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This topic contains 45 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  savingthestars 3 days, 14 hours ago.

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  • #87328
     Dragon 
    Participant

    As the title says, for those who have left an abusive partner what was the catalyst that made you get out? For those of you still in abusive relationships and struggling to make a decision, what do you think it would take for you to decisively say enough is enough?

  • #87329
     Apple118 
    Participant

    I think for me although I’m still in this relationship I really have had enough now ,there isn’t much more he can do. it’s probably just money and my anxiety issues holding me back. I think if I had a ton of cash and someplace to go where he couldn’t get to me anymore I’d be off !

  • #87334
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Refusing to go to a close relative’s funeral and then having sex with me when i categorically told him no

  • #87335
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Gosh, well yes, that would definitely be a catalyst. So sorry, that sounds horrendous xx

  • #87337
     HunkyDory 
    Participant

    Having stitches in my head after he attacked me at someone’s very special celebration and ruining their day. He could have killed me. No going back after that. Xx

  • #87358
     JustKeepSinging 
    Participant

    Something that’s happened a million times (it feels like) before but this day I was scared, this day I had enough. I had spoken with women aid before it happened which probably gave me the confidence to say ‘this is abuse and I don’t have to take it’.
    Have you got out Dragon or do you need help to do so? x

    Apple – I’ve felt like you are now for the last couple of years – I’d say do whatever you can to leave if you are ready emotionally – there are people who can help protect you from him and money wise you can do those benefit calculators or speak to citizens advice so you wouldn’t worry about finances so much? Although I’m skint – I’d rather be than back there X

  • #87364
     Apple118 
    Participant

    Thank u justkeepsinging – I think I just need to be strong and stop fretting about money so much , if I didn’t have kids to provide for it wouldnt bother me so much ..I know what you mean though , I keep thinking I’d rather be skint than live like this forever, just need to somehow break away from this misery at last and be free x x

  • #87365
     JustKeepSinging 
    Participant

    Apple you will get there – keep using this site. Call women aid and talk to them about your options, talk to citizens advice, get as much info as you can so you know the steps you might have to take to protect yourself and your kids and to ease your money worries.
    You can do this – I promise x

  • #87369
     Dragon 
    Participant

    I’m not out, I am still jumping between is it/isn’t it abuse and not believing he could actually be doing that and maybe we can sort it out. We go round in circles though. Argument after argument, gaslighting, belittling or not even acknowledging my feelings, asserting his authority at any given opportunity, causing issues over me seeing friends/family, criticising, not comforting me when I cry, or completely ignoring me when I cry (either at home or in public), sometimes completely ignoring me when Inask him a question, guilt trips (including suicide threats). I know it is wrong but I don’t believe he does it knowingly or maliciously. I also blame myself and take a lot of the responsibility because he doesn’t take any so I feel like it must be my fault.
    I am getting to a stage where I am starting to think that he isn’t going to change. I need him to take responsibility for his part in things done can start to sort things out but he says he needs affection etc and I need to sort that out first. What he doesn’t seem to understand is that I don’t feel like being affectionate when all these issues are still unresolved. I don’t know how much time to give it, I always hope it can change but not sure if too much damage has already been done or if he can actually change.
    Sorry for the ramble x

  • #87371
     JustKeepSinging 
    Participant

    Never a need to apologise here Dragon. You are safe to say what you need to.
    I’m sorry you are going through the is it / isn’t it. I’ve been there. For years. And didn’t know how to get out or where to start and then felt so completely overwhelmed by it all I would just stuff it down inside and try to carry on. It’s only been recent for me that I have left and I’m still coming to terms with it but I am resolutely NOT GOING BACK and have had to accept that I need to step away from him for mine & my kids.
    Please know it isn’t your fault – it really isn’t.
    Call the helpline if you can. They will hear you and tell you that this is abuse and you don’t have to live with it. They can help you make a plan to get out or just offer some advice on what happens next. That doesn’t mean you have to follow their advice, or make a plan or anything that you don’t feel ready for it just means someone will hear you and validate how you are feeling and offer help if you want it.
    They really are amazing – I don’t think I would be where I am or ready to face what’s next without them but I am here.
    Stay on here too – reading what others are going through makes you realise you aren’t alone and what you are feeling is real and not made up in your head.
    PM if you want to chat anymore 🙂

  • #87373
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Thank you so much, it really means a lot, I am very confused a d struggling right now. I am glad you got out, it must have been really difficult and probably still is, hope you’re ok xx

  • #87382
     Escapee 
    Participant

    The more people you talk to the more you’ll realise it’s not you, it’s his abusive behaviour.
    I was in my relationship for a very long time. I eventually just run out of ….well everything. I was completely depleted of any effort. I was immensely lonely, I cried all the time, I wanted to just walk for the rest of my life and I felt the only way to stop the awful sadness was to kill myself. That was the point I knew I had to leave.

