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Partner puts me down, what is wrong with me?

(154 Posts)
boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:29:48

Name changed for this, have been a regular poster here for a while.

I'm not sure where to start with this as it's long and I don't want to drip feed so I'll try my best. I have been with my partner since 2010, I have a DS from a previous marriage and am pregnant at the moment, though it is early days.

I'll be honest, I don't have any real hobbies as such but I am happy the way I am before anyone asks, I don't feel down about anything. In my own time especially after work I like to read books, watch the tv, go on mumsnet, I read the papers a lot and like to debate about things, when it's sunny I like to go for walks or take DS to the park and beach but my partner constantly says I am boring and have no hobbies. I get upset at this but he constantly says how much I bore him. He has what he says are "real" hobbies like he enjoys working on cars and gardening but he says mumsnetting, reading papers etc aren't real hobbies and I bore him to death, I've been called a "boring cunt" before. Sometimes I have questioned myself and convinced myself I am not normal and tried to get myself into things like running but I just don't like it, I am happy the way I am but he makes me feel like I am the most dull person on earth. I do have my own friends to, they often come over for drinks or like next week for an example, we take my DS out together for a meal and a shop etc. I don't even always buy anything but I have a keen interest in fashion (again, partner says this isn't a real hobby)

Sometimes he is so nice to me and things will be great for a while then suddenly he just turns on me and insults me about how boring I am and how I don't do anything. The other day he actually had a go at me because apparently I was on the laptop but "didn't look at him when he was talking to me" I knew EXACTLY what he was saying and was doing two things at once (applying for a job) he said I am extremly rude even though I can remember everything he said and my replies. It's just like he loves putting me down.

He is constantly critical of everything I do as well. Like I can't wash up properly apparently, I do things the "wrong way" like I eat with a knife and fork in the opposite hand to most as it's comfortable. If I chop things in a certain way he HAS to show me his way as it's better (and I try just to shut him up but I'm a grown woman for crying out loud, I know what is best for me!) It's like I am not allowed a personality of my own. Like when I am cooking I like to be alone (small kitchen, it's just my preferance) and start to get a a bit stroppy I won't lie if i have people crowding round me, he says I am rude and he "just wants to help" i always say thank you and I appreciate it but I just prefer to do that on my own.

He says I am never allowed to mention the past as it's the past and to be honest, I don't. Sometimes if he has upset me I will mention that he has done it before (like calling me the c word) and asked him to not do it as it upsets me but he does it again. He also had a lot of anger issues for the first while we were together, i.e, smashing things up, sometimes physical towards me, a lot of insults. I stood by him whilst he sought help for his issues and have tried my best to be supportive. But I am not allowed to ever mention it yet he can bring up my past. When I got with him I was honest in the fact I had suffered post natal depression with my son and responded badly, I was still a good mother but I did go out once or twice a week to nightclubs and I had a few one night stands. Well quite a lot. I do hugely regret the way I acted but I suppose I wanted to feel attractive and felt lonely and down about myself after my first marriage broke down. He says I am a slag and often brings this up for doing that even though I can't bring up anything that was even mentioned yesterday.

Also about two years ago he was messaging his childhood sweetheart (he was with her from about age 14 to nearly 16) and in the messages he called her "gorgeous" and they were talking about him picking her up late at night as she was drunk. He says nothing else happened and when I found out he did delete her, block her from all contact but it has stuck in my mind ever since. He says he only called her that as she was feeling down about herself and says I just make a big deal out of it. He had been hiding his phone for a while before that though so part of me wonders if he deleted more. If I say this though he just goes mad and storms off into another room and ignores me all night.

That is also what he does. If we argue he always has to storm off and sulk over night. I hate sleeping on rows, I don't tend to sleep well and just want to get it sorted but he will just sleep in another room huffing himself to sleep.

The thing is sometimes he is so nice, when I am home from work he will be there to cook dinner, he'll have cleaned the house or done things for me (but even then he says I don't show enough appreciation and he says my face says it all!) Sometimes we have these lovely evenings together and I can't deny he is a fantastic Father to my child. He is very attentitve to him and would never hurt him, that I trust, 100%. I don't know why I am writing this really. I just feel like I am the most boring, dull person on earth and feel like my confidence is being chipped away at.

I can't deny he is a fantastic Father to my child.

I knew this line was going to appear at the end of your post. I knew it.
Pal, he just isn't. He systematically puts you down and makes you feel like a worthless piece of shit. He disrespects you enough to send inappropriate messages to other women.
Sorry to sound dramatic - but he doesn't like you - let alone love you. Could you ever imagine treating someone like this? I bet you couldn't.

Please, please just get up and go look at yourself in the mirror. Can you imagine that face after 10 more years of being an emotional punchbag??

Be kind to yourself and leave. This is not what normal relationships are like.

