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    • #8443

      I do have the one kid with him. It was when we started trying for a second one that the trouble started.

    • #8410

      Ugh, yeah, dealing with the legal side is horrid. I’m learning to expect pretty much any emotion when I’m moving it along. I’m just about to file my divorce – so far I’ve had anger (was shaking with it), uncontrollable crying, a weird set of physical sensations, elation and a very strange feeling that I’m not in my body. Can’t wait for it to be done with.

    • #8409

      Sorry, mixed up mum, I think it’s that self esteem again. You need to set clear boundaries with your clients. I cannot imagine any line of work where walking in to a premises that is also someone’s home is acceptable. Confused is right about introducing a policy and keeping the door locked.

      I’m also self employed and less than 3 months in. I’ve just explained I’m facing “Considerably challenging personal circumstances”. Beyond that they don’t need to know.

    • #8408

      As the others say – you are not an idiot. If it was easy to avoid these men, this site wouldn’t exist. I consider myself very intelligent, however my last three relationships:

      1) guy who’s going to leave his partner (except of course he doesn’t and strings me along for a very long time)

      2) guy who likes to push and place hands on throat when arguing. Final straw – he punched me in the face when he was drunk

      3) two weeks after number 2, my husband. Much more subtle this time – all emotional stuff. So many red flag, but I married him and had his baby.

      Yeah, so I’m super intelligent (really, I am), but I keep very bad company.

    • #8406

      Hi Confused

      I have so much admiration for you. What you have been through makes my jaw drop. I’m not surprised you feel low in energy. I’ve been through such a tiny amount of abuse compared to yours, so I’m not surprised you feel this way.

      I feel guilt – guilt I did something that made him behave as he did, guilt that I let it happen, guilt that my daughter doesn’t have her Dad living with her, guilt that…. and it goes on and on.

      I have really shit days where I spend most of my time in bed – as long as that’s not every day I let it go – I’m very tired, I don’t sleep well and the anxiety flashes are exhausting. I tell myself that I’ve built a blanket fort from which I will plan my attack for an awesome productive day tomorrow.

      Be kind to yourself – you have faced something unimaginable and you are doing brilliantly.

    • #8404

      Oh bless you, mixed up mum. If you don’t mind, I’m going to firmly take you in hand and give you some nurturing advice. If it’s too bossy, tell me to f*** off.

      1) Fun, free and independent activities

      You need to find a way to enjoy yourself that doesn’t involve others or spending money. That’s going to seem tough I know. Grab a piece of paper so you can make a list. Then as you get ideas, write them down. Take a look at the things you already have:

      Is there a favourite DVD you haven’t watched in a while?

      Favourite book you’d like to read again?

      An abandoned creative hobby you haven’t had time to do recently?

      Are there some favourite nail polishes stashed in a draw somewhere?

      Make a list of all the things you’d enjoy doing.

      2) Date yourself – not as weird as it sounds, I promise!

      Part of improving your self esteem is having a better relationship with yourself. As silly as this sounds, date yourself. I know as a single mum you won’t feel like you have the time. Thing is, if an absolute Adonis was to ask you on a date, I bet you’d find the time then. I know I would :-). Part of the reason for that is that you’d value him enough to carve the time out – time to do that for yourself. Plan a date with yourself. Use your list of fun, free and independent things to do for ideas.

      3) About that birthday

      Did your friends blow you out just the once? If they did, then it could just be an unfortunate set of circumstances and there is no evidence to suggest they’ll do it again.

      If they keep doing this, then know this is about them, not you. I don’t ever treat my friends like that. Take a moment to pretend they are sitting in front of you, and thank them for showing you that you deserve better friends.

      Otherwise. tell your friends you want a nice girly night in, and make sure they know it’s your birthday. If they accept the invite, then tell them how much you are looking forward to it. This way you are placing value on yourself and making your expectation clear. It could well be that the way you asked last time didn’t make it clear – if you have low self esteem that can happen sometimes.

      If they do let you down, then carry on with your girly night in and enjoy one of your from, free and independent activitreally

      4) Relationships

      I’m really sorry, the others are right. I’m in the same boat, and I really need to take my own advice with this one. You really aren’t in a position to properly assess whether someone really is right for you.

      You’ll have definite proof of this if you do have friends that blow you out. Before the first time they did that, you never imagined they would, right?

      That guy does sound lovely, but if he’s taking exes back, then it sounds like he’s not in much of a position to start a healthy relationship either.

      And consider this – I’m on here because after leaving a physically violent relationship, I fell in love with a friend. He was the sweetest guy I’d ever met. It turns out now that there is plenty of evidence to contradict that last statement. He has been subtly manipulating me for the last 15 years. I’m in a right mess now because of it.

      There was no way I should have been in the first relationship because the abuse I received as a child was unresolved. And there was no way I should have ever got into a relationship with my soon to be ex husband, because I had the abuse from the first relationship and the abuse I’d received as a child. My self esteem was on the floor, and it made it impossible for me to see his unacceptable behaviouS for what it is, and not something that I caused – see my post on here from earlier this evening.

