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    • #169245

      I seperated from my ex (detail removed by Moderator) years ago now and it is still dreadful. We have children together and I left after years of feeling unloved & not respected. The final straw was when a found that he had been on dating apps just after our (detail removed by Moderator) child had been born & also just before we got married when I was pregnant with our (detail removed by Moderator) child, alongside this he had left his job and said he was setting up a business with his friends but turns out he had not done so and was just going into an office every day and not achieving anything, he had hidden money and just was not kind. I had told him over the years how I felt alone & he just took up more activities, so whilst I was working full time & doing all the cooking, cleaning, paying for the childcare whilst at work, driving them all to and from activities, he was just going out all the time or heading to his hobbies after work. When I told him how I felt he said I was boring and he didnt want to stay in watching TV and took up more hobbies. When lockdown happened it felt better but as soon as we came out of it, he was back to his old ways. No time for me & everyone else was 1st. I had wanted to take the kids on holiday for years but he always said we couldnt afford it (not true, we earned aprox (detail removed by Moderator) a year) ,I wanted to move house, again not allowed. I wanted to send my children to a good school but he wanted it local and it was a rubbish school but that is what he wanted. It was always on his terms, never on mine.

      When I told him I was done with the relationship, his words were (detail removed by Moderator). This shocked me as I was telling him I was unhappy and that I was upset. I asked him about the dating apps and he said they downloaded themselves and it wasnt him. He told me he was an owner of a business until i proved to him (from companies house) that he wasnt actually an owner, he then admitted it.

      He put a ring doorbell camera up in the house and said he would not be leaving and i will not be taking the children with me as it doesnt work that way anymore. He said he didnt care how I felt, he would live me regardless forever as he could cope with that more than the marriage break up.

      To add, I had been made redundant from my role during this time. I knew it was coming and I was in college training (detail removed by Moderator), a career I had always wanted, when he decided he was going to set up this new business. He refused to allow me to any meetings abotu the business, he didnt listen to any of my ideas or suggestions and when I talked about making sure he had a contract signed to protect him and the family, he said he had done all of that. I just trusted him, what a fool i am!

      (detail removed by Moderator) after I told him the marriage was over, he bought me an (detail removed by Moderator) as a present to try and smooth things over. I have never been more confused in all of my life.

      I stood up to him not long before we split and said I wanted to use some of my (detail removed by Moderator) money to pay for a holiday I always wanted. He really did not want to do it but i said i would go without him if he didnt want to. He then agreed to book (on his terms, in a place he wanted and he had to consent). This was booked, then we seperated not long after and he told me I had to go with him to pretend that everything was ok and that he would not give up the holiday so I could take the children on my own. By this time we had already told the children we were seperating so I found it such a bad idea that we would go togethr, pretend to be ok, give the children false hope and I told him as such. Also, we had a family room booked, me and him would be in close proximity of each other and in the same bed!

      In the end, he had forced me out of my own home because he refused to stay anywhere else. When I was in the house he would follow me round and not leave me alone. He said i was at fault for the marriage ending as I chose to end it (not his behaviour), that I would not be able to have the children unless I shared them 50/50, he put a ring doorbell camera in the (detail removed by Moderator) room, he put hidden cameras in the (detail removed by Moderator) and then he proceeded to take the children on the holiday I had always wanted. I didnt go because it was awful and i was scared of his actions by this point, the children wanted me to go and not him but he did what he wanted and took them away from me for (detail removed by Moderator) days.

      He then proceeded to drag out financial proceedings for as long as possible costing me over (detail removed by Moderator). He was at my door on a regular basis, saying he was dropping something off for the kids or deciding that I could have the dog at that time. I asked him to sort things out and begged him to do this sooner rather than later as I was struggling financially as i was paying 4 times the amount he was in costs because I had to rent somewhere as I had no other choice, i could live with him with his behaviour & i couldnt keep sleeping on my friends put up beds.

