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Divorce/Separation :
Trying to leave verbally abusive partner. I’m desperate for advice..

Topic is Sleeping.

 Lost2760 (original poster member #74783) posted at 3:06 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I’ve posted on here a long time ago after I found out my boyfriend of (now) 8 years had a relationship with another woman for almost a year.

I stuck around to save the relationship. He’s the first real relationship I’ve had and my longest. We have kids together.

For a long time I’ve been unhappy but content. I was in a stable place with him and the unknown is scary. However it all is really hitting me and I decided I can’t anymore. No matter the unknown is better than spending the next however many years of my life being "content"

I am just no realizing the extent of manipulation, bullying tactics, and disrespect in so many different ways. It’s like a veil has been lifted.

I calmly and kindly said that I want to end the relationship. I didn’t do the blame game. I expressed gratitude for the good things he has done and that he is a really good dad. That I want both of us to be happy etc etc.

It seemed semi civil. Then he found out I was reaching out to my friend for advice and support and he lost it. He took my phone and demanded I unlock it so he can read what I said to her. He said he paid for the phone so it’s his now. He threatened to break it. I was scared because I didn’t want him reading it to make things worse although I didn’t say anything that bad at all. I wasn’t "talking shit" like he suggests. His whole demeanor turned almost evil. He started saying the most hateful hurtful things imaginable that I won’t even repeat here. He made sure I knew how much power he had over me especially financially. I shut down and chose not to acknowledge him when he was like that. Since he didn’t get a reaction he grabbed a cup of water and threatened to pour it over my head.
He was a completely different person. I’ve seen a bit of that when we argued in the past. but this was a whole other level and side. I was terrified I felt helpless. He had my phone and I realized that if it got worse I couldn’t call for help. I don’t think he would ever turn physically abusive but after that I’m a little uncertain of that now. I finally diffused the situation and he was more rational. I instinctively went back to people pleasing mode and trying to lighten his mood because I was scared. Eventually I laid down to sleep and he agreed to sleep on the couch. Then he came in the room and started cuddling on me and touching me. I didn’t know what to do so I made my body language clear I didn’t like it. He asked if I didn’t want him touching me and again I tried to be.. neutral and said I’m confused by it. He said well if you’re so confused by it then I’ll leave. And he went to sleep on the couch.

We went to work the next day he texted me if we were gonna talk about last night and if we are on/off/neutral. I said neutral for fear of his reaction to hearing I want to leave again. Plus we both needed sleep and time so that’s what I said. I went to my aunts after work with the kids and had dinner. I told her a little bit about it I’m scared of telling people and having him find out..
When I got home he was asleep. Today he got home later so I went to lay with our son almost immediately when he got home. We haven’t talked more about it just very generic civil conversation over the phone and about the kids.

My friend is taking the kids this weekend. I think it’s best for them to be away for now but I’m scared to be alone with him. I know I have to confront it. I know that he is hurting but there’s no excuse for his behavior, making me feel scared and saying the things he did. I don’t know what to say or how to tell him I’m done. I don’t know how he will react or if he will escalate even more if I try to stand up for myself.

I don’t have much of an exit strategy. Which is dumb I should have planned it out more but I honestly thought we could be civil about it or that maybe he would feel the same way or atleast understand where I was coming from. His needs are going in met just as mine are. We are practically roommates (his words) so I don’t understand why it’s such a shock to him. I was hoping we could eventually come together and plan our separation and do what is best for the kids to help them transition and make this as easy as it can be for them. Now I just don’t know… anything. I wasn’t expecting it to get like that… I don’t know what to do or say. Other than go back to what I always do and just pretend like it didn’t happen or affect me. Pretend that everything is fine like I have always don’t after fights. I’m Just in constant anxiety waiting for him to explode again. I am trying to keep things as calm and civil as possible. I just need advice or something…

Thank you for taking the time to read I know it was long. I’m just desperate to talk to someone and get advice on what I should do. I’ve told my friend and my aunt and mom. Which I’m even scared that they know but I told them not to say anything and pretend they don’t know.. but they don’t have experience with this or much advice..

posts: 59   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2020   ·   location: Kansas
id 8792274

 Lost2760 (original poster member #74783) posted at 3:26 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

*** also to be fair maybe it wasn’t right of me to reach out to other people about our relationship But that’s how I cope with situations I lean on my friends and family for support..

