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.
Make a plan, bide my time & leave or try & make him see how stupid this is?(90 Posts)
OK, I'll try not to dripfeed. DH can be EA - nasty personal comments, he's made me feel I've never been good enough etc. He belittles me in front of the DC & is very shouty. He admits he is always quick to lose his temper.
It got to the point last Friday where we had a make or break discussion - he doesn't see that he can be wrong, but as I'm so hard to live with he agreed that he couldn't continue with things as they are. We agreed to make the effort over the weekend to stop our usual reactions to each other & try & get along. It worked OK. There has been the odd 'see this what I hate about you' when I've reacted to things, one of which was getting teary when I had a message from a friend saying her baby will be stillborn next week due to it having chromosomal abnormalities. Surely anyone with any compassion would be sad about that?
I got home from work at 6 last night & DS (2) wanted to go for a walk, so I got my coat back on & took him out for 10 mins. Got back & sat DS on the worktop, directly in front of me, while I made a coffee. DS 'helped' & started playing with a bit of pasta that DH had left in a pan. He was making a mess with it but really nothing that couldn't be cleared away with a bit of kitchen roll in 2 minutes.
DH took exception to this - one of his 'things' is how messy I am. I'm not messy at all - just not as obsessed with housework as he is.
To keep the peace I asked him to watch DS/take him off the worktop while I cleaned it up.
His response was 'No - we've been perfectly fine & tidy until you came home - you sort it out'. I asked him again to just take DS so I could sort it out & he started again saying no, how I'm so messy, it was all tidy til I came home etc etc.
I & tried to explain that I couldn't leave DS where he was, while I got the stuff to clean round with but got shouted over again, with some stupid comment about how 'good' it was of me to take DS for a walk when I got in.
God, this is so petty written down!
I know I need to separate from him. Ideally I'd like him to move out but he refusues, saying he'd never let the kids with me when I'm such a mess, why should he hand over everything he's worked hard for blah blah.
I don't want anything from him other than what I'm entitled to through building up whilst we've been married (13 years)
I've offered to go to a solicitor with him & arrange an mutually agreed settlement - I just get snidy comments about how I'd screw him into the ground as I'm such a money grabber.
I've worked full time throughout our marriage, with the exception or 2 x Mat Leave for the DC of 1 year each.
This is such a pointless rant - I just wanted to get it down.
Should I just bide my time now, see a solicitor & make a plan to end it or is it worth trying to get him to see how petty & silly he's being?
Go to a solicitor yourself and start the process independently. (He'll have to have his own solicitor when you divorce anyway.) It's quite clear that your husband thinks a woman's place is in the wrong. He's never going to agree to anything amicably or voluntarily and he probably doesn't even think you're being serious either.
Have you got any RL support? Could you and the DCs spend the weekend with anyone? Give you a break?
You are so right Cogito he just makes me question my judgement of myself sometimes with his crappy comments etc.
I'd actually planned to go out with a friend tomorrow night but cancelled due to the weather. My DD was so pleased when I told her I wasn't going it shocked me. She sees his treatment of me which is another reason I know I should get out.
We'll be fine here for the weekend...I don't want him to know anything's on my mind until I've got an actual plan in place. He doesn't think I'm being serious so I just need to show him that I am now.
I think you've tried your best and agree to go and sort it yourself. Will things ever change?
New No they won't change, and TBH he's pretty much killed off any feelings I had for him. My inertia about leaving is due to knowing how he'll react (angrily, act the injured party, accusing me of being a vindictive bitch - another favourite) and knowing he won't leave the marital home easily.
I find myself waiting for him to do something worthy of me booting him out
Don't wait for that because your 'bar', your tolerance level, is already set artificially high after years of crappy behaviour from him. What you can do, however, as well as talking to a solicitor is work out how to get yourself and the DCs somewhere else to live if you're assuming he's not going to walk out of the front door, even under duress. You really don't want to serve papers and then find yourself stuck under the same roof. If this is how he treats you when you're supposed to be happily married, think how bad it'll be when he doesn't have to try any more....
That'll probably mean squirreling away money, calling in a few favours, staying with relatives/friends, asking your LHA about temporary accommodation & maybe even talking to Womens Aid if you think there's any danger of an aggressive reaction. Sell the house from under him from a safe distance
I have savings in my own name that I could use for that Cog, and I've been looking in the local area for rentals etc.
