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    • #129961

      My husband is controlling and has anger issues and I feel I am ready to leave him. The one thing I am most concerned about is the children. When I’ve had the courage to say I want a divorce in the past, he has said he would keep the children from me and things would not end well for me. He has expressed sympathy in the past for fathers taking their children abroad and not returning, since he has family abroad this really concerns me. I am so scared he will just pick the children up from school one day and not return, I wouldn’t put it past him.

      Since we both have parental responsibility I don’t think I can just leave with the kids?

      We live in a shared ownership property and both our names are on the lease and mortgage. Ideally I would buy his share so kids can stay in our home but I know he will fight against this. Can they force him to sell his share? Would I have to live with him until we get to that point?

      I just want to be sure I am doing the right thing for our kids, we have really nice days as a family too and I think I’ve clung onto hope that he could eventually turn into that nice person full-time but I can’t do it anymore..

    • #129963

      Hey abusers are good at threats especially ones that hurt us most. You can absolutely leave WITH your children to escape domestic abuse. You sound like you have made up your mind – I would suggest you talk to women’s aid, your GP maybe the children’s school so you have things in place. Maybe a solicitor too – you can get a free initial appointment and they will be able to tell you your rights re housing kids etc. I suggest you don’t tell your abuser anything of your plans leaving is the most dangerous time and they are unpredictable at the best of times! Keep moving forwards you are doing amazing for you and the children.

    • #129964

      Thanks. To be honest I feel strong and ready one minute and an absolute mess the next. I’ve never spoken to anyone about his emotional abuse, in fact I actively cover it up (keeping up appearances, it’s sad I know). The thought of going to anyone to talk about the issue fills me with dread, he has isolated me from friends and I don’t have family in the UK so I kind of struggle to have those open and honest conversations. I will try to get support from women’s aid, I think I need someone who has my back when I feel weak.

    • #129969
      Twisted Sister

      I hear you, and I think its completely normal to swing from one to the other, its a big step and one you are bound to keep reconsidering until you are sure its the right thing to do. Keep in mind all the time the incidents that you know are abusive and ignore the good times as they become meaningless if the downtimes are abuse.

      Its a shame you don’t have family and friends here, but thats not uncommon with partners of abuse as isolation is so often part of the abuse too, and the covering up of it.

      Can you talk to friends and family abroad safely? Can you share some of it with someone trusted and in the meantime keep talking here where the issues you face are already familiar to the women here.

      you could start with a visit to your GP, who would likely have contacts for you to get help from. the helpline would also have contacts for support in your area.

      its worth putting an order in place to prevent him leaving the country with the children. it must be terrifying to be expecting that to happen at any time. speak to the school it utmost confidentiality, and do let the school know if there are any incidents that the children could be upset by. there is also often someone in the school who could assist you with other options.

      i wish you every success with your efforts to be safe

      warmest wishes

    • #129975

      Yes! It is normal to switch between ready to go fear of going and doubting yourself. I did it for years to the detriment of my children not that I had any idea how bad it had been for them until we fled. It’s because they are literally conditioning us – nice spells are a choice he makes to keep us bad spells are a choice he makes to abuse. It’s so confusing and that’s deliberate it creates a trauma bond. Read up on it all and previous posts on here – our experiences are often very similar. The things that helped me at that stage were
      – writing down his behaviour on my phone in a locked note under a different title
      – using support social services women’s aid
      – educating myself on abuse
      – looking at how he treated people compared to the nicest man I know treats his wife
      – beginning to trust my view of the situation not his
      Leaving an abuser really is a process it’s ok to feel how you do and it can take time…… take one step go at your own pace unless the risk becomes too great. You are further than you know x

