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am I being assertive or unreasonable

(290 Posts)
skatingonice Fri 03-May-13 09:12:57

After a tough couple of years have decided to make ago of my relationship (of 12 years) but realised for my sanity I needed to be more assertive with what I want from the relationship.
There have been positive changes with house work (he can do some without being asked!) And a few other things too.

The sticking point is now sex. The has been a bit of a drout whist things were settling down but the last few times we have started we always stop as I want him to spend some time caressing me and turning me on, without just grabbing my breasts or putting his hand between my legs... Not saying he can't do these or I don't like them, just don't want him to start there. I have spoken to him, explained this, but he doesn't seem to get it, the other night I tried moving his hand on to my stomach (which I have said I like been stroked), another time I asked him to kiss my neck.... These are met with a blunt end to proceedings... He says I'm been unreasonable, those things don't turn him on so he shouldn't have to do them. I should just be turned on or be happy with where/how he wants to touch me. If I say please can you do x, the reply will be "well what are you going to do to turn me on? " but he is obviously already more turned on then me...He says I can only ask for things that are mutually enjoyable (I pointed out sex with both of us turned on would be mutually enjoyable)

I think he is obviously turned on enough for PIV sex from much less then I am. Is it unreasonable for me to expect him to spend some time getting me turned on too?)

BerylStreep Wed 26-Jun-13 08:48:31

Hear hear Lweji.

Lweji Portugal Wed 26-Jun-13 08:30:01

It doesn't have to be about "fault", you can simply say you don't love him anymore, that you are not compatible, that you argue too much.

If you think he'd make it too difficult, you can set things up (rental, dogs) and then just go and let him know when it's done.
You don't really owe him anything.

skatingonice Wed 26-Jun-13 08:23:57

This mortgage only a couple of years. Not much equity in house and neither could buy the other out. Would probably take a while to sell based on similar properties in the area.

I could keep up with repayments on my own if I need to.Keeping the house isn't something I would be bothered about so song would be fine. Costs could be paid with equity.

I put the deposit down for our first properly, wouldn't be interested in trying to get it back, this isn't about money.

Now have my own bank account so that's sorted.

Also have dogs. I travel with work so keeping them would be the biggest issue.

He would switch between angry and upset. He could turn nasty but at the end of the day What's the worst he can say. The only potential damage he could do is with the photos he has of me.... But doing anything with them would make him look bad wouldn't it. No there is probably no way I can get them. Even if I take where I think they are there will be back ups in not aware of .

The reason for going would need to be unrelated to him or anything that ever happened, it would have to be my fault, which is fine. There's a difference between being in the right and telling people you're right. I can take the fallout and he can have the mutual friends and sympathy vote.

BerylStreep Tue 25-Jun-13 22:15:15

Questions, questions:

How long have you had the mortgage together? Is there equity on the house? Did you both contribute similar amounts to the capital? Could you afford to buy him out? Could he afford to buy you out? Is the mortgage and house the only practical thing that currently ties you to him?

Practicalities aside, how do you think he would respond to you ending things? Do you think he would bully and harass you?

skatingonice Tue 25-Jun-13 17:23:54

Cross post Beryl.

I know, I know, I know!

What can I say. Less words and more action needed.

skatingonice Tue 25-Jun-13 17:19:32

Plans would be short and sweet, ask him to leave (he can't afford house on him own)

Put house on market.

I have places I could go and stay with no notice to put some distance in place.

Yeah have read it. The sex theme has been a continously one through the relationship, there had always been a problem and I have never been good enough in his eyes, never adventurous enough, never frequent enough. Now I can see that actually there is no problem with me, the problem is we are probably just not comparable but he has spent many years sulking and manipulating me so he can have his way. Now I've stopped trying to please him there is a massive problem and he doesn't like it.

BerylStreep Tue 25-Jun-13 17:03:22

Skating, there's only so much advice one can give without wanting to shake you by the shoulders.

Yes, we will be here for you. And yes, it can take people a while to pluck up the courage to change their lives.

But it just feels like there is little more that can be said that hasn't been said already.

He's abusive.
He's a dick.
He's horrible to you.
He posts nude pictures of you on the internet for other people to wank over.
He's self absorbed.
He's sulky.
He manufactures rows with you.
You walk around on eggshells so as not to upset him.
It doesn't work in any event.
You are not happy.

