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Tazplu

Need help reminding me why to get out

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Tazplu

Hello all,

Things are finally lining up for me to be able to leave my H, once and for all. I have a job offer out of state, and have known for years that I need to leave and the time has finally come where everything is starting to fall into place. 

I am scared of what his reaction will be, and am still not sure when and how to tell him I'm leaving. Ideally I would love to have what I need packed up & leave a note for him to find once I'm gone. I know it will be ugly & I know he will be furious, and I wish this could be a normal separation, but it won't be. Sadly he seems to always be home when I'm home, and I'm the rare occasions he travels out of town, he NEVER lets me know ahead of time, he tells me at the last possible minute.

The bottom line is that I am tired of being sad and not having a life. I wish I had left a long time ago, but for various reasons, I didn't. I am sick of any time I look at my phone, he demands to know who I'm texting, if I am doing work on my laptop, it's who am I Emailing, if anyone ever calls me me, he won't stop with the "Who is it, who is it??" interrogation. Yes, it's one of my many boyfriends, who would of course call me when I'm home & he knows my husband is there. It's just insane & I'm done.

I know I'll get the accusations that it's because of someone else, but in reality it's only because of him. It's him that makes me so unhappy and treats me like a possession, someone to reprimanded and reminded of my place. I have had to change my behavior and who I am entirely, so he doesn't get mad or upset. I'm done with going that, nothing I have ever done has caused the mental & emotional abuse to stop. I tried marriage, for me it was awful & I would never do it again. I want to see friends I haven't been able to see in forever and I just want to be who I want to be.

With all of that being said, why am I feeling guilty about leaving? Why do I feel bad for hurting him, when he has caused me a lifetime of pain? Even though he has never hit me, why am I afraid of his reaction?

Any words of advise, encouragement or just a kick in the pants is appreciated.

Thank you,

Tazplu

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Quaddie

You feel guilty because you've been conditioned to feel guilty. Not because it's the wrong thing to do. 

Abusers condition you to feel responsible for their everything.  So the thought of "hurting" them by leaving is paralyzing - a dynamic they feed (though not necessarily consciously) on purpose. That keeps you tied to them.

 

The truth of the matter is, people break up all the time. It's common and normal. And someone is always hurt. If it wasn't okay to "hurt" someone by breaking up with them, then nobody would ever break up and everybody would just be stuck forever with the first person they dated. 

Also feeling guilty and bad for "hurting" the abuser is part of having boundary issues. Reading up on and studying and learning to practice boundaries is really helpful to begin to separate what's "yours" to own and what's "his." I like the book "Boundaries: Where You End and I Begin" by Anne Katherine, as it's easy to read and digest and uses a lot of examples, but there are tons of others, too. 

A lot of times people who have been abused have boundary issues, sometimes from the time of being a child (which then predisposes them to be in abusive relationships) - or sometimes just created by being in abusive relationships. Because they teach you that you are responsible for their entire everything. It's conditioning. They also have no concept of respecting human boundaries and they honestly don't want to or care. They trample boundaries because they have zero interest in respecting their target at all. So intrusions like the constant interrogations are a clear sign that you were not permitted boundaries in the relationship.

So feeling the guilt is a symptom of the toxic relationship. But it's not a sign that you're doing anything wrong at all! It means you've been manipulated and conditioned by him to feel that way. It doesn't indicate any fact. It doesn't indicate you need to stay, or that you are indeed "bad" if you "hurt" him, or whatever. 

And by the way, the "hurt" he might feel - it's not like what a normal person feels if their true love leaves them. It's butt-hurt that his object took itself away from him. It's like toddler-tantrum anger in the form of "hurt." He doesn't view you as a person - he views you as his possession, his object. So he won't be heartbroken - not really. Really he'll be angry that he doesn't have his thing-person to do his things for him and be his thing for him anymore. 

You have the right to be a person and follow your own path. It is not your obligation in life to live it in order to serve someone else's nasty demands and be there forever just to try to prevent him from being butt-hurt that you leave. Your life is yours. It belongs to you. Not him. He has no rights to your life. Your life is your own and yours alone. 

