Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Mil nightmare or am I overreacting? Dh says I am "ill"

(128 Posts)
Marmaladetoast Sun 15-Sep-13 15:43:08

I have posted before about dh, but he has been a bit better, but now this happened.

We have a house abroad that we have decided to let for holidays - we are just starting to rent out. Its not in the UK, its near dh family. We redecorated it this summer, cleaned it, bought new linen and curtains then flew home.

Dh was sent some pics today of the interior and all the curtains have been changed, all the bed linen has been changed. Mil apparently spent 9 hours redoing the curtains and bed linen in all the bedrooms, letting herself into the cellar and going through all the carefully packed away linen and curtains to re do it.

I was beyond furious. Dh was too, until he spoke to mil and she was very upset we are upset and want it put back how it was when ut took her 9 hours to take down curtains and linen in 3 rooms, deconstruct the beds, go through all our stuff to find something else and put it all up again.

she says when she was hoovering the curtains fell down in the main bedroom, apparently the new curtain hooks ( hanging on the new rails ) put up by professional builders couldn't cope with her hoovering. Instead of getting new hooks she changed the curtains in all the bedrooms and all the linen.

I am really angry about it- she didn't ask, I don't believe her story for a minute, and even so why change all the bedrooms round? And is now feeling very upset and angry I and dh are so ungrateful. She had a good old poke round all our stuff which was locked and bil has the key, so he must have given it to her.

Dh got off the phone, says I am wrong to be so upset and angry at her when she was helping. He says he prefers what she has done. He said I must be ill in the head to get so upset. He says I need mental help as I am upset just for curtains and bed clothes.

I am more angry she just did it, without asking, not caring what we wanted and expects praise for it. There was nothing wrong with any of it, just not to her taste.

Am I wrong here? Dh says I need to see a doctor and I am overreacting. He is making me doubt myself. I wouldn't change anyone's stuff without asking, especially if there was nothing wrong with it.

He isn't speaking to me and has stormed off to work, I am still shaking.

JustBecauseICan Thu 19-Sep-13 20:01:50

Labootin, it doesn't make a difference really. The policy is kind of like customs used to be in airports, so many lone adults travelling with minors will be stopped. Luck of the draw. (Of course I am always stopped when I've forgotten the letter, and never when I'm armed with it...)

perfectstorm Thu 19-Sep-13 21:54:15

How are things, OP?

Marmaladetoast Fri 20-Sep-13 02:37:09

Thanks to everyone who wrote about getting the dc out. I don't want to risk being stopped at the airport, so it would have to be on a holiday, not running away in secret.

Perfect storm, he knows I am very unhappy and its very unlikely he will allow me to fly to the UK as he is scared we won't come back. He would let me fly to his country I think, as his family are nearby and a sort of protection if you like. Christmas with mil, what a wonderful thought. They even escort me to and from check in and arrivals.

Donkeys, I can't do that. I cant pretend it doesn't matter because it does. She has rearranged my cutlery drawers, moved my lounge furniture around, moved all my glasses and plates - and rehung some pictures. I really hate her. And she was helped by my sil as well! What were they thinking?

Dh says they will put it back at the weekend. They are not sorry though and apparently very disappointed with me for being so controlling and not just letting it go! Fuck them. They are NOT getting away with it.

I am looking for an agent who speaks English as well.

Dh is home and now being very supportive and kind. hmm anything I say he agrees with instantly and praises everything.
I have filled up the whole weekend with play dates so I won't have to speak to him too much. I have refused to sleep with him. He thinks its all ok because she is putting it all back to how it was. Hopefully this will give me some friends too, but I don't want to let my anger and determination to leave fizzle out.

tribpot Fri 20-Sep-13 07:03:48

If he won't 'allow' you to fly to the UK (and frankly, how can you live like that?) then doing a bunk is your best bet.

Loonytoonie Sat 21-Sep-13 14:05:18

You need to start thinking of a plan OP. What can we do to help?

Please delete your history from your PC, just to be safe.

Bogeyface Sat 21-Sep-13 18:20:19

If he would let you go to your inlaws then I would be inclined to go there and then contact the British Embassy there and explain your situation. You are basically being held against your will and they have a duty to help you.

MariaLuna Sun 22-Sep-13 01:24:55

Here is a website you should get familiar with.

And don't forget to delete your internet history.

www.reunite.org/

Marmaladetoast Mon 23-Sep-13 06:50:01

We have just had a row on the phone. He told me to fuck off.

I got back from the school run and he had gone to work. I was making a coffee and looking at fb when I saw a post from him on a photo of his dm. It was thanking her for the the lovely curtains and how WE loved the colours lots of love from him, me and the kids. I translated it using the little of the language I know and a free translation site.

I called him at work straightaway and asked what he was doing. He promised me it would all go back to how I left it. He said she was very upset as it was a present to us and she had spent all lots of money and she couldn't take it back now, so he told her to leave it all as she wanted it. What about the hours I spent choosing linen and curtains, money, putting them up?

