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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?

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 08-Jul-13 22:27:04

What do you want to happen now, ideally?

Who owns the property or whose name is on the tenancy of your home?

Loveday44 Tue 09-Jul-13 07:31:18

everything is shared, our property, our business, our accounts (we also have personal ones) but it is very complex.

Loveday44 Tue 09-Jul-13 07:37:58

ideally I want him to understand all I have been through because of his controlling nature, understand it, say sorry and mean it and change his attitude and start a new slate.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 07:45:35

I have only read this now, and was shocked.

He hit you with a broom when you were down because you weren't your usual loving self when he returned?

LEAVE NOW, with the children.
Leave when he's not in or make sure you have people around (the police, preferably)

And report him to the police.

Seriously forget about him changing.

Your children have witnessed and been victims of his violence and abuse.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 07:54:49

If it helps, I left with DS to go shopping.
I had my bag with me, and went to my sister's and then the police.
The rest was sorted out later.

DS had not witnessed it yet. ExH was the one dropping hints to DS about me calling the police on him.
ExH had "just" pinned me on the floor, pushed the sides of my face with his fists and slapped me once.
Then he made threats that included DS.

He has a criminal case going on (he went back to the uk, as we were abroad) and hasn't seen DS unsupervised for 2 years.

Just make sure you are all safe!

He can snap at any time. sad

Januarymadness Tue 09-Jul-13 07:57:26

He wont change because he doesnt want to. He doesnt see the need, why would he? because you will put up with it all.

You and your children are more important than money.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 08:00:22

ExH hasn't changed.

He's calmed down a bit because (when I finally) I've taken no shit and no prisoners.

Yours won't change while you hope he will, because he still controls you.

As you said, it's his nature. It takes very hard work to change our natures.
Even if he does eventually, you and your children should not be in danger in the meantime.

Lweji Tue 09-Jul-13 08:05:05

He knows what you have been through. He enjoys it.
Be clear about it.

And the finances can be made simple.
Get a solicitor on the case.

Let him have the bigger business if it helps.

Just be safe.

RalphGnu Tue 09-Jul-13 08:05:46

I'm so sorry for everything you've been through. You sound like a fantastic, loving mother and a great person. You and your children deserve better than this. The thought of having to move on and leave behind your marriage is terrifying, but I think you must do it and I think you know that.

It's just too dangerous for you and your precious children to do otherwise, I'm afraid. Your husband sounds like a danger to you all.

It's sad when a marriage ends, but you and your children deserve a happy life, where you're not in fear or treading on eggshells all the time. A marriage needs the complete commitment of both parties, with love and respect on both sides.

I have seen many threads on MN now with a depressingly similar story to yours; I've seen these same women find a happier life following the fabulous advice received. I'm confident you will be a success story too. I wish you all the very best.

fabulousfoxgloves Tue 09-Jul-13 08:28:16

He knows. He was there. He put you in the position of having to go through everything.

Contact Women's Aid, the police, supportive family, in safety and leave. Everything can be sorted with legal advice from a place of safety.

You are a good caring person and mother. None of this is your fault. But it is not fixable. Protect yourself and dcs and leave.

tumbletumble Tue 09-Jul-13 10:44:41

Loveday this is truly one of the most shocking threads I have ever read on MN. Can you go to your parents? Take the children and go. Please.

Darling, you must stop holding out for anger management to improve his behaviour. As has been said already upthread he does not have an anger management problem. He has not lashed out at work, at your friends, at people who irritate him in the supermarket. He is only lashing out at you and your children. People with genuine anger management problems cannot pick and choose who they lose their temper with. It just happens.

Your husband is CHOOSING to hurt you, he is being careful to do so in private, to a woman and small children whom he knows cannot defend themselves. It is calculated abuse.

Anger management will not help this man. My ex was a calculated abuser, he was made by the police to attend anger management courses. He came home after completing this, threw me to the ground and said "now I know exactly how to make you press my buttons".

You must not wait for this to get better. It won't. You have a supportive family despite this man's best efforts, let them help you get away and rebuild your life and your confidence. I promise you it is worth it. I cannot tell you how wonderful that feeling of freedom is! Listen to these wise ladies, grab what you need for your children and yourself and go when it is safe to do so. You're not on your own love.

fromparistoberlin Tue 09-Jul-13 13:01:39

Loveday

I am so sorry, I dont often say this but I do think he a seriously abusive man, and that long term you (and kids) will be better and happier away, too many things you say alarm me

I agree with others, its NOT anger management, as only you and the kids get it in the neck

He has got himself into a paradigm thats it 100% OK to treat you and the kids like shit

and its not easy

as a starter for ten, can you get some good counselling for yourself? To keep you sane, space to vent, and most important to get you STRONG and ASSERTIVE

you are going to need to be firm in your convictions, and actually quite strategic here, for example

start a diary
record abuse, seriously get a recorder and start to record his rants
get yourself legally informed

you CAN do this, but as with any project some planning and effort to get you strong is well worth it

this is going to be a tough project, but the law is on your side

good luck

and KEEP speaking with your friends, please. they are outraged for you, rightly so

Jux Tue 09-Jul-13 14:49:54

Oh. My. God.

Leave now. You are not safe. Your children are not safe.

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