I think maybe deep down he’s hurt. But he’s the type of person who is cut off from his emotions due to his childhood and things he’s been through. Every time I would go to him with how I feel hoping ti work through it or needed that emotional connection or support he would get defensive and attack me (verbally) belittle me etc. so I just stopped opening up or expressing how I feel all together.

He holds himself on a pedestal. Blames me and everyone else for our failed relationship but himself. He thinks providing financial stability and supporting me in the things I wanted to do is enough. And for some it might be. But I am an emotional person and value deep connections with people..

I know I’m not perfect and I have issues that have contributed to where we are now but I really did try… and that’s why I decided that we both deserve to be happy and it just isn’t working..

posts: 59   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2020   ·   location: Kansas
id 8792275

NowWhat106 ( member #35497) posted at 9:34 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I’m glad you’re here, Lost. You’re in the right place. You’re brave to take the steps that you’re taking. The first steps to moving out of an unhealthy, abusive (yes, this is abusive) relationship are so hard.

Lots of others will be along to help soon. I just wanted to say that your relationship isn’t a safe place for you and your kids right now. You said you didn’t have a plan, but I think you need to start forming one very quickly. Can you stay at your aunt’s for a few days while you think through what you need to do next?

Right now, you’re appeasing him by letting him think that you might not leave. This is just postponing, but safety first. Your kids are out of the house. Now you need to be. You don’t owe him a face to face if he’s not safe emotionally or physically. If he physically withheld your phone, he is capable of getting physical in other ways. Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise. You have to assume that he can and may do just that and be extra careful.

Are there things you can do to get started without ringing alarm bells? Can you move some money into a new account in your name? Can you take some of your things out of the home when he’s not there? Make a list of the critical documents and items that you need the most and try to start figuring out how to begin separating your life from his. Do this BEFORE you talk to him again, in my opinion. Don’t assume that he won’t destroy your things or hide critical documents from you to keep you in control.

You have kids, so your first concern MUST be to keep them in a safe and healthy place and not allow them to be subjected to trauma. They come first. They come WAY before him.

Nothing that you are doing is causing his behavior. He has probably controlled everything in small ways all along. He feels his control slipping. That is when he may become dangerous to you. He is already dangerous to you emotionally. Please be careful and put safety above all else.

Again, you don’t owe him a face to face. You don’t owe him any explanations or "closure." You owe yourself and your kids. Please take care and keep posting here. You will get tons of support from lots of people who have been in similar situations. For now, I’m sending you a huge hug of strength and support.

Edited to add: You were in NO way wrong to seek support from a friend. Abusive partners often try to isolate you to keep control. You have the right to speak to literally ANYONE about ANYTHING. No having support will keep you trapped. You are not alone and you shouldn’t isolate yourself to appease him.

[This message edited by NowWhat106 at 9:38 AM, Wednesday, May 24th]

Him WS
LTEA with old HS GF from 25+ years ago
DD #1: 10/6/2011
DD #2: 10/21/2011
2DS under18
My marriage didn’t survive but I did

posts: 608   ·   registered: May. 2nd, 2012
id 8792287

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 10:34 AM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I think maybe deep down he’s hurt. But he’s the type of person who is cut off from his emotions due to his childhood and things he’s been through. Every time I would go to him with how I feel hoping ti work through it or needed that emotional connection or support he would get defensive and attack me (verbally) belittle me etc. so I just stopped opening up or expressing how I feel all together.

He holds himself on a pedestal. Blames me and everyone else for our failed relationship but himself. He thinks providing financial stability and supporting me in the things I wanted to do is enough. And for some it might be. But I am an emotional person and value deep connections with people..

Women’s refuges are full of women who might have said the same thing until like you the veil lifted and they saw the reality of their situation and got out urgently and safely. Read up on the domestic abuse cycle and I hope you can see you are in it and that it is in danger of escalating. Seek advice here, from a women’s refuge helpline, or wherever you can about how to exit safely. in my view, that is NOT meeting him alone to talk about it. You say the veil has been lifted but still seem to refer to the incident as a ‘fight’ when it was straightforward coercive threat using superior male physical power. I am genuinely very concerned. Being a decent person you feel you owe him a face to face, but after that scene, you most certainly don’t. What you do owe is to yourself and your children to keep yourself and your children safe.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6646   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8792290

