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    • #132475
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi there,

      Your user name gave me a wry smile, you’re certainly not alone with how you feel, but I don’t for one moment think that’s what you are.

      This man actually sounds like a sexual predator and his behaviour is very concerning. It’s not uncommon to try and please our partners by trying out their sexual fantasies, but when their fantasies increasingly get worse we wonder where the boundaries got blurred.

      Strangulation techniques are very dominant ways of showing what power they have over you – they literally show you that your life is in their hands and it is only through their control they allow you to live.

      I think you do understand that his issues are something that you cannot help him with no matter how hard you try. He is manipulating you that he can only cope with life because of you, but he was not coping with life and never will unless he faces his issues and seeks help for them.

      You are going through the sunk cost fallacy at the moment (read the recent post by eggshells) and trying to mentally justify there must be something to come out of all of the time and money you have invested in him. The only thing to come out of it is the reality he is not good for you, never was and never will be.

      My advice to you is to take as much time out of any relationship with men as possible and get counselling, support work, spend time with your girl friends, join a new group, throw yourself in to your business and do things to focus on you now.

      You have been manipulated, tricked, conned and betrayed by a man who claimed to love you. You have nothing to feel foolish about, ashamed of or guilty. Praise yourself that you are now free of him.

    • #132469
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi kitkat44 and lottieblue, thanks for your responses too 🙂

      I binge watched the series and loved it at the time, but now I keep thinking about it and different elements of it annoy me. Andie McDowell’s character really annoyed me. I kept thinking “can someone really be that indifferent or ignorant of their daughter’s needs so consistently? It was like another level of abuse from a narc mother, but then the show made us believe it was all mental health related.

      And yes, when Sean took the car back to Nate, that really hammered home the level of control and isolation.

      The meal time in the trailer that her Dad witnessed and then refused to back her up on was very interesting. This was an ideal way of showing a level of control and how awful this is; we know how badly this affects us, but when we get told these behaviours are criminal offences would any jury consider that an offence worthy of a criminal conviction or prison sentence? In isolation, no. That is why the offence of CCB has to be regularly and repeatedly in order to meet the criminal offence threshold, and when you have no witnesses it makes it almost impossible to prove.

      I’m now on Squid Game!

    • #132468
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi RainbowHope,

      The definition of a Controlling relationship is below:

      • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour

      It’s hard for me to say from your example about him forgetting things (detail removed by moderator) whether this is deliberate control or not, laziness with an expectation you’ll help him out, or whether there is any medical issue that is making him forgetful. Did you have any plans on your days off and by having to take these items mess up those plans, or cancel those plans? Did it make you late for something or delay it?

      One thing you can answer that will help you understand if it is abusive control or not is – what would be the consequences if you didn’t take them to him?

      Do you live in fear of him in some way if you refuse him? It can be a fear of violence, or moods, of silence, a bad atmosphere, anything really that would make you apprehensive about refusing him something. If the answer is ‘yes’ then there is an abusive level of control.

      There is a saying “Be careful what you tolerate, you are teaching people how they can treat you.”

      If your husband does not make you afraid but just frustrates you with his ways and always expects you to do things for him because you always have then you need to start making him be more responsible for himself. I am having to do this with my adult son now. Obviously, I did everything for him when he was growing up, but now he expects the same from me and I’m having to tell him ‘no, do it yourself’. For example, my adult son was annoyed with me that he’d got no clean uniform for work because I’d not done his washing! I told him he was now responsible for doing his own washing and it was not my job to make sure his work clothes were clean. He just looked at me in disbelief! After a few times of having to get his dirty work clothes out the linen basket and put them back on he is now doing his own washing. I am not scared of him and I’m not threatened by him, and it would have been very easy for me to carry on doing the things for him that I’ve always done, but by doing so does not do him any favours in life – he needs to learn to be responsible for himself. But I’m guessing your situation is not like that?

      There are Red Flag signs in what you have written about other behaviours, such as him telling you (detail removed by moderator). That is a sign of entitlement and not a sign of an equal relationship. The amount of messages he is sending you a day is excessive, the phone calls at work are for petty reasons and could be to check up on you or to try and get you in to trouble so you may lose your job. Whatever his excuse, there is no need for this when you are working.

