Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Confused - I am the abuser or the abused?

(45 Posts)
TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:33:44

Married to DH 5 yrs, together for 6. 2 DC together, 1 DS from prev. rel. Rocky relationship all through the 6 yrs together. Have nearly parted on several occassions & had 3 lots of couples counselling which have helped in someways but not lastingly.

Argue all the time, generally over the same things. Totally opposed parenting styles, what being a family means, relationships with parents, work, money you name it. Some arguments have been going on for the full 6 yrs with no satisfactory conclusion or compromise ever reached. Both been treated for depression, him for anger management & me for self esteem issues. Not in any therapy at the mo. We both tend to say the same things about each other, we feel under valued and unsupported by our partner. Have read several self help books and partic. those related to EA and can see many of the traits in DH but also some in me too. I have a strong "sense" of equality which for me manifests as because DH works v hard as main breadwinner I am happy to take on all the household stuff & childcare etc. (I do work two days a week) but feel that this shouldn't mean he gets to squander whatever money he has left each month on shit just for himself. He feels that he should be left to spend it how he pleases. (Our financial situation not great, this is just one of many issues we have). For him he feels that everyone elses feeling & opinions count except his. However, I feel that me & all the kids (partic DS1) are always walking on eggshells so as not to rock the boat. The list is endless!!

Anyway, he has had a relatively major, but not lifethreatening, health scare (treatment is ongoing) and now says he will not longer put up with anymore crap from me, my family (mother - whole other story) or DS1 as life is too short. So I need to change my attitude, stop treating him like shit or he will go and find someone who does want him. Really, really confused about our future together or if we even have one???

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 00:37:55

Neither of you sound happy. You're facing up to the fact that you aren't perfect, and have faults, which is a big thing to do. But it doesn't sound like he's willing to do the same?

Your last paragraph, and about changing your attitude... What exactly does he mean by this?

Frankly anyone who said they didn't like my son would be gone before they could finish the sentence, married or no.

LemonDrizzled Sat 02-Feb-13 00:41:29

He sounds hard work! And quite likely abusive too. (Walking on eggshells is a clue)
What do you get out of the relationship?
It sounds like this is your chance to get rid of him by calling his bluff and just see how the house feels without him there. If it is more relaxed and calm and happy you have your answer. And he will have his chance to find someone who will appreciate him and his angry selfish ways!

I think your future together will be exactly the same as the last six years - with him not prepared to meet you halfway or take any responsibilty for his part in the conflict. Let me hazard a guess...he's the strict disciplinarian and you're 'too soft' - am I right?

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:55:03

SirBoobAlot - We aren't happy, sometimes we are less unhappy. He feels that I see him as the world's biggest shit, a total twat and that I'm always on at him. Telling him what he should and shouldn't be doing. He is a glass half empty person and rarely sees the positives in any situation. I am the opposite and am ALWAYS trying to encourage him to see that things aren't as bad/black as he thinks they are. This is what he sees as me telling him what he should/shouldn't be doing. I always try to look for the positives in any situation, even the most dire. He doesn't dislike DS1 but he doesn't exactly like him either. I think he feels intimidated and threatened by him as he is a reminder that I have been married before and i still have to have some contact with my ex. He thinks i favour him but this is simply not the case and I have looked long and hard at this. However, I do feel the need to defend him a lot as DH does misinterpret DS a lot because of his feelings towards him.

LemonDrizzled - There has been a few incidents with him, one quote serious for which I called the police. It was after that he had counselling but it definately destroyed the little remaining faith I had in him and I have struggled to regain that. We are all more relaxed when he is not there but I know that DD in partic would be upset if we parted as she is his favourite. As to what I get from the relationship, other than some financial security, I am not entirely sure sad

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:56:27

TallWivGlasses - you are exactly right.

You've nearly split up several times, had 3 lots of couples counselling, you've called the police on him, he's so negative he's sucking the life out of you (and your son?) ...I admire your perseverence TooMuch, but isn't it time to call it a day?

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:19:38

So he's negative... you walk on eggshells... you had to call police once (very serious)... you've had three lots of couples counselling and have only been with him six years.

Tallwivglasses has it - the future will be like the past. So if he's offering the option of leaving to find someone who does want him... how do you feel about taking him up on it?

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:20:14

Ah, x-post ; )

Great minds, wordy wink

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:42:07

smile

To my mind "walking on eggshells" is code for "living in fear".

I think he is using projection on you here when he says, "he will not longer put up with anymore crap from me, my family (mother - whole other story) or DS1 as life is too short. So I need to change my attitude, stop treating him like shit or he will go and find someone who does want him". This is what he is really like.

Your H sounds awful to put it mildly, I would ask you why you have stayed to date?. Fear, shame, embarrassment, some financial security, wanting to make it work for the children?. This man cannot abide your eldest child likely because he is not his own biologically. He is therefore a lousy stepfather. He treats his DD better because she is his biologically. All that too will conspire to affect the relationship between your son and his sister to its detriment because he will see that he is being treated differently yet you as his mother did not remove them from this dysfunctional mess. You really do not want your children to turn around to you as adults and ask you why (if you did stay) you put this man before them. For those reasons alone he should be gone from your day to day lives. I think you would all be a lot happier.

I think the next 6 years will be very much like the last six if you do not get out this marriage. What has been tried to date has not worked and you cannot do the same now in the hopes of a different outcome.

I would call his bluff and start legal proceedings re separation. He likely will not want to leave the marital home.

