I don’t understand


10 years I’ve been with my OH this year. I’m quite proud of it, we’ve been together since teenagers. We were inseparable and still are to a point but things that he does and the way that he is has driven a wedge between us. I know I’m not perfect but I do believe what he does is far worse than just being a moaner.
He has a real issue with me going out, he doesn’t seem to see why he should look after the children whilst ‘I go and enjoy myself’ so he makes any opportunity I get so incredibly hard to arrange I end up not going. It makes me feel like crap. I end up having to make up some crap excuse to why I can’t go somewhere and it upsets me because I hate letting people down.
I think my biggest problem with his behaviour is how he can be violent towards me. I find this hard to write to be honest, he doesn’t fit the typical stereotype of a violent OH, He doesn’t drink, he doesn’t go out with his mates all the time, he’s not an aggressive person and he is quite sensitive. He’s not a bully, he doesn’t make me scared 24/7, he doesn’t do it that often but when that part of him comes out, I hate it.
The most recent event I had locked out the house because he had been vile to me, calling me fat and lazy because I was tired after work and I wanted him to get out of bed. He took the kids to school and I locked the door after him.
He came back and realised the door was locked and started banging on the door and the window. I could tell he was getting angry but I didn’t want to let him in angry, I wanted him to take a minute to think about how he’d treated me. My plan was back firing fast, I could see the rage in his eyes, I warned him that I wouldn’t let him in until he calmed down. He said he had, he looked calm too, I unlocked the door and let him in.
He got in quickly locked the door again and turned round and instantly started yelling, he pushed me onto the sofa by my head and then dragged me to the floor. He started screaming in my face asking why I’d done it, I said it was to show him that I didn’t want here anymore. He went to kick me as I lay on the floor but he thought better, I scrambled up and ran for the phone, he caught me and grabbed my arms, I wrestled with him for a bit but he got the phone and took the batteries out of it and threw it. I went for my mobile but he was stronger and faster…I fought with him for a bit…I’ve got the bruises to show with his fingerprints perfectly mirrored in my forearms.
He stopped yelling eventually and I was upset by this time….why…why do this? How can you want me to love you when you do this…sorry isn’t enough…you being the father of my children isn’t enough.
But I do love him…what do I do? The children love him and he is perfect with them.
I’ve gone to my parents for help to ask to move back for a bit with the children..they said no and I should just work it out with him, I’ve not told them about him hurting me but I’ve told them about how sad he can make me feel and still they were uninterested.
I am alone. I’m trapped and no one knows how I feel. I feel stupid, I feel like everyone will read this and just say ‘leave him’ it’s NOT that simple.
And I know no one would believe me, am I making a big deal out of nothing?
He does apologise and says he’ll never do it again perhaps I should just stop moaning and get on with it.

I’m a mess.

This post has been published as part of Blognonymous. Blognonymous is a group of blogs allowing anonymous posting in a supportive environment.  We encourage commenting that will help the original poster. Thank you for reading.


Women’s Aid


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13 Responses to “I don’t understand”

  1. 1 Becs March 22, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    Why are you letting a man beat you up? Do you really want to tell your kids that Daddy beat Mummy and Mummy wasn’t strong enough to leave him? I do appreciate it’s hard but if it’s between short term life being hard and a life time of suffering there’s only one answer here…

  2. 2 Catherine March 22, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear you’re suffering this alone.

    I found a good article which might help you decide if your relationship is abusive: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

    And a database of women’s support organisations: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/

    My personal opinion, and I’m sorry it’s not as easy as “it’s your fault just get on with it”, is that you are living with a man who seeks to control and belittle you by fair means or foul. Perhaps he has self-esteem issues of his own and subconsciously believes you will not stay with him unless he makes you a small person and destroys your self-worth. That is no excuse. Temper is no excuse. “You wind me up” is. No. Excuse. He will not change. You cannot rebuild your self-esteem without leaving. I’m sorry, I know it’s hard and your children may not understand for a long time. But it is really, truly, bad for them to witness your abusive relationship and live in that atmosphere, of course they pick up on it. Of course you do not want to cut them off from him, but I hope something fair can be worked out regarding access. Please seek help, you can and will manage, you can do it.

    “No-one makes you feel inferior without your consent” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

  3. 3 Just Me March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    I’m sorry for your situation. You obviously need help and support and you won’t get honest help (eg from your parents) if you are not honest with them. You need to tell them the truth about what you experience.

    Try Contacting someone from http://www.hiddenhurt.co.uk/

    You owe it to yourself, you don’t say if he is ever like this when the children are around, but if they see this behaviour as normal they will grow up thinking it is the way to behave.

