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.
Gathering my thoughts - am I mad, or is he a tosspot?(124 Posts)
I think I need to ltb - unless I really am mad?
I'm sorry, this is dreadfully long as I need to gather my thoughts. I've also name changed as I don't want to be linked to my other threads.
We have been together 17 years, married for eight and have a baby. I have been with him since I was 19- I know nothing else. He is 10 years older and previously had a marriage of convenience.
We have not had sex in over 18 months and before that, it used to be every couple of months only and over in minutes, that's if he could keep it up. (Our five month old was conceived with fertility treatment, after many years and many attempts).
This may be bearable if he showed me any affection, any hugs or kisses or anything at all, but there is nothing. I am not allowed even on the same sofa as him, so there is not even any cuddles in front of a film - which I would have no choice in anyway. I lost two stone in weight before I got pregnant, but it made no difference. He is about five stone heavier than when we met but thinks he's gods gift.
I have given up trying to get any affectionate response from him, even a cuddle, as the rejection floors me. Even when I was pregnant, he wouldn't massage me or rub my back
unless under duress. He only rubbed my back during my 50 hour labour because I begged him in front of the midwife. He keeps saying how hard the labour was on him!
Financially, we each pay in what is supposed to be a fair and equitable amount to a joint account to cover the household bills - except he's never upped his side since the late nineties, even when he was earning far more than me. I now earn more than him, but am currently on mat pay. This set up has seen me accumulate massive debt as I have paid for most things - our wedding, all fertility treatments, bills, any holidays, renovations and the latest: all expenses from our recent move (this means I am having to cut my maternity leave short). He's never contributed to Christmas and the only things he's bought our baby is a £5 babygro and a puppet toy. He won't pay towards childcare and was not interested in looking at nurseries with me, so I've looked and made the decision myself. While I've struggled and rummaged in the reduced bins, he's been guzzling anything up to four bottles of wine some nights. I even pay his mobile bills and he made me put his expensive car repair bills and glasses on my credit card. Of course he's never paid a penny towards this. I very much resent him for this. I realise this makes me an utter mug.
I have been alienated from any local friends - and most of my friends and family are four hours drive away. If I do meet anyone locally, he belittles them so I don't feel I can talk about them. I am very, very lonely but do try and get out to baby groups. The only thing is I find it very difficult to relax and join in as I have no confidence, so haven't made any friends. I find it hard to trust anyone or think of anything interesting to say.
There is no conversation - every night he's in front of the telly (I have no say in the programme) and he'll ignore me if I try and talk. The TV is on full blast as soon as he wakes, even if I'm asleep. I sometimes think he should have married the Samsung instead.
He won't go out with me, even to the cinema. If I get a present for birthdays or Christmas, there's no thought in it - I get things like remote control daleks or spacehoppers. Something last minute and the first thing he's seen in a shop. I'd love to see some live music or theatre, or get a book - but he doesn't think what I might like. It's like I'm not worth any thought at all.
If I ever offer an opinion that differs to his, he shouts me down or ignores me. He comes out with dreadful bigoted stuff and when I protest, he says I am easy to wind up. I don't want him spouting this vile stuff around my son, even if in 'jest.' Apparently this means I have no sense of humour.
At the weekends, he wakes me up to make him a cooked breakfast, even if I've been up through the night with the baby and even when I was recovering from the c section. After I'd had the section he was straight on at me to do the housework and pushed me so hard physically (in terms of activity) in the first couple of weeks post partum that I got a terrible wound infection. I had a hard time getting breast feeding established and when I was upset and doubting myself as as mother, he just shouted rather than offering support. He goes on at me about housework all the time then huffs and puffs and makes a show of redoing it to his standard. It makes me feel useless - I think I must be if I can't even stack the dishwasher or mop the floor right.
I'm pretty sure he gaslights me - denies I've said something or does something stupid then blames me. As an example, he left a bottle of breast milk out at room temperature over night, so it all had to be thrown away. When I asked him why he hadn't put it in the fridge, he shouted and blamed me for not telling him that it had to go back in the fridge - our son is five months old!
At the weekend he called after work to say he was meeting a friend for a couple of beers and would be back by 7. I was absolutely OK with this and said I'd get dinner when he came back. Except he didn't roll in until after midnight, steaming drunk. I wouldn't have minded so much if he'd have let me know so I wasn't hanging on waiting re. dinner and to let him in as he hadn't got his keys.
