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.
ZOMBIE THREAD ALERT: This thread hasn't been posted on for a while.
I don't want a huge blow up with H over this, so need opinions please(358 Posts)
I don't know where to start really. This is long, sorry, I am just so confused at the moment.
Been with dh for 2 1/2 years, married for just over 1. We got together quite fast as I was having a terrible relationship breakdown with exh, so we moved in together after only 6 months. I had been married 12 years but living separate lives for 10 of them. I have a 10 year old child from that marriage.
I don't work, but I study full time. DH works, but in a job he hates, he did a stupid uni course as a mature student at 25, graduated shortly after we moved in together and couldn't find the mystical job that he hankered after (the route he took isn't a route into them anyway iyswim). So now he has a boring, normal job -- and is not a rock star like he spent his early 20s thinking he'd be, this is apparently, my fault as now he has responsibilities --
I was a sahm during my first marriage, my ex worked abroad during the week and we lived in rural scotland, so I kind of had to be! I married young too, so never had much work experience, aside from a bit of freelance stuff pre 20, so when I left, I was floundering.
Last sept I started college and I have totally found myself. I have studied a subject I love, so much so that I have excelled and done a couple of further courses myself and at my own expense to further my knowledge.
However, I am at a crossroads at the moment where in order to continue I can do a degree. My father and ex always told me I was thick. My father said I was so stupid that there was no point in staying at school post 16, and my ex was very successful and talked down to me always. Since studying, I know that's not true. I have passed with all distinctions, my tutors have been behind me all the way and are pushing me to skip a level and go to a degree.
Ok so two issues!
1) I study hard. Really, really hard, not only with the course I have been doing, but with the additional courses I have taken on. I have a criminal law level 3 qualification to complete over the summer, it is not easy. But yet, because I am in the house more, doing 'nothing' (!) as he says, all house work falls to me. He does not lift a finger. He will 'help' wash up a couple of times a week, but he lets me firmly know he is 'helping' me and expects full on, falling to my knees gratitude.
I make him breakfast in bed every morning, regardless of if I am leaving half an hour earlier than him to get to college, I run his bath, wash his hair. All this for an easy life or he sulks. I am not well today and stressed. So I didn't get out of bed before him as usual. He usually has to start getting dressed at 7.50, by 7.30 he was already huffing as I hadn't got up to get his breakfast and coffee. 7.40 ds comes in with his cereal - a 10 year old puts him to shame lol - so I get up, feed the cats and stupidly make his breakfast as I couldn't face a strop. He could tell I was upset, so asks why (but not in a concerned way, he gets pissed off at me when I am upset) so I tell him, just for once, I am fed up of the morning waitress service. So then he says, well, I wan't hungry anyway and throws a strop that he won't be able to drink his coffee, it will be too hot.
He has his dinner cooked and ready for when he walks through the door as well, regardless of if I am eating or not. My first husband was a shit, but he never, ever expected anyone to cook and clean up after him, so I have never experienced this before. Is this normal? I feel like a housekeeper, I hate it. I know he works, but really, to do nothing in your own home? when I talk to him, he says to tell him what needs doing and he will. But a) He is not a teenager and I am not his mother b) this is his home too, I am not the boss of cleaning and c) he gets in such a mood if I do ask him to do anything. He'll do it, but it's not worth the sulking afterwards.
When I talk to him about it, he gets angry and tells me to stop acting like I have a hard life.
2) With regard to study, I have been offered an amazing chance to do a degree I will love. But I will have to commit to three years, hard wok with pretty full on work placements. We want another child. I have had several MC, so I can't wait any longer, certainly not 3 or 4 years, I am 34. So I am looking into OU degrees as they will be more compatible.
DH isnt happy about any of this. He says he will support me, but this week keeps throwing hissy fits, about how much he hates his job, how it's not fair and I can't complain as at least I am doing something I want to do. It's not my fault that, by his own admission, he did a degree which would basically buy him 3 more years 'free' drinking time' in his mid 20's. It is also not my fault that I have turned out to be more intelligent than people thought I was.
And I know that if I do OU, I will get the 'I got to work!' card thrown at me and I will be doing all the house, studying and looking after a baby on my own.
I am confused and I don't know what to do for the best, or, if I want to stay with him at all at the moment.
waddles - there was an overlap in that me and ex were living in the same house, but it had been over for years, sep bedrooms etc. We only stayed together for the sake of ds, money issues, and he was only home from working abroad every other weekend anyway. It wasn't an affair.
