Gransnet forums


Another failed marriage

(79 Posts)
Susysue Sat 24-Apr-21 03:43:17

I am really struggling at the moment and hope you can help me see the wood from the trees. I am mid 50's, have 3 living adult children and sadly lost my second child at birth. The children were all to my first husband who I met at school and was with for nearly 20 years until we divorced, having never recovered from the death of our daughter. He was a good husband and father but we just grew apart following the tragedy. I had a few other relationships, whilst raising my children who are now successful adults who I am so proud of. What I am not proud of is myself. I met my 2nd husband nearly 9 years ago and everything was good at the start. Alarm bells did ring a bit when he admitted he had been married twice before and his adult children to his first wife, refused to speak to him or see him. He blamed his first wife from brainwashing the kids. However having lived and been married to him for 6 years now, I believe there is a lot more to this than he is ever going to admit.. I am a strong woman who has not only lost a child but my first divorce ended up being very stressful, my mother died of cancer, my beloved father developed dementia and at the end, literally starved himself to death (he was in a care home but just refused laterally to eat), I developed breast cancer after he died (caught early so I am fine), daughter developed anorexia due to pressure of med school, etc etc. Meanwhile husband no 2 has shown his true colours as somewhat of a bully, treats me like a modern day slave, and is very controlling money wise and in other ways. His late father was the same. Having been independent for many years whilst raising my children as a single mum, I have found all of this unbearable. Had he been a loving, caring man to me, I could coped. However he has shown very little concern or caring for me during the above, even walking out after I came out of hospital post breast operation, as I criticised something minor he had done. He has always been a good sulker and always thinks he is right and knows everything. He is also very lazy.... a week before we got married, he took early retirement at age 58, and has done nothing since. I own the house we are in outright but he pays the bills, food etc from his pension. He moans all the time about money, penny pinches and when arguments occur (which are more and more ) he continually throws in my face that "his money is keeping me", though he seems to forget it is my roof over his head. I am cash poor and totally rely on our joint account which he watches like a hawk and I have to justify even food bills. However all this paled into insignificance when during a heated argument, I wanted out of a doorway which he was blocking, I tried to push him out of the way to let me past and before I knew it, he grabbed me, totally lost his temper, had me in a headlock and then threw me across the room. I very nearly went head first into a glass door but my head struck the wooden fascia instead. I lay there completely dazed and frozen in shock and pain. Meanwhile husband is now sitting on the sofa watching tv. I got up. Took myself off to the spare room. He never apologised, never came to see I was ok and since then, when I bring it up, he says he reacted like that as I pushed him!!! I have never experienced anything like this and I just cannot get over it. Since then, there has been a lesser force used against me but again another troubling experience. He seems to be completely unable to accept responsibility for any of his actions, either minor or serious and I just cannot live like this. I have confided in one close friend but though my children know I am unhappy, they have no idea 're the abuse above. I am ashamed and embarrassed. My mental health has really suffered and I have struggled. I now feel that I do not want this marriage anymore but fear for the future. I know I will have a fight on my hands 're the house which is totally in my name but he will have a right to some of the assets from a sale of it, though presumably the same applies to his pension, investments he has etc. I just feel ultimately a failure that I chose this man and ashamed that my kids are going to have to witness another marriage of their mother's going down the pan!! What sort of example am I to them when it comes to relationships? Should I just plod on or should I bite the bullet and divorce?? The one thing which I have done since the start of the year is I have moved into the spare bedroom and have no intention of moving back. He seems to have accepted this, though it was a struggle. I am not advocating by the way that I am faultless but advice please would be appreciated

Scottishgran2 Sat 24-Apr-21 04:16:06

Hi.. My heart goes out to you.. You have nothing to be embarrassed about.. You have raised 3 children and own your home. Hi is abusing you mentally and physically and you don't need to live like this. He won't change and his penny pinching will get worse. See a solicitor. Sell the house and see what you are entitled to of his. Hopefully you have enough for one bedroom flat and have piece of mind.. You are an inspiration to your children and I think they wouldn't want you to live this way. You have the strength to do this. I wish you well

nanna8 Sat 24-Apr-21 04:33:05

Definitely leave him. He won’t improve. I agree with Scottishgran2. You may need to seek refuge from him so find out what is available nearby. Start salting away some money if you can and seek legal advice. Perhaps there is some available as an abused person? I’m thinking legal aid. Tell your children, don’t keep it a secret because you will need support. Good luck and thank you for sharing on here. Hugs.