Today, I went to hang some washing out but the line went very slack. I brought it back in until I could get the line sorted and mentioned that I may have to get a new one and he started shouting and swearing at me. I asked him not to swear but he kept cutting me off when I tried to explain the line had gone funny - but he turned round and said he swears because of the way I speak to him and I was 'lucky I didn't get more than swearing from him.' At this point, I ran upstairs telling him to F off and not come back (I know I shouldn't have sworn, but I hated him at that moment). He went to work carrying the sandwiches I made for him. He came back this evening and has still not spoken to me - worst thing, he's not even cuddled our little boy.
If I ever confront him he says no one else would have me and I'm lucky to have him. He says I'm a moody, high maintenance cow.
There's more. I could probably write a novel, but I'm exhausted.
To the outside world he's charm personified - no one would ever believe me and would just take his word that I'm a nightmare to live with.
Perhaps I am and I just need to accept that despite my university education and career I'm fundamentally useless, unattractive and not worth talking to.
His good points? He's good at his own PR, he can be witty, he can be generous when he chooses to be, he loves our boy...
I know you'll all say to ltb and that's what I'd say if I was reading this too. He's all I've ever known though. This is my normal. He'd deny all this and say I was mad. My friends and family would all think I was horrifically stupid if I left as he's always saying 'what I'm like' to them so I'm sure they must wonder why he puts up with me.
Maybe it is me who's mad, I don't know. I just don't trust what I'm thinking or my instincts anymore.
I'm not expecting any replies to this behemoth post. I just needed to get it all out of my head as containing my unhappiness is making my head spin.
Thanks for reading, if you haven't died of boredom!
When I left ExH (who was charm personified) I was worried about telling my mum as I thought she'd be disappointed. She gave me a massive hug and told me she was really proud of me, as he was a complete arse. To be frank, you deserve much better, you have nothing to lose, and the sooner you get rid of him, the better. It might be hard at first, but give it a year or two and you will be incredibly happy with your child and wondering why you didn't ltb before XXx
Please leave him, your life doesn't have to be like this. It sounds awful.
Everyone has said LTB and whilst I agree I do wonder, OP if you feel up to it. It seems to me that you have allowed this man to destroy your confidence, happiness and self-belief and I think you need some of this back to help you garner the strength to indeed LTB.
I wonder if getting in touch with your doctor, a solicitor or even women's aid (or all 3) would help you to organise a plan and strength for how to leave.
I suggest you also talk to family and friends about this as well so you don't feel on your own. They won't have believed everything this twat has said about you when putting you down and they may already be worried about you and your dc.
You really will be happier without this millstone around your neck but you need to stand up to him now and stand up for you and your dc. xxx
Oh, there's no doubt that you should LTB. As clearcut a case as I've seen.
You said he's all you've ever known, so before you start getting into the details of your exit plan, I think it's worth spending a bit of time fantasizing about the life you could have without him. Imagine just you and your son, nobody putting you down. You can watch what you like on the tv, you can develop your friendships, you don't have to make someone a cooked breakfast on the weekend, ffs! Instead you can stay in bed longer and cuddle your baby. You can arrange the house how you like, eat what you like, express any opinion you like.
If you can start to imagine this other, better life waiting for you, you can start getting the logistics in place. It seems almost impossible, and then suddenly you find yourself doing it, and then it's done, and you're free. There's all sorts of self-doubt at the start and panic in case you've made the wrong decision, but then one morning you wake up and realize that a massive weight has been lifted off you. Really, you actually feel physically different. There is such a better life waiting for you and your son!
He sounds like a complete waste of space I'm struggling to understand why both of you are there tbh, he probably likes all his cooking,cleaning done etc.
I'm surprised you haven't left before poor thing, LTB definitely.
Shadow you say no-one would believe you. I believe you.
Please start formulating a plan to leave. You can do this.
For your son's sake. And yours xxx
Imagine being in a 2 bedroomed house....you and your son.
Peace and quiet, listening to music you want to listen to, cleaning when you want to, eating what you want to eat and watching programmes you want to watch.
No shouting, cursing, abuse.
You do not have to live like this. You can afford to leave him so just do it and be happy. He will not change.
And you can make new friends. Pack up his stuff and throw him out.
And make a new, happy 'normal'.
I know Shadow needs to get her head around what she needs to do, in fact by posting here, I think she knows what she needs to do.
But is there a document or something of things to do to LTB?
I mean practical steps to take, useful numbers/sites etc.
It can be overwhelming at the best of times sorting stuff out but if you have emotional stuff to deal with too I should imagine it's like wading through treacle.
Is there a document like this?
It would be really useful for when someone has made that decision but isn't sure what is possible or where to find help.
Oh sweetheart I could weep for you. Your username recognises where you are and what this man has done to you. He is a lying, gaslighting, manipulative abuser. Even his good points aren't that good or only on his terms, including 'loving' your son. Witty?? That is the best thing you can say about him
Agree with everyone else try looking at formulating a plan to leave. I can virtually guarantee once you start making plans for yourself and your son that your self-esteem will start coming back and once you leave your confidence will grow again.