No, you can't win. That's the crux of it, whatever you do won't be good enough for this man child. Leave him, he sounds awful, does he have any redeeming qualities? I suspect the answer to that is no.
Can I just ask what everyone else does? In a situation like mine, where one works and one is at home (even studying etc). He just thinks its unfair that he would have to work and I don't at the mo and he would still have to do some housework.
My dad was ex forces, he was fastidious with cleaning, so thats what I grew up with, seeing both my parents do house work. The only thing my mother did on her own was cook, but that's because my father was a terrible cook. My dad worked, but he still cleaned up after himself.
But surely you are doing a job you hate?
You cannot possibly enjoy being this mans personal slave?
Ok look if he says "well I didnt ask you to do xyz" dont do it.
Let him sulk, the world will not end.
I always love hearing about people who struggled at school and then blossomed at higher education. All those distinctions must make you feel proud of yourself. You must do the degree. It would be such a waste to throw away such an important opportunity. And what lesson would that teach your child! If you want your child to work, study and excell then set him a good example - do the degree.
Ignore or retrain your chap. He sounds like he's trying to drag you down. Live your life for the best for you and your child.
For a relationship to be satisfactory, I think you need 3 things
1) to fancy each other
2) to have enough interests and outlook in common
3) to have similar expectations of what roles each person will take within the relationship.
So, it seems from what you say that you don't have no 3 in common.
Therefore you need to weigh up a) staying in a relationship which is not satisfactory, with the security and possible more children. Or b) leaving and making a life alone, and recovering from abuse.
Somebody else will be along shortly to point out the red flags in your existing relationship.
Wishing you strength.
Lou, I'm not sure because I'm not married and would never want to be a stay at home Mum. If I was though, I would have to say that I would feel it was my duty to do the vast bulk of housework/cleaning, simply because if someone is out working 8 hours a day to pay for me to live, I would want to contribute as much energy and time to the household as he did.
Having said that, I would draw the line at breakfast in bed and hair washing. Cooking someone breakfast, ok (in fact a boyfriend used to do that for me). But in bed and hair washing to me is demeaning somehow.
He does have some good features.
He doesn't go out drinking all the time, he rarely goes out alone, we tend to go out as a couple.
He loves my ds
Oh shit, I have come to a halt with the list. I thought it would be longer.
You already have 2 children, one of them is just a man child. Don't make his breakfast, don't run his bath and wash his hair, and if he sulks then so be it. That's his problem. If he moans about his job, tell him to put his energies into finding one that he does like, instead of whingeing at you. Personally, he'd have my boot right up his backside right out of the door until he sorted himself out.
OK, so you know what you need to do.
Now you need to do a bit of research and come up with a feasible solution for financially supporting yourself and your child whilst you continue to study.
How can you want to have sex with this man to produce a child. He cannot be attractive in the slightest.
I mainly stay for my ds.
He never knew me and his father were not a 'proper' couple. We hid it well. So well, that no one knew, and when I finally left, ex h played the spurned partner and said i'd had an affair. He used to laugh about it to me, how sorry he's made people feel for him. As far as ds is concerned, I took him away from his dad. And now he has a stepdad who he loves, I can't take that from him to. He feels secure now. I can't hurt him.
One thing that I have maintained in this marriage is financial control though. I am in charge of everything money wise. My ex was financially abusive, so that is important to me now, to know exactly where every penny is.
I think you could sit him down and be very matter of fact. Don't get into 'I feel taken for granted' but matter of factly state that the situation isn't working for you, in future you will not be washing his hair or making breakfast in bed and anything else you have decided on. Tell him that you work just as hard as him but in different ways and either state or imply that if changes don't occur your relationship could be in jeopardy.
I'm not trying to discredit you, but upthread when giving details about the overlap, you said: ''it had been over for years, sep bedrooms etc. We only stayed together for the sake of ds, money issues, and he was only home from working abroad every other weekend anyway. It wasn't an affair.''
I just can't help but feel that you're not being fully honest. Why would your ex claim you had an affair, if you had both decided it had been over for years?
Anyway, your 10 year-old will get over it, I promise. You need to do what's right for you.
Please don't have a baby with this horrible manchild. You will all be miserable. Your dc is 10 and deserves to enjoy the little childhood that remains without seeing his/her mother skivvy to this sulky and abusive git.
Sounds like with the child support from your ex and benefits you could easily afford to live alone. if you deferred studying for one year then your dc would be 11 and able to get to and from school on their own making it much easier for you to study.
