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  1. #1
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    Default End of marriage? How did you know?

    HI all - ok breathe in breathe out....I hardly have posted her anymore since my kids are now primary school age...but I guess from the title of this post people can guess things aren't going well.

    We've been married 12 years now and have 2 kids at primary school. We both work full time, have been through uni and have pretty demanding jobs. We've been posted overseas for a while now and have a year or so to go here. So we are far from family and close friends. We are in a small community here so I can't confide in anyone here, plus this is too hard to talk about with anyone at home.

    My husband and I have not been connecting well for quite a few years now. On and off we'll have a good period and some intimacy but it is such hard work for little reward. He wanted to actually leave 3 years ago but the gravity of that situation was too much for me and I convinced him to stay. I had had a tough year a work at the time and it was all too much to even consider at the time. I wonder now if that was the right decision.

    The issue is he has a short fuse and angers quickly (has depression/anxiety, is medicated). I guess little things I do don't help. The thing is, is that he presents as a kind and caring, wouldn't hurt a fly type person at work and among our friends, at least for the overwhelming majority. He is actually (self-confessed) quite insecure and socially anxious and I think this is part of the reason why me and the kids tend to cop it when he is in a bad mood. The littlest thing can set him off. He becomes angry and yells at the kids, which I can see a lot of parents doing, I guess. But the thing that really worries me is that he is abusive and aggressive towards me and does it in front of them, or when they are in earshot and know what is going on. When he is worked up about something I've done (eg not stopping the kids from squabbling in the bathroom) he won't stop if he senses the slightest resistance from me to agreeing with him that I am wrong. For example, tonight the kids were squabbling in the bathroom. He had earlier had most of the bottle of wine we had with dinner and was about to fall asleep on the couch and I asked him to help me get the kids in the shower before he did go to sleep which he kind of did. Then when they started fighting and woke him up he got very angry, called one of them an idiot and was generally very aggressive. Then he criticised me loudly in front of them and when I didn't immediately agree with him that I should have intervened. He starting yelling about me talking down to him (I wasn't, just trying to calmly resist him talking like this) then he started pushing me, grabbing me and yelling in my face so much that he was spitting (not on purpose, just angry) in my face. I was just calmly telling him to stop doing all that. He locked me on the verandah but I didn't care as I knew I could get the kids to let me in. After 30 seconds though he obviously thought the better of this and unlocked the door after abusing me again. Then he went to his study and I put the kids to bed. They were both teary so I spent some time cheering them up and now he's still in his study. That's just an example, and he can behave that badly without alcohol. He doesn't usually drink anyway. This happens maybe once a month, maybe once a week, it depends. He can also get that angry at the kids.

    If you are wondering if we are safe, well yes, he hasn't hit/punched me or the kids, but it is more the anger and aggression that I worry about. Of course I am worried about the impact this has on the kids. Unless I am completely submissive when he is angry he can go into a rage like he did tonight. This leaves me in the difficult position of having to decide whether to defer to him (thereby teaching my kids that is what a wife 'should' do) or calmly resisting (thereby risking him raging at me more, but not accepting his anger).

    I am so scared to leave or for him to leave. I am ashamed to say that I worry what others will think. I am ashamed to say I enjoy the perceived success that comes with nice family holidays and our social group of other families. I'm afraid of losing all that and I am ashamed of that too. I know that may sound ridiculous/awful/strange but I guess I am just insecure too and that makes me feel better about myself. I feel utterly selfish for even thinking about these things when my kids have suffered.

    I am worried if we split I will not cope emotionally or physically (I work so I will be ok financially) with the kids on my own, even though I assume he'd have them part of the time.

    I am afraid at 40 I am too old to start again on my own. If I did leave him it would be in about 18 months or more - into my 40s.

    I don't want to 'go through' a divorce, dividing things, the drama and the gossip and the pain for the kids. We both love our kids dearly. We do family things for them (and for us). Both of us are good parents (even if he does fly off the handle at them). The family home is a bit of a sanctuary for them.

    But I don't know what would be worse, staying or leaving. I think I can feel this kind of relationship we have wearing down my confidence? I can't be sure but maybe...

    Has anyone ever been here? I don't know if I would ever even really consider leaving. I am just so scared by it all...

    Thanks for reading

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  3. #2
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    Sorry I didn't mean to thank your post.
    I empathise with you and would also find it a very difficult decision to make. I have been in a similar situation but the final decision was made by my ex-partner. I'm not sure I would have had the courage to make the decision myself but looking back now I am so grateful that the relationship ended. It was very hard to split everything and sort our finances ect but just like other things in life, you just get the job done. We didn't have kids though and that changes things a lot.
    Sorry I can't be of more help - I hope you find some answers and help from other posters.

  4. #3
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    Your relationship sounds very toxic.

    Take control of your life if not for you but your kids.

