This topic contains 60 replies, has 23 voices, and was last updated by  sweet freedom 3 weeks, 1 day ago.

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  • #59503
     Lisa 
    Main Moderator

    Hi all,

    As you know we appreciate any feedback survivors give us. This was one of the suggestions to have this space for women over 50. Please do share your experiences.

    Best Wishes,

    Lisa

  • #59505
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Hey, Im over 50 and proud lol. My son was an adult when I escaped. I think I felt more trapped than ever when he was younger. I stayed for his sake. Rightly or wrongly. Age can have its advantage. For me I had maturity and a certain amount of financial security through divorce. I suppose I felt eventually I was too old to survive his abuse much longer so perhaps age played a big part in how and why I escaped. I was just too worn down by the barrage for decades.

    • #60756
       boggylass 
      Participant

      I thought that with the benefit of lots of “worldly wisdom and experience” i would be able to move on, then I found out that actually it’s like any injury that takes longer to heal as you get older, and then I discovered that it was a trauma bond that I was trying to get over……
      Inside I don’t feel over 50 but for practical purposes I am and would love to hear from and share with others.

  • #59507
     Poodlepower 
    Participant

    I’m (Detail removed by Moderator) and my partner was (Detail removed by Moderator). It made no difference , but I must admit i did worry about getting older and weaker while still under his control.

  • #59562
     maddog 
    Participant

    I am over 50. I was with my ex husband since my late (Detail removed by Moderator). Had my daughter not done what she did and had my husband not responded as he did, I would just think I was in a c**p marriage.

  • #59563
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello, so glad to have this thread. I too am over fifty. Brings maturity but additional challenges and worries due to health etc.
    Once again so glad that this thread created and glad to hear I am not on my own with this situation.
    Many thanks to WA and all on here for creating this inclusive thread.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #59569
     White Rose 
    Participant

    Me too and proud of it!
    Stuck with him for at least 5 years more than I should have but now glad to be out.
    I agree age has its advantages in terms of financial independence for some of us, but also down sides – it’s hard to start again later in life, even getting a small mortgage to get my own place was a struggle as some lenders wouldn’t contemplate taking me on and then there’s the making new friends…. too many “established couples” in my life and getting sick if playing gooseberry!

  • #59573
     KIP. 
    Participant

    I’ve rediscovered female friendship. I wasn’t really allowed to have many friends and didn’t have the headspace to deal with them. I’m more comfortable around women and have been laughing again and doing things I want to do.

  • #59576
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Hi, I’m over 50 too. I’m still battling for my freedom at the moment. I also stayed for my sons. I tried to leave over (Detail removed by Moderator) ago but my eldest begged me to stay so I did. He is in his (Detail removed by Moderator) now and still wants me to stay even though he knows his dad lies to me, controls and manipulates me. We’re all still living together, but I’ve filed for divorce. I’m trying to fix the house up by myself. No one will help, but half the house is all I have. I’ve always spent my money on the house, the boys and food, clothes etc for everyone. While he’s saved his up. He said for our retirement, but now says there’s no money saved! I just want my freedom and my share of the house since I’m the only one who has ever done any of the house work, decorating or gardening.
    It’s so good to know there’s other women out there who have succeeded in doing what I’m trying to do. It gives me hope and the courage to keep fighting.
    Thank you ladies, you are my inspiration ❤️

  • #59581
     KIP. 
    Participant

    FF my ex hid tens of thousands of pounds, stole it from our joint account, then lied about it all. The law is not on our side I’m afraid. My advice was it would cost me too much to take it to court and fight it. I was honest all the way through. Disclosing every penny while he lied, stole and used the money to take his new gf on holiday! My son was manipulated throughout by his father. It was horrendous. If I had to go through it again I would do it totally differently but no matter how hard it was to get through. It was worth it for my freedom. Just be very careful as my ex turned violent as he lost control.

  • #59587
     Freedomfighter 
    Participant

    Thanks Kip,
    He is hardly ever here since I filed, which suits me. Usually at least one of my sons is home and my eldest has a big dog who is very protective of me and follows me like a shadow all day. He doesn’t like my husband coming near me, let alone shouting.
    He is being extremely controlled and composed barely raises his voice. Not his usual self at all. I think he knows I won’t stand for it anymore and it would prove my reasons for divorce. He is strongly denying everything. He won’t risk his reputation.
    I’m not dismissing the possibility, he’s been violent before, but the physical abuse was all at the start. Once I had the boys I knew I had to stand up to him for their sake and would step in between him and my sons even when they were adults. He would pick a fight with them if I was not being an obedient, loving wife.
    I’m not afraid of him physically, just psychologically and emotionally. I know what he’s capable of. I know he’s going to try to destroy me emotionally and drag my name through the mud and try to turn everyone against me.
    I keep telling myself the advice you and others have given me. They’re only words and anyone who knows me and matters will know his lies are just that. I know it’ll hurt all the same, but it’s a price I’m willing to pay..
    Thanks for your support. I will continue to be vigilant and watch for warning signs. I have my emergency numbers on my phone and keep it charged and with me.
    To freedom!❤️

  • #59628
     Ayanna 
    Participant

    I am over 50 too.
    Age was one of the reasons why I did not receive help when I fled.
    Age is a reason why the abuse affected my health so badly and I cannot recover.
    Age and female gender are reasons why I am discriminated by the health services.
    Age was a reason why I was not taken seriously when I looked for help to flee

  • #60402
     emsbank 
    Participant

    I also agree im so pleased you have a area for the over 50’s I myself am finding it so difficult to accept the emotional abuse that went on for the past (detail removed by moderator), no friends no family, no support, health gone down the pan with all the abuse, im actually living in dread as to how I will cope once the divorce as gone through. If anyone as advice how we get through this I would appreciate any words of advice.