    • #129981
      Main Moderator

      Hi Ineedabreakplease,

      I can see you have only just started posting here, so welcome to the forum.
      I can see already you have received very good advice and insight into possible next steps, as well as validation. You have done the right thing in reaching out for support here as it’s important you do not remain isolated in all this and understand you do have options.
      Engaging with your local domestic abuse service is always a good form of support, as they can offer a range of services like links to good legal advice, advocacy, emotional and practical help if needed. This is a free service, so use them on-going as you need. Search for your local group here. They will understand any anxiety you may have with approaching services for the first time and can assure you.
      Rights of Women are also an option for getting excellent, free legal advice as they specialise in supporting women experiencing domestic abuse. You can ask an adviser about getting a Prohibited Steps Order (to prevent the other parent from taking the child out of the country if this worries you).
      I hope this serves as a good start to getting the information and support you need to get clarity on how to move forward.
      Take care and do keep posting.


    • #129986

      Hi Ineedabreakplease,
      Sorry to hear about what you are going through but I can absolutely relate to what you are saying because I am in the same situation as you are…..
      I want to leave but fear about the kids and what will my husband do… just the same isolation and fear to speak about the abuse with anyone… I am not that brave and one day I am really ready to go but another I am not and doubting everything.
      I am doing what Watersprite has described and step by step getting ready internally to leave.
      Take your time, educate yourself and when you are ready, contact Womens Aid.
      Sending positive thoughts and hugs to you snd your kids xx

    • #129995

      Thanks for all your responses. I’ve just been shouted at for (removed by moderator) because he doesn’t want them in contact with anyone else and is using Covid as an excuse to isolate us further. I logged on here after and felt really supported, thank you. I am going to look into local support options, I think it would do me the world of good to talk things through with someone if I am brave enough to take that step. Though I am not sure what excuse I’ll use for being away.

      Spiderweb, sorry you are in a similar situation, you sound very strong and I hope you’ll get away. I can’t help but feel like a bit of a ‘fake’ because I am not suffering physical abuse and someone else may need support more than me. I have a good job and feel pretty well accomplished in all other areas of my life. I just wish I was stronger when it comes to him, he just wears me down. I have always hated confrontation so I think I’ve let him get away with too much over the years. Every time he senses I’m getting stronger and won’t accept his nonsense, he seems to give me a glimpse of what life could be like if he always acted ‘normal’ and it’s all I’ve ever wanted.. But someone mentioned above the good times don’t matter if the bad times are abuse, such truth and I’ll keep reminding myself of this.

    • #130037

      Hi there, it’s great that you feel ready to leave some of the time. Like others have experienced, I wavered between feeling ready and not ready in the lead up to leaving. I don’t think many people feel 100% strong and confident about leaving. But since I’ve left I haven’t regretted it once.

      You absolutely can leave with your kids. In fact leaving without them could give him an advantage if he decided to go for custody. I would advise getting legal advice though. My solicitor advised that I make clear to him that I wasn’t going to stop him seeing the kids, so that he couldn’t accuse me of parental alienation. I didn’t think he’d take the kids abroad though and while I don’t think he’s a brilliant dad, he’s not abusive to the kids and I knew if it went to court he would get access.

      Sometimes people break up while still living with their abuser, but generally the advice is to keep your plans to divorce/leave a secret until you are physically away from him. Leaving is the most dangerous time, because abuse is all about him wanting control, and you leaving is the ultimate loss of control. Apparently, the biggest factor in predicting whether a man will kill his partner is how controlling he is, not how violent. I would highly recommend you read up on abuse. I always recommend Why does he do that? By Lundy Bancroft. It will help you see what’s going on more clearly. For example, he probably doesn’t have general anger issues. Does he lose it with people in public? If it’s all behind closed doors, he doesn’t have anger issues. He’s using aggression/intimidation to control you and blaming you for making him angry. If you think you’re the problem, it’s much easier for him to continue as he wants to.

      We’ve all waited in the hope that he’ll turn into the nice person full time, but the only possibility of that happening would be if he wanted to and put years of work in. Evidence shows it is very unlikely to happen. It’s absolutely ok to not want to do it any more. You always have the right to do what’s best for your well being. Sending love xxxx

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