Does he get angry with everyone around him equally or does he pour all his hate mainly onto you?. AM has not worked I daresay because he is at heart emotionally abusive.

Think carefully about what you want to teach your children about relationships because currently they are being imparted damaging lessons.

CabbageLeaves Sat 02-Feb-13 07:46:14

I had a friend in your circumstance. Her DS is now an adult and she has so many regrets about his childhood. She like you persevered, went to counselling etc etc. they lived 'on eggshells'. That child grew up in a very unhappy home, with fear, tension and misery....all because his mum wanted to make it work.

It was never going to work and they split 3 yrs ago when DS was about 16 so he then endured a bitter divorce. His relationship with his mum is poor mainly I think because he resents her for not looking after him but for putting the relationship first

I think you sound like you are staying through some skewed sense of moral, ethical code to marriage. Please leave and be happy

OneLieIn Sat 02-Feb-13 07:53:36

Call his bluff and separate.

I am a child of similar parents and all I would say is by staying in an abusive and unhappy relationship, you are not only unhappy, but your dcs will be unhappy too.

Separate.

Lueji Sat 02-Feb-13 08:00:14

TBH, if you had to call the police, you should have got rid then.

He's a disaster area.

His negativity sounds like my ex.

And it feels that you are doing all the work.

And why should he spend all the money if you are saving a lot on childcare?

He feels that I see him as the world's biggest shit, a total twat
I think this shows what he feels about himself, why contradict him?

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:06:16

Ha ha ha....now I'm ill you all have to do what I say without arguing....What a self indulgent prat. Tell him to jog on...if he's still got the energy.

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:08:35

....where's he going to get the new partner who appreciates him? whiningoldbastarddating.com?

AThingInYourLife Sat 02-Feb-13 08:15:50

grin

Loving is right.

Suzietastic Sat 02-Feb-13 08:30:45

And why don't YOU go and find someone who will appreciate YOU? This sounds so draining. You can walk away knowing you have done everything you can. This situation sounds unhealthy for you and unhealthy for your children. Start seperarion proceedings now and look forward to a happier life x

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 09:38:45

TBH i am more worried about the kids is we do seperate. Sadly he has a tendancy to be peevish & spiteful which I know will manifest itself as saying hurtful and nasty things to the kids about me, my family, DS1. My fear is that this is equally as damaging.

For me it would be better and for DS1, we coped before & would again however I am concerned for the younger two. My life does revolve around my kids and I get a bit panicy about the prospect of not having them around every other weekend,don't know what i would do with my time. (Sad I know)

I also worry that he may be I am wrong and that my theory for a good family is flawed but I have tried doing it his way to a certain degree and it just grated so much against my instincts that I couldn't sustain it as my heart wasn't in it. I believe in educating the kids and walking the walk so to speak where he feels that consequences are more appropriate. I do punish if they are intentionally naughty but don't feel its always needed for every indiscretion.

I don't really have many RL friends who i feel able to talk to (they have already told me before that they think we should seperate, that we only bring out the worst in each other)

scaevola Sat 02-Feb-13 09:46:20

If there reall is nothing much between you, even after three rounds of counselling, then can there be a future?

Communication between the two of you sounds to have failed completely (he might feel he's on eggshells too) and your description sounds as if nothing is ever talked through and solved. You're unhappy, he's unhappy; is there anything else to try together?

Listen to your friends. Don't worry about what he might say to your kids, they'll know the score. Besides, he'll probably be too ill to look after them much anyway hmm

I do not think he will give you an easy ride of it at all if you were to separate and at the very least you will need to consider formal i.e legal means re access. I am sure that your son would not want to see this man in any case. Such men do not let go of their victims easily and he'll drag it out for as long as he can.

If you do separate (and I would urge you to seek legal advice in any case) ensure that you mean business from the start and show you will not tolerate any crap he will come out with regarding access, finances etc. He will see his grip on power being taken from him so he will likely lash out at you and the children, such men can use kids as weapons against the mother for having tha gall in their eyes to leave.

I think your friends opinions are instructive; you and he should not be together at all so why are you together currently?. You cannot keep flogging a dead horse and he is inherently unreasonable and testy. He sucks all the joy out of your life and quite apart from anything else he has never been able to accept your own child from another marriage thus making your own child miserable. That in itself is reason enough to be shot of this manchild.

Xales Sat 02-Feb-13 11:30:15

How old is your DS1?

You and your children especially DS1 are walking on egg shells.

Now that you and DS1 have to bend over and take whatever he gives you from behind as he is ill and 'will leave you for someone who does want him' how much more is your DS1 going to have to take?

Put your children first and show them that a happy separated mother (and hopefully father when he finds 'the one who does want him') is much better than a shitty relationship where you either both make each other unhappy or one treats the rest like shit and they walk around fearing to upset him.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Sat 02-Feb-13 20:58:54

Here are 2 of your previous threads which I remembered (I posted on one under an old username):

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1533027-Is-this-Domestic-Abuse

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/a1485410-Confused-upset-and-just-a-little-angry

I think you are probably being too hard on yourself. Do you throw things at him, threaten him, grab him, push him, cause him to bang his head on the floor and call him vile names when you argue? These are all things he has evidently done to you.

Have any of your counsellors had anything to say about how he is always blaming you and making out it's all your fault? My advice? Throw him out and get some counselling for yourself. Life is too short to spend with a prick like this.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now