    Thank you again admin for this page

  • #60412
     White Rose 
    Participant

    Hi emsbank. You may be surprised that you’ll cope better after divorce than before. It will definitely be different but you’ll feel freer and safer. No more walking on egshells, no waiting for the next dig at you. You may even find that friends suddenly reappear once he’s not around and you almost certainly will make new friends. You will definitely be healthier as stress levels will slowly reduce.
    They make us believe we’re useless, that we can’t cope without them but actually we can and we do.
    I manage to get my car serviced, check the tyres, pay insurance, switch my energy tariff, book holidays build furniture, paint walls, get a roofer to sort my garage roof etc without him. Why? Because I’m a mature sensible woman who always could do these things it was just he didn’t let me so he kept control and made out I was useless. If I can’t do it I ask Google or YouTube or the bloke in B&Q or get someone in to help. And guess what I still find time to have a job, run a house as well as doing all these things. He was too busy doing this “stuff that I was incapable of” that he never lifted a finger for child care school pickups washing ironing cooking shopping cleaning.
    You’ll be fine! Believe in yourself. You’re a woman!! xx

  • #60417
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    I would like to ask for everyone’s support as I have a big task in front of me.
    I can’t drive.
    I had a year’s worth of lessons before I left my ex and was about to do my test
    but then he didn’t want me to.
    Then I left for refuge and it went down the pan.
    (detail removed by moderator) years on, aged mid fifties I am hoping to do lessons again.
    Can you give me a shove in the right direction ladies?
    Can you tell me it is still possible eh?
    lots of love
    ftc
    x

  • #60439
     White Rose 
    Participant

    Consider yourself well and truly shoved!
    Will you need to do theory test or have you done it and is it still valid?
    Look at “intensive courses” in your area. Might be what you need to sharpen you up ready.
    And good luck x*x

  • #60442
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Of course it’s possible. You go girl 🚘

  • #60443
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Thanks lovelies. Intensive course good idea as may be able to do it in child free couple of weeks.
    Had done theory test but then it went out of date so maybe that’s a good place to start
    thanks for support
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #61533
     bahookie 
    Participant

    I’m in my 50s too! I left with the clothes on my back and have no claim to our home. So far I’ve done ok but I’m a bit of a loss as to how to go on from here.

  • #61545
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Ok lovely you are on here now and belonging to the clan as it were.
    Step by step, ask questions, share the joyful things.
    As the ladies on here know I have taken myself back to college, maybe that is a possibility for yourself,
    September coming up and all that.
    I can’t drive, still need to work on that one lovely.
    In the meantime I’m trying to lose a bit of weight and take care of my skin in the sun.
    lovely to be here and free
    ftc
    x

    • #65330
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      I love the idea of us all being part of a clan. It makes me feel strong. Im still with my husband but i made a decision last week that i want to leave. So far I’ve been to my doctor who was great, so supportive. Shes advised me to get in touch with womens aid AND a lawyer. Im not sure when ill phone them but im feeling positive at times. Hopefully i dig deep and get the courage to contact them.
      Much love to you all
      IWMB 💕💕

  • #61546
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hey Freedomfighter,
    You will feel better if you make the move.
    We are all here to support you.
    Rock it
    lots of love
    ftc
    x

  • #62450
     Moon 
    Participant

    I’m over 50 and I’m really glad I’ve found this space. I was in my late 40s when I escaped from an abusive relationship. I had already been married, had a child and was divorced when I met and fell in love with the person who was to become my abuser. I suppose you’d think that being older with some experience of life would make you less vulnerable to an abusive and manipulative partner, but that certainly wasn’t the case for me.
    All the warning signs were there; things moved too quickly, my ex partner was very charming but also demonstrated irrational jealousy and controlling behaviour early on. I thought I could handle it. I thought that if I made him feel loved and secure, that would stop the constant accusations, and the jealous rages that soon escalated into violence. By the time I realised that wasn’t going to happen, it was too late and I was trapped in a situation I could see no way out of. I had never experienced anything similar before and I felt totally alone. My friends and family all thought my ex partner was a decent person, they never saw his dark side, and I was too ashamed to tell anyone about what was really going on in the relationship. I had always lacked self confidence and my ex partner was very good st exploiting that, always homing in on my insecurities… I was stupid, overweight, a bad mother, a useless human being…going on at me until whatever tiny amount of self confidence I had was destroyed…and I just ended up believing his lies.
    It took me several years to find the courage to end things. I finally did so after my son witnessed my ex partner attacking me. Even then it took another (detail removed by moderator) months for him to stop contacting me, and I was forced to seek a restraining order against him after he took to sitting outside my house in his car in the middle of the night.
    The whole experience left me shattered mentally and physically. My recovery was slow and painful, and I got through it with the help and support of my friends, family, and a very good and patient counsellor.
    These days I am much better. I work hard, and I enjoy spending time with those who are most important to me. I am wary though of getting involved with anyone new, in case I should find myself in a similar situation again. I also still have dark days when I feel a huge amount of anger towards my ex partner for what he put me and my son through. The anger is sometimes coupled with fear that one day I’ll open my front door and find him standing there. I always check my road when I leave the house for work every day and again when I come home in the evening. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life looking over my shoulder and jumping at shadows, but I guess that might be something I just have to live with for now.
    I’m conscious though of how lucky I am. I was able to get away from an abusive situation and rebuild my life, however hard that was…and I’m grateful that I’m able to share this experience with others.

