14th September 2020 at 5:50 pm #113659
I’ve been in an emotionally abusive and controlling marriage for years. We’ve had two different lots of couples counselling which helped a tiny bit but I still don’t feel respected or truly loved. I feel like I am convenient for him. I work, pay all the bills, do most of the domestic work. He surfs the internet or plays video games all day when I am working and then still expects me to cook dinner. He call me names, mocks me, puts me down, controls when I go out, who I see. He doesn’t like me talking to male colleagues and accuses me of flirting with them when he listens to me on the phone. I have to ask him if I want to make a phone call. I have found it really hard to accept that it is abuse and spend a lot of time thinking maybe it’s not that bad. He tells me its all in my head and that I twist things to make him look bad. Maybe sometimes I do see him in a negative light but also I have so many notes of things that he actually said and has done that I know I am not imagining it. My girlfriends have wanted me to leave for years.
So I booked some accommodation and moved out. There was no big argument, I just made a plan and went through with it. He doesn’t know where I am and he hasn’t been in touch. It took more courage than I than I thought possible to do it and right up until the last minute I wanted to change my mind because it was the easier option. I almost felt physically paralysed trying to pack my bags.
Now that I’ve had a few days alone, I have to think about what to do next. I paid for almost everything in our home and I know he’s going to want to keep it all. I am daunted by the prospect of starting completely from scratch. I can’t find any furnished accommodation in my area (currently in (detail removed by moderator) but too expensive to stay long term). It seems like such a huge thing to do to start all over again but I am almost sure in the long term I will be happier.
I feel guilty for the pain I am causing him. I am not used to putting my own needs first but if I went back it would be because I felt a duty to. I am eternally optimistic that he might change, even when everything I have read says that abusive men rarely change.
Should I give him one more chance? I don’t want to be divorced, it feels like a failure and something that happens to other people, I don’t want it to happen to me.
14th September 2020 at 6:34 pm #113663
These men simply don’t change. Why should they. They get what they want from their controlling ways. Staying with someone just because you don’t want to be divorced is no reason to stay even if it wasn’t An abusive relationship. Read your post back. All the Deliberate hurt and pain he has caused you without a second thought. He’s counting on you feeling guilty. But the very first time he abused you he gave you permission to walk away. We all wanted our marriage to work but the men we married wore a mask and as soon as they felt we were trapped that mask slipped and the real monster was exposed. That’s the man you married. I’m divorced now and like you I hated the stigma but I’m so proud of how I managed I’d divorce him a thousand times to get my freedom back x Just take things slowly. How is he going to pay the rent without you. Whose name in on the lease. Try to think about the practical next steps. Get in touch with your local women’s aid for support x talk to a solicitor. Be proactive but dint contact him, it will just draw you back into his dysfunctional world.
14th September 2020 at 11:52 pm #113682SeekingPeaceParticipant
Thats great advice from KIP. Well done for taking such a big step and leaving. I can understand why you must feel daunted by it all.
Do not allow yourself to feel guilty. It is false guilt. He is the one who has wronged you, not the other way around.
I have not long left my abusive marriage. I feel your pain. Like you I never in a million years would have envisaged facing divorce. I have young children. It is the very last thing I want to go through. I dont want to be divorced either. But they have caused this situation not you or I. It has been done to us. Its very unfair but I know i have no choice but to go ahead with it. The alternative is not an option. I held on to hope for my husbands change for so long. It seemed possible during that time. I confronted him with his abuse. He said sorry and told me he was committed to change. I believed him. He was very clever as he even told me why he wasn’t the same as other abusive men. We had more than one conversation whereby he would explain to me the problem with the majority of abusive men was that they couldn’t look in the mirror and admit to the ugliness within themselves. He said he was different because he was accepting he had a problem etc etc
I gave him that second chance. But all he demonstrated was that he hadnt changed at all.
Please don’t doubt the decision you’ve made. It was a courageous one. You will be so much happier in the long run keeping him out. I cant sever ties with my husnand completely because we have children but even having him out of my home and daily life is so incredibly freeing (even though I’m also processing grief around the loss of the marriage i never had and what should have been, my hopes and dreams). Stay strong! Its a process.
I’m currently trying to figure out how I can go minimal contact despite him having ongoing contact with the children. Now considering arranging it through a third party so I don’t have to see him face to face when he picks up or drops children off.
15th September 2020 at 7:24 pm #113719
Thank you for your replies. Each day is getting slowly easier. I feel so guilty about being selfish and wonder if I should just have tried harder or got on with it, other women have it worse than I did. However when I read back my diary, I realise that at times it has been pretty bad.
Deep down I know that I should move on but I feel like a failure for doing so.
The practicalities of a permanent move are starting to seem less daunting though.
15th September 2020 at 8:47 pm #113726
It takes great courage to leave an abuser. You are not a failure. You’re a very strong woman. On average an abused woman returns 7 times to the abusive relationship. It’s so very difficult to break free. I’m sure if you stop to think you have given him so many many chances and he has never changed. Just a temporary respite in the cycle of abuse. He’s programmed you into feeling guilt. The FOG of abuse is made up of Fear Obligation and Guilt. He’s not your responsibility and never was. Don’t waste your energy or emotions on him. You can bet given the chance he will take everything from you and not bat an eyelid. Save that energy and emotion for yourself. Once things don’t go his way you will see his true colours again so protect yourself financially and legally and emotionally x
15th September 2020 at 10:00 pm #113731
We have had so much counseling and he has never admitted his wrong doings. He would even lie to to the counselor and the very next day do the same thing that he denied doing.
I think about how my confidence has been eroded, how derogatory he can be about my body, critical of many things I do and I know I gain nothing from the relationship.
I recently managed to get a new job after being made redundant and he has mocked my salary as just ‘pocket money’ despite the fact that it’s our only income right now.
I am wondering if the courts would view that I need to provide financial support for him as I am the only one working?
16th September 2020 at 1:34 am #113739
Talk to your local women’s aid and get some free legal advice from a solicitor. Most offer a free initial consultation. Abusers are liars Do not believe a word he says. Women’s aid absolutely do not recommend counselling with an abuser for the very reasons you describe. I doubt very much you would have to pay him anything when he’s perfectly capable of looking for a job himself. Try not to overthink. Your safety and mental well being are the most important things here x
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