Divorcing a Narcissist

Fifty Shades of Motherhood



  • Divorcing a Narcissist

“He was very Jekyll and Hyde…he was nasty.”

Please note this episode discusses abuse and references suicide. 

Welcome back to Season 3 of Fifty Shades of Motherhood! This week Carla talks to a brave guest who wishing to remain anonymous. They discuss the cycle of her being in an emotional and mentally abusive relationship and how she left with help and support.

If you or someone you know is experiencing something similar discussed in todays episode, please use the links below:

Home – Women’s Aid (womensaid.org.uk)


Domestic violence – Refuge Charity – Domestic Violence Help


What is Domestic Violence? · Information Guides · NCDV


Home | Refuge National Domestic Abuse Helpline (nationaldahelpline.org.uk)


Domestic abuse: how to get help – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Carla: Unfortunately in life, things happen that we have no control over, which is why My Bump 2 Baby works with one financial advisor and one family law, solicitor in each town throughout the UK. If you have not protected your family in case the worst should happen, please, please think about it. So many families are left homeless when a loved one passes away and the spouse left behind cannot afford the mortgage or the bill.

[00:00:30] If you have not got protection, please think about it. We insure our mobile phone. We insure our household appliances. We insure our pets. Why don’t we insure ourselves, please, please. Today. Go to www.mybump2baby.com/familyprotectionlegal and find your nearest financial advisor or family protection specialist.

[00:01:00] It is so important that you are covered should the worst happen. 

[00:01:05] Are you looking for groups and classes for your little one? Perhaps you’re looking for pregnancy classes for yourself?  My Bump 2 Baby is the UKs leading pregnancy to preschool directory. To find your nearest pregnancy to preschool class, lesson or service head over to www.mybump2baby.com. You can also read our reviews on the latest products, days out and services.

[00:01:55] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. This week’s episode comes with a trigger warning. On today’s episode, we will be discussing abuse. My guest today has wanted to stay anonymous. She wants to share her story and help raise awareness around being married to a narcissistic person and talk about her leaving a narcissistic marriage. My guest today has wanted to share her story to help other people in similar situations.

[00:02:46] Hello everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood. Today, I am joined by an anonymous guest who is going to be sharing their story about being married to a narcissist, a sociopath, and also, it’s a form of abuse. So we’re going to be talking all about her story and the aim of this podcast is to raise awareness and hopefully help other people that are going through a similar situation.

[00:03:16] So, hello. Thanks. Thanks for joining us today. 

[00:03:20] Anonymous: Hi, thanks for having me. 

[00:03:22] Carla: Thanks so much for coming on. It’s really kind of sensitive subject this, and I imagine a very difficult one to talk about. So I really do appreciate you coming on to talk to us today. 

[00:03:32] Anonymous: Thanks.

[00:03:33] Carla: So what we’re going to do is we are going to just go through the timeline of your story with this person and how everything changed and unraveled and the different things that he used to do. Um, and, and, you know, just to kind of show people the different signs and different things that can happen, um, before actually discovering you are married to a person like that. So you met your partner in June, 2010, is that right?

[00:04:02] Anonymous: Yep. All those years ago.

[00:04:05] Carla: All those years ago. Do you know? It feels like yesterday 2010, and then I have to think, oh my God, I’m so old. Um, where did you meet then ?

[00:04:14] Anonymous: We were introduced by friends. 

[00:04:15] Carla: How old were you then? If you don’t mind me asking.

[00:04:18]Anonymous:  Oh God. Now you’re asking. 27, maybe?

[00:04:21]Carla:  27. So you’ve kind of, I don’t know about you, but at that age I was like, right. Yes. I’m ready to settle down and all that. Were you wanting like the full family from, from him? You know, like not obviously straight away, but is that where at at that age? Is that what you’re wanting from a relationship? 

[00:04:39] Anonymous: I wasn’t quite sure back then I was, I was actually in the prime of my life that, that year, I think. And then I wasn’t very maternal.

[00:04:48]Carla:  No. 

[00:04:49] Anonymous: So kids weren’t really on the radar. I don’t think before my thirties, it was just, I was just wanting to have a relationship with someone nice and enjoy life. 

[00:04:57] Carla: Yeah. That that’s the aim as well yep. So you got together and was every, how was everything when you first got together then?

[00:05:05] Anonymous: Uh, at the time I thought it was like bliss. It was great. We went on dates. We did fun things. 

[00:05:11] Carla: Totally in love?

[00:05:14]Anonymous:  Uh, yeah, yeah. Quite quickly I suppose. Yeah. 

[00:05:18] Carla: Yeah. It can happen very quickly though. Can’t it? All of that. And you get carried away, don’t you? And it’s just, did you move in together quite quickly?

[00:05:27] Anonymous: No, we spent a lot of time at each other’s. But didn’t move in, probably till 2 years later maybe?

