4th January 2019 at 9:13 pm #69962
I’m completely new here and have actually surprised myself by writing this. I am starting to think that I am being abused, and I sort of can’t believe it. The more reading I do about abusive relationships, the more things resonate and start to make sense.
My partner has mental health problems. He pays for nothing anymore – for the last (detail removed by moderator) months (he has been on sick leave for that time) I have single-handedly paid the mortgage and childcare fees and bills etc. I have a good job, he is on benefits (which I sorted for him) and keeps his benefits money to himself.
I often wonder if I’m the one being financially controlling because I pay for everything and I was very unhappy when he made a big expensive purchase recently with the help of relations, without consulting me, at a time when i was saving and cutting costs everywhere I could.
I am quite organised so I have been in charge of all the money and ‘life admin’ stuff since he got ill. But despite his illness I feel he should have some awareness of the financial responsibility of our children. Not once does he ask how I am making ends meet or how much anything is costing. He is well enough to buy the things he wants, bid for things on eBay etc, none of which are necessities. I pointed out that he had several things he could sell to get some
money in for us. He has not attempted to sell anything.
I got him to move out a few months ago, he spent ages accusing me of having another man in my life (I do not). He fluctuates between begging/crying/saying sorry and anger/frustration. We have a conversation where he asks if it is really over. I say yes.
A few days later he is all friendly and saying can we give it another go, he would do anything for me, don’t the kids deserve for me to give him another chance.
I don’t understand.
I thought I was a strong woman but I feel so guilty when he is sad, I want him to be happy. And I think to myself ‘yes maybe the kids do deserve for me to give him another chance’.
Deep down I know the kids have been much better off emotionally since he moved out. Their life is stable and calm and they do not witness the dynamic of him bring unpredictable and me trying to smooth things over.
And yet. I am scared to make the final step and make it completely clear it is over and formalise things. I am scared of what other behaviours he will exhibit. I don’t know if I’m strong enough to deal with whatever horrible things he says or does. He knows what my weaknesses are. And he knows how guilty I would feel if he attempted to take his life.
I would so appreciate the thoughts of others who may be experiencing similar or have been through this kind of thing. I want to find some self-belief, stick to my guns. I just don’t quite know how. For my own sanity and the sake of my children I know I need to get out of this relationship.
4th January 2019 at 9:26 pm #69963
It sounds like your being emotionally and financially abused. It is a scarey thought to end an abusive relationship because you know there will probably be repercussions. As long as you leave safely (as this is when the abuse can escalate ) you’ll have a much better life without him. I’d get intouch with women’s aid and get a plan together. They will advise you how to safely get away from him. These men only get worse with time, and it gets harder to escape due to trauma bonding. Read up on domestic abuse get all the information you need to prepare you for this. Also document all of this with your GP and keep a dated journal. You can do this, they don’t change and you and your kids will be safe and happy in the long run xx 💕 💕 best of luck diy
4th January 2019 at 9:36 pm #69966KIP.Participant
Hi, read Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. It gives you an insight into abuser behaviour. Abusers use fear Obligation and Guilt to trap us and keep us in a FOG. When we end any normal relationship we don’t worry about the repercussions or our safety. Abusers often threaten suicide as a control technique. He is not your responsibility and deep down you know it’s the best thing for you and your children. Zero contact is how to move forward from an abuser. Use a third party for contact otherwise his bullying and manipulation will continue causing even more confusion.
4th January 2019 at 11:57 pm #69980IwantmebackParticipant
Hi there and well done for reaching out. It’s such a difficult thing to accept, that our partner abuses us. We still have the stereotype in our own heads, the battered wife terrified fir her life. Now the governments are very aware there’s more to DA than physical abuse. He’s verbally and financially abusing you. You have in no way controlled the finances, what you are doing was and is called managing them, spending within your means.You have every right to be angry when he bought something he more than likely couldn’t afford but it’s okay, as others are there to help him. He will say and do anything to keep you, you are literally his meal ticket. He’s also emotionally abusing you, accusing you of having affairs is typical abuser behaviour as is going back and forth from being nice to manipulating(crying, begging) to threatening. Look up the cycle of abuse, living with the dominator, power and control. Trauma bonding is extremely enlightening, it shows it’s chemicals not love that keeps us tied to him(think Stockholm syndrome)there’s also FOG,fear, obligation and guilt.
