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When you are in it you don't see it as abusive do you?

(79 Posts)
Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 15:54:59

I have changed my name.
I posted my dilemma before with regards to my marriage of 27 years. Husband is controlling, negative, moody and just miserable. We usually have a week or so of him being ok. Then a small drama will result in him swearing and slamming about.
When he gets in a real mood he throws things, calls me names etc. (has called me c word) or refuses to talk to me and calls me idiot)
3 grown up children only youngest at home.
Finances controlled solely by him. I am sahm. No joint account.

Everyone of your replies to my situation said ltb and that I was being abused. I couldn't see it. Even now I think is it really that bad? It's not bad all the time. But sometimes it makes me cry and depressed. Probably at least twice a month something happens which causes upset.

My family are holding their breath waiting for me to leave him. But I start making excuses as to why I am still here. I feel sorry or him.

Does anyone else feel the same. What Did you do?

cantdoalgebra Wed 15-May-13 17:10:24

It is completely unreasonable that you do not have a joint bank account. Insist that he changes this - demand to know the reasons if he will not - point out how unreasonable his position is, every time he blames you for some made up fault, bring this matter up again. I know this sounds very confrontational, but, unless he is violent, remember that the best form of defence is attack (I don't mean physical!)- sometimes you must stand your ground and not unintentionally facilitate his behaviour. At the very least, any shouting or throwing by him should immediately be "rewarded" by you by leaving the room/house/restaurant(remember a spare set of keys for house/car - get ones made if necessary!). Leave anything he throws where it lies - for ever.....This may make him realise how unreasonable he is being - if nothing else it might make you reconsider your relationship with him. I have been married for 27 years to an extremely strong willed man and have found out over the years that smile and you get put upon, snarl and you get better treatment. Only you can decide if this is worth it or not.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 15-May-13 17:11:06

"Does anyone else feel the same. What Did you do?"

I did what you're doing... I stuck around. Various misguided motivations e.g. 'marriage is for life'. A vague fear of being on my own. A certain amount of conditioning (thanks to not only him but also my warring parents) that nasty behaviour towards a spouse was par for the course. Low self-esteem probably played a part.

In the end it was taken out of my hands. His opinion of me sunk so low that he went off with an OW. ... came back briefly... then I told him to leave for good. Took me years to realise that this was not the worst thing that had ever happened but probably a lucky escape. If I have any regrets it's that I didn't kick him out years earlier.

Don't waste your life waiting for a leopard to change its spots. Never happens.

handcream Wed 15-May-13 17:21:28

Having had a close relative go through this - I dont know why she stayed. They had no children She claimed she loved him - would it help if I said he clearly doesnt love you?

Because that was something she repeats even now as her turning point although she didnt leave him. He decided to end it. I think she would still be with him now wasting her life on someone that clearly didnt want to be with her.

Being a SAHM IS a risk IMHO. I know I will be flamed for it but it must sap your confidence when you are with someone like this. You feel you have no where to go, perhaps you are frightened of being alone. If thats the case - take the money element out for a moment.

Would you rather be with him like this or without him on your own. Of course you wont be on your own. Your family are expecting it and will support you I am sure.

Only you can decide what you want to do. My relative lied and lied to cover up for him, in the end we got tired of listening to endless fibs about what was actually happening so we backed away only coming back when the situation esclated.

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 17:37:40

My best friend told me this morning that I have changed. She said that it looks as if the stuffing has been pulled out of me. She thought that I was so used to being treated like this that I had accepted it as normal.
I have had therapy and they say that I am on meds because of my relationship.
I feel sorry for myself. Then I feel like I am betraying him by telling other people about his behaviour.
I wish I didn't love him. It would be easier to leave.
I don't want to stay living like this but. Don't know where I will find the strength and courage to leave

ColinCaterpillar Wed 15-May-13 17:45:43

Orange you don't have to do anything yet. You are your own person. You can find the strength even if you don't have it yet.

http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1747835-Support-thread-for-those-in-emotionally-abusive-relationships-coming-of-age-21

Read the links on here if you haven't already and feel free to lurk or post

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 19:02:08

Twice a month is a lot of time to spend crying over someone who you love sad

The turning point for me at which I lost the love in the relationship was the day I realised he just didn't see life, the universe and most importantly love and relationships the way I did, the way that most people do.

