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is my husband's behaviour normal?(39 Posts)
Hello…I split up with my husband then after a period of separation we're back together again. Sometimes it seems to be going well…sometimes…I don't know. I think part of the problem is that I don't know if there IS a problem. I am aware that I grew up in a hostile abusive environment and so am keen to avoid this for my kids…however, maybe sometimes I go too far the other way.
My DH is always 'stressed' and snappy. I think my eldest is picking up on this as he is now having major tantrums (age 8) and is biting his nails again (he stopped when we split up). I feel that he often has unreasonable expectations of the kids- hurrying them to bed, getting at them for leaving a mess when actually DH does no tidying up or cleaning whatsoever. Often I don't want to get out of bed as DH is storming about downstairs muttering and effing etc. I don't feel I am treated with respect- DH often says things that are hurtful and then apologises…but I can't forget what he says and after the last time (Weds night) I spent the following 24 hours intermittently crying. I still feel like c**p today but maybe that's just me being…me.
Sometimes I feel that we have to revolve around him. At the weekend, he likes to cook so whatever we do we have to be back in time for him to cook, and often that involves shopping before hand, whereas sometimes I'd just rather we had some decent time out with the kids doing something fun. If there is something he doesn't want to do/place he doesn't want to go generally we don't do it which I don't think is fair- e.g. kids like bowling. He doesn't. I had to give up my job to move house, and I don't do much socially. If I do go out in the evening/at the weekend (usually for a couple of hours tops) I usually get this thrown back at me like he has made a massive sacrifice for my sake, and it makes me feel like the stress is not worth it.
On the other hand, the kids say that they are happy we are back together, and he has agreed to pick the kids up from after-school so I can go to uni for one day a week for 6 weeks. He provides funds when I ask, although I do not know what is going on financially which worries me (I am at the bottom of my overdraft) although we are meant to be getting a joint account.
Is this normal behaviour? Am I being completely oversensitive and is everyone's relationship like this? Is there something psychologically wrong with my husband? I have my own psychological issues so this makes objective appraisal of a situation difficult.
Thanks if you have got this far.
Yes it's normal in abusive relationships.
I think your upbringing has skewed your perceptions so much that you don't really know what's acceptable anymore.
This certainly isn't.
He basically feels that you and his children are there to serve him and revolve around him. One day a week he picks up his own kids and you feel like this is a major concession? In a supportive, equal relationship it would be normal for him to pick them up half the time and h wouldn't expect cookies for it.
Oh it's entirely normal behaviour - for a controlling and abusive individual.
Your kids will say that even if you are punching each other's lights out, they will always say they want their parents together.
They are suffering OP, he's abusive, a control freak and doesn't seem to like you or his children very much, it's a shit environment for everyone.
Sad thing is, he will probably not be able to change, it's engrained in him, I assume you split the first time because of this, what has changed, nothing by the sounds of it.
Yes totally normal for an abusive partner
The pattern often goes like a shit sandwich: horrid, lovely, horrid, to keep you on your toes, you see.
You can't quite predict how he is going to behave next, you try to second guess, keep him sweet, accept switches of opinion in a kind of doublethink way
What did he say the last time, when you were upset so horribly?
I split up with my husband then after a period of separation we're back together again.
What changed that made you get back together again?
What work was done to address and put right some of the issues that made you split in the first place?
This isn't sounding like much of a fresh start. Are the issues you have now, the same ones you had before? Are they the issues that caused you to split?
Not that you need to give answers here. But maybe just some things to ask yourself...
Maybe if I post what would happen in my relationship:
'stressed' and snappy: My DH does have a very stressful job and often gets in a 'stress cycle' where he can be very snappy. But he always apologises and we are trying to work out a way for him to not do it. He's taken up cycling to work again, which is good because it gives him space to clear his head. I know it's not a miracle cure and he will snap again, but I'm able to raise it and we're able to talk about it.
Hurtful things: yep, he does do this when he's stressed. It's our biggest problem tbh.
Life revolving round him: no way Jose. We take turns - ALL of our family take turns - to do the things they like and we are all supported to do that, whether it's the museum, me wanting to cook and entertain, DH wanting to potter in the garage, we all get equal shouts.
I go out 2 - 3 times a week. No bother.
I do the pick ups because I work from home, but if DH needs to do them then he will, no questions asked. No bother.
Money: joint account, full disclosure.
I think I have a 'normal' relationship - 1 or 2 not so great things that we discuss and work on, the rest is easy.
I don't think your relationship sounds healthy.
What are you getting out of it?