Lolo81 Sat 24-Apr-21 04:55:09

Please please get some support. Tell your children. I would want to support my mum. Could you try and quietly seek some legal advice and get your ducks in a row? If he raises his hands to you again phone the police?
It’s easy for folks on the outside to give advice. I know, I’ve been there and it feels so shameful, but it’s not your fault. You’re not lacking. You may not be perfect, no-one is, but you are not to blame in any way for someone being abusive. From my experience, when it happens once, it can and will happen again - especially if you hide it from your extended support. My experience was almost 20 years ago and lasted for years, slowly escalating. It stopped when I stopped keeping his secrets. I told people and I left. I still feel sick about it, and it takes time to heal, but you can do it!!

Please take care of yourself OP and seek some advice on how to proceed and get out of this unsafe environment.

gt66 Sat 24-Apr-21 05:20:23

Sorry to say this, but he doesn't like you and is probably jealous of the fact you own your own house and is resentful of paying the bills.

He also doesn't respect you, to treat you like that, then be so unaffected by what he's done; I'm afraid that really shows how he feels about you.

I think you need to start the ball rolling to separate (if that's what you really want), because I don't think he'll change and now he's done this, I think it'll happen again.

Get some advice from a solicitor or Citizens Advice on how you stand re the house being in your name, but as far as I'm aware, because you are married, he may be entitled to half, but the fact it was owned outright by you before marriage, may have some bearing.

I'm in a similar situation to you; there's no physical violence, but other issues and I understand completely your phrase about your mental health. I'm so close to calling it a day, but feel worried that I'm physically and mentally up for all the upheaval and concerned about where and what I'll end up with (property wise).

Also, please don't worry about what your children will think. They would be horrified to find out he's abused you like this and if it happens again, call the police. He's probably lying low at the moment, as he knows he's stepped out of line, but I'd be worried if his temper flares up again.

Keep posting on here as you'll get lots of support and advice.

Loislovesstewie Sat 24-Apr-21 05:46:11

If he is violent again just call the police, contact a solicitor urgently and see if you can get an injunction as he has been violent to you. If you can't speak after you dial 999, once you hear the operator speak dial 55 and the police will attend. You do NOT have to put up with him, I don't know if you are working but check what benefits you will get and speak to the DWP, you might be able to claim in advance if you can prove you are estranged. PLEASE do not suffer one second longer, you deserve peace of mind. And contact Women's Aid for advice too.

Alexa Sat 24-Apr-21 07:05:11

You need to take care of yourself. This man's problems are not your responsibility they are his responsibility. If he had asked you for your help in dealing with his problems your duty would would be clear, to help him; but he has not asked for your help.

Oopsadaisy1 Sat 24-Apr-21 07:14:07

Please believe that it is Not your fault. Stop keeping this a secret, tellyour children, in fact tell all of your relatives what is happening and then get started on separating yourself from this awful situation, get advice from a Solicitor and start divorce proceedings now.
He won’t change and you are strong enough to sort this out. As someone else has said you will come away with enough to provide you with a place that is safe, although not ideal it is far better than what you have at the moment.

Shelflife Sat 24-Apr-21 07:31:32

Tell someone , your children , a friend. That is your first step towards escaping this tyrant. ' screw your courage to the sticking point' and disclose your fear. If you do nothing then nothing changes , only you can change the situation. When his violence flares again call the police.
I send you lots of luck and courage!

Notinthemanual Sat 24-Apr-21 09:20:36

In my experience while this kind of situation remained a secret it lacked a sense of reality in a way, or rather once people knew it seem more real and clearer to me; more manageable.

That looks weird written down, but maybe you get what I mean.

