Is this domestic violence?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2011
Is this domestic violence?
8
Wed, 01-19-2011 - 12:32am

This doesn't sound like a domestic violence question but it is. It's just that I need to give some background into my relationship for context.

I left my boyfriend a few months ago after seven years of living together. We never got married because I guess I always knew deep down that he wasn't "the one." Everything was great in the beginning. He had a great job and family money and he was very supportive of my decision to focus on school. I worked part time to earn enough money to help pay rent and buy groceries but he was the main breadwinner in our relationship. A few years ago he bought a house. I wasn't keen on the idea but I went along with his plan. I told him I wouldn't contribute anything toward the downpayment but I would help with his mortgage payments. I figured doing that was the same as paying rent every month and he needed my income to help qualify for the loan. Without telling me, he told the bank that "we" were buying the house so I ended up owning one half of the house.

Right before he bought his house, I finally landed my first real full time job. It was a teaching job at a local college with a good salary and great benefits. Right after he bought the house, he lost his job. That's when he begin to change. He would get moody and act depressed. He also became a lot more selfish. Money had never been an issue with us because he has family money. Even when he lost his job, his lifestyle wasn't threatened because he had enough of a cushion to survive without working at least for a while--maybe even forever. And he got another job right away anyway.

But after that he wasn't the same. We begin to fight over money. He was critical of things I bought with MY money. Plans he had for fixing up the house were put on hold because he said he couldn't afford it. Like, before the whole house/layoff thing he needed a new car and he was looking at buying a new Lexus. He refused to buy a new car while he was unemployed and then after he got a new job, he went and bought a Toyota. He knew how much I wanted the Lexus but he only considered himself. Another example: every winter we would go skiing in Aspen but this year, he said we couldn't afford it.

I think his problem is that he can't stand to see me as an equal partner after me depending on him for so many years. Over the last year, his personal attacks about my spending have been causing me to slip deeper and deeper into depression. I wasn't poor when I was growing up but my family was lower working class. His family was the opposite of mine and I can see now that his upbringing turned him into a selfish self centered spoiled little rich boy. When he talks down to me about savings and investing, he knows it hurts me personally but he continuesd to do it.

After several months of living in this hell, I told him I was leaving him for good. When I told him this, he threw his house in my face saying that since I owned one half of his house I had to pay one half of his mortgage. He knows that I can't afford to pay for half of his house AND pay rent to live somewhere else. He also knows that I am going to be responsible for supporting my handicapped father in a few years and that money will be a big issue for me.

I have missed several days of work due to the severe depression his actions have caused. The few times I talked to him after I moved out, he smugly reminds me that I need to pay the mortgage or he'll take me to court. His actions are definitely psychological torture and he definitely qualifies as a verbal and an emotional abuser. But he never physically attacked me. He gets enraged whenever our fighting escalates, that's for sure. But even when I hit him or throw things at him, he won't hit back. He says he won't hit me but he'll just leave the house because he knows that will make me even angrier. And it does. I hate not finishing a fight!

After our last fight, he said he'll see me in court and I think he's serious. If he sues me and wins, I won't be able to survive. I'll be forced to move back into the house which is exactly what he wants. Can I get a restraining order against this guy so he'll stop threatening me? What he's doing to me is in many ways worse than physical violence. Honestly, if he would beat me up and then be done with it, I'd be happy. I could move on. But the constant threat of economic ruin is destroying me inside. What do I do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 01-19-2011 - 1:08am

is your name on the title? if yes then tell him you want him to pay YOU for YOUR half of the house or sell it...dont let him use the mortgage to black mail you into staying when you know you should leave.

For depression,

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-04-2000
Wed, 01-19-2011 - 1:11am

forgot to add if your name is NOT on the title then he cannot get the courts to order you to pay his mortgage...you are only obligated to pay bills YOU signed. If you did not sign the mortgage papers then YOU do not have to pay him one dime...if you did sign the mortgage paperwork then see my above comment.

Kat

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Wed, 01-19-2011 - 10:54pm

Hi Savage, first of all, let's address the concerns over the house.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-18-2011
Sat, 01-22-2011 - 6:32pm

Gee, thanks for your advice. NO! I AM NOT AN ABUSER! Yes, I hit him and throw things at him but he's never been hurt. Maybe he doesn't hit me but he gets really angry and breaks things. He broke a jewelry dish my grammy gave to me for no reason. He said it was an accident but I don't believe him. To say that I'm an abuser because I hit him is a distortion of reality. He isn't frightened of me like I am of him. He's six feet two inches tall and weighs 180 lbs. If he wanted to hurt me he could and that really scares me.

Besides, domestic violence doesn't only mean hitting. It includes emotional abuse and that's what he does with his house. I did sign the mortgage agreement with the bank and his house was recorded in both our names. The house has lost value since he bought it. He could sell the house and have enough equity to pay off the bank but he would lose about half of his downpayment. But that's his problem not mine. I didn't pay any of the downpayment.

I called the police twice to report him for abusing me but they didn't take a report either time. They said I should get a restraining order if I want one so that's what I'm going to do.

Avatar for cajunharmony
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2001
Sat, 01-22-2011 - 8:02pm
Savage, believe what you will. I call it as I see it. And any time ANYONE hits and throws things at another person they are abusing them physically. I am well versed in what domestic violence is and isn't. I can understand you not being willing to face the possibility that you are abusive. It's a bitter pill to swallow, and many never do. But I have to be straight with you, I can't support your quest for vindication or acceptance of your behavior. It's every bit as bad as it sounds like his is. JMHO. Be mad or not. LIke I said, I call it like I see it. But I'm just one person. I'm sure there are others here who see it differently and that's the wonderful thing about this board. All POV's are welcome. Good luck.

Mama Harmony

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2004
Mon, 01-24-2011 - 11:47pm

I'm having trouble reconciling these two statements:

"Without telling me, he told the bank that "we" were buying the house so I ended up owning one half of the house."

and

"I did sign the mortgage agreement with the bank and his house was recorded in both our names."

And Mama Harmony is 100% correct - this guy sounds like a real jerk, but *you* are the abuser in this relationship. I hope that you are able to seek out the help that you so obviously need.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-06-2001
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 10:52am

It sounds like you're both at fault here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2009
Tue, 01-25-2011 - 11:27am

I think he sets the tone of the arguments.

sweets35