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Was I expecting too much

(77 Posts)
buaitisi Sat 07-Sep-13 09:46:59

I was 30 on Monday.
Dh asked for list of things to get weeks ago.
Asked for 2 things (not extravagant, less than he'd spend on his hobby stuff)

Morning of birthday, no presents, no card. Didn't even get ds to make me a card.

Just said, I didn't have time to get you anything, I'll do it after work. I was visibly disappointed.

I emigrated here to his home country, no family, not many close friends.

That evening he gave me presents & card, said we'll do something sat and didn't talk to me for the rest of the evening.

It's Sat evening here now, I asked if we were doing anything, he stormed out for an hour, came back with ready mix for a cake.

Told him not to bother, I was disappointed with everything.

He told me I was an ungrateful brat, what I asked for was too expensive, I was a moody bitch all week. 'Fuck you and your fucking birthday'

Was I expecting too much, tbh I was sad this week. Missing my friends & family who would've celebrated my bday with me.

I knew he wouldn't have done anything big and that's fine but he had so much time to even have a card for me that morning or all day to do something like make a card with ds.

I know I'm too old for 'special birthday girl' strop but is it ok to be disappointed by this?

ginslinger Mon 09-Sep-13 10:07:11

play a long game Buaitsi. Smile and nod for now and work on what you're going to do. Keep talking here and try and find some real life support too. Make sure you clear the computer each time so he can't find anything. There have been some very useful threads of what you need to do to make plans for leaving. There are a lot of women here who have a lot of understanding of what you are going through.

cloudskitchen Mon 09-Sep-13 09:14:25

Hi there. A resolution to a situation like this does not happen overnight. You don't need to make instant decisions. Perhaps just work on your independence (which may may improve things in your marriage anyway) and then if in the future you decide enoughs enough, you are ready. Try not to let him erode YOU any further x

buaitisi Sun 08-Sep-13 23:39:28

Thanks all, unfortunately I've lost some of my resolve today and I'm feeling really down.

He went to work, I was hanging washing out. Hug and a kiss and told to wish him luck today as he's going to have a stressful day.

It hit me that now he thinks it works to talk to me like that - his tactics worked to shut me up and I'm the good little wife hanging out the clothes while he - the most important one - needs support because he's got a stressful day.

I've been rightly out in my place and he's happy out now that I seemed to get it.

haverer Sun 08-Sep-13 14:59:50

I was in a similar position a few years ago - living abroad with an abusive husband and DC (one born there). When I started to see (with the help of mumsnet) that I wasn't being over sensitive, lazy, stupid, yadda, yadda, I was overwhelmed. And lots if people were saying LTB straight away. I didn't feel able to leave (practically, logistically, emotionally) it took all my efforts to process the realisation about my relationship. I will say that the time between realising how abusive he was, and actually leaving was very hard, and if i could change anything i would have left sooner. But I used the time to get advice and plan for life post-split. You seem to be making a start on that already. A therapist is an excellent start, as is shoring up local friendships and support systems. You're doing so well and being really clear headed. Living with someone like that is so hard, anything else is a walk in the park in comparison.
Speak to women's aid. Because he is abusive. Also speak to a lawyer with experience in family law with an international dimension. And from my experience, your family will want to know if you're going through this. How would you feel if your own DS kept something from you to stop you worrying?

alwaysonmymind Sun 08-Sep-13 12:08:41

My STBXH ( can't believe I get to type that!) always did that to me on my birthday. He never bothered and always said well the day isn't over but then he just had to work late and get caught in traffic etc etc. he really couldn't cope with me having any form of attention. He didn't tell the kids it was my birthday last year - they thought I was joking when I told them sad. I won't forget the eldest who looked horrified when she said but why didn't daddy tell us cos I would have made you a card. She was 8.

I have struggled to leave and am stuck in the same house as him but it is good to have a long term plan to get you through til the end

CinnamonAddict Sun 08-Sep-13 12:03:02

OP, I'm sorry for what you are going through.
Your plan sounds good. Make sure he doesn't get wind of it and tries to prevent you leaving. He sounds very manipulative.

I bet if you start making closer friends and talk about your situation, (and when you leave him) you will find that people did notice he wasn't all Mr NiceGuy. Some people can always see through the front he's putting on. They will just be careful to say anothing before you do, because they don't want to hurt you even more.

Good luck.

bustedmonkey Sun 08-Sep-13 11:51:23

Sorry to hear that. My H is also like this, I booked my own 30th dinner. Got no gifts. In fact, all my b'days were like that. However, he got dinners in lovely restaurants.

In any case, that's one thing and abusing you is another. Totally out of order, you have a right to expect people not to shout/swear at you. He needs to learn to respect you, and only you can teach him that needs to do that, i.e. if you put up with it he wont change his ways. I'm sure more experienced mumsnetters have/will come along to advise.

Vivacia Sun 08-Sep-13 11:41:29

Planning and organising an exit strategy is not weak. I think it's unrealistic to expect that you would just walk out and leave tonight.

carlywurly Sun 08-Sep-13 11:34:11

Op, he sounds an awful lot like my xh. Counselling really helped me (alone, not together) work it through. Just as I was on the verge of leaving I discovered his affair which ironically helped speed the process up.
It is abuse, and for me it was neglect also, it's just hard to see that when you're in the midst.

ginslinger Sun 08-Sep-13 11:21:49

please keep talking to people here. You really do deserve so much better than this but I get that it's difficult to leave right now, but think about it, plan for it.

Fairenuff Sun 08-Sep-13 11:17:49

Is there anyone in rl that you could share this with. You do not have to keep up his charade of being MrNiceGuy.

buaitisi Sun 08-Sep-13 11:14:52

Thank you tripbot, I wrote d&o on my hand today to remind me to detach & observe.

