Husband vs my parents situation

(571 Posts)
bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:12:25

This is something that happened a year ago but we are currently going through marriage counselling and this keeps been brought up. It is clear that the counsellors opinion is with my husband on this and so I'm really questioning whether I'm right at all.

So 18 months ago my husband had a falling out with my parents. 9 months before this situation happened. It was over a trivial thing as these things so often are. Basically my husband felt that I should have supported him when he objected to something ( minor) that my mum was doing with out dd. She was pre- loading the spoons when dd was eating, h felt that dd should be doing it herself ( we were blw). Anyway I didn't think it warranted the rebuke that my h gave to my mum, and so h stormed off as I was 'siding with her'.

During marriage counselling it has become apparent that h feels I have never supported him and have always allowed my parents to influence me. I dispute this as I feel I am v independent. I actually feel I have a much close relationship than many of my friends do with their parents. We only speak every couple of weeks and see each other monthly. I've never been on for discussing personal things with her.

Anyway the big issue came at dd's 2nd birthday party a year ago. I hired a hall and invited 7 other children and their parents plus both sets of grandparents. H's parents didn't come (predictably although I'd have loved them to be there). H refused to come if my parents were there.

My parents agreed to be polite and friendly but not try to discuss any issues or heal the rift in public.

H refused to come unless I uninvited them.

I didn't uninvite my parents. I felt that the party was about dd, not my husband, and that she would love to have her grandparents there.

I counselling h has gone on about how I excluded him from dd's party. I used to reply that he excluded himself as he was always welcome. If my parents had refused to come if h was there then obviously I would have told them not to come. Bt they didn't. They were willing to be friendly for dd's sake.

So this is being trotted out as an example of where I put my secondary family before my primary family. Normally I would say that dads are more important than grandparents and that primary family does come first.

Should I have backed down over this and uninvited my parents. This was the first time I'd ever stood up to my husband. And now he bangs on about it as the thing that has hurt him most ever in his life.

The counsellor just reinforces that primary family is more important than secondary family, which I do agree with, so WIBU here?

Sorry so long

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:13:38

Should say "much less close relationship with my parents"

tickingboxes Sun 17-Nov-13 17:14:25

You shouldn't have to feel like you have to choose between any of your family. IMO the counsellor is talking bollocks.

Is your DH normally this controlling, OP? Does he try and influence who you see/what you do in other areas of your life?

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 17:14:48

No you weren't he's an arse.

I'm really surprised the counsellor thought his POV was reasonable.

Twirlychair Sun 17-Nov-13 17:16:11

Why wasn't your husband involved in planning the party?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:16:13

He can be quite controlling. Mostly about seeing my family. I have been wavering as to whether he is emotionally abusive. Often I think he is. I have been on the EA support thread a lot

Tee2072 Sun 17-Nov-13 17:16:25

If I was your counselor I would say 'you're all acting like children, you all need to grow the fuck up.'

Which is why I am not a counselor of any sort.

Seriously, this is stupid on all sides. Yours. Your husband's. Your parent's.

It was over nothing. Move on, all of you.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 17:16:42

You shouldn't have to side with your husband when he is being a manipulative arse.

Tryingteacher Sun 17-Nov-13 17:17:19

He's pissed off at his own parents and is taking it out on your parents, perhaps?

Thurlow Sun 17-Nov-13 17:20:06

He sounds like an arse. Falling out with his in-laws over something as minor as pre-loading a spoon? Stupid. I'd have been furious if DP had actually fallen out with my parents, independently of me. But to see that as enough reason to not invite them to your DD's party is pretty awful.

I don't think it's stupid on all sides as you shouldn't have to worry about upsetting your husband over something as trivial as this. That's not normal adult behaviour from him.

kalidanger Sun 17-Nov-13 17:21:20

Is this an example if why MN generally says that going to counselling with abusive partners should be avoided?

He's EA, he's controlling, and the counsellor has now given him official and professional justification plus some new jargon to use as a stick to beat you further.

Please go back to the EA support thread thanks I think you'll get a lot of misunderstanding in Aibu.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:22:11

twirly he wasn't that fussed in parties at things at that age. Tbh he struggled a lot with the baby years. This year he has been much more involved in the party planning. The first party I forced him to come saying he should be at dd's 1st party and he hated it and sat in the corner feeling miserable.

I probably should have consulted him about the guest list before sending out invitations. But I knew he would most likely veto my parents. ( he did this year)

fuzzywuzzy Sun 17-Nov-13 17:22:12

Your husband sounds abusive and controlling, why would you be you're to someone who's filling up a toddlers spoon with food at mealtime, saves a lot of mess and faffing if he didn't like it he could have spoken to your mum nicely or fed your dd himself.

You sound like you have barely much contact with your parents anyway.

Whys the counsellor taking the side of a grown man who the a hissy fit and deprived his child of his presence during her birthday? Did you explain it to her?

WooWooOwl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:23:34

Tbh, I think you should have supported your husband over the BLW thing and the party.

You say your the party was about your dd and she would have wanted her grandparents there, but wouldn't she also have wanted her Dad there? Her father is more important that her grandparents.

If your DH is telling you that he feels like unsupported as a parent and as if you think your family are more important to his child than he is, then you need to listen to that.

If you are just going to insist that he's wrong to feel that way then there really isn't any point in you going to counselling. How both of you feels is valid, and it's what has to be dealt with.

Twirlychair Sun 17-Nov-13 17:23:42

We'll if wasn't prepared to participate in the donkey work he can't get the hump when it's not done how he'd like it, can he....

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:25:32

Thanks kali. I have a fairly thick skin! I know the EA thread will say that I was right, but they kind of know me now. I really need to see if there is any way that my judgement is wrong as I'm so surprised that the counsellor feels that h was totally n the right here. I'm trying to understand that view point and thought people won't be afraid of giving me an answer I don't like here

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 17-Nov-13 17:28:13

When he had a dig at your mother did she then say anything along the lies of "fuck off you useless <insert any isum at all> cunt"

If so I understand his reaction,if not then he's a manipulative twat.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 17-Nov-13 17:28:47

How many times do women post on here about trivial shit issues with their in-laws and not feeling supported by their partners.

They're nearly always told that their partners need to "grow a backbone", "man up", "grow some balls" and support the poster, their life partner over their own parents, even if that means falling out with the parents.

bouncysmiley Sun 17-Nov-13 17:29:14

Your husband was being unreasonable making you choose but you should not have gone ahead with the party without him. Cancelling and doing something just as a family would have been preferable - at 2 dd would not feel she was missing out. Your husband is obviously feeling insecure and needs to know you are with him. Take the opportunity to acknowledge this but be clear on what you need from him, eg for him to be an adult and resolve things with your parents and never give you an ultimatum like that again. I am sorry you are going through this.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Sun 17-Nov-13 17:29:17

Seriously? He expected you to un-invite your parents? He really needs to grow a set and stop whining at counselling meetings ffs. Falling out with your DPs over this is ridiculous. He should be making it his lifes work to not fall out with them over anything really but this? MMMMM....

Are you quite sure the counsellor said that? confused

I just can't imagine saying the words 'your primary family always comes first'.

Ask him/her what they meant.

Get a different therapist.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 17-Nov-13 17:30:48

Out of interest with the spoon incident what did he say to her?

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:31:19

From what you've put, I think that you should have supported him on the BLW tbh.

Did he ask you to say something but you didn't-therefore he chose to himself?

As for the party-don't your parents sound magnanimous-whilst all the time knowing he wouldn't go if they did!

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 17:31:24

WhoNickedMyName, I doubt any woman would get much support on these boards if she wanted to dis-invite her MIL from her child's birthday party because she pre loaded a spoon instead of following BLW.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:32:54

woo I accept that I should have supported my husband over the blw thing. The annoying thing is that I had seen him doing the very same thing with dd before. The counsellor is very big on saying marriage should be "us against the world" and so I realise now that in that situation I should have supported him publically and the in private discussed whether his reaction was ott

I agree that her father is more important than her gps. But if h had sucked it up and agreed to tolerate 2 hrs in a room with my parents then she could have had everyone there. If my parents had refused to come with h there then obviously I would have told them that they couldn't come

I do listen when he feels that I don't support him. The problem is that he is used to a very different level of contact with his parents. They maybe speak and see each other 3-4 times per year. He would call me phoning for a chat pointless as I shouldn't be telling them private information such as where we've been on holidays, what dd has been saying, doing etc. to me that is just normal friendly chit chat. I'm never discussing what I would regard a personal matters. I've really tried to support him. I used to send a fw holiday pictures to our parents, siblings etc but have stopped as h felt this was personal stuff just for us.

sunbathe Sun 17-Nov-13 17:33:22

I think it was more important to have your husband at the party than your parents.

And isn't blw, well, baby led? So your baby should have been doing the spoon loading?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Sun 17-Nov-13 17:34:39

I think you were wrong about the party

It does sound like there are other issues going on and if you feel he is controlling and ea then I wouldn't even consider telling you otherwise because you are the one living with it and these things can be difficult to judge from the outside

But just on the party issue I think you were very wrong to discount his wishes

shebird Sun 17-Nov-13 17:35:24

You all need to grow up - life is too short. What sort of atmosphere is your DD growing up in? Children pick up on these things so just sit down and sort it out for your DDs sake.

nkf Sun 17-Nov-13 17:36:46

I think that probably primary family is more important which is why your husband should have been at the party. I don't understand the heat around BLW but I guess it is enough of a biggie for him to feel undermined by your parents. To me, it sounds like a storm in a teacup. But why he is making such a storm is worth exploring.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:38:30

so at your next counselling session, can you ask for clarification, is he saying (and your counseller agreeing he's reasonable) that you can never invite your parents to any family event, or to your house if DH will be there? Is he saying you must never expect him to be in the same room as them ever again because you didn't back him up when he was rude to your mother about pre-loading a spoon? Actually don't bother with that, you know the answer.

Also, the original argument between your DH and Mum, what exactly happened? Did he say to her "don't pre-load the spoon, we want to see if DD can do it herself" and then your mum directly ignored his request straight away, or did she refuse to do what he asked, or was the first your mum heard about the fact that the way she was doing it (the way that most people feed babies, so the way she would expect to do it) was wrong was being shouted at? Did he go in first with a reasonable request and then scale up to being harsh/shouty, or did he go straight in to being rude to your mum? If so, it sounds like he was looking for an excuse to pick a fight with her so he could force them out of your life.

If he is controlling and emotionally abusive, I'd not bother with counselling, it's not going to work, because controlling emotionally abusive people are crap at admitting they are wrong (unless doing so can be a way to win a different argument). The only way anything is going to be resolved via couselling with a man like this is if it's resolved so that you agree with what he wants, he's never going to resolve things to be that you are right and he needs to change.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:38:36

bouncy I purposely did the party not on dd's birthday so the three of us could have a proper family day.

sock my mum replied "I'm sorry <h's name> that I never do anything right". She has apologised for this and acknowledges that she shouldn't have said it.

diddl no he didn't ask me to say it. We were all in the dining room as the incident happened and he just said " you're not feeding dd right. Please let us know what you are doing with her so that we can all do the same thing". He was polite but sarcastic at the same time.

laurie yes the counsellor definitely said that. He is really big on primary family comes first and us against the world

Not knowing about anything apart from what you have written here, there is a part of me that feels for your husband.

If you reverse this what would you have thought? If it was a DH who did not back up his partner against his parents (however trivial it may have been) then there would have been more cries of it was BU not to have had more thought for his wife's feelings over the party. And therefore not invite the parents.

TBH my DH is not emotionally abusive, so if he had got upset over something my parents had done I would listen to it. He may be being unreasonable. (And to be honest he may be being unreasonable and irrational but if he has some weird thing going on that it upset him I would value his emotions as much as what had actually happened.) I would be sensitive to his feelings because I love him and he is more important than my parents.

But I do not know the ins and outs of your family dynamic. But I am really sorry. My gut instinct is your were a bit thoughtless. Based on your post.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:42:13

See, this is wrong, yes it should be "you against the world" if the world is against you, but why would you automatically be assuming that you two as a unit means everyone else must be cut out? Being in a relationship with someone should never be all you have.

And WTF, holiday photos are too private for grandparents to see?!? It does sound like he wants only you and him and DD and no one else in DD's life. It also sounds like he thinks it should only be him and DD in your life, and that's more scary. You would be cut off.

Does he have any friends?

WhoNickedMyName Sun 17-Nov-13 17:42:17

basgetti are you kidding me? I've seen support on here for an OP in the husbands situation and for even sillier reasons.

If even the counsellor, who presumably knows both sides of the story, or at least far more than we do, thinks the OP should put her 'primary family' first then the OP should be willing to consider that in this case she was in the wrong on how she's handled the situation and left her DH feeling unsupported.

Otherwise what's the point in going to counselling?

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:43:26

But it's only "married couple vs the world" if the married couple agree and neither are fuckwiths confused

I know someone who backs her husband against everyone, even her own kids. The trouble is he is an absolute fuckwit, with dodgy political views and an astounding exaggerated sense of self-worth.

By backing him she is losing all her friends and family sad

bounty, I doubt very much this is the only problem you have with your dh. I suspect he is a fuckwit about many things, and this is the tip of the iceberg, but he has seized on it with the counsellor because it is the one thing he can prove iyswim. If push came to shove, and you had to choose between your parents and your husband, who would be more supportive of you, who would listen to you more, who would respect you more?

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 17:44:41

Re the spoon incident, sounds as if they both behaved as badly as each other.

But this: I shouldn't be telling them private information such as where we've been on holidays, what dd has been saying, doing etc... I used to send a few holiday pictures to our parents, siblings etc but have stopped as h felt this was personal stuff just for us - this is weird. Yes, primary family should come first, but that doesn't mean the rest of the world should be shut out altogether.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:44:47

And ime counsellors often seem to fixate on one event, rather than looking at the whole picture, which means they can get the wrong end of the stick when looking at family dynamics sad

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 17:45:21

Ah - good old cross-posting again. I specialise in that.

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:45:50

" you're not feeding dd right. Please let us know what you are doing with her so that we can all do the same thing".

OK-if he said that, how did it all go wrong afterwards?

Helpyourself Sun 17-Nov-13 17:46:24

What accreditation does the counsellor have?
She sounds, well, crap.

DontmindifIdo Sun 17-Nov-13 17:47:51

what has the counseller said about the photos, discussing holiday plans? do they also agree it's not normal to share these with grandparents/Aunts? Or has your DH not discussed these? because it makes him look like a controlling arse who is trying to cut you off from your support network

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:48:40

Did none of you pick up on the fact he doesn't want his wife to tell people where they have been on holiday or what their daughter is doing??? Do people actually behave like this?

'Us against the world' is bollocks IMO.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 17:48:58

It also sounds to me that he doesn't know what a normal parent to adult-child relationship is like - the fact that he doesn't see much of his parents would back that up.

What are his parents like and does he have wider family? Because if he has deliberately distanced himself from them, and wants you to do the same with your family, then that would be a red flag for me.

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 17:49:21

In a former life I was a counsellor and I would never have said that. It's not what counsellors are supposed to do. We are not supposed to express opinions but help the couples reach their own conclusions and air their differences in a safe space.

You need a proper counsellor as well as a different husband.

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:50:39

Ah, x-posts have reassured megrin

If my partner expected me to back him up just because he is my partner, he wouldn't be.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 17:51:36

Maybe you are right WhoNickedMyName, I have seen women be called precious for such things.

But I think telling the OP that it should be 'them against the world' is foolish and dangerous advice from the counsellor, when many abusive partners seek to isolate their partner from their other sources of support. The counsellors comments give validation to that behaviour.

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 17:54:23

The holiday thing is odd.

If he's not much of a "sharer", I guess he might think that OP "overshares".

But it's not up to him to tell her no.

Is this thing just since the fall out with your parents OP?

I don't like my ILs & am happy for my husband to tell them little or nothing about our children as I don't feel that they deserve to know.

Wouldn't tell him that though.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:55:22

diddl. Conversation was as follows:

H: you're not feeding dd right
Mum: sorry I don't do anything right.
H: walks off tutting
Rest of us continue meal in uncomfy silence

I go to find h. He is in our bedroom crying. Talk to him, apologise etc. we were on holiday together in a cottage ( I know I know in hindsight terrible idea).

H refuses to have any further interaction with my parents so I spend most of the holiday sitting in the bedroom with him, getting him drinks, eating tea n the bedroom with him

My dad tries to talk to h but he refuses to engage saying its too raw now.

Over then next few months h refuse any contact with my parents. I go and see them with dd occasionally. And eventually we fall into this rut.

dontmind the counsellor is supportive of the photo thing. We n have also agreed that I only have contact with my parents once every10 d. I think the idea is that this is a temporary measure whilst my parents learn what is appropriate from them. The problem is I don't feel they were at all interfering before

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 17:57:48

He's not a sharer. Is quite happy to tell his parents nothing about our lives. He sees IMO very little of his brother or parents. 3 or 4 times p year. They email chatty stuff occasionally but never talk on the phone unless it is for a specific reason. He sees his brother even less.

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 17:58:17

If you agreed about the (frankly bloody trivial) spoon incident and it really worried you then you should perhaps have said so. But not just to back up your husband. Why on earth do you have to be his yes-woman just because you married?

FrauMoose Sun 17-Nov-13 17:58:18

"I shouldn't be telling them private information such as where we've been on holidays, what dd has been saying, doing etc... I used to send a few holiday pictures to our parents, siblings etc but have stopped as h felt this was personal stuff just for us."

That's scary. A loving partner does not try and isolate somebody from friends and family.

I also don't think it's a counsellor's job to tell somebody what marriage 'is.' Rather they should be exploring in a non-judgmental way what the differing expectations and needs of the two people involved are, and (if possible) enabling each of them to understand and accommodate the other a little better.

Your counselor sounds fucking awful. Us against the world? WTF?

Of course you don't always side with 'primary' versus 'secondary' family. Everyone -- even the nicest people -- can be unreasonable once in a while and a grown adult should be capable of making these judgment calls, not just automatically siding with their partner.

Yes, I would hope my DH would back me up, but only in exchange for being reasonable about what I ask him to back me up on. A pre-loaded spoon? From a woman who feeds your child once a month? Please. Let it go FGS. All this drama!

Your relationship sounds very unhealthy and I think you should go to counselling on your own and figure out what you want to do.

Your husband sounds unreasonable, and I think you will get nowhere with a counsellor who takes sides

MarjorieChardem Sun 17-Nov-13 18:00:22

This thread has really made me quite angry tbh! Not at you OP, for you and at some of the posters who think that your H is entitled to throw a fucking childish strop, miss his own child's birthday party, cause a row with your parents and control when you see them and what you tell them!! In what universe is that acceptable?!

I would fuck the counsellor off for a start. Then tell your DH that he grows the fuck up or fucks off to the far side of fuck!

Sorry for all the swearing btw. But a man who behaves like that is a controlling arse.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:00:46

Ok, following your update:

Your dh is being simultaneously pathetic and controlling.

Your counsellor is totally out of order shock. Saying you can only see your parents every ten days, ffs, what business is it of anyone else's how often you see your own mother?

I don't see your parents have done anything wrong at all.

Do you really want to stay with this man?

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:01:27

His dramatic and over the top reaction to the holiday cottage incident was done deliberately as a reason to isolate you further from your parents in my opinion. And agreeing to only speak to them every 10 days so they learn what is appropriate? WTF?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:02:26

motherinferior the issue is I didn't really agree about the spoon anyway. I'm quite laid back and easy going and tbh I'd someone does something in a slightly different way to e but gets the job done then that's ok by me. H is very particular about how things are done. But from my point of view,the most infuriating thing was that I had seen h doing the very same thing when we were at home if he felt that dd was eating too slowly etc

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 18:03:06

Spoon incident sounds deranged. Crying? You apologised? He says it's all "too raw" to discuss?

Dear god, OP, this is both bizarre and alarming.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:04:37

The idea is that we concentrate on healing our own relationship. Ten when we a stronger and w both feel supported then we can work on the relationship with my parents. The 10d thing is temporary to allow some contact with my parents but so that we have space to concentrate on our marriage

sunbathe Sun 17-Nov-13 18:05:49

You see, as an introvert, not wanting to share photos feels right.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:07:02

I feel a bit like I'm handcuffed by the 10 d contact thing but felt I'd give it a chance to see if it can improve our marriage. The idea is that eventually we end up with normal contact and can be a big happy family. One concern of mine is whether we ever actually reach that point when h is happy to relax the contact agreement

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:07:28

We come back to the question of: do you want to heal this relationship, if healing it means giving in to unreasonable demands, walking on eggshells in case you upset him, and distancing yourself from your family?

Someone asked upthread - does he have friends? How is he with your friends?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:08:45

sunbathe I can understand that. I'm ok about the photos. I suppose a holiday is something just for the people that were there. I'm not on Facebook but I can't help noticing how many people share the holiday photos with the world, yet I can't share them with my (extended) family.

lainiekazan Sun 17-Nov-13 18:08:57

If I were in your parents' position, OP, I would be really worried about you. To think of my dd in your position, pussy-footing around a touchy husband who was trying to cut everyone out of her life... scary.

Normally on threads I have a sneaking bit of sympathy for some husbands who can't seem to do a thing right, but in this case the man sounds unhinged.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:09:21

Look, if he was reasonable, he wouldn't have asked for a "contact agreement" in the first place.

I don't have to tell dh I'm taking the kids to see my mum. Or sending her photographs, or even talking to her about any problems we might have. Because she is my mum. Obviously if she was repeating things to complete strangers, then dh might object, but other than that what I talk to my mum about is my business, not his.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:20

OP you really shouldn't have to have a contact agreement with your own parents. This is really upsetting.

SolomanDaisy Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:23

He sounds like a controlling, emotionally abusive twat. It is not normal to react to a minor spoon incident like that. It is not normal to regard holiday photos as too personal to share with your parents. You need a new counsellor, preferably on your own. And a solicitor.

WooWooOwl Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:29

Did this incident over a spoon come out of nowhere in an otherwise happy and friendly relationship between DH and your parents or was there stuff leading up to it.

