need advice, really don't know anymore(31 Posts)
I'm sorry for posting - I was reading another thread that really upset me, but I didn't want to hijack that one - I just really need another perspective on things. I m probably going to ramble a bit, as I'm just trying to get things out, and not sure it'll be in any logical order.
My dh and I have a lot of problems at the moment - we haven't been getting on for a while. There are a couple of arguments we have been having on and off for the majority of our relationship. The biggest one is that he feels I don't give him enough attention - and this mean both general attention and also sex. He has a very high sex drive, and I don't so much. We started going out when I was 14 (am now mid 30's). At this point it was 3 times a day. It reduced as time went on to once a day, and stayed at this for a very long time (he often lamented the purported lack of sex though). We recently had our first dd, and since then it has dropped off dramatically. I try for at least every other day, but often it will go for a few days without due to arguments.
No, I don't want it that often. I don't general want it once a day, and I certainly don't want it 3 times again. Sometimes every other day feels like too much, and I secretly enjoy these times for not having too. I would like to highlight, however, that when we do have sex, he is not all about himself. He always tries to make sure it is pleasurable for me - and I don't help the situation here by pretty much always faking my own enjoyment.
He is also quite a needy person (its a nicer way of saying man child, which I am very aware he is and thought I had accepted I could live with). He likes to be showered with affection, which I have never thought is an unreasonable thing. But its kind of perpetual. He also likes to be fought for - as in he pretends not to want any attention, and I have to fight to give it to him. I don't have a problem fighting for kisses and stuff, but really hate when he does it with sex. His argument is that he is not a cuddly person, and doesn't enjoy that sort of attention so much, but he gives it to me - so its fair that he gets some of what he enjoys in return. I am also getting told that he doesn't enjoy or want sex with me any more at the moment, because I am boring and he has to put all the effort in (this is most probably true). Historically, if we don't have sex, he will get into a grump asking me where is attention was. This happens even if he has told me he was not in the mood at the time - apparently it was my job to put him in the mood. And all of this is basically taken as a sign that I don't care about him or the relationship enough, and am not putting enough effort into it.
The other argument we are having at the moment is about my being a liar. I'm not talking 'I'm having an affair' sort of lies, which I would never do. But I do frequently lie to him about stuff I know he would be upset about. If I don't want to do something, I will make up a reason that is acceptable to him. I also apologise for stuff I don't think I should in order to end an argument. He says he doesn't want me to do this stuff, and wants me to be more honest - but I just can't deal with the fallout from when I do try to do it. He's been picking up on it more recently, probably because I don't have the energy to really commit to it like I used to.
I don't know what I want out of this thread, I just really needed to talk to someone about it all. I guess I want to know that it isn't all my fault, and that I'm not the unreasonable one, and that I'm not being an uncaring bitch by not making the effort that i have done in the past, because everything has been ok when I have. Strangely if there are any men out there who like to tell me I am not being a bitch, I think I would quite like to hear that. There was loads more I wanted to say, but I just can't type anymore.
I will try to respond if I can, and I'm sorry if I sound like a bit of an attention seeker - it might be difficult if my dd is being demanding, or if dh is around.
That sounds tiring - both the physical and emotional side of your relationship.
Your husband sounds very unreasonable.
Can't agree more this sounds exhausting, just after having a baby as well.
I am not sure I could keep this up personally - a bit of sole searching for you I am afraid as you are never going to meet his expectations.
He sounds draining.
He sounds like a spoilt brat - and u pander to it!! Tell him u would very much like an adult relationship from now on.
Littlelarger it's not you, it's him! Honestly.
He sounds awful hard work. What are you geting out of this relationship?
What happens when/if you say no to sex?
He met you when you were 14 and you had sex three times a day at that age? How old was he?
The whole relationship sounds abusive.
You have to fight to give him attention he pretends not to want, but desperately needs? You have to fight to have sex with him which you don't particularly want? Is that the situation? That's crazy! That is appalling.
You are lying about little things because he has a tantrum if you tell him the truth! What kinds of things do you feel you need to lie about?
Does he hit you, shout or control the money to the extent you are left without?
Please, please get some councelling for you to be more assertive. Really this is your top priority need IMHO.
Then once you can fight your corner, and if your want to, go for couples counselling and get help to save your marriage if you wish to.