      So I know, a nice nurturing relationship seems like exactly what you need to heal. I feel that too.

      But even if this guy is amazing, imagine being loved by someone because of what they do for you, rather than for simply who you are. Imagine that person placing all the responsibility for their happiness on you. That is what you and I would do to anyone genuine who came into our lives right now.

      I hope this helps, mixed up mum


    • #8399

      Hey, that’s brilliant!! Thank you so much for sharing that.

    • #8080

      We need a big list of pleasurable activities that we can pick from when it hits us xx

    • #8065

      Just to add – up to the point I’d described above, I’d not paid a penny. They all offered free initial consultations and I made sure to use them to make sure they perfectly understood.

      The only draw back to having one that gets it – they charge a lot more than a therapist – I have the two rates written on a post it note, and I use it to keep me focused when I’m talking to her. She thinks that’s amusing!

    • #8064

      My solicitor is brilliant. I had to talk to a few. This one was right on the money. I walked in, explained he’d left very suddenly, seemed to have little interest in our daughter but then made a big deal about how he will see her for (detail removed by moderator) hours once a fortnight (hope someone else will award his medal for that, I’m done with all that). I said I was shocked because he seemed really nice, and none of this made sense, but anyway I understand I need a divorce so that I can use the courts to sort the money out, because he’d threatened to stop giving me money.

      I told her I was in an extremely vulnerable financial situation, and I couldn’t quite understand how I got there because I’m very intelligent and well qualified, so I wanted to work but there always seemed to be a reason why I shouldn’t.

      She squeezed my hand, gave me a funny looking wheel of da behaviours, and said she was going to get me a drink, take a look at that whilst she was gone.

      This was actually the nicest way anyone has ever broached that subject with me. When she came back I just pointed to the coercive control section. She nodded and then explained the issues I might face divorcing him, because he will behave in a way I might not expect. She gave me so many tips on strategies I could use.

      I hired her because she got it. My case is subtle. I have “narcissistic abuse victim syndrome” – basically a fancy way of saying I have a lot of unrelated conditions that are commonly found with people who’ve been abused by someone who’s displaying narcissistic behaviour. But because one of his control mechanisms was to keep me accustomed to a certain lifestyle, I think a couple of solicitors thought “here’s a highly strung spoilt ex wife, bit flaky, isn’t she?” One even told me I was “one of those daft cows” who’ll forgive whatever her husband does.

      It really is worth looking around until you find one what gets it without you having to explain it all. They all will have met plenty of women in our shoes – not all do, and as illustrated above some will say things we all know people who understand would never say to us (although I have to admit, I spent (detail removed by moderator)years being a daft cow who said her husband was “wonderful, and oh no, he did that because I…”)

    • #7840

      Blimey he sounds like a delight. Well done for leaving him. Yes, you should see a solicitor. See a few – most offer a free introductory session. It’s amazing how much easier it is to get through this outrageous behaviour from a controlling ex if you have a solicitor who understands your situation.

    • #8482

      Ah, you do have it within yourself to really love yourself. You don’t have to be super confident – not everyone is. From what you have said, it could well be you have depression. If you tell the GP what you’ve told us about feeling tired and low motivation, they’ll be able to say. The help they can give with that would make the world of difference – just lift you up enough to start making changes to the way you treat yourself. It won’t seem like such an uphill battle.

      Hugs xxx

    • #8444

      Hey, who said you had to get brilliant at something to relax yourself?! The tiredness thing could be a catch 22. You seem pretty low, and doing something, no matter how small, that is for you and that you enjoy will start you feeling better. One of the things on your list could be simply to put fresh sheets on the bed, have a nice bath and go to bed early, leaving all electronics downstairs. Have you told a GP how you are feeling?

      I understand you need people in your life – most people do. I wonder from what you’ve said about friends whether you need this so much that you’ll tolerate poor treatment, as even that seems better than being alone. Enjoying some of the time you spend alone will make you so much more resilient to other people’s bad behaviour, because you’ll be happier to let them go if you are being treated poorly.

      And no no no, you cannot force someone into coming to see you. If they want to, they will. What about saying something like “It’s my birthday on X day, and I’d really like to have a girly night in with friends. Would you like to come?” I’m so sorry about your dad. Of course it’s not disrespectful to do something to mark your birthday, if that’s what you want to do


    • #8066

      One of the reasons you can give for a divorce is that you’ve been separated for two years and you both want a divorce. They call that a “no fault” divorce because you don’t have to say what went wrong with the relationship.

    • #7714

      I wish this forum would notify replies, but hey! I’m with you on the not saying no part. I’m facing that myself right now, and I’m on so much anxiety meds because the idea of not agreeing with him, even in front of a skilled mediator who is aware of the situation, is giving me horrendous panic attacks.

      I’m early in this process, but the things I have to say no about will deeply affect our daughter if he gets his way, so I feel like I have no choice. I’m hoping that it’s like a muscle – the first time I do it, it feels like this. But each time I do it, I’m hoping it will get easier.

      I don’t know your situation – mine is never a physical threat so I know it’s safe to say no when he’s being a bully.

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