Devon99uk ( member #82658) posted at 12:51 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Are you able to ask one of your family /friends to sit with you whilst you speak to him to discuss what's going to happen & that you'd like to leave? I seriously don't think you should address it again whilst on your own with him. I suspect that as soon as he realises other people know what's going on and know how he spoke to you etc, he will be a lot more careful about treating you like that again... If you portray to him that you've kept his secret for him, you're inadvertently giving him the signal that he's in control of you, and that's even more unsafe for you in my opinion ❤️❤️

posts: 72   ·   registered: Jan. 2nd, 2023   ·   location: South of England, UK
id 8792295

BrokenheartedUK ( member #43520) posted at 12:58 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Like Edie, I suggest you call a womens shelter and discuss an exit strategy with them. Isolating you further is your partner’s MO and you did nothing wrong leaning on friends and family for support. The actual leaving an abusive partner can be a harrowing event and he may well escalate. You should prepare for that.

Me: BS
He cheated and then lied. Apparently cheaters lie. Huh. 13 months of false R. Divorced! 8/16 3 teenage kids
"The barn's burnt down
I can see the moon"
-Mizuta Masahide

posts: 3412   ·   registered: May. 24th, 2014
id 8792297

 Lost2760 (original poster member #74783) posted at 1:25 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Thank you all for your input and advice. I am trying to avoid anything too drastic but maybe that’s the problem. I know I’m procrastinating and postponing the inevitable but I’m trying to also buy myself some time. I’ve thought about staying at my aunts for a little bit but I’m worried that if I leave the house he won’t let me back in.
I don’t think he would be that spiteful but honestly I need to prepare that he’s capable of a lot more than I thought.

I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun or being too dramatic about the situation but so it’s like confirmation that I’m not crazy that you guys are saying it’s abusive too.

I want the kids to be oblivious and so far they are. We both agreed to not tell the kids or let any of what goes on between us carry over to them.

My friend Quinn will be there Thursday night. I thought about bringing up the conversation of separating again while she is in the house so hopefully that will mitigate any extreme reactions. Maybe I can get to the logical side of him.

It’s so confusing.. there’s the man I know him to be then this whole other person. i don’t know if there’s any hope for working it out amicably. I know he has that potential to be reasonable and understanding but I guess I that just isn’t feasible anymore.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2020   ·   location: Kansas
id 8792301

 Lost2760 (original poster member #74783) posted at 1:32 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

My aunt said I need to convey that I am going to tell my friends and family. That I want their support and that I’m sorry if that makes him upset but that’s what’s going to happen.

She also said to make sure I am clear in telling him that he made me feel unsafe that night and that his behavior was unacceptable.

I want to stand up for myself but don’t want to make things worse.

Like I said I’ve just been trying to bandaid it a long. But it’s hard for me to even think straight and figure out what I should do. I keep thinking I can talk to him and we can just work it out peacefully once he accepts that it’s over. Is that.. am I naive for thinking that way? I suppose I should plan for the worst and hope for the best

posts: 59   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2020   ·   location: Kansas
id 8792302

 Lost2760 (original poster member #74783) posted at 1:48 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Calling a women’s shelter seems extreme but maybe not idk I know my family can take me in and I have places to go if I needed to but I didn’t want to do anything drastic right away. I will start figuring out what I would need to take. I have a "go bag" ready I’m just worried of him finding that. A lot of things are all in his name. When he was being logical he said that I would keep my car and he would take his name off of it. I have a bank account with both our names on it but I only put money in it. And he has his separate account with his money. But then he flipped when he was mad and all the sudden it was his phone etc but I kinda already went into it knowing that I would lose everything. I just hoped as the mother of his children that he would allow me some grace but who knows. I can’t plan for that.

posts: 59   ·   registered: Jul. 6th, 2020   ·   location: Kansas
id 8792304

Edie ( member #26133) posted at 2:15 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Abuse works on getting you to believe you deserve it and I hear a little of that brainwashing in your hesitation. Firstly, it seems unfair to subject your friend (I recommend you change your post to anonymise her) to the potential escalation should he be ‘shamed’ in front of a third party. Please call a helpline. No, you can’t expect any grace, he even has his name on your bank account. It’s all very controlling.