ROARmeow Sat 11-Jan-14 14:43:08

"I just feel like I am the most boring, dull person on earth and feel like my confidence is being chipped away at."

You don't come across as boring or dull. But I can see why you feel that way ^because that pig is chipping away at your confidence.

"Sometimes" being nice and "sometimes" helping with house tasks does not = a wonderful partner or dad.

I've been a volunteer with a leading DV charity for years, and I meet dozens of women who are in situations like yours. Where some man has slowly cut them down, made them shadows of who they were before.

It's emotional abuse. Persistent and intentional.

You can't make him change, because it isn't you that's the problem. You could have the exact same hobbies as him, but chances are he'd still stand over you and tell you you're doing it wrong.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 11-Jan-14 14:46:43

Partner puts me down, what is wrong with me?

The question should read

Partner puts me down, what is wrong with HIM?

The things he says to you are dreadful, just appalling.

That is not how you treat someone you don't like, never mind someone you are supposed to love.

MonsterMunchMe Sat 11-Jan-14 14:47:46

A fantastic father would not emotionally abuse his child's mother.

He is a bully and it will only get worse when your baby comes.

He sounds like one of my ex's, the passive aggression, the insults, bringing up the past and throwing it back in your face like it's his business.

He's a vile man. You, your son and your unborn baby deserve better.

Please please get your house in order, all your sucks in a row, then leave.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:48:14

Thank you. I am crying reading this. I was bullied throughout school and have always felt like I am just not good enough for anyone. After everything I posted it's still me that wants to be with him. What is wrong with me? I feel like I am going crazy. I also feel stupid because I'm pregnant again. I can honestly only describe this as going mad.

I don't know where I get the strength from to go anymore. Why do I even care if he meets someone else?! I confuse myself with all these thoughts because I shouldn't but I do. He often compliments me the way I look but nothing else. Last night we were rowing about me being boring. I attempted to stick up for myself but he said I was just boring. I am also scared of being alone with two children, but I feel like I have nowhere to turn. I also live 70 miles away from any of my family as he wanted to move back here when we met. I feel so alone.

MonsterMunchMe Sat 11-Jan-14 14:49:57

And remember he's making a choice to treat you this way. He is choosing to disrespect you, in your own home in front of your son while your carrying his baby.

Why would you want to be with a man that makes that choice ?

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:50:46

Join - he always says he is just telling people "how it is" he often says this. He is brutal with people, he has fell out with a lot of people as he says things which he says are being honest, but sometimes they just come across nasty. He has never had a "serious" relationship he says to me and he mentions he split up with all his ex-girlfriends in the past (they were all around the year mark) I always wondered, why is it ME he has chosen to stick with? Why has he not just cast me aside like he did with them?

Crocky Sat 11-Jan-14 14:51:23

How can he be a fantastic father when he is doing his utmost to ruin any self confidence the child's mother has?

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:51:41

Sorry if I go at any point, I'm indoors alone at the moment, son is with his Nan and Grandad so I have a rare weekend alone but he might come back soon.

GoldfishCrackers Sat 11-Jan-14 14:53:57

What a vile nasty man. He must get a kick out of grinding someone down - it's the only way he can make himself feel good about himself. I can't see how you'll ever be happy with him. I'm sorry.

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 11-Jan-14 14:54:10

"I always wondered, why is it ME he has chosen to stick with? Why has he not just cast me aside like he did with them?"

My guess would be because you are suitably affected by his bullying so that it makes him feel big and strong and you are prepared to put up with it on an ongoing basis.

MonsterMunchMe Sat 11-Jan-14 14:54:42

Sorry x posted.

Could you move back? Are your family supportive? It's not you, it's all him. He's a damaged and nasty little man.

Lots of women manage brilliantly with two children alone * will find it so much easier with him gone.

This can't be easy, hand holding x

SavoyCabbage Sat 11-Jan-14 14:55:53

He's what's wrong with you! He sounds like a right bastard.

He's got you exactly where he wants you. I bet if you said that you were going to salsa on a Monday with Huan, wine tasting on a Tuesday, etc he would find something else that was 'wrong' with you. How you drive or your accent. Because he is a TWAT.

Being critical of someone's mother, is not being a good parent. You are supposed to build each other up and be there for each other in a relationship. So he doesn't have that in his favour either.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:56:01

Crocky - I know it sounds mad, he does tend to not insult me when DS is around, he is quite clever with that, especially since DS repeats things a lot and tells stories to others. When I said to him to stop calling me the c word he said well I never say it in front of DS, which is true. In front of relatives he is OK, they all say how fantastic it is that he took on a child that isn't his own. He is good to him, plays with him lots, interacts with him, helps him learn, he just seems to hate me. I have said before to him you love ds but not me (he does refer to ds as "his") and he just tells me to stop spouting the same old rubbish and he has heard it all before and of course he loves me.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 14:57:48

Monster it would take time and money (which I don't have much of at the moment) as I only work part time and don't drive. I have a few medical issues so I will need to have a c section if this pregnancy goes on so I will need to have someone to just help out a little after the birth. I don't know why I moved so bloody far.

