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.
This is hard work (new thread EA update)(63 Posts)
Hi all. Starting a new thread to reflect 'new' start with DP - sorry, don't know how to link to previous thread. The short version for new readers is that my DP had an emotional affair, which is now over apart from one small thing, and we are supposedly reconnecting. I have been reading as much as I can, although it's hard to find uninterrupted time - there's always somebody wanting my attention, or more immediate jobs to be done eg tax return. DP has been having lots of early nights, so no adult talking has been done, and now he's ill. 3 days of a cold, groans, sighs, sniffles, coughs, and now his sinuses are playing up - steaming at 4am, hence more tired. Minor gigs are coming in for him, so a bit of extra income, but it's never good enough for him, so he practises more, complains that he's washed up, out of favour, etc etc - you get the jist. Oh and yesterday I changed my mind about something we'd planned to do do and got 'nothing I (DP)ever do is right!'
I want to talk about US, but he is all about HIM, and I never feel that I'll get a useful/helpful conversation if the time isn't right.
SO, any work I can do is on myself, and I've done a lot of reflecting about boundaries, especially in regard to previous relationships. I'm still looking for an appropriate counsellor for me (not convinced about Relate) - I think I need more than just relationship counselling - maybe something more deep rooted.
Apologies for the ramble - I'm ok, thanks to those who have asked, not great, but ok. have had long talk with ds and he seems more at ease.
Any advice about what else I could be doing greatly received.
I'm trying to think of practical advice to give you, but you can't stick a key in him, open his mind and take what you need. He has to play ball or everything you are doing to save your relationship is useless.
If he won't talk about it or acknowledge your feelings, where is your reassurance? He needs to feel the pain of it and stop being a ninny. Sinusitis! Tough shit. He can get up to 'steam' at 4am but can't have a conversation...
Think he needs to drop the washed-up woe-is-me tortured-soul act and fucking grow up. He's more bothered that no-one wants to hear him play his banjo or whatever, than he is about how he's made you feel.
Sorry OP, you seem lovely, but he's taking the piss!
I think counselling with this man will be useless, either he will talk his way round the counsellor by saying things that are untrue or he will not engage.
I'm sorry to hear he is still treating you like this.
Other than wanting to give it your best shot for the kids, why do you want to be with him? Your posts paint a picture of a not very nice man.
Thanks for the comments. Re early nights - the phone, laptop and tablet are all downstairs while he is upstairs. I have checked the phone bills and the emails - nothing. I agree that he is unable to give up the tiny bit of contact he still has with OW and I'm not letting that go.
Re facial expressions, I just meant that If I try to talk to him with a face like thunder his defenses will go up and I won't get anything that i need. Even in the one counselling session together he commented on a 'look' on my face - i had no idea I was doing anything! When I mentioned counselling again he just said 'we're ok now aren't we?'. I have to look after ME, not to fix it, but just so that I don't make this the story of my life.
"Even in the one counselling session together he commented on a 'look' on my face - i had no idea I was doing anything! "
Maybe you weren't?
Perhaps he uses this as a deflection technique so he doesn't have to talk about things he doesn't want to talk about.
More people posted while I was typing. Jolly - if you met him, you'd like him. You would see the good side, unfortunately I'm getting the monster side. I guess if I were getting the good side, I wouldn't be on here! I think he's depressed (S.A.D?) and maybe MLC. Not excusing him though. Got to go - DS wants to play Poker. ????
sorry - but you are excusing him, Why ever he does it is irrelevant.It is wrong.
You should get the good side, Faulk. It's not acceptable for him to treat you this way. The work you are doing on yourself will lead you to realise this, I hope.
"Even in the one counselling session together he commented on a 'look' on my face - i had no idea I was doing anything! "
Classic manipulation and deflection.
Now your focus is on your face and voice rather than his shitty behaviour.
When he said 'we're good now aren't we?' what was your response? Why the help does he think everything is fine when he hasn't made any effort to talk to you or to repair things?
I'd like to sound to him like an equal adult and not a nagging mother or a needy child. I'm afraid my voice or my face will let me down. Any tips?
If he's anything like my STBXH (and I've said before he seems similarly narcissistic), then my tip would be don't be his partner, because I think that he doesn't believe it should be a relationship of equal adults.
I had to endure the monster while everyone else saw the charming side, too. Now we're separated, he treats me much nicer: cooking me lovely dinners while I was still living with him, now jumping to appear reasonable with everything he says (it's all still manipulation and he is still the only one who counts in his life).
This separation is probably the only time in my life that I've stood up to him - I avoided conflict (although not in the early days, so I think I learned back then that it never solved anything and usually just created a hassle). I still do avoid conflict, but am going to learn to stand up to him gradually. I find it easier to stand up to him when it's increasing the distance between us rather than tying me more to him.
I hope I'm not waffling unhelpfully!
Oh, I do have a tip. Get this little book and read it. It might give you a laugh or two.
1) he is still seeing the OW and nothing you have said is going to stop him
2) you are supposed to be "reconnecting" but he won't even talk to you and avoids you every chance he can get (early nights, complaints of ManFlu etc)
3) you are now so self conscious about your facial expression and tone of voice you daren't even open your mouth, therefore he has effectively used various tactics to make you STFU and every single one has been very effective
4) you seem to think you have reassured your son that everything is ok (not forgetting he was so distressed at witnessing his father's inappropriate relationship he had to bring it up with you). How is that possible though, when he is still seeing the same dynamic at play that allowed his father to treat you with such disrespect in the first place
OP, you truly are going round in ever-decreasing circles. What would it take for you to simply get off the merry-go-round ?
I'm sorry he's being so awful inthedusk You deserve better and I guess what you're saying is that you are trying to work out how to teach yourself to believe that! We can all see that you are worth more.
