I left due to abuse but now he’s got the house and children

Home Online forum Gingerbread Forum I left due to abuse but now he’s got the house and children

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    I was in an abusive marriage for 15 years until 6 weeks ago when our eldest son told his teacher what he had seen at home, how we had to hide from his dad’s temper, the vile names he’d heard his dad call me and how he himself had been bullied, name-called and hit by his dad.  He said that he was too scared to go home or to see his dad ever again.

    Social services were called to school that day and I was called in too from work and advised by a social worker to remove the children to avoid the case be moved up a level.  I did that immediately and we left the boys’ school in the clothes we stood up in, first to a hotel and then to a rented property. My husband explained away what he had done to our son as a game that had been misunderstood, was given a rap on the knuckles by social services, did a quick online parenting course on appropriate discipline and, as our son changed his mind and said that he wanted to see his dad again, everything was concluded.

    Social services said that they didn’t need to be involved anymore as I had done what was needed and was no longer living with my husband so there was no risk to me or to the children by what they might witness of their dad’s behaviour towards me.

    My husband has a very good job so we had a nice lifestyle, big house and no money worries but now I’ve lost everything. It’s fantastic that I am not living with his controlling behaviour, insults and bullying but I am now in a tiny house and I’ve had to start from scratch on the cheap with everything from beds to mugs. I have been humiliated and put down by him for so many years that I have no confidence whatsoever and I can’t seem to find a way to ask him for any money so I’m now really struggling on my salary alone which is nowhere near his. He hasn’t given me any money for the children and I just can’t find the words to ask.  He’s also from family who work in law and have plenty money to use in any legal case.

    Now he’s decided that he wants the children most of the time and as they have a fancy lifestyle at his house, the fact that it’s the house they’ve always lived in and that he doesn’t give any boundaries around bedtime, sugar or screen time, the children want to be there most of the time too.

    I feel intense anger and a horrible sense of injustice that I left because of the abuse and because social services  would have escalated the case if I hadn’t, but now I have lost my home and, more importantly and painfully, my children. He says that he will always tell them that they can stay at his whenever they want to and they do. So I’m alone. I wish I’d just kept on with the ‘put up and shut up’ attitude that I had when we were together as then I’d still have my children.

    #47492 Report


    Hello Elizabeth,

    there are a lot of people here on this forum who basically tell the same story and have been through similar things. And partner who haven’t been considerate during the relationship, will most likely not change during separation. He probably will find someone new and just move on. The world isn’t a just place and unfortunately it favours the bullies and the violent people as they are on average more successful than the “lambs”. We, who went through all the abuse and violence did it for the sake of stability and love. But there comes a moment when it just doesn’t work any more. And then we have to pay the price for a decision we have made sometimes long ago, trusting the wrong person, and it comes with “Interest” in most cases on top of what we had to endure in the meantime. That is the way it is. It makes us angry and frustrated, depressive and feeling small, and it feels so unjust. But justice has nothing to do with this. Making a wrong decision isn’t a crime in most cases, we just have to take the consequences on the chin. We were victims of abuse but perpetrators on our own inability to take action when it was needed. We put up and shut up, as you so brilliantly wrote yourself. And you are taking it to the conclusion that you would rather do that again, than face the misery you are in. A valid one among others but what would be the outcome?

    My Ex hasn’t changed her behaviour in four years since the separation. She is on her third boyfriend now, one left her after a year with exactly the same reasoning I left. The boys live with me even though her income is three times mine, and she tried everything in the book to “buy” them out. I have built a new life from scratch and struggle every freeking day to make it work. Is it worth it? Yes, it is as I am free and can love my kids the way they need it, and they do know where to look when they need love. Our relationship has improved so much over those four years, it is just incredible. We have made it out of the cycle of violence. And so will you if you want to. Just be patient.

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