This man adds nothing to your life. Instead he is sucking it right out of you. Please don't let him do this any more. You and your son are worth far more than this man.
I could cry just reading that, so god only knows how bad you must feel. It sounds like he has systematically tried to destroy everything in your life outside of the home - friends and family 'worked on' to get them on his side, any other people slated to make you feel like you've no-one else to go to. He sounds like a total and utter abusive cunt.
Please please get yourself and your baby away from him.
I've been thinking of you. I hope you're ok?
He sounds horrendous. You know you've got to leave him. Don't give him a chance to apologise and get you back (which I suspect he'll be desperate for once you've gone).
I very rarely post on these threads, but as everyone else had said...what is there to stay for? What does him being in your life give you? Please find the strength to LTB. From what I understand about the wonders of MN if you says the words "How?" Or "Help" you will be given as much support as you need.
Wishing you strength and an un-MN-hug as it must feel like bereavement to realise this has to be over.
Shadow, I thought "gaslighting" as soon as I read the title of your thread and it seems you know it yourself. I was in a similar position to you a year ago, only not actually as bad. I LTB in December and it's been bloody great! I urge you to do likewise.
He's got you in Slavery and that was abolished years ago
He can't possibly love your son if he treats you like this
Your are my first LTB I've reserved it for an extreme case
Call women's aid please you are a human being and you have a right to live without fear and abuse
Wow. I cannot think of a single thing in your life that would not improve if he was removed from it. He is a nasty, bullying, entitled, cruel prick and you and your son deserve a million times better.
He sounds absolutely vile. I'm sorry you're living like this. I know he's ground you down, but you absolutely can leave him. And as others have said, I'm sure as soon as you do, you will discover that your family and friends think he's a arse of the highest order.
Agree with everyone especially TightForTime. I too left for far less serious behaviour than you are experiencing. My family had no idea how depressed I was, but once I was 'back' they realised just how much living with him had brought me down. My confidence is back, my DCs are happier and even XH is happier, so we've all benefitted.
It won't be easy to make the leap, but with some proper planning to give you the strength and courage to leave, you will be fine. There's no need to do it today or tomorrow, but just get things sorted out, find out where you stand financially and look for somewhere to go. Don't tell him anything, cover your tracks and have a look on the 'support for those in EA relationships' threads for inspiration and understanding.
You deserve a good happy life for you and your DS, you won't get that if you stay. X
You're not remotely mad, he's a chronic arsehole, and you won't know yourself once you've gotten rid of him. Your life will be so so so so much easier. And I would be very surprised if some people (friends, family) aren't already aware that he isn't the paragon of delightfulness he paints himself as. These pricks are never quite as convincing as they think.
Plan, plan, plan. See where you stand legally and financially, but get out. Doesn't it chill your blood to imagine your beautiful little boy being trained to act like that? Because that's what will happen if you stay any longer.
I hope your ok OP and taking everything in that everyone has said.
ofmice made some really good points and suggestions.
Please start making an exit strategy. Your son is still young imagine in a few years both of them treating you like this because he's learnt from his father.
Please get out you deserve so much better
OP I never post this but leave him.
You will flourish without his nasty negative influence.
Let your solicitor deal with the debt issue.
Please ask around and get a good family law accredited solicitor.
You can make a much happier life for you and your little one, keep talking xxxxxxxxxx
What area do you live in? I would be more than happy to provide moral support & a friendly ear! I have an 11mth old baby & will be starting toddler groups again soon (when term starts) so I'd be more than happy to meet you!
I'm in the West Midlands.
Wherever you are I'm certain there'd be offers of moral support.
Thank you. Thank you all for validating me and giving such great advice. I'm taking it all on board and need to gather strength to rebuild and on a practical level, save to leave. We just moved in the last month, so I have no money. He's still not spoken to me or my son. I feel numb, tired and full of contempt. I'm going to get out for a few hours, get some air. Thanks again, this means so much.
Write him a little note telling him you are leaving him because he is an utter c*nt.
Do a little list for him of all he gets from you in terms of jobs around the house, you having his child and the financial support and counter it with all you get from him. Finish it with 'get my drift you abusive arsehole' and leave.
Go anywhere, a rented flat, a bloody bedsit. Go cuddle your baby and just look after you and him and breathe, shout, scream, run around in the nude whilst shouting and screaming but reclaim you from this utter bastard.
You have to leave honey for your sanity but also so your little boy doesn't grow up thinking this is an acceptable way to treat women.
Am in NE Essex if you need someone to lean on.
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.