[00:05:37] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And then, and then, um, you had your first child in 2014. So were you, were you planning on having a child at that stage? Or how did that come about? Well, not how did it come about literally, cause obviously we know that. I rolled in it. Yeah. No. So, so w what, how did that come about without obviously the, the graphic details? 

[00:06:08] Anonymous: It was a shock. I was on the pill. 

[00:06:10] Carla: Oh, my goodness really. 

[00:06:12] Anonymous: So It wasn’t expected at all. 

[00:06:15] Carla: Wow. Wow. Were you happy when you found out or?

[00:06:19]Anonymous:  I had mixed emotions because i’d already become aware that something wasn’t quite right in my relationship. 

[00:06:25] Carla: What was it that showed like around that time, what, you know, what, what was it that you were thinking wasn’t right. Or could you not put your finger on it? 

[00:06:34] Anonymous: Lots of little things when you look back, but at the time, cause there was so little or seem to be so little. They were excused quite easily or, you know, it was a bad day or, you know, something had happened. Um, I needed to try harder, you know, all these things. Um, then I sort of thought, right, well, I’m having this baby regardless because I dunno as a mum, most people find out they’re pregnant and somethinkg just flicks. Doesn’t it? You go into this baby’s mine, you know, focus on that. So I was going to have the baby regardless. 

[00:07:07] Carla: Yeah. So you, so you were very much together at the time though. And, um, you know, everything was kind of, although it wasn’t perfect. I mean, life’s stressful, isn’t it? So it’s hard to kind of pinpoint whether it’s you sometimes or whether it’s someone else. Especially when the little things are so small, it’s so easy to be like, actually I was in a bit of a mood or actually, yeah. I was a bit pissed off, so, so I can understand that. So, so what was it like during your pregnancy? Was everything okay?

[00:07:35]Anonymous:  Oh yeah. I was really lucky. Yeah. I’ve had easy pregnancies. And even  births have been quite easy. Sorry.  

[00:07:42] Carla: Oh I know you’re lucky, you’re lucky. Oh no that that is good. So, so, um, then you got married six months after your first baby was born. Were you engaged? When did you get engaged then? 

[00:07:57] Anonymous: Um, just before she was born. 

[00:07:59] Carla: Right.

[00:08:00]Anonymous:  So we did it quite quickly and was, and depending on who you ask. You’ll get, um, you’ll get a different version of events. Depending on who you ask. So, yeah. Yeah, it was kind of talked about and kind of happened. And then he proposed, but we knew it was going to happen. Yeah, that makes sense. It wasn’t, it wasn’t a surprise or anything? 

[00:08:21] Carla: No. Oh, so you got married six months later. And on your wedding day, did you have any doubts or anything like that? 

[00:08:29] Anonymous: Yeah.

[00:08:30] Carla: You did, do you know a lot of people say that don’t they um, but at the time, was there anything that you really thought was that bad or was it still, again, all the little things? 

[00:08:40] Anonymous: No, I knew it was quite bad, but I hadn’t ever told anybody or people that I had told little snippets kind of excused it with me. Um, and obviously we’d had a child, so life was hard. So I just thought, you know what this man wants to marry me. You know, he said, he’ll change. It’s going to be great. Let’s do this. And I was, I remembered on my wedding day, thinking, is my dad going to ask me that question? Like all dads do, are you sure you’re going to do this? You know, are you sure it’s what you want? And he didn’t ask me. 

[00:09:10] Carla: And would you, do you think you would have said at that time, do you think you would?

[00:09:15] Anonymous: No.

[00:09:15] Carla: No

[00:09:17] Anonymous: Probably wouldnt have done would I?

[00:09:19] Carla: No I mean at the time. I think you just, especially with weddings, I mean, I’ve been engaged before and I’m sure my ex won’t mind saying we’re totally wrong for each other. But you know, I, even when we did get engaged, I knew then. Uh, you know, it wasn’t right, but you get a bit carried away. You know, I was thinking oh my dress and, you know, things like that and you can easily kind of, and then family gets so excited, don’t they? And then it’s like

[00:09:44]Anonymous:  Yeah, obviously theres the child aswell.

[00:09:47] Carla: Yeah. And you don’t want to let people down either, do you? Because it’s like, well, you know, it’s just, you kind of almost a bit railroaded into marriage sometimes because even if you have kind of thought it was not right, or you’ve changed your mind, it’s quite hard to then back out. And if you do back out then the relationships over.

[00:10:03] Anonymous: And then the reprocutions

[00:10:06]Carla:  Yeah. Relationships over. The other family hates you, you know, you can’t go right can you? You know, but yeah. You can’t do right. So, so when you, what was he doing then? Cause you said there were, it got quite bad, um, before you were married, what was he doing at that point then to, to make it so bad?

