrifying. Please follow advice just go when you are ready and don’t tell him. Hook up woth support again. Safety plan your exit get all your ducks in a row. Mine went to MARAC before and after we left – it means police and social services are well aware already. If he gets into bother it is only his doing! Having said that they are so slippery all those worries I had never emerged he bounced back bolder and with a new life quicker than you could believe. He lost all his family children but it was like water off a ducks back. Thank goodness I have gone. Trust your gut – it’s telling you! Take care you can do this x
21st December 2021 at 11:12 pm #135871AnonymousInactive
IAmGoodEnough, you’ve not got it all wrong you wouldn’t have gone through the process of speaking to the DVD’s workers and tried to find somewhere else to live if that was the case, is it possible he could have found out you were trying to leave? And do you know for sure he had emdr(abusers fake appointments all the time) if you want to be there that’s 100% your choice but he has shown controlling gaslighting, accusing and threatening (other people)and erratic behaviour and the fact he’s done all of those things with women and everything else, that would be a breaking point for most people, you might be trauma bonded to him and change after a long time is scary but ultimately the decision is yours, take care wishing you a happy new year 💛🌟💛
22nd December 2021 at 10:48 am #135883BananaboatParticipant
The bit that stuck out for me was when you said I am struggling to believe he’ll hurt me. But he is hurting you and he knows it. The pain isn’t always physical bruises but like you said, you know his behaviour which means you’re constantly watching and are on alert. He’s hurting the kids with his chaos. You’re living in survival mode, not how you want to live, that’s hurting you. It’s funny isn’t it, after everything that’s they do we still worry about leaving them and ruining their lives. Do it, get out with the help on offer, you’ve already gone so far and it is scary, I remember feeling relieved when the police/social workers stopped ringing but truth is, you deserve better x
19th May 2022 at 7:42 pm #143927
I want to thank you all for your replies and to apologise for taking so long to reply back. Honestly reading all the posts on this forum freaked me out. They were a massive reality check which scared me so much. Realising I had to face this. So I kinda buried my head for a while.
So by way of an update, I have been doing a lot of work with my incredible therapist and he has helped me reframe the whole abuse dilemma I was having. He helped me see that it really doesn’t matter whether it is abuse or not, what matters is that I tried to leave and he used every means possible short of violence to stop me. Therefore he has left me no other option than to leave behind his back.
This was massive for me. I was so caught up in the word abuse and believing that I needed to know in order to have permission to sneak out. One of the posts on here was talking about red lines and how we say ‘when they cross this line I will leave for sure’ like we are looking for justification. This hit home so hard.
I have also been doing a lot of work with the Melanie Tonia Evans book which has been pivotal in detaching from him and the trauma bond.
So I am ready. I am looking for a house, which I will be writing another post about bc I need advise, I am due to see dvap again next week. I am scared still and taking babysteps but the self doubt has reduced immensely and I am confident that this is the right thing to do.
Thank you so much for putting me on this path 🙏❤
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