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what's going on here?

(30 Posts)
neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 13:22:53

I am confused about the way that I am reacting to things, I don't know whether it is me or if it is h who is causing it.

This morning I had a minor car accident, someone bumped into my car when it was parked, so I hadn't done anything wrong. It was a small dent, I wasn't worried about the car or about the money to fix it as the nice girl who hit my car immediately came to find me to tell me and give me her details (we were both at a mother-toddler group). However, because of where we live (abroad) we had to call someone to sort it out and the police had to be called too for paperwork reasons. I am 37 weeks pregnant and was also having to deal with this with my 2 year old. None of this bothered me. The only thing that bothered me was what would my h say. I didn't have my wallet on me with my driving license as I had forgotten it, I realised this on my way out but thought it didn't matter as I didn't need any money with me. I do know that it is the law here to carry your driving license at all times when driving, but I just thought it's unlikely I'll have an accident and rather than go back into the house, I'll just leave it.

So I was afraid of what he would say about that and about the fact that my phone battery was running very low so I had to tell him to call me on someone else's phone in case my battery died. He had to come from work in the end because we thought maybe he would need to present his driving license when the police were called. Anyway, it was all fine but he did comment about my not having my license. When everyone left I burst into tears and told him that I feel so upset that I am in a relationship where I am afraid of what my h will say about such stupid, petty things. I was already feeling tense all morning because he has been acting distant and cold towards me since we had an argument on monday (I posted about that too). He was apologetic, said he is just stressed about money and has been trying to stop drinking for the past few days and that he was struggling with this but it is in nothing I have done causing him to be like this.

I just feel like his constant criticisms are making me on edge and paranoid. I feel like I approach every situation thinking 'what will HE say or think about this?' rather than thinking about it from my own perspective. The stupid thing is, this only seems to have happened for the past month or 2 since I have been at home (maternity leave) and have been trying to be nicer to him. I knew he felt taken for granted before and when he grumbled about this or that I didn't really react, I knew what was important to me and that was what counted. I wanted to try and make more effort to be a good wife to him as I thought he deserved that. Now I just feel rubbish. I don't know what to do, I think he is worried about my reaction earlier and I will explain to him later what I am feeling but I just don't understand why I am feeling like this in the first place.

peggyundercrackers Fri 20-Sep-13 20:06:57

2 yrs? wow that's a long time - no its not right someone should hold a grudge for that long.

on the first point your OH seems to be coming at it from my OH view point too - extreme hardship. because of the hardship they were going through at the time everything which was bought was a considered purchase - even food - so anything lost/broken was a minor disaster because at that point in time there was no money to replace it and no prospect of money to replace it - this was a long time ago and things have changed drastically for the better however those values of worth are still ingrained.

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:56:21

Peggy- I appreciate what you are saying, I agree that I am perhaps a bit too flippant about some things, that's just a difference in personality. I don't feel it's worth getting upset over material things but he has known real hardship so is coming at it from a diff standpoint.

The thing about my parents though is tricky though as while I do get why he was upset with me about it, it also happened at a very vulnerable time, me being in a different country, very isolated and told them without meaning to and they spoke to him individually and without my knowing. They were about to go back home, leaving me abroad with a new baby and were very worried about me. I don't think he should still be holding this against me 2 years later.

peggyundercrackers Thu 19-Sep-13 14:48:28

sounds normal to me. i dont think it was right your parents had words with him when he was trying to fix your house even though it was just a few days after you had the baby - if its for your family the he is trying to do the right thing.

I also get annoyed if people loose or break things and normally i say something - ive got friends who are like you and they think its unimportant but it really rips my knitting but my OH is like this too. OHs mum lost DDs little snuggle thing she carries about the other day, its not DDs favourite nor was it expensive but even i was surprised about how much was said about it. Just because you dont value something doesnt mean other people feel the same - you should respect that.

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:36:06

Cogito- I know it sounds like that and it really feels all doom and gloom to me at this moment, but believe it or not we were laughing and joking just days ago. We have his parents close by so we regularly have time just the 2 of us while they babysit and just last weekend we had time just lazing about in bed and messing around like we were just dating again. I guess we are both quite highly strung though which is why things get quite out of proportion.

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:32:03

He certainly had a very difficult childhood and he is very like his father, a fact that he acknowledges and hates. It is obviously bothering him too at the moment as I didn't know he was trying to cut out drinking, it was just earlier today he asked me if I had noticed. I told him he should have told me if he was doing that as I can support him but he said he didn't want to do it for anyone else, he wanted to see if he could do it by himself.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 14:28:40

This is a relationship under stress. He's the sole provider with big responsibilities and he's snappy. You've made big sacrifices, your confidence is low, you're pregnant and you're snappy. Everyone's knackered. Everyone sounds miserable. What time do you get together, just as a couple? Do you actually have conversations any more or just snark over the cornflakes? When was the last time you laughed together?

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:28:28

I am messy and when I was busy working and looking after the baby I really didn't care about house work and so on, now I am home I am making much more effort with those things but he calls me slob in an affectionate way, if that is possible?

No I am not a native here, I moved here then met him and stayed.

Was hoping it was not going to like that with regards to his parents, he was not raised within an emotionally healthy household.

Re your comment:-
"He thinks he is not like his father because instead of going out and drinking he drinks at home, but he admits that he can only relax when he has a drink. He otherwise doesn't deal with stress well".