[00:10:30] Anonymous: He was very Jekyll and Hyde. You know, he was nasty. He was very nasty. The things he used to say to me, um, he cheated on me, although I don’t think he physically cheated on me. So that was his reason for getting away with it. But to me, if someone’s texting another girl, things that they shouldn’t be or you know, having inappropriate conversations with another girl while they’re in the relationship, that’s cheating in my book.

[00:10:55] Carla: Definately.

[00:10:57] Anonymous: My boundaries very quickly changed to accept that behavior. He used to trip me up on purpose and pretend that he hadn’t done. He threatened suicide if I threatened to leave him. Um, 

[00:11:14] Carla: Oh my goodness, and is this before marriage? Is this even before you actually got married then? 

[00:11:20] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. I used to like, I remember crying to my auntie one day. Well, I think I told her I was pregnant. And she said some things to me along the lines of, um, it gets worse when you have children, you know, and I sat there thinking to myself, it gets worse? How can this get any worse, but I still didn’t tell people. 

[00:11:44] Carla: Do you think you didn’t tell people because like after things had happened,  only from my past experience, I’ve been with someone that, um, was domestically abusive and only after, um, they actually did something to me physically. They’d act really nice, like so nice. And it was almost the person that you fell in love with in the first place again. 

[00:12:06] Anonymous: Thats it yeah.

[00:12:07] Carla: And then almost then you think, oh, and they promise they won’t do it again. Like, uh, my, my ex yeah, I had my finger broken and I remember, um, you know, him coming the next day with flowers and stuff, and I thought it’s worth it. I actually thought in my head it’s actually worth it. Uh, To have that person again, because you know, like that nice person again.

[00:12:31]Anonymous:  Yeah. 

[00:12:32] Carla: It’s a real mind thing. 

[00:12:35] Anonymous: It does play with your mind that a lot, I have done lot work since and worked a lot of stuff out to, to why I ended up in that situation and how it happens, um, is it’s mind blowing.

[00:12:48] Carla: Yeah, it is. Well, I think it’s, it’s very clever because it all happens so slowly that you don’t see it coming. Um, I say clever, it’s awful because I mean, it’s clever how they do it, but, um, So you then after you got married, um, you had your second child just over a year after you were married again. And was things getting worse by that stage?

[00:13:12]Anonymous:  No, I think things are pretty much the same. 

[00:13:15] Carla: Yeah. 

[00:13:17] Anonymous: You know, still the same emotional abuse, mental abuse. There was still like tripping me up and things and all that was still happening. Um, but I think there was a bit more of a balance. Or I probably thought that was because obviously I was on maternity leave. I wasn’t working, you know, I had this baby to keep me entertained. So life was good in that respect or if I was having a bad day, then it was my fault. You know, because I haven’t done certain things because, you know, as a mum with a young child, you don’t always get chance to keep on top of the house work or the chores and things do you?

[00:13:49] Carla: No.

[00:13:50]Anonymous:  So a lot of it was probably, I thought it was my fault, you know, and excused it. Also to me, things probably where they’re better. Because it was me that needed to change. 

[00:13:59] Carla: Yeah. So then you, the focus wasn’t on him to change. The thing is being a mum, you can never do everything a hundred percent accurate or a hundred percent right. Because it’s just impossible, you know, you can’t get everything right. And that time after becoming a mum, I think that’s the time you really beat yourself up enough anyway, about mum guilt and everything else. So the fact that you felt that it was all your fault after that is a still, it’s not good is it.

[00:14:25] Anonymous: No. And obviously we have the weddings to look forward to. So that was great. Even though we argued, like ridiculously argued about, you know, the wedding was off so many times just between the two of us, but ultimately it happened, um, went on our honeymoon with our little one, but even on the honeymoon, there was things that happened on the honeymoon. That you know, I remember going for a walk one day after he’d just been so vicious with the words that he said to me, and I just thought, how have I married this person? But then you come home and, oh, we had a fantastic honeymoon. It was brilliant, you know, and then we carried on and then decided we actually planned our next child. And that happened really quickly. 

[00:15:04] So again, it was like yes. You know, I’ve got this perfect family. I’m married, I’ve got two children because it’s great.

[00:15:13] Carla: It can very quickly change in your mind though. Can’t it like, just cause you’re having, like the relationship isn’t good say for a week or something, then its amazing afterwards. Um, again, so it was like keeping you in the kind of loop of that really. 

[00:15:28] Anonymous: Yeah. It’s just a cycle, you know, constant. But if I look back now and I think, you know, the, the times when I think we were happy, there was always something that, you know, cast a shadow over it, always something wasn’t right. Or something got said, but I just used to brush it under the carpet and be like, oh, he’s just in one of those moods.

[00:15:46] Carla: What would he say to you? 

[00:15:49] Anonymous: Oh, you know, if I didn’t do things the right way or didn’t answer the question the right way I got called horrendous names. I got told that I looked like the backend of a bus. 