In a few years time you will meet someone lovely and may perhaps have a baby with them.
But first you need to ltb!
you might be surprised at how resilient your son is, or how much he does not blindly worship his stepfather.
I thought my girls wouldnt be able to live without their father, turned out they were just as terrified of him as I was and despised him even more for his treatment of me and them.
If your H treats you with such disdain I find it hard to believe he is a devoted father to your son.
At least look into your options, legally and also financialyl how you woudl cope what you owuld be entitled to and also could you work whilst doing your degree?
He has a stepdad who is his role model. Would you want your ds to treat his partner in the way you are being treated?
Oh and if he strips just be prepared for that and let him get on with it. Repeat the 'this isn't working for me and changes are going to be made' mantra
you are living with an abusive man. Seriously. The Freedom course describes this kind of man as 'King of the Castle'. He will NOT improve, you cannot make him understand or change. His beliefs and his values dictate that you are a subserviant and sub-human addition to his life. As 'woman' you are 'slave'. Getting you pregnant is not about sharing a child with you, it's a way of tethering you to the home - he will most likely use any child of yours to further abuse you. Please, please find out more about what tactics abusive men like him employ because they NEVER get better, they get worse.
You and your DS deserve so much more from life. Your fear of leaving has been instilled by two terrible relationships and is not based in reality. I am not a 'LTB' brigade member. But I have ended an abusive marriage and become a single parent of two - it's so, so much better than the life you are describing. I feel scared for you thinking that you might actually have a baby with a man this entitled, controlling and mean. No good will come of it, and I think deep down you know that -
I'm so sorry for your recent loss as well. I know that the pain of a miscarriage can make you desperate for another chance to have a baby and make it right. Those feelings are normal, but they are feelings, not facts - no baby can make this relationship right. I really would like to give you a hug and hold your hand through this, and show you the better life you and your son could and should be living. It makes me for you
Ltb and don't dont don't have a baby!!!
You have your life potentially about to go into an upswing, a lovely DS and a potentially glowing future... And you are going to give it up for this over grown man-child??? Who is less mature and more selfish than a 10 yro little lad?? You don't need him. Even if it is a money issue, there is a lot of help for studying, including low interest bank loans for mature students. Go to your bank, CAB and your university to find out what you can do.
Then Ltb!! [open mouthed that you wash his hair...]
waddles - because that's what he's like! Ex h was actually seeing someone himself before I met dh, it jsut wasnt serious so he didn't want to go through the hassle of house/money issues to live with her.
He loves attention. He was pissed off that I was the one to go first, so he made everyone feel sorry for him. I have no friends now, people I knew since school took his side.
"Can I just ask what everyone else does?"
I'm at home at the moment - no children. We share most household tasks. Obviously I do more as I'm here but he doesn't expect me to have dinner ready when he comes in (actually he doesn't expect me to be in when he comes home), We share the ironing, washing up etc. I do the cooking because I'm much better at it than him although sometimes he does cook at the weekends as he likes to. He does clean more often than I do but that's because he has a higher standard of cleanliness than I do.
What he doesn't do is expect to wash his hair FFS! or bring him breakfast in bed every day (I do on his birthday and on other odd occasions). He doesn't expect a skivvy. He doesn't expect someone to subsume their whole personality to keep him happy. He isn't a child. I don't get on with his mum, but I'll say this for her - she brought him up to be independent and respectful. In his words, I'm his 'chum'. We're pals. We help each other. I'm not lucky. I deserve this as I'm a person not an object or a housekeeper.
The housework issue is indicative of the fact that he seems to very little respect for you. This is NOT the way to live.
Oh btw, love the comment about washing his hair with Veet.
I think you fell out of the arms of one abuser right into the arms of another. I think your current DH liked to think of himself as your rescuer and now feels entitled to undying gratitude and hero-worship in return.
You, OTOH, are finally realising exactly what you are capable of, and it's much more than you thought.
If your DH really loved you he would be celebrating in your discovery and encouraging you to build on your success. He would not be moaning about your inattention to housework/him because of it regardless of how much he hated his job, because how is you doing more housework/giving up your dream going to improve his job satisfaction? It won't. It will simply feed his desire to feel powerful by reinforcing his status as king of his own little castle.
Don't subject your DS to growing up thinking it is normal for women to run around after men like this. The sense of entitlement he will learn will prevent him from ever achieving a happy, equal relationship.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.