Do you want to be living like this in a year's time? What about 10 year's time? What about when you are 80? Do you still want him fucking with your mind then? Because he will.

What practical steps do you need to do to end the relationship? If I recall, you have a joint mortgage - what do you need to do to extricate yourself from that? Have you sought any practical advice?

Lweji Portugal Tue 25-Jun-13 16:44:37

Have you started making a plan and asking for advice?

Once you have all the bits in place, it seems easier.

Lweji Portugal Tue 25-Jun-13 16:42:10

Have you read your OP lately?

skatingonice Tue 25-Jun-13 15:56:40

It's so normal for me though. I can't tell what is reasonable and what isn't. Can't tell what I'm causing and what I'm responsible for.... and what is him being a dick.

Should be easy shouldn't it, are you happy? No. So leave.

I can't see any relationship being any different. And although I wouldn't be leaving to go into another relationship I would want one eventually, and then it will be the same.

Suppose the bottom line is I don't have the guts to go through with it. If I did I would have gone by now.

I have had lot of good advice here and that's been really helpful to keep my mind straight and stop me thinking everything is automatically my fault.

Just got to decide what to do. Can't stay the same. Can't go back to doing things his way and appeasing him, can't expect him to change. Not many choices are there.

Lweji Portugal Tue 25-Jun-13 15:16:16

And I quote:
"Skating, please leave him."

Wow! Just Wow!
You have 12 pages here of great advice and insight.
You need to realise, these women know what they are talking about.
Your situation sounds just awful and you are continuing to put up with it.
I have no experience at all but after reading this I just want to shout:
GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT - NOW!!!!!!!!!!
None, I repeat NONE of this is your fault. Leave and do it quickly!

skatingonice Tue 25-Jun-13 13:20:20

Grrrr still here, still going around....

Got a copy of that book. Have read but think I'll need a re-read at some stage.

His latest thing is to constantly pick up that I have changed, I've been different for months and "just expect him to put up with it" he has no say in this, it's all unfair etc etc main problem is the way he brings this up. Normally once I have gone to bed and in reference to an incident that normally occurred a few days previous (and I have forgotten about so can't form a argument against). The result of this is I don't argue back as nothing I say well be right anyway so he just gets to ball out with no consequence. Then the following day if I'm not on form (ie upset or quiet) I get grief for that.

This week's was he upset as he had walked into the bedroom naked after a shower, I was in the room sorting laundry... didn't jump on him for sex so this was Disrespectful, made him feel rejected, etc. He hadn't said anything just come in the room and was using his phone.... Why not day something then, why wait two days to bring it up? So frustrating.

My doubt comes from the fact that I have changed.... But I don't think I'm a way that's negative to him and the relationship.... going to have to have this out with him but don't have the energy this week.

Jengnr Wed 05-Jun-13 21:06:56

Skating, please leave him.

I just want to hug you, I can see how painful this gradual realisation is for you but keep going, you're doing so well.

I'm so sorry he's turned out to be a shit but 12 years is enough. You deserve a happy life. And there is one out there for you. You really don't need to live with all this self doubt. I promise you xxx

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 05-Jun-13 14:39:58

It is very very difficult. The person who hurts you is also the person who you go to to seek comfort. That's why it's so hard to separate out and to disconnect - because of course you don't want to disconnect from your support and safety! The problem is when the need for that support and safety is coming from him in the first place.

To address the earlier points (I wanted to before but was on my phone and kept reading late at night and falling asleep)

It is utterly and perfectly reasonable and normal to refuse to have sex without foreplay. Most women would not find sex pleasurable without foreplay. To most people it would be akin to eating your food without cooking it first. In a healthy sexual relationship it is perfectly fine to say "Stop, I'm not ready yet" or words to that effect and your partner would not take offence or blame you for the fact that you're not ready (confused It's not exactly something you can control!) and they would probably try something else to help you to get into the mood. Also, even after some foreplay has been started if you were to say "Sorry, it's just not not working for me right now" and want to stop, that should be accepted without any argument or whining too. Foreplay isn't some kind of work he does in return for the "real" sex, it should be part of sex and mutually enjoyable for you both. Doesn't he enjoy seeing you getting more and more turned on as he does different things? This is really exciting for most men.