You're saying that your DH told your mother off for something that you have seen him doing, but when he has done it have you commented negatively or criticised in any way?

Maybe, if you have, the issue your DH has is that you said something when he did the spoon wrong, but you didn't say anything when your mum did the spoon wrong.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:10:35

No he has no friends.

I want to heal the relationship if we can get to a point of us both being happy and supported and relaxed and able to do our own thing as well.

He chooses not to interact much with my friends. I don't see friends that often anyway but he rarely accompanies me. If he does then he can be charming and friendly and quite a laugh with them

The counsellor sounds utterly crap. He appears to be colluding with your husband to isolate you from your parents.

How often have we heard on here that many counsellors can't spot abuse when it's under their nose?

Your husband's reactions sound all wrong. Raw? Over a trivial incident, which, when put with your statement that he done exactly the same thing himself, sounds OTT. And the sulking. A grown man sulking is just so stupid.

TBH I feel your husband is the one in the wrong, especially as your parents were willing to try and spend a couple of hours being polite for the sake of your DD.

FrauMoose Sun 17-Nov-13 18:11:23

I found myself wondering if you're in some weird Church - with its own counsellors - which is all about submission.

This seems to have nothing to do with the kind of counselling that would be endorsed by the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.

I could not have any respect for a partner who ended up crying and sulking because of someone else's behaviour with a teaspoon of babyfood.

And without respect is there a marriage worth saving?

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 18:12:33

The more I hear about this counsellor the more worried I am. he should not be advising you as he is. It's very, very unprofessional. Please, get another one. I'm pretty sure a proper one won't tell you not to share family news or photos with your parents.

And the photo thing is NOT normal. I don't post them on FB, but I do show them to extended family and friends, along with chatting about the good times we've had. And they do the same thing back. It's normal to do this, and I don't know anyone who wouldn't.

BacardiBat Sun 17-Nov-13 18:13:39

He cried in the bedroom over this? Oh my! I would have been prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt before but I am now firmly on the "controlling arse" side.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:13:51

You can't heal your relationship if he isn't willing to compromise. He sounds as though he has no normal relationships - he hasn't much to do with his family, he has no friends, he has chosen to distance himself from your family and friends.

I'm sorry, but I doubt you can fix this. At least not to his satisfaction, not without becoming like him and losing contact with friends and family.

I think you need to look at it from your dd's point of view - when she is older, which will be better for her: to have you and her dad and no-one else, or to have you and her wider family, and a wide circle of friends?

I wouldn't want my children to grow up friendless and distant from family.

ImATotJeSuisUneTot Sun 17-Nov-13 18:14:18

OP, who suggested/found this counselor?
They're not the one for you.
Really they're not.

mercibucket Sun 17-Nov-13 18:14:31

I also wondered if this is church based 'counselling'

do you want to stay with him? why?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:14:57

I would say the relationship had always been strained. My parents commented (recently to h as we have had a meeting just the 4 of us) that they felt that h as always trying to keep them at arms length. He replied that he never wanted to be in the bosom of their family.

He says he'd like a better relationship with them

My parents have always been careful not to upset my h. At times he has been friendly and jokey with them, but other times he has been short with them. He finds them hardwork I think

I know im biased but I really feel that they have bent over backwards to accommodate him. Ringing me much less frequently once we were married, having Christmas dinner mid after noon so he had time for a run before hand, only seeing dd when she as born in hospital and then not again for4 weeks

Yes this is exactly why you shouldn't do counselling with controlling/abusive partners. What a birthday present for him, his wife has to have a contact agreement with her own parents.

How much time are you willing to give this ridiculous plan?

Seriously I am begging you to drop this idea, get your own counsellor and start trying to improve your own life and stop pandering to these ridiculous men.

Please do not allow your DH to destroy your relationship with your parents. You will need their support one day when you realise that you can't live by your husband's rules any more.

Lonelygran Sun 17-Nov-13 18:17:28

Your husband is trying to isolate you completely. Please read the thread elsewhere about the terminally ill elderly lady whose husband will not allow her sister or anyone else to visit her.
That could be you in the future.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:17:42

It is church based counselling. Bt not a wacky or woo church. A modern very large thriving baptist church.

And the counsellor has acknowledged that not all relationships can be mended and that he would help us to separate amicably if that what it came to.

So I really don't think he is all about submitting to my husband, and staying together at all costs

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:17:45

Why weren't your parents allowed to see you for 4 weeks after the birth of your DD? Was he back at work after 2 weeks? Wouldn't you have liked to have seen them?

Whoknowswhocares Sun 17-Nov-13 18:19:08

The man sounds utterly deranged!
Falling out with someone over the use of a SPOON? Crying over it? Continuing a pathetic vendetta for MONTHS afterwards? Trying to prevent his child seeing their grandparents on their birthday and then choosing to stay away from his own child's birthday party when he doesn't get his own way?

Are you SURE this is a relationship worth saving? He sounds like a complete and utter tool. For that matter, so does the councellor.

You mention an awful lot of compromises that you are making to heal the 'hurt' ' this has caused poor little DH hmm
What is he doing to compromise?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:19:45

My parents are really supportive. I suspect they are not happy about the 10 d rule but happy to go along with it for my sake. They would always be there for me. I knowi could turn up on their door and they'd take me in, if it came to it

PoshPenny Sun 17-Nov-13 18:20:19

reading this it seems your husband is very odd and controlling. Most strange that the counsellor thinks his behaviour quite acceptable. If the counsellor sides with your husband over the time you spend seeing your parents, what on earth would she have to say about those families who are incredibly close, as in living in the same road/round the corner from each other and who know every minute detail of attach others lives as well as forever popping in and out of each other's homes?

surely a party for a 2 year old should be all about the 2 year old and celebrating the birthday, not the father playing bloody politics over the guest list?

MorrisZapp Sun 17-Nov-13 18:20:30

He's trying to isolate you. Fair enough, some people are introvert and like a quiet life etc, but they don't expect their loved ones to similarly cast off the outside world.

Get proper counselling, unbiased, on your own.

OP, is your cousellor registered with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP)? If not, find one who is, because I don't agree with the things he's saying to you.

diddl Sun 17-Nov-13 18:21:10

Well yes, the more that comes out, the odder it sounds.

I suppose though if a woman was crying in her room though, her husband being with her would be him being supportive, not isolating!

Shame also that your mum didn't just say sorry!

PoshPenny Sun 17-Nov-13 18:22:29

Bounty, if you were me, I think I would be choosing my parents over my husband...

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:22:34

He had no paternity leave. I would have liked to see them. But we felt we needed time as a family to get to know our dd too.

He has reluctantly agreed to e staying pt when I was meant to be returning to full time work. I really wanted this time with dd. he has agreed to a monthly meeting of my parents, me and dd with him there as well, to allow dd some contact with her grandparents. This is after a 3 month no physical contact that I was not happy with.

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 18:22:39

Please, please, find another counsellor and see him or her on your own. I mean a proper qualified counsellor NOT one attached to a church.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:23:11

The OP's Mum did say sorry, it was mentioned earlier in the thread.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sun 17-Nov-13 18:23:20

He sounds controlling and EA, OP. He is trying to separate you from your family, and isolate you. Stick with the EA thread. Stop going to joint counselling. Get individual counselling for yourself if it would help you to have a safe space to talk openly. Most importantly - DO NOT let him cut you off from your family. Keep in touch with them, see them, build up relationships. You will need them.

WhoNickedMyName Sun 17-Nov-13 18:23:53

It does all sound really odd.

The relationship between your folks and DH must have been pretty good for you to all go on holiday together?

So the kick off over 'spoon gate' just came out of nowhere?

IamGluezilla Sun 17-Nov-13 18:24:05

He sees where-we-went-on-holiday as confidential information not to be shared with your parents?

That is insane; jaw droppingly mental.

Us against the world is also bollox. Yes you are a team, but your husband is deliberately making enemies to segregate you from support.
Can you imagine your child telling you that their holiday destination was private and you were not to be told about it. Madness!

Out of interest - do your DH and counsellor expect you and DH to cease contact with your DD when she gets married? How would your DH react to being excluded from chat about his daughter's holidays, pictures of his grandchildren on the beach, news on how they are doing at school, a promotion your DD might get at work etc. etc.? Because that is what he is expecting your parents to accept.

You may have entered a new and hugely important relationship with your DH, but you were and remain a part of your parents' family too. I don't see why there needs to be a choice.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:24:28

fryone no I don't think he is. He the pastoral care team leader at a church. I don't think he has any formal training but has done lots of marriage counselling over many years

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:02

So you were at home alone with a newborn baby, whilst he was at work, and he still didn't want your parents to see you? Having time alone as a family is a nice sentiment, but an impossible one if he is not even there!

MorrisZapp Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:08

The isolating part was when he told her he wouldn't attend his two year olds birthday party if they were there too.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:12

basgerti she did say sorry, but it as several months later, by letter as h wouldn't see or speak to her.

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:41

Is your counsellor part of some sort of regulated/accredited body? What qualifications do they have?

I think some of the advice they have given is very worrying. I don't think a counsellor should be colluding with your husband in isolating you from the rest of your family (unless there is a history of abuse or something). I don't think a marriage should be "you against the world" when the world is not against you. A lot of this language is very isolating, and very harmful to someone in an abusive relationship.

If it were me, I think I would consider ending the counselling. You shouldn't enter counselling with an abusive partner anyway, and I think trying to isolate you from your family is abusive. You shouldn't agree to any contact arrangements with your own family that you are not happy about.

I think there are several red flags in your posts as well. The fact that he has no friends, and is not close with his family is worrying.

Relationships with one person are not meant to be all consuming. Even if you are still going to stick to this weird contact arrangement with your parents, you should make an effort to have contact with people outside your "primary family" (whatever the hell that means) more often.

For the record, I think refering to your parents as secondary family is wrong from my understanding of sociology. Secondary groups are those which you don't have a long lasting relationship with and are often those you have a relationship with based on interests and activities. They don't exchange things like love and caring with each other. In my opinion, parents are primary family.

Dilidali Sun 17-Nov-13 18:25:43

Church based counselling?????!!!!!!!!
No no no, they are messing with your head OP.

It is not ok to have a rationed contact with our own family.
It is not ok for your h behave like he does.

He is manipulating you and messing with your head.

Whoknowswhocares Sun 17-Nov-13 18:26:31

So in effect then, you are not seeing a counsellor. Just an untrained random stranger with their own agenda.

A REAL, qualified counsellor might just be a good idea. What you are doing at the moment though is madness
Please don't go back for more of this so called 'help'

Thurlow Sun 17-Nov-13 18:26:44

He is trying to isolate you. What he is asking for is just plain weird. As for running off and crying in the bedroom and then making you have tea alone in the room over one little row over a pre-loaded spoon?!

nennypops Sun 17-Nov-13 18:26:48

Step away from the church-based counselling and go for something more professional. What seems to me a glaring omission in the counsellor's attitude is: if the primary family is so important, why is it right for your husband to put his prejudice against your parents ahead of his duty to be with his wife and son at son's party?

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sun 17-Nov-13 18:27:00

Oh and - your husband refusing to go to your child's birthday party because of a row with your family shows exactly where his priorities lie. What an arsehole. Seriously.

My sister's husband is like this. He has managed to cut her off from us all over the last decade or so. And he has brow-beaten her into giving up her amazing career and she can't find other work that is 'acceptable' to him. It is so, so sad.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sun 17-Nov-13 18:27:27

I have seen this happen in a relationship before. In the case I saw it was a long and insidious process of separating the person from their family members culminating in an equally exaggerated situation akin to yours as the final nail in the coffin of that persons family relationships. The perpetrator of this alienation process was an incredibly insecure person who needed to have the partner to themselves because they had alienated friends, employers and everyone else along the way and they needed to know that their partner would always be there. In their case I always felt the partner was complicit by letting the exaggerated events influence their interactions with their family. You have not done that by standing up to the situation and still asking your parents to the party and not taking the path of least resistance of just going along with his complete over reactions.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:30:24

mrscakes the counsellor has just become a grandfather for the first time. I asked him this. He said he'd find it hard but he hopes he wold manage to put his daughter first and have little contact if she asked for that for the sake of he marriage. Of course he has been to see his cg twice already ....

I asked h the same thing about when dd gets married/ has children. H replied that he feels that she should choose the level of contact that she wants and we should respect it. Which I agree with. I suppose the issue here is that me and h do not agree n the level of contact. So the issue really is what would we do if dd wanted more contact than her h. Well to e it is obvious that we would always be there for dd, will have to ask h his view should this situation arise.

Chippednailvarnish Sun 17-Nov-13 18:31:18

Bt not a wacky or woo church. A modern very large thriving baptist church

Churches have their own adgendas, which doesn't leave them well placed to give you impartial advice.

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 17-Nov-13 18:31:53


There is a lot wrong with church based counselling done in this way. You should only see a counsellor that is properly trained and accredited by a professional body.

Refuse to go to counselling unless it is with someone properly qualified. Unqualified, church based counselling can do real harm to people, such as making them think they have repressed memories, when in actual fact the events never happened. This may seem far-fetched, but studies have shown it is actually quite easy to "remind" people of something that never happened to them, and true repressed memories are quite rare.

Don't let this religious group isolate you. You need to make sure you stay in contact with people outside the religious group. Have you talked to any RL friends about the situation? What do they think?

SofiaAmes Sun 17-Nov-13 18:32:40

Your husband sounds like he is setting you up to be completely isolated from any other relationships and this counsellor is very very wrong to encourage that. Your husband is handing out very conditional love by not allowing you to have a relationship with your parents at the same time as having one with him. And it is appalling that the counsellor would support this extremely abusive behavior.
Please get a new counsellor and do not restrict your (and your dd's) relationship with your parents.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:33:05

Hmmm maybe I'll seek some individual counselling elsewhere. Hw do you go about even finding this? And now do I know someone is properly accredited?

Ah right, not a trained counsellor then.

Get a real one, with training and registration with the BACP.

OP would you consider going to counselling on your own?

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 18:33:34

OP: Thank God for Mumsnet and the views of wise women.

Please take care op.

Does DH know you post on MN?

Delete your history & Log out when you close.

Best wishes to you.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:34:37

I have told one friend. A colleague actually. She thinks that h is over the top and controlling and that I should probably leave, although acknowledges it is easy for her to say but hard for me to do

x-posted obviously smile

I cannot urge you strongly enough to go see your own counsellor. Definitely find a proper one, I hope others here have ideas for how to do this (am not in UK anymore).

ShinyBauble Sun 17-Nov-13 18:35:37

I really think you should stop seeing that counsellor. He sounds the very opposite of helpful and professional. I'm not surprised to hear that he's from the church. Unfortunately, he seems to be telling your DH what he wants to hear, so you might find that if you stopped, he'd keep going to the sessions alone as he's found a cheerleader now.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:35:40

You haven't been allowed to take your dd to see her grandparents for three months?

In what planet could anyone possibly think this is ok?

Please listen to us. If I was your mum I would be very, very worried about you. It sounds to me that she is bending over backwards not to just say "ffs, cop on, he is a git, chuck him out".

Your mum must have to patience of a saint to keep schtum here sad

Lonelygran Sun 17-Nov-13 18:35:45

Can you not see what he is doing? This thread is really upsetting. This man is seriously wrong. Red flags everywhere. You need to get the message through to him that if he keeps behaving like this he will push you away from him, not bind you closer to him.
The first time I have said this under any of my mumsnet names - LTB.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:35:58

He does, but I tend to nc and use this one for 'serious' issues and another one for the light hearted stuff. He only knows the other nc. Bt yes will delete this history.

Thanks so much for all the time and input from you all.

TalkieToaster Sun 17-Nov-13 18:36:07

If he has no formal training, then he is not a counsellor. Would you trust some random stranger off the street to counsel you in your marriage? Probably not. Then why does it make a difference that he's attached to a church?

OP, you sound frighteningly naive. Drop the 'counsellor'. Find someone who is actually entitled to call themselves that. I'm not even commenting on your husband's behaviour because I'm scared of what I might say.

SomewhereBeyondTheSea Sun 17-Nov-13 18:36:08

OP - I think you can get individual counselling through Relate. Contact them xx

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:36:48

Sorry to go on again about when your baby was born OP, but did you get any support from anyone else whilst your husband was at work, or were you alone the whole time? And why didn't he take any paternity leave?

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 17-Nov-13 18:37:25

An accedited counsellor will be a member of a body like this one They will have professional qualifications in counselling, and hopefully formal qualifications in something like psychology.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:37:34

pax you are right. Thank god for mn. I wouldn't have thought anything was wrong in our marriage without it

mercibucket Sun 17-Nov-13 18:37:49

I knew this would be church based

I am a christian. our church does counselling. it is a terrible idea imo unless you are a couple with no big problems to sort out

you need a qualified counsellor and individual sessions

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:38:00

Thanks slow. I'll look at that

Morgause Sun 17-Nov-13 18:38:27

OP, I'm very concerned for you. Please let us know when you have found a proper counsellor.

sunbathe Sun 17-Nov-13 18:39:52

I would see a different counsellor.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:40:19

basgetti I had no support. H was working away at the time that dd was born so I moved into his rented house when y maternity leave started. It seemed the natural thing to do rather than live away. Bt I knew no one there at all, although h did introduce me to some of his work colleagues. We have been back home now for a long time. And I'm back at work at my pre baby job

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 18:41:10

I said they were both behaving as badly as each other over Spoongate because after your H's unnecessarily sarcastic comment your mother came back with the "I'm sorry I can't do anything right", which is the absolute epitome of passive-aggression. But the crying thing? WTF?

I veer between accepting that your H genuinely doesn't understand how "normal" families work, and suspecting strongly that he is doing the isolation thing on purpose. You may never know which it is, but it certainly doesn't sound healthy. I also wonder a little whether your birth family dynamic is amazingly healthy too, but that may be a whole new can of wiggly things.

Agree with other posters, this "counsellor" is not really up to dealing with a relationship where emotional abuse may be present (to be fair, quite a few properly qualified/accredited ones aren't either). His advice sounds... naive.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:41:33

merci thanks for saying that. I didn't initially say it was church based as I know that some non-Christians are understandably wary of anything church based. It's really interesting that you think church based counselling is so bad

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:41:40

You need to find someone to talk to asap. For starters, forget about this "contact agreement" and give your mum a ring. Ask her to be completely honest - what does she think about all this?

Am I right in thinking your husband has asked you to only talk to your mum every ten days.. He has asked you to be completely non-contact (physically) for three months, and has now reluctantly agreed to you seeing her once a month?

Please re-read this sentence: "he has agreed to a monthly meeting of my parents, me and dd with him there as well, to allow dd some contact with her grandparents. This is after a 3 month no physical contact that I was not happy with."

That can't possibly be right. Possibly if your parents were abusive, but not otherwise.

He seems to have a very peculiar hierarchy for valuing and respecting people's opinions and wishes:

Parents of an adult child (your parents) are very low in the hierarchy - they have no right to have their wishes considered or valued in any way. They are not allowed to challenge the higher levels in any way, which is why your DH reacted so badly to your DMum challenging his authoiry on spoon-feeding.

Adult women (you, your future DD) are somewhere in the middle of the hierarchy - they have the right to impose their wishes on others lower in the hierarchy than themselves, but only so long as they fit with their DH's wishes. Any failure to 'fit' is a flaw in the woman which must be fixed.

Adult men (your DH) are at the top of the hierarchy - they have the right to impose their wishes on everyone without concern for the emotional fall-out that this may cause.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:42:14

So if he was working away how did he tell you not to see your parents for 4 weeks? Please don't tell me he dictated who you were allowed to see when he wasn't even there?

MellowAutumn Sun 17-Nov-13 18:42:40

Op - An untrained male counsellor with a Christian bent and an emotionally abusive husband is not a good mix.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:42:54

Are you near your parents? And your friends? I really hope you have some rl support close by.

LifeHuh Sun 17-Nov-13 18:43:28

Wow, absolutely no way would I have a contact agreement with my parents( if they were still here). And I can't imagine a restriction on what I could tell or show them. IMO your relationship with your friends and parents are your business, subject to discussion with your DH but not to that kind of control. Maybe the church should be focussing a bit less on DH and a bit more on "honour your father and mother..."

SlowlorisIncognito Sun 17-Nov-13 18:43:28

bounty I hope you manage to find a proper counsellor.

The person you are seeing at your church is not really a proper counsellor, and he does not seem to have a firm grasp of the ethical issues involved in counselling, especially marriage counselling. If you do seak marriage counselling, it would be best to do it through a group like with lots of experience in this area.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:43:29

Thanks Annie. I agree that spoon gate was the tip of an iceberg really. Even h accepts that this was a trivial thing but that with all his other feelings it has been blown up to a Big Thing. I do not think that h comes from a healthy family dynamic. I don't know about me. It feels normal to me, but then it's all I eve knew

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 18:46:27

OP please don't think that your own family dynamic is not healthy. You have described perfectly normal interactions with your parents and they sound very caring, and willing to compromise to make things easier for you. Don't start doubting your relationship with them, you need them more than ever.

Hassled Sun 17-Nov-13 18:46:49

The 10 day thing is madness. The whole thing is madness. Your H's skewed idea of what family can/should be like is one thing, but to then impose it on you is really very, very nasty.

Everything you've said points to you or your mother apologising or compromising - does he ever compromise on anything?

I don't think you should go back to this non-trained bollocks counsellor. Find someone who can see through the shite.

NonnoMum Sun 17-Nov-13 18:46:55

Have only skim-read the thread but my first thoughts on reading the OP was "I bet her OP is a (n evangelical) Christian type of man-child...

And now have got to this point to find out you are having church-based counselling.

He needs to grow the fuck up.