      The early days of your relationship had all the Red Flags of love bombing and the insecure and needy person who has set their sights on you and won’t take no for an answer. I had this too with my ex. I often tell people “I just ended up with him.” Looking back, I didn’t really make the decision to be with him, I just was! And the rest is history…

      Lots of children go through phases of hating their parents and telling them so, but for your husband to tell your son he hates him too is a very childish and unhelpful response. Did he say it with malice, does your son believe him? If so, these are not good signs.

      I think what makes us question some of the controlling or coercive behaviours is the fact we are now aware it is a criminal offence, and we question ourselves because we ask “Can my husband really go to prison because he phones me at work lots every day?” or “Could I call the police and tell them my husband keeps forgetting things and expects me to take them to him?” When you put it like that it sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? And no, in isolation, these things are not criminal offences, but they could be behaviours of a controlling abuser.

      The offence of Controlling and Coercive Behaviour is often different to the behaviours of a coercive controller and it can be difficult to separate the two. What might not meet the criminal element does NOT mean it isn’t part of an abusive pattern.

      I would tend to agree with your colleague and that there is a level of abuse in your relationship. I’m sure if you look deeper you will be able to give many more incidents.

    • #132467
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Chocolatebunnie,

      I feel for you, my heart goes out to you, and it saddens me to tell you there is no easy answer to your situation, the solution is also hard work and an uphill journey.

      When faced with difficulties it is so much easier to do nothing and simply ‘hope’ that things will change for the better. We wait for a miracle to happen so that we don’t have to do what we know we need to do. The reality is that WE need to make those changes happen.

      Miracles actually happened for me! I’ve no other way to explain it (some church people told me it was God’s work but I’m not religious). However, my miracles happened AFTER I left. I would be in my darkest hours of my darkest days, wondering how I would get through a particular problem, and then someone would come in to my life with a solution. I’d either get a phone call out of the blue, a knock at the door from someone with good news, or I’d meet someone who could help me. I had no idea what my journey to Recovery would look like, I just knew I had to take that first step to leave the relationship and hope for the best.

      I’d tried to plan my exit but that didn’t work out. My plans were scuppered by my ex. In the end I fled. I ran away with our son. Sometimes no matter how hard we try and figure out a sensible way to leave abuse there is no answer that fits the problem. Running away is the only option.

      I am pretty sure a lot of your poor mental health is down to your relationship. Your history of abusive relationships may well have stemmed from what you witnessed as a child and the way of life you were brought up in. To you, this was ‘normal life’ as you saw no different. But that doesn’t mean it always has to be this way. You have the power to make changes. Don’t think it’s too late because you should have done it sooner – it’s never too late to improve our lives.

      There will be refuge spaces big enough to accommodate a lady and four children, but I do understand this will depend on the age of your children and their sex. Refuge tend not to accommodate boys of 16 and over. If you have boys of that age then I do get that refuge will not be an option for you, unless you can find one that accommodates boys of that age with special needs. If you can find a refuge then be aware it will not be near your home town for safety reasons. Running away like this means a whole new start in a whole new town, applying for housing, applying for benefits, changing the children’s schools. You can look on it as a new life and a new adventure, or you can fear it and stay as you are.

      You don’t have to justify to him why you have left him. You can already justify the reasons to yourself, read back through your posts and you will find plenty there.

      Sometimes we need some stark realisation to kick us in to action. I’ve no idea how old you are (and even if you replied it would be redacted) but ask yourself “How many years ahead of me do I realistically have?” Then ask yourself if you really want to spend them living like this. If the thought that the life you have now is the life you will have until your death fills you with dread then the time has come to make some life changing changes. He’s not going to change your life for the better, only you can.

      How about starting with one phone call today to Refuge or Women’s Aid and enquire about a refuge space for a woman and four children? If one is available you have a chance to run away.

    • #132464
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Gazebo.
      I’ve sent you a private message.
      Best wishes x

    • #132426
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      I was sort of expecting that could be the response you are likely to get, so as you have identified yourself, he is going to pull at your emotional heart strings and make you feel really cruel and callous for ending it with him!

      As long as you are expecting that is his intention then you need to mentally prepare how to deal with it. Be clear what you tell him, don’t ease the pain for both of you by giving any false hope (eg. well let’s just take a break for a few weeks and see how it goes), don’t give him any expectations that if he ‘changes’ in any way you will reconsider. Don’t drag the ‘it’s over’ conversation for any longer than you have to in order to show you care how much this news has hurt him, or keep explaining your reasons so that he has a chance to counter them with solutions. Don’t tell him at your place, you need to do it somewhere where you can leave once you have told him, and preferably in a public place.