 

Why you're afraid of his reaction - well, I think that's normal for most people. It's just what happens. But again, that fear has no meaning - it doesn't mean you are doing the wrong thing and it certainly doesn't mean you need to do things in a way that doesn't suit your needs just to try to control his reaction. He'll react however he reacts, and you won't be there. And yeah, they say it's because of other men because their egos can't allow them to see that it's them who is the problem. Also that stance, I've found to be very objectifying in itself. That a woman can't just want to leave because this particular guy is a jerk, but that rather "there must be another man" implies that a woman is not an independent entity with a mind and life of her own, and that she just flits this way and that from one guy to another because she cannot exist on her own, as her own entity - but rather can only exist as an appendage to a man. If you really think about that, maybe it'll help get you a little angry because it's actually a very offensive view, and a man who insists it must be because of other men clearly shows they objectify you.

 

Also fear of his reaction is part of the conditioning of the abusive relationship and the lack of boundaries, where you are made "responsible" for his emotions. 

 

Now, as for leaving, I'd strongly recommend the packing up and leaving a note and skedaddling. No conversations! Don't even try to have a "discussion." There's no point in it. He would only use it to try to make you feel bad and hoover you back in. Just get out. It honestly doesn't matter if you pack up and leave and just leave a note. It has no meaning in the universe as to how "good a person" you are. It's the right thing to do. 

 

Is there perhaps a way to move out a few of the things here and there, gradually, into an off-site storage unit that he doesn't know about - then you can just stop there on your way out and pick it up? I think you're really going to have to be merciless in what you're willing to let go of for the sake of getting out. Prioritize things like irreplaceable memorabilia, photos, your own computer, things like that. I packed a bit of stuff in advance under the guise of "spring cleaning" and he didn't notice. The final day I packed my car in a way that didn't show it was packed, while he was at work, and then left for my own part-time evening job, ran in the house to give him the note without a word, then literally ran back out to my car and drove away. I left almost everything. I did get some things back later, but you really can't count on it, and he refused some other things. Anything you absolutely cannot be without, take with you - get it to safety asap. I had my family photos in my hand and for some reason decided they could wait and didn't put them in my car. Biggest mistake ever, as he never gave them back and they might be lost forever.

You can do it - but some hard decisions might have to be made about what they most important things to bring are. If you can make lists somewhere safe that'll help. If you don't think you can even get a few hours alone, you can still do this. Try to position the things you're taking together. Pre-pack whatever you can. Use "organizing" or "spring cleaning" as a ruse. Whatever will help you get the stuff easy to grab. Practice packing your car in your head. If you can sneak things out gradually to an offsite location that you can pick up on your way out, all the better. You can do this.

 

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Tazplu

Thank you (((((Quaddie))))),

I need you to be my therapist! You have a great insight, and yes his view of me is very offensive. Like I could only be leaving because there's another man, sure! I initially was going to take furniture, but have since given up on that, as I took a long, hard look at everything and the furniture is replaceable. Nothing I would die without, if I didn't have, but there is a storage box of family Christmas ornaments that my children made over the years, some family photos & videos, as well as my daughter's personal items that I want to take (yes it's further complicated by taking my almost 16 year old daughter), but I have seen a lawyer and it's fine for me to move with her.

It is amazing at what you are willing to give up when it comes down to the bare necessities. I also am taking my 2 cats, as he never does anything for them other than complain about them. So I know I have room in my SUV for all of that, just wish I didn't have to leave so many things behind. 

But I will do what you suggest, and start packing things up and slowly start taking things off-site, whether it's a friend's house or some place else to store until I leave. He will never miss things, and he actually came up with the idea of downsizing and possibly selling the house (on his own, without any idea that I'm leaving), so if I'm packing up & donating things, he won't think anything of it.