Hassled Sun 17-Nov-13 18:47:50

And is he always such a drama queen? Sobbing alone in a room over a BLW debate and then refusing to talk to anyone? Is he generally really immature?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:47:53

basgetti at that time we were 4 hours away from my parents so they couldn't jus pop over. They would have stayed in a hotel. I can't remember suggesting that. Bt I know that h found it ludicrous that they wanted to see dd newborn. I really had to stand up for myself to get him to invite them for one night to meet her. H's own parents didn't meet dd until she was 8 w old

maryz I've one truly great friend at work. I've not told anyone. Most of our friends are probably 'my' friends but I've not told them as I think if we do sort ourselves out it will be hard on them to carry on normal with h knowing what they would

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:49:16

It was the first time I'd seen him cry. After 8 years of marriage at that point. He is a sulker rather than dramatic usually

Ahole Sun 17-Nov-13 18:50:10

A church member pretending to be a counsellor is going to have his own agenda. My guess? To get you to obey your husband and do what it takes to make him happy, keep the peace and save the marriage. Whatever that takes, even cutting off your parents!

Wasn't there a woman on here who was told to put up with her husband raping her for the sake of their marriage by a church "counsellor"!

Your husband is trying to cut you off from your family and is possessive and controlling. Getting so upset about the spoon thing was just ridiculous!

When he does attend things (your child's first birthday) he sulks and ruins it for everyone and creates an atmosphere. You know why they do that? Its so that you'll be a bit more reluctant to throw another party and so isolate you more.

Why did he act like such a dick about the spoon and sulk like a cunt for the rest of the week? So that you would an less likely to arrange things with your parents again and so isolate you more.

The rule HE set about when YOU could see your parents after the birth of your child? So that he could isolate you!

You see what's happening here?

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 18:51:46

Look, I know we can't tell you what to do (well, we can, but you don't have to do it smile), but I think you need to talk to your close friend and ask her to be brutally honest.

Tell her that you're eyes have been opened a bit, and can she give you a run down of what she thinks the issues are - ask her straight out whether she thinks you are over-involved with your parents. Ask her to be honest - you will have to promise her not to hold it against her if you and your dh decide to live happily ever after.

Also go and have a chat with your parents on your own, just to see what they have to say. Do you have siblings - what is their relationship like with your parents?

Gather the evidence, and then make up your own mind. But simply reading your posts on here it sounds to me that your problem is your husband being controlling, rather than your parents being interfering sad

NonnoMum Sun 17-Nov-13 18:51:51

Yes - he sounds an arse.

Hope you can find some peace soon.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 18:55:39

OP I have read this thread with increasing horror.

You will need your 'secondary' family about you in the coming years as I fear that if you continue in this controlled and nasty world your husband is creating you will become very stressed and ill and beaten down by it.

No-one, but no-one tells me how often to call my beloved mum, or visit my family, or not to see them after something as traumatic as giving birth, or to only contact them every 10 days. I find this upsetting to read.

Your husband is irrational, his paddy on the holiday is beyond belief even if your mum did utter a small phrase out of turn.

Not speaking to them for months- who does he think he is? Sadly, it is obvious who he thinks he is- head of the household and boss of who speaks/moves/contacts others.

You may think you can put up with this but my feeling is that once you see the effect it has on your child when this stuff comes to affect her ('mummy, can I skype granny'- with you thinking, we are not allowed contact for x ays) then I think you will see this is a very unpleasant situation indeed.

You poor thing, he's done a number on you and sadly this useless counsellor is barking completely up the wrong tree. You don't back a controlling man to further control you, no, no, no. He's crap and do get personal counselling and do turn to your own family if you want to, you will need their support in the time ahead.

Ahole Sun 17-Nov-13 18:57:29

So he has set a limit on the contact you are allowed with your parents shock Fuck that! How dare he! As though you are a child and they are a bad influence on you! I would tell him to go screw himself and get a divorce! Relationships with controlling arsehole people like this never end well. Been there done that!

Whats the photo thing? I think i must have missed that.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 18:58:28

Thanks everyone. Really appreciate all. I know my friend agrees with you all. I suppose that counts for a lot a she obviously knows me well and has met my husband plenty of times, although I wouldn't say they are friends

Your husband sounds like a massive penis. I can't believe he got the hump over a pre-loaded spoon. Are you doing blw with him? I only ask because he sounds like a fucking toddler.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 19:00:04

Photo thing is that he doesn't want our personal holiday pictures emailed to other close family members as it shouldn't interest them as they weren't there

Sorry. Toddlers are more rational!

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 19:01:47

bounty you know this isn't right, don't you which is why you have posted. I think you know other families and marriages aren't like this- which is why the 'one size fits all' keep the family together advice of the counsellor is really bad.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 19:01:49

Photo thing is that he doesn't want our personal holiday pictures emailed to other close family members as it shouldn't interest them as they weren't there

If he really feels that way then he is weird.

Did he have a very isolating upbringing?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 19:02:23

Have to go for a bit now as h will be home soon and don't want him finding me on here! But will be back later.

Thanks so much for your thoughts everyone.

Trifle Sun 17-Nov-13 19:03:26

Your dh sounds loathsome. Your poor parents, they can totally see the picture, it must kill them to know that you are in a very controlling abusive marriage and they can do nothing about it.

It seems that, hopefully, you are beginning to realise it too. You must act, he won't change, he will continue to punish and ostracise you from your friends and family until you are so worn down you simply go along with him for an easy life.

Don't wait until it gets to that point.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 19:03:33

Not want to see one's new grandchild. What planet is he from?

OK, I'm shifting about like a shifty thing here, but whatever little ways your family may or may not have, they do seem to have reasonably natural urges, to chat to their daughter, see their GC etc. I therefore conclude that the majority of the issues here are your H's, and he is odd with a capital O.

<Admission of vested interest: my first DG is nearly a month old and I would trample my own firstborn (his father) to death on the way to the crib if he tried to keep me away. Fortunately he enjoys allowing people the opportunity to worship at his PFB's shrine. And rightly so.>

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 19:03:53

As for holiday photos- my husband posts what he likes on the internet, I post what I like. Neither of us comments or controls what the other one does. If he shares photos with his colleagues or family (which he does)- his business. If I choose not to bother (which I tend not to)- my business.

He is not your boss!

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 19:04:55

nanny. I don't know. I like his parents and get on with them when we see them, but contact is very low between us. They seem happy with this as for example they declined the invitation to dd's party and only live 1 hr away so it was def doable. When we chat about childhood memories he has vey very few. Claims he can't remember who he was friends with and what they did. I've always found this a little odd and wonder if he's suppressing things. I can remember loads of random pointless details from growing up

dutchyoriginal Sun 17-Nov-13 19:06:32

Please please please Bounty, run for the hills!

My parents and I are very close, we call at least weekly, sometimes even more. We share silly stories about what DS does. We see each other about monthly. They supported us doing BLW, although they may have been helped DS with his food back then. No biggie, because it was only a once a month meal and all other meals (say 3*30, so 90 :-) ), DS could practise.

And you know what, DH is completely ok with all of this! He likes my parents. He knows they will do things differently, but that they love DS and me and him, and only want the best for us. And, occasionaly, he admits that he's very happy I gossip about discuss all the minor things that happen with my family and friends with my mum, instead of him, because he can't be bothered.

TL:DR Most partners wish their partners loving relationships not just with their primary family, but also with their secondary family and with friends!

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 19:06:38

Annie - sounds normal to me. Congratulations on becoming a granny!

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 19:09:04

First DGC that should read. Too riled up to type properly.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 19:09:15

Thanks smile

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 19:12:08


I agree with most of what other posters have said.

The only thing I want to add is that people react differently with other people.

I know for instance how lovely my MIL is to some other people.
These people however are not in what she see's as in competition with her over her beloved son. So they would never ever understand this other side of her that comes out round me lucky me

You may not see it or feel it, but your parents could be making your DH feel a certain way, he picks up on it but you do not.

I urge you to really look at your own actions. I had a situation once where my DBIL thought my DSIS was being heavily influenced by my brother. She really thought she wasn't being but I heard her myself, constantly deferring to him like he was a god. She just could not see it.

I only say this, because your DH is clearly being affected by something. Yes he could be just insanely insecure, maybe he has had problems with girl friends parents in the past, maybe he is all sorts of things....people can react strangly to others for all sorts of hidden things....

Do you feel your parents are happy you married him, have they always been nice to him, are they all on the same level intellectually, do you really think they think he is good enough for you.

I would urge you to go to Relate and stop your church counselling.

Over all I do think from what you have said, there are some rather scary controlling things coming out....I think a Relate counsellor would be better to judge this and winkle things out.

I also wonder, had you said Yes to stopping your parents coming to the party, would he have said - OK, thanks, I will come and you can invite them also....was he just looking for you to put him first?

Good luck with it all. flowers

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 19:12:37

See, if he was suggesting you only rang your mum once a day, and saw her once a week, he might have a point.

But no contact at all for three months, then planned meetings (with him present) once a month, with phone calls every ten days.

That cannot be considered to be in any way reasonable.

And the fact that the counsellor has gone along with it is even more worrying.

If you were to follow that, your dd would see her grandparents for about ten hours a year shock which isn't a normal gp/gc relationship at all.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 19:14:00

Gobbolino, did you see where she said she hadn't seen her parents for three months at his request?

My mum would have to be really awful, doing something like hitting my children for me to agree to that shock

Tikkamasala Sun 17-Nov-13 19:14:06

I am agog at this OP it doesn't sound right. How dare your DH and a "counsellor" (so called) ban you from contact with your own parents? The counsellor sounds extremely questionable and your DH priorities are very odd... I don't think it's healthy for him to want you to cut you off from your family. The spoon thing is a mountain out if a mole hill and the photo secrecy is just weird... You are definitively not being unreasonable here.

FrauMoose Sun 17-Nov-13 19:19:09

I suppose the other issue to consider (one of the other issues) is about your daughter's needs to be part of a community. Obviously there is a thriving social life around particular churches. But babies - and their careers - benefit from playgroups, visits that involve other children, outings, as well as regular contact extended family.

If one partner in the marriage is very suspicious of other people, inclined to find fault with them, and wants to limit the partner's social life - it doesn't bode well for the baby's future health and happiness.

thehorridestmumintheworld Sun 17-Nov-13 19:28:51

Hi bounty I replied to you on another thread but what you have said about your Dh on here makes me wonder if he could have undiagnosed Aspergers or be on the Autistic spectrum. It is the way he seeks very little social contact and seems to see no point in it. A few other things were that he likes things done in certain ways. He had a bit of a breakdown on the holiday in a different environment. Do you think he shows any other signs of Autistic behaviour, like needing routines, being very sensitive to sounds touch, not understanding social "rules", having difficulty knowing what you are thinking by facial expressions, avoiding eye contact.
I know a bit about this there are some autistic adults in my family. Does any of this sound possible?

Ahole Sun 17-Nov-13 19:33:28

The photo thing is bonkers!

BakerStreetSaxRift Sun 17-Nov-13 19:41:15

This thread is a bit of a horror sad

Bounty, if I were you I would go and spend a whole weekend at your parents house to get a bit of space and then you might be able to see the situation objectively. He is trying to isolate you entirely. Not letting your parents come and see your DD for 4 weeks when she was born, I just can't imagine that.

Your Mum and Dad must be at their wits end with worry.

I definitely recommend getting your own counsellor to help you find your own boundaries.


Applefallingfromthetree2 Sun 17-Nov-13 19:47:24

Surely a counsellor is not there to make judgements, his role is to help you sort out the issues between you, not to make matters worse. Sounds poor to me.

It looks as though you have more than one child to cope with in your household, your husband and your daughter. From what you say his behaviour is very petulant, you are right the party was about your DD not about him and she was the important one so it's a pity he couldn't see that. Still it is not nice for him to feel so insecure nor for the counsellor to add to that feeling. Is this insecurity anything to do with his relationship with his own parents do you think?

TarkaTheOtter Sun 17-Nov-13 19:47:48

It's not particularly important given the (much) bigger picture of your dh's issues with your family, but...
..preloading spoons for baby to pick up is perfectly in keeping with blw to help them eat sloppier food before they can manage it themselves.

greeneyes1978 Sun 17-Nov-13 19:48:21

Your GP can refer you for counselling but it can be a long waiting list, or quite often there will be charities that offer counselling for a donation - try googling counselling and charity and your area. I havent read the whole thread but he is being extremely emotionally manipulative and controlling. I would imagine there may be past issues with his family to be honest, it doesn't sound healthy sad

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 19:51:51

I interpreted what op said - to limit contact to once every 10 days and that was while they go the marriage back on track? So a temporary measure?

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 19:52:30

There may well be issues in his past. But it is not your job to fix them. Not if it means putting up with a man so manipulating that he flings himself weeping on the bed over a spoon.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sun 17-Nov-13 19:55:00

I had a very similar conversation with my MIL about blw after she forgot and started feeding (then baby) dd her food.

It went as follows:-

Me: Oooh MIL - don't forget we're trying to get dd to feed herself
MIL (slightly stroppily): your rules are all different! We never did this sort of thing with the lads.
Me: I know! Things have changed so much since I was a baby. I do wonder how me and my brother survived to adulthood. We have photos of us both in a baby bouncer that was later taken off the market for catapulting the baby across the room!
MIL: We had one of those too I think.
Me: I wonder what things dd will look at in horror if she becomes a mum that I did with her?
Conversation continued happily.....

Sobbing in the bedroom? Huh!?!? I'd have missed pudding!

BlackberrySeason Sun 17-Nov-13 20:04:34

The other thing that is very bizarre about his reaction is that iirc blw book says pre-loaded spoons are fine! We did pretty strict blw and it wouldn't have occurred to me to be even concerned if my dm had given a preloaded spoon. Sounds like he was really annoyed with your dm about other niggles that holiday as he likes his own way?

Church based counselling?

By a male pastor I take it?

No wonder you should submit yourself to your man and let him control you like a surrendered wife.


I suggest you find a difference couples counselor, like from Relate.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 20:05:19

ok back again.

Yes the 10d contact rule is supposed to be a temporary thing. My big concern is that we never reach the point when our relationship is 'secure enough' for it to be relaxed. Or that when it is relaxed and I start doing normal things like chatting about what we have been up to that this will be viewed as a 'relaspe' and the embargo is returned.

I did wonder about autism at one point. but he seems to be the opposite. He hates routine and rules. We have had a massive battle over having a set bedtime for dd as he prefers to go with the flow. He finds agreeing to social situations in advance stressful as he might not fancy doing that thing when the time arises. He hated me meal planning fpr the week as that might not be what he fancied on that night. I just don't see that fitting with autism. He generally by his own admission will rail aginst rules.

BlackberrySeason Sun 17-Nov-13 20:08:21

Maybe he just likes his own way and 'his' rules!

Btw preloaded spoons are definitely fine in blw: so I really don't understand why he had any issue at all.

Helpyourself Sun 17-Nov-13 20:09:53

It's not about the spoons blackberry

SillyTilly123 Sun 17-Nov-13 20:10:11

I don't normally post on these types of threads but this one is making me really sad sad My mam lived 6 hours away so I couldn't really visit her much before she died (I'd see her about twice a year) but I was on the phone to her at least 4 times a week. My dp didn't particularly get on with her however he'd never have stopped me seeing/speaking to her as he wanted me to be happy (plus I'd of told him to take a run/jump if he had) Its not right, and I'd be seriously considering leaving him. So sorry you are having to go through this though, I know it must be hard sad

BlackberrySeason Sun 17-Nov-13 20:10:45

I've rtft - my point is that even the thing that allegedly 'sparked' all this off was a load of bs - him trying to impose his own view of blw.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 20:13:04

That was phone contact Gob.

Later she admitted that there was no physical contact for three months, but is now allowed to see them once a month, with the husband present.


Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 20:14:33

Sorry, x-posted.

feelingood Sun 17-Nov-13 20:14:45

Not healthy at all.

He i think there is a massive 'gap' in this persons thinking re his recall of childhood memeories that is not normal.

He seems to have issues with forming relationships - close ones.

He is controlling and EA. You seem a bit imprisoned by him but quite rightly are questionning this.

I'm sorry but I do think you need to leave before you lose your sense of sef completely. Gather more advice in RL.

Viviennemary Sun 17-Nov-13 20:16:15

I'd say you were all equally as stubborn as each other. And there will be no answers until everybody agrees to grow up and act like adults. And I think if you are so particular about how your child is fed then it would probably be better to do it yourself. I couldn't be bothered with this level of parental involvement in a marriage.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 20:18:22

Bounty, did you ever think you would be in a position where you referred to speaking to your parents as a 'relapse?' Please reach out for as much real life support as you can and don't accept this.

feelingood Sun 17-Nov-13 20:18:54

vivien the spoon was just a catalyst.

She doesnt say she tells him who he can speak to and what about - read more of thread.

Viviennemary Sun 17-Nov-13 20:20:27

Yes sorry. blush He absolutely should not be saying she can't see her parents. That's dreadful.

terrierist Sun 17-Nov-13 20:22:38

bounty can I ask if your DP ever criticise him or say negative things about him to you?

I ask because I have been in a similar situation to your DM but it didn't get THIS far

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 20:23:59

Just playing devils advocate here and also having seen a few other sides want to make sure all sides are covered as much as they can be, asking random strangers things on the net.

I have seen with my own eyes, one set of behaviour and someone responding to that and having a totally different view of it.

I do not think the loading of the spoon was just about that. He was attaching far more emotional relevance to that, as someone said, did you tell him off for doing it, or he just saw it as another example of your parents doing what they want.

I can totally understand the counsellor saying its you against the world when your DH sees your parents as a huge problem in his marriage. What else is the marriage counsellor supposed to say? Maybe her DH needs to feel that she is putting her marriage first before her parents.

Over all there are too many deep and complex isues here op, you do not seem to know much about his parents or their relationship with him, I know lots of males in my family would only call home a few times a year, I do not see anything wrong with that per see....but you do, as you well know need to get to the bottom of his insecurities and get him to talk to you.

A fresh start with new counsellor, working on his insecurities. He has a massive problem, ( obvisouly) with you and your parents, whether that is justfied or not we do not know, and we only get your side on here, whether he is simply carrying over problems with his own parents or past partner, or he has massive anxiety and insecurity.....we do not know.

I would however like to point out on threads like this that the OP does sound quite normal and balanced to me and unless this was an arranged marriage I would like to think she has some idea of her husband and he isnt a total pathetic twat....

Kundry Sun 17-Nov-13 20:40:09

Just joining this thread as after reading it right through I am horrified.

Your counsellor is NOT a counsellor. What you are having is NOT counselling and at best could be described as meddling.

You have an untrained man, with an agenda to keep people married (I'm an ex-Baptist - even with churches that look v relaxed, the core of Baptist belief is very very traditional) - even though he has said help people separate if it turns out that way, I'm sure you would be encouraged to make more and more sacrifices to try to keep it going.

And the most obvious thing - your DH is emotionally abusive. He is busy isolating you further and further, throwing massive strops if he doesn't get his own way (over a fucking spoon!?!). And your so-called counsellor can't see it as they have no training and no skills so is now colluding with your DH.

I'd suggest individual counselling for you (with a Relate or BACP professional). You need to get out of your so-called marriage counselling if at all possible. Joint counselling isn't recommended if there is abuse for the reasons your meddler is demonstrating - but if you feel you must try it, do it with a trained professional.

However personally, I couldn't live by the rules your DH seems to need - normal people want to show their mums where they've been on holiday, can see that 5s of non-BLW isn't going to traumatize their child etc. I suspect most women couldn't either. I'm not sure counselling is going to change his personality and think you should go. Sorry.

Ahole Sun 17-Nov-13 20:41:17

Yes the 10d contact rule is supposed to be a temporary thing. My big concern is that we never reach the point when our relationship is 'secure enough' for it to be relaxed. Or that when it is relaxed and I start doing normal things like chatting about what we have been up to that this will be viewed as a 'relaspe' and the embargo is returned.

It doesn't make sense apart from as a tool to control and isolate you. Why on earth should you stop seeing your parents until your marriage improves!

I would seriously seek independent counselling, probably on your own.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 20:46:32

We are only getting one side here, countless MN have told women to limit contact with in laws, cut them off etc....dont let mil near the baby! I am sure the issues lie with the DH but we are only getting one side.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 20:48:32

I'm trying really hard to be impartial but i honestly dont think my parents do badmouth my husband at all. I suspect he's not their favourite person given they are seeing less of me and DD than they would like, but they've never verbalised this to me. They always wanted him to feel included in their family and have said before that they've felt hes kept them at arms length and resisted this inclusion.

gobbolino I agree that the spoon loading has become a symbol for a far greater issue/set of issues. I think my H genuinely does think that I put my parents before him. Sometimes he has criticised them (just between the 2 of us) and I have defended them because he can be quite mean about people at times and its hard to hear nasty things that you don;t recognise being said about your parents.

No not and arranged marriage but we didn't live together before marriage and so I think somethings that are maybe smoothed over before marriage (eg how often you speak to or visit your parents) never arose whilst we were dating

Backinthering Sun 17-Nov-13 20:48:34

One can only ever get one side on a thread. To some extent you need to simply take the OP on their word. Their word, in this instance, indicates a strange, controlling, emotionally abusive man.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 20:48:49

She isnt being isolated, 10 days is quite frequent!

She said she is worried that their relationship will never be relaxed enough to relax this rule.

Well op can put a time limit on that cant she?

If it was me, I would throw myself into this trusting that it will be sorted out....I would put him first and see how that goes ( but i would be doing lots of investigating into his background as well and his problems), after say 6 months of observing this rule if things havant changed then its time to say, look its cleary not us its YOU and then of course you come into bigger problems...

Backinthering Sun 17-Nov-13 20:52:22

GobbolinoCat, you may want to appease an abusive man but it doesn't sound like the OP is happy doing so.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 20:53:37

Gobbolino, it's every ten days on the phone


"he has agreed to a monthly meeting of my parents, me and dd with him there as well, to allow dd some contact with her grandparents. This is after a 3 month no physical contact that I was not happy with."

Once a month.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 20:54:49

Sometimes people have a genuine concern that the other person cant see because they are brain washed. ie he could see concern and you cannot see it.