    By even writing this down you have a taken a BIG step. I think you *know* you should leave. With help you can.

  4. 4 Lucy March 22, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    You are not happy, he is not happy, the kids will end up unhappy. I walked out of a similar situation, and 8 years later I still suffer mentally. You need to rebuild your confidence, and rediscover your true personality which he has literally knocked out of you. Talk to Women’s Aid, they are brilliant, won’t suggest you leave, they will just listen. There is life and love after this, it’s waiting for YOU.

  5. 5 The Moiderer March 22, 2011 at 4:05 pm

    The thing I don’t understand is not whether or not he is a good man or not (he clearly isn’t, hitting or verbally abusing you is not acceptable and as others have said will spread to your kids) but why your family didn’t support you when you asked for help?
    You are clearly a strong woman. The lack of support has caused you to doubt yourself. We all need support. Please contact the organisations listed above. You are worth more than being treated that way.

  6. 6 Linda March 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm

    You are not stupid and you are not alone. You are not making a big deal of nothing.

    Tears in my eyes reading this my love, whoever you are. I’m sending you lots of hugs and love, and possibly some cake.

    I am so so sorry to read what you are going through, I wish you the strength to try and find help, to talk, in real life, to women who have been there and are no longer. I wish you lots of love and luck in finding people who truly understand and can help. They can and they will, I understand that it’s not a simple thing to leave a man who is acting this way, but with hand on heart, who is going to tell you that’s not the right thing to do?

    I don’t understand. I don’t understand how you can detail the horrendous violence this man shows to you and say he’s not an aggressive person. You deserve better, start by being kind to you. Find help, real help in real life.

    Good luck.

  7. 7 Catherine Ross March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    I am truly sorry that you are experiencing this. No-one should have to put up with abuse, no matter how infrequent or how apologetic the abuser is.

    Only you can decide how you want to proceed. You may not want to think of your husband and the father of your children as a criminal, but sadly, that is what he is.

    You day he’s great with the children, but can you guarantee that that will always be the case? It may be that you are putting them at risk in the long term by letting this behaviour continue.

    Find someone you can trust and confide in them. Keep records of the abuse. Consider going to the police, so they at least have a record, even if you don’t want them to act on it at the moment.

    Know that you’re not alone. You need to find your voice and believe that you are better than this. You will never deserve abuse and your children don’t deserve to grow up in an abusive household.

    I sincerely hope you are able to find the support you need and that your husband is too.

    Don’t suffer in silence.

  8. 8 lifeslightlyused March 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    Oh hell – poor hon. Okay – It isn’t that easy – you are right – you love him – and your kids love him. BUT you need space right now, and help and someone to talk to. So, go and see an experienced domestic violence counsellor (you can take the kids) while he is at work – or say you are taking your kids over to your parents and go and talk to the counsellor instead.
    It is very very bad for kids to see that kind of anger – I know that firsthand.
    So – you need a plan – how do you get a plan? You call a womens service to help you, you start saving money (as much as you can manage without him noticing) and pack an emergency bag ( with important documents (or certified copies of) like birth certificates and passports and changes of underwear and clothes for you and the kids and you hide this – somewhere he never goes. Two seperate places. If you are worried about him finding them – pop in a copy of his birth certificate and underpants and then you can tell him its there in case of a house fire,flood or burglary – so everything important will be safe- looks like you are looking out for him to.
    The money – a good excuse is saving for a present for him.
    Okay – so you do this. Read this next bit – don’t stop it gets better – promise. Then you need to leave. The counsellor will help you with this – will help you with a plan and will even have the police at the house if you need them.
    What he is doing is illegal and wrong hon. Massively wrong. I love my abuser too. And it needs to be fixed.
    So you get you and the kids away from him and then either with the help of a mediator or you (if you are strong enough) you can try – if you still want to – to rebuild a safe and good relationship.
    First thing needs to be you both in good places – counselled and helped to heal and forgive (in your case) and to admit he has a problem , learn how to deal with it and forgive himself (in his)
    – if he won’t even agree to this then hon, I’m sorry, but he does not love you and is not worth it. He will end up destroying you.
    If it takes a while for him to admit he has a problem – thats okay – but he has to see it as not your fault and as the wrong thing to do.
    You can then take little steps back towards trusting this man again.
    It must be absolutely terrifying right now and your parents reaction is so so wrong.
    I hope you have other relatives or friends who can help – but if not there arfe shelters and they aren’t so bad hon.
    Take Care of you and your babies. They deserve to be in a loving family, and you deserve to be in a loving relationship – not scared and hurt. Whatever you think of you you do not deserve or provoke that. Its all in him.