It would be nice if I could just slip in to leave him a note, but I'm thinking I need to plan on packing up my daughter & 2 kitties and being out of there while he's at work one day, leaving the note then & he can find it once he gets home. May I ask if your XH was merciless with calling you right after you left? I can see mine being that way & I'm afraid he may even come looking for me. Hopefully I'll be far enough away by then, that it won't be an issue, but my heart will be pounding that entire day. 

My hope is that if we do actually put the house on the market, that it will be sold before I leave & will make it much easier for me to leave. But I can't bet on that, and unfortunately because my daughter is under 18 and he will have to pay child support, I can't just go no contact, I will have to talk to him. That will be awful, I know he'll harass me just because he wants to, and it will have nothing to do with talking about our daughter.

So maybe saying I'm scared is an understatement. I am terrified, but I also know that my daughter & I can't continue to live this way.

 

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Oh, I had to go back and give him the note because of the fact I'd had to go to work before leaving. Otherwise I'd have left it for him.

My ex was a noncommunicator so he didn't call. He spread a bunch of crap about me to his family, but that was never my home community and I had left the entire community. It impacted me, but what can you do. I knew the truth. 

You don't have to answer his calls or talk to him. Maybe you can tell him in your brief note that you will be restricting your communications to those about your daughter's welfare, or something. Other members will probably have better advice than I do on that. 

You don't have to talk to him even if he has to pay child support. The child support has nothing to do with talking to him about random this and that. You can restrict your communications just to the topic of your daughter and only respectful communications. You don't have to pick up when he calls - let it go to voicemail. If you have to talk to him and he veers off-topic or gets uncomfortable, you can say something like, "I'm not going to talk to you if you are disrespectful to me." Then when he starts in again, immediately hang up. No apologies, no warning. You have that right. You can control the topic of conversation and only talk to him if he keeps it respectful. 

You can also use email if you prefer - many members have done that.

Getting a court agreement into place as soon as possible that spells out every detail as clearly as possible about visitation will generally be to your advantage. You do not have to talk to him to make this agreement - go through a lawyer. He doesn't get free access to harass you.

 

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percolate

Definitely start moving things precious to you to a different location.  You can sort things using the pretense of downsizing (he provided you with a great opportunity in bringing up that topic).  A note the day you leave is the way to go.  He'll be furious but that's his problem.  And you don't have to answer his calls. 

It sounds like you've got good advice from your lawyer and some concrete plans. I'm glad you're able to leave with your daughter-yes, it will be a pain negotiating child support and visitation.  But given her age, they may allow her to determine visitation.  She'll be involved in after school activities, possibly have a summer job, etc and the traditional visitation schedules are inappropriate for an older teen. 

If there are any concerns about college or health insurance get them in the court order too!.  And be very specific.  You can also stipulate that your daughter will be responsible for communicating with her father.  Given her age, he shouldn't have to talk to you to arrange visitation. 

Quaddy has excellent advice about what to do when he calls.  I had to hang up on my xh four times one afternoon before he got the message that I would not tolerate any conversation that was disrespectful.  

Oh yes, and he also accused me of having another man in the picture (he thought I was going back to my daughter's father).  Needless to say, anyone that knew me knew there wasn't another man and I certainly wasn't going back to my daughter's father. 

 

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Fluffyflea

Why can't you just pack up and leave him a note?

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Tazplu

Thank you Perc & FF,

I am fine with being packed up & just leaving him a note. The issue is more with having the time to pack my car with things I can't store off-site, like my 2 kitties & their supplies. I'm sure I'll figure it out, but it will take some creative packing/donating/getting rid of things. Just a lot to do. But it all has to be done if we sell the house anyway. I couldn't believe my luck that he actually handed me a way to pack without him having an idea of what I'm doing. Then of course over the weekend he started waffling about whether selling was a good idea, I told him there is still a lot of stuff to be donated and gotten rid of regardless of when we sell the house.

My daughter wants less to do with her father than I do, so forcing her to talk to him is not an option. She does not want to see him after we leave. The timing of all of this really came up with some significant gastrointestinal issues she has had this year, which have been aggravated a great deal by stress.