Sometimes people cant see the wood for the trees and project their own problems onto everyone else, so a man with jealousy issues, meets a totally trustworthy and loving girl who is devoted to him, but when she chats to a man, he sees red. Over reacts and goes beserk when there was no need too as the woman was trust worthy and loved him.

Ie he is mad and is projecting problems where there are none.

Are you Baptist, why did you not live together before marriage, did you only move in with him when you had the baby?

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 20:56:43

Gobbolino this really isn't the thread to play devil's advocate.

And she is being isolated. Telling the OP that she couldn't see her parents for 4 weeks after giving birth had nothing to do with her husband feeling uncomfortable around them, since he wasn't there anyway and just left her alone to fend for herself. And 10 days is fine if that is what the OP wants, but not as a 'contact' agreement forced on her.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 20:58:19

Would you tell your H that you were putting a time limit on it gobbolino or would you just set a date mentally yourself. I've been observing this rule for about 2 months so far. Sometimes things are ok. But any mention of my parents (even within the 10d rule) gets an exasperated sigh and a check of what I'm going to talk to them about.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 20:58:24

I'm a counsellor trained to work with couples. I'd endorse getting rid of this counsellor as soon as possible and working with someone properly qualified and registered with a professional body.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 20:58:30

me and dd with him there as well

if this was flipped into a usual MIL thread, and the man wanted to meet his parents with the baby without her, everyone would be telling her, no, go as well they must take you as a family unit.

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 20:59:18

gobbolino: some very normal people get married to complete control freaks who are nutters.

Maybe because they are young, maybe they have rose tinted classes on, maybe they are just naive, maybe they just think the best of everyone, maybe they are people pleasers.

Then if the marriage has problems, the naive people pleaser believe it is all their fault.

Because the down trodden person isn't being beaten up, they don't think they are in an abusive relationship.

I've been there and done all that.

It took many,many years of making excuses for my XDH before I realised he was EA.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 21:00:12

And I'm not at all sure if this account of your husband's behaviour is accurate that I'd want to take you on as a couple.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 21:00:28

I'm a christian but not specifically baptist although we got married in a baptist church. We did not live together before marriage for this reason. We were married 7 years when we had DD.

BakerStreetSaxRift Sun 17-Nov-13 21:01:29

Gobolino, I think they're already onto those bigger problems


GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 21:02:56

I don't know Bounty, but I would be putting a time limit on working things out, I am the kind of person who likes to explore every avenue before calling things quits.

Then if it does end, I will never feel regret or remorse because that is a crippling emotion for me to feel.

i am not doubting that this man has issues, but I have seen a few scenarios where the truth has been somewhere in between. Before I ended a marriage or broke up a young family I would want to be really sure of things.

Possibly just set a date myself not to put any extra pressure on things. Two months isnt that long if he has been suffering.

As Ilove said though, you need to change counsellor would he agree to this, why did you go baptist?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 21:03:21

ilovesooty I've tried to be honest and as equal as I can be. Although obviously I am biased towards myself.

paxtecum I was young when I married and am definitely a people pleaser.

ThePinkOcelot Sun 17-Nov-13 21:03:44

OP, I have read this thread and am absolutely horrified! Why have you agreed to that ridiculous 10 day rule? Seriously, I would tell my dh to fuck off if he dared to try and make me cow tow to such a rule. You say you work part time. Do you never pop around to your parents or call your parents when he is at work.

Don't put up with this. How would you feel if this were your DD, being married to some jumped up, controlling prick like your h?!

fuzzybuzzybee Sun 17-Nov-13 21:04:07

Your husband sounds abusive. I don't agree with all that primary family first, us against the world crap either. It encourages women to stay in abusive relationships and not seek help from family and friends

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 21:04:19

Gobbolino the OP isn't taking her DD to see her parents without him. The quote you highlighted says he is there too.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 21:04:40

when i say bigger problems I mean divorce.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 21:05:28

Bounty, please don't listen to Gobbolino.

You like your parents. You should be able to talk to them and see them when you want.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 21:06:08

It took me a long time to persuade him to do couneslling at all. It was actually when I told him that I was at the point of leaving that he suggested we approached the minister that married us (we moved away from the area when we got married) as he was someone we had both respected. That minister said that he wasn't the best person to be offering marriage counselling but that the man that we are seeing was. And so we took him up on the offer.

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:07:23

Gobbo: I'm struggling trying to work out why anyone can be told by their partner how often they can ring their DPs.

Bounty: Is your DH much older than you?
Bounty: I really don't thonk Gobbos advice is helpful to you.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 21:07:29

Yes I know she is taking him, it sounds so controlling to have the DH there too at the meeting but I have seen many a thread where the woman is told she must go with the baby to the in laws so they show a united family unit.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 21:08:30

Gobbolino please stop telling the OP to pander to an abusive man.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 21:09:10

So you were at the point of leaving. Has anything got better since then?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 21:09:11

thepinkocelot I agreed to the rule as I felt that I had to try something to save our marriage. He used to work away but has decided to give up work so he can be at home and concentrate on our marriage. So on my part-time days he is at home too and so there is no chance of nipping to see my parents. Plus I dont think sneaking out behind his back would go down well or do our marriage any favours

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 21:09:12

ilovesooty I've tried to be honest and as equal as I can be. Although obviously I am biased towards myself

I'm sure that's the case bounty. I didn't mean to cause offence by suggesting otherwise. I meant that if the situation as stated seemed to be demonstrated to me in an initial session I wouldn't agree to counsel a couple where one party was controlling or EA.

thehorridestmumintheworld Sun 17-Nov-13 21:10:05

I still wouldn't rule out AS. Try this online test test it is just giving you an idea and not definative at all. Its the no friends thing that really makes me think he may be affected. Routines and rules are common amongst some ppl with AS but some are very different. There are also related conditions.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 21:10:46

"Concentrate on our marriage" sounds rather like being there to control you and keep an eye on you to me.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 21:10:58

So he is at home all the time? Do you have any time and space on your own?

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:14:20

Gobbo: Often divorce is preferable to marriage.
My friend stayed married to a very abusive man, who used to scream at the DS 'I wish you had never been born, you've ruined my life'.
He watched his dad call his mother a F--king c--t.
Now the 18 year old son trashes the house (holes in walls, slashes the sofas, shits on the floor and calls his mother a F-king c--t. Divorce would have been better for all of them.

Apologies Bounty, for going off topic, but Gobbo really is annoying me.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 21:14:44

Of course someone should be allowed to call their parents when they want.

But when marriage has come to breaking point and one person is sighting the influence of the others parents......then I guess something to do with the parents is going to be part of the remedy.

As I said I would go along with the remedy with a time limit and see what happens, as I said, if after say 6 months nothing was better then surely op is in a better position to really see if it was in this mans head or not? Holding back from her parents for 6 months isnt long in the long run.

Again, I am just seeing this from the usual flip side, we would all be saying the man was simply brain washed by his family to fall in, and the woman must be strong and put her foot down. This ^ could^ be one of those situations...its a reverse of what we usually get.

Only op knows if she is happy, or wants to save her marriage, or whether she loves this man....

If she doesn't want to compromise on a temporary basis to get clarity here, then there is her answer. LTB NOW. Dont try counselling or anything, you said your parents would take you in, just leave him and go.

hettie Sun 17-Nov-13 21:14:48

You need professional counsellor, not someone via the church. Call relate or go via ukcp (google it) and search for couple trained therapists. Your counsellor is unprofessional and poorly trained

He's given up work 'to concentrate on your marriage'


He does sound very controlling. Sarky comments aside (from your husband and mother) most people would recognise that an argument over a spoon was trivial & agree to disagree. The stuff about not sharing holiday snaps or saying anything about your dd is very strange.

FreeWee Sun 17-Nov-13 21:16:55

bounty things that rings bells to me that all is not well.

Grown man crying, for the first time in your marriage, about his MIL doing something differently to how he would have done it. My MIL told me she let my DD cry for 10-12 minutes when she baby sat. I was angry but I calmly asked her to go to her after no more than a minute next time. Your DH massively overreacted and is now stubbornly refusing to admit that.

Getting marriage guidance from a non qualified counsellor (church or not it's a bad idea). Counselling methods are tested to ensure they do no harm. This 'meddling' as someone called it could do harm. Imagine an untrained counsellor giving advice to someone who is suicidal. Too dangerous. Please get yourself a trained counsellor using the link provided previously.

Refusing to speak to them straight away, fine. Some people just need time to calm down. But refusing to speak to them long term when they are trying to apologise? That is not how an adult should behave over what is, in isolation, a trivial thing.

Giving you a 'me or them' ultimatum to his DD's birthday party. What is more important? Him making a point or your DD having the people who love her celebrating her birthday together? He should have been able to speak to them but at the very least been able to be in the same room.

He has one kind of relationship with his family; you have another. My DH's family are more formal, never fart in front of each other, never argue just simmer. My family are informal, open, argumentative and tell each other what we think. We both have to suck it up when we're with the other's family but that's what compromise in a marriage is all about.

Not letting your parents see your DD for a month, other than at the hospital. Just because his family's way is like that doesn't mean he should impose that on you. And if he wasn't even around what skin was it off his nose? And if you were somewhere you didn't know anyone that's very isolating with a new born. My mum was round at least once a week and still is 9 months on. My DH wouldn't dream of telling me how often I can see her. I don't ask to see her I tell him she's coming round.

Not sharing holiday photos. I understand you're not on Facebook and I appreciate some people don't like sharing pictures of their family on a public site but not sharing them via email with close family? That's not usual. I email pictures of DD to my family and my DH's all the time. Never once has my DH tried to control the image of our family these photos portray.

I hope you're coming to this conclusion yourself but your DH is very controlling in ways that are not usual in other relationships. Making you reduce contact with your family is IMHO EA. Making you choose between their attendance at your DD's party is EA. Controlling the image of your family that you portray privately to your family is EA. A family should try and work things through but until he breaks his childish sulky silence with your parents I can't see him budging an inch on anything else. Be brave, get a new counsellor, get a new perspective and good luck flowers

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:19:59

Bounty: On a very personal note, does he want more DCs?

Just wondering if he ever suggests that you give up your job, which is your contact with the world away from him.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 21:20:29


Divorce is preferable to marriage to an abusive man, really confused.

So what point do you get divorced. He has agreed to counselling, is that not a positive sign?How many men on these boards usually agree to counselling?

Op is in counselling, albeit strange counselling....Op is trying to give a remedy a chance and is worried that things will never be enough for him to relax.

I have said op should give it a chance with the knowledge in her own mind that if things dont change by x months then she reviews the situation.

If op does not want to give things a chance then there is no point getting another counsellor or doing anything else except pack her bags.

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 21:20:45

We n have also agreed that I only have contact with my parents once every10 d. I think the idea is that this is a temporary measure whilst my parents learn what is appropriate from them. The problem is I don't feel they were at all interfering before

Good Lord! This is cult-like behaviour. Your mother was being a bit passive-aggressive in the conversation you gave us re the spoon, but this?!

And it is perfectly normal to chat with family and friends about where you went on holiday, what the children said today, and so on. Does your marriage counsellor know that your H thinks that such conversations are not "appropriate."

Backinthering Sun 17-Nov-13 21:22:58

GobbolinoCat did you genuinely question that divorce is preferable to being married to an abusive man? I hope I have misunderstood you.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 21:24:01

Gobbolino, the OP isn't going to have more clarity by being kept from her wider support network for 6 months. More likely she will become more isolated, lonely and less able to see the wood from the trees. That is why abusers do it.

BlackDaisies Sun 17-Nov-13 21:30:41

All sounds very worrying. Saying you have "no chance" of nipping to your mum's, simply because your husband is home is NOT normal in a marriage. You need to decide what YOU want. Presumably this would include a normal loving relationship with your parents. Definitely try counselling. I was in an abusive relationship. Your perception of what is normal and acceptable becomes very skewed. I know when you're in the relationship leaving often doesn't feel like an option. What changed things for me was when my children began to be affected by his behaviour. Leaving was the hardest but best thing I ever did. Looking back now it seems scary the things I began to accept as ok, and what a shell of my former self I became. At the very least get some counselling for yourself to try to become more confident about what it is YOU want and not just thinking about pleasing your husband.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 21:30:49

Backinthering I hope I've misunderstood as well.

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 21:31:12

You see, as an introvert, not wanting to share photos feels right

But would you stop your partner, who doesn't necessarily feel the same as you about not wanting to share photos, from showing photos of her family to her parents?

It sounds controlling and really neurotic. And so so selfish

terrierist Sun 17-Nov-13 21:32:57

Thanks bounty - my DD had a relationship with an EA man who set about isolating her from friends, colleagues and family. DD & I have always been close but at that time we were less in contact than at any other. I have no doubt that if it had lasted long enough he would have manufactured a big bust-up with DH & me.

I bit my tongue a million times when all I really wanted to do was scream at her that he was taking her over and she was diminishing before my eyes. I said practically nothing and then only commented when she asked for my opinion. I knew my daughter and was sure that eventually she would realise she couldn't live like that and wanted her to know that she had someone she could go to who couldn't and wouldn't say 'I told you so'.

Your DP must be terribly worried about you but are leaving you a clear escape route with no recriminations as and when you want to use it. Believe me, it's not easy to do when you see someone you love so much systematically isolated.

Disclaimer - I do not advocate this course if action to anyone, I was lucky it worked for me and DD

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 21:34:12

Op is in counselling, albeit strange counselling

Substitute untrained/damaging/toxic for "strange".

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 21:36:58

I found myself wondering if you're in some weird Church - with its own counsellors - which is all about submission

Surrendered wives sort of stuff? {shudder}

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:38:13

Stepford Wives

mistlethrush Sun 17-Nov-13 21:39:00

I do object to people suggesting that its AS even though the OP has said that her H has very non-AS traits. Perhaps he's just a twat

OP, just for a bit of comparison... My DH doesn't want to spend over much time with my parents. I accept that - but that doesn't stop me talking to them or seeing them - indeed, DS and I spent a week with them on holiday (without DH) at half term - DH didn't mind in the least.

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 21:40:31

So I really don't think he is all about submitting to my husband, and staying together at all costs


The more I'm reading your posts on this thread, the more I'm shuddering.

roundtable Sun 17-Nov-13 21:40:39

I also had an inkling that this would be Church based counciling.

A very similar scenario happened with a family member of mine. It did not end well.

Good luck op.

TheEarlOfDoncaster1963 Sun 17-Nov-13 21:40:58

Sounds v.controlling to me. My parents did not wait to be invited to see our children when they were born; they were in the car the moment they heard the news and were off up the motorway to see the baby! We couldn't have stopped them coming even if we wanted to - and why would you not want to share your newborn baby with your family?! It's bizarre that his parents didn't bother coming for 8 wks, IMO. My DH's parents didn't come to see our eldest for 10 days (because they were having their kitchen fitted hmm) and everyone thought that was slightly weird.
And I'm another one who thinks that telling people that you're going on holiday, or sharing some photos of your children, is a NORMAL thing to do - why is everything such a secret? People like to share good news - we're human. IMO your husband needs individual counselling - I wouldn't be surprised if he'd been abused as a child...

Ahole Sun 17-Nov-13 21:41:59

So he's given up work so he can be at home checking up on you and goes over what you will be talking to your parents about on your occasionally allowed phone calls.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 21:43:28

'and a check of what I'm going to talk to them about.'

That is so wrong on so many levels.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 21:45:38

If op does not want to give things a chance then there is no point getting another counsellor or doing anything else except pack her bags.

But the one they've been seeing isn't a trained or qualified counsellor.

So they've yet to see one...

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:46:20

Son in Law and myself get along ok (ish).
TBH he is very irritating and no doubt he finds me very irritating too, but we are polite and friendly to each other.

He's quite happy for my DD and their DCs come to visit without him and go on holiday without him (no where exotic, a caravan usually)

I think that we have a normal relationship.

haveyourselfashandy Sun 17-Nov-13 21:47:03

Oh bounty,your parents won't be around forever,how's it going to work out when they are elderly? Will you be allowed to visit them? I'm sorry but I don't think your h will ever allow you to have normal contact with them.You are either going to have to learn to live with that or leave him.Why wouldn't he want his dd to have a normal,loving relationship with her gp? I'm sorry op but I don't know how you can live with this man.Your poor dd.Is this what you want for the rest of your life?

paxtecum Sun 17-Nov-13 21:49:02

Bounty: Is your DH a lot older than you?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 21:53:50

10 years age difference

maryz yes things are better than at the point when I was ready to leave. But to be honest unless he'd started physically assaulting me, then they couldn't have been much worse.

Yes he's at home all the time. I have time to myself at work. I go to the gym occasionally. Sometimes I meet with friends and I take DD to a toddler group without him.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 21:57:09

I think you need some time apart so you can think this through.

Am I right in thinking he refused counselling until you found it through the church? That would worry me a lot.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:00:24

I am finding this quite interesting.

If this was op posting about her in laws and her DH in ability to see them for controlling pricks everyone would be telling her to stay away from them, to never let him take the baby there without her to show a united front!

What if ops parents are suffocating and controlling, what if her DH is despairing and his OTT reaction to the spoon was actually, the straw that broke the camels back, that this was the last straw...on a huge back story of controlling behaviour and it was just the spoon that sent him flying off the deep end.

He doesn't usually cry> he cried the once, maybe this was the breaker for him? I would be more worried if she said he cried all the time....

Many a time a woman comes on complaining of her in laws and everyone jumps on the band wagon telling her to cut them off, stop the over bearing mil rushing to the hospital. give themselves time as a family and so on.

this man could be going through all of that! not one person is sparing one thought for him.

OP I cant say anymore here. You said you wanted to hear a different side, I gave you one. You know your situation, your DH etc, you sound like a well measured person, whatever you decide to do I am sure it will be for the best. Life is short, do not let things rumble on, do give things a limit.

As the child of warring parents who stayed together too long, yes I believe divorce is preferable to parents who do not get on, or are in an un healthy relationship, parting.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:02:03

paxtecum the counsellor asked us about having more children. I said that at the moment I couldn't face it. Mainly as lots of our issues seemed to start following the birth of DD. H said that although he didn't enjoy the baby stage now having a toddler is great and he'd like more. I was shock tbh as I would say he hated the baby stage.

When we got home we spoke further and it transpires he'd like to adopt [shoc] shock shock as this misses out the baby stage. I pointed out that adoption comes with a whole heap of its own issue and is a massive commitment and not just a way to fast track to toddler-dom.

No he doesn't want me to give up work. In fact he really wants me to work FT but I do not want that. I love my PT (although slightly less now he is there in all my time off with DD).

Retroformica Sun 17-Nov-13 22:04:28

Have you told your councillor that this is the only thing you have challenged and he has totally overreacted. He has control issues clearly. He wants you to obey

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:04:56

Checking what you are going to talk about with your parents? You not being able to mention certain topics? Utterly utterly controlling. I just don't know anyone, anyone for whom this behaviour would be normal within their relationship, sorry.

You poor thing. I guess you know that things are very wrong if you were desperate enough to want to leave once, and my feeling is that you will be back in that place soon. It was your misfortune to stumble across this minister pretending to be a counsellor who really doesn't have a clue and seems to be taking the preserve the marriage at all costs. Plus he also sounds a bit dozy- clearly he wouldn't be happy not seeing his grandchild or having his 'contact' controlled but doesn't seem to be able to call your husband's behaviour for what it is.

What did your husband say when you said you wanted to leave? How has it become turned around to you being in the wrong and not him, if you were the one who wanted to leave (i.e. why is he not changing to make you stay if you see what I mean?)

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:06:19

gobbo I do appreciate your opposite side. I'm trying to see if anything you say would strike a chord in my H. I would say that since the spoon incident I have seen him cry quite a lot. If my parents are suffocating then I can see that the spoon may well have been a tipping point. Well it clearly was a tipping point, I suppose the question is whether it was a valid one.

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 22:07:04

Gobbolino, you appear intent on constructing a back story which excuses this man while totally ignoring the other information.

And once and for all they are not in counselling. They are being advised, badly, by a church member.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 22:08:35

Gobbolino those threads tend to have examples of the ILs behaving unreasonably. The OP gives examples of her husband behaving badly, not her parents. It is one thing to look at the posts from a different view point, but quite another to invent a narrative that isn't there. The OP is unhappy and misses her parents, she was even left alone after giving birth with no support because he banned her parents from visiting even when he wasn't there. She has also said that she feels controlled and that he may be emotionally abusive. This really isn't the thread to play devils advocate for the hell of it.

I think it is interesting that he feels adoption is preferable to having another child of your own. Adopting is a fantastic, difficult journey and I have nothing but respect for people who adopt.

But in the case of your DH, I would worry that it is another sign of him wanting to be in control of the process of having children.

And if he thinks that holiday snaps are too private to be shared with family and friends - how does he think he will cope with having to lay his life bare in order to be approved for adoption?

motherinferior Sun 17-Nov-13 22:09:58

My partner is quite a private person. He is still extremely pleased to show people pictures of his lovely daughters. I send them to anyone I even vaguely know because I am so proud of them.

And we went to France on holiday. Neither of us considers this secret information...

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:11:13

mumsy He was upset when I wanted to leave. He now says that he's scared to say anything to me in case I walk out. At the time he told me that he'd fight me every step of the way through the courts for custody of DD.

He has made me feel sorry for him. I now feel that all the nasty things he did to me were justified because of how desperately sad he felt about me 'choosing my parents over him'. During spoongate and over the party.

He said that he was so hurt that he had to put up barriers and that was why he said some of the nasty things to me that he used to say.

He says that now he is trying really hard as
1) he is no longer saying the nasty things that he used to
2) he has agreed (all be it grudingly) to me remaining PT
3) he has agreed to some contact with my parents and him

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:11:50

And everyone sees intent on ignoring the usual story on here which is the evil MIL trying to control things and the poor DIL being told to be strong, being told her DH is brain washed and has been by MIL and cant see the wood for the trees and he must choose between her and his parents. HE MUST PUT his new family first.

