Feeling isolated and scared

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  • #21010 Report


    Hi all, a little background. I am married (in the middle of a divorce) with two small children. I told my husband our marriage was over a year ago. We are still in the same house. It’s hell. I work part-time and earn significantly less than him. We are trying mediation but he always wants to hold something over me. There’s always a surprise he has in store for me. I feel like he’s always trying to keep me on the back foot. I have been cooking for him and doing his washing, to try and keep the peace. I’ve told him I’m no longer doing it and will look into if we can arrange the bills to be shared 50/50 (as in can I get UC while he’s in the house). He’s done his usual and has told me he will reduce all his payments at the end of the month to half. He takes no responsibility for the children while in the house during the week (I do Monday to Friday and we alternate weekends – I leave on his weekends – he sometimes does and sometimes doesn’t for mine).  It all doesn’t sound much but I’m not sure how much more I can go on. I can’t move out because I can’t pass the credit checks to rent based on my salary (although I could just about afford to with UC). He earns plenty to move out but won’t. He says he wants the house and the kids 50% of the time – even though he has never even done the school runs unless an emergency. He is very charming (except to me) and everyone thinks I’m an awful human being for leaving him; my family included (which he is MILKING). I can’t see an end to this. And I just don’t know what to do. Except moan. Sorry. And thank you for listening.

    #21016 Report


    I would look to get some advice from cab or maybe even a solicitor, seems like he’s taking advantage of your good nature and you’re getting all the crap.

    #21021 Report


    Hi, I’m new on here and your post is the first I read and I can immediately identify with you.  I am not having to share accommodation with my husband but I too am in the middle of a divorce with 50/50 custody which we mutually agreed to. He earns the vast majority of our income to which he has sole access as we never had joint accounts, therefore, he is financially controlling.  We do not have a joint account and therefore he is financially controlling.

    You sound to me like you cannot breathe, or get away from his presence, which is I guess, what you are trying to get away from!  How far are you through the divorce process?  Is there an end in sight for you?  But, as I well know the interim is isolating and scary as you say.  Can you go to CAB and explain your situation is unbearable and see what they come up with as an interim measure?  I am happy to chat to you so you don’t feel quite so alone, it would help me too.  I get where’s you’re at.  It’s not a good place but it will end and get better.  That’s what I’m banking on, as it can’t get much worse.  Stay strong, you’ve got this far……the kids will keep you going; getting through is doing it for them.  xx

    #21024 Report


    I have been in the exact same situation. My ex (who I am divorcing) was always trying to hold money over me when I kicked him out I had to declare myself bankrupt as he had left me in £30k of debt again he is lovely to everyone but beat me up and I’m so glad I had the balls to get him arrested for it. Unfortunately I had to fight to get him to see his own son and daughter as he wanted less time (he has them one night a week) as he needed his rest as he works full time (as do I!) Thibgs will get easier though but defo get some advice re money etc

    #21039 Report


    So sorry to hear you’ve had such a bad time of things… sounds like you’ve had awful experiences.

    I can relate to Daffodils about living in a house with someone after them pretty much saying it’s over and it is sheer hell, again it was for a year or so but even when it’s just this undercurrent of knowing things aren’t right while trying to keep up appearances and act like everything is ok in front of your kid, when you know full well they understand and know everything that’s going on…. they pick up on everything.  There is nothing more humbling than a 3 yr old putting an arm around his father saying “you ok daddy?”, or coming to the conclusion “it’s all my fault” when his mum kicks off, it’s heartbreaking to hear. This is without any of the things that the four of you have had to endure such as domestic violence, so I can only imagine what it must be like.

    I wouldn’t encourage anyone who has made the decision to split already, to remain living together though though under any circumstances.  It might be tough at first but staying in that situation is just prolonging the time you spend in a “bad place” and postponing recovery from it.  The longer the situation is like that too the worse it is for kids, as they are quite good at adjusting to change, even big ones once they know where they stand but when in a confusing situation that they find really difficult to understand, and those undercurrents etc and bad vibes they pick up on do more damage than I think people realize.