Now I'm seeing things more clearly, I could see today how much of a fake he is.

Full of rage and self righteous anger with me this morning and ten mins later acting like the loving husband.

Meanwhile, everyone prob thought I was quiet and stand offish because I was trying to hide my upset.

Because I'm genuinely sad and heartbroken at how I let myself be treated and he's prepared to put on any face to be the best.

I feel numb contempt for him this evening, much better than the panic I was feeling last night.

Have to keep it up though and not believe his nice guy act anymore because I know it's an act now and the real him is the one in my face, full of anger calling me horrible names.

tribpot Sun 08-Sep-13 10:59:11

Developing an exit strategy is no bad thing, OP. Detach and prepare yourself to leave on your terms when you're ready.

buaitisi Sun 08-Sep-13 10:46:53

Everyone whose written posts, thank you so, so much.

We went to bday party for son's friend today, we're friends with the parents so we stayed for most of the day.

He said sorry on the way back. I just accepted it, don't want to get into another row.

The wife today gave me the number of her therapist friend, I'm going to meet her to recommend someone to talk to.

There's been a course I've been looking into that I'm going to enrol in, the plan being u get a better job and I'm in a better position to leave him soon.

I've stopped caring enough to try and make him see my point of view, all I get is abuse for it.

I know it's weak to stay but I can't leave right now and give my son a good life.

I'm going to accept all invitations and try to get closer to the people I already know so I have support when I leave.

He's very charming, I don't want to go to couples counselling and have them agree with him.

I just want to let him think everything's fine and not risk a fight and more verbal abuse, I find myself thinking he might be right.

I'm going to save everything you've all written and keep re-reading it, thank you all

Oh dear OP. Leaving the birthday thing aside for a minute...we teach people how to treat us you know. To this end I would send him an email at work just saying 'dear H, do NOT tell me when I can and cannot send emails, how fucking dare you. Yours etc'

mammadiggingdeep Sun 08-Sep-13 09:32:59

Scallops- yes, yes, yes!! Amen to "name the problem for what it is". Well said.

scallopsrgreat Sun 08-Sep-13 09:10:56

"Sounds like you really don't bring out the best in each other anymore" Nice bit of victim-blaming there. Making it sound like she is equally responsible for his abusive behaviour and attitude. He thinks of her as a lesser person. How exactly is she bringing that out in him?

"But you can't just up and leave because you have your son to think of..." These two things aren't mutually exclusive. What messages is your husband sending your son about how relationships are if he things you are a lesser person? Do you want your son to think his partners are worth less than him? Because that is what he will grow up thinking. And that isn't good for anyone. Leaving your husband will send a clear message that you don't have to put up with this shit and that type of attitude is unacceptable.

And absolutely no to couples counselling. Many women can tell you how bad that is with an abusive partner.

"But he isn't necessarily a really bad guy" Please don't minimise his attitude. He thinks buatisi is less than him. That is an abusive man (probably a misogynist). Painting him as misguided or thoughtless or whatever does not get to the root of the issue, his mindset. In fact it perpetuates this mindset, this sense of entitlement. It doesn't help buatisi, it doesn't help her son and it doesn't help him either. Name the problem for what it is.

WinkyWinkola Sun 08-Sep-13 08:35:03

He was bang out of order.

What a great guy. hmm

mammadiggingdeep Sun 08-Sep-13 08:30:59

Yes cloud...that's exactly it. Scared to stand up and put your view forward because of the backlash. You're a grown woman op, his equal...how dare he make you feel like you are not to question him/confront him.

mammadiggingdeep Sun 08-Sep-13 08:27:42

Posted too soon....
If you decide to stay with him, you must put a stop to him silencing you....you must be able to talk....even if emailing continues he has to bloody value it and rake it on board.

The thing about him being a good dad....I get it. He can still be a good dad if you and him are no longer together. It took me a long time to realise but you need to put yourself first in situations like this- in the long run it's what's best for the children too. They deserve their mummy to be happy.

cloudskitchen Sun 08-Sep-13 08:26:50

I'm sorry op but he sounds really mean. He's shutting you down verbally and emotionally. You don't stand up to him for fear of the backlash therefore he has created a position of complete control. You must feel very lonely in a different country with a man like this. At this moment I can't see any redeeming features. His way of getting out of the fact that he'd been completely selfish over your birthday was to make it all into your fault. from the sound of you coming across in your posts I expect you went to great lengths to ask for reasonable things for your birthday, but still he's made his failings your problem angry

mammadiggingdeep Sun 08-Sep-13 08:23:14

Again....the thing about your voice being diminished....you are being 'put in your place', where u can't air your views or feelings. That means he doesn't value those feelings. It's the most awful thing. When I told a friend Id asked him to leave, she got emotional during the conversation and started to well up, just at the fact that I was unhappy. I can remember really noticing it, thinking how lovely it was she cared about my feelings. He'd made me think my feelings and views were worthless.

LoisPuddingLane Sun 08-Sep-13 07:49:12

So is the wrapping paper he has gone to get for the friend's birthday present? It seems he can remember and plan ahead for birthdays of others.

Vivacia Sun 08-Sep-13 07:01:55

leonora the advice I've read here time and again is not to go to counselling as a couple when one partner is abusive.

OP I think getting yourself somewhere safe and confidential to talk through this is a great idea. I also worry that this behaviour will escalate.

NeedlesCuties Sun 08-Sep-13 06:52:21

Read this book

Why Does He Do That?

It really is helpful - explains types of abuse, types of abusers and strategies for leaving.

You really did deserve a birthday treat on your birthday, and you don't deserve this dogs abuse you're getting daily.

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