Hence, it's time to go!

Thank you for your suggestions and any continued input.

Tazplu

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lizzibethak

Tazplu..........you can do this!!  Don't be afraid to do whatever it takes to preserve the safety, sanity and peace of you and your daughter.  If that means blocking him on social media, unfriending close family, text or email only...........YOU get to set the boundaries now!

And..........be prepared to hear the worst about you as he will most likely attempt to trash your reputation to his friends, family, your old co-workers, YOUR family,.......whoever will listen to his junk.  But..........when you are ready, tell those you can trust and who will support you no matter what.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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Quaddie

Oh yes, definitely block him on social media right away, and also keep yourself from looking at his accounts. You have no need to subject yourself to whatever he spews - no good can come of it, and it will only keep you mired in his toxicity and prevent you from getting on your own healing path.

 

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AZ-home

I left everything. In the divorce I was so beaten down I fought for the dog and lost. The divorce stated I get  copies of all the photographs. He never did it. I’ll let karma deal with him. 

I learned I don’t need things to be happy. My stuff was not worth the fight. It was not worth losing my sanity over. I miss the baby pictures, I won’t lie. Grab them, grab your daughter and run. It’s like i had a fire. I just started over. Im not rich. I replaced everything slowly and got some stuff at thrift stores. You can do it too. It’s just stuff. New things can be fun.  

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Tazplu

Hi Lizzi, Quaddie & AZ,

Thanks so much for your input. I don't have to worry about him trashing me on social media, as he doesn't use any & he doesn't have any friends (yes he's a loner & really doesn't like other people), so no issues there. I believe he has always trashed me to his family, but I honestly don't care. Both of his brothers are divorced, different type of abusers, but all cut from the same cloth. I keep in touch with my former SILs, which has always been a big no-no, so yay, I will now be able to keep in touch & meet up with girlfriends I haven't seen in years.

i agree it's all just stuff & can be replaced. My main concern is being tight on money until I start getting paychecks at my new job. I can't easily squirrel away money before hand without him noticing, but will do what I can. I am still in disbelief that I was able to get a job offer out of state, with a pretty good raise & is in a place I have wanted to move to forever. I am thankful beyond belief and pray every day that I will continue to follow the right path and make good decisions. It's scary, I met my H in college and went from living at home to living with him - I have never lived on my own. I am looking forward to it, but also realize it's not all going to be great & easy.

I know it'll be hard setting up a new home on just my income, but it is doable and hope I can provide a better life for my daughter. An extra benefit of where I am moving is that my son moved to that area a little over a year ago, my sister and her H are not too far away and my closest cousin is in the area too, and they have all been advocates of me leaving my H for years. I could have a posse assembled pretty quickly if ever needed. 

I am trying to work out details of where to live now and have as much as I can set up before I actually move. I feel bad for everyone that had to leave irreplaceable belongings behind, but agree that getting out safely with your sanity is most important. This has truly happened so fast, I never expected it would be possible for me to leave him.

Anyone have suggestions on what to write in the note that I leave?

Thanks,

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Ok, before I forget - the blocking and not looking on social media is more to protect YOU from bothering your own head about him, rather than if he's trash-talking you. Also if you block him then he can't see yours - and you deserve your privacy. Even if he doesn't currently actively do social media, that doesn't mean he wouldn't just to try to get to you or "stalk" you. In fact, I'd recommend changing your privacy settings - if they're not already - to exclude visibility for all except those who you specifically allow. That way if he makes accounts in the future, he still can't stalk you.