    Obviously in any domestic violence situation I’d say for safety’s sake get out right now regardless but even without that urgency it’s important to get that space from one another once the decision to split has been made.

    Daffodils I agree with Dizzy’s mummy you are being way too soft and he’s taking advantage.  You need to look after yourself.  What you described in your post is narcisistic abuse.  They can be very charming yes, very controlling, and play the victim so well….

    Do NOT let him isolate you from friends and family, this is really important, and set firm boundaries about what you will and will not accept – seriously sounds like you need to get out of there though for sake of your own sanity if nothing else.

    Hope your situation improves soon.


    #21044 Report


    Thank you all for your lovely comments. It means so much to have someone back me up. I am beginning to see the narcissist (low level) in him (I think!) but always feel like I should try harder. To keep the peace. To show to the kids that we’ve done our best, to make sure that he isn’t alienated from them (even though he does a damn good job himself). I have my own mother telling me I must always be kind to him. And I can’t vent at many people! I have a solicitor and he’s fuming about it. “I TOLD YOU NOT TO USE A SOLICITOR!” as said in the mediation. Tells me I’ve lied but won’t tell me what about and that he will raise it in the next mediation session. That he’s noticed financial irregularities (I work in financial services – there are none!) that he will bring up in the next mediation. It’s like I’m always on trial but I don’t know what for!

    Lynney – I am divorcing him. He has refuted all the statements in the divorce papers (I even changed some for him) but has agreed to the divorce. I have applied for a decree nisi now so should be divorced by around May or June time I think. However, he has said right from the start (spring last year) that he won’t move out until August 2019 at the earliest. And he’s sticking to it still now – fixed rate mortgage deal up then.

    #21046 Report


    Hi, im sorry to hear that your having a hard time with your ex.

    Im feeling very scared and isolated. my partner left me two days before Christmas. due to us arguing. I have a 4 month old girl with him and now he;s refusing to see her. hes making me out to be a psycho. coming up with absurd things to put me down.  and I really don’t know what to do. ive found out that hes so dangerous with his mouth and hes making me out to be horrible. im so very down. Don’t know what to do and how im going to cope?

    ive had to move in with my mum and its putting a stress on our relationship. she puts me down

    don’t know where to turn

    #21050 Report


    Hi Daffodils

    Sorry to hear your in a horrible situation. I had a similar situation as you. My Ex is a low level narcissist and I did everything for him (apart from cooking as he would tell everyone that I was crap at it). I divorced him and it was made final in March last year (best day ever) but he stayed in the house in the spare room. I would just make sure that my son was in bed and then I would go out, even if it was to my parents or pub. just to be out of his toxic company. he eventually moved out an stopped paying the bills (I do it all on my own) but he kept saying that I would be nothing without him and I needed him, to everyone on the outside he was the victim, even though it was all him (and putting images of himself on websites!! – All my fault apparently!!). we are still sorting out the house (I am buying him out) but if your ex’s wants the house, then get the house valued and ask for a large buy out figure.

    But……………I am almost 2 years away from him and I’ve never felt better or been more myself. so what I am trying to say, is just try and ignore him. he is saying and doing all of this to make you feel like you wont cope on your own. YOU WILL and you will find a strength that you never knew you had before. it will get so much better. I promise. if you ever want to chat, feel free to message me.

    Your a fighter and amazing and it wont last forever. xxx



    #21086 Report


    To quote a book I read on the subject once… Extreme narcisism is the only disease where the patient is left alone and everyobe around them needs and gets treatment.  It can be an absolute head****.

    They twist things and make themselves angelic in the public eye while systematically isolating and destroying thise unucky to be close to them.

    You have to break that cycle.

    The gaslighting where things are done or said that make you question if you are the problem is worse….

    Stay strong…do a series of reality checks about all that is said and done… Dont let them be your only source of perspective…make sure you get point if view and preferably wuality time spent with your friends and family and you’ll pull through this.  As Lou hinted at above you eont really understand how trapped you were until you are out of the situation….you will be stronger for it.

    Look forward to your new life….

