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help - is this emotional abuse?(46 Posts)
I'm a first time poster sorry if it's long!
I'm married just over 2 yrs been together nearly 4 and have a 7wk old and a 19 month old.
My oh has always enjoyed a drink but I don't think I really noticed how much until I stopped drinking while pregnant and bf as we both went out a lot. Oh has always been quite jealous and started arguments if he thinks someone fancies me despite no encouragement from me or me giving any reason to doubt me. He only ever starts when he's had a drink.
He goes to the pub everyday after work saying he needs to unwind. We have our own business and some weeks he works 7 days. He comes back by 6 maybe 4 days but stays out later the other days. He also drinks when he comes home. I have concerns he is an alcoholic but he denies this.
I am a sahm although before our second baby was born I worked a couple of days a week at our business doing physical work until about 6 months pregnant. I also do the administration side of things. At home I do everything; cleaning, washing, shopping etc plus I do everything for the girls (oh does bath eldest most nights if he is in). I cook a meal when I can but some days don't know what time oh will be in or as I'm bf on demand and have a toddler I just don't have chance.
In the last few months oh has not been eating properly and blames me. He thinks I should cook a meal for him every night but only says this when he's had a drink. Other times if he's only had a couple of pints I'll start cooking but he'll tell me to sit down and he'll do it. I make him sandwiches for lunch most days and have started buying him ready made shakes to have for breakfast. If he doesn't have his lunch he is obviously drinking on an empty stomach so comes in quite drunk.
He regularly tells me when drunk that I don't do anything, I don't give him enough affection, it's my fault he's not eating etc. Tonight he came in at 6 having been to the pub at lunchtime to watch the football. His speech was slurred so I said he sounded drunk to which he replied he knew he spunded drunk but he wasn't. We had a chat about the day then he bathed eldest then started to make tea when he came back down. I said I wasn't very hungry so just to sort himself. He then complained I'd put new chips on top of old ones in the freezer and went up for a bath. I followed him upstairs to ask if something was wrong and somehow it escalated into the worst argument ever. He accused me of pushing him away all the time, never doing anything, said the reason he goes to the pub is cos he's got nothing to come home to. It was awful and all so untrue I ended up pushing him then slapping him. I know this was wrong but he was really shouting loads of lies about me and calling me a terrible wife when everything I do is for him and the dcs.
He is going away on business tomorrow for three days and I said he could consider it a trial separation. This is now the third time it has got to this stage, I have twice asked him to leave but the next morning he has promised things will change. They do for a while but then the same arguments start. He regularly tells me how much he loves me, how I mean the world to him but then treats me like dirt. He even tells me everyone agrees with him and I am a nasty piece of work!
When it's good it's really great and we're so in tune but the bad times are getting more frequent and I don't know if I can put up with it any more. I love him when it's good but he makes me feel worthless and useless when it's bad. I don't know if he can change but I don't want our beautiful girls to be affected as they grow up. Sorry it's so long but I really need some advice sd not really got anyone in rl to share this with.
This is my story too. Except I've been married in the scenario that you are talking about, for 20 years!
3 years fine to start with then it all started to change when first child born. If you read my discussion on mumsnet (horrors of separation) you can see your potential future. Believe me It only gets worse.
It's horrendous. And I feel so much for you that it has actually brought tears to my eyes. You are me, all those years ago. X
Thanks choclover27. I read your posts and the similarities are scary. Oh is currently snoring away in the spare room while I contemplate the future on my own. He probably has no idea how hurtful the things he says are. He also twists what I say. During our last argument, started because I was saying he should see a doctor as he can't sleep (won't try any basic things like no tv before bed, warm milky drink etc) and he accused me of having a go. Major argument ensues during which I say 'if you don't go to the doctor we'll end up at a solicitor cos this can't go on' but he heard 'if you don't go to the doctor I want a divorce'! I generally try to talk to him in the morning as that's when he definitely won't be drunk. He's very rarely rolling drunk but he is usually under the influence of an evening.
I think I know what I need to do. It's just a scary step and will come as a huge shock to a lot of people mainly my parents. Feel like I've made such a mess of things but I often don't recognise the man I married. He often says I'm not the woman he married and I know I'm not, I'm a mother to two young children and don't go out like I used to, part of growing up and starting a family I would have thought! Such a mess
I could have written your words.
It will always be your fault. One day it's because of you that he has to drink. The next day he doesn't drink and you are making it up.
He's selfish controlling and makes you doubt your sanity. I stayed for so long cos I wanted it to work, cos sometimes there we some good times, cos he is the father of my three children. But pls don't leave it as long as I have. But be prepared for things to get a whole lot worse x
I'm so scared and ny hand is shaking as I write this because I know you are right. I don't see any of my old friends mainly because of him. I have a few new mum friends and I've spoken to his mum and sister about this both of whom told me to kick him out whi
Which obviously says a lot. I've let them think things are back on track cos I don't want to worry them but I think I'll have a chat with my sil tomorrow. Only one of oh friends knows what's going on and he thinks oh is out of line.
