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I would love your opinion on my very tricky relationship...

(89 Posts)
Loveday44 Sun 30-Jun-13 08:35:28

My husband and I were together and happy for 11 years, we lived & worked together, travelled lots and were hardly separate. We had 2 beautiful children in the past 3 years... now aged 1 and 3 and everything changed after the 2nd child’s birth.

I had a c section and had a difficult birth so I probably had baby blues which I feel guilty about as my not being my strong capable self probably started things going wrong. We just started living in a new place (we knew it well, but were away from both sides of the family). I wanted to stay closer to my parents for the first year but my husband dislikes them intensely and feels they are too intrusive so I agreed with him and decided to set up a new family life in a new place).

Throughout the first year after our 2nd child was born my husband started to behave in a strange way which may be because I was feeling down and overwhelmed. We work from home and share 2 businesses together. After the birth of my second child he told me he was the man and should do all the work, and as the mother I would do all the childcare & housework. I felt this was a strange approach and not typical of my husband as the business depended on both our skills to succeed and he had been quite helpful and involved with our first child in her first year.

I told him I thought it made more sense if we shared all tasks - children, work and chores more evenly like we always had done eg I work 2 mornings a week and deal with the children every afternoon and he would work 3 mornings and every afternoon and take the girls 2 mornings a week, however he did not think this was the way to go and I was a ”reluctant mother” to suggest this.

I thought I would avoid conflict and agreed to do the majority of the childcare, house chores and kept up with my work in the evening when the children slept. I made new friends, networked in our new pretty village and was happy outside the house (I didn’t enjoy the chores particularly but on with the chores) however at home my husband started getting nasty and I always felt down at home.

The criticism never ceased. Every time I did a shopping spree with both children, it was not big enough, when I cooked dinner it was not varied enough and always boring, if I cleaned the house and did a wash load every day with all the kids dirty clothes I had an “ocd mental illness”, if I allowed the children to watch TV whilst I cooked dinner he would say children should not watch TV and I was not a capable mum but a reluctant mum to allow this.

When the older child started going to preschool, there were rainy cold days when I asked him to keep the baby to avoid going out into the cold and he said I was being a reluctant mum not taking them both and letting him work. Also he said I should stay out of the house for a long as possible so I would roam around swing parks and cafes and go home at 12. He would then say how early it was and I was interrupting him when I opened his office door to say hi. I started staying out at friends houses in the afternoons to give him more peace to work. I did have a tough time juggling the 2 children under 2, doing all the house chores, networking in our new community, finding out about the schools, etc but I was happy and positive and happy outside the house. Every time I would get criticised and therefore I would feel down.

We saw a counsellor to try and help our relationship but I did not discuss my husband’s attitude, instead we blamed me and the difficult birth, so we focussed on this in our sessions-which did not really help. I never mentioned his mental and physical abusive nature my husband had. I am not sure why. Maybe it was because we were always together for the sessions, maybe I did not realise and want to admit there was a problem. So I blamed myself and my PND for the situation and it got worse.

When I was really feeling low and approached my husband and discussed topics he did not want to discuss he would sometimes hit me, put a pillow to my face and verbally abuse me. Everything I did was wrong. He always had an anger problem but because we were happy and never argued in the past 12 years of our relationship it rarely came out previously.

So to avoid confrontation I continued doing most childcare, house work, cooking etc and when the children slept I would do work as he was not doing my tasks in the business and it was beginning to suffer.

12 Months went by like this, until I some good friends I had made over the year began commenting. I slowly opened up and they were quite furious with the situation and apparently I was the opposite of an “incapable, reluctant mum”. I slowly got my confidence back and became strong and I realised the situation could not be right.

Many instances, such as my husband getting very angry with the children and shaking them on 2 occasions, my father visiting, friends commenting and then everything fell into place I realised I wasn’t the only one to blame. I took a 2 week break and went to my parents and felt the best I have in months. I was happy, I travelled easily and dealt with both children easily as I was so used to being alone. I did not realise I was not only living like a single mum but I had been dealing with lots of other criticism on top.

Now my “baby” is soon 2, my husband has accepted his behaviour was completely inappropriate and has started to help and get involved. He still gets angry and loses his temper but is seeing an anger management specialist (I am not sure it is helping as he seemed to be justifying his anger after a session the other day)

We have so much positive history together in the past before the children were born, it seems silly to let it go. I am happy to work on our relationship and we have been trying for 3 months but it feels futile. I know that his “help” and “involvement” is because he feels he should not because he wants to.