  9. 9 Kate March 22, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    Lovely, you do need to get out. What you’re describing is not uncommon. A man who seems like the perfect father in other ways suddenly turns and hits you then returns to “normal” again and begs forgiveness and says he’ll never do it again. You’re allowing him to get away with it every time he hits you. He’s controlling you because you never know when he’s going to be like that really and you avoid situations where he might go off one. Let’s be clear about this. This is no way to live.

    You have so much to give, and he’s stopping you. You owe it to your kids to show them that giving and receiving abuse is not acceptable, nor is it a normal way of living. You are young and you have so much of your life ahead of you.

    I was in an abusive relationship once but it was not physically abusive. Well, it was once – but I called the police and they turned up. He tried again – on the day I moved out – but his friend was there and stopped him. Anyway, the abuse was far more subtle but equally debilitating. Mentally, it destroyed me. I didn’t believe I could leave him and do it by myself. I knew deep down that the things he was making me believe about myself was crap but I couldn’t help believing it. But in the end I got out. The difference was that others could see that in him and gave me support. I guess I was lucky.

    I think you HAVE to tell your parents what’s going on so they see it differently. Do not feel ashamed. It is not your fault he is like this. It’s his. You have done nothing wrong. It’s HIS reactions that are. The sad truth is he will probably never change.

    You are not making a big deal out of nothing. But you do have to get out. No, it is not easy, but you do have to do it. It can only end badly if you let him stay and think his behaviour is acceptable. It will get worse.

    You know where I am if you need support. You are not stupid. You’re beautiful and smart. And you don’t deserve this.

  10. 10 Paula March 22, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Nothing is ever simple is it? I feel for you so much, this is a horrible situation to be in. You are trying to be objective, weighing up the pros and cons, very willing to put your own happiness last at all times. You say that he is a perfect father to your children – he isn’t. A perfect father does not intimidate, control and attack the mother of his children, these things are wrong.

    You are unhappy, this will be registering with your children on some level. For you and for them this first step you have taken is immensely important. Whatever the outcome and whatever your final decision, you have done something positive here today, you have started talking about this thing – keep going, tell your family the truth, let people in and start to find yourself again.

    There’s some brilliant advice already been left. The last thing I would say is think what you’d say to a friend who told you this – what would you want for her? How different would the situation look if it were you looking in?

    Good luck lovely xxx

  11. 11 Catherine March 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I meant to add, if you do decide to leave, considering his response to your last attempt to shock him into realising how much he’s hurting you went, please for the love of Pete do it on the quiet while he’s out. Past behaviour is the best indicator of future behaviour and unless he does some *serious* conselling and somehow lets go of his desire to control you he’s waaaay more likely to get a radge on than have a sudden personality transplant.

    Leave a note explaining how you feel and where he can contact a mediator to arrange seeing the kids.

  12. 12 Liz March 22, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    He’s a controller, he doesn’t want you to see anyone else, and he wants you to do what he says and when he says. He might know he’s being irrational, but from the sound of it he can’t stop himself and he needs help. But that’s not your problem, and it’s certainly not your childrens.

    You say at the moment he’s a good father, but what about when your kids are older and they decide they won’t do what he says/answer him back as all kids do. How do you think he’ll react?

    I’m so shocked your parents wouldn’t take you and your kids in. I think you need to actually tell them what’s happened, and even if they can’t take you in they can support you somehow. What about his parents, how’s his relationship with them, could you ask them for help?

    You’ve had some really great advice above, try getting some help there are people out there that can help. Really wishing you all the best xxx

  13. 13 parentconfidential March 23, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Thank you all for the thoughtful comments. I haven’t heard back from the original poster yet, but I’m sure she has a lot to think about.

    One thing I would suggest to her would be Relate (marriage guidance counselling), contact the CAB for more info. You can go on your own, although it would be better for your partner to attend. This way you are giving him one last chance, if you feel that is necessary. I went to Relate with an abusive partner and he didn’t change so I left him – best thing I ever did, although we didn’t have children.

    This must be so difficult for you. You are a bright, loving woman and you don’t deserve to be treated like this by a controlling man. It sounds like he is the same man you met as a teenager, I think he feels left behind by you as you have grown up and he hasn’t.

    I would echo what others have said, what happens when his children grow up and won’t do what he says? Are you sure he wouldn’t be violent with them? I’m sorry, but it has to be said.

    Sending you virtual hugs and much love x

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