It’s not until I’ve been separated from my husband for several months that I start to reflect and I’m shocked at what I allowed to go on in our relationship. From very early on he had conversations with people online that in my opinion were very suggestive and inappropriate. This continued throughout our 9 years together and right now I can think of 4 occasions that I know about. Then there were the public things too, I remember him posting on a social media site that love and marriage goes together like a chocolate fireguard shortly after we were married.
At the time these things were upsetting and hurtful. But now it’s the emotional impact and turmoil of his actions which is exhausting! He says that he wants to be friends and have an amicable relationship for our children. But then I get verbal abuse everytime there is something I don’t do right. Which leaves me feeling like I’m walking on eggshells.
We have two children together. Now I will admit myself that I am not the most tidy person. But I have priorities. And the kids always came first. He got a few weeks off after the birth of our first child and we were in that euphoric bliss. But it didn’t last. Soon the comments started “what have you been doing all day!” With the tone and the looks this statement translated was “why isn’t the house tidy, what have you been doing?” This continued, but it was something that I just became used to.
Then we began to want a second child. I fell pregnant quickly. This time I had no worries about my pregnancy or how I would cope with a new born. I had done this before and would manage fine. My biggest difference was that I now had 2 children under 3 and I was studying to progress my career. I got up with both children through the night and recovered from a natural labour.
This time my husband didn’t get as long off with us before going back to work. My first day by myself went well. We walked the dogs, my oldest child got to playgroup on time, dinner was on the table when my husband came home. And his first question was “what have you done all day, it’s a bit of a mess” which was closely followed by maternity leave isn’t that difficult and I could manage better than you. (This is the guy who has never had the kids by himself for more than 2 nights without getting his mother down to help… Just saying)
When I talk to people about what I’ve experienced they often ask did he ever touch you or hurt you. I answer honestly no but I believe it was heading that way if we had stayed together. There were 2 occasions which makes me believe this. Before we officially separated I came home one night after being out with a friend. I was probably more confident as I’d had a few drinks and asked him to see his phone as I was sure he was cheating on me. His reaction I don’t think I’ll ever forget. He jumped out of bed and got right into my face with his body rigid and arms pushed back so he could shout at me louder. All I can remember is him telling me to leave and get out the house. I said I wasn’t leaving and went to bed. He came after me and pulled the covers off me screaming to get out of bed and leave. I did get out of bed, checked that the children were still asleep and phoned my parents to help me. I should have left that night but I was scared that since I had been drinking (he says he had 1 or 2, but I didn’t find this out till later) that the children would be considered unsafe.
The next time I have no idea what we were arguing about. Again he told me to leave and this was followed by him pushing shoulder. This was during the day, no alcohol involved so I know this time his behaviour was completely him.
Things were gradually getting worse between us and for some reason I was still fighting to save what we used to have. Then one day there was an odd conversation about if we would ever have more children. I can’t remember his exact comment. But it was along the lines that our current problems were already due to our second child coming along!
During all of this was my birthday. The year before I had surprised him by taking him away. So he reciprocated by doing the same for me. I remember sitting in the hotel room looking at him knowing it was over. He couldn’t sit next to me and couldn’t even look at me. We had became just friends, if that. The next morning at breakfast I was fully aware of this and started crying while in the dinning room. I left and sorted myself out before returning to finish breakfast. I remember thinking at the time that this didn’t even bother him, he just kept eating. Traveling home was awful as it was just fighting the whole way. And to make matters worse we were going home to his mum watching the kids and staying another night with us.
When we did finally admit that it was over and started to move on it didn’t make things easier overnight. There was still how we split up possessions, our house and finances. This in itself always annoyed me as he never disputed what happened with the children or how often he would see them. So soon we were arguing over money and how we would split it. One day when he brought the kids back I said that I wanted to talk about how we were splitting our savings as I didn’t think it was the fairest way that we were doing it. It was like a firework went off. He started shouting and screaming that I don’t deserve more than him (he was already getting the bigger share). Then he started going round each room in our house grabbing anything that he thought should be his. This ranged from things that were genuinely his. To the clothes dryers (the metal frames for drying clothes) to the camera that he’s never used, to pulling the kids DVD player out the wall.
And as I reread this before posting I remember other things which should never have happened in a genuine loving relationship. In fact there are probably too many to go into.
Things are better now as we are not staying together so his outbursts are more manageable as he will leave after or they are over the phone. Now though it’s apparent that he’s watching what I do. I get texts stating “that’s an odd post you liked on facebook” or “I thought you were free as I seen you had just been on whatsapp.” But it’s still taking time for me to realise that all of this is abuse and control which shouldn’t be happening in any relationship.