  • #62474
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Thank you moon for this. I too am over 50 and have a particularly difficult week.
    So I was heartened by your post today and thank you for sharing your experiences. It does
    make a difference I feel as I had a lot of that ‘you should have known better’
    thing – and also the fact that family members never saw how he was. And also the shame thing
    which stopped me from talking to other people
    all best
    ftc
    x

    • #64610
       Gemma 
      Participant

      Hi Moon,

      The way you describe your ex partner, you could be describing mine. I thought his irrational jealousy and rages were unique to him, but I can see now they are not. And it terrifies me to think there could be more men out there just like him

      I was in my forties when I met him. He a decade younger. You would think at that age I would have known better. I too saw the red flags. But chose to ignore them. I was flattered at first. Thought the possessiveness and jealously, just meant he really loved me. Stupid. Niave. What’s that saying, there is no fool like an old fool. He isolated me from everyone. I was too afraid to ask for help. I t took me a decade to escape from him. I am now (detail removed by moderator) and trying to start again. I have no home or job. But I do have the most fantastic adult children who are taking care of me till I can get on my feet. But confidence is shot. It’s still early days. And I still have s long way to go. But at least now, I don’t wake up each day afraid.

  • #64620
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello Gemma,
    Just wanted to say good to hear this.
    I remember that point when I stopped waking up every day afraid.
    It is so difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t lived it.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #64621
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Sorry that may have come across wrongly. Of course I meant to express a hug for you because you have experienced this but good to hear you no longer wake up each day afraid.
    all best
    ftc
    x

  • #65144
     Gemma 
    Participant

    Hi Freedom..no need to apologize I knew exactly what you meant, and your right. It is hard to understand unless you’ve experienced it. Though I would not wish it on anyone.

    It’s that fear that churns your guts up. The relief of going to bed and he’s fallen asleep, and for the first time that day you can relax. Though evenings for me were often the worse times. Because he would often kick off then. I believe he did it because at night there was less people around to hear the raised voices or to come to my aid if I managed to get out the house. I would not have a bath at night or get into my night clothes until I knew he was tired, ready for bed and not angry with me.

    Though my family have been incredibly supportive, coming to my aid in the end and helping me leave. They still I know find it hard to understand why I stayed so long. Why I never told my doctor, or even them when they phoned how bad it was. I don’t think they understand the terror I felt, that he would find out. I literally thought he was capable of anything. It sounds crazy to say outloud but there were times I was afraid he could actually read my mind. That shows how much living with him in fear was damaging my own mental health. I thought if escape constantly. Feeling like that, yet totally feeling impotent and incapable of acting, nearly sent me insane.

    I am (Detail removed by Moderator) months out now. Was overwhelmed in the beginning. Making my own decisions, managing money, and still trying to sort out accommodation. But I am making steady progress. Biggest confidence boost for me is I have just got myself s job. I am determined to succeed at it. It’s going to be hard at times I know as I hadn’t worked for many years as he would not let me. I have had no contact and that’s the way it’s staying. I can’t get back the lost years, but I can make the most of the the rest of my life.

  • #65295
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi Gemma, you hit the nail on the head. I too feel my husband can read my mind. I have been with him a long time, so much longer than i should. Why, guilt,shame and fear. If it was easy to leave an abusive relationship we would !!
    I’m new to these forums, ive tried numerous times to speak/reply then my finger deletes the whole page. I’m using my phone as my tablet doesn’t work. i’m still in the house, but i think I’ve turned a corner. A few weeks back i woke up and told myself i was leaving… When, i dont know, but i felt myself calmer and more relaxed, I’m picturing myself in my own place and going ‘no contact’.
    I went to my doctor yesterday and finally admitted that I’m in an abusive relationship. I just need to find the courage to contact womens aid😏.

    • #65322
       Lisa 
      Main Moderator

      Hello Iwantmeback,

      Welcome to the Forum and thank you for sharing with us. It must have taken such courage to reach out for support on here and with your GP. I really hope you find the Forum a safe and supportive place with others who understand.

      When you are ready to share again then we will be here for you. If you would like to talk things through then the 24hr National Domestic Violence Helpline is available on 0808 2000 247. It is a busy service but there is a voicemail to request a call back at a safe and convenient time. The Helpline Support Workers will not tell you what to do or judge you, but they will listen and discuss any options based on your circumstances. They can also signpost you to other helpful organisations.

      Your local support group can be found via this link. They should be able to offer ongoing emotional and practical support including putting together a safety plan.

      Once again, welcome to the Forum!

      Best wishes,

      Lisa
      Forum Moderator

    • #65357
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Hi Lisa and thank you for replying
      I know Im wavering in getting in touch with WA because his absolute anger is so intermittent and we’re in a quiet spell just now and as it is i feel because things are okay im a bit of a fraud. It took 3 wks to get to see my dr and i really thought I’d bottle telling her. But i didnt.
      I woke up today and the knot in my stomach is worse,worse than its been for a while. Logically i know hes never going to be the kind loving guy i met,he’s always going to try to best me. I’m scared. My head is screaming at me to run for the hill but i still stay.
      I think its going to be a day on the couch for me until i have to pretend im okay. I’m a huge indy supporter/and inequalities so why cant fight for my own independence?