If it's over then I'll have to take on the business ss my parents loaned the money to start it and we still owe 30k! Feeling like I've let them down but I know they'll be supportive. Not told them anything yet ad didn't want totaint ttheir views of oh! God this is awful
Talk to them - and tell them you don't know what to do. Hopefully they'll offer you support and a way forward.
How is this your fault? Do you force the drink down his throat? No.
You will find the strength in yourself to get thought this.
Lucky you. My mother in law wrote me a letter 15 years ago telling me to sort myself out!!!
It is dreadful. Husband snoring on the bed or on the sofa by 8 pm. No adult relationship. No proper fathering to the children. Except he thinks he's an amazing dad. But so much fun in public. Everyone's best mate. Nightmare at home.
Told my mum only 5 years ago. That's 12 years of hiding it.
Can you leave him? Do you have the resources? Also do it while you're children are very young. I tried 4 years ago but my then 14 year old daughter said she would have to live with him to look after him. So I didn't go
This sounds just like me after 12 years with dp. I asked him to leave (and he did after a couple of hellish days) 2 weeks ago. It wasn't easy. It is still not easy. But it is the right thing for dd (4 months). Dp used to tell me that he would go to the pub every day because he was sick of coming home to me telling him he was drinking too much!! It had been going on for years, but all just became so much clearer to me when I gave up drinking when pg & bf too. All the excuses and lies were just so he could justify continuing to drink. And all the nonsense you are being told about not being a good wife is just an excuse for your H's behaviour too.
I was given great advice and support on here. It included: speak to al-anon; know that you didn't cause it, can't control it, can't cure it; don't try to hide what's gone on from his friends and family; once he's gone, telling people will help make it real. I have found people to be so supportive - even though most people I know were dp's friends before they were mine. I've had some lovely offers of help from some really unexpected sources.
One poster really kept me going when it got hard. She said she's was the child of an alcoholic, that I was doing the right thing, and that she wished someone had looked after her.
Good luck whatever you decide. x
Our house is in my name only ss I bought it before we met and never bothered putting him on ad there was a fee! My parents and in laws would do anything they could to help and support. I would run our business but wouldn't need to be there all the time ad we have a manager. Basically I could tell him to leave and I would be fine financially but he would be screwed. Emotionally I would probably be a wreck but from a practical pov I do everything in the house and everything for the girls anyway
I was thinking that if it ended now the girls would be too young to remember any bad times. My parents have a fantastic relationship and that was what I wanted for myself but now just feel like a failure.
Thank you dressinggown. I think the hardest thing is he turns everything around and makes me feel like I'm going mad. He's always saying he works 7 days a week so needs to relax (he rarely works everyday all day although he does work hard) but won't acknowledge that with two babies I work 24/7 with very little me time. He always says he cooks all the meals but it's half and half. Tells me off if something is out of date in the fridgebut then leaves his rubbish on the bench next to the bin without putting it in. He makes the tiniest things into big issues. I'm not perfect but I don't pretend to be. I apologise if I am wrong but he can't. I like to resolve issues but he likes to drag them out.
This is all just becoming real for me. I know if I don't respect myself how can I expect him to but it's still a scary step
It would be much better for the children if you could do it sooner rather than later. And therefore better for you too as there would be less distress for them.
NI was worried how my husband would 'cope' alone. Well match.com sorted that out for him and now he has already replaced me in three weeks.
It's scary, makes your heart break and you don't know how you will manage. And you will feel bereaved. But for the future you thought you were going to have. But you won't have the future you hope for if you stay. X
In all honesty it doesn't sound like emotional abuse. It does however sound like a relationship with a lot of problems. Neither of you are happy. I think a trial separation is a good plan to decide if it is something worth fighting for or whether it's gone beyond the point of no return.
I agree with fifi, it sounds dysfunctional and unhappy for all involved, including the children. Your physical assault on him and his alcohol abuse will not lead to the safe home your children deserve.
I think you need to think about what financial support you can get for your husband. He needs means to be a good father and no excuses to fall even further in to drink.
It sounds as though you have sources of practical and emotional support to get through this. Make sure you tell people what you need and when.
The OP's husband puts the responsibility for his well being onto her, blames her for not having a meal cooked and therefore him not eating properly, calls her a bad wife, fucks off to the pub every day and tells her it's to avoid her. How do you not see emotional abuse in that?
Vivacia, the suggestion that OP needs to take care of him financially to prevent him becoming more of a drunk is so wrong I don't know where to start.
Ok I'll start with the three Cs of alcoholism. She can't control it, she didn't cause it and she can't cure it. He's a grown man and he has to take responsibility for himself. If he sinks into alcoholic decline that's his decision, not hers.
OP, I think just the alcohol issues alone are enough to say you should call time on this marriage. You must protect your children from the harm of growing up in an alcoholic home. The way he treats you belies his fundamental lack of respect and care for you and you can't make him learn to respect you. You deserve better than living with someone who disrespects and resents you. It will also be a terrible model of relationships for your daughters.
Can I gently query why he gives your dd a bath after being in the pub? How safe is that?