    • #87882
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Hi @escapee, I totally agree, once you begin to open up, the genie gets well and truly let out the bottle. It’s like a dam is burst and the flood waters just burst out, I ended up telling anyone who’d listen was like someone possessed at times.
      @dragon your enough is enough moment will come I promise. I’m only out 3+ months out of 2 decades+ with him, I’ve a lot to come to terms with but i know I’ll NEVER go back. I have some contact with him for now, it’s not what i want but circumstances dictate otherwise. Once i move away, that’s when no contact will be imposed. I still live in the same area, he knows where i live(my support worker is aware of this) so I’m doing what I have to until I don’t have to. I see a psychologist now through the nhs, not sure what I want out of this but I know I don’t want to repeat the same mistakes. as they say once your eyes are open to abusive behaviour you can’t unsee it.
      Best wishes
      IWMB 💞💞

  • #87390
     Apple118 
    Participant

    Dragon -what you wrote there about your situation sounds almost identical to mine – I could of wrote it myself x
    Escapee – it’s really good to here that you’ve managed to get away from your ex – I see you wrote you have children , are you managing to co-parent with him or has he made things difficult ? A big concern of mine is when I do eventually get rid of my partner for good he’s going to make things hard with the children and use them to get at me xx

  • #87393
     Apple118 
    Participant

    Sorry I think it was justkeepsinging who wrote about having children as I was wondering how you manage with both parenting your children now you’re separated . hope everyone’s ok this morning anyway 😊 I shall be speaking to w.a today when they call xx

  • #87396
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Well done Apple, I think I will give them a call today too. I would also be interested to hear about how you manage parenting as I have children too. Let us know how it goes Apple xx

  • #87397
     Apple118 
    Participant

    It’s not actually women’s aid calling it’s another organisation local to my area but I think they do the same thing . I just can’t help thinking what can they really do ? I can tell them my problems but it’s only me who can ultimately change things .wish I could find a way out of this mess . Plus I’ve got my youngest home with me today I don’t want him over hearing the phone convo ! I’ll let you know how it goes anyway .x

  • #87398
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Cool, I have PM’d you x

  • #87411
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    when he finally left for a week – once things settled I realised I was so much better off with out him – I had my freedom xx

  • #87429
     HopeLifeJoy 
    Participant

    Financial abuse. My sister who tried to get me to understand the danger I was in under his control and his abusive angry outbursts getting out of hand was relieved to hear I finally reached my enough moment.

  • #87451
     IWillBeHappy 
    Participant

    Dragon- you’re situation also sounds just like mine. You are not alone. His behaviour, particularly the threat of suicide is controlling and coersive behaviour which is an arrest able offence now.

    I hope you get out soon and start your freedom. The threat of suicide with our baby was the last straw for me.

    Take care x

  • #87496
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    Affect on kids for me. Then experiencing levels of abuse. They’re my weakness (way to control me) but also the thing that’s pushed me to ultimately get out when their safety was at stake

  • #87507
     Anononagain 
    Participant

    I dream daily of what my final straw/ enough is enough moment will be .

    The scenario happens and then I change it it just changes to differing levels . For me now I know that I’ve accepted and allowed by staying him to do most things to me, physically and emotionally but he’s never physically hurt my children . If he ever did then that would be it that would make me go.

    I sometimes think if he ever broke a bone or or if any injury is so very severe then I would definitely go but I fear in back of head I don’t know if I would as I just know from when incidents happen I just go inwards on myself and it al feels surreal and embarrassing that I just go on with daily life.

    X

  • #87602
     imsosad 
    Participant

    for me it was an accumulation of things the lies the deceit the living off me the debt generally embarrassing me. one of the worst things was his lack of personal hygiene he went disgusting the smell of dirty sweaty bum he had to go i hate him

  • #87603
     imsosad 
    Participant

    can i just add to anyone who is worrying about money that was one reason i didnt get out sooner until my friend advised me on debt management. i got advice off a company and within an hour they helped me took all my troubles away then that was it everything fell into place i got rid of him ..its changed my life

  • #87604
     [email protected] 
    Participant

    you know ive often wondered is that a form off abuse – i can remember (this is so disgusting i know) he never washed for weeks and just kept layering up on lynx to the point his chest hair was all matted. then they have the audacity to say you dont find me attractive lol xx no you disgust me! to this day the smell off lynx after shave deodorant makes me have a panic attack xx literally

  • #87770
     Teri 
    Participant

    So many things in the last year… but the final straws weren’t actually the most emotionally or physically abusive moments. They were just little triggers when a switch flicked in my head.