[00:15:57] Carla: Oh my god.

[00:15:58] Anonymous: Um, it was just awful, you know, some of the stuff that we even dare repeat. But he just made me feel worthless. Nobody else would want me, if I didn’t want to have sex, he’d go and find it somewhere else. 

[00:16:12]Carla:  Would he say that? Would he say that? 

[00:16:16] Anonymous: Yeah.

[00:16:16] Carla: Would he actually go and do that you think?

[00:16:19] Anonymous: This is the thing that makes me laugh. Right. I used to say I’m 99% sure he will never cheat on me cause he’s been cheated on that was his story from his past, he’d been cheated on. So why would you do that to somebody when you know how much it hurts? But then I did excuse behaviors that were like classed as cheating in theory. So I don’t honestly know if he ever did or not. 

[00:16:41] Carla: Just even to say that though, is awful. 

[00:16:44] Anonymous: Yeah. And you know, when I’m pregnant that you don’t want to do these things and it’s like, you know, you know, feeling like you have, I mean, a lot of people don’t as a wife, think that they have, that they have to sort of fulfill that role. Don’t they? I suppose. 

[00:17:00] Carla: Yeah.

[00:17:00] Anonymous: But I think most men, you know, ask once or twice, if your wife, partner says no, then that should be enough. Anything more than that? No, that’s, that’s abusive. Um, I’ve only just realized that recently. 

[00:17:12] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, yeah, it is hard because when you, especially when you’re pregnant as well, like you don’t really feel like it, you know, not all the time, so, yeah it’s hard. So after your second child was born, born then, how was everything, was it just the same? Has it just kind of stayed the same until you decided to leave in the summer of 2017? 

[00:17:38] Anonymous: No, it got worse. The arguments got more. Um, but again, two young children, you know, quite close in age, it was a challenge. He has a difficult job, you know, I wasn’t working, earning as much as I should have been. You know, all these things that you excuse it why, but, you know, no, it was, it was horrific, you know, he’d argue with me and I’d be crying my eyes out and he would still go on and on and on, you know, and then if it got to a point where he wasn’t getting anywhere with it, then he’d go off on a drive but he’d, he’d like make it out that he was going to kill himself. But without actually using those words, it’s really hard to explain like how he, he used to make me feel and he manipulated me so much. I didn’t know my own mind. I didn’t know my own thoughts. He made me doubt everything. 

[00:18:29] Carla: Did he make you feel like you were going crazy sometimes? 

[00:18:32] Anonymous: Yeah and even told me I was crazy. You know, I went to get counseling to help. Cause I thought I was the problem, you know, and I was crazy and a lunatic for  going to get support. I asked him to go to counseling with me. No, we didn’t need any help. The problem was with me, it was a really horrible time. 

[00:18:51] Carla: I can imagine. I mean, I think as, as a woman as well, because of our cycles and stuff like that, obviously we do have days where we’re like not feeling the best or not feeling as happy. And I’m sure people use that to their advantage sometimes. Just like, oh, your hormones, it must be your hormones. But then we think it as well sometimes. Cause I’ve thought before. Oh, I wonder if like, this is all hormone, you know, uh, 

[00:19:14] Anonymous: Yeah, everyone can have a bad day. People can argue, people can say things that upset other people. The difference with these types of relationships is the boundaries get trampled all over. I know where the line is and if I cross the line or I know to apologize, and I know to show remorse, you know, and try and make up for it, you know, and, and reflect on myself, how can I do something better next time? These types of people, there are no boundaries. You know, anything goes, they are ruthless and they do not think they’ve ever done anything wrong. Even when they are saying oh, I’ll change. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. They don’t mean it. They’re just saying it to keep you there. 

[00:19:55] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, a lot of people go through relationships like this, don’t they? I think, like you said, a lot of people it’s a cycle and people don’t actually even know they’re in it until it is almost I say too late, but you know, that they almost feel trapped, um, by the end of it so. 

[00:20:13] Anonymous: And do you explain to somebody, what you’re going through, because you know, I even still feel like I sound so petty trying to explain these things to people, because it’s so hard to explain and people don’t understand that unless you’ve been through something yourself, that is similar, it’s really hard to get your head around it.

[00:20:29] Carla: Yeah. Because when you’re saying things, you probably think, well, you know, it could, I suppose everything can be excused can’t it to a certain extent. 

[00:20:37] Anonymous: Yeah. 

[00:20:37] Carla: You know? Um, but yeah. I know when you, when you’re actually in it’s, it’s a lot worse mentally and emotionally draining. Um. 

[00:20:47] Anonymous: I used to think, do you know what? It would be so much easier if he hit me. 