 

In your note - and other members may have better or more specific advice - but I strongly, strongly  recommend that you:

  • Keep it very, very VERY brief and simple.
  • Do NOT admit any fault or blame (even if you think that'll "soften the blow" or make you feel better about "hurting" him). You do not want to give him any ammunition he can hold against you later.  Think of this as something that could have legal implications. It probably wouldn't, but you want to protect yourself above all else.
  • SO - do NOT say anything like, "It's not you, it's me." Do not take the fall for the failure of the relationship.
  • Do not say there is anything wrong with you, or that you need to get away for your own health, or anything that he could turn around to use against you.
  • You do not have to explain or discuss or make sure it seems nice enough that he wouldn't be upset by it. You cannot control his reaction, so all you can do is protect yourself.
  • So - the best way is probably just something like, "Unfortunately, our marriage does not work, and has been that way for a long time. I have decided to leave. I will not change my mind, so please do not contact me to discuss my decision. Our communications will be limited to topics concerning our daughter. Other communications should be done through my attorney. I will send you that contact information. Sincerely, Taz."  (Not sure that's the best wording, my head's not working well right now, lol...)
  • You don't need to apologize. It's not your fault.

 

See, no explanation is needed and in fact he would use anything you say against you. He won't listen or pay attention to reason, anyway. So the briefer and more factual and unemotional it is, the better.  You make it clear that you won't change your mind, to try to keep him from trying (although if he's determined to hoover, he'll try anyway). Something like this is all that needs to be said. He won't listen to the whys, anyway.

 

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Tazplu

Thanks Quaddie,

As always, great suggestions. I certainly don't want to give him any ammunition. I am more concerned about him stalking & finding me. According to my lawyer, I can't get a restraining order unless and until he has threatened either me or my daughter in some way. I am afraid that he will come looking for me, to talk some "sense" into me, as I clearly can't make sound decisions for myself and what's best for me and my daughter. Sadly I am leaving now because my daughter pleaded with me to do so. I don't understand the thought of trying to make someone stay with you that doesn't want to be there. But again,  in his mind, I'm a possession and can't have independent thought.

I like your note, brief and to the point and no taking blame, as I'm sure it'll all be my fault any way. I really wish I could tell him I'm leaving, but there is no way that would work. I mean I can't go to lunch with a girlfriend as it is, he wants me to be happy being a loner just like him and live happily ever after im his land of abuse and misery. No thank you,

I don't want my new boss to think she hired some crazy person, but am thinking I need to say something once I start work, in case he does show up. It would not be a good surprise and I probably need to find out if there is building security. Just all the what-ifs are starting to creep up on me.

 

Tazplu

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Quaddie

Good luck with your journey! I'm sure your heart is pounding like crazy. I remember my day(s) getting ready and leaving. And I had to work for four hours before I could (that's why I had to run back in). My heart was crazy. I was shaking. But I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and trying not to think about what I was doing - I had a checklist and just did it. 

Bring . the. photos. And any irreplaceable memorabilia. Baby memory books and stuff. It sucks but they truly are very petty and inhumane when it comes to stuff like that. 

I wouldn't tell your boss right now at least. Some do look unfavorably on bringing drama into the workplace. I'd see how it goes and get the lay of the land first - and then if there is building security, you could talk to them perhaps, if you have reason to be concerned. Try not to think about that right now.  Just see how that goes.

Just one foot in front of the other. Literally push the what-ifs aside and stick to your plan. That's what got me out.

 

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Vanilli
14 minutes ago, Tazplu said:

Thanks Quaddie,

As always, great suggestions. I certainly don't want to give him any ammunition. I am more concerned about him stalking & finding me. According to my lawyer, I can't get a restraining order unless and until he has threatened either me or my daughter in some way. I am afraid that he will come looking for me, to talk some "sense" into me, as I clearly can't make sound decisions for myself and what's best for me and my daughter. Sadly I am leaving now because my daughter pleaded with me to do so. I don't understand the thought of trying to make someone stay with you that doesn't want to be there. But again,  in his mind, I'm a possession and can't have independent thought.

I like your note, brief and to the point and no taking blame, as I'm sure it'll all be my fault any way. I really wish I could tell him I'm leaving, but there is no way that would work. I mean I can't go to lunch with a girlfriend as it is, he wants me to be happy being a loner just like him and live happily ever after im his land of abuse and misery. No thank you,

I don't want my new boss to think she hired some crazy person, but am thinking I need to say something once I start work, in case he does show up. It would not be a good surprise and I probably need to find out if there is building security. Just all the what-ifs are starting to creep up on me.