Here is some one saying things in reverse and everyone is clamouring over themselves to say how controlling he is.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:12:09

Gobbolino my MIL is incredibly interfering and not a very nice person. Guess what- I just let my husband get on with handling her all by himself. I don't control what photos she sees, I don't tell him what to say on the phone, and I don't tell him when/where to see her. I set my own boundaries (say two week holiday with them a year) and then let him do his own thing. That is because I respect him as a person and trust him to make his own decisions. He once didn't speak to her for 6 months- I let him get on with that too.

He also lets me get on with managing my own family relationships, if he doesn't fancy hanging out with my family as much as I do (I see them weekly and speak to them daily- imagine the OP's husband's reaction to that), then he doesn't have to come but he's happy I'm happy.

I don't think this is about presenting a united front, and even if it were, the Op is secretly not united because she knows full well her husband is unreasonable if not downright odd and so, being a sensible and nice person, with sensible nice friends (who also think the same) she is working out what to do next.

he told me that he'd fight me every step of the way through the courts for custody of DD.
Which is probably why he has given up work and is encouraging you to go FT - because he will be DDs primary carer and may well feel that this gives him an advantage in the event of a future custody battle.

BlackberrySeason Sun 17-Nov-13 22:14:10

I speak to my dm and DF 2-3 times a day. DH speaks to his much less and hasn't seen them for over 18 months. He would never try to reduce my contact with my dm and DF.

BooCanary Sun 17-Nov-13 22:15:59

I think Mrscakes has hit the nail on the head.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:16:18

to be honest mrscakes I love the PT work-life balance so much. I worked FT for a year after maternity leave ended and felt that I saw so little of DD. Spending a couple of extra days with her whilst she is still preschool is amazing. Just the best thing. But it has also crossed my mind that I can't risk him being the full time primary carer sad

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 22:16:29

Your OH needs therapy, clearly. But not from a fundamentalist Christian organisation.

{dons amateur psychologist hat}

Actually, he sounds as though he's having a breakdown, and has deep-seated issues about control and sharing. You didn't "take his side" over your DD's birthday party, and now he cries a lot and controls your normal behaviour so as to keep him "happy" .

Oh this thread is possibly one of the most disturbing I have read on MN (the one about the woman whose husband forced/tricked her into having a 3rd child was maybe worse)

Dressingdown1 Sun 17-Nov-13 22:16:30

OP you mention that DH really seemed to hate the baby stage. How is he with DD now? He sounds very controlling with you and I am wondering if he is the same with DD. I assume he looks after her while you are at work. Are you happy with that?

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 22:16:52

Bounty have you broached the suggestion of you seeing your parents without him there? If so, how did he react to it? And what sorts of nasty things did he say to you? I also think he is positioning himself to be your DD's main carer.

wundawoman Sun 17-Nov-13 22:18:59

He is trying to isolate and control you.

If you play along with his game your mental health will suffer. You need to tell him to behave like an adult and treat his family and extended family with respect. You should be able to see your family and friends without feeling guilty and he needs to accept that. He is being ridiculous...

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:20:39


good for you, and your situation, there are plenty of posters on these boards who deal with very interfering and damaging in laws who have to be held at arms length due to all sorts of damaging interference to a marriage and indeed their own child. So many times posters have said the DH is always depressed or miserable after meeting with the parents, and they are back to step one after and they are left to pick up pieces. That the DH needs emotional distance from the dp's to get clarity.

MrsC you have a point there re primary care.

zatyaballerina Sun 17-Nov-13 22:23:44

Crying because your mother put food on a spoon is not normal, that's someone who has no sense of proportion or control over his emotions. He sounds very unreasonable (due to serious mental health issues by the sounds of it) and controlling. He needs help for whatever mental illness is causing him to behave this way. If he's not prepared to fix that, then you need to leave him. Indulging his crazy won't help him get better (assuming he was ever well in the first place), it'll help him isolate you while he becomes even more controlling, abusive and insane.

Sitting at home staring at four walls isn't doing him any good, he needs to get out of the house, get a job and proper psychiatric help from a medical professional. If he won't even accept that he is the problem, then everything's going to get worse and you'd be better off escaping him now.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:23:56

Is the Baptised fundamentalist christians? are you bapstist op, is he?

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 22:24:20

Also bounty you say that you have had to persuade him to let you work PT, but he just decided to quit his job. Did you get any say in that, given that it effects your life and your joint finances?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:24:25

DD goes to nursery on the 3 days that I'm at work, as we felt that it was important for her to contiue with this and for the social interaction side too. I drop her off on the way to work, and H collects her as I work long days (7.30ish each night).

Yes he hated the baby stage. Now he clearly loves her. Thinks shes the best thing ever. He is very big on her being 'independent' and tells me I help her too much with things like getting dressed and putting shoes on. Sometimes he accuses me of molly-coddling her and trying to keep her dependent on me ("like my parents have done with me" <- his words) although I argue that this is just normal parenting and caring.

basgeti no chance of seeing them without him there. I wasnt allowed to skype them without him there. Asking to do that caused a big sulk as apparantly undid all the good work we'd done so far that I'd even consider this might be appropriate.

Nasty things he said to me (didn't really want to get into this): That I'm fat, over eat (I'm not - size 10-12), that I'm a pushover at work, that I look terrible with make up on, he had an over friendly text relationship with a woman he worked with that he concealed from me, that my voice is wrong and that I have no command in it so no wonder dd or the dog don't listen to me ...

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 22:26:39

This gets worse and worse sad

Gobbo, you seem convinced the pil are interfering and controlling. With no proof. And fwiw I would never support an op forbidding their oh tho see his/her parents unless ther was clear abuse going on. Which doesn't appear to be te case here.

I appreciate you are playing DA, but do you really believe this is all ok?

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 22:27:39

It just gets worse and worse, doesn't it?

Please re-read what you have written, Bounty.

This is not normal. Really, it isn't.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:28:01

Can you afford for him to quit work?

He sounds ultra-critical, and now you have called him on the criticism, has found a new outlet for his control.

I'm sorry Op, I sense you desperately want him to be different and for this to work. But I think the situation is what it is.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 22:28:50

And Bounty, I am probably a similar age to your parents. If I was your mother I'd be worried out of my mind about you and your DD.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:29:03

gobbolino I don't think baptists are fundamental. We are just normal Christians I think. We go to a different church now (evangelical) but approached the baptist church as that was who married us and we are fringe members of the current church.

basgetti well he thinks I should work FT. He would say that we made the joint decision for him to quit work but I felt pressured into agreeing it. When I said that actually it makes no sense to stop working (as he admits that he'd rather work than be at home which he doesnt find particularly stimulating) I was accused of not actually wanting to try to put our family first. Unfortunately he seems to think there is zero chance of finding suitable work close to home so he can return to the family home each night

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 22:29:54

Is he claiming JSA? Obviously he wouldn't have been able to claim initially after voluntarily giving up his job but if/when he does I don't imagine he'll be left alone and not put under any pressure to seek work.

I would agree that he's encouraging you to go FT seemingly to position himself as primary carer.

Backinthering Sun 17-Nov-13 22:30:21

Leave him.

Kundry Sun 17-Nov-13 22:32:33

OK, I'll say it. He knows that ultimately you will leave. He has not given up work to work on his marriage, he has given up work to ensure he gets custody of your child by being her primary carer.

I think this is behind his push for you to go FT - he has absolutely no intention of ever finding a job but this way you are stuck with him and he keeps all the control.

I hope I'm wrong.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:32:50

mumsy well my PT hours are probably nearer 70% so my salary covers all of the bills and mortgage but no room for luxuries. We have extensive savings but H is not happy using these. My view is that its OK if we need to as in 2 years when DD starts school I'll happily return to almost FT ( I would want to finish slghtly early on the 2 extra days so I can collect from school). H's view is that he has worked very hard to get the savings and he is not happy to use them up. So now if I buy something he considers extravangant or want to go out for dinner with friends I;m accused of going over budget.

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 22:34:12

It does get worse, he has no right to say those vile things to you, or to tell you that you can't even skype your parents without his supervision. I really hope that you can get some real life support, you need to leave him.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:35:00

He wants to set up his own business. That is his plan to be working on whilst DD is at nursery. But atm he's done nothing. And he wont tell me what the ideas are yet as apparantly we are not strong enough for him to feel comfortable sharing.

Maryz Sun 17-Nov-13 22:35:18

Read back your own posts. Cut and paste them together and decide if you are exaggerating/making it up/being unfair.

If not, unless there are massive reasons to stay, I think you need to trial time apart.

tinypumpkin Sun 17-Nov-13 22:35:55

I also think that you need to find another counsellor. As another poster has said, one that is independent from the church and registered wit the BACP. I work in psychology and some of what you have posted is concerning.

It's hard to comment about your DH but there are many alarm bells ringing. I truly hope that you can get some good professional and inpartial support.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 22:36:21

It's not often I join the LTB contingent but I wouldn't go to one more counselling session with this man or see any point in trying to work on a marriage to an abuser.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 22:37:08

So, Bounty. If you've read all the posts on this thread you will see how the absolute majority are telling you that you have a real problem with your husband.

You may want to ask MNHQ to move this to Relationships anyway.

But - if you have read all the posts, have you come to any decision about what you are going to do?

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:37:17

kundry maybe I couldn't leave then even if I wanted to sad

Do you think he'd be classed as her primary carer even though she's at nursery on those days? He does collect her, but I get her up in the morning, feed and dress her and take her there. And I do her bath and bed time nearly every night. And I'm the only one who will take her to playdates, toddler group, childrens parties etc

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:37:51

I do agree with Cake and Kundry.

I think he is being cunning and is positioning himself as main carer and again for whatever reason, he thinks you will ultimately give up on the marriage.

I don't know why he is reacting so badly with your parents, he may be well founded, but I think this new information is worrying and displaying a strength of will and cunning for a long game plan which takes quite a mind to execute and work out.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:38:01

It's always the same- he inappropriately texts a woman at work, you are not allowed to use Skype to call your own mum. Have you put a ban on him texting ever again without your permission? I guess not.

I think he's isolating you from your family as he knows they will crack at some point and tell you to get out or express concern that you are married to a controlling nasty person.

I agree with Maryz, read your own posts back and imagine that is your friend, or even your dd in twenty years time. What would you say to them? Give it another go, put up with it, or get the hell out? And how would you feel towards a man who treated your good friend or dd that way?

Kundry Sun 17-Nov-13 22:38:25

And which of you is the most drawn to evangelical Christianity, you or him?

I didn't think Baptists were very fundamentalist, mainly because I wasn't. But a significant number are and have very traditional views about say, male and female roles in decision-making in a marriage. If you go to an evangelical church, this may be even more pronounced. YOur counsellor isn't a counsellor anyway but even worse, he is likely to have an agenda about how a man and woman should behave in marriage which would suit an EA man down to the ground.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 22:39:13

Bounty, get advice. See a solicitor, so that whatever your decision it is more informed than you are now.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:39:20

you need proper advice bounty, hopefully you can afford to get some.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 22:41:35

YOur counsellor isn't a counsellor anyway but even worse, he is likely to have an agenda about how a man and woman should behave in marriage which would suit an EA man down to the ground

I agree.

Quoteunquote Sun 17-Nov-13 22:44:31

Sounds like your parents are doing the best to support you, while you have to put up with a twonk.

He excluded himself from the party , by making some petty disagreement carry on, he stomped off over how to feed a child,

He objects to you not cheer leading this behaviour.

Is there any chance he will have an epiphany and start to behave like a civilised adult, rather than a spoilt child?

Don't allow this person to isolate you from your support network, and stay away from ridiculous counsellors, who give such dodgy advice.

All of this is his problems in his head, which is the only place it can be solved.

But really there are so many red flags going on to , just run.

Noctilucent Sun 17-Nov-13 22:46:41

Take your DD and go to your parents.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:47:52

I can afford to thanks. I will see a solicitor and see where that takes me.

kundry I get confused about fundamental, evangelical and all the other flavours of religion. I was brought up in a (modern) CofE family but with plenty free will. I became a Christian, my sister didn't and AFAIK my parents have never put any pressure on her or anything like that. I don't know if I'm evangelical or what really. Just believe and that is that. Don;t really worry or care about church politics.

H did not grow up in a Christian family. Became a christian at uni (before I met him). Was fiarly involved in the church where we married. (not leadership involved, more socially). This was the onyl church he knew. It is very big, lively etc. Then when we moved away he has struggled to find a church that suits him. (I think comparing all around us to that very large active one that he had belonged to before). So he has gradually fallen away, although still states that he believes.

DOn't know if this is relevant to the situation

NothingMoreScaryThanAHairy Sun 17-Nov-13 22:48:55

bloody hell.

Wow he has set himself up very nicely.

I think in the first instance you need to start thinking about seeing a solicitor to work out where you stand with the primary carer issue as he appears to have backed you into a corner.

This relationship is so far away from normal I don't know where to start.

But on your latest post " he has plans to start a small business but does not feel we are strong enough for him to confide in me yet" This is controlling- he gets to stay at home you walk on eggshells to convince him that as a couple you are strong enough, he stays home and on paper is nominally the primary carer of dd. If you leave he (hopes to get) residency. There will never be a time when your relationship "is strong enough" for him to confide and you continue as you are....

Pooka Sun 17-Nov-13 22:49:57

Could you go and see your parents when you're supposed to be at toddler group? Or ring them on pay phone when you're supposed to be at the gym. or from work - even better.

Let it all out, everything he's said and done. Would they pay for you to get legal advice? That way he need not know money being used. I assume you have joint accounts so can't squirrel money away. I'm also assuming that you cannot talk freely when he's at home. These assumptions are making me feel panicky for you. I think he sounds incredibly controlling (can't tell you about business plans - wtf). I don't trust him. I'm anxious on your behalf.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:50:27

Bounty- if you do believe, then why not sit quietly and pray? See what comes to your mind.

That and get some legal advice, before him being the home-parent becomes entrenched and you are effectively the breadwinner/WOH parent (which you are now anyway).

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:50:29

noctilucent but then my conscience starts pricking at me. What right do I have to take DD with me when he's her Dad. How can I appoint myself as the best person to look after DD even though that is what I do believe in my heart. If he took her agaist my will then I would be livid.

bouncingbelle Sun 17-Nov-13 22:53:28

Op I can't add any more to what everyone else has said, but seriously - crying over a spoon? Not allowed to skype your own parents? Not prepared to share his business ideas with you whilst it's your wages keeping the family going????

WHY are you with this man and would you want your daughter to mimic his behaviour as she gets older?

Please, please leave this man.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:53:32

pooka we actually have seperate accounts as he was concerned when we got married that I was a liabilty to have a joint account with as I once lost my purse and had to get my cards cancelled. So he actually doesnt know what comes in and out of my account. But my parents would help I'm sure.

He has been at home since the end of August. But worked away for 6 months before then (back at weekends)

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 22:54:30

If he's a good dad, then he will see your dd and she will stay with him. Just not all the time.

Don't risk losing custody of your own dd due to his extreme manipulation.

If you can't live together, it is better she lives with the more stable, earning, not emotionally abusive parent. This is you. Soon she will be old enough to work out what is going on, or hear the stuff you have mentioned, or wonder why she can't see granny, etc.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Nov-13 22:54:31

Do you want your daughter growing up believing that this controlling behaviour is normal though?

Noctilucent Sun 17-Nov-13 22:54:49

Listen to your heart / gut. You have her best interests at heart whereas he is merely playing a game.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 22:55:04

boucingbelle its not as easy as just going as it appears he could legitimately fight for custody of our DD sad

He is already trying to make you "independent" from your parents.
Now he is working on making your DD "independent" from you.

I don't doubt that he adores your DD. But, given how he treats you, do you really trust him to be the most suitable person to raise her? Especially on his own (if that's what it comes to?).

Personally, I think you need to prioritise yourself and your DD.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 22:58:05


Dont worry about what might or might not happen until you speak to a solicitor pronto, write down first all your facts etc, and see what they say.

In the mean time, I would arrange proper counselling as I assume you are not going to leave straight away.

NothingMoreScaryThanAHairy Sun 17-Nov-13 22:58:15

You could if you ended it sooner rather than later (and I don't like telling people to LTB) It could be suggested that him being home was a temporary stop gap to a local job rather than a planned change of primary carer.

If your conscience is pricking you all you have to think is would you like your dd to be so fully controlled and walking on eggshells for the rest of her life. Because that IS undoubtedly how her life will be without you.

BlackberrySeason Sun 17-Nov-13 22:58:36

Bounty what I would do in your position is get a free half hour of family law advice from a solicitor. Many firms offer that.

Nanny0gg Sun 17-Nov-13 22:59:56

What right do I have to take DD with me when he's her Dad.

Because he'll do to her what he's doing to you!

Kundry Sun 17-Nov-13 23:01:08

You need to see a solicitor. Although in his head he may be a SAHD, you can evidence that actually you do all the work and most of the time your DD is in nursery anyway.

The arrogance of the man is astounding. If you got proper legal advice, I strongly suspect things are not as clear cut as he thinks and you are scared of.

Kundry Sun 17-Nov-13 23:02:01

BTW have you thought of moving this thread or posting in Relationships?

gimcrack Sun 17-Nov-13 23:04:29

OP, your husband sounds irrational. Imagine you we're reading this story being posted by someone else. Would you think that what she was being asked to do was reasonable?

Ring your parents. Think about you and your DDs future. And good luck.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 23:05:27

This sounds awful but it will be hard to get away to see a solicitor. Unless I can manage to see one locally to my work during a lunch hour. I did see a sol when I nearly left before, but obviously our situation is very different now he is at home and not working so I dont suppose what I found out then would be relevant now

basgetti Sun 17-Nov-13 23:06:32

I think you should ring Women's Aid.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 23:08:07

Email around from your work account or call whilst at work and do see one in your lunch hour, extend it if you have too, urgent densit etc. They did do free half hours, don't waste it - write down what you need to say so can be done quickly and get some advice. Surely you can see one locally.

I think it would put your mind at rest and shore you up whilst you work out what to do.

UptheChimney Sun 17-Nov-13 23:11:26

I've never posted this before, but LTB.

Start making plans. Set up a getaway fund, and get some real life support. Have a chat with Women's Aid.

But leave and take your daughter with you.

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 23:11:36

gimcrack interestingly the one friend that I have confided in asked me the same thing. What would I say to her if it was her telling me what I'd just told her. And in that situation it was an absolute no-brainer. LTB. It was so clear but somehow it's just not that clearcut when it's you!

Thanks so much for letting me 'talk' it through with you all tonight. I really do value all your time and support. It has made me feel stronger and clearer headed.

kundry I have posted in relationships before. I've found the EA thread really helpful although I;ve not been there for a while.

Mumsyblouse Sun 17-Nov-13 23:11:38

Bounty- the status quo has only just changed and I think that makes a big difference, check with the solicitor (and do see one, even if you have to skimp a bit at work one day). He's only been home since August and your dd is in childcare anyway.

GobbolinoCat Sun 17-Nov-13 23:16:11

Good luck Bounty, you sound very fair and reasonable and sadly, when you are so fair and kind, people can take advantage of that.

It sounds like he is already planning on future break up strategy and yet you are here agonising over taking his DD away....

The positives here are your parents who will be there for you, and your DD. You are also bringing in a wage. I hope you are able to see a solicitor soon and that you can take strengths from the positives in your life and your faith to get you through. flowers

bountyicecream Sun 17-Nov-13 23:19:53

yes gobbolino and mumsy I do have lots of positives in my life. A lovely DD, great supportive parents and wider family too, great supportive friends, good stable employment which value and respect me too, savings of my own if I need it. I'm sure I'll find a way.

ChasedByBees Sun 17-Nov-13 23:21:35

This is so sinister OP. Whilst I think he is trying to position himself as a SAHD, as he doesn't actually do any childcare I don't think that's a defendable position. I do think a chat with WA would be good to see if you can get this evidenced somehow. It could be useful in a custody battle. Frankly, sooner or later you will need to LTB. I'd make sure you have all your ducks in a row first.

Anniegetyourgun Sun 17-Nov-13 23:21:54

This has definitely come a long way since my first lukewarm post, and not in a good direction!

Personally I wonder whether it's not quite as sinister as him wanting to get residence with DD, though worrying enough. My theory is that if he positions himself as primary carer and keeps the family unit short of money you won't dare to leave, therefore he will keep you tethered at least until DD is 18, by which time no doubt he will have fashioned another lid for the box. Don't buy it - it doesn't have to work out like this. Best not to let the current status quo drag on too long though.

He may have shot himself in the foot over the separate accounts thing. The idea may have been to keep you away from the savings, but he also won't know what you are spending on solicitors and suchlike. I wonder whether your family could lend you a bit of legal funding (mine did).

cjel Sun 17-Nov-13 23:26:50

Bounty this sounds a real mess, I would hope you can get to see a solicitor where you work tomorrow start to look.
I would also recommend that you check out the BACP website for a counsellor in your area. There are christian counsellors who would not share their faith or beliefs to their clients, people only use them because if they want to talk about the faith part of their lives they feel its easier.

They would never be a directive as the person you have been seeing who is clearly no counsellor and is in fact causing you more harm.(try a person centred counsellor)

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 17-Nov-13 23:37:30

Please listen when people are saying your being abused,because you are.

Get legal advice ASAP the quicker you do the quicker you can act but even if you decide not to act proper legal advice can not possibly hurt and it will help you make an informed choice.

So you know woman's aid do not offer legal advice you do need actual solicitors for that.

Some areas have DV outreach program's offered by intervention partnerships ( your local council will be able to give you contact details) most of them will send an outreach worker to meet you anywhere safe some are also able in a few circumstances to bring a legal advisor with them and many will accept self referrals.

Please get yourself some help.

nennypops Sun 17-Nov-13 23:50:49

He has made me feel sorry for him. I now feel that all the nasty things he did to me were justified because of how desperately sad he felt about me 'choosing my parents over him'. During spoongate and over the party.

I hope you're no longer feeling sorry for him. Those are only two occasions when you might be said to have chosen your parents over him (though even that is very very questionable). The rest of the time you have been choosing him over your parents time after time, but he will still be acting as if he has been massively injured unless you give up all contact with them forever. He clearly has major issues with his own parents, and apparently with the entire world - he really needs psychiatric help or, at the very least, to see a different marriage counsellor who might steer him in that direction.