    #21088 Report


    Hi Lou and Welshdad,

    Thank you so much for your comments! They are EXACTLY what I need to hear. The gaslighting is only just coming to light. For instance, my daughter’s bed was not put together so I decided to do it. I found the nuts and bolts but couldn’t for the life of me find the allen key. I mentioned this to him and he said (in an accusatory tone I might add), it obviously wasn’t put back in the right place when it was last used then (bearing in mind he took the bed down to decorate :-D). Anyway, I asked a few neighbours if they had one and then the other day my friend was coming over to help me with hers. And low and behold, the allen key was with the nuts and bolts. Not a mention of it and I now KNOW for sure if I had said something to him, he would have denied having put it there. And I would have felt like a fool for not noticing it was there all along. I said nothing. And put the bed up on my own yesterday. Just one tiny example and I actually have NO idea how many times I’ve had the wool pulled over my eyes over the last 18 years. So subtle. I must stay strong and not trust him again.

    Shons – be strong. You ARE strong. What people say about you, mother or not, isn’t your truth. You know your truth and anything that is said to you is likely just what they think about themselves – they are projecting. It hurts, for sure (my mum is the same – if only you’d done this, been that, behaved like that etc) but you can make your head stronger and learn not to take it in. You sound like you blame yourself – don’t. You have a tiny wee baby who adores you and always will. Do your best by her and she will make up her own mind about how people treat her. Continue to encourage contact but at the end of the day, it’s his decision and not one you should lose sleep on. Chin up. Today is going to be a good day 🙂

    #21124 Report


    Hi Daffodils and Welshdad

    OH MY GOD – Welshdad – that quote is soooooooo true!! – I am now finding out that no one likes him and they only talked to him to be friends and chat to me!! – it makes you feel so good!!!

    Daffodils – see your already stronger (putting a bed up yourself is awesome…..BOOM – #THISGIRLCAN 🙂 – my ex would do that and then I would catch him out!! D%£*head!!

    Today and every day is going to be great as you are taking control of your life and it will be AMAZING. 🙂 🙂 xx



    #21130 Report


    You can do a hell of a lot as a single parent it’s its people telling us all the time that we can’t cope or we need help that’s the problem, you start to believe it. Break every problem down into little chunks, straight away its easier. Sure, we need help sometimes but we know when.

    No one has the right to put you down or belittle you! End of

    #21131 Report


    Hi, I too am in the middle of a divorce but fortunately he moved out.. He swore blind (and still does) that there was no one else but I have been able to prove to myself as part of the financial process that he has & he has now changed his profile pic to one with her.  He earns 4 times what I do and went absolutely ballistic when I told him I had been to see a solicitor – He thought he was going to be able to tell me what he was going to give me as child maintenance (oh and he was over £130 a month wrong when I went to the CMS – Which apparently was ‘distressing’ for him) and has been hiding a fair size pension fund until he absolutely had to show my solicitor & even then its not on headed dated paper which may yet hold up the financial settlement.  I do now have a moving date within the next 4 wks so hopefully my and youngest DD can leave the marital home, move into my parents bungalow and breathe.. Although i am trying not to get too excited as I have accidentally seen a house to go n look at with a view to buying for us 🙂  Everyone keeps telling me it will get better & I have felt better this week but think its cuz I haven’t heard from him whatsoever & long may it continue!  I know that I probably shouldn’t say this but I am almost thankful DD doesn’t want to see her Dad at the mo as it means I don’t have to deal with him.. I am hoping that when she does change her mind (I am bracing myself for when she does) at almost 15 she can make most of the arrangements herself… Happy Friday everyone 🙂

    #21136 Report


    I think people saying need help or offering to help isn’t the problem.  It can be taken defensively when you feel you are trying your best and can feek like a criticism when its not, and any offer to help by anyone then can feel negative but it shouldn’t.  Need to learn when offer of help is genuine because in most cases it is.

    To say cant someone can’t cope when clearly they can though is different entirely.  Depends who says it too.  Definitely nobody has right to belittle or put down…any single parent regardless of how it came about faces their own challenges and battles on a daily basis.

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