It's dead easy to sit on a keyboard and tell you what to say or do. It's not so easy when it's your life. I bet you half of us wouldn't find it so easy to LTB or tell him this or that.
However - what does the future look like for you if you don't? Are you going to be with a man who fell in love/attraction with someone else, and wasn't even sorry enough to give up contact with her? Who respected you so little? Who treats you like a nagging mother not an equal who deserves partnership and honesty.
I've noticed a few threads where you've said he makes breakfast in bed, hoovers, cooks the tea etc as his signs that he's trying hard, and I'm afraid this just stays in the nagging mother/child parameters. Firstly, why shouldn't he do all those things anyway, when you are equal partners running a home?, and secondly, those things do not cancel out the other, less practical, more emotional things he owes you.
If you are going to move forward together, you HAVE to be able to talk to each other about whatever is on your minds, whenever it is on your mind. Even if it's going to cause a blazing row, or you've said it all before, or you have a 'certain look on your face'. You just have to. If you don't think you can talk to him, that's just the end.
I wish I could make you see that his response is so, so wrong. Even going to bed early is wrong. He should be doing everything in his power to make you feel loved, respected, desired and cherished, after the way he has behaved.
Unfortunately, by saying you'd leave if he didn't stop the lessons, and then not leaving, you have effectively given him permission to do whatever the hell he wants.
Are you sure he hasn't got another (PAYG) phone that you don't know about?
Finally, there's a phrase that partners of addicts are often taught, but I think it's useful in a wider context for other difficult behaviours - it's worth remembering that you didn't cause this, and you can't control his behaviour, and you can't fix it on your own.
OP, you give such good advice on other threads. It's a great shame you don't seem able to accept it for your own self
Is he doing enough to make you happy OP? He seems to have perfected the 'make DW feel guilty about what I've done' trick - whether or not he was ever seriously pursuing OW, he knew you were unhappy about him devoting so much time to her. He wallowed in his EA and in refusing to break contact with her, he really threatened this marriage.
Now you have a hollow victory - he is under the same roof - he mopes about being a martyr while you're scared to upset him.
You say, "He is all about HIM". I'm afraid this is the truth. Once upon a time things were good. Your prince has turned into a frog.
Great post Tessa.
Printedword - quite right, he is not treating OP as an equal partner in this relationship; i wonder if he ever did. Faulk - yes you have may 'saved' your relationship, in that it is still going, but it is broken, can't you see that? He doesn't respect you, not as an equal partner, he just wants you to STFU so he can carry on with his life, whilst you do the kids/house/cooking etc, to make his life as smooth as it can be whilst he is doing whatever he likes, with whomever. He doesn't see any need to go to counselling, or to stop the lessons, or to change his behaviour at all. Why should he? Why on earth would he change it, when it's lovely as it is, thanks! He knows that you can/will do nothing - there is no incentive for him to change anything. (And he's got you now really scared to raise any issues - he can accuse you of talking like a mum/child/angry or your face is doing something he doesn't like, or ... so you say nothing. That suits him fine)
And i instantly thought - he has a new PAYG phone. As soon as I saw that he is 'tired' and goes to bed early (avoiding you) - yep, he has a new phone.
He has a secret phone and is texting her when he goes to bed early. No amount of talking is going to stop him treating you like this.
Charlotte - thank you. I've just downloaded it and will read asap. Yes, it occurred to me too that he has a new phone, and I have searched high and low for it. IF it exists. I guess he could be keeping it in his underpants - haven't visited there for a while.
Could you try going to bed at the same time as him for a week or two? When he says 'I think I'll turn in' or whatever at 9ish say 'Oh yes, me too' and go with him.
Then you can a) stop him from doing whatever he's doing in bed (presumably texting her) - you'll see his frustration at being thwarted and his inability to actually sleep at that time of night every day and know something is going on, and b) seeing as he's not sleeping and you're together, you can talk!
I'd also wait until he's asleep and then find the phone. Under his pillow probably or under the mattress at his side, to be removed in the morning. Or I'd sneak up and secretly spy on him/burst in on him in bed. But that's just me.
OP - does it not rip you up inside every week that he goes there for that 'music lesson'? Knowing that she knows you are unhappy with it, but that he has chosen what she wants over what you want? Knowing that they probably chat (and who knows what else) in that time?
This is the crux of the thing as far as I can see. Every single week he shits on your relationship and your feelings, in favour of her. How can you bear it and talk about fixing things when this is what he is doing???
Oh Faulk - this thread is going exactly the same as the others; 'chuck him out', 'show him what he is losing', 'is it hard for you to see him going to her every week?'...
I wonder why that is?
Is it because nothing has actually changed? You may have a bit more insight, due to reading the right books, but you have not done anything. Nothing will change, until you change it. Show him you mean business.
how do you get your DP to talk
Hi Faulk - there is only one way to get him to talk to you.
This is the hardest thing to understand. If you want a relationship with him, you have to leave him.
Only then will he notice you.
Can you understand this. The way to save your relationship is to leave it.
Everything else will fall into place. If he wants to be with you he will come after you. He will want to talk, he will want to change, he will want to listen to you and make you happy.
But as long as you stay with him, none of that can happen.
Hi there again.
You have spoken about how you think he feels a couple of times, but I was wondering how YOU feel?
I think you are angry. My counsellor helped me to see it is healthy to be angry and to express anger. The issue is how- so shouting isn't good and anyway doesn't work.
I think he is avoiding you, and you are in a bit of a cat and mouse situation. I t seems to me you are very unhappy.
Also, I notice that he does that old line " I never do anything right", or equivalent . This is a scam, and it is passive aggressive. He thinks he is doing plenty right. And at the same time he is diverting you to feel sorry for him. And to STFU.
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.