Has the relationship ended? Can I ever love him again? Will he ever respect me?

oinkment Sun 30-Jun-13 08:42:46

Yes, the relationship has ended. You and your children are physically in danger from this man.

Why would you want to love a nasty, selfish, violent man who brings nothing good into your life?

No, he will never respect you, especially as long as you let him get away with treating you so horrifically.

Honey you can do so much better away from that horrid man. You are cable, and you and your children deserve better than him.

Januarymadness Sun 30-Jun-13 08:43:56

He is both emotionaly and physically abusive, he has no intention of changing. Why are you putting yourself and your kids through it?

Mixxy Sun 30-Jun-13 08:45:31

The relationship is over. He will never respect you, but you can respect yourself and get out. Could you ever respect HIM again? I couldn't.

Sorry that's blunt, but I think you know this already.

Shakey1500 Sun 30-Jun-13 08:46:58

I know that his “help” and “involvement” is because he feels he should not because he wants to - There's your answer right there.

The relationship has ended on your part and therefore he has lost control and is trying to regain it.

It's not silly to let it go because look at what you are letting go. A possessive, controlling, violent and mentally abusive individual.

You have proved that you can cope perfectly well on your own and he resents that.

You are amazing and brave that you took those steps, just think of the important lesson you are showing your children. And more importantly you feel freer.

Serve him divorce papers, tell him it's years and actions too late.

All the best

FancyPuffin Sun 30-Jun-13 08:47:29

Leaving aside the verbal abuse which is hideous in its own right.

He has hit you, smothered you with a pillow and shaken your babies?

What would I do? Honestly. I would pack what I could carry and take myself and my children as far and as fast as I could away from the cunt.

However, life is never that simple, you have to leave him though, begin by contacted Womens Aid (go to one of your friends houses to make the call) they will advise you.

Never ever leave the children alone with him. You are in danger from his piece of shit.

juneau Sun 30-Jun-13 08:49:26

he would sometimes hit me, put a pillow to my face and verbally abuse me

Do you really want to stay with someone who hits you, tries to suffocate you and verbally abuses you? Do you really want to bring your DC up in a house with a man who can do this to their mother and who has a serious anger problem?

I wouldn't. I know it's hard to contemplate leaving, but you've already proved to yourself that you can cope as a single parent. I think you'd be mad to stay, given everything you said above.

Doha Sun 30-Jun-13 08:49:52

Too little too late. Your relationship with your H is dead and buried but his relationship with the DC's doesn't have to be.
Get a good solicitor and make moves to end the marriage.

juneau Sun 30-Jun-13 08:49:58

Oh yes, and the baby shaking - how could I forget that?

FFS, get out now!

I didn't get very fair in you OP before thinking "Emotional and Verbal Abuse"
Then I learned he had been physically abusive to you, too. And the children.

Get out. Kick him out. Just get away from him.

acrabadabra Sun 30-Jun-13 08:55:17

I agree that you should leave. Or tell him to.
He is, and always has been an abusive man. He has already tried to smother you and has shaken the children. If he was a stranger this could be described as attempted murder.

Reread your OP as if one of your friends wrote it. What would you advise?

I'm sorry but you have to get away from this man.

Yes, this relationship should end. Your husband ticks most of the abusive boxes I have heard about on this forum, from what you say. sad

I assume you were doing things his way until you became a mum, and never had reason to question him. That is why it seems like the abuse only started with motherhood. The isolation from your family started earlier, did it not? If you look carefully, did his attitude not play a part in your baby blues?

ThereGoesTheYear Sun 30-Jun-13 08:57:09

Has he ever tried to hit, smother or shake a client? Or someone who's annoyed him outside the house? I didn't think so. He's not got an anger management problem; he's got a problem where he believes his wife and children are inferior to him. His reaction to justify his anger after a session is one way that shows he can control his anger perfectly, he just doesn't believe he should around his wide and children.

This is no way to live. You sound amazing and capable. Protect yourself and your children and take steps to leave this man. I am agog at the abuse you and your babies have suffered. Speak to women's aid and your HV.

