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.

help! need a reality check on whether I am "useless, insensitive, selfish and inconsiderate"

(58 Posts)
typographicerrors Fri 29-Nov-13 21:38:21

please bear with me but I need a reality check and a bit of offloading.

the context - me, separated, two children, him, no children, mid 40's, serial long term relationships. We've been together (on and off) for just under a year.

we have had a pretty volatile relationship from the start - massive highs, massive lows, periods apart, periods together. We were friends before we started seeing each other but I was coming out of a relationship with my children's dad so it has been pretty stressful. he would say i don't communicate and find it hard to express emotion, i would say he is intense and prone to moodiness and anger - always entirely directed at me. when we get on its fantastic, when we don't its horrible.

his grandfather died today which he was pretty upset about so we were heading home to cook and spend an evening in (my DC are at their dads). waiting for the train to leave he kept asking me to 'stop it' and i genuinely didn't know what he was asking me to stop - stroking his leg, looking at him, thinking about something else rather than talking to him, but when I asked him what he wanted me to stop then he refused to tell me, saying it didn't matter. I asked him again and he told me that i was making a big deal out of nothing. so i left it.

he then asked me whether I liked the trousers the girls opposite were wearing, so I looked, trying to decide whether I did. He then said 'are you not talking to me now?' because i hadn't immediately responded (sorry if I am doing this verbatim but i really need to know whether I have done something wrong). I explained that i was looking at told him what I thought. (FYI - leather/pleather leggings - not the most flattering)

When we got off the train then I said to him that it was troubling me that I didn't know what I had done for him to ask me to stop, and I didn't understand why he couldn't tell me. At which point he started to tell me what I stupid insensitive person I was because he was only being playful and how could I not get that. And that I had made an issue out of nothing and ruined his evening and turned the whole evening into me and my feelings when all he wanted was some support because his grandad had died. We screamed and shouted at each other. He left. I walked home, left a message on his phone saying that i was sorry i had missed his joke and that i wanted to be there to support him on a sad evening and that he should come back so that we could be nice to each other. His response by text was 'i'm useless and insensitive…I had picked an unnecessary fight, I had let him down at his lowest point, I was a selfish woman, my lack of consideration has sunk him. I'll post your flat keys back in the morning'

reading that back it sounds like the angsty words of a nervous teenager, not a 40-something mother of 2 who runs her own business.

So, what I can't work out is
a) is it me? Am I all of the above? and if so what can I do about it?
b) how have I been reduced to a nervous, humourless, over analytical worrier
c) what do I do to pull myself out of it - because this has happened over and over and over again and I keep going back to him…

sorry to rant. I don't know who to talk to about it…..

Pagwatch Fri 29-Nov-13 21:42:47

The two of you don't communicate on even the most basic level. Your lationship sounds childish and full of amateurs dramatics.
It all sounds ridiculous and childish and immature.
Why on earth are you continuing with this childish nonsense?

Pagwatch Fri 29-Nov-13 21:43:49

Accept the keys back with good grace and say goodbye.

WeAreSix Fri 29-Nov-13 21:50:27

That sounds like an awful lot of hard work to me. Time to move on and find your own happiness. I don't think it's with him, sorry.

Noctilucent Italy Fri 29-Nov-13 21:52:08

It is not you. He is gaslighting you, and when a man shows you who he really is, pay attention and walk away.

piratecat Fri 29-Nov-13 21:53:15

he was using what's happened to day to make you feel like shit.

he seems to make you feel like shit anyway, so why bother really.

Thisisaghostlyeuphemism Fri 29-Nov-13 21:55:01

He sounds horrible.

Do you really want a 'volatile' relationship?

basgetti Fri 29-Nov-13 21:56:35

Your boyfriend sounds like a nightmare, as does your whole relationship. I don't think you have any business pursuing and sustaining such a volatile and unstable relationship when you have children to consider. Accept the keys and stop going back to him.

Mellowandfruitful Fri 29-Nov-13 21:56:58

The whole thing on the train sounds ridiculous. He is doing you a favour by throwing his toys out of the pram, so go with this and end it now. Don't reply to his texts. In fact change your number if you can so he can't text you (I wouldn't bet against you hearing more from him if you don't react now). It sounds like a draining and unhappy relationship where the good bits can't possibly be worth it given evenings like this. You will do better without him.

