After a few days away I am recycling the food that I can no longer eat from the fridge. It is a murky day outside and the kitchen is dark so I have 2 spot lights on over the central island. As I go in and out of the fridge pulling out more lifeless veggies for recycling I listen to the discussion on the Wright television show about bribing children to eat their green. As I open the back door to put the first bag into the food recycling bin I hear his van blast over the little stones in the drive way. My heart sinks. Here we go…
The front door slams. I can hear him in the hallway. I hear him heading up the stairs. I know he is going into my bedroom to take out the heater. He has been away for a week and before he left, not for the first time, he turned off the central heating. He did leave the underfloor heating on but that only heats the kitchen and the lounge. The hallway and the bedrooms are all freezing. My solicitor has told me to use an electric heater in my bedroom to keep me warm. Since he has locked my 2 heaters in the garage and taken away my key I took the heater from his cinema room and put it in my bedroom. Within minutes of him arriving home the heater has been removed. I hold my breath, waiting for his out burst.
He slams the door as he walks into the kitchen. He turns the 2 spot lights off and picks up the remote and turns the tv off. I say nothing. He has a package in his hands. The aggression begins. He shouts at me for moving his heater. I tell him I followed my solicitors instructions to stay warm because he had turned off the heat. He is furious. He steps into my space and tells me he has every right to turn the heating off when he is away for a week. He starts to open the package and soon reveals a new le creuset griddle pan. He opens the cupboard where my pans have been kept since I moved in 9 months ago. He throws out 3 of my pans. They are also le creuset and crash onto the floor. When I comment that this behaviour is harassment he disagrees. He denies that he threw them. His voice begins to rise.
He shouts about not wanting me or my pans in his house. He picks the pans up off the floor and puts them on the floor in the dining room. He then changes the subject to an incident the previous year when he got involved in a fight. Another change of subject and he is attacking my friendship with his second ex wife, I am his first ex wife. I remind him that the only thing keeping me in his house is the large sum of money that he owes me. He doesn’t want to discuss the money, he prefers to shout at me about other matters.
I walk into the utility room where my dogs are. He has been in the house less than 45 minutes but the central heating is now back on. I try to take a photograph of the radiator meter as a record of his abuse. My phone struggles to focus. I am shocked to realise that my hands are shaking.
Soon the television is back on in the kitchen. He is on You Tube listening to jazz music played on a bass guitar. I cannot stand this music but I guess he has the right to play what ever music he likes in his own home.. There is no way I can stay in his energy in the kitchen.
I have decamped to my office above the garage with a flask of hot water. The power is turned off to the sockets here so I have no kettle, no way to charge my laptop, no printer, no radio, no lamps and the floor is in need of a clean because I cannot use the carpet cleaner. The heat is only 9 degrees but I turn the heating on. It works because the heating is now back on in the main house. As long as I stay here the room will warm up but every hour the heating and lights in the office turn off so I have to stay here and keep turning the thermostat back up to 18 degrees.
I can breath again in here. The tears roll down my face. My cat and dogs are with me. As I write this they all settle down and go to sleep. I poor the water from my flask into a cup and make a coffee. As I sit on the sofa with my laptop on my knee my legs and feet feel cold but It is peaceful up here.
It has taken 40 years for me to realise that this man is abusive. In the past it was easier to excuse his behaviour than face the truth.
- He didn’t realise how much he upset me!
- He wouldn’t do this deliberately, he loves me!
- He had worked long hours, he was tired!
- He wasn’t deliberately isolating me from my friends
- He must have a reason to ask me to choose between him and my sister
- He wouldn’t ever cheat on me
- He isn’t clever enough to be manipulative
Excuse. Excuse. Excuse. After all he is a NICE MAN. At least that is what he keeps telling me. That is what he wants everyone to think. That is what he believes.
Now I am in my final battle with him. How did I get here? By being a good friend. By supporting him as he went through his second divorce. By believing his lies. By moving into his home for a relationship that was not real. By becoming the main carer for his children when every other week they were living with him. By putting his children, who are adorable, before my work. By mediating between him and his second wife. By calming his anger when he was shouting at his children. By staying with his children when he was out playing his bass and then sleeping with someone else. By helping him get equal custody of his children.And stupidly by loaning him all my savings so he did not have to sell his home.
Did he thank me for any of this? No. Despite being a NICE MAN he has never said thank you.
What this NICE MAN is doing is raging a war of harassment against me to force me out of his home before he repays me all the money he owes me.
My ex husband is not a nice man. Because his behaviour is now so extreme I see him for who he is and what he is doing to me. I now know he is a cruel bully who is emotionally abusive towards me.
And as difficult as it is I am now saying YOU CANNOT TREAT ME LIKE THIS.
Ladies if you are not being treated with respect then what you are experiencing is not a loving relationship. Please do not wait 40 years to see the truth like I did. Trust your intuition. If that voice in your head says this is not right it is time to do something about it. I will be honest. Being abused like this is the most difficult thing I have ever had to face but it is not my fault and I do not deserve it. With the support of my family and friends I am standing up to this bully.
And for amyone who knows my ex husband please do not be fooled by his charm. HE IS NOT A NICE MAN. HE IS A CRUEL SELFISH BULLY and he needs help with his anger.