I am considering the first steps towards separation. I am not sure where to start. I am currently making notes and gathering other evidence of the emotional abuse. There is no doubt in my mind that it is emotional abuse - she insults me, tries to cut me off from family and friends, etc. She is now open about the latter. She has also become increasingly nasty to our older daughter - calling her a liar and worse, and shouting at her.
She has also used force in the past to stop me when I have wanted to leave (putting her arms around me and refusing to let go - that stopped after I took to just going limp which meant we both fell).
She has a history of mental illness. She was diagnosed bipolar and was on Lithium for a while, but that was abroad and since we came back to the UK (three years ago) she has not had any treatment and I do not think she has told her GP.
The big problems are:
1. I do not know how she will react when I openly take any steps towards separation/divorce. She is not rational, hates me, and I am scared she will wreck things (I mean property, finances, whatever) or may become violent. She has a very bad temper and I really do not know what she will do. Once she becomes angry she stops caring about anyone or consequences.
2. The damage being done in the meantime: I find it hard to work (I work from home permanently) because of rows, and recently my daughter (in the first year of her A-levels now) told me that she has had to study over most of half term because she is behind with her work because of rows in the previous weeks (which were particularly bad).
3. The combination of my difficulty working in these conditions and her refusal to work (she says its my fault we do not have money so its up to me to sort it out) means we do not have enough money to run two households.
The good thing is that in the last two weeks she has become a lot more open in her hostility to me which actually makes it easier to cope with - I do not feel so bad about what she says any more.
What I want is to get myself and the children away from her and still be able to make a living to support the kids.
The first step is to tell her all things you have said in your message in a safe and neutral place where both of you can air your views.
I was on the receiving end when my wife left me more than 2 years ago. Not nice things to hear but if thats the reality then at least its a starting point to move forward towards planning for the future and the best for everyone involved, whether together or not.
Maybe she can use the discussions as a prompt to get the help she needs, if not now then in the future. There are no easy answers to the predicament, but the next steps ideally need to start by communication, as you have not launched the divorce process.
From my own experience, do not make any rash decisions or do anything to compromise your financial position without taking advice, easy to say I know.
Hopefully someone else can also give you feedback.
Last edit: 1 month 1 week ago by Vigorate. Reason: adjustment
Thanks for the answer. I have tried to discuss the problems in a safe and neutral places for many years.
We tried counselling at Relate two years ago. She agreed to come to the first session (after some persuasion from friends she has now fallen out with) and refused to go again. She got angry during the session and said afterwards that I did not give her a chance to speak (although, in fact, I hardly spoke).
She says she does not have metal health problems and that if I think there are problems then I need see a psychiatrist. She has said in the past that I tricked the psychiatrist in diagnosing her as bipolar.
I am here because I have tried everything, and it just keeps getting worse, and I see no alternative. I regret not leaving a long time ago, which would have been better for me and the kids.
Even the most tactful and careful attempt to discuss things at home leads to her screaming at me, and any suggestion of going back to counselling or similar meets with a flat refusal.
Hi. It seems to me that you cannot let things carry on as they are and you need to talk to someone who can advise you on your options. You can get a free 30 minute consultation with a solicitor. You would have nothing to lose from doing this. It might give you an idea on a route to moving forwards. My solicitor is a Godsend because he gives me impartial advice and helps me to see things clearly. What I have learnt form the divorce process is how important it is to keep a clear head and focus on the life I can have after all this is over.
I'm sorry you're having a tough time.
Your fears are very real, I wanted to leave my husband for years but worry about how he would turn his anger and considerable resources against me stopped me.
Eventually I discovered he was living a secret life away from home so I consulted the family solicitor, who said my ex was going to be a formidable enemy and he recommended a solicitor he thought could take him on.
I made an appointment and I visited him a shaking mess, but he explained the steps I could take such as non molestation etc and I left there realising I could escape.
It wasn't easy, my ex cried, raged, threatened suicide and was sectioned for his own safety but between my solicitor and friends I ended the marriage.
You need to find a solicitor like mine, he prefers compromise to fighting and I ended up with 50%.
Try and imagine yourself in a year's time, then five then ten.
Do you still want to be in this relationship that makes you stressed and unhappy looking ahead?
I'm five years on.
I'm happy and have no contact with my ex except via our children.
It takes enormous courage to know there will be difficult times ahead facing up to your decision but for the life I now have I'd do it again.
Thank you so much for that. it is very encouraging. Its sounds like you were in a worse situation than mine and got through it. It gives me confidence I can get through it too.
My biggest worries are money (we do not have much) and custody (I do not want a child alone with her - she will take all her anger out on the child) - and that she will react in a similar emotional way to your ex.