 

Tazplu

She won't think YOU are crazy, he is the 'crazy one'. 

 

Life is so much better without them, you can't heal and hope to find happiness when you are stuck in a relationship. You deserve to not be sad, you deserve to be happy. There ARE wonderful men out there who will take good care of you, cherish and respect you - you deserve that kind of love. You've come so far, just keep going - because remember they never ever change and you deserve so, so, so, so, so much better. We all deserve basic human dignity, respect, love and kindness just because we exist! 

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Tazplu

Thanks Quaddie & Vanilli,

I think I will get a feel for the new job before I say too much. I know it's not me, but being new, it will be hard enough without "my past" coming to haunt me. People can't really understand the dynamics of abuse and what it's like unless they have been there. I have close friends now telling me I should tell him I'm leaving, so we can amicably split up belongings. Yeah, not going to work. I really can't let him know anything until I'm gone.

Still trying to work everything out and how best to accomplish it all. I just wish he would let me go in peace. I'm sure months from now, I'll be so happy I just put one foot in front of the other and didn't over think it. Just waiting to get to the other side, and hoping it'll be a safe journey.

I'm sure there are great men out there, but I guess there's a reason some of us are gun shy and just terrified of ever living through something like this again. My H wasn't like this when I first met him or I never would have married him, the red flags slowly popped up, and then there was the time that I really believed it was me, and if I could only do whatever it was to not upset him, things would be good. Well since nothing I ever did to please him ever made a difference, I realized it wasn't me - he would be like this with no matter who he married and no matter who his kids were. Once I accepted that as reality, it slowly became evident that he was the abuser creating the toxic environment, there is no way I could possibly be as awful as he said, and if I was, why would he stay with me? Why indeed, because it wasn't me, it never was. He unhappy with himself and projects that onto us, his family. 

I just don't feel anything toward him, I don't hate him or wish anything bad upon him, just wish he would go away. I am done with being sad & just want a life.

 

Tazplu

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Vanilli
3 minutes ago, Tazplu said:

Thanks Quaddie & Vanilli,

I think I will get a feel for the new job before I say too much. I know it's not me, but being new, it will be hard enough without "my past" coming to haunt me. People can't really understand the dynamics of abuse and what it's like unless they have been there. I have close friends now telling me I should tell him I'm leaving, so we can amicably split up belongings. Yeah, not going to work. I really can't let him know anything until I'm gone.

Still trying to work everything out and how best to accomplish it all. I just wish he would let me go in peace. I'm sure months from now, I'll be so happy I just put one foot in front of the other and didn't over think it. Just waiting to get to the other side, and hoping it'll be a safe journey.

I'm sure there are great men out there, but I guess there's a reason some of us are gun shy and just terrified of ever living through something like this again. My H wasn't like this when I first met him or I never would have married him, the red flags slowly popped up, and then there was the time that I really believed it was me, and if I could only do whatever it was to not upset him, things would be good. Well since nothing I ever did to please him ever made a difference, I realized it wasn't me - he would be like this with no matter who he married and no matter who his kids were. Once I accepted that as reality, it slowly became evident that he was the abuser creating the toxic environment, there is no way I could possibly be as awful as he said, and if I was, why would he stay with me? Why indeed, because it wasn't me, it never was. He unhappy with himself and projects that onto us, his family. 

I just don't feel anything toward him, I don't hate him or wish anything bad upon him, just wish he would go away. I am done with being sad & just want a life.

 

Tazplu

That makes sense :) . Congrats and good luck in your new job! 

Definitely, really wishing you as peaceful and as easy a transition as is possible. 

