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I'm not sure if I'm being manipulated, abused, or if I'm crazy. Lately I don't enjoy being around him

(136 Posts)
Dorsetmama Mon 07-Dec-15 09:20:29

I'll try to keep to the relevant information here.... Some back story is needed.

Years ago, 15 to be exact, I suffered a trauma. My mental health was affected and nothing was ever resolved relating to the trauma. I self harmed for years since then. I was also physically and emotionally abused by my mother and stepfather. More so from my stepfather.
I met the father of my children when i was 20, shortly fell pregnant so I finally had a good reason to move out. I was with my ex for 6 years and we had 4 children - sadly he was abusive in other ways. No respect for me, wasted all of our money to the point of eviction and then almost a second eviction before i finally got rid of him, after he cheated on me with a school mum.

A year later, i met my DP. convinced i had finally found the one. He wasn't phased by my 4 unruly kids, all 6 and under, and he seemed to adore me.

He accepted my self harm and mental health problems. Coaxed me to open up to him, tell him all. I did. Then he said the problems were too big and i needed professional help. I sought it, only to get let down by the system... Long story short my paperwork was lost. I waited a year from then for treatment to start. In the meantime things got quite bad. He was continuously wanting to know my every thought, the reason behind every mood. He knew I suffered badly with PMT but could never let me be. He would go into these long sulks where he would disappear into the bedroom for days just leaving me to suddenly cope on my own. He became really strict and controlling over my kids. Which i tried to believe they needed a firm hand... But when it got to him making them pick up lentils from the floor as a punishment i knew it had gone too far.

He smoked too much weed.

We booked a holiday to Italy his home country, for the following summer. And then i fell pregnant. I was quite happy. In the good moments, we had talked about a baby and he said i was the only woman he'd ever wanted to have a baby with in his life, so not even his ex wife! But he was devastated by the news. He said we werent ready. He assumed i would think the same. Then when i expressed i didn't, after alot of arguing he told me if i had the baby he probably wouldn't leave, but he would pretend it didnt exist. He wouldn't help me through the pregnancy. I saw no option. I couldn't be a mother of 4 boys, on my own, with a pregnancy to cope with... And then a baby. It wasn't how i wanted it. So i agreed to abort. But i had to wait until after the holiday. So i had to spend 3 more weeks pregnant getting all the symptoms. It was hell. He came with me to the abortion which i thought was quite supportive. But he complained that the women working there were looking at him badly.

6 months later we moved to a new town. It was hard on everyone. I have one child who is autistic and it was most hard on him.

Things hit rock bottom. We argued every single day. Things got violent though not at each other. Apart from one day. I accidentally hit him when flailing my arms during another heated argument when he was in my face, and he called the police. Then i ended up almost arrested. I think they could tell he lied to them... As he told them i punched him. Walked over to him and punched him.

It all seems to stupid now. He left for a bit after that. Social services got involved but they were satisfied i was okay and the kids were fine.
He was gone 3 months. He stopped the smoking just before he left as i stopped letting him have money for it.

He didn't work you see. As soon as he moved in with me (6 months after we had met) he stopped working.
But he got a job when he moved out. He went 300 miles away. We talked alot and agreed some things needed to change. He came back after 3 months. Promises of no more smoking and getting a job. So far, 6 months later, he smokes again and theres no job. We just live on benefits.

I still want the baby. Some days. I sometimes think it will make me happy enough to not care about the stuff he does.

He is not as strict with the kids now, but some stuff still happens that i dont like. But he says i need to treat him as if the kids are his own, otherwise its not fair. He says i can't just pick and choose when i want his help or advice. He says he doesn't have to check on me so why should I check on him?

He says he wants a baby lots now, we talk about names and everything, but we have to wait. I feel like he uses it as a bargaining tool. Every time i have a bad moment, we have to wait longer for it.

I finally got treatment for my problems, a great psychologist really helped me since we moved, and i feel much better.
But my DP met my psychologist and doesn't like him. Doesn't like the suggestions he made about our relationship problems, and even accused him of fancying me.