  • #65311
     Gemma 
    Participant

    Hi iwantmeback,

    You say the other day you actually said outloud your leaving. For a woman in your position, who has had years of emotional abuse and intimidation… this is MASSIVE. Psychologically a turning point. I reached that moment. It didn’t matter how or when, the feeling of relief inside of saying it outloud, meant for me at some point it would happen

    It took a while. I lost my nerve a few times. But then he pushed me too far. I never thought I had any strength left. Then I discovered I did. We all have a line. Or a point of enough us enough. Trust me you have yours too

    I am just over a few months in now since I left. I have had my challenges. But life is a million percent better. I start my new job on Monday. First time I have worked in over a decade. I am terrified, but excited. And this is a different kind of terror. This me now making my own choices. Looking after myself. I don’t need or want anyone else to do that for me. It’s still a novelty having my own money, though I did go a reckless phase and spent more than I should. But the sheer pleasure of buying presents for my children and grandchildren without having to ask permission, or be told what was acceptable or or not was amazing.

    I just wanted to say to you that it will happen. Don’t lose faith in yourself. There is a life waiting for you the otherside. Just gather up your courage. It was very brave if you to tell your Doctor. I am here to talk anytime.

    Best wishes
    Gemma

    • #65336
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Hi Gemma, thank you so much for your long reply. I’m using my phone so have to keep double checking my spelling and If it makes sense. Im spelling police, big bugbear of mine but would NEVER pick up anyone else’s. Yes just saying it outloud made such a difference. No-one heard but i did.
      I know Im not in as bad a situation as some of the amazing, strong women in here, but what i do know is that abuse of any kind should not be tolerated. We’re in a ‘quiet ‘ spell just now, but i know i need things in place for the next time he kicks off. Telling him i find his behaviour unacceptable, literally made him laugh at me. And the usual reply of…if you don’t like it, there the door. Usually this happens late at night. Plus I’ve to leave the keys to the car, mine in name but he pays for it, and leave the house keys. I so need to get a spare cut. Im saving money up just now. Im no longer buying stuff to make me feel better, I’m putting it buy fir my rainy day
      Much love and tapadh leibh mo charaid (thank you my friend)
      IWMB💕💕

    • #65337
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Good luck with your new job too Gemma. U must be si chuffed. I dont know if I’ll ever be able to work again. I have degenerative disc disease and find im getting really panicky around new people, not so bad, concentrating on breathing exercises helps. Enjoy your children and grandchildren. I rarely see my Son and daughter or my wee grandson. He doesn’t like me spending time with them. I dont really know my children as they had to leave me and stay with their dad as living with my partner was to much fir them. Ive missed out on so much , yet at times i dont think I’ll ever leave, then i picture myself on my own in my own place and it calms me down. It was my daughter talking about Christmas dinner and spending it with my mum and dads started me on this new journey. I dont want another Christmas wasted, getting anxious if I’m going to see any of them as he doesn’t like spending time with them. You go but don’t expect me to, is what i get. Then i feel I’m clock watching. Long enough so everyone’s happy. Too looking and it’s the silent treatment for days😏😏
      I’m really pleased things are going well for you. Be kind to yourself
      IWMB💕💕

  • #65935
     xxxxhelpxxxx 
    Participant

    Hi. I’m new here. I’m over 50. Been divorced and for into a new relationship with another man a few years later. A man who (in hindsight) has been abusive to at least one of his other partners. I saw it but thought it was her causing it. She was a nightmare. He was never horrid to me. He had an affair with her and we were having an affair within that. Not proud of it but that’s how it was. Eventually, he threw something at her. She called the police and he ended up with a caution for assault. They finished and we started ‘going out’. We lost a lot of friends over it.

    All was good to begin with. I knew he had an anger problem but he said he’d do something about it if I asked him to. I asked him and he refused, saying he didn’t see the point of talking to strangers about his problems.

    Over the last (not many) years I have been chased around the house, locked in, locked out, been shouted and screamed at when I’ve said something he thinks is stupid, been held down on the bed, we have had so many social events spoilt because he has been in a mood. He nearly ruined my daughter’s wedding day for me because he was in a mood. We struggle for money, which doesn’t help but can just about make ends meet. He doesn’t like my job. He hates his job. I have to call him all the time during the day cos he works on his own and ‘gets lonely’. I work (Detail removed by Moderator) and I always know this is going to be a bad time. He is incapable of doing anything by himself. I’m not allowed to go out on my own at all. He doesn’t see that couples should be go out on their own, at all, ever.

    I met my mother for a couple of hours recently, the first time I’ve met with her since (Detail removed by Moderator). He got really upset and angry coz he wasn’t invited. He said that going for a meal was excessive and that me and him should eat together and I shouldn’t eat with my mother. I got so ground down that I agreed not to have a meal with her, just a drink. He made me tell him where we were going, followed me there and sat in the car park and kept looking in the window at us. My mum and I shared a starter but I did not order a meal. He came in and demanded to know why I was eating and why there was a set of cutlery next to me(waitress just put it there). He left eventually and sat outside again. He then wrote signs and held them up to the window declaring his love for me.

    I have told him that his actions would be seen as abusive and he just makes light of it. He tells me I make him do these things. That he only does it because he cares so much about me.