That makes sense, I felt like that too. I think it comes with the healing honestly. Like you do some healing, you figure out more about yourself and your relationship patterns and you can spot when things are off. I read somewhere that red flags generally appear as early as the third or fourth date. It doesn't mean abuse appears, but other things - odd beliefs, rudeness, self involvement, controlling tendencies, jealousy. It's hard to describe, but when you are not in the fog of abuse, aware of your family history and how that impacted you, and you're not running from pain and dating to numb it then you can start to read things pretty well. Anyway, not that it is at all relevant right now because obviously dating is off the cards for a while. There just definitely is hope. I felt the same about not being able to read people and worried that everyone would abuse me, but after three years out I now have it down in terms of spotting toxic men (not that it stopped some bad past decisions since then!). 

Your analysis sounds really wise and spot on. I'm so sorry that you had to go through that and that he has put you and your family through so much pain. I think about my ex and I think, yes he put me through hell but if that is what being around him is like then what is it to be him? Like he has to be that forever and it sounds like the worst existence. Kind of felt like some small justice, when there isn't any externally. I always think that he lives in a kind of hell that he can never get out of because of the awful person he is. 

The numb makes sense. A lot of emotions spilled up after I left, rage, pain, hatred - things that were never 'ok' to feel with an abuser - things that he would stuff down and I had to suppress to survive. A lot of it bubbles up. We have to numb at some point so that the pain isn't unbearable. 

Keep us updated on how everything is going with you. 

Sending you warm wishes xx 

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Quaddie
20 minutes ago, Tazplu said:

I have close friends now telling me I should tell him I'm leaving, so we can amicably split up belongings. Yeah, not going to work. I really can't let him know anything until I'm gone.

You're absolutely 1000% correct!  That's just their lack of understanding of the situation. I'm glad you're not listening.

 

I didn't see red flags in several of my relationships until welll down the pike. The important thing is being able to trust yourself to spot them. There's no way to avoid posers, and many or most won't give hints at the beginning, but once you start to get a feeling about it, that's the important thing.

But it's super-important to take a long long time to just work on the self. Learn about and learn to practice healthy boundaries = #1. Before that happens, it's unfortunately a good chance of getting into another - albeit a different type of abuse. They come in all shapes and forms, so another wouldn't be exactly like your ex. That's why it's very important to learn about healthy boundaries and appropriate expectations and yourself and what you like and how you want to live. This is the time for you.  It's never been about you, and now it will be, and it's important to learn how to be with yourself and get to know what you like and how you navigate the world as an independent individual, before setting foot into another relationship. All you know right now is the "you" that you've been within this dynamic. Now you get to discover, learn and grow. And it takes a long time to heal, and a long time to get the echoes of the abuser's "voice" out of one's head. You'll see. So no need to worry about that right now. Just one thing at a time.

 

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percolate

They've given you excellent advice about taking your time before you get into another relationship, what to put in your note, avoiding communication from him, etc.  Avoiding any communication with your soon to be xh is key.  Although it costs money let your lawyer interact with him and if he tries to get your attention, tell him he has to talk to your lawyer.  Your lawyer won't talk to him, but will insist on talking to his lawyer instead.  

If you have joint bank accounts, withdraw half of the money on the day you leave (otherwise it's likely to disappear).  That money can give you a cushion while you wait for your first paycheck.  

You may also want to alert your local police on the day you leave.  Some of these guys have shown up when they were supposed to be at work and tried to prevent women from leaving.  They've also been known to tell the police that their wife is crazy and report her missing. 

Once you leave, you'll probably discover many things that you didn't realize you were missing during the time you were married to him.  It might be as simple as having dinner when you want, being able to take a shower without being interrupted, or not being hassled about how you tear checks out of your checkbook (one time my xh had a fit about the ragged edge on a check that I tore out of my checkbook-I told him that no one had ever refused to take one of my checks, even with a ragged edge). 

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Tazplu

Thanks Vanilli, Quaddie & Perc,

My issue is that unfortunately I will HAVE TO stay in touch with my STBXH, because I technically can't have there be no way for him to reach me because of our daughter. And I just found this out, in order to start the whole legal process, I need to pay the attorney $3,000 as a retainer to represent me. She isn't officially my attorney until I do that, and I just don't have the money. I had no idea it was that much. I will barely have enough put together to pay for a new place for me and my daughter to live. Has anyone else dealt with this, and how did you handle that? 

