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    • #130277
      Spices 101

      I’ve been with my husband for (detail removed by moderator)  but only married for (detail removed by moderator) of those years, we are both retired (detail removed by moderator), so I have no income of my own. I do all of the housework, cooking, decorating and help with the gardening, he does diy and looks after the money as it’s his income not mine. (Detail removed by moderator) I realised I was in a controlling relationship, as I’m not beaten I didn’t realise it until a friend pointed it out to me. At that time I wasn’t allowed out alone and had no money I had to ask him for everything. I’ve now pushed boundaries and I meet a friend (detail removed by moderator), (I find (detail removed by moderator) really helps my arthritis), all paid for out of my (detail removed by moderator)weekly allowance, I had nothing of my own before. I was happy with this bit of freedom however he’s now started saying that I’m going out too often and he’s fed up of being left (detail removed by moderator)! He doesn’t socialise, he’s lost contact with his work friends and has no hobbies of his own. He likes to organise holidays for us, I’m grateful for that and we’ve been to some lovely places and it’s the only time I’m happy with him but surely this isn’t how a relationship should be. Looking forward to holidays and nothing else. We had a huge row the other day over him moaning about me going out alone and it’s resurfaced all of the old feelings of should I leave or should I stay! I’ve nowhere to go and no money either so I’m stuck here in limbo! I’m in my early (detail removed by moderator) and I’ve got arthritis and I know finding a job would be hard and I’m not sure I could work a full day in my old job (detail removed by moderator), I’m not sure I’d be fast enough or that my arthritis would let me. I’d appreciate comments and advice if anyone has been in a similar situation to me. X

    • #130279

      I’d get some legal advice from a solicitor. Most offer a free initial consultation. You’ve legal rights to his pension, any property, savings etc if you decide to divorce so get some advice on what you would be entitled to. It might surprise you or even make up your mind about leaving. Abusers don’t change and it always gets worse. You may also be able to claim various benefits to help with your arthritis and housing etc. Slowly start to gather all this kind of information. Citizens Advice is good and very knowledgeable. It would also be helpful for you to contact your local women’s aid for support x

    • #130290

      I agree with KIP. My situation almost mirrors yours except I do go out and I have a little job which I’ve recently aquired, it’s only a couple of hours here and there but I absolutely love it as it gets me out of the house. I also keep in touch with friends as much as I can, both via social media and in person. My husband hates me doing all of these things and I am often punished with his moods and silence treatment. But, it’s all worth it and it helps me stay sane. Try if you can to keep meeting your friend. Do get some legal advice, I did this and was really surprised what I am entitled to. Citizens Advice may also be able to help you with advice on benefits. Good luck. You’re not on your own xx

    • #130326

      I agree that you should find out what you are entitled to. Including your state pension if you’re pensionable age. Right now you feel trapped – unable to leave because you have no money of your own. But you might find out that should you leave you will be better off. I don’t think you could be worse off.

      Well done for continuing to see your friend. You describe this as ‘freedom’. So, would you describe your marriage as ‘captivity’? Your husband really doesn’t have the right to allow or disallow anything.

      I expect it’s exhausting always having to justify everything you do. He accused you of going out too often, leaving him all alone. This is just more control. He’s making you believe you’re responsible for his feelings. And that your feelings don’t matter one jot. If he genuinely can’t cope with you going out without him, he has the option to call time on your marriage. The answer isn’t for you to change your behaviour. He needs to change his. Suggest things you could do together outside the home and see how much effort he’s willing to put in.

      And have a think about how the big row went. Did you get to say how you felt? Did you feel listened to? Were you pressured into giving in? Did you feel anxious and unsafe?

      The holidays might be nice but you’re right, there should be more in your life to feel happy about. Especially as you don’t get to decide where you’re going. Or what he spends ‘his’ money on. It’s interesting that you say you feel happy during these holidays. Why do you think that is? Is it because you’ve escaped the house? Is he nicer to be around because he’s got you all to himself and fully in control of everything you do? Are you allowed a say in what you do, where you go? Do you have to be permanently jolly and grateful? Are you allowed to chat and make friends with other guests? Do you feel anxious if something goes wrong – delayed flights, under-cooked chicken, lost luggage, rubbish weather – even though it’s not your fault? Have you ever felt vulnerable – abandoned with no money? These are some of the things that other women have talked about on the forum. Most often, holidays with a controlling abuser are stressful affairs. Maybe your husband becomes a different person on holiday. Or maybe you’re still learning how control works.

    • #130368

      Hi there, this is an example of how abusers put us in impossible positions. They make our lives miserable, and punish us for trying to assert boundaries. Sadly, it’s an inevitable part of abuse, because abusers want control and asserting boundaries takes away their control. Their plan is to make asserting boundaries so difficult for you that you give up.

      Ultimately, an abuser will never consistently respect your boundaries. They may respect some, when it suits them. But they will always demand control. Not being allowed boundaries is incredibly damaging to your wellbeing, which is exactly what he wants. If you’re feeling weak and powerless, he has more control.

      Taking back some things for yourself has the double sided effect of i) him wanting to crush you into submission and ii) helping you feel more independent. It’s a fine balance between whether the benefit to your wellbeing is worth the damaging effect of his behaviour. That is why being in an abusive relationship is never sustainable. In the run up to leaving I tried to do things for myself as much as possible, but was always conscious to weigh on whether I thought the punishment would be manageable. xxxx

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