It's just putting it into practice that's the scary part! And dealing with his vitriol for the DC's sake rather than mine. He's threatened to have nothing more to do with them if we split in the past, and I know that would be hard for them both.
On the other hand their lives would probably be nicer in all other respects.
That's not normal - reading about how he treats you makes me instantly . You shouldn't have to live with it, nor should your children.
Maybe someone with more experience could tell you if it's worth keeping a written record of his comments, particularly those threatening remarks about not leaving the children with you - sounds like he's threatening to paint you as the one with issues.
It sounds like you're one strong mother. Get out now before any of your children think it's acceptable for partners to be treated that way
Bullies threaten all kinds of things. They either won't see the kids at all or they'll sue for sole custody, they'll commit suicide, wreck the house, set Social Services on you.... blah, blah, blah. It's because they've lost the argument.
Your DCs are already witnessing the vitriol, sadly, which is why you need an exit strategy. You can't protect them 100% from the fall-out but yes, life with one calm, happy parent is probably better than the current set-up.
You don't need a good enough excuse to leave...time to put the plan into action. I agree with advice on here. See a solicitor (yourself) to assess your likely financial position and to initiate divorce. I wouldn't read too much into the threats he's made about cutting off contact with the children - it's emotional blackmail and your decision will have no bearing on whether or not he takes his responsibility as a father seriously either now or in the future.
You poor thing - he sounds horrible. Follow CogitoErgoSometimes advice as I agree that "life with one calm, happy parent is better than the current set-up." Neither you nor the children should have to listen to any more of his nasty put-down's and comments.
It doesn't sound petty - it sounds as though you are not compatable.
Be strong x
Cross post with Cogito - basically same diagnosis! Bullies threaten lots of things.
Thanks all, I feel like I'm being driven mad with it all. Any innocent comment from me can start him off. If my sentence is too long I'm nagging, too short I'm sulking, if I'm upset I'm a victim, angry I'm being aggressive.
I don't see myself as any of those things. I'm just emotionally drained by it all & bemused that he thinks it's normal behaviour for him
I do think his threat to not see the kids is an empty one - according to him they're the only reason he stays with me anyway. One minute I'm his beautiful, pretty wife, the next I'm a fat piece of shit - his words.
I just wish I could record some of his rants & play them back in one of his more rational moments so he could actually see what a loon he is.
Check out the EA thread - now on its 19th incarnation. You are far from alone.
Been there myself - or similar. It took a while for it to sink in that I didn't need his permission to start divorce proceedings, so when I realised that obvious truth I did just that. It took a while and was stressful, but I divorced him and settled finances with him one step at a time, all while still living under same roof. The EA thread was a godsend.
No matter what evidence you presented to him, he wouldn't get it. So don't bother trying to explain or justify yourself to him either. He is a FW (fuckwit).
It's lunacy on the one hand... manipulation on the other. The Jekyll and Hyde stuff or what I call 'good cop, bad cop' is purposefully designed to keep you wrong-footed, worried when he's going to kick off next, mildly anxious about what to say/do so it doesn't cause a row.... whilst at the same time keeping you optimistic that nice him is still there. Because it's optimism that's kept you there this long.... a series of vain hopes based on nothing more than the memory (probably) of what he was like when you first met. If you're a relatively straightforward WYSIWYG kind of person, it is bemusing behaviour.
I've lurked on those threads Silvery but have needed to get my head straight with what he's doing so haven't ever posted. But they've helped me see him for what he really is.
Cog what you say is so right...I pause before I answer of his questions, trying to work out what the 'right' thing to say is. He recognises the pause now & uses it to accuse me of lying.
I am no longer optimistic. There have been a few occasions lately where I've found myself thinking 'this will never get better & I don't want to be in this situation again in a years time'
I just have to put that into some sort of action now. It may take me a while but I WILL do it
Interesting how you are apparently so hard to live with, yet he thinks of all these obstacles and excuses to prevent you going ahead with a split by mutual agreement! It's almost as if really he knows that having you around as his whipping boy for criticism is actually what he wants, despite all the complaints.. And surely if you were a 'vindictive bitch' (and being called that is your reason to end it IMO) and a money grabber, he would be even keener to separate no matter what it initially cost? Hmm..