      Pre plan the time and location you intend to tell him and how long you expect this to take, then tell a friend of your plans and that you will check in with them at a certain time to tell them you have told him and you have left and are safe. If you haven’t checked in with the friend by a certain time then ask them to try and make contact with you, and if they can’t reach you they need to come and look for you or let the police know they can’t reach you. This may all sound a bit extreme, I’ll send you a PM too.

    • #132418
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi chocolatebunnie,

      I have just read back through your previous posts, your history with your husband about the way he treats you and the children is so concerning. You are saying that your situation does not warrant abuse, but the history you have written about is very abusive.

      I know from personal experience that a move to a new house gives us some hope for a ‘fresh start’ and that maybe this time, fingers crossed, a new environment will bring a positive change. In reality, all we are doing is moving the problem.

      Your previous posts show that his behaviour has had extreme consequences on your children’s mental health and concerns have been raised. Please do not wait for them to get older to consider leaving him. For your sake and theirs try and find a way if you can. His behaviour to you and the children simply cannot be justified.

      I’m sorry if this post is harsh or sounds judgemental, I do not mean to come across that way at all, but I have read how you have been living for at least a few years, and I’m sure it all started a long time before that. I understand the predicament you are in and how hard it is to face the reality of the situation. Your husband will not change, you hold the key to the change you need.

      xx

    • #132416
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi everycloud13,

      I’m not sure what or whose email he has tried to make contact with you, but my advice would be to totally ignore it, or if it’s someone else’s email address, ask them to ignore it. He does not need another way to contact you, he has a way – your landline number. He only needs to contact you in an emergency. If there is an emergency (for example when he has the children and one has to go to hospital with a broken leg!) and you are not at home to answer the landline, I’m sure there is another way you can be got hold of via family members or friends/work colleagues in such a case.

      The reason he wants you to unblock him is because he wants to be able to reach you in different ways on his terms. He’s not content with your terms (he never will be.) He has already shown signs that he can control you by refusing to let you leave his house (that is false imprisonment for which he could be arrested). Make sure you have a note of the time and date of that incident because you may need to call on that in future if he continues to try and make contact with you via unwanted means. Keep a note of the date he sent the email, along with the details. Don’t engage with him, don’t explain your reasons to him, don’t feel rude by not replying. You’ve already set your boundaries, you do not need to justify them again. Just keep a log of it all so you can see it becoming a pattern of behaviour. That pattern of behaviour may become evidence of harassment / stalking.

      It’s always hard to co-parent with an abuser but we do our best for the sake of our children, you have my sympathy though, I know how hard it is.

    • #132415
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi iliketea,

      I sent you a PM, please let us know how you are today, let us know you’re still with us x

    • #132413
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Thank you for your responses, much appreciated x

    • #132412
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      Are you living together or separately? If together, are you living with him or he living with you? The answer to these questions will make a difference.

      If you were to tell him that you wish to end this relationship because it is not what you want how do you honestly feel he will respond? Do you fear he will physically hurt you? Get angry? Cry, beg and plead for you to give him another chance? Or accept what you say, walk away and wish you all the best?

      Reasons you could give him for ending the relationship are that you do not feel you have much in common any more, you are on different paths in life, you are aware he wants commitment and marriage and you are not ready for that.

      If your gut instinct is telling you that ending this is not going to be easy then you can start by distancing yourself from him and having other commitments of an evening after work and at weekends. If you are not living together this will be easier. As you distance yourself (and try Grey Rock) you will learn from his responses how this is going. Does he get more clingy, controlling and insistent that he sees you? Does he start turning up unannounced? Does he follow you around more at work? If these behaviours are apparent then these are indicators that ending the relationship is not going to be easy.

      You could apply online to the police for a Clare’s Law request to see if there is a pattern of behaviour that has previously been reported by other women he has dated. You will be asked for a reason on the form why you are applying for a Clare’s Law request and you can type that you are looking to end a controlling relationship and need to know if there are any safeguarding concerns around leaving, such as violence, harassment or stalking. Please be aware though that if you mention you are asking for a disclosure because of abuse they will ask to speak to you about your current situation so that they can record it as a domestic incident and record any offences you disclose. If there are concerns that come up during the checks, the police can help with safeguarding advice when you end the relationship and help manage any risks.