There is nothing wrong with you. Please don't let it be many more years before you realise that. You sound nice, friendly, interesting and popular. Any person should be pleased to be your friend or in a relationship with you.

He is a nasty bully. Get rid of him and live your own life.

JassyRadlett Sat 11-Jan-14 14:58:51

He sounds awful. He's chipping away at your confidence bit by bit and sounds like a hypocritical self-centred git. He gets to decide what's a 'worthy' hobby and what isn't. Aside - an interest in news and current affairs isn't a hobby? Seriously? I suspect he doesn't like you debating things and being articulate and able to form a good argument. It's not where he wants you.

He gets to decide what's rude and what's not. For the record, starting a conversation when you're in the middle of something else, eg a job application, and expecting your immediate and full attention is rude. Crowding your personal space while cooking when you've asked him not to is rude. Criticising your table manners and your cooking skills is rude. Calling you boring or a cunt is fucking rude.

Honestly. No matter how good a father he is now, do you want your child growing up thinking this is an acceptable relationship dynamic? Because that is what's being modelled at the moment.

I don't know the dynamic of the relationship, of course, but if you're not wiling to ask him to leave - and after some of his statements I'd be long gone- I would seriously withdraw reactions and be very neutral in response to any of his awful pronouncements. He says you bore him to death? 'That must be awful for you. What do you think you should do?' He criticises your interests? 'It's a shame you don't share my interest in current affairs. Still, we can't all like the same things.' He says you're rude? 'I'm sorry you feel that way.' NB: I'd only ever go down that path if you feel 100% safe doing so.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 15:02:07

Jassy I said about we don't like to have all the same interests, he replied, "We have NONE!! We are not normal!" and started ranting at me. I mentioned how we go on walks together, for meals, watch tv together and chat about it, have drinks together, enjoy taking DS out together, he says they aren't real hobbies to share together. I say then leave me if I am so boring and he goes on these long walks messaging me, "i don't know what to do"

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 15:04:03

I've never really been popular laurie he often critisizes me for that. He can easily strike up conversations with strangers where I am quite shy. Once I get to know someone I am fine and will talk all night but I am not very good at it and feel awkward. He says I am very unsociable and rude (say if he talks to a neighbour, i say hello then potter around doing something else or take ds indoors as he is moaning about being bored)

spindlyspindler Sat 11-Jan-14 15:13:49

For the record, starting a conversation when you're in the middle of something else, eg a job application, and expecting your immediate and full attention is rude. Crowding your personal space while cooking when you've asked him not to is rude. Criticising your table manners and your cooking skills is rude. Calling you boring or a cunt is fucking rude.

This. He sounds horrible. It's not just you. And I know you say he's not like this in front of your child but your child will have noticed far more of this than you think.

Also, I love how he constantly runs you down for being boring (because gardening and working on the car are such endless fascinating conversation topics hmm ) and then complains about your lack of social confidence.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 15:16:02

savoy the driving thing is a nightmare. I want to learn but I only want to learn in an auto, I don't enjoy driving manuals (I have tried and am terribly uncoordinated) he just says I am being stupid as auto cars are more to run, I don't know whether it's true, he is the car person but I really just don't want to learn in a manual and he makes me feel like a dumbarse hating them. I really need to learn so I can visit my family more often, he has fell out with my mother and step-dad which makes things awkward for me as he refuses to visit them. My mum did walk out on me as a child but we have since sorted the issues, he often brings up "how can i forgive her" etc but life is just too short for holding grudges.

spindlyspindler Sat 11-Jan-14 15:19:09

If you're reading these comments and thinking "But he's sometimes so lovely and he's great with my son and now I've made all of these people think he's a wanker" - please don't be blinded by misplaced guilt. I'll bet he can be lovely. Most people are a mixture of nice and awful. The question is (a) what the nice bits are and what the awful bits are, and (b) whether the nice bits are good enough to compensate for the awful bits. You're entitled to think that they're not. You're always entitled to think that they're not. That's how we decide whether we're staying or moving on.

boringoldc Sat 11-Jan-14 15:21:02

I do think that sometimes, he has mentioned to me before that he never got physical with exes, I don't know why he says that? Is it to make me feel like it is me doing something wrong? I am not sure. He has never lived with anyone apart from me, i wonder if i have brought this out of him

JoinYourPlayfellows Sat 11-Jan-14 15:23:16

"He says I am very unsociable and rude"

But he's the one who's always falling out with people for being an obnoxious wanker.

You, on the other hand, actually have friends who want to spend time with you and enjoy your company.

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