Help! Abusive Husband

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2010
Help! Abusive Husband
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 10:21am

Here's the deal-husband and I have a joint account for our paychecks.  He has been emotionally and verbally abusive over the years and I want to leave. He has thrown things "in my direction", latest being half a banana and once a remote control and once a manual can opener.  He calls me names like "idiot" and if I don't agree with him on something trivial he tells me to "F-off." He is controlling and nickel and dimes me. Daily, he looks at out accounts online to see activity. 

I want to leave but the abuse center I contacted said to move out when he is not home. FIrst off, we both work.  He works from home some days, some scheduled some are not so it's very unpredictable.  Secondly, I have only a few hundred dollars stashed and that is not nearly enough for a deposit on an apartment.  The abuse center said don't move my money until just before I leave but I told them I cannot leave without money.  They did not have anything to advise me to do about this!  I have direct deposit for my paycheck and it takes about a month to switch accounts. 

I have health issues that limit my physical energy so packing and leaving in ONE DAY is so overwhelming to me!  I make less than $40K and he makes about four times this!  I don't want to leave all my possessions that I had before we married with him, and I want to take some basic furniture items.  I married late in life (mid-30's) and we have been married 15 years and have a teenage daughter. He treats her badly as well. 

I don't have a strong support system - parents are elderly and sickly, siblings spread out, not really any close friends to speak of.  I can't even get away to attend the support group I want to go to because he will question my whereabouts.

I NEED SOME ADVICE, POSSIBLY FROM SOMEONE WHO HAS BEEN IN THE SAME SITUATION. I don't know where to start to make my "escape."Cry


Avatar for xxxs
Community Leader
Registered: 01-25-2010
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 2:58pm

  See a lawyer who is in the family-divorce business.  The lawyer will be able to help you with all the problems. 


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2012
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 3:04pm


You can also call Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE, and please also check out our Crisis Information & Community Website.

Maybe you can find some help and advice there also.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 5:17pm

You should consult a lawyer about whether you can get a restraining order--then he would have to move out, not you.  Even though it would take a month for you to get direct deposit changed, why not start doing it now?  When the center said don't  move your money until you're ready to leave, I believe it was so that he wouldn't get suspicious, but if you did find a place to go, then you could withdraw the money from the joint acct. at that point--if both of you are putting your money in there, then 1/2 of it is considered yours--even though he makes more money than you, it doesn't mean that you are only entitled to "your" paycheck.  You should also consult a lawyer to see what amount of child support and/or alimony you would be entitled to.  If you have been married long enough to have a teenager, you might get alimony.  Good luck.

Avatar for Kendahke1
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-09-2012
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 5:21pm

^^DV board

someone there referenced your post earlier...  you may get the advice you seek there as well.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2008
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 5:46pm

I love everyone's responses to you so far and yes when you get a chance go over to the DV boards.. The community leader over there has experience in this and she will give you excellent choices for you to make decisions and what your options are.

When I left my abusive Ex I went to the bank and withdraw half of the money in our joint account and went to stay in a hotel.. Yes; like Music said it is perfectly legal and I was very fortunate in that after that a friend took me in for almost two years but that is what I did.

I would def. get that restraining order and do not tell your husband anything..nothing at all..


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-10-2012
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 6:45pm

Please go check out the Crisis Resource link.   There is a wealth of info and some really great support.  I wish you well.  You are not alone.

Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Mon, 12-31-2012 - 10:25pm


First of all you need legal advice. Find an experienced divorce attorney and pay them their hourly fee to find out your rights and responsibilities if you decide to file for divorce. One question you should ask is your right to remove your property from the maritial home WITH police present, if you feel this is necessary.

I'd also advise you to set up a sole-owned bank account, at a different bank, and start switching your direct deposit ASAP. If it takes a month, you've got 30 days to get your act together and get moving. I'd also start gathering and copying tax returns, bank statements, loans, insurance policies, credit card statements, utility bills, mortgage statements, paystubs (his and yours) and any other documentation of income and expenses. Get a safe deposit box or ask someone you trust to hold these for you. DO NOT leave them in the maritial home. Get and keep your SSN card in a safe place, too. 

Decide what you can leave behind if you need to leave in a hurry. Pack some clothes, toiletries, and your documents, SSN card, and emergency cash, vehicle, gas, etc. 

Make sure you have a safe place to go before you leave - and keep quiet about where that is. For some reason, alot of abused spouses TELL their abuser where they are going. DON'T! Unless you have kids, you have no obligation to inform your husband where you are going.

Again, the first and most important thing you must do is get legal advice. Don't assume anything and don't rely on one source of info. Be sure you understand what you are doing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Tue, 01-01-2013 - 1:34am

I fully agree with the others. The first thing you need to do is find a good divorce lawyer and get some legal advice. He/she will be able to recommend to you the best way to proceed with getiing out in an abuse situation. Now IF you are in fear of him physically abusing/attacking you or your daughter I would then look at getting away from him ASAP. I had a friend in this situation a long time ago and she had to take the kids and go live in a family shelter for a while until she could find a safer place to go and prepare for serving him divorce papers. You may want to start checking into whether there are any family shelters in your area just in case the abuse escalates. My friends husband was also very controlling in that he monitored her spending and whereabouts all the time and was mean to her and the kids. She didn't leave until the first time he smacked her in the face. Plan you escape route carefully and quickly before this situation gets any worse. Good Luck

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Tue, 01-01-2013 - 2:12pm


Everyone here has given you great advice!

If you are in immediate danger you can call 911.

Check out DV shelters where you live...they can help you!

Important Resources for Domestic Abuse

Fri, 11-02-2012 - 12:15pm

If you are in danger, please seek help immediately by calling 911, your local authorities, or the Domestic Violence Hotline, 1-800-799-SAFE. Please also check out our Crisis Information & Community Website.

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Edited by: cmjenas on 11-30-2012

Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Tue, 01-01-2013 - 2:22pm
I had trouble accessing the Crisis Information but the Community Website is working...