LovesBeingHereAgain Mon 18-Nov-13 05:58:11


Do you agree with any of the following?

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: shouting/mocking/accusing/name calling/verbally threatening
Pressure tactics: sulking, threatening to withhold money, disconnect the telephone, take the car away, commit suicide, take the children away, report you to welfare agencies unless you comply with his demands regarding bringing up the children, lying to your friends and family about you, telling you that you have no choice in any decisions.
Disrespect: persistently putting you down in front of other people, not listening or responding when you talk, interrupting your telephone calls, taking money from your purse without asking, refusing to help with childcare or housework.
Breaking trust: lying to you, withholding information from you, being jealous, having other relationships, breaking promises and shared agreements.
Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives.
Harassment: following you, checking up on you, opening your mail, repeatedly checking to see who has telephoned you, embarrassing you in public.
Threats: making angry gestures, using physical size to intimidate, shouting you down, destroying your possessions, breaking things, punching walls, wielding a knife or a gun, threatening to kill or harm you and the children.
Sexual violence: using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts, having sex with you when you don't want to have sex, any degrading treatment based on your sexual orientation.
Physical violence: punching, slapping, hitting, biting, pinching, kicking, pulling hair out, pushing, shoving, burning, strangling.
Denial: saying the abuse doesn't happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying and begging for forgiveness, saying it will never happen again.

Does any of this ring a bell? This is the Women's Aid definition of Abuse.

Every single post you made has made me more concerned for you. In summary he moved you away from your area and support when you were at your most vulnerable and then left you alone. He has left work and wants you to work ft, does not like how you help your daughter with basic things such as putting on shoes, has made you choose between him and your parents and wants practically no contact. This has all come to light after you have married and you feel you can't tell anyone in real life tge whole story.

Op I would happily bet money your parents are far from pleased with all this and are in fact quite worried about you.

Please find a real counsellor to see on your own. Does your workplace have a scheme?

Your dh should want to make you happy.

paxtecum Mon 18-Nov-13 06:18:09

Bounty: Could you take an extra long lunch break to see a solicitor?
Go there prepared with notes, so you don't miss anything out.

There is a far better life ahead for you and your DD.

(In the meantime make sure you don't get pregnant!)

Best wishes to you.

myroomisatip Mon 18-Nov-13 06:48:04

Just read this. I am horrified.

Please contact Womens Aid and definitely see a solicitor, even if you have to arrange time off work. Take whatever steps you can to protect yourself and your DD.

I am worried about what he will do if/when he finds out you may leave and I really feel that you should go. Your DH is abusive.

bountyicecream Mon 18-Nov-13 08:12:26

paxtecum no chance of pregnancy thankfully.

lovesbeinghere : Yes to -

Destructive criticism and verbal abuse: mocking/accusing

Pressure tactics: sulking

Disrespect: not listening or responding when you talk, interrupting your telephone calls, refusing to help with housework.

Breaking trust: withholding information from you, being jealous, (having other relationships - once but via text only, and insists it just got out of hand)

Isolation: monitoring or blocking your telephone calls, telling you where you can and cannot go, preventing you from seeing friends and relatives.

Denial: saying the abuse doesn't happen, saying you caused the abusive behaviour, being publicly gentle and patient, crying

No to the rest. Or at least yes to the above at the point when I nearly left in June.

These days I would say its more - not listening when I talk, refusing to help with (some) housework - he'll cook and shop but not clean, tidy, hoover etc - still some sulking, obviously still prevents me from seeing relatives. Definitely still says that he hasn't abused me and only treated me in the above ways to keep a barrier up as I'd hurt him so much. He has accused me of being sanctimonious and always right.

I'm considering just telling him that I want some individual counselling from a female counsellor to deal with my self-esteem and intimacy issues (at the moment I can't bear for him to touch me - understandably) people pleasing and lack of command in my voice issues. These are all things that he's highlighted that he thinks are wrong with me so in theory he should be pleased that I'm going to address them. I think I can argue that an independent female counsellor would be better for me. If he knows that I'm doing it then at least I can go openly during my time off.

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 08:15:50

My abusive controlling ex used to say i looked stupid with make up on, and that his friends girlfriends didn't wear it and so i shouldn't either, and various other things. He also told me that i wasn't liked and other stuff. All things disguised as concern but actually were all to do with his controlling jealous ways.

So glad you're going to see a solicitor. It really is the right thing to do.

GoblinCat. What you are choosing not to notice, is that in those other threads you mention no one tells the female op not to allow her dp to even speak to his parents and controls the topics they are allowed to discuss.

diddl Mon 18-Nov-13 08:22:01

That is awful, OP.

Can't you just go shopping/to the park but to the solicitor instead?

Are you due time of & could go to your parents & organise anything from there?

The giving up work is to me, senseless-especially as you work!

So it surely doesn't mean that you get that much more time together??

Hell, he could have taken unpaid leave!

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 08:23:25

All those things you mention happened in my abusive relationship.

Remember that you don't actually need his permission to have counselling or anything really. You don't actually have to persuade him as you are an adult. I know that's the way its been with the two of you for years but this isn't normal.

bountyicecream Mon 18-Nov-13 08:32:07

diddl I could go to the gym and see the sol in my smelly sportswear I suppose. Anywhere else would have him suspicious. As he has given up working we don't have spare cash for shopping. Well we do, but we're not allowed to use our (fairly extensive) savings for frivolities.

He's given up work as he was working away so only at home Fri night - Sun night. By not working we now see each other every evening. Also he is self emplyed and takes contracts as and when they come. So I suppose this is unpaid leave in a way but atm he has no intention of returning to work.

ahole thanks for sharing that. I suppose I could present the couneslling as a fait accompli. But I know that wont go down well as we're supposed to be making decisions 'jointly'. Will talk about it tonight. Also today is one of my 10d parent-phonecall days, so it will be intersting how he reacts to me ringing them tonight.

Got to work now, but back soon.

Dressingdown1 Mon 18-Nov-13 08:32:39

It sounds as if DH is trying to isolate you from DD already, by not allowng you to help her with getting dressed etc. This s not kind caring behaviour and could be damaging to your relationship with DD. He is getting himself in a position where she regards him as the main carer and you as the houekeeper/beadwinner. I feel that if he suceeds he will try to cut you off altogether from DD, the way he tries to cut you off from your Mum.

Morgause Mon 18-Nov-13 08:36:04

You don't need to have his permission to seek counselling on your own
You don't need his permission to talk to your parents whenever you like.
You don't need his permission to do anything.

You have shown that you are a strong woman by what you have said here do not let him bully you for one more day. You tell him how it has to be for you and if he doesn't like it then he can suck it up or leave.

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 08:38:16

Oh i see. Making decisions jointly seems to be completely one sided in this case though doesn't it.

roweeena Mon 18-Nov-13 08:44:13

YADNBU and you sound like the only level headed one. Your husband sounds pretty awful to be honest, basically he put you I. A situation whereby you had to choose between him and your parents and given that he was being so unreasonable (blw is really really not worth falling out over!!!) I too would have made sure grandparents were there too

Joysmum Mon 18-Nov-13 08:54:15

Lots has been mentioned about the husbands controlling ways but for all the recent events mentioned the OP is the one controlling and the husband is excluded. Not a lot of partnership going on from both sides and no wonder there are issues.

friday16 Mon 18-Nov-13 08:55:31

OP, what happens if all these rules are broken?

Take, for example, "only phoning your parents every ten days" (itself utterly crazy). What happens if you take out your phone in front of it, dial their number and have a chat about the weather? What do you think happens next?

i only read the first page here, but him in effect deciding what you can and cannot share of Your own life With Your parents is oh so wrong. the fucking therapist baning on about primary and secondary Family is also a total arse, imho. (Sorry about random Capital letters, german auotcorrect i think...) he is over-reacting, you are not. he'll most likely always find something you did not do exactly to his wishes, and will be most upset. You'll spend Your life not succeeding avoiding these Things, because who knows what they are really, and that is just such a tiring way to live. get a different therapist, one With some EA experience.

Jux Mon 18-Nov-13 09:07:26

Jumping through hoops to placate him. Then finding that he's put up a few more hoops for you to jump through, so you have again FAILED. So you jump theough those hoops too, but lo! there are more hoops behind those, so you again FAILED. And so it goes on.......

cjel Mon 18-Nov-13 09:20:28

OP - just book counsellor!! Just see solicitor, if he doesn't like it then perhaps he should see a counsellor to work out why?
Hope you have time to see solicitor todayxx

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 18-Nov-13 09:24:11

Your poor poor daughter. hmm There is currently another thread running where a mother is fighting like a lioness to protect her cub. It breaks my heart, that you choosing to support this man and not protecting her. She will witness the emotional abuse. She will know and she will learn from it, and that is heartbreaking.

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 09:28:00

JoysmumMon 18-Nov-13 08:54:15 Lots has been mentioned about the husbands controlling ways but for all the recent events mentioned the OP is the one controlling and the husband is excluded. Not a lot of partnership going on from both sides and no wonder there are issues.

Where is op the controlling one in this? confused

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 18-Nov-13 09:30:16

Ahole, when posters say such ridiculous things as that woman, it is best to ignore. She is an idiot.

mistlethrush Mon 18-Nov-13 09:34:43

So.. he's not working and you're working 70% and he's not looking after your child on those days but he's still not doing any housework? What does he do with those 3 days with no child to look after and nothing else to do?

BTW, when you were both working did you share the bills etc?

And when you were on ML were you still using your money from your account? (Just wondering if there's a financial side to add to all the other red flags that people are waving...)

Can you use the excuse of going to see a councellor and see a solicitor at the same time?

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 09:36:33

BeautifulbabyboyMon 18-Nov-13 09:24:11 Your poor poor daughter.hmmThere is currently another thread running where a mother is fighting like a lioness to protect her cub. It breaks my heart, that you choosing to support this man and not protecting her. She will witness the emotional abuse. She will know and she will learn from it, and that is heartbreaking.

What a nasty comment! shock Yes the other mum is doing all she can, but its not a competition for fuck sake. That other mum you mention also had to go through the process of realising that her partner was an abusive arse, just as this one is right now. Its not instant for fuck sake! Even that other mum regrets and feels awful for how long it took her to realise, but that's the nature of abusive relationships. They are hard to break free from. Don't let that stop your judgments though angry

What people in abusive relationships need is support and encouragement to do what is best for themselves and their children.

Beautifulbabyboy Mon 18-Nov-13 09:39:56

It wasn't meant like that. It was meant to show how important it is to take action. I am 3 months post baby and very hormonal, the thought of children witnessing things like this breaks my heart. But you were right to chastise me. Sorry OP. X

MarmiteNotVegemite Mon 18-Nov-13 09:41:43

Anywhere else would have him suspicious. As he has given up working we don't have spare cash for shopping. Well we do, but we're not allowed to use our (fairly extensive) savings for frivolities

OP, I've just read this whole thread and I'm shocked.

What shocks me most is how rationally and calmly you seem to be in presenting your OH's abusive and controlling behaviour. You are having to ask for permission for some of the most basic human rights, such as maintaining family relationships and having autonomy on how you spend your time, how you parent your child, and the money you earn.

The gaslighting that you are the "bad" parent is also shocking.

But what's most shocking is how you accept it all, and write about it here as if your OH's behaviour is rational and valid or justified.

I hope you are coping and don't see all these posts as criticising you. I hope you have the same logic and rationality & calmness to get you and your daughter safely away.

MarmiteNotVegemite Mon 18-Nov-13 09:46:48

* for all the recent events mentioned the OP is the one controlling and the husband is excluded*

Joysmum just how is the OP excluding and controlling her OH? I'm puzzled -- could you explain a bit more perhaps?

gamerchick Mon 18-Nov-13 09:51:54

OP I feel really disturbed at what I'm reading.

I'm not really sure what to advise that hasn't already been said.

I also want to know what would happen if you 'disobeyed him?

What if tonight you say 'yanno, I'm sick of all of these rules.. I'm going to see a different councillor.. I'm going to ring my parents whenever I want.. you don't have to have anything to do with them but you don't have the right to control so much of my life'

What would he do?

IamGluezilla Mon 18-Nov-13 10:03:43

I agree with Nennypops that he may need psychiatric help. I think he demonstrates a profound inability to empathise. The comments about: how he'd respond to your daughter in this situation; the photos and the adoption are really worrying.

He is incapable of being close to anyone: not his parents; not you (can't/won't tell you his business plan) and certainly never your parents- so forget calling them more frequently than ten days.

LovesBeingHereAgain Mon 18-Nov-13 10:13:33

No to the rest. Or at least yes to the above at the point when I nearly left in June.

So you don't think he does any of those now, or have you changed to ensure he doesn't get to tgat point?

LatteLady Mon 18-Nov-13 10:35:45

As I read this thread, my mouth dropped open. My first thought was you need to change your counsellor... but as I went further on, for the first time ever I can use that tried and tested acronym LTB!

Take some time off work... tell them you are going to the dentist or your GP and book a few hours to go and get some practical advice from a solicitor. Seriously this is not normal behaviour, it is very manipulative.

I am sure that if you needed to you could go and stay with your parents for a while, as you sort yourself out. Now do all the practical things, make sure you know where all the money is, and make sure that your salary goes into a personal account and not a joint account.

thehorridestmumintheworld Mon 18-Nov-13 10:43:25

I know I already mentioned it but I am still thinking possible undiagnosed Aspergers. Some of the strange things you mention remind me of people I know with Aspergers.People with Aspergers are intelligent often highly intelligent, they know there is something not normal about their behaviour and they may try to rationalise it or blame others. For example giving up work to "work on your marriage" or is it because work is getting too much for him and he wants to be alone all day playing on the computer. The controlling behaviour may be due to him feeling things need to be done a certain way. Even the acting a certain way in public could be linked to AS. People with AS often put on a front in public and they find this a stress so when they get home will need a long mental break to recover.

No matter what the cause of his behaviour is you need to get good advice as a starting point. You don't have to accept his behaviour, it is controlling and weird. If it did turn out to be Aspergers, then he would have to be willing to change, which may not be the case. So talk to someone proffessional as soon as you can and take care of yourself and your dd.

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 10:53:26

BeautifulBabyBoy blush I didn't mean to chastise you!


captainmummy Mon 18-Nov-13 13:41:22

I read the thread with total disbelief. How does he stop you from phoning your parents - you could phone from work? I realise that would mean going behind his back - but ffs his demands are not normal! What would he do if he found out you were phoning them once a week shock?

His tantrum over the spoon-feeding made me laugh out loud in disbelief. He feels it's 'too raw' to accept your df talking to him - over a spoonful of food? Oh the pain! I imagine him lying on the bed, back of the hand against his forehead! I'd treat him like I treat any outburst of anger/tantrum from the dc. Ignore. Let him get on with it.

So OP - what would he do? Sulk? Shout? Cold-shoulder?

I'd let him. I'd phone my mum anyway. In fact, I'd LTB.

motherinferior Mon 18-Nov-13 13:47:33

It is actually quite normal in relationships to disagree about stuff, you know.

AnyBigFuckingJessie Mon 18-Nov-13 14:33:27

I and most of my friends have AS. I have brilliant aspie-dar. None of the OP's husband behaviour sounds like AS. And I know loads, from succesful doctorate holders to people who were unable to cope with post-secondary education, from successfully married, to unhappily single.

Sometimes, the reason why an adult has no friends is because they are a bastard. AS does not render us incapable of respecting other people.

Asperger's Syndrome affects various parts of the brain, but it does

AnyBigFuckingJessie Mon 18-Nov-13 14:34:24

* not render you a bastard.

Jux Mon 18-Nov-13 15:50:34

Oh, I was going to say something along those lines AnyFuckingJessie.

I hate it when people diagnose autism/AS/NPD etc over the net. It is far, far more likely that this man is just a bastard. He can get what he wants no matter how unreasonable because he simply doesn't care what people think of him, so he'll behave as childishly and idiotically as he feels like because that's what will make him win. And if he wins, who cares if your parents think he's a dick. He's won! And as he's won, why shouldn't he push some more - and who cares if he's unreasonable towards you - because he will win again.

So long as he wins, he doesn't care.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 18-Nov-13 16:12:43

You need to be very careful about what you do next OP. Any sudden changes on your part may set him into overdrive, so whilst it might be interesting to challenge him on his behaviour, I'm not sure it would be useful.

Sadly at this point, based on all you have posted, it looks like you are at a crossroads. Either you can continue to try to keep your marriage together or you can focus on separating and building a different future for you and your daughter. I can't see how you can do both simultaneously and personally I think you would be better placed to focus on the latter.

See the solicitor and get his/her advice. Although he isn't working, your DD continues to go to childcare on the days you are working, therefore I can't see how he would be construed as the primary care giver (although I am clearly no expert on the matter). Do not, whatever you do take her out of nursery. If your DH gets wind that the air is changing, he may encourage you to do so ( although it doesn't sound like he actually wants the tiresome business of looking after her himself) whilst re-encouraging you to go f/t - to replenish the bank account of course.

Good luck OP.

bountyicecream Mon 18-Nov-13 16:53:12

Ok some replies:

1. If I phoned on a non-contact day he would most likely sulk and ignore but possibly shout (the only time he has ever sworn at me has been over my parents). He would definitely say I had undone any of the good work and that I clearly am not committed to saving our r/s

2. He would bring this up at all counselling sessions and endlessly in arguments.

3. Things have been improved since June as at that point I said that I would not tolerate being called fat anymore (and I meant it) and so he has not called me fat ever since. Although he has still commented on my eating in other underhand ways. eg we cant afford that expensive muesli with the portion size you are eating.

4. I really dont think he is autistic. He certainly wouldnt admit it.

mercibucket Mon 18-Nov-13 17:10:45

doesn't he mind you mumsnetting? do you clear your user name?

have you tried phoning your parents at work and just asking them not to say anything?

seriouslion Mon 18-Nov-13 17:17:10

Can you see that 3. isn't an improvement really? That is so mean! It is not normal to say such cruel things and calling a partner fat (outright or in an underhand way) is not normal and you should not have to tolerate it in your own home.
The picture you have painted is so worrying and I really hope you can see that and can see a way forward. I cannot imagine living in this situation at all. I'm just saying that so you realise how abnormal everything he is asking you is. You are reasonable. He is cruel and controlling.

currentbuns Mon 18-Nov-13 17:50:02

This thread is terrifying.

friday16 Mon 18-Nov-13 17:52:18

If I phoned on a non-contact day he would most likely sulk and ignore but possibly shout

And what would happen if you phoned your parents every day, for an hour each time, in front of him?

He would bring this up at all counselling sessions

You're not having counselling sessions. You're talking to an unqualified bloke at a nutter church. It's not remotely the same thing.

Jux Mon 18-Nov-13 17:54:33

Sounds like whatever 'good' he is doing in not calling you fat openly, is being undone everythime he says something about it underhandedly, wouldn't you say? He is quite clearly being utterly deceitful about himself and about you. He applies one rule to himself and another to everybody else.

I don't suppose his parents cut contact with him, rather than the other way around?

ilovesooty Mon 18-Nov-13 17:56:54

He wouldn't be able to bring it up in counselling sessions if you refuse to go to another one

ilovesooty Mon 18-Nov-13 17:58:19

And friday16 is right there.

FunkyBoldRibena Mon 18-Nov-13 18:03:00

Hi - I've been away for the weekend and haven't read any long threads but wowsers...

Is there any chance of taking your DD and going to your mums like, tonight/tomorrow? How far from hers is your work?

Jux Mon 18-Nov-13 18:27:38

You are talking to a random stranger. It is the same as me telling my friend - who's got some bad problems - to go and talk to my other friend about her difficulties. The other friend has no qualifications or anything, but has talked to a couple of other people about similar things.

Talk to someone on the train. Pick someone up on the street and talk to them. It's the same thing.

You are not going to counselling. Find a real one. Though tbh, I wouldn't bother if I were you. I'd just phone my mum whenever I wanted to, and if he didn't like it, tough.

AmberLeaf Mon 18-Nov-13 18:32:27

This sounds awful.

He is an abusive controlling wanker not autistic!

cjel Mon 18-Nov-13 18:47:49

FRIDAY 16 = Don't think the church is nutty just the man who is advising themx

friday16 Mon 18-Nov-13 18:56:01

cjel, if the church is encouraging unqualified individuals to offer "counselling" without any professional training, regulation of oversight, then it's pretty much nutty by definition. If it were not nutty, it would not permit nutters to act in its name.

Jux is in fact being charitable to the church. Were the OP to go out and find a random stranger, it's likely they'd be better off. The combination of a nutter from a fundamentalist church who almost certainly believes in the headship of men in the family, together with a controlling husband who is attempting to undermine and disempower his wife, is almost uniquely toxic. It's hard to imagine a worse situation.

Topseyt Mon 18-Nov-13 19:04:44

Blimey, this thread has been a real jaw-dropper. shock

Your poor parents, being defined as "secondary" family. I can't imagine how hurt I would feel if one of my daughters was made to define me that way.

My husband does not try to control how often I speak to my parents or see them. The first time he ever tried such a thing would be the last, I can assure you. I do not try to control when/how he speaks to or sees his family either.

Get out now and take your daughter to live at your parents' house.

My opinion - your husband is a controlling arse and your "counsellor" is just a random, interfering old twat. Get a proper counsellor with proper accreditation. Go on your own and sod what your husband thinks or says about that. If he wants to go off and cry about it then let him.

Spoongate was the most ridiculous thing I have ever read about. Not sharing family photos was also totally insane.

Ahole Mon 18-Nov-13 19:05:14

What i don't understand is how he has convinced you that talking to your parents would be undoing good work? What does that even mean, apart from undoing his good work of isolating you from your parents.

How does talking to your parents destroy your relationship in his opinion? What are they supposed to have done wrong and be doing to destroy your relationship?

He's a scary man.

