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There is nothing left between us but her abuse ....

Tagged as: Faded love, Family, Health, Marriage problems, Troubled relationships, Trust issues<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (1 July 2012) 10 Answers - (Newest, 1 July 2012)
A male United Kingdom age 51-59, anonymous writes:

I have been in a relationship for over twenty years and we have three children, the youngest is eight. My partner is financially dependent on me, yet she treats me appallingly. It is no exaggeration to say that everything she says to me is critical or designed to make me feel guilty or bad in some way. I have had breakdowns and stress leave from work, as well as several bouts of depression for which I've taken anti-depressants. I am lonely and heartbroken - it will be no surprise to learn that the relationship really ended several years ago and there's nothing between us. For my own health I feel I should leave, but I feel duty-bound to stay for my children. Should I stay for their sake, or leave for my own sake? If I left I would not shirk my financial obligations to my kids but I still feel guilty for considering leaving. Conversely I don't know how much longer I can take the treatment I get every hour I am at home.

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A female reader, Basschick Australia +, writes (1 July 2012):

Basschick agony auntLeave. The kids will survive and they will see a much happier you when they come to visit. They will eventually figure out why you left as they get older. Get out now while you still have the strength to find someone new.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2012):

Without knowing either you, your partner or any more specific details of your situation, I can only respond by relating my own experience.

I know what you're going through as the mother of my child was highly abusive towards me on a daily basis for the final few years of our relationship. I didn't love or care about her by then, and knew the relationship was long dead but still found it extremely hard to take that final step and actually leave.

However, if things are as bad as you say, ending the 'relationship' is exactly what you must do. I know it's easier said than done, as given the amount of guilt I felt over leaving my former partner with one child, who was a toddler at the time and therefore young enough not to remember and to be able to heal and bounce back quickly, I can't possibly imagine what it must be like to contemplate leaving three who are much older.

However, if it's any comfort, I do know people who have done exactly that and managed to maintain a functional relationship with their ex, with minimal damage to the kids.

Your children will lose more respect for you by seeing you accepting being treated like dirt every day of your life than by you walking out on a bad relationship.

Oh by the way , the person who said "everything in every relationship can be fixed" is completely wrong, in my opinion.

Some relationships are doomed from the outset. Some never should have happened at all, but people drift together due to all sorts of chance circumstances. Personal compatibility, while complex and not easily definable, is a reality. If it isn't present to a high degree, the relationship cannot possibly work and neither partner will ever be truly happy.

Whether or not you think it can be salvaged is your call. Were you and this woman ever truly in love? Was she ever your best friend as well as a lover? How has it lasted so long if things are so bad?

Good luck.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2012):

Thank you for all your answers. I guess I already know what I should do but it's a huge step for someone who only ever wanted to bring my kids up in a secure family environment and a loving relationship. My friends all tell me the same thing, it's time to go.

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A female reader, dearkelja United States +, writes (1 July 2012):

dearkelja agony auntYou really aren't doing your children any favors by showing them a broken relationship where there is abuse. Unless you stop this (end the relationship) and show them that it is wrong (actions speak louder than words) they will go on to have abusive relationships. Either they will be abusers or they will be abused.

For your sake, you need to get yourself out of this relationship. I do believe relationships can be saved but unless you are both willing to seek joint help, I suggest you call it quits.

Are you listed as the father for the kids on the birth certificates? If so, you may want to seek legal help to gain custody of the kids, at least you want to have joint custody.

It seems like you already know what you need to do, maybe just needed encouragement. All the best.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2012):

You need to leave her mate, because this is not a healthy partnership

just like what blondie30s have said to do. she got to the point and told you to leave which i think deep down you know to do yourself anyway. Good luck with all.

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A female reader, justmen United States +, writes (1 July 2012):

justmen agony auntIf you choose to stay for the sake of the kids, sounds like they might not have you around for long given your health is already breaking down.

I would say leave, but don't make that choice thinking you are choosing kids vs. no kids.

Your kids can still be with you and actually have quality time with you (sounds like now the atmosphere in the house is toxic for them with you/mate arguing).

A good lawyer will be able to draft a good parenting schedule that enables you to see your kids without the toxicity. Finally, as a matter of curiosity: this constant negativity/nagging/putting down that appears to be happening now, has it always been a problem for you two? If not, can you pinpoint when it began?

Was there any event or action on your part to justify her changing , assuming things were not this bad when you chose to marry her? And if so, what was the trigger. Not saying verbal abuse is ever OK, merely curious as to when the tide turned and why. You say relationship ended "years ago".

I assume this means you two stopped being sexual. Were there affair(s) etc? Sorry you are in such a bind. You are at the top of the wave though. Things will only get better once you make the decision.