    …when I heard him coaching our young daughter on how to ridicule me, and encouraging her to think it was funny when I got upset.

    …when I was throwing a party for his birthday, someone suggested I make a video of me and the kids telling him why we loved him but when it came to my turn I couldn’t think of anything to say; I felt like I’d never met him.

    …when I stood looking out of a big window upstairs at the back of our house and I was almost over-whelmed by the urge to step through it and let my head smash on the bricks below. I knew I had a choice then: step out of that window or leave. There wasn’t any other option because I was disappearing as a person.

  • #87777
     colouringinfairy 
    Participant

    Mine probably makes me sound a bit daft – mine had emotionally and mentally abused me for years. I was getting increasingly fed up in the last 2 months of our relationship as I was back in the country (we long distanced for a while even though I left the country to escape him!) and I could see not much had changed. He was sick of me not trusting him (even though he had repeatedly broken up with me and treated me cruelly throughout the years), still controlling what I did and who I could/could not socialise with. Still so many arguments. I almost broke when, (detail removed by moderator) – we had had an argument – (detail removed by moderator). We argued before. When he saw me crying whilst we were sitting there waiting he turned to me and said “(detail removed by moderator)”. He hated me crying. In the end he assaulted me one drunken night, and before I had the chance to think about ending the relationship he broke up with me because he “loved me and wanted me to be happy”. Well, I only really gave up on us in my heart when he denied the assault to the police. That was my final straw – even though I was long out of the relationship – it was my final straw in loving him and ever considering giving him yet ANOTHER chance. It’s pathetic, I know, the assault should have been my final straw but sometimes emotions override logic, and then sometimes it all just dawns on you and you can see the light of day!

    I hope this forum is helping you and you find the strength to be free x

  • #87778
     Dragon 
    Participant

    It is so strange, some days I feel like I really can’t stay in this relationship, it isn’t good for me or the kids. The next day I can feel completely different like this is my fault, I need to fix it, what can I do to make it right? I can’t break my family up. It is a rollercoaster of emotions x

  • #87779
     colouringinfairy 
    Participant

    It’s much the same after you leave…I’ve been up in the air, all of the place, up and down, rollercoaster of emotions non stop…all you can do is follow your gut. A lot of the things you said really reminded me of my ex, there’s so many red flags…but I think you know deep down it’s not right and you aren’t being treated properly x

  • #87783
     Dragon 
    Participant

    I was hoping you would say it felt like a relief to leave. Right now I am thinking leave is the only answer. I am so angry with him and he has just gone in from work and before he walks through the door I am thinking ‘what will it be this time’ and sure enough, 2 things he is unhappy with that he ‘calmly’ tells me I shouldn’t have done or should have done differently. And then I look/feel like the irrational one because I get angry at his lack of understanding and constant criticism.

  • #87784
     HunkyDory 
    Participant

    It’s strange isn’t it.. I had many final straws that became yet another chance for him to change (I know to my cost it doesn’t happen) but as anonagain said above it’s like you raise your tolerance levels. First a push against a door and I scratched my hand + apologies and nice words = forgiveness. Then a kick, then a punch, a slap, intimidation, it escalates and you still forgive because you think you can fix it. Fix him. Because in between there are good times. And so it continues to escalate. Until what? I was kicked so hard once I could barely walk for two days. my absolute last straw came when the next level didn’t bear thinking about. Anonagain if you think it might get to the broken bones level it probably will. I hope you can make a plan to get out with your children. xx

  • #87801
     Landy 
    Participant

    For me the physical abuse wasn’t as bad as the mental abuse. It was the lying, the controlling behaviour and the constant threats that did it. He bad mouthed me to anyone who would listen, threatened to get me sacked from my job, arrested in false allegations. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

  • #87802
     Lightness 
    Participant

    The final straw for me was a conversation with a therapist who explained he was abusive. Despite all the years with him I had no idea whatsoever he was abusive until this point (very covert with abuse)
    As soon as I learned it was abuse and that he therefore had a serious problem that would not change, I knew I had to leave. Staying wasn’t an option as I was terrified of him and at the same time relieved that I was taking back control of my life and getting rid of Mr Angry

    It took all the strength I had to leave. Thank goodness I got out.