I don't think I would want the father of my children to be "financially screwed" so as to make their relationship inteneable. I'm not saying she should house and clothe him, just not screw him over.
OP, you are definitely going the right way. My ExP was just like yours. He used to drink, but worse than that he used to be really horrible to me. I couldn't do anything right, and I lived in constant fear of his terrible mean moods. I used to try and keep him sweet. Not a way to live, and doomed to failure anyway!
When I say horrible, he used to sulk, shout, tell me I was lazy(I was working full time in a senior role and looking after 2 small children), swear at me (called me a lazy c****), tell me I was no fun any more etc etc. sounds just like yours.
I was looking yesterday at my diary from 2005. He caused me so much stress and misery, and I couldn't trust him to look after the kids as I never knew when he was going to drink. Why did it take till 2011 to get him out??? I don't know... Except I suppose that I always wanted it to work. I wanted him back to the "nice" him.
I also felt responsible, I earned much more than him and I was worried, especially with all they drinking, that he would sink without me. In the end with lots of coaching, and lots of reading (including Melanie beattie's co dependent no more), I realised I was being really unfair on myself and on our kids.
Would I ever behave to anyone the way he was to me? No, never. Would I behave that way to someone I loved? No, never. I realised it was his choice to behave like that. And frankly I could not live like that. Not just with the drinking, but with the abuse. Anyone who does not think that's abuse has obviously never been in that situation.
You say your parents would be disappointed. Have you ever been honest with them about the way he is and the things he says and does. I bet if you did they would be pretty supportive.
Sometimes we feel we have to cover up this bad behaviour; we feel almost ashamed that we have "made" someone be that awful to us. But believe me- a) you can't make someone be horrible to you if they're not that way inclined, and b) you will feel so liberated and so encouraged if you start telling people about it. It helped me so much and gave me strength!
Good luck OP, you are doing the right thing for you and your children.
Vivacia, what about OP's husband? What responsibility does he have?
I think you are married to an old-fashioned, alcohol-abusing, woman-hating bully OP. If it's making you feel worthless that's also par for the emotionally abusive course. Not out of the question that he's got his eye on someone else and the 'three day separation' is an excuse. IME the bad times will quickly start to outweigh the good times. It's just a question of where you draw the line and say enough's enough. Good luck
Vivacia I would never screw him over that was just a turn of phrase to show the situation.
Squeegle you have hit the nail on the head.
Ericloves I would never allow him to bath my child drunk, the nights he is home in time to bath her he would have only been in pub an hour and had max two pints. However once bath is done he will open a bottle of wine.
Cogito whatever happens I know for an absolute certainty that he is not a cheat.
My parents wouldn't actually be disappointed that's just how I feel. I know I lucky to have their support 100% whatever I decide. The same with my in laws. In fact if we do end I will probably stay with my parents yo allow him to get sorted, despite everything I wouldn't see him homeless or penniless.
I know what most of you say makes sense and some things are so accurate. My head and my heart are in conflict so I guess I've got a lot of thinking and talking to do while he's away
That's my point precisely. It is not unheard of for someone rationalise that they're 'separated' so that it can justify other behaviour. They're not cheating that way. Just an observation.
Where is your own tipping point here and what do you get out of this relationship now?.
So he is not a cheat, big bloody deal. That's a good thing granted but that is no compensation AT ALL for the abusive treatment he has meted out towards you and by turn the children to date.
You are dealing with someone who is and will remain unreasonable because at heart he is abusive. You can only help your own self here. I would be talking to Womens Aid in your circumstances and start making exit plans.
Your relationship has all the hallmarks of an emotionally abusive marriage with his alcoholism to boot.
Let your head rule your heart here. At least your parents are on side; use all means necessary to get this man out of your day to day lives.
I think he has a problem with drink granted. Though maybe it's not a new thing as you liked a drink yourself before. It'll be hard to convince him it is a problem when it's your drinking habits that have changed and not his.
I don't know why saying he's unhappy with the situation makes him an abuser? If I worked 7 days a week and DP was at home I'd expect him to make tea every night! Even on the busiest days as a SAHM there's time to throw something in the oven. I'd probably call him lazy too!
Let's not forget OP is the one to get physical, so we need to label her as an abuser too...
You're meant to be a partnership and so that means supporting one another. No one is supporting anyone here. I understand why he says there's nothing to come home to, you sound like two people that happen to share a house.
I'm not going to apportion blame, it honestly just sounds like somewhere along the line you lost sight of each other and what made you the great couple you were. Now you're looking at each other as strangers and the frustration of losing something that meant so much to the two of you is causing arguments and frustration.
I still think your idea for a trial separation is a good one. If it feels right to give it another go, I believe you'll need to sit down and talk as calmly as possible about your flash points, your unhappiness, what needs to change and the lines that can't be crossed. You also have to mean it.
Good luck OP whichever way you go...
Update - after oh telling me last night that when he getsback ffrom being away he's going for a pint to relax. I said we needed to talk but he doesn't want a heart to heart just wants to chill out. Doesn't seem to realise or care how serious this is.
I've made the decision to tell my mum today, once I do I don't think there's any going back. Really gutted.
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