      He constantly told me he was going to sort it, but never did and it took (detail removed by Moderator) for us to sort things out for the house. He hasnt paid child maintenance and is now refusing to adjust the child care plan (swap it to set days) which is no more time and no less time for him just set days in the week so that I can keep my job but he has refused to reply to any of my emails or compromise. I asked him and he just said, no its too much change for the children.

      He constantly acts like he is the best dad in the world and tells me he is thinking of the kids, like i dont? He ignores any request I send him to try and work with him. Despite everything he has done to me I am still trying to work with him but he said no. I told him I was going to lose my job if I could not do set days and he openly says he has flexibility to do what he wants within his role, but he just wont let me change it.

      I have spoken to the children and they want the new plan and are happy to change it and think its better but he refused.

      In the end my new partner said, just change it, give him notice and do it. (detail removed by Moderator) So i did.

      The impact has been massive. I have had (detail removed by Moderator) solicitors letters from him (its an informal plan so he cannot do anything) and he has turned up at my house with the children when I asked him to follow the new plan. Thats not the impact though, the impact is to my mental health. When I changed that plan, I had to stay away from my home, I was getting these threatening letters, I had blocked him on phone so he could not contact me that way, but instead he turned up at my house when I told him not to & even sent my children to the door to see if i was there, even though they had told him I wasnt. When I changed the plan, I was having regular panic attacks, I couldnt sleep, couldnt eat and felt sick. I have been having suicidal thoughts and I am getting help for that but I dont know where its going to end.

      HIs girlfriend has been having chats with my children saying I am doing things to make my life easier, he has been saying to the children that he cant bare to be apart from the children and he is really sad when not with them and the children feel conflicted. They actually like the new plan but they are reluctant to say this to their dad because they dont want to upset him!

      When they are with him, he never gives me an update unless he absolutely has to as he knows I will find out (like our daughter having her (detail removed by Moderator) removed, which has been planned for months but he has never told me about, my daughter has), he delays anything possible and I cant move on with my life. I lost (detail removed by Moderator) jobs with the childcare plan and begged and begged him but he just said no, with no other suggestions.

      I have now taken it through child maintenance too as he wont contribute to their upbringing, their phones or (detail removed by Moderator) classes & even stopped our youngests activities as he didnt want her to do them. He is finally paying something towards them (well is due to) but taking me through mediation now to sort out a childcare plan. Its changed to the new one, the kids are happy, I dont understand hte purpose other than control?

      The kids come back with greasy hair and smelling, their stuff goes to his house and gets ruined, i have had to throw away clothes and shoes because they were covered in mud. I worry abnout what he tells them when I am not there & how he makes them feel about me, like he is turning them agaisnt me.

      I just want to be able to parent amicably and if something is no, lets compromise. I have said yes to every single thing he has ever asked. He went on a (detail removed by Moderator) holiday (detail removed by Moderator) without the kids and didnt want them any extra (yet says to the kids he cant bare to be without them at all) and I offered. I have let him have them fathers day for the full weekend (didnt get the same on mothers day, basically sat upset all day as he wouldnt give them to me for even an hour), he didnt want them extra on christmas as the days fell on my usual ones.

      Our youngest has been upset a lot at school and is due to move to year (detail removed by Moderator) soon, but he refuses to discuss the possibility of moving her to a different school to make things better and get her away from the people that bully her regularly. This is because he doesnt want he to move, he isnt considering her but now has manipulated her into believing she really wants to go to the current one. He even told her I was going to move her schools when he and I hadnt even had a discussion. i messaged him about it and he failed to reply but told her I was going to do seomthing, so made her anxious about it!

      I probably sound ridiculous and I know there will be lots I am missing out but everyone keeps telling me it was coercieve control and emotional abuse and whilst i think they are right, i also want to think they arent right. all in all, i just want to be able to move forward with my life and make the right choices for my children giving them a great start in life but I am stuck as i co-parent with someone who refuses to discuss anything or compromise.