  • #87805
     LozzyX 
    Participant

    I thought I had had the final straw… After months of putting up with his bad debts and horrible (detail removed by moderator) habit , I discovered he had lied to my mum and borrowed money from her behind my.back – she is a very trusting woman and worn down with Caring for my dad … I realised just how low he would go … I let it slide that he used up any savings I had but to think my parents were at risk was my final straw and I left whilst he was passed out …

    But sadly I’ve been sucked back in …but now close to leaving again as realised he is also ripping off other people- good friends of his from childhood! (my mum knows now never to lend to him again – he isn’t paying her back and she seen just how upset I was when I turned up at hers basically homeless!)

    He has also been very nasty whislt been on this holiday including upsetting me relentlessly whilst I am driving long distance on a motorway… I realised whilst on that journeyhe is basically a bully and I’ve got zero respect left for.him

     

  • #87808
     Anononagain 
    Participant

    Ahh dragon I completely feel you when you say that you hope to hear it’s a relief once left … And also with you on them walking in and it being all of minutes before something is “ wrong” .. I find the subtle mental torture the worst where I’m accused of being so unreasonable and upset at him for “ no reason” when I know deep down what he’s implying with certain sly behaviours . Like when he does overly nice things it’s all just so something else follows either he can release his anger and bad day on me or he wants sex in a weird way or it’s to shout and tell me how ungrateful I am. (Detail removed by moderator) like a child he’s chucked the remote ( landed gently) at me .. said I’m on my phone ( nope) “you’re trying to get at me having my television on “ . ( I rarely sit in here but I’ve had to to show things are ok as he asked me to I genuinely didn’t say anything it’s bizarre ) no physical but just even in sitting near him i just can’t compute what’s happening around me. Hunkydory so so true with moving each “ final straw” moment .. I know deep down even if broken bones it won’t make a difference.. I’ve had tooth broken and fallen hard that it felt ridiculous but I don’t know what I’m expecting in my head – I wonder if it’s that it’s something that requires another person to have to then take care eg X-ray eg someone that then may suddenly say something but I bet it wouldn’t be like that .. I am so sorry for what you and all have have to put up with 🙁 it makes me so sad thinking of these men yet I think of my “ man” and I think I’ve caused it because I knew to an extent his personality. I never dreamt the things that have gone on but now it just feels my lot. All of you sound so so strong and using your strength in the right way I honestly sit admiring .

     

  • #87811
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Anon, I agree I do admire those who have had the strength to leave. I think people who haven’t been in an abusive relationship underestimate how hard it is to do once you have been made to feel so confused and don’t trust yourself or have any self esteem, have been diminished. It is something else I put myself down for, knowing this is not a ‘normal’ relationship but not being able to leave it or accept it. I have been feeling a lot more worn down by it recently and there have definitely been moments when I felt like I could have walked, if there had been anywhere for me and the kids to go.

  • #87825
     colouringinfairy 
    Participant

    Don’t get me wrong, whilst it’s still a rollercoaster I cannot tell you what a relief it is to not experience the anxiety of being with him every day. Like, how he is going to be today? Is he going to be nice? Annoyed? How is he going to treat me? What will he say? Is he going to break up with me? Then the vicious cycle of love bombing and taking it away from me again, reducing me to a mess. Yes it’s a lot of ups and downs of emotions when you’re out, but the feeling of not being put through the constant pain, fear, hurt and anxiety of our relationship is the ultimate silver lining around the hard situation of the relationship being over (with the natural feelings of loss, sadness etc).

    I know it’s so hard to leave – I mean, I didn’t even really leave, he made the decision for me – but I will tell you, know matter how hard it is, life is greener on the other side. It’s pointless being with someone like that, and a waste of your time, energy and love. Think of all the millions of people in the world who could treat you well all the time, and make you happy every day. It’s hard to make that leap, and even though I have found it hard in the months ensuing the break up, I can safely say not being with him is the best thing that could have happened to me, because I’m not being put through anymore pain by him. You will get there, you just have to give yourself time x

  • #87843
     Wibbles 
    Participant

    Dragon, I completely relate to what you’re saying. I switch from being sure I will leave next time something happens to letting it go once again. When things are bad it is clear I’m in an abusive relationship but we can go weeks/months without a major incident and during those times I think am I imagining it or blowing things out of proportion?
    Almost daily are the sly little remarks or put downs but I’m almost immune to them now, I’ve come to expect them.
    I’ve told him if he physically hurts me again I will the Police but he says I won’t get the chance cos he’ll kill me. Even this isn’t enough to make me leave – why??