[00:20:51] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. I can imagine. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, what’s right and wrong and you could walk away and it’s just like, it’s just a definitive answer isn’t it. Or I won’t put up with that, well we say that, but it’s very easy to do that as well, but, uh, Yeah. I know exactly what you mean. It’s yeah. It’s almost it’s yeah. In the mindset. Yeah. Like, you know, when they’re like saying all this stuff and stuff, like you said, it’s almost a part of you thinks, is it my fault or have I done something? So it’s very hard to, to actually, have a clear, clear answer on any of it. Really. 

[00:21:26] Anonymous: Yeah. It’s very hard to know what’s right and wrong. And you know where to go to get help because you think you’re the problem. 

[00:21:35] Carla: Mm. So, so when you decided to leave in summer 2017 then. Did you, um, what was the final straw for you at that stage? 

[00:21:47] Anonymous: I tried to leave once earlier that year. Um, and I don’t know what it was that made me leave that time. I think it was just, we had so much going on at the time and I contributed to some of the issues that we had, you know, within the marriage and stuff, um, work wise and things like that. Um, and that caused quite a lot of pressure on us as a family, but I tried so hard, you know, to fix it and, you know, make things right without going into details of what it was. But I got to the point, I just thought we are arguing all of the time, the children are witnessing this I’m crying all the time. I can’t function like normal day to day, so we had some time out. Um, but I didn’t have anywhere properly to go. And it, it just, I wasn’t ready. 

[00:22:34] Carla: Did the children take you. Did, did you take the children or did?

[00:22:38] Anonymous: Yeah I left with the two children. Um, I think we spent probably a week, maybe not quite that long away. Um, but again, he missed us so much. He’ll change. He’ll never do that again. Um, you know, don’t break our family up, please don’t do that to him. So we went back. And things were alright for a little while. Then we  found out we were respecting our third, which was unplanned. So then I had to stay, well, obviously I didn’t have to stay, you know, you don’t ever have to stay. But in my head I had to stay because we had another child, but it wasn’t the right thing to do. It was hell the next six months were absolute hell. And the final straw came one day when he was being abusive towards me in front of the children. And I saw how it affected the children. 

[00:23:30] Carla: What was he doing? Do you remember? 

[00:23:33] Anonymous: Yeah I do. Um, I, I hadn’t greeted him the right way when he came in from work.

[00:23:40]Carla:  Oh my gosh.

[00:23:41]Anonymous:  He just started on me. You know, it starts off with little things like, oh, what’s up with you, you know, which is a normal conversation, isn’t it. If you’re in a bad mood or something, but then it turns nasty, you know? And I’m, uh, you know, a bad mum. I’m sorry. I was going to swear then But I thought I better not. 

[00:23:58] Carla: No, I don’t mind. I’m always swearing on here. This is why. Yeah. On this one it’s aloud. Swear. all you like. 

[00:24:05] Anonymous: So yeah, I was a bad mum, bad wife. He couldn’t wait to meet the perfect wife. I look like backend of a bus again, you know.

[00:24:15] Carla: And you were pregnant, you were pregnant at this time?

[00:24:19] Anonymous: Yeah, nobody would want me, the kids were present. Um, and I ended up asking him to stop telling him, please go to bed, please leave me alone. The kids are here and he just didn’t, he just carried on with this like tirade of abuse and I was sobbing and my eldest got involved. And at that point I knew I had to leave.

[00:24:42] Carla: How old was your eldest at that stage? 

[00:24:45] Anonymous: Um, Three possibly. 

[00:24:48] Carla: Oh yeah, it’s hard that. Oh my goodness. 

[00:24:53] Anonymous: So I then decided to leave, but I think it still took a few months before I actually left the home. So yeah, but the silly thing is that I left with a view of trying to sort our marriage out, thinking it could still be fixed.

[00:25:08] Carla: Um, gosh. 

[00:25:10] Anonymous: And I jumped through hoops to try and fix our marriage.

[00:25:14] Carla: Did he agree to counseling and stuff like that then?

[00:25:18] Anonymous: Initially, yes. Um, but I wanted to wait until the baby was born because I couldn’t, I couldn’t deal with everything that was going on and start counseling. Um, so I asked him to wait until the baby was born. Let me, let me deal with all of that. And then we’d go to couples counseling. However, just before the baby was born, he, he ended things. And he got into a relationship with somebody else.

[00:25:41]Carla:  Oh goodness. Wow. Thats I mean, that’s so hard. I mean, was he at the birth and stuff like that? Or I bet you didn’t even want him there? 

[00:25:52] Anonymous: No. So it was very, very difficult.

[00:25:56] Carla: Did you see that coming?. I mean, how did that come about? 

[00:25:59] Anonymous: No. I don’t know. 

[00:26:02] Carla: God.

[00:26:03] Anonymous: I don’t know. But he’d still telling me I haven’t tried hard enough if only I hadn’t left him. I wouldn’t, he wouldn’t do that, but she was amazing, you know, the best, everything that I wasn’t, she was, and he couldn’t wait to start a family with her. He loved her so quickly. But he continued to then still emotionally and mentally abuse me and tried to manipulate me back into a relationship with him.

