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Relationship has very suddenly hit a crunch point - confused and upset(39 Posts)
After a marriage which ended badly after an affair and some ea some years ago, I've picked myself up and have a generally happy, very independent life. I've sorted out a lovely home, am doing well in my job, have great friends and the dcs are thriving. I'm proud of this tbh.
I've been with dp since about a year after separation. We generally get on brilliantly, he makes me laugh, we're affectionate and we have lots in common. We don't live together (for practical and financial reasons), I spend child free weekends with him, he's here when the dcs are. He has a stressful time consuming job, but often takes on additional duties and study which makes this worse. These eat into his time and energy to the extent there's very little left for me.
Things came to a head out of the blue this weekend when I accepted a party invite for a future weekend without realising he'd committed to something work related. (He hadn't told me) Rather then discuss this and come to an agreement, he flew off the handle (I think, in anticipation that I'd be hacked off) and laid into me about how I didn't understand his job, and because I "take lunch breaks and organise raffles" (I'm in a management level job fwiw) I can't possibly imagine the pressure he's under. It wasn't the argument but the way he was which really bothered me - he had a nasty tone which
I got upset because I felt he was just belittling me and because the argument felt unexpected and unfair. His job, though hard, is not life and death and comes with a good deal of perks, whereas being a working single parent without any family support really doesn't tbh. I feel stretched and tired virtually all of the time. I don't think he gets how relentless it is. I don't make him feel bad because of that. It's just the way it is right now.
I felt I got a real wake up call about how he sees me and it's really shaken me. I think it's also triggered some of the feelings I had after arguments with Xh, who was just contemptuous towards me by the end. The same gut churning feeling. Dp and I have no dcs together, no financial ties, I'm not actually reliant on him in any way at all and the temptation to just walk away from this is really strong. He's apologised and I don't doubt he means it, but I'm struggling to get past it. I'm unsure if I'm over reacting so I've asked for space to think it through.
Thanks for reading, it's helped just to get it out.
Walk away. Don't ever ignore your instinct when it comes to something like this. Really.
Agree with the above. Leave and never look back.
I know instincts are there for a reason. I just wasn't sure if I was confusing signals. It feels so shit, particularly as it's the first relationship post marriage.
I'm pretty easy going and can't understand what I'm doing (if anything) to end up with unhealthy dynamics in relationships. I'm fairly assertive in most situations and perceived at work as being emotionally intelligent.
I just want an equal partner and to feel settled and secure in an angst free relationship.
Walk away, lack of respect for you professionally is really not on.
You need a partner, an equal partner, not 'my job is much bigger and important than yours'. That attitude is for the playground, not for adults.
I heard a teacher's representative on the TV the other day. I support them and respect their work. However, to support their argument, the person said that teachers have a higher moral calling. I don't really get that. I am meant to think they work on a higher plain than the rest of us? For me, she just sounded out of touch and judgemental. She lost my respect at that point.
Funny you say that, never! I didn't even say the occupation.
It doesn't seem to factor that his working year is 30 weeks. And that the last 4-6 of those are very light. And that other sectors are expected to work outside core hours and often at weekends. And sometimes i work through lunch and barely have time to go to the loo at work. And we're working under pressure and to deadlines, managing adults with some adult issues.
I've just delivered a major project which got recognition at board level. I've been put on to an advanced potential programme at work. I'm not boasting, I'm just really chuffed that I've done this while also bringing up dcs on my own and keeping all the home stuff ticking. And I'm sad that he either can't see or bring himself to acknowledge that.
I'm a bloody idiot. Just read the verbal abuse link in another thread and it rang lots of bells. Those conversations shouldn't happen even occasionally and under stress should they? He has apologised a few times but it took a good few hours to get to that point. No wonder I feel so shaken up.
I really thought I could spot all the signs after Xh.
It just struck me at the time, as though no-one else really 'got' their job.
For me its not about 'getting' or understanding the day to day responsibilities of someone's role, its about respecting the professional responsibilities and commitment whether its managing a team, teaching students, running a business, supporting colleagues, advising etc...
I work in the commercial sector and I've taken roles in the public sector too. They are all hard work; having a job and doing it well is hard work. However, in the commercial sector, you are often only as good as your last project and job security can be poor.