    You will find you will get along better if you split.

    I believe your better to gave 1 good parent at home then 2 behaving like this it can't be good for you or the children.

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  6. #4
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    What you are experiencing is domestic violence. He doesn't need to hit you to make it domestic violence.

    He yells abuse at you, grabs you, pushes you, yells in your face, spat in your face and locked you outside. The kids can hear what is going on and he hurls abuse at them and calls them names. You are scared of him. These things all paint a very clear picture of domestic violence.

    I would strongly suggest you read Lundy Bancroft's "Why does he do that". I would also suggest you leave and don't look back. Men like this rarely change and in my experience the whole charade of counselling (with an abuser) is a waste of time.

    You say you are worried about the effects of all of this on the children. Yes, you should be. Would you like your kids to repeat the pattern of abuse in their adult relationships? My kids have developed mental health problems years after I split from my abusive ex. The impact of DV on children is very real and far reaching.
    Last edited by SSecret Squirrel; 06-05-2017 at 08:08.

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  8. #5
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    Oh Hun. You can't stay in that relationship. It's abusive. Would he go to counselling? (Sorry if you covered that I have a child crawling on me). I only say that as when you do leave I don't want him to have a leg to stand on saying you didn't try. But counselling might help if he can see what he's doing is abuse.

    I know you're not ready to leave yet but please please start squirrelling away money for when you do leave. Start to seperate yourself in documents. Take his name of things of yours he can access (bank accounts etc).

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  10. #6
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    Your dp sounds like mine but just a few steps ahead. I just downloaded that book. It's really interesting. Dp isn't physically abusive but I wonder is it because over the years he's worn me down so much I let almost everything go his way for the sake
    of family peace? I can't really chat now but I would recommend that book. Can download on iBooks if like me you wouldn't want him to find your copy.

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    <3 what a difficult situation.
    I can totally understand your concerns in regards to splitting but this won't stop. He won't stop. And he is likely to get worse. Eventually, he will turn on the kids too.
    Please please leave.

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    Redcorset  (07-05-2017)

  13. #8
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    It absolutely is domestic violence, just because he hasn't literally punched you doesn't mean it's not domestic violence... there are so many forms of domestic Violence that dont involve physical violence although you mentioned he has pushed you etc.

    I think it's common to worry about your social groups and how they will respond etc. and while it might feel like a really important thing at the moment (social groups) your happiness and your children's happiness is a lot more important (I know you know this)... no doubt it will be challenging at first but can you see yourself staying in this situation? I think you know what you need to do.

    I just want to mention that children being exposed to this behaviour has a huge detrimental effect on them, my 2 sons were exposed to this behaviour from their father while we were together (the first 3 years of their lives) and years and years later even after weekly visits with psychologists from the age of 5 their attitudes towards women are absolutely disgusting and I dread that they will treat women like their father did. (Not saying this is the case for you) I just think many people don't realise the impact it he on children.

    You and your kids deserve better, it's not normal behaviour and it's not ok. I really hope you will find the courage to leave.

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  15. #9
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    as other have said above, i'm pretty sure DV is happening here and to me, that would be the blazing red beacon signaling the end of a relationship (for me at least).

  16. #10
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    Well we didn't acknowledge each other this morning, but I have just said to him I wanted to talk about what happened last night and he just said 'not now'. He didn't erupt again so I guess he knows what he did was wrong.

    I thought more about what Freyamum has said about keeping the peace - I really do feel like I have lost some of myself in keeping the peace and walking on eggshells at times. I used to be a more confident person but I'm sure there are other things at play in wearing me down than just him. When we were first together, if we would fight (as couples sometimes do, nothing serious at the time), I would fight back and stand my ground. Now I don't, I just passively resist him or defer to him to keep the peace.

    He spends most of his time at home in front of his computer. It's part for work but a huge chunk of time is just him downloading and watching movies, playing games etc. If I approach him at his desk for any reason he invariably gets frustrated and huffs and pulls a face and sometimes he yells at me for interrupting him - he's never nice then and the kids know not to interrupt him. The only time he and I spend together is watching a series on TV together - I asked him to spend more time with me and this is what he did for that.

    We have mutual friends - mostly other families - at home that I love catching up with at each others' houses etc. He just wants to stay at home and never wants to see anyone - he misses nobody even though we haven't seen anyone from home for years.

    Despite all this, when he is with the kids and not angry, he's a good father. They love him and he loves them.

    The thing is nobody, no cousins even in my family have ever gotten divorced. I don't know how my family would take it. But I know that is a cowardly thing to be worried about.

    We have another year before we return to Toowooma, moving out is not an option here.

    Has anyone got advice/experience on how they cope? I am not sure if I will have the courage or will to leave when we return home. But how to cope in the interim. Has anyone ever lived with a partner for a year or more knowing that you will leave when you can?


 

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