The good news is, you have reached the point where you know this is not healthy. So make the decision yourself. See a solicitor, get a place to live, and tell him you have decided to end the misery he is in and no threats or jibes will now make any difference.
I don't think he's going to understand and empathise with you no matter how reasonable you are. Even as an adult I've never been able to get my dad to understand how unreasonable he is sometimes. His feelings matter and trump everyone else's. Trying to reason with him that my husband and I had not "trashed the place" when we had had a cooked breakfast whilst staying with them, we'd emptied their dishwasher, and put our dishes in the dishwasher but neglected to put a fish slice in was pointless, he just couldn't see that we'd tidied more than we'd messed up at all. As far as he was concerned leaving a fish slice out by the cooker was "trashing the place". I had been living with my husband for some years, and I could see that dad was being unreasonable (though it still hurt), but when I was growing up, I believed my dad about how awful I was at everything.
I wish my mum had managed to get us away from my dad's bizarre outbursts as a child as I found them extremely damaging to my self esteem. I'm sure I would've been upset at the split, but I would have some time and space away from his criticisms and shouting. As adults we can recognise when someone is being unfair and disproportionate (unless we've been really ground down by EA) but children, they end up believing it and thinking they are worthless, never good enough or bad and it affects them (it certainly still affects me though after counselling and CBT, I'm trying to get better and believe in myself).
I think you should just get on with the process of leaving, you can't wait for him to agree its the right thing to do.
I tried to explain to someone else about the 'waiting for him to do something bad enough to leave over' in a thread the other day. You don't need any reason other than no longer wanting to be in a relationship with him. You're not leaving him over a piece of pasta, his unreasonable reaction to a bit of pasta was just the final straw on a heavy load of emotional abuse he's been heaping on you for years.
He's unlikely to ever do anything on its own worth leaving over. He's destroying your marriage and self esteem by salami tactics of emotional abuse. Salami tactics = slice by slice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IX_d_vMKswE He'll never put you in a situation where you'll have no choice but to leave, you'll have to make that choice. Luckily, divorce isn't as drastic as pushing the button on a nuclear deterrent. You and your children will survive, thrive even, without his constant presence.
I know Snazzy he loves the control - on many levels.
Last week I was poorly & he came into the room while I was laying on the sofa having a cuddle with the DC's.
His response was to sneer at me & tell me to sit up properly.
Just another example of his nastiness & how he thinks he can order me around.
He wasn't happy when I called him on it. Stupid man.
Spirited me having 'trashed the place' is a phrase he uses quite a lot! Like your example - I obviously haven't trashed the place at all. Last night I moved the pan of pasta that he'd left out & he went into one about me trashing the place & making it a shit tip.
Hmmm - no, I just moved the pan you'd left out to somewhere else so I could wipe round.
What you say about your Dad rings bells with me for my kids. I know I need to get out as I do NOT want them to think his reaction to things is normal in any way.
I can see him starting to bully them, when I call him on that I get a load of shit about me being 'mother of the fucking year'. I may not be mate but at least my kids like me.
Wow, seeing this all written down in really hardening my resolve.
Hi having an off day. my relationship with my husbandn is very similar to yours. It has been like it on and off for the last 10 months. We are going to marriage counselling or should i say, i am, he doesnt want to.
Just to say your not alone. Its such a diffficult decision to make. No one tells you how difficult marriage can be. You havegot to do whats right for you and your children!
I've thought about counselling but he refuses - he said he would find it too hard to talk about the things he doesn't like about me in front on me . Funny how he doesn't mind listing them off to me regularly!
He'll be home soon & I'll be offline for a while this aft, thanks to everyone on this thread though - I do know what I have to do - I just wanted to check I wasn't mad for thinking it!
Couples counselling with abusive men is not recommended..
Separate counselling is OK.
Why is he with you if you are so crap?
You will never get him to understand what an inadequate tool he is, so make your own plans accordingly
how you are currently living sounds utterly grim and a very poor model for your dc's to be learning from
My Son in Law is similiar.
It is horrible watching my DD being treated badly - much worse than being treated like that myself.
Imagine if someone treated your DD like that - you then realise that it is wrong.
Get a plan and seperate no one desrves to be treated like that.
Join the discussion
Please login first.