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A female reader, Abella United States +, writes (1 July 2012):

Abella agony auntSee a Lawyer as by her actions she is forcing you to leave by her actions.

She will also no doubt fight very dirty so I think you need some protection to protect you from ruining your own life and being too generous with her.

Yes she will get a a financial settlement to support her. But she may also have to learn to earn a living for herself as well.

At most you have ten more years of supporting the youngest child. Once that is over she is on her own.

And no doubt your children have seen how mean she is.

By the time they each turn 18 you will no doubt see more of your children.

Your children would already be suffering. Seeing the appalling way she treats you every day. Seeing all the tension.

By leaving they can see you from time to time in a place away from her and without all the tension she generates. That will be better for them in the long run

Fighting parents results in great Stress on the children - they often feel it is their fault when that is NOT true.

Your own health is paramount here.

Do not let her destroy you.

Get the support you need.

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A male reader, anonymous, writes (1 July 2012):

"For my own health I feel I should leave, but I feel duty-bound to stay for my children. Should I stay for their sake, or leave for my own sake?"

Neither, you should throw her out for yours and the kids' sake. If your use of the terms "relationship" and

"partner" indicate you are not legally married, then she may be financially dependent on you but you are not financially obligated to her. If she's so critical of you, then let her fend for herself while you make other more satisfactory arrangements to care for your kids while you're at work.

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A male reader, Nehemie Mb India +, writes (1 July 2012):

Well, for one you should know that in every relationship everything can be fixed, you just have to go back to that place where you understood each other, you should try to remember why you spent 20 years together or even why you got involved with that person and nobody else in the first place.

Now, I need a little clarification please. Out of those 20 years, how many have been bad? Is it recent? Or is it something that's been going on for a long time?

To answer your questions; first you should know that when a person feels weak or frustrated or unsatisfied, they tend to lash out, they tend to express that feeling on the people that are immediately around them. So, try to create an environment where you can have a real talk, without shouting/blaming/resenting each other. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is easy. The thing is, it takes some work to 'rekindle' the flame or get back to that wonderful place you once were at, or even simply get things back to a neutral state. And the longer the relationship, the more work it takes to achieve that. So try to create more opportunities for communication and find out why she's treating you that way. You'll be surprised but sometimes it's nothing personal.

To the question of whether you should leave or not, I'll answer that you should only consider that option when ALL other alternatives have been explored without any being effective or successful. Consider it the last resort of your last resort!

It's totally normal that you feel duty-bound towards your kid, you're biologically programmed to feel so. And it's also normal that you feel a little guilty for considering leaving. That just means you're a good man. But what you should remember is that if you're happy, then I'm sure the kids are gonna be happy too, however, even if you stay but you are always stressed, depressed, unhappy, that will ripple to the kids too...they'll feel the same way.

You said your youngest kid is 8. In the case that things don't work themselves out and things came to an end. I'm sure they will understand if you explain them with honesty and simplicity. Kids observe a lot, that's how they learned to adapt to their relatively new environment. They know more than you think they know. If your relationship ever came to an end, explaining them and staying in their lives as much as possible will make things much easier for them even if it's not optimal.

Sir, I really can see what kind of predicament you're in. And I really hope things will get better for you. Good luck.

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A female reader, chickpea2011 United States +, writes (1 July 2012):

chickpea2011 agony auntHi,

Honestly, I think you should leave. I know you are concerned about your 3 children, and have been married 20 years. The truth is that, if you and your wife don't get along, it also affects your children drastically. Even though they are still very young, they know, and they can feel. Affects them emotionally, just as much as it affects you. It's not fair for all your family to live together an unhappy, stressful life. By the way you describe your situation, I can tell you are a responsible father, and care for your family very much. You are sacrificing your own happiness for your family. Its very serious when it starts to affect you physically. I am sure you know, and probably have tried couples counseling. It's not about giving up, but doing what's best for you and your family. Sometimes, just staying together is not enough. Sometimes, staying for the kids is not the right thing to do. Like I said, hopefully you can work things out with your wife, consider all options possible, and if doesn't change, then I'll strongly suggest you leave you wife, and try to have a civil relationship with your wife for the sake of your 3 children. I am the same age as you, and you are young and still have a full life ahead. Just know you are a good father, good person, deserve to be treated with respect, and deserve to live a happy life. We live life once, you are a strong man to have had the patience to live this way for so many years. If you leave your wife, do not feel guilty, because you are doing what's best for you, but that also will benefit your kids as well.

Wish you have peace in your heart, wish you strengh, and hope you can make the right decision. Stay strong...

Good luck!

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