He sounds a total nighmare. IMHO the only reason you have survived so long together is because you were so young when you met him! Maybe you didn't realise that being pressured into sex and bossed around, and having to pander to and 'mother' an adult male is not OK. But, sweetheart, it is not OK.
He is treating you very badly.
He makes sex nice so you pretend to enjoy it! Really? If it was so nice why would you need to take orgasms?
Lastly, I am a woman, not a man, why do you need a man to tell you this relationship is fucked up.
Seriously what do you think about your relationship? Your thoughts count.
Sorry to be brutal. Maybe he has a nice side.
But whatever he does or says, please get some assertiveness training. You do not need to put up with this shit.
He is a pain. He wants it all his way. You aren't lying, you are just doing what you have to do to keep him happy.
You are not being unreasonable, he is. What is he like with other things - money, going out, listening to your opinions, childcare, household tasks etc.
Fake orgasms not take!
Speak to women's aid, they are used to talking to women being controlled by men. They will help.
If you don't think you are being controlled try telling him the truth about the little things and saying no to sex unless you want it.
Then see how controlling he gets to make you do what he wants!
Please only do this if it is safe to do so.
Think about it - if it is not 'safe' to turn down sex or tell your 'D'h the truth, then your marriage is controlling and abusive.
How old was he when you were 14? You've been with him all your (nearly) adult life so I can imagine it must be very hard for you to have perspective.
However, as you probably know on some level, his demands are quite ridiculous, if only because they are demands. You've spent twenty years meeting his every need but now you have a baby she must take priority, and this will bring the situation into sharper relief.
Just to clarify, not many new mothers have sex every day or every other day and if they do one would hope it's because they want to, not because their vain, selfish prick of a partner expects it.
How is your network of friends and family? Reach out to those around you and allow the vision of a life without him to take shape in your mind. Check your financial position.
When he goes on about your lies have you ever told him that it is because he can't handle the truth.
Why is he discussing your sex life with other people.
He sounds absolutely exhausting to live with - it just sounds relentless. And it sounds like whatever you do or however you behave, it won't be good enough - there will always be more need, more demands. When is it ever about you and what you want and how you like to be treated? Do you want another 40 odd years of this?
YADNBU. You H is the problem. His demands are really off the scale- this isn't a partnership its servitude! Please, call womens aid and have a chat
greyhound: Generally I don't say no to sex. If I really, really don't want, and he doesn't actively instigate, I will also not push for any - and 9 times out of 10 just take the hassle in the morning of him being in a bad mood because he didn't get. There have been a couple of occasions where I have been really mad at him, he has pushed and I have said no. He gets in a strop (which I think is about my saying no) but in the morning he will usually claim he is actually in a bad mood about something else I did or said. I don't know whether this is true or not, but have always given him the benefit of the doubt.
He was 15 when we started going out. We were together for about a year, split up, but then got back together a couple of years later.
I generally lie about seeing his point of view and whether or not I agree with him. He also says my every apology is a lie (which it probably is, I have no idea if I am sorry for stuff anymore), as are my promises to try harder (I normally mean these, and do try, but he calls me up on every little failure. An example of this would be after we got married - it was really good for while, mainly because I was showering him with affection all the time. I was tired one night/just fancied a night off, and didn't bother - and he started getting upset saying that he knew it wouldn't last, if he forgave me for this how did he know it wouldn't happen again).
He doesn't control money - if anything I control that. I earn considerably more than he does (not that it really matters), and although we have a joint account, my pay goes into my own separate account and I transfer it over every month. He knows this and really doesn't care.
Slightly more controversially - yes he shouts. But I shout just as much. Even more controversially, yes he hits me. I hit him too though. It's only recently that I started to realise this wasn't normal or ok. I have tried to stop doing it to him. To put this into context (as much as I can) when I say he hits me, it's things like punching me on the leg. I have always seen it has the way you would fight with a sibling. I'm not saying its ok for him to do this, but I don't want to start a huge up in arms thing. I have punched him also (on the arm/leg - normally when he does it to me, very occasionally just when he has provoked me).
There have been a couple of instances where in the course of an argument he has gotten really upset and trashed a room around me. One time (after he had done this) we were in an argument and he wanted to know why I didn't stand up for myself like I used to. I told him it was because when he gets really mad I get a little scared that he will start throwing stuff at me again. He went totally ballistic and threw a glass at me (it hit the wall next to my head) and said that if I was going to accuse him of stuff like that, he would make sure it came true.