Maybe a long walk in the Hindu Kush would do it?
BW (me) 52
FWS 55
Together 29 years; 2 kids 15 & 12
Dday Dec 08 (confessed) R'd.

posts: 6646   ·   registered: Nov. 9th, 2009   ·   location: Europe
id 8792307

BraveSirRobin ( member #69242) posted at 2:45 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

I would take your money out of the joint account and set up a new one in your own name. As things stand now, there is nothing stopping him from doing the same thing and leaving you literally penniless. He will use your action as an excuse to treat you unfairly ("I would have given you the car, but you didn't trust me and emptied the joint account"). This is bullshit. If he had any intention of treating you fairly, your finances wouldn't be set up the way they are in the first place.

Unfortunately, without being married, you probably have no legal claim on any of his assets. It's definitely time to consult an attorney about your rights in your jurisdiction and about child support. Start with a women's shelter, because they often have legal advocacy services.


posts: 3628   ·   registered: Dec. 27th, 2018
id 8792317

MIgander ( member #71285) posted at 9:27 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

Real quick note about legal assets and such being a partner and not a spouse- depending on the state you live in, there’s a common law marriage concept. Basically if you’re together, sharing a residence, sharing finances for more than a certain amount of time, you can be treated as a divorcing married couple and have protections in place as you separate.

Getting in touch with a women’s shelter will definitely be a good idea. They can connect you with lawyers skilled in abusive separations like yours.

You’re being abused and you don’t deserve any of it. You could be Mother Theresa herself and still he would treat you like this. The age gap, your inexperience at the beginning of your relationship, the financial set up, his isolation of you and your acceptance of his repeated disrespect (one night stands?!?) all point to an insecure, controlling and abusive person.

The first thing he did when he found out he was losing control of you and the narrative was to forcibly isolate you by grabbing your phone.

You need to get out. You and your kids.

None of this is your fault. He took advantage of your youth and naivety and brainwashed you into believing it was your fault.

You deserve kindness and respect from everyone in your life.

WW/BW Dday July 2019. BH/WH- multiple EA's. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

posts: 1180   ·   registered: Aug. 15th, 2019   ·   location: Michigan
id 8792388

foreverlabeled ( member #52070) posted at 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023

the unknown is scary

Oh yes it is. It can be quite paralyzing. I think that plays a big part in your hesitation. He sounds a lot like my ex, it took me too long to realize anything was better than that. Even the unknown.

I struggled greatly with my fear of the unknown. And then it hit me that life is simply one great big unknown no matter what you are doing with it, your station in this world, how happy you are or sad. You live the unknown every day. In any moment life can give you it all or take it all away.

You will have to work on the fear surrounding the unknown. And leaving is never an easy decision to make let alone execute. Its a double whammy to the senses.

You did the right thing to deescalate the situation. I know it must leave you feeling  a bit disingenuous but thats ok. You are in a situation that calls for it. His behavior leads me to believe that he is extremely capable of taking this and turning it into  dangerous situation. You have to protect yourself. Even if you have to fake your way to safety.

I agree that you need an exit plan. Like, yesterday.

I don't think you should bring it up with your friend there. I think that's a terrible idea for two reasons.

One. He doesn't need to know anything more from this point. Seriously, you saw what that led to, forget about him being decent, ITS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. If you are done, he doesn't need to know. In fact, he already knows, he just bullied you into taking it back. Do not give him that chance again, do not give him a chance to escalate it further.

Two. Doing this in front of your friend will most likely add fuel to his range. I think it will backfire in the worst way. As soon as she's gone and you're left alone with him. Honestly, I don't see this going well. I would advise against this.

What I advise is act first, think/feel later. Quietly set up your exit. Its hard to think about all the ducks you need to line up, but we can help you with that.

First thing you need to do is secure a safe place to go. With that person knowing this could potentially be an extended stay. Six months or so? I don't know, how ever long you forsee becoming stable enough for your own home.

You might not want to set any alarm bell off by moving money just yet. Not large sums anyway. Go ahead and open your own bank account. They might send you mail so you will want to look out for that. Sometimes a deposit is required. Call ahead to the bank and find out. If you can't transfer money from your existing account, every time you go to the grocery store get cash back how ever much you can at a time without raising suspicion to fund this.

Get this far and you're halfway there. After this its your own will that will take you the rest of the way. You'll know what to do.

posts: 2597   ·   registered: Mar. 1st, 2016   ·   location: southeast
id 8792405
Topic is Sleeping.
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