I forgot in my anger that her first story was she got it all out of our cellar - took her 9 hours to redo my house- I was so angry. I shouted I was upset, she had no right to do that, and I was upset, and being his wife, I should come first. He had no right to post stuff on fb as though it was from him and me- she isn't even on fb, its to pacify his db who passed all this on and his dad. He told me to fuck off.

I have access to his fb so I deleted his fucking crawly post to her. She should be apologising not moaning about how ungrateful I am.

I have emailed a French/ English agency and said I want it on the market.

I haven't called him back and he hasn't called me. I'm not going to contact him. I really want to but I'm not. I just want to shout at him.

What do I do now? What has happened to us? I can't believe his bloody mother is going to be the cause of us splitting up, because I can't get past that he has sided with her. He doesn't want the family to fall out over it.

tribpot Mon 23-Sep-13 07:10:13

Let's just be clear: his mother is not the cause of the problem in your marriage. He is financially abusing you, controlling your freedom of movement by having you under escort, and emotionally abusing you by suggesting you may be mentally ill simply for disagreeing with him.

Secondary to all of that is the fact he is controlled by his mother.

KatOD Mon 23-Sep-13 07:13:33

I have no useful suggestions I'm afraid, but you need to get away from him using the help of other (better informed) posters on here.

I am so sorry for you he sounds like a selfish idiot.

ohmeohmyforgotlogin Mon 23-Sep-13 07:21:59

As angry as you are I think the mother in law issue is the least of your worries but using up all you energy. Others have given you sound advice but you need a level head and calm approach to implement your exit strategy. Good luck

PunkHedgehog Mon 23-Sep-13 15:22:18

Speak to the British Embassy. They may not be able to give much help directly - although they should at the very least be able to give you some guidance on the practicalities and implications of taking the children out of the country - but they should certainly be able to direct you to appropriate agencies.

If you look up what the embassy does, the first sentence on their own description of consular services is "Helping British nationals in difficulty overseas is a vital part of the work of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office". You are British national in difficulty overseas, so let them do their job and help.

PunkHedgehog Mon 23-Sep-13 15:25:54

British Embassy Abu Dhabi, Khalid bin Al Waleed St (Street 22)
Email consular.UAE@fco.gov.uk
Telephone +971 2 610 1100
Office Hours:
Sunday to Thursday, 7:30am to 2:30pm (Local)

DontmindifIdo Mon 23-Sep-13 15:39:47

Can could you suggest going to Europe over Christmas? You can say you want to spend Christmas at your house in France, but first you'd like to do a few days in London to see old friends and family who'll be in town for Christmas. If you could see if you can get him to agree with you going a day or two before him that might help. Once you are here, refuse to leave.

DontmindifIdo Mon 23-Sep-13 15:40:57

BTW - it's a house and stuff, it's ok to just get out of your marriage back to the UK and see what you can do when you are here. Tell yourself the curtains don't matter as you'll only stay in that house again as a pre-curser to leaving him.

Get out. You shouldn't have to live like this.

perfectstorm Mon 23-Sep-13 18:04:57

In my experience, trains check passports etc of EU nationals very little between borders until you reach the UK - and as UK nationals that won't be an issue either. I would suggest insisting on a European trip, compromising on his family for Xmas, then just catch a train to the UK. Or, as suggested, call the British Embassy in his mother's home country and request assistance as you're being held against your will.

Please be careful in your current country. I really, really don't think you are fully accepting that if you split acrimoniously he can remove your kids from you, and can even deny you contact with them. Getting out needs to be the priority, not winning unwinnable fights over his godawful mother.

As tribpot has said, your MIL is not the one emotionally and financially abusing you and keeping you a prisoner in a foreign country you hate, where you have no rights. He is.

Marmaladetoast Sat 28-Sep-13 04:22:47

Its been an awful few days. He said I have no respect for his family and all they were trying to do was make me happy. He says because I didnt have a normal upbringing ( father a drunk) I don't know what normal families are like. He says I am really nasty and he has only just realised what a horrible person I am. He went on and on saying I should apologise to his mother and what a miserable person I was, negative and no good.

He also said I made it up that she found stuff in the cellar and put it up. I know that's what he said happened first. He called me mental and said I had voices in my head, was mad, and a liar. He also denied there was stuff in the cellar and there was. He says there wasn't and I am mental and seeing things.

I suggested in that case, divorce. He refuses to discuss this and said I can only have one of the children if I go. He has arranged a day out and I said I was unhappy with going and having to pretend everything was ok and he called me lots of things, and told the dc what an evil bitch I was spoiling their day out. I asked him to stop this in front of the dc and he says its my fault. The dc know granny changed all their chosen stuff and dd said she didn't want what granny chose. Dh went mad telling me I was putting ideas into their heads. He is horrible to them and says granny is trying to make things lovely for them and they should be grateful.