I don't know what I think about my relationship anymore. When we are not arguing he can be amazing - but we argue so much, and he is a total git during those times. Sometimes I think he is totally out of order and I don't have to take it, but then sometimes I also hear/read random comments that make me think I am the one who is being out of order, and if I did just try a little harder it would all be ok. I guess I'm scared of leaving him and then finding out I was the one who was in the wrong all along. Because I don't want to be that bitch. He was amazing just after I gave birth - it was difficult, and I was bed ridden for a few weeks after. He did everything he could to help, there was no pressure for anything and no resentment from him.
Toffee: my network of friends and family is ok, but I don't feel comfortable talking to anyone about this. I get on with my mum just fine, and see her very regularly. I DO NOT want to talk to her about this. I don't want to wind up having to live with her, I don't want the questions. I have quite a complex relationship with my mum from my point of view, which I have never discussed with her. I think she would be very hurt to find out I don't feel like I can turn to her now, and I don't want to upset her like that.
A lot of my friends are my friends because of him - they are girlfriends of his childhood friends/work colleagues etc. I do have a few friends outside of that circle, from work etc. I have spoken to one of them about something like this before, and could probably talk to her again. I'm just scared to do so, as I worry what she would think if I wasn't able to leave him. I wouldn't blame her if she stopped being my friend.
Oliversmumsarmy: He doesn't normally discuss our sex life with other people, but he has recently started having blokey sorts of discussions with some of his mates - which normally results in him coming home and telling me how all his friends are getting it way better than he does.
Hassled: No, I don't want another 40 odd years of this. But we are having a tough time at the moment, and I know in the past we have had good times. I don't want to make a decision now, in the middle of a particularly bad patch, and constantly wonder if it was the right thing to do.
Littlelarger All I can say is relationships don't have to be like this. Really good relationships involve NONE of what you are talking about. I have never had to lie to be acceptable, we talk things through rather than argue and sex is based on mutual passion and intimacy, I have never ever ever faked pleasure or said yes when I didn't feel like it.
I was in a relationship from a young age that was sometimes good sometimes bad, I ended it in my late 20s and discovered that things can be SO MUCH BETTER and I believe it's better to be on your own than in a relationship that drags you down....
A big question for you is do you want your kids to grow up seeing your current relationship as the template for love? That's terribly guilt trippy since we can see bad relationships from our parents and go on to have good ones, but it's harder, and you could show them that things can change.
At the very least I think you and your DH should be having some sort of couples and individual therapy to explore this. You will find that infinitely more helpful than the Internet....
He has built your world to suit himself and you have found that it's easier to give in than to assert yourself. Your posts are full of apology for even existing and saying what's in your head. Read it back to yourself - where are you? Who are you? Stop looking for reasons why it's your fault, tiny ways in which you can put blame on yourself and instead, call him what he is.
You're more vulnerable than before because you have a baby. He hits you.
This is not good.
Thank god you have your own money. Use it to set yourself up and find a counsellor to talk through this with.
I have been trying to post in a way that highlights my faults as much as his - I know I am not perfect, and that some of our problems are my fault. I have gotten little blurry on where the boundary to unreasonable lies, and I find it very hard to argue my way if I am even the slightest bit uncertain. I have always been a people pleaser.
I do not think he would take the suggestion of therapy well. I believe he would get angry at the suggestion that I needed to talk to someone else - as it would mean I wasn't talking to him, which would mean that I was lying to him by commission, and not trying hard enough. How the crap are you meant to argue back to that if they genuinely believe they are being perfectly reasonable?
He went totally ballistic and threw a glass at me (it hit the wall next to my head) and said that if I was going to accuse him of stuff like that, he would make sure it came true. Jesus Christ. You know that is really really frightening, don't you? You need to call Women's Aid and talk to someone. Make sure you're protecting yourself and leave.
That's what abusive men do: they make you feel unreasonable and fearful and worried.
He is not a good husband and he is not a good father. The more detail you write about him makes it clear that he believes he is the centre of the world and that he punishes you for not raising to his unreasonable and abusive standards. You shouldn't feel you have to lie to your husband or minimise your feelings so that he doesn't lash out.
Please reach out to Womens Aid for support.