Which brings me to the other point in that, no, it is not your fault for "letting your moods get in the way". It's perfectly normal for emotions and external stresses to get in the way of sex and (women especially) need to be relaxed and feel safe in order to get turned on. Sex should not be something to work on, it should be relaxed, easy, enjoyable. Not an effort. Plus, why is his primary concern that you can't get in the mood for sex? It's perfectly fine to him that you should be in emotional turmoil most of the time as long as you can switch that part of your brain off and engage in sex with him regularly? What happened to a kind and caring partner who would rather not have sex with someone who isn't into it and on a separate note is concerned that you feel so down all of the time, not because of sex, but because he doesn't like to think of you being upset.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Wed 05-Jun-13 11:43:27

What Beryl says is very true, and so few people seem to understand that. You say "abuser" and you can see them hearing "sadistic monster". And of course it's not as black and white as that. They are humans, but with some dodgy wiring that makes them believe they are worth more than their partners and they are entitled to control their partners. So if they are not experiencing anything in conflict with these beliefs, they can give all the appearance of being lovely people. And then it's hard to believe that Hyde will ever come back.

BerylStreep Wed 05-Jun-13 08:50:10

But the good cop bad cop routine is an abusers script. It is designed to do exactly what you are describing. It confuses you, and keeps you tied into the relationship.

skatingonice Wed 05-Jun-13 08:11:49

From UK.

I do see what everyone is saying, and the things you are saying are right, but is hard to take things that havebeen a part of normal life for so long and accept they shouldn't have been happening.

It's also hard when all the above is going on in a relationship where I do feel loved and wanted. The person that makes me feel bad is also the person whos arms I fall asleep In at night. The person who I go to for a hug when I feel bad. The person I laugh and joke with.
No, the good times don't make the bad times okay but they do make them hard to accept, especially when I have been used to them for so long.

Lweji Portugal Wed 05-Jun-13 08:01:28

Everything you describe is so wrong at so many levels.
On his part, but also yours. Why do you think you have stayed through all this?

mantlepiece Wed 05-Jun-13 01:41:25

I am wondering if you are from a different country to the UK, and think you are different to everyone giving you advice, and therefore cannot expect the same from a relationship?

I see you asking for advice and help and treating the answers as something beyond your understanding, and also feeling you cannot expect your partner to understand how to be in a mutually loving relationship.
There is something that is making you excuse such terrible behaviour. Especially when you know in your heart that he is a brute.

Louise1956 Tue 04-Jun-13 21:23:36

he seems very selfish. most men are pleased to do things that turn their wives on, and you're only asking for quite ordinary things, if you wanted something extremely kinky it would be different. to have no interest at all in turning you on seems very odd. if he thinks what you want is nothing, to be honest it seems like he doesn't really care about you very much.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Tue 04-Jun-13 21:14:38

It's just very sad if your boundaries are constant vulnerable to attack by your nearest.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Tue 04-Jun-13 21:08:54

And what do i say, "we're not having sex unless you spend time on foreplay with me first" That's demanding in itself isn't it?

I guess it could be described as demanding. It's not healthy. But is there another (better) way to ensure he treats you decently? You feel you have to resort to behaviour you feel uncomfortable with, in order to be treated anything approaching decently. That is why your behaviour to him is NOT abusive. This scenario you suggest wouldn't happen in a healthy relationship, because things would never have got so bad that it was considered: the man would listen and notice for himself and be interested in what worked for the woman.

Your P thinks you are selfish and demanding if you have any needs of your own which don't fall within the circle of his own needs and wants. And you seem to have absorbed this to an extent, which is why you ask if you're being selfish whenever you want to stand up for your right to be your own individual person.

As for this: And how do i explain why i have allowed this to go on for years unchecked? Why i am changing the rules now? I am being asked this repeatedly by my STBXH at the moment. To date, I haven't found an answer that he understands. It's partly in the insidious nature of EA, how it grows unnoticed. But people do change and relationships do adapt. You expected to grow and change as people when you started out in the relationship. It's not an unreasonable thing for you to do. There's only a problem if your OH doesn't like the change he sees and starts trying to manipulate you to change back, interfering in your ability to steer your own ship in life. Because no matter how important your relationship is to you, you must never lose sight of who you are as an individual and setting your own boundaries is an important part of that.

clam Tue 04-Jun-13 20:36:41

Oh my dear skating. He's done a right number on you, hasn't he? I so wish you could see it. sad

Dozer Tue 04-Jun-13 20:30:03

Please leave the bastard skating.

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