    I am so miserable but don’t know what to do

    • #66103
       Iwantmeback 
      Participant

      Hi xxxxhelpxxxx, welcome to our clan🙂
      someone said that to me and it made me smile and feel so welcome that i use it now too. Your story saddened me, where do these men think in anyway what they do to us is justified. Do you live with him, do you have any ties to him financially or otherwise. Ive been doing a lot of soul searching and i know ive fooled myself into staying longer than i should have because a)I’d already been divorced (he was passive/aggressive)(just recently dawned on me)
      b) feel I’ve invested too much time, money and emotion into this relationship and i wasnt going to fail again.
      Plus because WE see the good in people and think if we love someone enough everything will work out for the best😏
      I have yet to contact WA or a lawyer but know it has to happen esp as we are in a fairly quiet time just now. Its at these times that we think logically and are more US, that we need to get as much information and not let the guilt get in the way. We do what we have to as women to survive and no one knows how we survive more than the women on these forums.
      Keep talking to us, keep diaries(even if what happens is petty, its the petty things that add up). We have to eat and drink to keep healthy, but there will be days, weeks when you may realise you don’t remember the last time you had a dinner. Be kind to yourself. But most of all keep safe. Can you confide in your mum, i cant ( mine is too ill)but i can talk to my doctor.
      Best wishes to you
      IWMB💕💕

  • #65936
     xxxxhelpxxxx 
    Participant

    Sorry that’s so long. There’s more than just this but it would take too long to write. This is the first time I’ve posted about it. Have started another thread

  • #65982
     Confused123 
    Participant

    sending love to all you ladies, im in my forties and it hurts me so much when i hear ladies even at 50 are still been abused, sending love and strength to u, my mu is going through emotional and financial abuse too, its so hard to see, she wont leave o i just give her love and support and strength how to handle so it doesn’t break her

  • #67325
     xxxxhelpxxxx 
    Participant

    I do live with him. We rent a house together. I rented on my own before this one and he moved in. He said he thought it would be better when we got a place together (I had to move out of the last place anyway). We have no children and all mine are grown up.

    It was amazing to begin with. Such fun. Definitely in love. It’s just got worse since. He has scared me with his anger. He says he doesn’t get angry, he gets ‘upset’. He has kicked out at me, locked me in the house, locked me out of the house, he has held me down on the bed by the arms, turned off the electricity when I’ve had ‘too many lights in’ (one because I was in the living room), he has held me against railings outside a supermarket, run into me with his car, laid himself down in front of my car to stop me driving off. When he’s angry he drives like a d**k and I’ve told him if he does it when I’m in the car, I’m getting out. I did that (only going slowly) and the first time he handbrakes the car in front of me and knocked into me and the second time was when he ran after me and held me up against the railings. In hindsight I should have just shouted and screamed and gor someone to intervene. The police were called recently because I tried to leave because we were arguing and he came after me. I was scared so did loudly say I wanted him to leave me alone. Eventually I did go back in the house so he left. When he came back he ‘fell’ up the stairs and pulled a bookcase down the stairs. When the police came, they were concerned. It took me about 10 days to actually call them back to discuss it. I have now been classified as standard/medium risk of DA.

    He used to have ‘breakdowns’ before due to stress but he used to have someone else to bear the brunt of it. Complicated situation before. He has no friends. He has a caution for assault on another woman.

    My children are aware of what’s been going on and they are concerned. I do talk to them. I don’t see them as often as I’d like. I haven’t got the same relationship with my grand children as I used to and it makes me really sad. My children don’t like him but they will tolerate him just to see me.

    When things are good, they are great. We make plans for the future, etc. But I am constantly in fear of something goingwrong, of saying something he thinks is stupid or saying the wrong thing. I have a constant anxious know in my stomach.

    Someone said about sex after an argument! When I think about it, that’s what happens. Argument, he ‘makes compromises’ and we have sex. He said it’s the one thing that we are good at. Don’t get me wrong, we have a good relationship in the bedroom but sometimes I feel as if it’s expected.

    I have been invited out to a candle party by someone and I haven’t even told him. Just like I’ve already made excuses for not going to my work’s Christmas party. I know he’ll say I’m abandoning him to rot on his own (those are the words he uses).

    Oh my, another essay! Sorry. I couple go on and on some more still. It’s lots and lots of little things that add up.

    I have tried calling the advice line but cannot get through. I haven’t even told him I’ve got two days off work!!

  • #67330
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi xxxxhelpxxxx, i have just had to double check who was writing this, some of your paragraphs have literally been mine, esp the one regarding your children disliking him and having no relationship with your grandchildren 😞😠.
    I cant get over the similarities in our stories. I get the plucking up the courage to say you’ve been invited out(tho my OH says he never stops my) no they don’t but it’s what you come home to,sometimes for days, when you do go out.
    Sex was the only thing we had in common, adventurous, thought I’d meet my equal. He’s tainted it, i lie like a store dog, I’m not adventurous, or next day, it’s, what was THAT last night. We don’t make love, we f..k, s..g,bu.f, any terminology is used except a loving one. I can’t do it now, it makes me feel cheap and a vessel. Thankfully hes not physically forced me, it’s usually the poor me routine.
    I get that by not having an intimate relationship it can cause damage, but sex with someone who abuses us is no longer a loving intimate act😢
    Take care and try not to take it personally, even though its the most personal part of us we give to another human being.
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #67332
     xxxxhelpxxxx 
    Participant

    I have only been out on my own a handful of times since being with him. Each time has been met with drama, constant phone calls, texts and messages. I’m fed up of it.