OP I'm so sorry to hear your situation, I think the suggestions about Women's Aid and counselling are really good. To me it sounds like neither of you have ever grown out of the teenage relationship you started off in and having a baby has now highlighted that. Were the good times you mentioned actually good times or just good because they weren't bad iyswim?
Your situation sounds claustrophobic and frankly terrifying. Please, call Womans Aid…this is not your fault.
You know you aren't perfect. You know he isn't perfect. However he won't accept any criticism and believes the entire responsibility of making the relationship work lies with you.
Have you seen the poster where a group of bosses meet to work out why their business is failing. They are pictured in a boat. They staye they cut costs by sacking all but one of the employees but wonder why the sole employee isn't pulling his weight and increased productivity to more than when the department was fully staffed and debate if they should sack him. Meanwhile the lone employee is pictured as exhausted and frazzled desperately trying to do the jobs of multiple people whilst also receiving all the blame for not being able to.
That is a representation of your relationship. You have to put in all the effort to make his world the way he wants it to be. You are not creating a world together because he gets angry with your ideas and your limits. He should support you when you fall. Not get angry. A request over the direction your relationship is heading should be met with concern and discussion. Not blame and anger at you.
You don't have a relationship as equal partners he truly sees himself as king in his world and believes he should be king in yours to. That, unfortunately makes you a subject.
You know this or you wouldn't be questioning it. Your needs are irrelevant to him. Yes he tries sexually because that's all wrapped up as part of his performance and prowess to him. Your real physical, sexual and emotional needs are met with anger.
Ask yourself is this the idea of adult relationships you want your child to grow up with.
You DH does sound a bit nuts. Initially, i was going to point out that it can be difficult in relationships where sex-drive is disparate...over time, the instigator may find that it self-esteem can be damaged by the perception of "always asking and never being asked" and will therefore try and force the "being wanted/desired" and getting the partner to be more demonstrative etc...
However, you subsequent post about hitting/glass throwing and accompanying threats is definitely unreasonable and should raise questions about the longevity of you relationship with this guy. It is perfectly possible to have such discussions, frank and potentially hurtful as they may be, without recourse to any act of violence, be it to you or toward you.
In fairness, your approach of lying and avoidance doesn't sound particularly helpful and i could see why this could be annoying and frustrating, but i also see that this may be a coping mechanism for what you feel to be his reaction. Perhaps if you were both just a bit more honest with each other about how you feel about things, sex-related or otherwise, perhaps the tension would ebb. If it doesn't and he is unable to cope with your honesty, then yes, maybe it is time to reconsider the relationship.
It is naive to think that you are/would be the same person you were 20 years ago, and likewise him. If you are no longer compatible, then recognise it and move on.
Why would your friend stop being your friend if you were honest and told her about your relationship with your husband?
Your mum does not need to know any details of your life you do not wish to share with her.
Did pressure at home make you more willing to marry this man or settle into a relationship quite young?
Please only answer questions you wish to answer.
I didn't know your Dh was violent or aggressive but it is sometimes the fact that controlling behaviour in one sense, sex, goes hand in hand with controlling other things.
Thank goodness you have your own finances.
Others may be able to give good advise, and I'd say if you are thinking of leaving him (and him throwing a glass at your head is a pretty good reason not to stay) then make sure you have all the paper work, passports, daughter's birth certificate etc in your possession.
You would not need to live with your mum.You could work out where to stay etc.
Is your home owned jointly or rented?
Next time he trashes a room around you, or even attacks you, call the police on him, get it on record. Do you want him to get away with all this?
Youve had years of being controlled by this man. No wonder you have no idea this is not normal.
But please speak to women"s aid first before you do anything to alert him to your growing realisation that your relationship is not normal.
Couples counselling will only work if you want to stay and he wants to change. But counselling for you and any assertiveness awareness you can find will enhance your life long after he is out of it.
Please cover your tracks, hide this thread, keep your money safe and separate.
Most of all, keep you safe, and your daughter, your husband sounds like a nasty bastard and could be dangerous if he feels he is losing his control over you. Please protect you and your daughter.
I find this upsetting to read. Whether this is a bad patch or not, at the moment it is toxic. It has already damaged you to the point that you cannot see the situation clearly for what it is.
Don't let your children grow up thinking this is how relationships should be. Don't do any of this. I have no idea why you think it's worth it, but it's not.
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