(Sorry for epic post)
mangojuggler the stupid thing is I can't even remember exactly what he said. I know that he said he was going to bed, I said please can you clean the sausagey pan before you go (meat) as he was going to be away the next day…I'd cleared up everything else. The only thing I remember is the f**ing and blinding and me being extremely concerned that my eldest was still awake. I'd been out for a run with a club and the general gist was that my request was completely unreasonable as he had facilitated this by getting home from work at a reasonable time (I went out at 6.15). I think I was generally upset because I'd had the kids 24/7 as it is the school holidays (3 of them), and I'd enjoyed being out, and now I was regretting it. Which sounds daft.
What changed that made you get back together again?
Yep, this is the question.
No it isn't normal - far from it in fact. Why did you get back together?
He sounds like a "king of the castle" (google it, it's either in the Freedom Programme or Lundy Bancrofts book), my ex was a bit like this - happy as Larry ONCE I was doing everything he wanted and everything revolved around him and his needs, if I didn't that's when the mask came off..I just began to get this awful realization that he was only happy with me when as long as I did everything for him, the list got longer and longer, then anything I did wasn't good enough, if I tried to cut down or do more for myself that's when things got nasty - a very lonely and scary situation to find yourself in.
General consensus not positive then…
Lonny thanks for the insight, cycling is a good thing. I've suggested to DH doing something to destress- exercise, yoga, something. He prefers to either sit in front of the telly or drink with friends. I do wonder what I'm getting out of our relationship. I've moved away from my social network which was really hard, and there's no going back. I'm now living somewhere that is actually big enough for us now as we were overcrowded. I thought we were meant to be making an effort to work on our relationship and at the beginning this did happen but DH is always…you guessed…stressed, tired.
buttocks we decided that he didn't want to get divorced…we still got on…we'd had a lot of stress that had led to us splitting up. We went to Relate for a while, which helped us understand each other. Before we moved back in together we spent time 'dating' and talking…it wasn't a rushed decision. DH's behaviour is better than it was before we split up by far (it was horrendous). But I think he thinks that the current situation is reasonable.
Then this needs to be stopped in its tracks. He needs to be told that this is not reasonable. Even if you need to get back to Relate to tell him. Nip it in the bud. Find strategies that work for you both.
buttocks think that might be a good idea…cheers
OP, he needs to first of all recognise his behaviour is abusive, doesn't sound like he does think it is.
He seems to think you and the kids are his verbal punch bag - not on, ever.
op I don't think this relationship is normal.
I think your husband has very high expectations of what you should be doing in your life with regards to the children and the home.
He thinks they're you're full responsibility and he just wants to do his bit as and when it suits him. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
What should be happening is that, after he has finished work he needs to realise that as a husband and father he should be contributing to the practicalities of family life. He should be helping out with chores and putting the dc to bed.
You and he should also have equal free time away from the children. If you get a chance to pop out for an hour you shouldn't be in your knees thanking him like he's some king!
Your sole purpose is not him and the children, you are an actual person and deserve to be treat as such.
Money: you should be having shared access to money.
Does he give you a weekly budget? Is it enough?
quitelikely 'as and when it suits him' that's right
don't feel much like an actual person at the moment (I have told him this…0
At the moment we've got a situation where we are selling the old (too small) house so paying for 2 places (renting one). The money that goes into my account is not enough as I deal with mortgage etc, but the assumption is that finances will change when contracts are exchanged- my overdraft will be paid off etc, we should actually have some disposable income. I don't like not knowing what's going on though…I have no idea how much money we actually have, or don't have. DH knows I don't like not knowing, it's something we talked about in relate as he got into massive debts in the past so we decided before we got back together that there would be financial clarity. Which hasn't happened yet.
God OP, you have no idea about your finances, that's worrying, another form of his control.
It's not normal and as a PP said you can't actually put too much stock in what your DCs are saying. You are teaching them that this is what relationships look like. They haven't had the space to see that life can be different.
It all sound so draining.
Have you had counselling to try to come to terms with your abusive upbringing? I think it would help, because your childhood has eroded your sense of boundaries hence why you're finding it difficult to judge if this is 'normal' behaviour from your DH.
winnie yes that is my worry about the kids…
I did have some counselling when I was a lot younger, due to having issues…it was more about working out why I was like I was…which took a long time as I didn't realise my family was not normal at all. Nothing about how my parents were to each other. I guess I'm always thinking "well, I might not like it but it's not that bad so what is there to moan about?" Maybe not the best tactic.
vivacia I don't know...
You do know underneath all the crap what is right or wrong, it's just hard to break the cycle of what you think is acceptable, your kids are a great incentive for going it alone and giving them the peace they deserve to grow up in.
You do know underneath all the crap what is right or wrong, it's just hard to break the cycle
I agree with this from Jan. If you didn't know I don't think you would have started the thread.
OP this is such a horrible situation for you and your children. Having to walk on eggshells and suppressing your own emotions will make you I'll.
Please don't condemn yourself to this abuse. I feel so sad for you. Your kids will probably be trying to work out how they can stop daddy being angry to protect you.
Children are like sponges and absorb all this crap. Does he drink?
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