      He says all his thinks about are the children and makes me feel like I am being selfish. He even said, the kids can live with him if all i care about is my career, which isnt the case. I have taken a pay cut to have the job I have now because they initially allowed flexibility which i needed.

      Am i just selfish here? Am i being dramatic and sensitive?

      PLease tell me as you dont know me and i dont know you, the truth will help/

      I just dont know what else to do here. Do i let my kids live a life I dont want for them because of what he wants and the battles I face? Also, what do you think he is trying to get out of mediation as the childcare plan has already changed, so with him saying its too much change, he is tryin gto change it back again? Which is more change? I dont get it.

      Help. I am confused, lost, scared, anxious. I cannot stop worrying about what is going to happen

    • #169246

      Hi, firstly you are not ridiculous at all… your concerns are understandable.

      You cannot co parent healthy with an abusive,.controlling partner.. he will continue to coerce you and your children into what suits him. No matter what you do or change it will never be right or enough, he will keep moving the goal posts so you cannot come to an agreement regarding what’s best for your children.

      My abusive husband wanted to do mediation, it isn’t recommended in abusive relationships however, at that point, I agreed.

      Please contact your local Women’s Aid for support, they can help you. Have you spoken to your GP regarding your own MH? You are going through so much, I am so sorry he is doing this to you and your children.

      The love and worry you have for your children is very clear.. non of this is your fault.

      His lies to you about his business, money, dating apps is part of the abuse, all of which he choose to do..he is using gaslighting (which massively impacted my MH when my husband did similar).

      We become used to being told or made to feel oversensitive or dramatic which can make you double guess. Also, over time you can become desensitised to emotional manipulation,.control etc so it doesn’t seem ‘that’ bad.

      Your concerns are valid, he is abusing you and your children and still demanding/doing what he wants without a thought for you.

      Why an (detail removed by Moderator)? That’s so strange! My husband would give me utter c**p, which someone had given to him for free, and he would expect me to be appreciative of the utter c**p..

      Take a breath, this isn’t your fault at all, really it isn’t…

      What support do you have?

      Hugs ❤️ HFH

      • #169263

        Thank you so much for your reply. It is really taking me a lot to accept that I was in a relationship with someone like this, I dont know how to come to terms with it? I also dont know how to move forward positively.

        I am in another relationship & we are happy etc but he still manages to rule my life in so many ways and makes me feel selfish for wanting to be happy.

        He even made it so our youngest daughter felt so sorry for him whilst we were on hols that she text him off my phone to say ‘hope you are ok’. What (detail removed by moderator) thinks to say that when shes on hols having the time of her life? I feel like its because he has told her he will be so sad without her there and made her feel sorry for him almost?

        Even though I have been through all this, I feel that no one really understands & there isnt really much support out there for people like me. I have been having counselling when we first seperated and now have to go back again due to how I have felt & they all say he has been controlling etc but in terms of supporting my children, protecting myself etc there seems to be no one that can help unless he has physically abused me or I am physically at risk.

        The mediator even told me to approach womens aid (which is why I am here) & see a solicitor as well as my GP but thats it, still processing through mediation and for what? If i decline, its me that would look bad.

        I guess when you meet someone like this, get roped into it & try to move on, life will always be like this. I feel like I will always be trapped in this cycle with no way out. Just to try and make the most of it

    • #169329

      The Freedom Programme is really helpful. Learning about abuse, podcasts is something I also found really helpful as I didn’t really understand Domestic Abuse and I didn’t trust myself back then. Now I have educated myself I can see the abuse.

      “I am in another relationship & we are happy etc but he still manages to rule my life in so many ways and makes me feel selfish for wanting to be happy.”

      Ruling your life means he is controlling. Making you feel selfish for wanting to be happy isn’t what a loving partner wants.. a loving partner wants to see you happy.

      Trust your gut
      Hugs HFH ❤️

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