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To wonder if it might be easier on my own.

(103 Posts)
Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 20:37:36

Because about 75% of the time my partner makes me feel sad, or pissed off or just shit. We have a 20 month old who is absolutely amazing, partner is ace with him. We've been together for ever. We had a rocky patch about 7 years in - we split up and got back together a couple of times but then things stablised.

I feel as though my feelings don't count, that he minimises my concerns and that I can't talk things through with him.

He's making life more difficult, not better.

I don't want my child growing up always hearing arguing, like I did, because it's horrible. And I don't want him in the middle of a frosty atmosphere.

MsVestibule Sat 19-Oct-13 20:41:25

Feeling unhappy 75% of the time is pretty bad. Is he actually abusive, emotionally or otherwise? Would you consider counselling, either together or separately? Even if it doesn't bring you closer together, it may help a split to be less painful.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 20:44:01

No, he's not abusive, certainly not physically. My emotional needs are not being met within the relationship, but I don't think that counts as abuse. I think if I suggested counselling he would fly into defensive mode.

Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 20:58:43

Mmmmmm I was in your place 4 months ago, my son was 15 months I was fecking miserable. I asked him to leave, I haven't regretted it. If you feel you have done all you can, he isn't making any changes then maybe it's for you. However if this is a bad spell and there is a chance to sort things out you should sort it.
My partner wasn't abusive he was just a very lazy person who made no attempt to interact with our son unless heavily prompted. A partner doesn't have to be abusive for you to want to leave them.

TheRobberBride Sat 19-Oct-13 20:58:53

75% of the time is a lot to be miserable. Do you get anything positive out of the relationship? Do you love him? Do you think he'd be willing to make changes?

FWIW, my marriage was miserable. My STBEH was abusive. In my case, it is certainly easier on my own. I don't miss my ex at all. And day to day, childcare and chores are much easier now I don't have him criticising all the time.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:02:01

Do I love him? Honestly, I just don't know any more. And I don't even know if he LIKES me. I feel criticised constantly.

I feel as though I'm in a bit of a fog.

Gretagumbo Sat 19-Oct-13 21:05:30

Life is short honey! I class coming out of that fog as one of my life achievements smile x

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:10:32

When we split before, it was 'out of the blue' to him, I hurt him really badly I think.

I don't think we ever really sorted out the underlying issues.

I feel so guilty that I would even consider doing that again. I'm trying so hard to talk to him about how I feel, but he just bats it off.

BerstieSpotts Sat 19-Oct-13 21:12:06

It doesn't matter if he's abusive or not, if you're unhappy 75% of the time, what are you still doing there?? Sweetie, life is too short and your 20 month old is too precious to be dragged down by his moods and sniping constantly. He can be an "amazing dad" on his own time, things will be better for all of you.

Oh, and I'd also bet my house (that I don't own, okay, my computer then) that if you have a look on the Emotional Abuse support thread over in Relationships (it may be long; the first post will have links and other than that you can either jump in at the last page or so or just skip randomly through and read if you don't want to read all of it) - you would recognise your H in there. Abuse is not only physical.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 21:12:45

Sounds like he needs a kick up the arse or he's going to lose you and have to see his son less often. Maybe he needs to realise this?

The criticising you sounds awful

BerstieSpotts Sat 19-Oct-13 21:16:49

He's not giving you a chance to discuss it then, really. He only has himself to blame when it comes as a big surprise.

I know that sounds like a hard hearted way to think about it, but you have to be, in the end sad

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:19:48

He does have horrible moods Bertie. Then when I ask what is wrong, he says 'nothing' (which is patently not true) then will eventually tell me. Usually it is my fault - he often will hark back to past issues during disagreements, or if he's just pissed off.

I don't know how to kick him up the arse - which is weird, because at work I am chief arse kicker <weak smile>

Apileofballyhoo Sat 19-Oct-13 21:24:32

YAdefinitelyNBU. Also, you can't stay with someone because they would be upset if you split - you are unhappy there and that's no model for your child.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:28:12

I know, rationally that it's shit and I shouldn't countenance carrying on. If it was a friend asking my advice I'd tell her to have it out with him, go to relate and then get out if things didn't improve.