On similar threads, Women's Aid has been suggested. Try every resource available to get out of that vile situation.

storynanny Sat 24-Apr-21 09:43:49

Please leave , you have years and years of your life left. Your children will understand.
I was completely ashamed to have 2 broken marriages ( first emotionally and financially awful and second a rebound) I was completely wrapped up in what people would think.
I left. Nobody disowned me
I met someone else who is now my lovely third husband. Nobody judges me, my adult children are all fine.
I was not much younger than you when I left husband number 2, I’m 64 now and can’t imagine how different my life would have been if I hadn’t left.
Wishing you courage and happiness

vampirequeen Sat 24-Apr-21 09:55:31

Report his violence to the police. See a solicitor (most do a free 30 minute session). Contact Women's Aid.

You have done nothing wrong and have nothing to be ashamed of. Abusive men don't abuse from day one. They drip feed the abuse so that really weird/unpleasant behaviour becomes your norm.

If you owned the house prior to your marriage then it's not classed as joint property in most cases,division.%20However%2C%20there%20are%20exceptions%20to%20this%20rule.

Now is the time to plan and make your escape. Get everything in place before you serve him with the divorce papers but don't dilly dally as violent bullies never stop being violent bullies.

Jane43 Sat 24-Apr-21 09:56:09

You are still a relatively young woman, the same age as my older son in fact so you have many years of life ahead of you, why spendnthem in misery? I honestly think your relationship is beyond repair, get the best legal advice and report any violence towards you to the police, it needs to be on record. It seems that he has taken advantage of you and used you as a means of retiring early. Be aware that if you divorce him you may be entitled to half his pension but unfortunately he will be entitled to half of what you have including the house you are living in. That is why you need the best possible legal advice. Be strong and do what is right for you.

Jane43 Sat 24-Apr-21 09:58:10

I just read Vampire Queen’s post and he may not be entitled to half of the house which is very good news and a reason for getting the best possible legal advice.

eazybee Sat 24-Apr-21 10:13:01

This marriage is not going anywhere and you need to get out of it as quickly as possible, with very good legal advice.

Granny23 Sat 24-Apr-21 10:46:22

SuzySue You are young with perhaps 40 years ahead of you to enjoy with your family. Now that there has been violence as well as coercive control you would have grounds for removing him from Your home via an interdict, rather than you leaving. People on GN usually tack on contacting Women's Aid to their advice, as if it were an afterthought. I would recommend speaking to them as a first step as they will be able to support you, offer counselling, inform you of your legal rights, help you claim any benefits you might be entitled to, refer you to a lawyer who specialises in this type of work and offer a safe place to stay if you need to disappear for a few days while an interdict is served, etc.

Best of luck

Fleur20 Sat 24-Apr-21 11:04:35

Whoa whoa whoa... you have NO reasons to be ashamed OR embarrassed.
Whatever faults you may or may not have there is NEVER any justification for physical violence in a relationship. And the mental pressure is abuse too.
And in your heart you know this... and you know what you need to do. Get your ducks in a row..see a solicitor, tell your children. Tell EVERYONE.. with your head held high.
You do not need this man or his controlling behaviour. This is your life, for the rest of your life and you deserve so much better than anything he has to offer. It will be tough, but its all there waiting for you. And when it gets scary we are here for you too.

Susysue Sat 24-Apr-21 12:13:53

Thank you all for your messages and support. I am humbled by your kindness (and I am in tears reading it) unfortunately 4 years ago, I sold my pre marital home and we moved to a completely new area so I think this rules out suggestions 're my house being secure. There is also another complication that means for I cannot put the house up for sale for at least another 6 to 12 months and I have absolutely no money of my own to use to live on elsewhere etc I also have 3 little dogs who I cannot leave. I forgot to add in my original message that he somehow has had access to my emails, Facebook etc in the past. He is an ex IT guy and I found out he was receiving all my emails. I just pray he isn't still doing it as he may find out about this. I am having panic attacks, have insomnia and now major depression which this week has been awful. The only light on the horizon is I am going to be a grandmother for the first time in the autumn. At the moment though, even that wonderful news feels overwhelming. My children know I am not happy but they have their own lives and I don't want to burden them with the whole truth of the situation. I feel they already suffered enough when their dad and I split when they were young... There was unpleasantness for years after the split as I had to fight their corner with him for everything as his new wife tried everything to hurt us financially, including threatening to take the kids out of their private schooling. I know you will all say that they are now adults and I should tell them the whole sorry tale but I just can't at the moment ( maybe in truth I am also scared that my daughter in particular will lose it completely with her step father). I asked him to leave the house several times recently and he refuses. He keeps saying I have mental health problems and it is all my fault. I think you are right, he has used me and certainly doesn't like me, love me or respect me. I certainly don't love him anymore.