He's more like his Dad than he realises, it could be as well his Dad uses the same type of excuse for drinking.

Your H will just have to find other ways of dealing with his inherent problems and weaknesses rather than taking them out on you as the nearest and dearest. If he cannot or will not he will lose you because you will rightly walk.

I would daresay that he was all sweetness and light before you became pg, abuse can become more apparent when the woman is pregnant and thus very vulnerable.

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:24:53

hellsbells- for the last couple of years he has really done nothing for himself at all, mostly because he was working anti-social hours and partly because I am living in his country and therefore am dependent on him for many things that I would not otherwise be. We have built a home from scratch and he did a lot of the work himself and with his father. When I was working he was cooking pretty much every day and doing at least an equal amount of other housework. He is exhausted and run down with it all and he felt that I didn't appreciate all that he does because I too was pretty much taken up with just surviving.

When did he start calling you so called lazy and slobby?!. That may well stem from resentment on his part towards you.

Are you a native of the country you now reside in or did you move there with your H?.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 14:19:03

Have you considered couples counselling? A temporary separation even? When it gets to the point where no-one in the relationship has a good word to say about the other but are simply looking for opportunities to find fault then you either take a break and see if you miss each other or you get someone neutral to help you communicate better.

Ooopppss - X-posts I missed!

I wanted to try and make more effort to be a good wife to him as I thought he deserved that

Why does he deserve that? What has done to deserve that?
What does he do for your to be a good husband?

I hope Cogito is right (she usually is TBH) but I too am seeing lots of red flags and more appearing with each of your posts!

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:16:54

Cogito-you are right, I guess maybe I am just at a bit of a vulnerable point right now and spending too much time alone which is making me a bit hyper-sensitive. I usually put my efforts into other things but I thought I would try putting them into married life- turns out that is not a rewarding thing to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 14:16:05

You don't sound particularly compatible tbh

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:12:37

I gave him a hard time when I had the baby and he was trying to sort out our house. Even though everything he was doing was for us as a family, I was demanding and difficult and needy. I also told my parents I felt like he was not being supportive enough and they had words with him, he has never forgiven me for that as he felt it was a betrayal (it was just a few days after the baby was born)

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 14:09:31

Then I suggest the phrase you want is 'give him an inch and he'll take a mile'. You can't afford to be 'sensitive to criticism' for example, and you have to pull him up immediately if he gets on your case about breaking something or repeats any so-called jokes about laziness. And really.... if you genuinely don't see yourself as inferior, forget all that crap about being a 'good wife' because it's doing the exact opposite to you mentally. Be a strong, indepedent woman that happens to be married, stand your ground and refuse to be belittled.

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:08:59

Attila-you are spot on about his parents. He has said on various occasions that his mother should have left his father rather than expose him and his sister to their father's behaviour, but even now when his father goes on a binge, his mother will call and burden him about it and he will be worried and stressed. He used to have to go find his father in the pub and bring him home when he was just a small kid. He thinks he is not like his father because instead of going out and drinking he drinks at home, but he admits that he can only relax when he has a drink. He otherwise doesn't deal with stress well.

Numberlock Thu 19-Sep-13 14:07:22

him giving me a hard time about stuff I have done which he is not happy about over the last couple of years

It doesn't sound normal at all to me...

Give me an example of something you did which he wasn't happy about?

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:04:42

Cogito- I hope you are right and that it is just normal as I do keep seeing things in him that seem to be a bit bordering on abusive. I am not really solely reliant on him as even on maternity leave I am earning more than him and when I am working I am earning considerably more than him. I don't see myself as inferior, I think he has insecurities though because I have had a more privileged upbringing than him and have contributed far more financially to our life together.

Do you think he is actually behaving like his own father; after all he learnt about relationships first and foremost from him and his mother?.

What's his mum like, very easy going, passive even?.

The drink issue is also of concern particularly as his own father as a drink problem. (I write has as that is something that does not completely go away, alcoholism too can also be learnt).

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 14:00:42

Guybrush- he does often pick at things, I am very sensitive to criticism and he will comment about things around the house and so on and 'joke' that I am lazy/ slobby. He says I don't care about anything and gets really annoyed with me if I break or lose anything as I shrug it off as unimportant.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 13:57:33

What you're now describing is normal couple spatting behaviour. Are you feeling at all insecure since going on maternity leave and being solely reliant on him? Do you see yourself as inferior to him?

neverendingjoy Thu 19-Sep-13 13:55:48

Numberlock- he drinks often but not to the point of being drunk, he recognises that it is not healthy which is why he said he had decided to stop and try to break the habit. His father has a drinking problem so he knows he has tendencies. Money worries are just about having enough money to sort stuff out that we need to do, more about low income than money going anywhere it shouldn't. The argument was about him not responding to me in the way I needed him to when I was feeling down, and then him giving me a hard time about stuff I have done which he is not happy about over the last couple of years (felt like a tit for tat, you didn't give me what I needed before so now I will do the same to you- though he denies it is that)

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 19-Sep-13 13:48:59

I would say that pregnancy is certainly a factor i.e. you're more sensitive or emotional in the face of stressful events. However, what you're saying about being a 'good wife to him' is very worrying. By slipping into such a submissive role (even if it's only in your mind rather than anything he's initiated?) you've totally knocked your confidence. Cast him as your 'master' and it's no mystery why you're reacting like a frightened servant.

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