AmberLeaf Mon 18-Nov-13 19:12:34

What does that even mean, apart from undoing his good work of isolating you from your parents

I suspect that is exactly what he means.

BlackberrySeason Mon 18-Nov-13 19:56:25

And also what about Honour thy Father and Mother??

Honsandrevels Mon 18-Nov-13 19:57:32

Wow, op listen to people. This is not normal behaviour. I'm scared for you.

Get some advice from a solicitor, maybe see a gp and get the abuse 'on file', gather your important documents, dd and leave.

auntpetunia Mon 18-Nov-13 20:07:23

I hardly ever post on these threads as I have no experience or specialist advice to give! But I'm scared for you and your DD.

This man is bad news. I hope that re-reading your own posts will make you realise how bad this is. Please see a solicitor, please phone your mum from work and tell her you love her and need her hel p.

Katisha Mon 18-Nov-13 20:22:54

So effectively you talking to your parents means you have spoiled your relationship with him. Wrecked the supposed "good work." This is utterly barking. It's absolutely not normal and you have become so accustomed to his controlling behaviour that you cant see the wood for the trees.
You can't carry on like this. The church is doing you no favours. Restart your relationship with your parents. If he makes you choose then choose. Imagine your life without him overlooking you all the time - how does that image make you feel?

MrsAmaretto Mon 18-Nov-13 20:36:48

Horrified for you & your daughter.

Hope you get out eventually & your child can see "normal" adult relationships.

Take care x

motherinferior Mon 18-Nov-13 20:40:04

Look: I think (and I suspect that most if not all of the other posters on this thread agree) that frankly 'saving your relationship' is in fact the worst thing you could do. You need out of this dreadful setup.

Most of us do not live in perfect relationships. I know I don't grin. But I do live with a functioning adult (who is in all honesty better behaved with my parents than I am blush) who is most of the time rather nice to me and who does not think that he needs to crouch, controllingly, at home monitoring my every bloody move.

cjel Mon 18-Nov-13 20:48:57

FRIDAY - as its confidential the church can't know what 'counsellor' is doing so they aren't responsible unless OP tells them whats going on.

friday16 Mon 18-Nov-13 21:57:50

cjel, you are being too generous.

An organisation which offers counselling is responsible for the actions of its agents. Counselling offered by an NHS trust, or by Relate, is confidential, but malpractice by the counsellor is clearly their employer's problem, and they mitigate that risk by employing qualified, professionally registered counsellors. You could, if you were unprincipled, give your imprimatur to an unqualified random person to act as a counsellor under your roof, but you could not absolve yourself of the responsibility for their actions.

But of course, fringe churches are the legal and ethical wild west, and people appoint themselves counsellors (and ministers, and the rest) without the slightest trace of control or governance. So the headcases who, for example, attempt to "cure" homosexuality (ie, the sort of stuff that would see a real counsellor struck off) also turn their malign incompetence to marriages. The OP is essentially taking a chance on the guy she's seeing being sensible, with no control either from the church or from any professional body.

thehorridestmumintheworld Mon 18-Nov-13 22:03:57

I didn't mean to offend ppl with autism earlier, I am not implying autistic people are likely to abuse. But in this one case I was sort of hoping that a combination of problems with social situations and bad advise from the counsellor might have led him to think his behaviour was ok, and that he was being honest about wanting to improve the marriage but getting it all wrong but with proper help it might all work out. Sadly this doesn't seem to be the case. But I do hope the OP gets help by herself.

Bounty - as everyone else has said - this is not how a marriage should be. Your parents are probably worried sick but terrified that if they say anything they won't see you at all.

You should be able to see your parents whenever you like. You should be able to tell them anything you want to. They are your parents.

Your DH has some very warped ideas about life and relationships. And he has managed to find a 'counsellor' who backs him up.

I know you said you want to work on the relationship but I don't think you can. He will never be happy with your parents in your life and your DDs life. He sounds possessive and controlling and downright horrible.

This isn't marriage. It's nt what a marriage should be.

bountyicecream Mon 18-Nov-13 22:57:29

Ok everyone. First of all I'd like to say thanks for your help.

This is not a fringe church. It is a very large, well respected church. Not some strange cult like thing. It is as normal as normal can get. I take your point thT the counsellor is not being helpful in our situation. I think perhaps he is a little out of his depth. But I do not think he is a bad man.

The original point of this thread was to help me clear my head as to whether my actions about the party were so very clearly wrong. And I've taken on board that no my instincts were probably correct.

At the moment having read all your replies I would very much like to LTB tomorrow as some of you urging. However I cannot do that. As you know, at the moment h is officially the sahp and so I feel that there is a real risk that I could end up not being the primary carer if I just walk out. And so in the long run that would make things worse.

I will get advice, some individual counselling and make a plan.

Thanks for your time and input. I hope you can appreciate that whilst its clear cut for you, for me living here it is not. There is a lot of unknown and risk. And I know that neither dd nor I are in physical danger so we do have the luxury of time to plan.

feelingood Mon 18-Nov-13 23:03:47

bounty I think your last post sounds reasoned. Please act and maintain a careful considered momentum to getting to a happier place what ever that maybe.

I think you have been very brave and have took a lot on board - well you seem to have. Good luck OP. Keep posting please get some RL objective advice.

I dare say if you told your parents they would be relieved that you can see all this and that they'd want you back. This is about the res tof your life and DD's.

All my best x

PrimalLass Mon 18-Nov-13 23:13:01

Talk to your parents more, confide in them. You can call them from work surely? Or buy a cheap PAYG phone and keep it at work.

Kundry Mon 18-Nov-13 23:13:38

You're right, most Baptists would be offended at being seen as a fringe church. They are very mainstream.

However as you have realised they are prone to being out of their depth by wading into a situation wishing to help but only powered by 'being a nice person' not any actual skill. I've seen this over and over again at my mum's church. They sometimes do amazing work and sometimes make things a whole lot worse. I can absolutely see the minister of my mum's church recommending a nice chap in the pastoral care team for counselling rather than Relate. It's innocence and well meaning that is their problem.

Looking back on the advice he's been giving you 'it's you and him against the world', it's not dissimilar to the advice given on a lot of MN threads where the DH is siding with the MIL and needs to learn his relationships have changed now he's married. If you have an EA spouse who can trick a well meaning, untrained chap, he will give advice that ends up encouraging the EA spouse in their abuse. Which is why people don't get counselling from their mates.

I think your plan is v wise and wish you well.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Mon 18-Nov-13 23:36:14

Its not about people being nice or not! I am sure Hitlers friends thought he was nice, that's by the by. Someone who is untrained is delving into your marriage and counselling you. Powerful stuff in ....whose hands exactly?

You sure your husband and the pastor dont share these views:

Copy and paste that into your browser, please dont make that clickable so that the blog owner will find this thread in his blog stats as an origin for views

Advice, individual counselling and a plan is exactly what you need.

Good luck with it all.

mistlethrush Mon 18-Nov-13 23:48:58

Bleugh... I have looked at your link Quint - and another that was a link on it... That does not fit within my idea of Christianity....

Jux Mon 18-Nov-13 23:54:55

Good luck. Your decision is good. Hope you had a good chat with your mum this evening.

DIYapprentice Tue 19-Nov-13 00:44:21

OP, that all sounds really awful. I grew up in a fundamental, very evangelical church. I knew a lot of people who received church counselling, in that church and in other evangelical and fundamental churches (large, well respected etc) - almost all of it was flawed, because they were coming at it from the premise of the ideal outcome was the marriage being saved, the family unit staying together, and the family continuing to worship in that church as the ideal, and only rarely that what was best wasn't compatible with the family unit staying whole.

Please, please get yourself some individual counselling.

Your H (I refuse to say D!) is playing an incredibly clever game, and I hate to say it but you will need to as well.

Start your counselling, and then start pretending to go along with everything, as though the counselling is working the way your H wants it to. Warn your parents you are really reducing contact, but that you will probably need their help at some point in the future when your position is clearer.

Do everything in your power to reduce your hours so that YOU do the pick ups. If it hurts you financially, then so be it. It might make your H take on more contracts as they come in.

Don't, however, give up your job, you will need it.

Position yourself back as the primary carer, make up some rubbish about how hard it is to view him with the respect that you want to when he is not the breadwinner, and that you really believe his self esteem is also suffering because of it and you just can't bare how it has affected him. How perhaps if he found a job the whole family could move to near the where his job is (once he's over the probably period, of course) so that you can all stay together. You NEED him to be out of the house and as he's so antisocial it will need to be work oriented.

Good luck, op.

FayeKorgasm Tue 19-Nov-13 01:05:40

I'm sorry to read about your hideous situation. I can't offer much advice but this site might help. I'm on my phone so I hope this works

petalsandstars Tue 19-Nov-13 06:26:26

Glad to hear that you are making plans OP. DIYs suggestions sound plausible for your situation and for H to believe that you are letting him have control. But please tell your parents what you are doing so you havethat ssupport in place ready for when things kick off.

OrchidLass Tue 19-Nov-13 06:42:54

I also think that your plan sounds sensible. When you put that 'this was the first time I've stood up to H' in your OP it was a massive red flag for me. Lots of luck.

merrymouse Tue 19-Nov-13 07:12:59

Your husband shouldn't be trying to control how much you speak to any member of your family. As others have said, the person you spoke to at the church was not a counsellor, and his advice was awful.

I think you have to face up to the fact that sometimes marriages don't work out. This is not the end of the world. It sounds as though you have supportive parents. You are allowed to open up to them. Admitting to them what has happened may seem like the point of no return, and the end of your marriage. However, for whatever reason he is being abusive. You and your dd can't go on like this forever and you need help.

FrauMoose Tue 19-Nov-13 07:47:50

I've been following the thread.

In case this is relevant to the OP, I'll say a bit about my parents and my own upbringing.

My father was brought up in a Baptist Church. We are talking about the 1930s in a relatively remote part of the UK so not a 'modern' church. However I think even today Baptists are Fundamentalist and Bible-based, which can encourage a rigidity and traditionalism of thinking. My father had had -in other ways - an unusual upbringing, and carried a lot of old unhappiness round. He had very very fixed ideas, and found it extremely hard to cope with the sort of minor differences of opinion that are part and parcel of everyday working domestic life. When anybody disagreed with him - politlly, on some trivial manner - he would become massively upset, angry and withdrawn. His not speaking for days was commonplace

I think my mother intiially believed that by understanding him and loving him, she would be able to undo the past. He'd cease to over-react, become more secure and trusting, more able to show affection. Sadly this wasn't the case. (I can only think of about two occasions when I saw him touch my mother, and I can never remember him expressing verbal appreciation or any kind of endearment.)

My father was able to be more affectionate with very small children - with girls in particular - because he didn't feel threatened by them. However this affection would manifest in inappropriate ways. Once his children grew up and became more talkative and argumentative he could not accept this as normal healthy behaviour, which could even be welcomed. This was particularly difficult for me as a daughter because of his ideas that girls should be docile, and that it was natural for them to both respect and adore their fathers. He became angry and punitive - I got regularly hit around my head throughout my childhood and adolescence - as well as cold and remote.

I think what I am saying is that it's possible to opt to stay in a relationship of this kind. This is what my mother did, in an earlier era. But the costs of doing so can be huge - both to the woman who feels it was right to be loyal and keep trying, and to any children of the marriage.

kungfupannda Tue 19-Nov-13 07:56:08

OP, if you are worried about not being deemed the primary carer, I would suggest the following:

1) Make detailed notes of what you can recall from your counselling sessions, particularly what was made part of a specific agreement.

2) Talk to WA about the best way forward.

I can't imagine that the contents of your counselling sessions would be something that a court would be particularly delighted with, as they seem to be designed to aid and abet an abusive man in further abusing and isolating his wife and child.

Jux Tue 19-Nov-13 08:12:09

Please do talk to Women's Aid. They can advise you and support you. They will help you make good plans, and can point you in the direction of good family lawyers.

UptheChimney Tue 19-Nov-13 08:23:27

Position yourself back as the primary carer, make up some rubbish about how hard it is to view him with the respect that you want to when he is not the breadwinner, and that you really believe his self esteem is also suffering because of it and you just can't bare how it has affected him


I cut & pasted the link that Quint gave above. Not my notion of Christianity, but then I grew up with a CofE vicar uncle not this fundamentalist surrendered wife rubbish.

I know that the Baptist church is big and "respectable" but the stuff about marriage and protecting the relationship and primary family is surrendered wife rubbish.

However -

If you play along with all that crap about the husband as head of the household and requiring respect ( that story in the blog about the wife not following him and so disrespecting him made my skin crawl) then yes, yes, yes him not working, and not providing, and you being worried about that because he's losing respect or some such utter rubbish, might get him off his arse and actually contribute to the family. You're working & doing the bulk of domestic work. What's he doing?

So you could use the sexist rubbish that you've been subjected to to your own advantage, and play the Kinder, Kuche kirche line.

lainiekazan Tue 19-Nov-13 08:25:59

Aside from church issues, I just think some people are massively jealous and can't tolerate their partner having any other relationships.

Mil banned fil from seeing his mother. No real issues, she just resented any time he spent with her. She apparently kicked up such a fuss if he ever visited that fil couldn't face the rows and upset and so withdrew from his family. Mil achieved aim.

Dsis likewise made it incredibly difficult for bil to see his parents or siblings. It was never convenient, they couldn't visit, etc etc. Bil left in the end for numerous reasons but this was one of them.

Let's face it, many, many of us don't much care for the in-laws but a normal, rational person has to grit their teeth and suffer a bit of interaction. The OP's dh is clearly very odd indeed.

UptheChimney Tue 19-Nov-13 08:26:04

Also, meant to say, I think you are amazing, OP. It must be very very difficult to read this thread. It's easy to give advice to someone to get out of an unhealthy situation. Far harder, far far harder actually to do it.

Your posts come across as so calm and rational. I hope you are able to be kind to yourself.

Good luck!

hackmum Tue 19-Nov-13 08:54:13

I haven't read all the thread but the bits I have read have left me open-mouthed. I've met six year olds with more emotional maturity than your DH. I think "emotionally controlling abusive twat" is too kind.

Also, you are being gaslighted by both your DH and your counsellor. I would get rid of both, pronto.

thebody Tue 19-Nov-13 09:01:51

we have a baptist church in our village, the crap they come out with makes your hair curl. I was told by one mother that my children would go straight to hell as they hadn't been baptised. nutty as squirrel poo.

op I think you are very calm about this and can I say a bit too calm. I sense danger here from this controlling bastard and I hope you get yourself and your dd out if this situation at once.

get legal advice and take care of yourself.

friday16 Tue 19-Nov-13 09:19:14

we have a baptist church in our village, the crap they come out with makes your hair curl.

No church believes they are fringe nutters. They all believe that they are the mainstream, and everyone else is wrong. So, for example, the organisation "Anglican Mainstream" are a bunch of homophobic lunatics who can't muster more than twenty people at a time for a conference to discuss hating homosexuals, which is pretty much their raison d'etre. But because they call themselves "mainstream" they get disproportionate media attention, even though their active membership could probably fit in a small classroom.

Mumsyblouse Tue 19-Nov-13 09:47:11

Don't be too sure that you will not be deemed the primary carer- you do 4 days a week (two weekdays and weekends) and your husband does, if I've read it correctly, no sole care days anyway as your dd is in nursery.

Get legal advice immediately on this though so you know what you need to do to prevent him being seen as the primary carer.

Also- the longer you leave the situation, the more your husband will become entrenched as the stay at home parent. He has only been at home for 2 months- I would get advice immediately as this could plausibly be viewed as a break between work rather than a long-term caring plan.

And- as he doesn't have your dd on any day in sole care, I think you are on stronger ground than you think, plus there is usually a bias, in all honesty, towards the woman being the main carer.

But get immediate advice so you can plan more effectively, don't let fear of finding out bad news stop you, if anything you may better off acting quickly than leaving the new status quo to establish.

Mumsyblouse Tue 19-Nov-13 09:47:35

And perhaps post in legal, they may be able to help or at least orient you until you see a solicitor.

LittleBearPad Tue 19-Nov-13 10:06:27

Please call a solicitor. He may be at home all the time but he isn't parenting your DD other than to puck her up from nursery.

If concerns over custody are the only issue (you have supportive parents and friends, money and a job) then talk to a solicitor.

Then get the hell out and don't look back.

And in the meantime if you phone your parents more frequently than 10 days and he sulks then so what.

Kerosene Tue 19-Nov-13 10:50:15

I hope you can appreciate that whilst its clear cut for you, for me living here it is not.

You know what you've got to do, but I would hope that everyone recognizes that the doing takes planning. It's not like you can walk out of the door, DD under one arm, all your worldly belongings under the other. Not for long, at least.

Is there any particular advice or support that'd help you work out what stages or direction to take next?

tinypumpkin Tue 19-Nov-13 12:41:32

Another one wishing you luck as you try to sort things out. You sound strong and I hope that you can channel that strength to help you get out of the relationship.

bountyicecream Tue 19-Nov-13 16:04:52

Thanks kerosene yes that is it. Like others say I need to plan and work out the next step.

everyone I know that you all think this church is 'crazy', 'fundamental' and 'nutters'. It doesn't really matter as its not the crux of the matter here but it really is a normal church. It is big. 3-400 people per service. Thriving kids clubs. Loads of in the community activites that are not poorly disguised bible bashing activities but people quietly living out their faith through practical means, not trying to convert anyone. I'm talking about city centre soup runs for homeless people, a second hand furniture delivery service, pensioners week day lunches. Anyone that uses these services other than knowing they are provided by church members, are not exposed or forced into Christianity. Yes they also do outreach things to - alpha courses and the like, but these are openly Christian and anyone attending these will know that they are going to find out more about Christianity but still will not have it forced upon them.

I feel bad for the church here as everyone seems to be assuming that they are a bunch of nutters with a hidden agenda but really they are not. After all we approached them to see if they would help. I agree that the 'counsellor' appears to be out of his depth, but I do not feel any pressure that we must stay together at all costs. I think the counsellor is assuming that we want to stay together so trying to negotiate a way, but I presume that no counsellor would listen to both our stories and say Mr Bounty you are clearly abusive, and Mrs Bounty you should leave. I feel that if I said to the counsellor I want to leave that he would be supportive of me and not try to persuade me otherwise.

ANyway I am working on the practical things and will keep you up dated as and when

birdybear Tue 19-Nov-13 16:18:59

op , i get completely what you are saying about your church. i am a a Christian and have been in a similar situation to you, see my posts if yet like. my dh is tricky and has been EA but he wouldn't see it as such. i don't have the family contact problem that you have but just other concerns in my relationship so our husbands sound quite similar.

we had counselling too. she was a Christian but also a fully accredited counsellor . so had sound advice but with a Christian perspective. maybe you could do this too if that would be helpful?

good luck

Maryz Tue 19-Nov-13 16:26:56

It isn't the church you should have an issue with, that's irrelevant. It's the counsellor, who is obviously not qualified to counsel people in a relationship where one is bonkers controlling.

He may well not have come across something like your dh hating your parents so much before, so may well assume that they have done something to earn his dislike - trained counsellors won't assume, but untrained ones may.

My only issue with the church aspect is that it seems your dh was refusing to attend counselling until you got it through the church, which I find to be worrying. He even controls how you get counselling.

Have you talked to your mum and your friend yet?

mercibucket Tue 19-Nov-13 16:45:35

I get the church side of it. my church sounds similar. I like my church. the counselling we offer is good I think for couples whose relationship is maybe a bit stale but overall good. the counsellors mean well and are kind and try to help

it just isn't proper counselling if there is a big issue

tbh I think individual counselling would be best for you and with a trained counsellor

cjel Tue 19-Nov-13 16:55:17

It takes a long time 4years plus to train as a counsellor and churches should only offer pastoral listening if they don't have a counsellor. Hope they don't offer 'electricians' or 'doctors' if they are not qualified!!!

petalsandstars Tue 19-Nov-13 17:02:07

As far as I can tell (from mn) counsellors are not supposed to do joint counselling where one or other party is abusive. If they do then the abuser gets ammunition and validation. Separate counselling is theway fforward

bountyicecream Tue 19-Nov-13 17:16:06

maryz have spoken with my friend. She agrees with all of you. Also my parents are willing to help me in anyway they can. Whether I stay or go.

Next step is find an (individual) counsellor and also a sol.

Cerisier Tue 19-Nov-13 17:29:54

Another one wishing you luck. It sounds no way to live; isolated and belittled. Your DH is a piece of work no question.

Topseyt Tue 19-Nov-13 17:31:51

Keep going, bounty. I am glad you have your friend and your parents onside.

I hope you can find a proper counsellor and a solicitor quickly. Then you will know where you stand and can act after that.

Tinpin Tue 19-Nov-13 17:58:06

The first time I met one of my cousins was when we were in our forties. She and her father had been removed from our family by her controlling mother.My parents told of continual excuses as to why meetings could not be arranged , phone calls never answered ,all invitations turned down and always, always, offence taken over trivial issues so that the lack of contact could be' justified'.Within days of the controllers death her husband was back in touch with his family. Too late for his parents and some of his siblings. The control had also included my cousin. She had never left home ,never married and worked from home. This thread is frightening. Don't let this happen to you and your daughter. You seem to have some good plans. I hope all goes well for you.

lainiekazan Tue 19-Nov-13 18:16:50

That's a good point, Tinpin, about the offence being taken so as to justify withdrawal.

I have witnessed this with people: seize on an opportunity to be offended and - voila! - perfect excuse not to have to see them. It's not just with jealous people, either. My mother was seriously sociophobic and if she could manufacture some sort of snub/rudeness received, then that was her perfect get-out from a family gathering. She would never have admitted to feeling uncomfortable in social situations. The result is that it has taken me to this age (old) to realise that not everyone is out to be horrible and if someone puts their foot in it, well, they probably didn't mean to and let it go. My mother unwittingly taught us to be alert for offence from every quarter.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Tue 19-Nov-13 18:43:14

Do remember to clear your history. Use an incognito browsing window if you have that option and check what's visible before you log off.