    S*x! He’s never really forced me, as in held me down and raped me but he makes me feel as if I should be having sex with him and he gets disgruntled if I don’t do we end up doing it anyway. He doesn’t go to bed very early (now a bit earlier than 3am) but I can’t go to bed before him! And he has digs at me for falling asleep on the sofa!! He doesn’t see that I’m knackered. And if I sleep in at the weekend, it often sets him off too! I can’t win!

  • #67334
     KIP. 
    Participant

    Try reading Living with the Dominator by Pat Craven. Abuse always gets worse and the fact he has assaulted another woman is a huge red flag.

  • #67335
     KIP. 
    Participant

    I hate to say this but if he was my step father I wouldn’t let my children anywhere near him. His behaviour is isolating you which is another abusers tactic.

    • #67342
       xxxxhelpxxxx 
      Participant

      Hi, if you’re referring to my post, my children are all over 20 and don’t live with me anymore. He is not their step-father. When he is around the children and grand children, he is great with them. That makes it even harder to explain what’s going on.

      He is definitely isolating me to the extent that I have to arrange to see my children in secret when he thinks I’m doing something else

  • #67346
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi help i saw/see my kids in secret too or find im having to deny seeing them on occasions. My oh doesn’t even pretend anymoee, he just avoids family occasions where he possibly can.
    💕💕

  • #68569
     Nemesis 
    Participant

    I have only just realised after seeking help after (detail removed by moderator) of marriage that I was an abused wife. It came as a shock I didn’t want to believe it. My husband wasn’t violent he didn’t shout or rage, surely all the problems were mine. I was told he was a covert emotional abuser and on looking it up on Google I was astounded he fitted every area. I had excused, hidden, accepted all his abuse. I was stupid, a drama queen, a liar, incompetent, fat, ugly,a poor cook, a bad manager. I believed him. Gradually I accepted more and more and the abuse got worse. It came to a head when the abuse became obvious to others. My sister held my hand and helped me walk away. I was finally able to tell her some of the things he’d said and done. She was horrified. Over the last months memories of things I’ve pushed down have emerged and I’ve seen them for the abuse they were. He hasn’t wanted to let go even though evidence of cheating have surfaced. He hoodwinked my children but recently my daughter caught him out. Karma. I am moving forwards but have fallen when he’s managed to disrupt my life. I’ve blocked email and phones but he still keeps trying. Lots of you ladies have experienced worse than me. In the world ignorance of the toll on the abused is so misunderstood. But I’m working on believing in myself I hope you all are too it’s not easy.

  • #68576
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi @nemesis, it’s so funny how all their behaviour is practically identical. The more you’ll read on here, the more you’re eyes will open. I really don’t know why I’m staying, fear i guess.
    He brought up the subject of getting rid of our dogs again. Well mine really, but the two of them growl and bare their teeth at him now, but I’m afraid to contact dogs trust in case he was only sounding off, but I can only protect them so much. He’s already punched me down when I stepped in front of him to prevent him thrashing my dog. Now every time he rages at one of them, I freeze and say very little or nothing at all.
    It was very very brave of you to leave your husband 🤗.
    I hope I find the strength to do the same one day soon.
    Welcome to the forum, it’s a lovely place to talk, to vent and to get unconditional support🤝
    IWMB 💕💕

    • #68665
       Nemesis 
      Participant

      Thank you Iwantmeback it is a relief to have someone to tell. I feel guilty and ashamed. I hear women talk about how can women stay when they are being abused its ridiculous. I say nothing. Only once did I answer back and say they shouldn’t say that lots of abuse is hidden and they could be making people feel worse about their situation. They were shocked. They didn’t realise I meant me. I hope you can find someone to help you leave. It’s a hard road even when you’ve left because there is so much damage to deal with. But you aren’t frightened and walking on eggshells anymore. You don’t feel constantly anxious and have to screw your courage up to walk into a room. You feel alone because few can understand what has happened to you but you were alone before and the few good times you had were paid for later. Make a plan. Start saving. I got a secret bank account. He found out after I left and was furious. Too late!! But finance is a big control so work out that before you leave. Good luck.

  • #68669
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi Nemesis, thank you for your reply. Yes I’ve a plan, long winded but a plan all the same and I’ve been saving properly, not spending on stuff to make me feel temporarily good about myself. Everything goes into my leaving fund🤑🤑
    Its all about educating people isn’t it. I never knew about trauma bonding, I do now😔
    That’s the arguement I’m having with myself just now🤔
    I’m with him, I’m so unhappy, fearing the next outburst or I’m on my own, unhappy, but I can breathe, I don’t fear him coming home, fear I say or do the wrong thing, have to perform when I dont want to.
    Leaving is becoming more and more enticing now. The good him never lasts. Even if it’s just once a year or an every day outburst, peace never lasts.
    So, yes I’m seeing myself more and more without him in my life. I’ll deal with future feelings. The psychologist i saw recently actually thought due to my outlook on life that I may not need councelling but she said that it is available for me once I’m out and am no longer in survival mode.🙂
    IWMB 💕💕

  • #69719
     Doris 
    Participant

    Hi All, I am definitely well over 50 and retired early (encouraged by my husband). I empathise completely with the comments over hidden verbal abuse, sulks, criticism, foul language etc. I stayed with him while the children were living at home. I have tried to leave on only one occasion since the children left but he cried and swore he’d change. After (detail removed by Moderator) years marriage I thought I’d be a b****h if I didn’t try. At that time I had a good job and would have been financially secure on my own. I could kick myself! Now I find I am trapped in a terrible marriage 24/7 with a man who is steadily getting worse with his accusations, anger, criticism, lies and talent for twisting words. A few weeks ago he even accused me of thinking he was a f****g idiot. No, I wasn’t and how on earth can he read thoughts – that is how ridiculous it has become. I realise the only way is to leave but I don’t know how to go about this now I have no job and I am in my silver years. I know I cannot expect anybody else to make the decision but how do you start? I saw a solicitor a year ago who listened but was non-committal about the way forward until I actually employed her. Help.