I must admit lately, i have been less patient with his moods. Less patient with his lack of activity, and lack of motivation. I get exasperated that he naps every day. I get annoyed that he never does much around here.

I'd like to change my lifestyle, I'd like to drive. I've always wanted to drive. And he never has. Until i express the desire to and now he wants to learn simultaneously... Making it almost impossible to pay for both of us and save for a car.... Maybe it seems trivial?

I hope i didnt jump around too much... Does this all make sense?

tigermoll Mon 07-Dec-15 09:24:34

Please don't stay with this man, and please, please don't have his baby.

AliceInUnderpants Mon 07-Dec-15 09:26:40

Are you still seeing your psychologist? Do you seriously think another child with this 'man' is a good idea?

BIWI Mon 07-Dec-15 09:27:14

Read what you've written as if it had been written by another Mumsnetter.

What would you tell her?

This man doesn't love or respect you - or your family. Get rid of him.

CharlotteCollins Mon 07-Dec-15 09:29:03

It all makes sense.

Do no, under any circumstances, have a baby with this man.

Has he made the changes you talked about when you got back together? No.

He thinks he should be on an equal footing with the children, even though they're yours and not his? And you know he has the potential to go too far with them. The lentil incident sounds humiliating. Think carefully about the kind of person who can do that.

And then run for the hills!

duckyneedsaclean Mon 07-Dec-15 09:30:28

I don't often say this, but ltb.

He treats you and your children awfully.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 07-Dec-15 09:34:12

Wow - you have been through a lot and I am so sorry.
You were abused and you are repeating the cycle.
YOU need to break this cycle.
This 'man' is not OK. He's a cocklodger and you are enabling all his behaviours.
You CAN be a good single parent you know?
You do NOT need a man!

Please please please contact Womens Aid. 0808 2000 247.
You are being abused again and you need to been shown this.
You can do their Freedom Programme so you can spot red flags and see abusive men for what they are.
This 'man' is not the one who is going to solve all your problems.
Only you can do that. On your own!
Please get rid of him. Find yourself, be on your own and look after your lovely kids.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 07-Dec-15 09:35:50

Don't get pregnant.

Learn to drive asap.

If he wants to learn he can get a job and pay for his own lessons.

If you stopped paying for him to laze around and smoke weed you'd have a lot more money to give you and the children a better lifestyle, right?

Laquitar Mon 07-Dec-15 09:36:19

Bloody hell !
DO NOT HAVE A BABY WITH HIM
and speak to your GP

Dorsetmama Mon 07-Dec-15 09:52:09

What you are all saying sounds very scary. If i re read my post... I can see it. As i typed it, i could see it. So what is it that makes me feel like im wrong? I have done things wrong in this relationship. I'm also not a perfect mother.... When he points out the times i have lost my temper or snapped at them or not got out the door on time, or not got dinner ready on time, or been inconsistent, or even just that they dont respect me as much as him... He makes me believe what he does is normal. Its certainly the normal i have known all my life. But that doesn't stop the alarms ringing in my head.

He points out the nice things he does and then i feel guilty for even thinking he is bad.

Dorsetmama Mon 07-Dec-15 09:54:42

The times i have got close to ending it, he has reminded me how much he loves me, how beautiful he thinks i Am and that my weight doesn't matter to him... All lovely stuff and convinces me its just a blip.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 07-Dec-15 11:02:19

Wow your update screams even more abuse.
You are starting to see it and that is a good thing considering your upbringing and what your 'normal' is.
What do you mean, not have dinner ready on time, or get out of the door on time???
So what? Did anyone die? No they did not.
So the kids eat a little later, you are busy surely.
And as he does nothing all day why doesn't he get the dinner ready 'on time'?
You have 4 kids to get ready and out the door, I don't think anyone can expect you to be 'on time' all the time. It's just not possible.
And the 'weight' comment!? Well that's just not OK. He shouldn't mention it at all if it doesn't bother him. But... he knows it bothers you so it's a little dig every time. Knock knock knock to your self esteem and self worth so he can put you down without you realising and have you believing you don't deserve any better.
Seriously. HE is very bad news for your self esteem and your mental health. You are seeing the impact now and you are coming to realise it's not OK.
Please put your kids first and kick this lazy, cocklodging, abusive arse out of your house.