[00:26:27]Carla:  While he was with her?

[00:26:28]Anonymous:  Yeah. He played us both. You know, I, I he’ll tell you that I didn’t do anything to fight for our marriage. I did more than I should have done to fight for our marriage.

[00:26:36] Carla: God. So is he still with this person now or? 

[00:26:41] Anonymous: No, she saw the light thankfully. But she’s crazy now.

[00:26:45]Carla:  Really?

[00:26:47]Anonymous:  Yeah. That’s what he says. She’s crazy. 

[00:26:51] Carla: Yeah. So were they together a long time? 

[00:26:55] Anonymous: On and off yeah.

[00:26:57]Carla:  Did they have children?

[00:26:59]Anonymous:  No thankfully. She was lovely. I mean, I don’t know personally, but I met her and we discussed a few things about our relationship, um, and what was going on. And she was completely oblivious to a lot of it. But even when she did become aware, she didn’t want to believe she’d, she just believed what he was telling her. And, he really hurt her as well.

[00:27:22] Carla: So sad.

[00:27:24] Anonymous: But she, luckily she has escaped him now. She has no ties to him and, unfortunately I still do. 

[00:27:30] Carla: Yeah, of course. So how does it work with the children then? Do you still have to see him or do you kind of go through parents or? 

[00:27:37] Anonymous: Oh we tried all sorts over the years. So I ended up having to get a child arrangment order in place. To get him to have a set pattern, a schedule that you see the children cause he was very sporadic with it and wouldn’t commit. Or if he did, it was very last minute. So it was, it was like an element of control over me still. Um, so I got advice and managed to get child arrangement order, in place. So we have a set pattern now that he has the children. Um, and it seems to work most of the time, but I still have to have contact with him that I wish I didn’t have to have. I’ve had wobbles since we’ve been separated thinking I should, you know, try and, and still be a family, you know? Um, yeah, he’s just got this way of getting under my skin and, and knowing how to get in my head and make me doubt myself.

[00:28:25] Carla: How long was he with his other girlfriend for then? 

[00:28:27] Anonymous: I think about 18 months maybe. I’m not exactly sure. 

[00:28:33] Carla: So that’s like a big break you’ve had as well, but yeah, some people just know how to manipulate you and I think that’s, that’s the thing, isn’t it? 

[00:28:43] Anonymous: Yeah. Unfortunately and not, still not being aware of, of what was going on. So it wasn’t until I think I spoke to my health visitor. About what was going on and, and she sort of highlighted that it wasn’t right. My sister had tried to tell me a couple times, but I didn’t listen. She was like, you’re being abused here. And I’m like, no, no, don’t be stupid. He’s just he’s got his own problems. He’s just a bit messed up, you know, I can fix him, but it wasn’t until I sat with a police officer and talked about what was going on and they told me I could build a case against him for coercive and controlling behavior.

[00:29:22]Carla:  I’ve never heard of that then. So can you explain a bit more how that works?

[00:29:27] Anonymous: Yeah. So it was a new law that was passed, I think in 2015, um, where people that do control, manipulate, and coerce people that are in a, a relationship, not necessarily a partnership relationship. It could be family members as well, but you know, a close relationship. Um, there is now a law that means that they can actually get a prison sentence for abusing people this way. But I wasn’t prepared. I wasn’t prepared to do that to my family. I wasn’t in the right frame of mind to, you know, it, it would have affected all of us. Yeah. No, I just left that, but it kind of was a wake up call. And then I ended up being supportive by Women’s Aid. 

[00:30:11] Carla: That’s great that they do that. So where did you go between this time? Did you find your own place then? Did you eventually actually just kind of get your own place? 

[00:30:21] Anonymous: Yeah, I rented, I left.

[00:30:24]Carla:  And he was still in the house? 

[00:30:27] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. He kept the house as part of the divorce because I didn’t want to go to that house. It had lots of, obviously unhappy memories. I wanted a fresh start with the children’s in somewhere that was ours.

[00:30:36] Carla: Mm. Yeah. I mean, how’s everything now then, I mean, how are you, how are you coping now? 

[00:30:43] Anonymous: Uh, not so great at the moment. Uh, you know, we have good days and bad days, but at the moment, things, things aren’t great. So, but we just have to ride it out don’t for the sake of the children. 

[00:30:53] Carla: Yeah. Yeah. And is he with anyone else now?

[00:30:57] Anonymous: I don’t think so. 

[00:30:59] Carla: Goodness. Yeah. So,hard. 

[00:31:00] Anonymous: He says I have put him off women, but then, you know, I’ve heard of lots of women that have been contacted by him to, you know, friends that have said, oh, such a bodies been contacted by him. I’ve warned them off. Like, well, people have got to make their own choices, haven’t they? But, uh, you know, 

[00:31:18] Carla: And are you divorced now?