  • #87847
     Dragon 
    Participant

    Oh goodness, I relate to what you’re saying totally, mine has never been physically abusive, although I remember he pushed me once, that was over a decade ago and he hasn’t done it since. I always tell myself that if it got physical I would go but knowing me I would probably just tell myself it was my fault and end up staying. I think this becomes our ‘normal’ and although we know it isn’t right we have always tolerated it so it feels acceptable? X

  • #87883
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Hi Dragon, pushing you once is enough. It speaks volumes that you remember that. Deep down it’s intimidating and threatening. Like, I’ve pushed you once, I can do it again or worse. Little physical things have huge effects. For me the emotional abuse was a thousand times worse than anything physical. I feel the physical is used to back up the emotional/mental abuse and manipulation x or the real physical stuff comes when they lose control especially when we try to leave x

  • #87895
     Fudgecake 
    Participant

    For me, it was feeling the last shred of my self disappearing and looking ahead at years more of the abuse and being completely dominated and inprisoned. I knew that once he’d broken me I wouldn’t have the strength to carry on. It was that last shred of my old stronger self left in me that got me out.

  • #87900
     AsLostAsAlice 
    Participant

    Years of him slowly and systematically stripping me of myself, until nothing much of little old ME was left at all.
    I felt suffocated by him. Always walking on eggshells, his anger & verbal abuse, being scared of his threats, him throwing or punching things, breaking my things, him pretending nothing happened & that I was over sensitive, never resolving arguments, constantly having to watch the time, not being able to socialise when& with whom i want to, controlling my hobbies, having to eat what & when he wants, always having to be available to do his things, him never interested in anything i liked or wanted to, having sex when i didn’t want to & doing it to keep the peace, being accused of having affairs on a regular basis (usually when i didn’t want sex), no emotional support at all, trying to force me to get married/have children etc. etc. the list goes on.

    It suddenly registered with me that this was not MY life anymore. It was HIS life and I was just a convenience.
    One day it just got on top of me and I was so utterly unhappy and felt completely empty. I had nothing more to give. I knew that I couldn’t carry on pretending and I just wanted to be somewhere else. Away from him.
    To leave wasn’t a quick thought. I was biding time..thinking and overthinking and a few times trying to communicate with him. I eventually realised, this was an impossible task as he was not interested in my feelings or thoughts, never was. He didn’t want to talk or understand and he had nothing to say. As far as he was concerned, I had it all and I couldn’t do any better than him as no one else would want me.

  • #87983
     Too far 
    Participant

    I am currently on my way out (if that makes sense) he has never hit me but I have been subject to years of emotional abuse.
    My husband works away and I am at a point where my nerves can’t take much more when he’s due home and when he is.
    He’s due to go on holiday (on his own) when I asked why he was doing that he said ‘well what have I got to come home to?’ It killed me, we have 2 small children and yes life can be hectic and sometimes a bit kinda ‘groundhog’ but to not want to see them when your away for so long is a mystery and I can’t understand it. That was the last straw really, luckily I have a supportive family that have seen it for a while, my plan is to leave while he is on his holiday. This won’t come as such a big shock to him as I have asked him for a divorce just a few days ago which ended in us arguing (more or less him shouting) then to him completely pretending nothing happened the next day and playing happy families again in front of the kids. He never speaks of it and does this a lot, but about a year ago I started writing a journal of the things he has said and done so when I doubt myself I read my journal which keeps me focused on being a survivor for the sake of my kids as his behaviour towards us is something I don’t want our children to think is normal.

    • #87986
       Too far 
      Participant

      Can i ask, if you have children…..how have they dealt with this?
      I’m worried about the split and the effects it will have on them. My husband controls all the finances and I’m given a small allowance after leaving work to have a family.
      The gifts for the kids are all bought by him, the holidays booked by him etc so the kids are excited when dad is home. Heartbreaking really as it’s me that reads to them every night and plays with them.
      The house we will rent will be a lot smaller than the marital home and wonder how the children will react

  • #87990
     savingthestars 
    Participant

    I’m out of the relationship… but not out of his net. My final straw was when he used my kids as a … bargaining chip.
    I am upset because due to the situation NSPCC can’t help my kids. “because the perp is still so involved with the kids we cannot intervene without telling him, which will erupt the situation” I am awating the day my eldest, who is not related to him, says something at the moment, but not letting it get to me, because otherwise “professionals will be all over it saying I am mentally ill”

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