CharlotteCollins Mon 07-Dec-15 12:48:36

So when you get close to ending it, he turns on the sweet talk. Doesn't that show you just how false it is?

You can leave a relationship just because you want to. You don't need a "good enough" reason. There is no reason to feel guilty about wanting to leave him.

Women's Aid and Freedom Programme can definitely help. So can time on your own.

I expect it's fear with your DCs and him, not respect. You would be doing them such a favour, kicking him out. Effects on the children: definitely the hardest week of the Freedom Programme.

CharlotteCollins Mon 07-Dec-15 13:01:11

The most important reason I suggest being single for a few years is that it will give you time to listen to yourself, to work out who you are and what you believe so that you can stand on your own two feet. I don't think you know what to think: you only hear his voice and when it doesn't make sense to you (because he's talking self-serving bollocks), you try to believe it anyway, and that's why you feel crazy or manipulated or both.

You can stand on your own two feet, you know. Maybe you've never done it before, but maybe you've never had a chance. It sounds like there have always been people invested in keeping you weak and vulnerable. Time to try your own strength.

Dorsetmama Mon 07-Dec-15 14:33:58

What is the Freedom Programme?
I do not see my psychologist anymore, it was only specifically for the trauma related problems... He did try to tactfully point out where some things were in appropriate.

I dont know if I can do it alone... When he left for the short time he did, i had the school breathing down my neck attributing every problem the kids had to me and him or me being alone....
I was on my own for a year in between my ex and him, and it was ok. But i lived closer to school, i had friends.
I dont have friends. I stopped seeing them all after he moved in, and when we all moved to where we are now, i havent made new ones. In fact I've ended up making some locals dislike me because of a stupid facebook page.

I know its all excuses...

I love him. Or at least i think i do. And the kids, well mostly they like him and love him too.... Not everything, no, but their own father is such a let down to them....
It all feels like a mess and im worried i wont cope if he was to go. Im also worried i wont find anyone decent, and at least he doesnt hit me!

CesareBorgiasUnicornMask Mon 07-Dec-15 15:14:14

Dorset you sound lovely. But you also sound as though with all that has happened to you you don't know which way is up.

Posters in abusive relationships are often told to imagine their daughter was in their situation, but you have boys. So let me ask you: when your lovely boys are grown up, imagine one of them meets a lovely girl, and then treats her the way your partner is treating you - how would you feel?

Imagine he gets her pregnant with a wanted baby, then pushes her to an abortion. He makes promises and breaks them again and again. He makes her doubt her parenting. He is harsh to her children. He lies about her to the police. He spends money she should be spending on herself and her babies on drugs. He strings her along with promises of another lovely baby that he cannot support, as he has no job.

Would you be proud of your son, if it was him? Would you say 'well at least he doesn't hit her'. Or would you feel like giving him a piece of your mind, and tell the lovely girl he was treating this way to get the hell out of there, and that she deserved better and would have better, and that she'd manage just fine on her own?

All the other advice you've had is great, and you should follow it. You don't say what your trauma was, but remember that you do not have to let your life be defined by it. It's something that happened to you - don't let it be something that defines you. You deserve more than this man.

You sound like you do your absolute best for your boys, which is all anyone can ask for. But remember that all the time you're with him, this is the example of a relationship they're growing up with. You say they love him and like him - does that mean they're going to want to be like him when they're older?

I'm not trying to guilt you - I'm trying perhaps to give you something specific that you can hang on to in the midst of not knowing what to do or how to feel. This man is not good for your children - every time he does something that hurts you or upsets you he is hurting them, and also teaching them that it's ok to hurt people you're supposed to love, and that if they're hurtful, cruel liars to the women they meet in later life, those women might just accept it.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 07-Dec-15 15:39:06

The Freedom Programme is run by Womens Aid. It's a 12 week course when you go one evening a week and 'learn' about boundaries and abuse and spotting red flags and how to deal with it all and get away etc...
If you can't get out of the house then you can do it on-line although far better to attend in person.