[00:31:21] Anonymous: Yes. Couple of years now.

[00:31:26] Carla: I bet that was a hard decision. When you was going through alll this. Or were you all right with it at that stage? 

[00:31:32] Anonymous: It was horrendous, a horrendous decision. I really struggled with that. I knew it was the right thing to do, but at the same time I felt such a failure. I felt such shame. And he kept telling me that, you know, one minute he couldn’t wait to divorce me the next minute he wished we were still together. Why am I divorcing him? And I didn’t know my own mind through a lot of it. But, I’ll tell you what it made me realize how strong I am, because I managed to do the most of it on my own. Um, I managed to get a divorce coach for online that supported me through it and read some books to support me through it. So, you know, you hear people saying it’s costing thousands and thousands of pounds. I managed to just get the financial arrangements with a solicitor being needed for that. The rest of it. I did all by myself. 

[00:32:19] Carla: And, and how did Women’s Aid help? 

[00:32:23] Anonymous: Um, there were at the end of the phone and supporting me, um, 

[00:32:27] Carla: What do they do then? Can you explain a bit more about what they do and there’s one of those all over isn’t there?

[00:32:33] Anonymous: Yeah. Yeah. There’s like a national women’s aid and then there’s like the national domestic violence charity as well that you can call anytime I think. But our local one here is. You can just ring them. They’ve got set hours, you can ring them. And it’s just a local number that you ring. They don’t give away who they are when you’re ringing them. So obviously, you know, um, people can’t just ring up and find out where they are. And they just offer support, um, you know, talk to them about what’s going on, give you advice, signpost you to where you need to go. Or if you are at risk, they will obviously take the necessary steps to, to help you if you need to leave. Cause leaving, leaving. So I didn’t know at the time, but leaving somebody, especially with these, you know, traits is one of the most dangerous things that you can do.

[00:33:22]Carla:  Oh really?

[00:33:24] Anonymous: You know, if there’s anyone out there that is thinking about leaving somebody, please get help to do that. Please don’t, you know, put yourself at any more risk. There is so much help out there to make sure that you do it the right way. There’s refuges that people can go to. You know, if they really need to escape somebody that you know is violent, it’s just, it doesn’t get talked about. People don’t know. 

[00:33:45] Carla: I think it’s a hard thing to pinpoint though, sometimes as well, because like you’ve said, you know, it’s really hard to explain, um, 

[00:33:55] Anonymous: The minute that you start questioning yourself or asking yourself, is there something wrong in my relationship? Am I a narcissist? And am I abusive? The minute you start asking those questions, there is something wrong in your relationship. And it’s highly unlikely that you will be the problem. 

[00:34:13] Carla: Yeah. It was, a lot of people I know that have been in relationships like this as well. And it’s not just women either. It can be men too.

[00:34:23] Anonymous: Oh yeah it can happen to anybody yeah.

[00:34:25] Carla: Do you know of any support groups or anything like that that you can go to and meet other people that have been in similar, similar situations? Is there anything like that? 

[00:34:35] Anonymous: Yeah. Uh, I think at the moment, because of COVID there isn’t anything physical. I think you can do like online there’s some online support groups, um, and forums that you can join. And, um, they used to have, um, regular meetups for victims to go to, to, to get support. Um, and then I was fortunate enough, fortunate enough, probably not the right way to look at it but I was, to go on their recovery program as well. 

[00:35:05] Carla: Wow. 

[00:35:06] Anonymous: So like a 12 week program, which goes through, you know, the different cycles of abuse, um, and how to, you know, not get yourself into that position again. You know how to learn to see the signs, the red flags know what boundaries are and you know, what’s not acceptable. That was a real eye-opener. 

[00:35:26] Carla: Wow. Yeah. Yeah. So, so with your children, obviously they’re growing up a little bit now, do they ask any questions? I mean, what, what do you tell them and do you know, how will that work in the future? Do you think? Cause they are, they probably will ask won’t they? 

[00:35:41] Anonymous: Yeah. I mean, obviously you get the, you know why are mummy and daddy not together? When are you going to get back with daddy? You know, we’re going to all live in a house together again. Um, and 

[00:35:51] Carla: I bet thats hard. It’s heartbreaking, isn’t it really.

[00:35:54] Anonymous: It is because it’s not how I expected my life to be, you know, I wanted, you know, eventually wanted that family life, you know, nice husband, happy children, nice house, you know, holidays, everything you dream of isn’t it? But I’ve come to realize now that you don’t have to be a two parent family to have that. You know, as long as you’re happy and your children are happy, that’s all that matter. And mine are lucky enough to have, you know, two parents that love them. They have two homes, they get two Christmases, you know, they get extra birthday presents and I sell it to them like that. And you know, that they’re very much loved and they can always come and talk to mummy, you know? They’ve had the moments and things, but on the whole we’re okay. 