But in the midst? I question my own judgement, my sense of self feels wobbly, I wonder if actually I'm the shit one

Ruffcat Sat 19-Oct-13 21:29:38

Hi I just wanted to say I feel the same as you, it's so hard to know what to do! I'm honestly at a loss, and my self esteem is taking a massive hit, I honestly don't know if it's me anymore that being moody or unreasonable

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:34:03

You see, ruffcat, I'd tell you to LTB.

<wishes there was an 'ironic' smiley, perhaps fashioned after Alanis Morriset>

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 21:38:34

He sounds emotionally abusive

Aeroaddict Sat 19-Oct-13 21:39:16

The thing is OP, it doesn't matter if you are at fault or if he is. If it's not working and you aren't happy then something needs to change.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:40:46

I'm not sure about that crumpet - but then, I work with children many of whom are on child protection plans for various sorts of abuse so my line for what is abuse may be higher than some.

How would you define emotional abuse?

Ruffcat Sat 19-Oct-13 21:43:08

Oh if it was anyone else I'd be saying leave leave leave, and I'm also thinking why don't you just leave life's to short, but it's hard and the impact is massive

I can't offer advice just solidarity as I'm in a similar position. My DD is 4 months, I'm sitting upstairs trying to get her off to sleep again, she's been crying on and off for hours and I've been running up and down the stairs. OH is watching tv and hasn't once lifted a finger to help. I'd tell you (and me) to LTB but it's not all that easy is it.

BerstieSpotts Sat 19-Oct-13 21:52:16

Look, blocking discussion EVERY TIME is abusive. Making out everything is always your fault is abusive. Bringing up old discussions for no reason other than as a stick to beat you with is abusive. Sulking is abusive. Constant criticism is abusive. Belittling your feelings? Abusive. Flying into defensive mode - also abusive especially if it's every time you try to offer a perfectly reasonable suggestion like counselling.

Yes, you are in an abusive relationship. Physical abuse is a tiny tiny part of the control that abuse actually consists of, and most of this is done via emotional or verbal means. Plus, since physical abuse is a, obvious and b, frowned upon quite heavily by most of society these days, I think it's probably less likely that the "average" (if you like) victim of abuse will experience physical violence. That doesn't make the abuse any less real, any less debilitating, any less important.

You can't "kick an abuser up the arse". It doesn't work like that. He thinks he is right - he thinks that he's perfectly entitled to behave this way and that you are the unreasonable one for expecting him to actually treat you with the kind of basic human respect you'd offer a stranger, let alone the kind of respect that most men treat their wives.

Of course he was surprised when you left before - he has the perfect set up, everything is fine for him, in his world, why would you be unhappy? It's not like you're a real person with feelings and needs and happiness, is it?

You are in this horrible stage where everything feels like you're swimming through treacle just to keep going every day, you can't think about an alternative because you're too busy trying to block out how awful the reality really is. You're also questioning yourself because you're ascribing your own moral values and thought patterns to his behaviour, hence thinking "If he's treating me like this, then there must be something wrong with me. I must be a really terrible person. I'm really upsetting him and that's not fair." Nope, sorry. That's not how it works. You have to come to terms with the fact that his mind works in a totally different way to yours. He treats you like shit not because you're a horrible person.

You aren't a horrible person, BTW, or you wouldn't be tying yourself up in knots about whether to leave him and how much it would hurt him and how he doesn't have any idea and it would be unfair to spring it on him, even though he's the one preventing the discussion and he's the one not listening when you're trying to tell him how bad it is and how you're feeling. He's effectively stopped you from leaving by blocking your first move, which is to try and communicate this with him. But guess what? You can just leave the game. You don't have to follow the established series of moves which is deemed "fair". He isn't following the rules of the game, either.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:52:19

He is also not very sociable, so 'our' circle of friends has diminished. He has never overtly stopped me seeing people, but it has become more and more difficult to socialise.

I feel very, very lonely.

purple and ruff - I'm sad that you are not ok - I hope you work it our.

BerstieSpotts Sat 19-Oct-13 21:53:21

Oh oops, I missed out the important part of the sentence.

He treats you like shit not because you're a horrible person, but because to him you aren't really a person, and you don't really matter.

Coldlightofday Sat 19-Oct-13 21:54:17

Cross post Berstie - I wasn't ignoring that.

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