  • #69720
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello there Doris, (I’m assuming that is not your real name…)
    I too am over fifty and not that many years out.
    I hope I completely get it – with the complications (financial, health, emotional and otherwise) around getting divorced/separating/leaving abusive relationship at an age like ours.

    I’ve not had a good year health-wise, however I don’t regret my decisions to leave for one second.
    I do definitely believe that there is a ‘third-age’ that can be better than what went before.

    I’m sure as this thread shows that there are many, many women like us who are looking to change our lives
    in this ‘third age’. I’m sure the ladies on here can help walk you through it step by step (hold your hand in a virtual sense).

    If you are anything like me, I had never thought things would turn out like this, but believe me, I am not sorry…

    all best and if you wish to message me going forward I will check…messages
    Happ(ier) NEw Year
    ftc
    x

  • #69725
     Doris 
    Participant

    Hi Freedomtochoose, yes, you are right – Doris is not my name:0) It is somehow strengthening to know someone out there can empathise, who has been through this and come out the other side. I have made the decision that I must leave for my own sanity and the promise of a future without a constant black cloud following me about. Tell me, did you arrange to rent a place/somewhere to go or did you wait until solicitors were involved ie. remain in the household? Although my husband shouts he wants divorce when he’s raging he refuses to actually see a solicitor. And I really need space between us. Luckily we have a large house and I have my own room to retreat to.

  • #69726
     HeasvHeart 
    Participant

    I am not over 50 but I am inspired and strengthend by this thread, so thank you!
    Many of you have shared your experiences and thoughts with me on other threads and you are definitely helping me through the most confusing time ever! My biggest fear is what if it isn’t abuse and what if I make a huge mistake and I lose my best friend and live heartbroken forever. Your experiences all sound much worse than mine.
    Anyway, I just wanted to say that you all help me and many others I’m sure, so thank you for being amazing xx

  • #69728
     freedomtochoose 
    Participant

    Hello Doris,
    I went to a women’s refuge. This was the only option I thought I had due to psychological abuse and financial abuse. It took me a few years to fight back on the finance front and like many women did not exactly get a fair settlement (which I don’t have yet in any event. The organisation Rights of Women I am sure will help you along. Google it.

    I left with a child which complicated things but now we have a happy life together in the main. With struggles and challenges…

    In a strange sort of way, I would not say I am ‘heartbroken’ but in contrast as difficult as the journey was (and is) I would say I finally found my heart. It was there intact all along. Just that someone didn’t appreciate how beautiful it was (is). But I know that there are those who do. Like all the ladies on here.
    ftc
    x

  • #69736
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hello Doris and welcome to the forum. I too am over 50, chronic pain affects my ability to work, so I’m at home most of the time now. It’s too much time spent thinking, remembering about what he’s said and done over the years. I realise I can’t change that, but I can change my future, to one of peace and calm. No shouting cos I’m not holding a bit of wood right or putting the toilet roll on the wrong way. I’ve actually been putting it on my way on and off now, a wee bit of fighting back. Pathetic isn’t it, but to us its a huge decision to defy him🤗 I think as we are we are putting into place a quieter time of life, we dont want the chaos and drama that living wirth such a man brings us. It’s not about sering friends and family, it’s about having the choice to see them.
    I cant even go for shopping as I’m afraid what I but/ make he’ll not easy or even like. Funny though, he’s been actually complimenting what hes been given for a few weeks now, I definateky think they realise when we’ve had enough. I’m constantly getting told, if I don’t like it, there’s the for. I’m the one bringing up the divorce word, but all he says, is I’ve been put out of better places than this.
    I know it’s a defence mechanism on his part, but when you have been told constantly throughout your marriage that he diesnt care, or he can go anytime as can I, it really makes you feel worthless.
    I’m so scared to stay again to, how will I even be able to decorate a house on my own, but furnishing fir it, if he refuses to give me anything, though a solicitor would soon put paid to that. WA have their own solicitors who specialise in divorce. Have you spoken to anyone. I’m dealing with the local group rather than the national helpline.
    It’s hard dealing with this at any are, but look at what you’ve achieved in your life, the jobs you’ve had, children you’ve gave birth you and raised. We are stronger than we realise, it’s just theyve worn us down for so long, we’ve lost sight of the strong, vivacious younger woman we were. But she’s still in there, listen to your inner self, your gut instinct. It’s there for a reason. Talk to us on here anytime, you can personally mail any of us, I’m sure someone would talk one to one to you. I’m a firm believer in the #Suffragette movement, we are modern day #Suffragettes, fighting to end abuse.
    #21stcenturysuffragettes 💜