So he has isolated you as well. Another typical abuse tactic.
Can you go back to where you were before?
Do you have family who can help you out?

goddessofsmallthings Mon 07-Dec-15 16:10:58

He makes me believe what he does is normal. Its certainly the normal i have known all my life but you know that the 'normal' you have known all your life is in fact abnormal which is why nothing will stop those alarm bells ringing in your head.

I must admit lately, i have been less patient with his moods. Less patient with his lack of activity, and lack of motivation. I get exasperated that he naps every day. I get annoyed that he never does much around here It's about time you ran out of patience with him and let your anger at his idle ways provide you with the energy to run him out of your home and out of your life for good because, no matter what you may fear at being 'alone', nothing good will come of your life until he's out of it once and for all.

Although it's a poor substitute for engaging with other women who have been, or are also being, abused by controlling twunts like the cocklodger you are currently entertaining, you can do the Freedom Programme online www.freedomprogramme.co.uk/online.php

Regardless of what's gone before, every new day offers the opportunity to start over and do it right. Please stop wasting all of the opportunities you have to get it right for your dc who deserve a lot more than the hand they've been dealt so far.

Friendlystories Mon 07-Dec-15 16:11:27

OP I wish there was a way to fast forward your thinking to 6 months down the line from getting free of this man. You asked in an earlier post what makes you feel you're in the wrong, the answer is that he nitpicks small things which most partners would accept as just part of daily life and turns them into ways to criticise and blame you, make you feel that you're a terrible person and partner. Meanwhile he minimises his own copious faults and turns everything round on you. This isn't a normal way to treat or relate to your partner, this is contrived, calculated ways to belittle you and make you doubt yourself so he keeps control of you, twisting things so you always feel at fault. He's done this to you for so long and in so many different ways you don't know which way is up anymore and that's why you doubt whether you could cope on your own. The truth is that you absolutely could and he knows it so he does this to you so you'll stay with him, that's why I wish you could fast forward because without him you would see very quickly how much damage his abuse is doing to the way you see yourself. Please do the Freedom programme, even if only online, you need an outlook on your relationship which isn't coloured by him so you can see how abusive he is.

Stormtreader Mon 07-Dec-15 17:34:01

"He points out the nice things he does and then i feel guilty for even thinking he is bad."

Even Hitler loved his dog. Hardly anyone is totally one hundred percent bad, but that doesn't mean that all the other stuff doesn't count. There is no minimum level of "nice things" that mean you have to put up with him, you could break up with him for no other reason than "I just think my life would be better without you", you're allowed to do that.

Stormtreader Mon 07-Dec-15 17:41:07

"He points out the nice things he does and then i feel guilty for even thinking he is bad."

Even Hitler loved his dog. Hardly anyone is totally one hundred percent bad, but that doesn't mean that all the other stuff doesn't count. There is no minimum level of "nice things" that mean you have to put up with him, you could break up with him for no other reason than "I just think my life would be better without you", you're allowed to do that.

Stormtreader Mon 07-Dec-15 17:41:26

"He points out the nice things he does and then i feel guilty for even thinking he is bad."

Even Hitler loved his dog. Hardly anyone is totally one hundred percent bad, but that doesn't mean that all the other stuff doesn't count. There is no minimum level of "nice things" that mean you have to put up with him, you could break up with him for no other reason than "I just think my life would be better without you", you're allowed to do that.

Jackie0 Mon 07-Dec-15 17:50:14

Do not get pregnant, no matter what he says

PurpleWithRed Mon 07-Dec-15 18:17:06

You can do it alone - it will be an awful lot easier and nicer than trying to do it with him and your kids will grow up and love you for it.

Dorset, read your posts and all these replies. Come back for more support whenever you need it. We'll be with you every step of the way.

Dorsetmama Mon 07-Dec-15 20:00:00

There is some really good advice here.
Today has been exhausting. We've had yet another lengthy discussion about my behaviour and our relationship. About the kids. About my lack of trust. He says he understands why i feel like i do because of my past. But also that it's not his fault.

I do respond with anger quite a lot. I'm trying to work on this.
Why do people do this though? Why am i choosing these types?

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