I can't believe this has all happened so fast. He really hates me. He has this smirk on his face when he says things to me. He enjoys seeing me upset and miserable. Its like a really shit psychological film. But am I am over reacting? I feel so confused.

rootypig Sat 28-Sep-13 04:27:58

OP he is abusing you and gaslighting you. You need to protect yourself, and protect your DC. Get legal advice NOW. I agree with Punk that the British Embassy is a good place to start. And don't involve DC in any issue that is contentious between you - I don't know how they knew about everything being changed at the house, but no more of that. Partly to protect them emotionally, and partly because you do not need them piping up, they will become a battleground - he has already fired his opening salvo - and you might lose. Embassy, lawyer. And delete your bloody internet and phone history religiously. Please.

LUKYMUM Sat 28-Sep-13 04:38:13

Dear OP
I'm guessing your husband is from a different culture. One of my closest friends got divorced because her MIL sent her back home to her parents. This friend was from the same culture, she bent over backwards for them. They weren't allowed to stay home. She went from work to in-laws home. They dictated everything.
Your situation sounds difficult but you're definitely not crazy. Personally when people used to propose to me I would ask is mum still alive? !

JustBecauseICan Sat 28-Sep-13 06:35:16

You really need to start doing something sweetheart. But you need to do it legally.

Do not, under any circumstances try to take the children across a border without his permission. Anecdotes are a lovely thing. I have lost count of how many threads I've posted on where the "no-one has ever stopped me" story is told. Travelling alone, with a minor, 6 times a year, I've lost count of the times I have been stopped. And sometimes it's entering the UK on our UK passports. If I forget my letter of consent, it's no biggie. Dp is at the other end of the phone and confirms with the authorities that I have his permission to take his daughter away.

Yours is likely to tell them you're mentally ill and have kidnapped his children. He would be given custody and you might end up, worst case scenario, in prison. I am also guessing that he might refuse to give you a consent letter anyway, as he certainly doesn't sound thick, and presumably would know there was a risk you wouldn't be back. This is why you need to speak to a lawyer who knows international family law, not just a well meaning, but ultimately non-expert group on the internet.

You need to save texts, any emails he sends you which are abusive, any proof you can find that he is unreasonable.

You need to start working out the logistics of getting you and the children, back to the UK, legally and then not going back.

You need to be careful. You are in a country where what women want counts for very little.

Above all, you need to stop focussing on the MIL and the curtains. You would still be in a highly abusive relationship even if she put the original curtains back today and burnt her own in the backyard.

perfectstorm Sat 28-Sep-13 16:22:00

Please listen to JustBecauseICan. (And apologies for thinking Eurostar were relaxed on English kids returning to the UK - that's been my own experience, but it seems it isn't universal.)

This is now an abusive relationship, and you could lose your children if you don't proceed carefully. Sod the in-laws - the house doesn't really matter.

Having said that, Reunite is not a "well-meaning but inexpert group on the internet". They provide lists of internationally expert lawyers who handle child residence (and abduction) cases, and they are there to support parents in just these sort of situations.

This firm is a UK/UAE family one based in Dubai. Though how you'd fund their advice is another issue, I imagine. sad

Twinklestein Sat 28-Sep-13 17:58:49

I have emailed a French/ English agency and said I want it on the market.

So they're French. I don't know the French property laws, but in the UK if you have joint ownership you need the agreement of both parties to sell. Does your husband want to sell?

In the circumstances I would give up all arguments about curtains & MIL, and appear to capitulate to your husband as much as you can without making him suspicious, to throw him off the scent that you're actually planning your escape.

It may not help, he's obviously on his guard that you might try & leg it.

Marmaladetoast Sat 28-Sep-13 18:56:10

Yes, I have stopped talking about the curtainssad

He wants to talk later about everything, so I am gearing up for that. Its going to be hard as he said he wants us to be how we were, which a few years ago was wonderful and now its not.

On a different subject, my ex emailed me out of the blue as he wants to see me and plans to fly out next week, he will be in and out over the weekend as he has a meeting. He is very wealthy and is flying by private jet. He has invited me for dinner. I want to go. Not to dump my troubles but to get away from it and just be me for a while. I won't mention my woes, I think he would run a mile! It means lying to my dh I am seeing new friends from a toddler group or something. I am shocked I am ok with that.

Bogeyface Sat 28-Sep-13 19:04:31

You MUST NOT meet your ex. Forget the rights and wrongs of lying etc, but if you get caught, well..... if you think things are bad now.......

And in the country you are in adultery is a crime isnt it? You could end up losing your children if he took it into his head to go all the way with it.

The time to meet ex's (or anyone) is when you are free of this horrible situation. Please please please dont make it any worse than it already is.

Zoe6789 Sat 28-Sep-13 19:05:43

My x and his mother used to gang up on me too. Was dreadful. I feel for you.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now