[00:36:36] Carla: That’s great. And, and it being a dad as dads go, he’s a good dad. Um, is that right? 

[00:36:43] Anonymous: Yeah. More recently, since COVID yes. 

[00:36:45] Carla: Yeah. Yeah.

[00:36:46] Anonymous: Covid kind of flipped a switch, I think. And, and yes, hes stilI  very manipulating and controlling though. And, and, you know, causes lots of issues where there don’t need to be issues but. 

[00:36:58] Carla: Hmm. And how do you feel about meeting someone else? Are you ready for that yet? Or. 

[00:37:03] Anonymous: Oh Im not ready yet. No, no, I have, I have tried, but it hasn’t worked. 

[00:37:10] Carla: No.

[00:37:11]Anonymous:  But I think the key is that, you know, you’ve got to love yourself before someone else can love you. And after what I’ve been through, you know, my self esteem, my self worth are. You know, non-existent and I need to work on them before I can let someone else in. 

[00:37:26] Carla: Iyeah. Yeah. And how, how, what have you done? What kind of therapies have you done? Because we spoke a little bit about you. Did, um, IEMT, did you, cause I, I actually did that. Um, do have you done anything else? 

[00:37:39] Anonymous: I have done talking therapies, so like speaking to a counselor and some CBT, but I’m not quite there yet. I haven’t found yet the right person to, to fix me, although that sounds a bit wrong, but yeah.

[00:37:54]Carla:  It can be, a mix of things though, can’t it sometimes? Because only recently I’ve stopped having panic attacks and you know, it’s taken me two years. Probably two years is it? Maybe 18 months since I was getting them all the time. And then like I did counseling, CBT, IEMT, acupuncture, Reiki, um, giving up coffee and everything. And then eventually it’s kind of now they’ve stopped. Um, but I don’t know what the thing was that stopped it. I feel like it was probably a mix of things really. 

[00:38:27] Anonymous: Yeah. I think that’s it. Everyone’s different as well. Aren’t they? So I think you just got to find that mix that works for you. 

[00:38:32] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Definitely. Well, thank you so much for coming and talking to us today. Is there any advice that you’d give anyone that thinks they might be in a relationship like that or anyone, any signs that people should be looking out for?

[00:38:46] Anonymous: Yeah, basically. Trust your gut. And if there are anything that you see as red flags, don’t ignore them. 

[00:38:52] Carla: And do you think it would help to keep, um, like kind of a journal or something like that so that they can record things? So, you know.

[00:39:00] Anonymous: Yeah definately.

[00:39:01]Carla:  Yeah. But one that, they can’t obviously, the abuser can’t actually access. 

[00:39:07] Anonymous: Yeah. You’ve got to be so careful with things like that. Yeah. And confide in somebody that you trust. 

[00:39:13] Carla: Yeah, I think, I think that’s it. Sometimes people are scared to confide in someone because they don’t want to be, they’re not quite ready to leave and they don’t want to be told you need to leave. You need to leave. People just want someone to listen and understand don’t they sometimes. 

[00:39:27] Anonymous: Yeah. Sometimes, you know, even if there’s friends out there, they’re supporting people going through something and you know that they shouldn’t be there. Don’t push. Just be there for them for when they already, because they can only do it when they are ready. 

[00:39:41] Carla: Yeah. And also if you push, I think sometimes only from how I’ve been in the past is I think you, then won’t tell that friend much more and you’ll stop telling them stuff. So I think it’s important  to have that person that you can talk to and talk openly and honestly, to.

[00:39:59]Anonymous:  Yeah, it definitely is. Isn’t it? 

[00:40:00] Carla: Yeah, definitely. Well, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you think we should know about or anything like that in terms of this. 

[00:40:09] Anonymous: Theres so much. But there’s so much information available. You just have to go and look for it. 

[00:40:15] Carla: Yeah. Have you got, perhaps you can send us a couple of useful links. Is that okay? 

[00:40:20] Anonymous: Yes, we’ll do that. Yeah.

[00:40:21]Carla:  Right. Brilliant. Thank you so much. 

[00:40:24] Anonymous: No thank you.

[00:40:28] Carla: Thank you so much for listening to today. This episode of Fifty Shades of Motherhood, Fifty Shades of Motherhood is all about being free, being real, being raw and saying what you want to say without fear of judgment. So if you have enjoyed today’s episode, please, please share it with your friends. You never know who it might help.

[00:40:51] Not everyone is so open about sharing their stories. So it’s really important to raise awareness around topics so that it can help other people feel less alone. And also if you don’t mind reviewing us and subscribing, that would be amazing. It means the more listeners we have, the more podcasts that I can create.

[00:41:13] So thank you once again for listening. If you want to make any suggestions for future episodes, please pop me an email over my email is  [email protected]. And I look forward to speaking to you next time on Fifty Shades.

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