It will take me awhile to save up enough money for that retainer. I really don't have anything I need a lawyer for right now, other than to keep the STBXH off my back. I have to be separated for a year before I can file for divorce, so the only real legal issue right now is to file for child & spousal support and need to come up with a separation agreement that spells everything out. So ideally, I should have an attorney ready to go, but just can't afford it right now.

As far as taking half the money out of our joint account, I can't do that since payments will bounce if I do. I'm starting to feel hopeless. Getting this job offer & having it happen so quickly was not something I thought would happen, only wish I'd had months, rather than weeks to plan ahead.

I am looking forward to being able to do things uninterrupted, just being able to pick up my phone without being grilled about who am I texting, who's calling me or whatever, will be a relief. Or being called EVERY DAY to see when I'm leaving work and then being called again when I'm not home in whatever amount of time his royal highness had decreed is acceptable, will be amazing to NEVER have to hear about that ever again.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 

Tazplu 

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AZ-home

I borrowed the retainer from my mom. I have been getting on my feet ever since (buying a house etc) and have yet to pay her back. I hope to do that in the next year or so. 

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Tazplu

Thanks AZ,

I wish I had that option, but neither my Mom or other close family have the resources to help me. I am kind of out here on my own, hoping I make the right decisions that won't come back & haunt me later.

If we could settle this amicably and I knew he wouldn't contest anything, then my costs would not be very much. But since I don't know which way this will go, even though he is generally a miser and never wants to spend money on anything, watch him break open his wallet for this.

I honestly don't know what he would fight me for, if he fights custody of our daughter, who wants nothing to do with him, she may run away if forced to see her Dad. So why fight over custody for an almost 16 year old child that has no interest in being around you? I am leaving him almost everything, just taking personal belongings. Hopefully the house will be up for sale in the next few days & he can deal with everything that's in it, sell it, keep it, donate it. Not my issue. I figured if I didn't fight him over any household items, then there would be less to contest.

I know he'll be mad that I had the nerve to leave, since I am afterall a possession. But he can't make me come back, just worry about the whole situation with my daughter not being 18 yet. But I could not justify staying and making her suffer another 2 years. She suffered enough healthwise and from anxiety issues this year. We both deserve peace and normalcy.

Taxplu

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lizzibethak

I/we did our own non-contested divorce and drafted all the paperwork/assets/liabilities.........I stayed in the house since he already had grand plans to move to the East Coast and convince his new love to sell her everything and move to Alaska....HA!  

I took on the equity loan on the house and he took my car payment, drafted my own QDRO to give him 50% of my 401(k).  My biggest fear was the judge not approving the property settlement since he only had social security and I have a good job and am still working..........income inequity.  But since he signed off on the joint filing, it sailed through without a hitch.

Now........when you get an attorney, he will most likely want to taker a tougher stance to save your assets. As long as you/he/she are willing to work together, let the attorney sort it out.  Be open and truthful about what you want and need.  You are entitled to more than you are taking.   I know you just want it over and done so you can move on, but your attorney will be the buffer to act on  your behalf and to stop and nonsense he tries.

 

Keep us posted!!  You are stronger than you know!

 

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percolate

Hopefully, he won't contest things.  But very few abusers disappear without a fight.  

Given that your daughter is 16 years old, they may not enforce visitation, but they will enforce child support.  And most abusers fight paying child support. 

Definitely let your lawyer be a buffer for you. I know they are expensive, but they are worth it.

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Tazplu

Thanks Lizzi & Perc,

If I could afford the retainer, I'd have a lawyer, so right now I have no buffer. After I am settled and have a few paychecks from my new job under my belt, things will be better. Just right upfront is when everything is really tight.

I don't know if he will contest anything, but he might. And he will call and harass me non-stop, that I am sure of. I don't want to appear that I am keeping him from his daughter legally, so if I don't officially have a lawyer, I have to be reachable. 

Tazplu

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