      The fact that you work together could be either a pro or a con. If he wishes to keep his job then he will accept the relationship is over and let you move on. On the other hand, if he starts harassing and stalking you and it makes it difficult for you to go to work then he is at risk of losing his job as your employers will also need to safeguard you. If he loses his job due to his own behaviour then this could make him worse towards you; in his eyes he will blame you for losing his job.

      I wish you luck and a safe exit xx

    • #132380
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi orchidblue,

      How are you feeling today? I hope you and your children are feeling better.

      I do feel for you. I have been in a similar situation, however, the fact that Covid is involved in yours make things more serious.

      I was very poorly and unable to look after my son. My ex also refused to have him and as I was too poorly I had to consider a temporary foster care placement as an option for him until I got better. Thankfully, a couple who I had only met recently offered to have him for me and took him to stay with them overnight and then helped me out for a few days. This was not an ideal situation but one that was necessary when my ex refused to help.

      Is there ANYONE you can reach out to? Any friend or family member who would be happy to come to your house and maybe sleep on the sofa or bring an inflatable bed? I’m not sure if Children’s Services could help with a temporary foster placement due to the Covid situation, but it’s worth asking for some help due to you being so poorly. If your ex then complained about his children going in to foster care he would have a lot to answer to.

      Abusers seem to believe that by somehow proving you can’t cope with your children alone it gives them ammunition to get full residency, but what they don’t see is that their selfishness and unhelpful behaviour goes against them. There are times that when you are suffering yourself you really need to take whatever option is out there to get through this – remember it’s only a temporary solution to a temporary problem and there is no shame in reaching out for support.

      Best wishes for a speedy recovery for you all x

    • #132372
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      If he is on the birth certificate he will have PR regardless of any orders in place. As has already been stated, getting PR removed is a lengthy process and requires a lot of evidence against him to do so. With him having PR, should anything happen to you he will automatically have the right to take his daughter and have her live with him. So if you wish for another family member to be her legal guardian in the event of your death you will need to get things sorted legally sooner rather than later.

      Is the Restraining Order to stop him having contact with just you or both of you? If her name is not on the RO to protect her from him and he just hasn’t applied to have contact with her yet then this would make a difference to future proceedings as he is not considered a threat to her by professionals. If her name is on the RO then this would assist you because he is deemed as a threat to her.

      I have worked with ladies who have RO’s on conviction but the abuser is still able to see the children.

    • #132361
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Brokenheartedgirl,

      If you are having suicidal thoughts please reach out to your local Crisis Team or call 999 and ask for the ambulance service. Living with all this trauma and being confused about what choices you should make for the best is so very hard. There will be people to talk to and help you through this day.


      @emptybutfree
      , you have shared some great words of wisdom and advice. It’s so good to read that you are now safe and have left that relationship behind. I am so lucky that I was never put in a near death situation with my abuser, but there were times when my situation was so bleak that I also considered suicide as an option. Thankfully, help and support was just a phone call away. @brokenheartedgirl, please make that phone call.

    • #132360
      Wants To Help
      Participant

      Hi Scarecrow,

      I read your updates and have to say his behaviour is very concerning and certainly fits the definition of a controlling relationship. I’ve put the definition below

      • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour

      Please use everything you have learned and put it in to practise and start taking the steps to end it. You know this will not improve. You know you cannot ‘help’ him become a better boyfriend by being patient and understanding of his insecurities, sob stories and behaviours. The longer you stay with him the worse he will get.

      He has shown verbal signs of aggression (I read your post before redaction.)

      Some years ago I went on a few dates with a gorgeous guy and it seemed to be going well. He would mention he wasn’t violent and he would use the terminology he was ‘non confrontational’ a few times. Then over a period of chatting on dates he would tell me some stories where he’d had to stand up for himself and threaten someone who’d threatened him. At this time, the story was justified, but I did think to myself “hmmm, that doesn’t sound like someone who is ‘non confrontational'”; he was clearly prepared to use violence if necessary. Then a few days later he told me something else to do with his child and her mum’s new boyfriend. It was very clear he was prepared to be violent to a man he begrudged having contact with his daughter. So after that conversation I didn’t bother seeing him again. When someone talks about violence like that they have it in them to be violent.

      See the flags, they’re waving away, flapping around like mad trying to get your attention!

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