    IWMB 💕💕

  • #69739
     Halfwayout 
    Participant

    Hi Doris, I’m in my 50’s and in the process of leaving with two young adults. Like you my OH said he would move out and leave us half the house, this time I called his bluff and said yes. I saw a solicitor and set the wheels in motion (unfortunately it’s a very slow process ).
    Get a solicitor good in Domestic Abuse, keep a journal of abuse, record or video him, get things in writing from him i.e. Text or WhatsApp, I gave my OH a few months to move out as he said he would, but he was playing for time and hiding thousands of pounds. If he loves money, like my one does he will do ANYTHING to keep it, he will stall and move the goal posts at every step.
    He won’t believe you’ll leave so be prepared to be “love bombed” and hated at the same time, it is an emotional rollercoaster.
    Unfortunately I was advised by my solicitor to stay put in the family home and I will say it has been torture, I go “grey rock” the same house as I learnt he would use or twist anything I said. I totally get what you mean about getting space to think, I just wanted the same when I started this whole fiasco, how I’m supposed to make major decisions when your waterboarded with abuse is beyond me.
    Get good friends behind you, chose wisely and don’t be frightened to be on here, it is an obsession but knowledge is power.
    We’re never too old. xx

  • #69816
     Doris 
    Participant

    Hi Everyone, many thanks for the support you have all given – I am so grateful. I understand what you mean, HeavyHeart, when you wonder if you actually do suffer from mental abuse. I am the same but I think that this is all part of the manipulation. He’s either a good guy or a bad guy … but the bad guy is insidious and most definitely controlled. I used to think his anger was simply out of control until a counsellor from the charity Mind put me right (I went to Mind because he was telling me I was mad, having a breakdown, psychotic etc.and I wondered if he was right!) Now I just have to look back on my life with him to see how most events in my life have been blighted by the bad guy. From holidays, birthdays, even my own graduation after studying with the Open University, was destroyed by cynicism, anger, jealousy etc. And yet when he is the good guy I start to wonder if I am just imagining things or over-dramatising. Is this a good cop, bad cop thing? I guess only we can answer that question ourselves as our experiences are different (although similar) but I would say that the fact you (HeavyHeart) are on this website indicates that all is not well. IWMB: I have looked for a local group but have not found one yet. Is there a list of local groups or do I need to phone? Take care out there. X*X

  • #71466
     Pasturesnew 
    Participant

    I’m well over 50 and haven’t been divorced that long. In your stories about husbands, whether current or ex, I see so many similarities with my own ex. I know I put up with his abusive behaviour for far too long, but I consider myself still young enough to make a fresh start on my own.
    Well done, Doris, for getting an OU degree. I’m going to start one this October. I did degrees when I was younger but am now looking at a completely different subject area. I’ll also be moving house soon and am looking forward to that. Life can begin again – and be so much better.

  • #71467
     Iwantmeback 
    Participant

    Hi Doris, I’ve found that local WA(if there is one) is advertised on the Google page when looking up women’s aid. Even if there’s not one in your own town, there may be one in an adjoining one.
    💕💕

  • #71471
     Landy 
    Participant

    I’m over 50 (Just!). Lived alone and very much a career girl until three years ago when I met my ex. Lived together for only (detail removed by moderator). He was recently arrested again and this time, I’ve made a statement although I’m still waiting to hear if the police are going to charge him. It’s taking a lot longer than I thought it would. It’s like waiting for the funeral after someone has died 🙁 I thought I was too old and sensible to be manipulated like I have been by someone I still secretly (well, not secretly now…) hope will confess all to the police and beg for help in dealing with his abusive behaviour. This is the hardest thing I have ever done 🙁 I’m not ok, but I’m going to be.

  • #71676
     sweet freedom 
    Participant

    I am over 50, and I know Im still broken by what happened, I have massive trust issues, with friends – if you let me down just over something really small it feels like the end of the world because I trusted you. I was controlled for years and the weird thing is that I didnt even know what was happening, its so slow and its “im just making sure you’re alright” and you feel bad because hes so caring isn’t he?
    The birth of our child really made it worse, before it had been so subtle that I didnt even notice it till years later, he was jealous as the child was of course my focus,(same with all mums) he never stopped being jealous, treating me like a 1950’s housewife despite the fact id just had a baby and was barely coping, it was all my fault. AS the child grew older it became physical and the child witnessed one time my head was cut open as I was thrown off the bed, the child didnt tell me till years later, and I burst into tears ashamed.
    Its a mind control the way I thought it was all my fault, I still think I was at fault in some ways, the child saw a school counsellor over anxiety problems and asked my permission to say exactly what had been happening and I said yes and that was it, the headmaster called me to one side at school leaving time and the ex had to go. Its weird how that person that you feared, the person you felt like you were stepping on eggshells around the whole time, suddenly seemed deflated, beaten down. I am lucky that he cared enough not to try and get any revenge for my new found freedom or maybe he had realised that he wasnt going to win.

    Freedom was very bizarre, me and the child sneaking out the back door to go to school and work because he still had a front door key and we bolted it to stop him coming in. (detail removed by moderator) years later I am happy, so incredibly happy I can never trust anyone ever again and never have dated/had relationships etc I want to stay single for the rest of my life, child is an adult and still having anxiety problems but is so amazing. Child sees dad a few times and we have family do’s etc, he hates that I am strong and happy but he is too selfish to do anything to me, he did try and commit suicide a few years later but rang me as soon as he had taken the tablets so I was able to get help.

    People judge DV survivors I feel and say ‘why didnt you just leave’ – they dont understand so I am careful who I tell, as if it was as easy as – just leave!!!!!

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