Again welcome to the forum, keep posting and reading others posts, the most knowledge you learn the most per you gain. Keep a journal of his behaviour, even the nice as you well start to see a cycle(of abuse)appear.. It’s also something you can read when you start doubting yourself and start to minimise his behaviour, as we all do, that after a period of calm, we all doubt it’s been that bad.
5th January 2019 at 12:04 am #69981
Hello, Star. This is a sad situation you’re in, hanging on and hoping for better that never comes. I can easily see why he is desperate to stay; he has effectively become one of your children, hasn’t he? You are clothing, feeding and sheltering him, making his life comfortable and doing all the heavy lifting financially and emotionally, too. He’s free to spend his pocket money and shirk all responsibilities.
What is he being to the partnership? You say you have childcare costs, so clearly he’s not minding the baby or doing the school run! Does he take care of the housework and have nourishing hot meal ready for you when you come in from work? Does he shoulder the laundry load and make sure your work clothes are freshly washed and ironed and hung up ready for you to put on? Do you get a foot-rub and a cuppa after work and an appreciative audience for your stories of your day?
Where do you see him lightening your load and smoothing your path?
Do you want him as another needy child or do you need him to be a full, respectful adult partner?
It would be fair to tell him about the needs he i he isn’t meeting, I think, and see whether he steps up, but you aren’t obliged to carry him on your back forever and he should not expect it.
You could give him a clear picture of how he needs to take his share of the partnership and a timeframe to show you his willingness: three months would be the longest anyone could expect.
If he is in too bad a state to do anything but sit browsing and spending, he really needs to be where he can get full-time care. You have a job already and dependants to care for, don’t you? Perhaps his generous family can take him in and coddle him until he gets fit and strong?
Has he sought medical help and is there a diagnosis and treatment plan with a goal of health and fitness to work? That would be a good start. Even if you have promised him ‘in sickness and in health’, he will have promised to ‘love and cherish’ which he doesn’t seem to be doing or even aiming for!
You only have one life, darling, and your children only get one childhood. Start considering what is best for your child(ren) and yourself and make sure he knows you are. You’ve all spent long enough putting him first, haven’t you?
5th January 2019 at 12:27 am #69984
Just another thought, Star – if this illness is just of months’ duration, what sort of partner and father was he when he was well and working? Did he drop his bundle recently or was he never really carrying it in the first place?
And when you say he behaves ‘unpredictably’, does that include things that scare you and the children or make you walk on eggshells? And if so, is that recent or long-standing? Is it getting better or worse or just dragging on?
These things will help you decide what’s best, I feel.
Flower again x
5th January 2019 at 4:27 am #69998
I am beyond grateful for your responses. I finally feel like I’m not crazy, because you are confirming what I have been suspecting.
I’m so completely shocked to now be seeing him and the relationship for what they are. It clearly was never what I imagined it was.
Flower – the terms you used to describe his family coddling him are so scarily accurate. He is indeed staying with family and having all his needs met with them. It is like he is a teenager again. I think he is happy to be there because I was becoming so broken that I couldn’t look after him anymore. I told him I needed to focus on looking after the children and that I couldn’t look after him as well.
As a father, he only took responsibility for a short time, and then only on his terms really. But he did enough for family and friends to believe he was wonderful and supportive and self-sacrificing. Putting on an act which we all (including me) fell for.
I’m trying not to beat myself up for getting into this situation. I’m well aware from what I have been reading on these forums that it is so gradual and insidious and clever that you just don’t realise what is happening.
I have read about trauma bonding now, and that also resonated massively with me.
I will be contacting Women’s Aid on their helpline, I have started legal proceedings and I feel like whatever rose tinted glasses I was wearing have now finally fallen off. I can see him for what he is and I am completely shocked that this is the situation.
Thank you for your comments, support and confirmation. The power of these forums cannot be underestimated. I had no idea of the power of the kindness of strangers.
I don’t feel alone anymore. And if anybody reading this is in a similar situation, please know that you are not alone. Posting on here is one of the hardest but also most beneficial things I have ever done.
5th January 2019 at 2:36 pm #70039
You know what’s the best about your current situation, Star? You don’t need to worry about him harming himself. If he’s in the bosom of his family, they can make sure he’s safe, can’t they?