As I read through this thread you have given more and more examples of situations and behaviour that I wouldn't tolerate from anyone. That's fine if you were happy, because we can't all think the same.
I could give specific examples, but I don't think I need to as I actually think you find this situation intolerable too.

It seems to me that you are so concerned to be reasonable and to be seen to be fair to your DH, that you have lost sight of what's reasonable for you and your DD (and your wider family) and what's reasonable in a relationship.
Ever heard the saying about bending over so far backwards (to accommodate) that you end up hitting your own head?

From what I see it's going to be very hard for anyone to mediate or counsel because your DH doesn't understand what a healthy relationship involves.
I wonder what he thinks he's doing (during his time out of earning a living) to 'work on' your relationship? and that's without his 'What's mine is mine and what's yours is ours' attitude.

In my personal opinion your DH has taken the role of Big Brother with his rules - and everyone knows that number one rule is that Big Brother has total control of the rules, which are subject to change at any time.

I would suggest that it's not you who needs individual counselling, rather him, who would benefit from counselling and probably therapy too. If the love is still there you might want to support him through this. You might want to do that from a distance, but he might not want to take that route and indeed might not want support from you if you were at a distance.

I wish you nothing but good luck and a healthy resolution to all the concerns. Just please do keep confidence that YADNBU and get proper qualified and independent advice to make sure life improves for you and DD.

LittleBairn Tue 19-Nov-13 19:31:27

It's not the church that people have the issue with its the unqualified councillor who is most likely making this situation worse.
I'm a Christian so I can understand how hurtful the comments about your church are but even I would be concerned about this man giving you advice he isn't qualified t po give, and yes he will be biased along the lines of keeping you both married.

It's smart not to make any sudden moves until you have spoken to a solicitor. I do not think his claim as primary carer would be as strong as you think, he's only been at home since August and your DD isn't being cared for by him during that time.

Beautifulbabyboy Tue 19-Nov-13 19:33:01

Well done bounty, am really pleased you are getting help. Am also so glad you have told your parents and they are going to help you. Once safely on the other side you will look back and be so happy. Xx

Morgause Tue 19-Nov-13 19:51:41

Lovely to hear you taking charge of your life, Bounty. Well done.

FairPhyllis Tue 19-Nov-13 20:28:47

bounty I have just seen this thread and am shock.

I am a Christian and I don't think you should be seeing this church counsellor either. It's not about what denomination he is from. If he hasn't been trained properly, he won't understand or be able to recognise emotional abuse within a relationship. A trained, accredited counsellor would have stopped counselling you and your husband together as soon as they realised your relationship is abusive. This is because in abusive relationships, the abusive partner will use joint counselling as a further means of controlling or emotionally punishing their partner. As has happened to you. Your husband has manipulated your counsellor into backing up this ludicrous 'contact plan' which is alienating you from your parents with no good reason.

Most people don't understand that emotional abuse can be every bit as bad as physical abuse in a relationship. I doubt your counsellor would be encouraging you to stay together and compromise and agree to a plan that satisfies your DH if your husband was beating you and preventing you from leaving the house, would he? Well that is the equivalent of what he is doing.

Please contact Women's Aid, from work if you have to. Take an afternoon off and see a solicitor.

I think your parents are probably desperately worried about you and your relationship, but are probably not saying anything for fear of losing you completely.

Pearlsaplenty Tue 19-Nov-13 20:41:45

Hmm I think you were wrong about the blw. And if you sided with your parents over this incident are you sure there haven't been many others that you didn't notice (but your dh did)? Is this why he is so sensitive about it?

I agree about putting your primary family first. I will always support my dp (although fortunately he does make it easy to support him, if he was an unreasonable then it would be a different scenario altogether).

He was wrong about the party though. And very unfair. And manipulative.

I have no idea how you resolve this, but I think you were right to invite dds gp to her party. That had nothing to do with him. It wasn't his party.

Maryz Tue 19-Nov-13 20:44:49

Um, Pearls, have you read the whole thread?

Pearlsaplenty Tue 19-Nov-13 20:55:42

No sorry I read the first couple, didnt realise there was 19! blush

Yika Tue 19-Nov-13 21:14:07

Well I am just delurking after reading this absolutely hair raising thread to say that I also dont like the sound of your current counsellor, and i agree that you should lose him pronto. But i also want to add that not all accredited counsellors are brilliant, insightful or right. But anyway I actually don't think you need any kind of counsellor. You seem to have excellent instincts, a loving family background, and insight into yourself and others. A solicitor is definitely the way to go.

I really really hope you are able to make a plan and put it into action soon, and start reliving life with all the normal family support around you.

Good luck.

Pearlsaplenty Tue 19-Nov-13 21:47:08

I just read all your posts op he sounds like a nightmare!!

All the best with separating from him, it sounds like it will be hell.

Was he always like this or did he gradually get worse and worse over the years?

cocolepew Tue 19-Nov-13 21:54:32

This thread is shocking.
I hope you are able to leave him soon.
Good luck flowers

Pearlsaplenty Tue 19-Nov-13 21:59:31

Btw I agree with getting on with divorcing ASAP. You are the primary carer, his job is historically self employed relyin on him taking contracts. It does not seem strange for him to stop work for a couple of months temporarily. More than a few months and then I think it would be less clear. So keep dd in nursery and sort out the divorce now.

ApocalypseThen Tue 19-Nov-13 21:59:35

To be honest, I think you need to take control of the next counselling session (if you attend another one) to say that:

1. You will only attend a trained, accredited counselling in the future;
2. You will not tolerate being told to whom you may speak, for how long and on what subject;
3. Emotionally abusive behaviour will stop as of that moment;
4. Failure to comply will result in dissolution of the marriage.

It's only fair.

Pearlsaplenty Tue 19-Nov-13 22:01:59

Just to add my dp is similarly employed and often has a couple of months off work. This is one of the benefits of his job. (He also works away a lot so I think the fact that he can take long breaks is one reason to keep working like this.)

UptheChimney Tue 19-Nov-13 22:10:23

I agree about putting your primary family first. I will always support my dp

There's a huge difference between supporting your DH and being systematically isolated, controlled and cut off from wider family and friends.

UptheChimney Tue 19-Nov-13 22:11:57

Just wishing you the courage strength hope and love, OP.

bountyicecream Tue 19-Nov-13 22:52:26

Thanks everyone. I am lucky in that I have friends and family who will help me and a job that is well paid enough to go it alone.

I have emailed women's aid but should manage to phone them in the next couple of days.

Whoever asked if it has always been like this, the answer is no. It seemed to happen after dd was born. However I suspect he was always controlling to a degree before then, but as I'm a naturally laid back and patient person I didn't particularly notice it. It has only been since dd was born that I've been more bothered about doing some things my way. For example before we had dd I really didn't mind what time we had tea as it just didn't seem important so if he was bothered I was happy to go along with how he felt. Since dd was born it does matter as I want us to eat at a decent time for bedtime etc. so lots of little things kind of gradually built up. Definitely the contact with my parents, although again it's probably mattered a bit more to me since dd arrived as I want dd to have an active relationship with (both sets) of grandparents.

I think that generally I do agree with putting primary family first as a guiding rule. But that that isn't possible with a man like my h who is unwilling to compromise and wants his primary family pretty much excluded from the wider family. I do think that couples should discuss decisions between themselves before talking to wider family and not moan about their partners to the wider family, but my husband seems to want very little even trivial light hearted involvement with our wider family.

You sound very clear headed.

I agree that we all put our primary family first. It's only natural. But secondary family (actually hate that term -much prefer extended family) are important too. I remember talking to my sister once and she said her DH knew that they would both love their child but he was surprised how much we all (my parents and other sisters) loved him too. He had an odd relationship with his parents so was surprised. I now have 9 nieces and nephews and love them all. And it's obv good for children to have lots of people in their lives who love them.

captainmummy Wed 20-Nov-13 08:12:01

Only thing I wondered OP - you say that if you phone your dparents more frequently than once every 10 days, he'd say that you'd 'undone all the good work you've been doing on your relationship'.
I just wondered how you know how much 'good work' has been done on your relationship? Is there a chart? Gold star stickers perhaps, that get removed if you 'infringe' his demands? How will you know when your relationship is sufficiently 'worked on' that you can phone your parents/go out on your own/do what you want ??

Is it possible that only he knows what stage you are at in the 'wrok on your relationship'?? angry

cory Wed 20-Nov-13 09:26:44

For those who say you should put your primary family first- is not the OP her husband's primary family?

And do we see any signs that he is putting her needs first? Any at all?

In this case, "putting our relationship first" seems to be code for "you have to do what I want and not have ideas of your own".


FairPhyllis Wed 20-Nov-13 10:21:46

When you begin to look at your whole relationship you will probably find lots of examples of controlling behaviour.

The thing about not liking you doing meal planning for example. He wants to not be tied to a plan, so he can make you run around in circles making whatever he plucks out of the air on the night. Most grown ups understand that meal planning is a normal thing to do to save money and make life easier for the cook.

It is very common for abuse to begin in pregnancy or after having a first child.

marfisa Wed 20-Nov-13 10:50:24

I am very glad you are taking steps to get help, OP. Your H's behaviour is not normal at all and is chilling to read. Any counsellor who would endorse this kind of treatment of one spouse by another is NOT a proper counsellor (the church affiliation is irrelevant IMO). You could get Relate counselling on your own (they do see individuals and not just couples). You really, really need support.

Some of the things in your posts that I find particularly upsetting:
- he won't let you send holiday photos to your close family (WTF?)
- after a very minor clash of opinion with your mum he retires to the bedroom CRYING (what, is he a toddler?) and subsequently insists on cutting off all contact with your family
- he has no friends himself
- he monitors and micromanages your contact with your family and devises this ridiculous arrangement whereby you are only "allowed" to contact them once every 10 days (because he is so insecure about his relationship with you that it would somehow jeopardise that relationship if you talked to your own mum and dad whenever you felt like it?)
- he has generously "agreed" to let your DD see her grandparents once a month, provided that he is present
- he is pressuring you to go back to work FT instead of PT regardless of your own desires
- but he is not working at all; he is staying at home FT to monitor you! You can never leave the house without him knowing where you are going and why
- he plans to start his own business but won't tell you what this business plan is (your fault because you're not understanding enough!)
- he didn't want your parents to meet your newborn
- he wants you both to adopt another, older child because that is easier than having another biological child (WTF again?!)
- he thinks you're "molly-coddling" your DD although she is only nursery age
- he threatens you by saying he would fight for full custody of your DD if you split up (this is not the kind of statement that a parent who has the best interests of their DC in mind would make)
- and oh yeah, he has repeatedly called you "fat" and monitors the portion sizes of what you eat.

I am sad and angry for you and fervently hope you get the support you need. For starters, please don't ever go back to that counsellor again.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Wed 20-Nov-13 13:35:28

I know I said earlier that I wasn't going to pick out all the individual instances of over controlling and to be honest, they all bother me.
I keep thinking about your situation OP, it's so sad and worrying, the only consolation is that you do sound as though you can and will sort it out.

I'm just going to comment on the sharing of family/holiday photographs being forbidden and the grounds given for that being that as the GPs weren't on the holiday the photos are of no interest to them.
I'd suggest that their not being there is the very reason why the photos would be of interest to them, to see their GC and parents enjoying themselves and having a good time.
I can understand objections to say posting the photos up online in such as Face Book, but his reasoning is so flawed IMO, as it is in all the other examples given of his behaviour.

PolishThePalace Wed 20-Nov-13 13:50:19

My heart goes out to you.
Could you use work to store information, documents, a few spare clothes, an emergency/ just in case bag.
Make sure your financial details are up to date, change your pin/passwords to something entirely fresh.
Delete browsing history, log out, etc

The weather is turning nasty so it's very sensible to keep your car packed with spare 'stuff' for you and your daughter.

Would you consider meeting your mum for quietly for lunch to tell her what's really going on and have the security of then knowing they are there whatever happens.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Best wishes

merrymouse Wed 20-Nov-13 19:21:28

Just to add about wider family, they may not be as 'important' as your immediate family, but most people expect to help their parents when they get older (financially, legally, with healthcare), and this involves spending both time and money.

Somebody who argues over minimal phone contact with IL's really isn't a good prospect for the future. Life is sometimes difficult, messy, painful and hard. Never mind 'primary family'. The people you need on your team are the ones who will support you for the long haul.

enriquetheringbearinglizard Wed 20-Nov-13 19:33:43

merrymouse overwhelmingly I fail to see any words or thoughts that convey any kindness from the OP's DH, which is very sad for everyone concerned (even including him)

Jux Wed 20-Nov-13 20:03:33

Isn't the saying "the more you give love, the more love you have to give"? Bounty, you clearly have more than enough to go round.

It looks increasingly as if your h has none. sad

bountyicecream Wed 20-Nov-13 23:00:00

Just a quick update.

I met my parents at lunchtime from work. Behind my h's back. It turns out that for a long time they have had concerns about my h but felt it wasn't their place to bring it up. In addition my (even more) extended family - uncles and aunts- have expressed concern about me to them, based on very infrequent meetings of my h.

Needless to say, they have offered me all the emotional, practical and financial support that I need which is lovely to hear.

I'm hoping to see a sol early next week and then go from there.

I had a conversation with my husband today, initiated by him when he told me how unhappy he is, how he can't but his life on hold and he needs to know how we're going to get back to being a normal couple.

I replied that it is not easy knowing he thinks I'm fat etc and that will take time to resolve. He said that he does not find me personality or body attractive any more and that if he met me now wed have never dated. Apparently I've become cold and hard and he doesn't know me any more. He then asked if I was willing to work on my appearance as he thinks I eat too much and exercise too little. I said I was comfortable with how I look so will continue to eat as I am and exercise at an enjoyable level (2-3 runs per week). He replied thank you for being honest and that he needs to think about that.

But I do feel a bit better. That there is a glimmer of light for me somewhere. Thanks you every one x

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 20-Nov-13 23:04:47

Bounty sad what a horrid thing for him to say. I think he enjoys hurting your feelings. How can you go back to being a normal couple, it sounds like he doesn't want too, and then says your cold and calls you fat again! what does he expect.

it sounds like he is being deliberately vindictive and nasty, how can you relax when he says he wouldn't marry you now.

thank goodness you seem mature and steady enough to be able to put his comments into the mental bin perspective.

you poor thing. so glad your parents are being supportive.

MaryZygon Wed 20-Nov-13 23:05:23

Well, you know, with a bit of luck he might just feck off himself if you are so unattractive, undesirable, stupid, feckless and extravagant grin

I'm glad you talked to your parents. I'm sure they have told you that you are none of those things.

merrymouse Wed 20-Nov-13 23:12:43

The thing is, his picture of how a 'normal' couple should behave isn't normal.

So glad to hear that you have supportive family.

mistlethrush Wed 20-Nov-13 23:14:35

Bounty - you are sounding amazingly 'together' given what he's been saying!!!

How on earth can he complain about your appearance and tell you to work on it to 'help your relationship'. I presume that he's still not going to lift a finger to do 'anything' himself.. apart from laze around and criticise?

So glad you've managed to see your parents and are going to see a solicitor.

bountyicecream Wed 20-Nov-13 23:16:25

Well sadly I think I'm used to it. Also I have a mirror and some eyes and I know I'm not fat. I was prob 8-10 when we married 10 years ago and am now 10-12.

But yes my parents assured me I'm none if these things. My mum cried quite a lot. I guess it's hard hearing these things about your daughter

MaryZygon Wed 20-Nov-13 23:18:46

She must be hugely relieved, though Bounty. I know I would be if you were my daughter.

There is now a very bright light at the end of the tunnel for all of you.

Jux Wed 20-Nov-13 23:18:48

Hooray for your parents! Even though you knew they'd support you, it must be so comforting to hear them say it. How lovely it must have been to be able to talk to them, truthfully about your life. And how nice to know that your whole family feel that it is not your fault, but that he has had them worried for a long time. That is the perfect family.

I do hope that that exchange with your parents, and the knowledge that they will be there for you, will help strengthen your resolve, and keep you going until it is safe for you to finally go.

Gosh, there's nothing like a good family is there? (It's also true that there's nothing like a crap family too.)

I am unaccountably happy for you. I love your parents!

cjel Wed 20-Nov-13 23:20:17

MARYZYGON - I thought that, with any luck he will decide he can't bear to live with the monster that his awful wife has become and leavesmile problem solved!!!

Sorry BOUNTY I hope you know that I think you are none of the things he has said?((((HUGS))))

bountyicecream Wed 20-Nov-13 23:20:53

Thanks everyone grin

bountyicecream Wed 20-Nov-13 23:22:06

I thought that too. Perhaps his reflection on my refusal to be thinner will make him leave. Very much doubt it though

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Wed 20-Nov-13 23:37:19

* I guess it's hard hearing these things about your daughter*

well yes, imagine your own DD sitting down and telling you this. how would you feel? I would feel quite violent i think, that my beloved dd was being spoken to like this by the man who is supposed to love her.

in sickness and in health and so on. this is so un healthy for your own dd to be party too...even the vibes etc.

he doesnt respect you any more.

i had a horridBF once who tried to change me, my mum didnt say anything horrid about him, he did have good aspects but she said to me, never ever change for anyone.

FiftyShadesofGreyMatter Thu 21-Nov-13 00:02:32

He sounds like a controlling, emotionally abusive twat. It is not normal to react to a minor spoon incident like that. It is not normal to regard holiday photos as too personal to share with your parents.

You need a new counsellor, preferably on your own. And a solicitor.

This post sums it up for me.

ChasedByBees Thu 21-Nov-13 00:11:25

So glad your parents are supportive. What are your next steps?

BlackeyedSusan Thu 21-Nov-13 00:24:19

if he has only recently given up work, I would seriously consider leaving sooner rather than later and then he has less of a claim over primary carer.

captainmummy Thu 21-Nov-13 08:10:47

So glad your parents are now in the loop, OP. You are most definitely not alone!
How dare he suggest you are fat! He is trying to controll you even further - what you eat, how much you eat, when and how you exercise. Oh and you are 'cold and hard' now? It's because you have noticed the level of control and took steps to minimise it - you are not now meek and mild and allowing him to be the dictator.
Yes hopefully now that you have stood up to him and 'been honest' he will now consider that he he doesn't want to be married to such a wayward, headstrong (read confident) person, and leave!

MidnightHag Thu 21-Nov-13 08:36:13

It's interesting that he initiated that conversation yesterday. I wonder if he is sensing a change in you as you start to gather yourself together in order to decide what to do next. It's like he's trying even harder to control and undermine you as he senses that his power over you is waning.
You are handling this amazingly. thanks

myroomisatip Thu 21-Nov-13 09:31:23

He sounds really horrible. No more to add as you have had so much good advice, I just want to wish you luck.

Also, be careful. If they sense they are losing control often the situation escalates.

UptheChimney Thu 21-Nov-13 09:46:34

Good luck, OP. So glad to hear that you've spoken with your parents and family.

That latest conversation must have been difficult. From the outside, I'd want to know what sort of marriage it is which relies on the wife staying slim, with no equal mention of the husband's body/emotional temperament?

Certainly not a marriage in the eyes of christ/god: "With my body I thee worship/in sickness and in health" and so on ...

FairPhyllis Thu 21-Nov-13 10:12:05

Really good that you have seen your parents. I thought they would probably have sussed him out.

I don't want to frighten you but please be very careful from now on. These twats can sense when you are gaining strength and are about to leave. This is the point at which things can escalate. If he shows ANY sign of physical violence or aggression (things like blocking your way physically, throwing things around) or does anything that frightens you, call the police or leave the house immediately and go to a neighbour.

tinypumpkin Thu 21-Nov-13 11:43:09

So glad that you have seen your parents and been honest with them. Sending further strength to you as you arrange visits with your sol etc. You are worth so much more.

lunar1 Thu 21-Nov-13 13:00:21

I have just sat and read the full thread, please Bounty grab your DD and run for the hills, and when you get there keep on running.

The more you post the worse everything sounds. You have a responsibility to your DD to teacher about healthy relationships. Talking about ranking family members in order of importance and having a contact agreement for your parents is absolute madness.

I just cant imagine how sad they would be if my parents or inlaws had to abide by all these rules and regulations. your Husband either has serious mental health issues or is a deeply nasty man. Either way he is not fit to care for your child. Do you want her to grow up thinking all this is the normal way to behave in a marriage?

BadgerB Thu 21-Nov-13 13:18:04

He won't leave. In his eyes (& in the eyes of his 'Christian' counselor) that would make the failed marriage HIS fault. And nothing must be his fault - ever. No, the fault must lie with the cold, hard, fat wife, who refuses to change. Have known a very similar situation. OP, get out asap.

Motherinlawsdung Thu 21-Nov-13 13:54:19

Closet gays often tell women that they are "too fat" when they are slim by normal standards. Do you think that could be a possible reason for his abusive behaviour?
Please get out of this relationship, it's terrible.

Anniegetyourgun Thu 21-Nov-13 14:12:20

Well, that would explain why your mum made the PA remark over Spoongate. She clearly loathes him and it kind of sneaked out there. Having read the updates I now have sympathy with her because I think I loathe him too, and it's not even my daughter he's making unhappy.

XH used to say I was too fat to be attractive too (when it wasn't true - it is now), but kindly added that it didn't put him off because he remembered when I used to be nice. hmm

SkullyAndBones Thu 21-Nov-13 14:25:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mistlethrush Thu 21-Nov-13 14:29:45

Skully you've not read the thread.

motherinferior Thu 21-Nov-13 14:31:39

And Skully, in any case most of us dare to disagree with our partners. I don't 'put mine first'.

cestlavielife Thu 21-Nov-13 14:40:15

whre do they read this script- so scarily familiar "Apparently I've become cold and hard and he doesn't know me any more. He then asked if I was willing to work on my appearance as he thinks I eat too much and exercise too little" exac same words... I heard from ex.

anywya i think you nrigh he wont go easily.
garner all support and make a plan.
be ready for a battel over contact and residency but stay calm and look at what is best for dd.

SkullyAndBones Thu 21-Nov-13 14:43:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.