Most people expect and want mutual compassion and trust in their relationship, for the relationship to be a place of sanctuary and where they feel safe. To be a mutual support, to lean on each other when they feel weak. Of course people differ and will expect/want different things but I think these are fairly universal values for people with healthy relationship models/expectations.

Men (people) who abuse do not see relationships in this way. It depends on which "type" of abuser you have as to what they do see it as, sometimes they see it like my original list but don't have the empathy to realise the mutual bit and go about expecting you to do all of that for him and not noticing/deciding it is too much effort when it comes to his turn.

Others are simply so self centred that they believe everything and everyone in the world revolves around then and so for you to do this for him is a bare minimum and really more should be expected. Of course this type of person doesn't ever do anything for others unless it forms some kind of businesslike transaction, ie, what's in it for me kind of mindset.

Some abusers have extremely warped relationship templates where everything is a war and the only way to survive is to play to win. Others get off on power and control and will be doing this consciously.

The biggest mistake you can make in life is to assume that other people think like you do, and yet we all do it subconsciously all the time! We're always going around projecting our thought processes onto others. It's dangerous to do it in a relationship especially if you tend to have arguments which end up in the same thing where you're both saying "I just want us to be a family" (or whatever) - you think you've come to a consensus but actually you're both ascribing totally different meanings to those words and hence you end up acting at cross purposes again. Imagine a football game where half the team misunderstood and thought they were supposed to be shooting at the wrong goalposts. The team becomes useless, teamwork is impossible, neither half of the team can work out why the other is being so ridiculously unhelpful and they get frustrated because they all think they're in the right. That is your relationship.

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 20:01:56

Thank you Yoni for your reply.
It makes complete sense to me.
Like you I see life, the universe, love and relationships etc completely different to my husband. It makes me sad that he has such a negative view of everything.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 20:51:11

So he sees everything negatively. That must really drag things down.sad

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 20:52:29

Don't be fooled into thinking you can change his underlying beliefs BTW.

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 21:09:24

Yes I would say his negativity and moodiness are the hardest things to deal with.
We are not friends, we have different interests.
He is completely money orientated.

Surprisingly though we are physically attracted to each other after 27 years. Although he would have sex every day I don't feel 'loved'.
Does that make sense. He also pushes to do more adventurous things which I am not happy to do. So don't.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 21:57:04

It makes perfect sense. God, I remember the exact moment that XP made it clear that he didn't, and never would consider me a friend. I had never felt so lonely sad

Personally I don't think that sexual attraction is enough. I think that with marriage you have to imagine being old and maybe ill and not able to get out much. And then imagine the kind of person you'd want to be stuck with. When you think of it like that, they have to be a friend first.

YoniBottsBumgina Wed 15-May-13 21:57:59

I'm glad you don't do the things you don't want to do btw. Don't ever give that up.

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 23:30:31

Yoni - I have thought about 'if I got ill scenario' and again you are right he would be useless. He gets annoyed with me when I am ill. He sees the anxiety and depression I suffer as an inconvenience. I have been unable to fly for the last year and that's all he talks about. How he needs a break in the sun.
He has booked to go with the lads now. He has a holiday every year with his pals.

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 23:31:48

Yoni - how long we're you with your xp. You sound as if you have been in my position. How did you get out and why.

Noregrets78 Wed 15-May-13 23:40:24

BerylStreep I love that quote thank you.

Orangeandpineapple after 15 years with my 'D'H I started divorce proceedings 4 months ago. A couple of years ago I started emailing myself regular 'diary' entries and keeping them secure. Whenever I think 'it's not that bad is it' I read them back and the answer is just staring me in the face. might be worth starting doing that, it's quite a shock reading them cold a while later x

Orangeandpineapple Wed 15-May-13 23:51:17

Noregrets - thanks I will try that.

I must admit when I wrote a thread under another name on here a few months ago I shocked myself reading it back. It was the first time I had written it down. And the replies I had were eye openers. I had NEVER thought of my relationship as abusive. Controlling yes! But after reading other threads on EA and MA and FA I was shocked.

OhLori Thu 16-May-13 00:29:06

Though I didn't see it as "abusive", I was on occasion totally shocked and kind of revolted by the sheer nastiness and selfishness of the offense, even when it was insidious, think: blink and you'll miss it. I would have to think to myself - did he just say that? What was that?