They could also supervise any contact he has with his children, too, if he seeks that and you trust them too.
Now he’s out, make it a bit formal – perhaps changing the locks? – and making sure your earnings are not accessible to him at all, if you’ve had any sort of joint account. You won’t be able to close a joint account, but you can open a new one just in your name for your earnings and switch bills and so on to come out of that one.
If you gently but firmly untangle yourself from ever common arrangement, he will not be able to walk back into your lives without your consent, will he?
Beware the risk of him taking out bank loans, credit agreements or credit cards and incurring joint debt to dump on you, darling! Let your bank know you are separated and no longer at the same address and keep an eye out for any ‘official’ letters arriving for him at your address. If you act as though you expect further financial abuse and put protection in place, he won’t be able to reach in and leech off you. He might not, but they often do!
Perhaps you could be ready with some conditions for him to meet before you talk about any potential future for the relationship, like, say, he has to have been back in full-time employment for, say,three months with no sick days and his doctor has to have signed him fit?
That gives him a goal and it gives you something to wield as a powerful condition.
21st January 2019 at 3:01 pm #71080
It’s scaring me star how much your situation sounds like mine.
My ex is being adequately mollycoddled by family and he does no wrong, despite his mum witnessing him trying to attack me with a weapon.
He is taking me to court over kids, I asked he seeks help but he won’t. He don’t no wrong and spinning all the lies. Has me in turmoil, still controlling my file and causing me grief.
I didn’t know I was in abusive relationship until after. So hard to come to terms with, I’ve had to address it all in forms relating to the child arrangements- beyond worried when he realises!!
Try not to get sucked into his talk. They offer and promise the world when they lose control but it will return if you let them back in.
21st January 2019 at 3:03 pm #71081
Joint accounts can be closed by just you if the balance is zero, I did.
Unfortunately it was zero as the ex took it all!
Be mindful of knowledge he has of you about passwords, security questions etc.
Keep proof of EVERYTHING, all horrid messages etc. You never know if you may need it.
27th January 2019 at 4:04 am #71391
I’m feeling really low at the moment.
I am seeing a lawyer and starting divorce proceedings in a couple of days and I’m worried about what will happen when I do that. He and his family will step up their behaviour. He knows it is coming but that doesn’t mean he won’t try to manipulate me into changing my mind and feeling guilty and like I should give it one more chance. I won’t give it one more chance (no way) but i know I will feel bad and like I’m the one who is responsible for all this.
It amazes me that he can see this the way he does. In his view, he is not at fault. He has done everything he could, he can’t help having mental illness, and I should just look after him like a good and dutiful wife. I don’t think he lives in the real world at all.
I’m worried what the financial settlement will be when the divorce gets moving. The fact that he hasn’t been paying for a long time may not get taken into account. I’m so angry that he can treat me and our kids like this, take no responsibility and still make me feel bad. His parents treat me as if I’m hurting their son – no understanding of the fact that I’m trying to keep myself sane and my kids from witnessing this kind of behaviour.
I try not to feel sorry for myself but today I must admit I’m wallowing in self pity. And I’m struggling to sleep. This is such a tough process to go through.
27th January 2019 at 6:32 am #71394LandyParticipant
I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about money too. My ex didn’t work and was an alcoholic so although I have a good income, it’s been really hard to keep our heads above water. He, of course, just expected me to manage and made no attempt to cut down on anything. I think sometimes he’d have been happy for me to sell a kidney to fund what he wanted!
I’m free now and it’ll take me a while to pay off my debts, but I will. And you’ll manage too because you’ve held it together so far in the most unimaginable circumstances. It’ll be tough, but like me, you sound like a survivor. I’m still just coping day to day. Even tomorrow feels like a hundred years away. Just take small steps, accept help from friends and family and keep posting x
27th January 2019 at 8:17 pm #71426
Landy, you are so right. It really is a case of taking each day one at time. I think sometimes I forget that and want life to be normal and I kind of run away with it, thinking everything is fine and I can do this. Then suddenly I realise how incredibly hard and soul-destroying it is, and I’m back to taking tiny steps, one day at a time.
However bad it gets (and this weekend has been really tough) it is better than it was when he was living here.
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