Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Estrangement after emotional abuse

I was married for 24 years to a man much older then myself , an Italian man. I was naive when I met him at 23 and after a whirl wind romance got married. I had a son two years later and that is when the problems started but I felt caught.

I couldn't communicate and my feelings were never really considered. It was a relationship without empathy or reason and certainly a huge lack of support. So I got on with life. I had my daughter 2 years later. I wanted to leave and throw in the towel so many times but there wasn't anywhere to throw it!

I tried marriage guidance counselling twice but somehow he always presented himself as the victim in the eyes of others ..very convincingly with lots of tears. Privately he was a bully and could be really nasty. It was very controlling behaviour and changed for different audiences.

Hecwas much softer on my daughter who faired better, but very hard on my son and I. I was between them a lot. I took financial responsibility for the family for many years and somehow managed to cut off my own desires to get through. My son was very dyslexic too and I worked hard to support and teach him...he eventually did well at university studying music.

But once he left I realised I didn't have to do this anymore and this turned into not being able to do it anymore. I asked my husband to go to counselling again with me but for 5 months he refused.

He promise he was leaving and we agreed to divorce. He told me he didn't love me...in fact he had never in 24 years told me he loved me. He did want control though. I joined a dating site and he went mad. Also because I made it public that I was single. After a huge row in which I thought he would attack me physically I fled the house . The divorce took a year and about 20 thousand pounds to fight for hardly any assets but I got out.

My children were dragged throughout the divorce and as within my marriage I was portrayed in the worst possible light, undermined and a game played, so what friends were told was far far removed from my experience .

Neither of my children spoke to me for 6 months. I rented a flat close by but only had one visit from my daughter ( by then they were 21 and 23) . I had been focused on my career; not really because I wanted to but because my husband liked to eat, drink and be Merry never planning for the future. I felt anxious and responsible for everything but this was portrayed in a different light to the children.

I had abusive emails, more flat tyres than I have had in my life, was followed on the motorway for 40 mins with my son in the car with my ex. I felt like my son was being used as an abusive human shield . ...drawn into the abuse and absolutely unable to cope.

My son has not spoken to me in the 4 years since I left. He seems enmeshed with his father And yet damaged and torn by the years of living in an abusive relationship. My daughter is depressed with low self esteem. I deeply regret not having left when they were young...at the time I stayed for them thinking it was the best thing to do.

I realise now I had no perspective on what normal relationships were like. I am happily single but broken hearted about my son & daughter.

No mother should go through this pain. I feel a certain shame in estrangement ..people can make negative judgements as to why my son wants nothing to do with me.

However I can't begin to describe what years of bullying and hidden abuse does. I hope one day I can reconnect with my son...he doesn't reply although I make contact by text, email or voice message every week.

I move on with my life because I have to and try not to bring this to the forefront of my mind. For others out there women are incredibly strong in spirit and we can survive these ordeals.

My goodness it's tough.


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4 thoughts on “Estrangement after emotional abuse

  • You are extremely courageous. I’m truly sorry you and Your Children had to go through this. There are times when we just will not understand Why. But as we get older and go through life, some of our questions will be answered.
    All you can do is live from your heart, do your best to do right always, treat others the best you can and have faith in Good. Keep hope. Pray. Leave it in Gods hands. I Can tell that you did what you believe to be the best you could. Don’t beat yourself up no one is perfect. Thank God all three of you are sage from physical harm. Just be there when they really need you if you can. However take care of YOU first. Much love to You and bless you always.♥♥

  • Cherie says:

    You are so so brave. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I pray that you will continue to have the strength to move forward with your life and that your children will soon see the truth of your love.
    I wish you every good thing in life ❤️

  • Admin says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us – we believe you, and know the abuse you suffered wasn’t your fault.

    We know that children are often coerced even into adulthood and we hope one day, they will see their situation through eyes that are free, and be able to make different choices.

    Until then, we send you peaceful thoughts and our best wishes xx

  • karen says:

    Thanks everyone that’s commented positively. Abusive individuals like my ex are so clever at convincing others and hiding their abuse. So many people just can’t see what is going on right under their noses because to believe this creates such discord between the person they think they know and the reality .