gt66 Sat 24-Apr-21 13:39:40

Susy go into your emails regularly and delete anything you don't want him to see, as I believe Gransnet notify you by email when you have a reply. Don't forget to then delete it from Trash, as it stays there for 30 days (at least is does in mine). Then perhaps you should open up another email address for stuff you don't want him to see and make the password hard to guess.

Also don't alert him to the fact you might be leaving him, as he might 'hide' his assets if he knows a split is on the cards. It might be difficult, but see if you can find details of any accounts he has and record his pension, investments etc.

Loislovesstewie Sat 24-Apr-21 13:56:00

He is also gaslighting you and subjecting you to coercive and controlling behaviour. NONE of this is your fault! PLEASE I beg of you, contact Women's Aid. You can be so much happier than you are now. I used to work as a homeless officer and I know what some people do to their partners;how long it takes for the victim to realize they must leave and how they feel. You must take advice and end the marriage.
'Better a dinner of herbs where love is than a stalled ox and hatred within.'
I must be angry with him that is my second Bible quote recently. Really you would be better off with peace and the ability to be happy. No amount of money, no house however large or any possession is worth more than that.

Grandmabatty Sat 24-Apr-21 14:31:01

You have taken a big step by writing on here what has been going on and how it makes you feel. That's huge. If you read the posts, they are all really supportive. What makes you scared to tell people in real life? Is it the fear that it then becomes real and you will be pushed into rushing a decision?
For what it's worth I think you have to leave this man as soon as you are able. He is abusive in many ways and it will not get better. Please contact Woman's Aid for help, even just to talk through what's happening. I think you should contact a lawyer for specific legal help regarding your house. If you were my friend,I would be offering you my spare room. This abuse you are suffering needs fresh air. He thrives on secrecy. When you are ready, take the next step. Good luck.

vampirequeen Sat 24-Apr-21 15:28:46

You won't be left penniless. You will qualify for benefits and although it's not easy you can live on them.

You need to get legal advice about the house. If the house was bought solely with the proceeds for your other home then maybe it doesn't count as joint property.

Susysue Sat 24-Apr-21 16:09:35

Thank you all, I am so grateful that you have taken the time to reply and confirm to me what I know in my head and my heart. I also have read up just now about gaslighting and you are right, this is exactly what he has been doing to me. Indeed he has been so successful that I have gone from being a woman of determination and strength to one who is questioning every thought in my head and my own sanity. I feel so incredibly anxious. I could never understand why his two adult children refuse all contact with him, even emails. He continually used the sob story that their mother brainwashed them. I have never met them and I was told not to contact them by him. However I have done in the past, and though his son did not acknowledge it, his daughter replied. She said several things including "I hope you are getting the respect you deserve" and that she had no intention of ever letting her father back into her life as he was"toxic". She said she would rather not communicate with me either as she was scared to let me in to her life due to me being with her father. I felt so shocked at her words but the seed was sown in my head that he had probably treated her mum in a terrible way. Every so often I send them a message to say I am thinking of them but rarely get a reply which I understand and don't take personally. I have when I have felt strong tried to speak with him about what happened in his first and second marriage, even saying that I believe he mistreated his other wives but he of course denies it all and gets really angry so I drop it. I know I need to make an appointment with a lawyer but will have to ask one of my children for a loan to pay for it ( how embarrassing) . Xx

Loislovesstewie Sat 24-Apr-21 16:21:56

Just remember;if you need to talk again there are people here who are willing to listen.

gt66 Sat 24-Apr-21 16:49:53

Sorry, Gransnet notify you by email if you have a private message, not when someone replies on the thread.