ThereGoesTheYear Sun 30-Jun-13 09:02:25

Your positive history lasted only as long as he had your undivided devotion. He sounds furious that he is no longer the centre of your relationship and that now that you are a mother you have to care for the needs of your children. shaking your babies!
Or perhaps he only now feels like he can treat you like this due to your 'weaker' position now you have children and you'll put up with so much more rather than leave.
He is showing his true colours now.

threefeethighandrising Sun 30-Jun-13 09:05:05

Please call Women's Aid, they give great advice.

0808 2000 247

(Simetimes, they can be quite hard to get through to, but you can leave a message and safe times to call back IIRC, and they will get back to you.)

Hissy Sun 30-Jun-13 09:05:49

Dear god woman, you have been through so much!

It's all utterly incredible, but you've been so worn down by him, you thought he was justified in doing/saying/being so horrendously abusive.

Not one tiny thing you did/thought/said caused this, HE did it. What a horrible, horrible man.

Get legal advice, and extract yourself from this awful creature.

The easiest suggestion may be to look into reporting his physical violence and seeing if he could be removed/invited to leave your home.

Or perhaps you could look into leaving and then applying for an occupation order.

Speak to the local police DV team. Speak to your friends, speak to your family, get as many to help you as possible.

Keep posting too, you are most certainly not alone.

Poor you. It does seem as though he is a selfish man who needed a pedestal. He can't cope that he doesn't have it anymore.

It's impossible to predict he would change like this after children. Even though leaving him must seem an impossible journey I think you know you must.

Look at it from my ever practical view point, you can get out, get settled before eldest starts school. Get back nearer your parents. Be amicable because lawyers are only in it for themselves.

The pedestal is yours to behave impeccably on.

I cant believe you and your kids are not allowed in your home. It is sick.

Me and dh also work from home. When he works, he either has to put up with noise, or rent an office elsewhere!

IEM3 Sun 30-Jun-13 09:16:01

Hi Lovely, so sorry to hear your troubles but like the other posts here have said this is serious abuse. I think you know the answer but its just so hard as you have been trying to normalise it. You cant. Its not normal. This could be very dangerous for you and DC. Can you get some time away again at your parents? Contact W A for guidance and see a solicitor. You dont deserve to be treated like this. Take care.

newbiefrugalgal Sun 30-Jun-13 09:17:08

Yep, it's over.
You are strong and can do this on your own!

youarewinning Sun 30-Jun-13 09:38:56

I think deep down you know the answer to your question about salvaging this relationship?

I also think he's ground you down that you don't trust your own instinct and want us, strangers (but luffly ones wink) to confirm your right and that it's ended.

I think you sound far stronger than you feel and very capable. Enjoy your new life with your children.

Distrustinggirlnow Sun 30-Jun-13 10:23:13

Oh you poor thing. I think you know the answer but putting it into practice isn't always that easy is it....

You sound so strong and lovely, I bet your girls adore yousmile

As I read your post I actually got quite angry on your behalf shock
A 'reluctant mum' wtaf is that all about...?

Have you pointed out that he appears to be a 'reluctant husband' or a 'reluctant dad' as once dd2 was born he seemed to want to step away.

I'm no expert but I actually think that blaming your pnd is abusive.

No real advice I'm afraid but supporting you moving forward thanks

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 30-Jun-13 10:27:35

Anger management is actually dangerous rather than helpful with a man like this.

Do you have some way of reading a book without him knowing about it? There's an amazing one called Why Does He Do That: Inside the minds of Angry and Controlling men, it's by Lundy Bancroft. I think it will change your life.

pictish Sun 30-Jun-13 10:29:33

Oh get out! Get out, get out, get out!!
Whoever he was, he certainly isn't any more.
He was quite happy while he was the sole focus of your attentions, but when the balance shifted with the arrival of kids, his true motivation came out. He couldn't get rid of them like he could your family, so he makes sure you dance to his tune despite them.
That's who he is.

Don't waste any more time.

pictish Sun 30-Jun-13 10:32:36

Shaking the kids is dangerous.
He is dangerous.

There is no justification for his actions. No stress, no anger, no depression, no childhood, no nothing!

Anger management is only feeding his sense of entitlement, as you have seen. He comes home with tales of justification.

He is not your problem to fix. You can't fix this.
Run far far away.

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