However, other times I found it masculine, dominant, and ruthlessly honest. We had the latter in common.

I stopped seeing "him" after 6 months. My only regret is that I remained dignified when being verbally insulted the very first time and thereafter. In retrospect I should have read him the riot act big-time and then walked off forever.

Orangeandpineapple Thu 16-May-13 10:18:37

Ohlori- thank you.

I am staying at my friends for a few days break. I know she will spend the weekend reminding me of all the awful things he has done over the last 27 years. It's making me feel anxious.

NicknameTaken Thu 16-May-13 10:36:36

Fantastic post by YBB yesterday.

Orange, you don't have to put up with your friend listing the things he did if it is not useful to you. Tell her that you are working through things in your head, and that there is a risk she will push you into defending him and this will muddle up your own thoughts. Tell her she needs to go easy on you.

I don't find it helpful when my parents go on about my ex's awfulness. It's true, but it makes me feel stupid and defensive. There's a time and a place when this kind of talk is helpful, and a time when it's counter-productive.

Lweji Thu 16-May-13 14:17:54

Maybe you should spend the weekend discussing with your friend the way forward, instead?

susiedaisy Thu 16-May-13 16:11:01

Yes I agree spending time with friends and family who spend hours telling you how shit your dh is is not helpful it just used to make me feel embarrassed and stupid, it is a decision you need to make in your own time, but don't forget there is help out there you don't need to stay just because you feel there isn't an alternative, hope you have a nice break with your friend.

Orangeandpineapple Thu 16-May-13 23:38:44

I have had a lovely day today shopping, and tea with my best friend. She has been great. Lots of laughs and only one mention of oh. Going for a pamper day tomorrow.
Peace and quiet and no dramas.
Messages from my daughters telling me to have a lovely time and spoil myself.
Lovely.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 23:49:11

Hi, sorry I don't always see replies straight away as I am currently MNing on a phone.

We were together for 3 years and 9 months. (Or was it 2 years?) I can't remember when I first started to realise something was wrong, but mumsnet helped a lot. I used to post under the name "cherrychoc" and later "bertiebotts". If you do a search for DP under my old names looking for posts before December 1, 2009, you will find most of my threads about him, although I read more than I posted. That's the date I left, I have a DS who was 13 months old at the time. I found mumsnet when he was about 2 or 3 months old so around a year of lurking and posting!

It is hard to pin down a specific incident which made me want to end the relationship. That is the nature of emotional abuse, they call it "death by 1000 cuts" because it really us such a slow drip drip effect. I left because I was unable to be happy with him and I started to feel like I was just waiting for the relationship to end so that I could get on with my life.

In the end I got out by telling my mum that I wanted to leave. It was frightening to finally admit that was how I was feeling because it made it real, and I think we both cried - I can't remember much tbh. But over the next 3 months she helped me explore every option, we eventually found a place to move to, she got me some money sorted for a deposit, (from ny grandad as she didn't have it - it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask him though) sorted out transport and I packed up my stuff and left one day when he was at work. Scariest thing I have ever done.

She was brilliant and I am so so lucky to have that support, but if you don't have it it is still possible to leave, I have seen countless women do it on these boards since then.

YoniBottsBumgina Thu 16-May-13 23:56:11

Oh that's lovely to hear smile I hope my x-post wasn't too depressing!

2.5 years on by the way, I am a different person. I am me again. I am doing amazing things I had no idea I could ever have done, like moving abroad, going to uni and even teaching. I have an absolutely wonderful DP who adores me and makes me feel like I can do anything. We are truly a team and just have this great, easy level of mutual respect and trust and a little bit of adoration. Life is good smile

ladypippins Fri 17-May-13 07:10:47

You need to find the strength to leave for yourself and child. After the two years of abuse (I hadn't picked up on all of the 'smaller' earlier warming signs) I have made the difficult choice to leave (end of month). It helped talking to family who confirmed they didn't like the way home spoke to me and a solicitor (free 1hr 30 session!).

My h of 20 years thought it okay occasionally to get physical at accidentally damage, shout, swear often in front of our young son (incl. The vile c word) . This is not role model behaviour and is scary for kids.

You don't deserve to feel this way and your kids shouldn't have to witness it. Its just too damaging.

I know how difficult this is, I too, still have normal days, you have to ask yourself if these days are actually worth the pain and obvious long term damage on your self esteem and respect..?

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