Bluestocking Fri 29-Nov-13 22:05:29

Good lord, what a waste of time and energy. Let him go on his miserable way. Quite apart from the wear and tear on you, it can't be good for your poor children to be caught in the slipstream of this ridiculous relationship.

foolonthehill Fri 29-Nov-13 22:05:45

there are nicer people out there...go find them!

Q"how have I been reduced to a nervous, humourless, over analytical worrier?" A: You are with the wrong person

SugarMiceInTheRain Fri 29-Nov-13 22:11:54

Being in a relationship with him sounds altogether too draining. Who has time for someone who creates such drama out of tiny little things? If I were you I'd be grateful he's done the ending of it for you, and look for someone to whom you're better suited!

TiredDog Fri 29-Nov-13 22:13:46

Does it mater who said what, who is right etc etc etc. This relationship is NOT working. Leave and be happy

As above.
He's your rebound relationship. And not a good one. Sorry his grandfather died, but it's not your fault and he shouldn't be taking it out on you.
Say goodbye and gracefully retire from the field. It's really not worth it.

LCHammer Fri 29-Nov-13 22:24:01

Sounds awful. Grown ups shouting on train platforms. I don't mean this in a tsk-tsk kind of way. I would be scared & insecure in such a relationship.

Lweji Portugal Fri 29-Nov-13 22:27:20

LTB.
Seriously. There are red flags all over and you know it.

So, how to do it?

Tell him you're out and cut all contact. Delete numbers from your phones, e-mail addresses, block on FB, etc and do not respond to any messages.

You do not need a man like this.

typographicerrors Fri 29-Nov-13 22:30:16

well thats pretty categoric. Thank you for your advice and opinions. I know you are right, but extracting myself from the relationship for good seems to be incredibly hard for me to do - I end up focusing on the good bits (there are plenty) and hoping that we can find a way round the bad. I know that I need to keep my distance, not communicate, stay focused on staying away, but thats easier said than done. Any advice on how I do that would be welcome…

TiredDog Fri 29-Nov-13 22:32:36

Take control. Don't be passive. Do what he has done and end it categorically rather than wait on his decision

eastmidsmum Fri 29-Nov-13 22:33:52

He's emotionally abusing you. I agree with all the above advice to get out RIGHT NOW. If he doesn't leave you alone contact Women's Aid (local office or national helpline, see their web site) - seriously. You might want to talk to them anyway about how he's made you feel, that sort of treatment can have awful results.

Lweji Portugal Fri 29-Nov-13 22:34:36

Keep the bad aspects in mind, then. smile

I'd use the anger and confusion over this last bust up to keep me going. Or you can make a list of all the bad points and hang it on the wall.

ChasedByBees Fri 29-Nov-13 22:35:49

Let him go.

He was telling you to 'stop it' so he could deliberately start a fight. He felt angry / sad whatever and he wanted to direct it at you (you say that's not rare).

I would imagine that was what was happening with the leggings too.

He's bad, bad news.

Twinklestein France Fri 29-Nov-13 22:38:48

Well instead of focussing on the good bits focus on the bad. Like this evening.

You behaved like a normal adult and he behaved like an angry child, goading you, trying to get a reaction, then turning on you & making everything your fault.

I feel tired just reading it, I don't know how you've put up with this for a year.

If he was 6 he'd be a bit tiresome, but at 40+ it's tragic.

You're obviously together, you don't need this kind of nonsense.

foolonthehill Fri 29-Nov-13 23:15:44

block him from media sites, block his number on your phone...or change his name to "do not phone this number"

when you are tempted go and make a coffee.....treat him like an addiction to something that is bad for you.

Fill your life with other people and things.

If you know you are vulnerable when DC are at their Dad's then make a long standing commitment to spend time elsewhere.

Ask your real life friends to coddle you a bit for a few weeks

typographicerrors Fri 29-Nov-13 23:25:04

foolonthehill - all such sensible advice. I feel very isolated though and thats whats hard - working 60 hour weeks, trying to bring up two children and wearing myself out with this relationship has not given me much time with my girlfriends over the last year. My closest friend died two years ago and there aren't many people that i can confide in in the same way that i did with her…so picking up the phone and asking people to help is a bit beyond me

MooncupGoddess Fri 29-Nov-13 23:30:01

The good bits probably seem so good because you're so relieved he's not behaving like a cock.

If you ditch him you'll have much more time to spend with your female friends and other pursuits that improve your mood.

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