In terms of your relationship, playing the condescending card shows a distinct lack of experience outside his profession. He sounds very insular and wouldn't last two seconds in commerce. However, that's all by the way. Any partner who has a hissy fit because they can't manage their time well and get arsey when you request some balance isn't proper grown up relationship material. Anyone, whether the MD of a company, Headteacher, etc can choose to take time, make time.
There will be periods when people can't take time and that's OK, but when its used as a barrier to having a mature relationship, its time to let him get on with it.
He's verbally abusive too? No, it's not ok. Not at all.
That's it. My dad had an extremely senior role for many years with loads of public responsibility, several bils are extremely senior in all sorts of things and none of them react to pressure like this.
If he knows he's in the wrong he either shuts the conversation down until he's ready to deal with it or deflects it. I can't move on until I've resolved something (but never bear a grudge once I do) so I go quiet. Not sulky, just quiet and introspective. We've had a whole weekend of that. It's unprecedented and I'm usually cheerful no matter what, but it didn't feel like a healthy argument at all.
Trust your instincts then. Your family experience has taught you that people in successful and pressurised roles can also be human and make time for the things that matter in life. No histrionics, no bleating just a straightforward decision to prioritise.
I get the feeling that you sense he will always need his ego stroking and that's a step too far for you. I would be the same.
You've made a good life for you and your dcs. You need a cheerleader and equal not someone who thinks your job is lesser, whatever the jobs are.
I'd bin him off and enjoy the free time you'll gain at weekends, when you can take care of yourself and rest, no sulking men necessary. Meet someone who values you. I've had the contemptuous exh and wouldn't go there again either.
"I'm pretty easy going and can't understand what I'm doing (if anything) to end up with unhealthy dynamics in relationships. I'm fairly assertive in most situations and perceived at work as being emotionally intelligent."
Someone on here linked the shark cage theory and once I read it I got why I also seem to end up in relationships with unhealthy dynamics. I will try and find it for you.
Thank you never, that's really astute.
I am happy to be independent and self sufficient but just now and again I'd love to be looked after a bit and have my needs put first, or at least given some equal weighting.
That's just not happening enough here. My needs aren't consistently being met and It leaves me wondering if I'm being demanding. Realistically I know I'm not. Silly things like always having to cook and plan meals, whether at mine or his. He never has any food in. He'd live off cereal,or pasta. We're both functioning adults. I've got 2 dcs to think about. I don't want to be planning shopping for another adult in a different house as well. I haven't got the energy.
Thank you mamaka. Really interesting article. Made me think about the early cage violations - a sharp tone or unreasonable response to a change in plans. Interesting that he doesn't fit any of the list of shark criteria there. Physically, he's extremely respectful of me too. I remember noticing that early on and that element hasn't changed.
I suspect for him it comes down to an innate inability to handle stress or pressure. Not up to me to bear the brunt or to fix it though. It's exhausting.
Does he have children ?
Cooking ? - eat out or take away
I would have some time on your own and take time to decide if you want to continue with this relationship
What effort does he put into the relationship ?
Arguements when you have not been together long is not a good sign for the future
I think your sixth sense is telling you something
It's not just him not being able to handle stress though - he's belittling your job and making you 'one down'
That's aside from what seems to be lack of empathy for your tough circumstances. He's happy to let you arrange feeding him too. What are you getting out of the relationship?
No he doesn't have children nor want his own. He was married before and it was a choice they made and his mind hasn't changed. He rightly understands he doesn't have the time to give any dcs if he does everything else. I do respect this and it's no issue - it actually makes things less complicated for us. He gets on well with mine and they are always happy to see him. He's very good with them - the right balance of kind and firm.
We've actually been together a few years but recently rather than going with the flow, I've been evaluating where it's all going. And realised we're really not in a position to move in together as was the tenuous plan.
Peace, I'm really not sure any more. It used to be love, affection, friendship and support. We went off and had adventures together exploring new places all over the world. Watched films, took long walks, lazed about and read, ate out and got giggly on champagne. Made new friends and hung out together.
He was exactly what I needed when I was newly dating post divorce. I don't think he is now.
In my experience our recovery from bad marriages/relationships in terms of putting ourselves back out there is that the first (couple/few) relationships are training relationships.
This guy doesn't respect you, he thinks he's better than you. (He's most definitely not!) thank god he doesn't want kids, there's a crap dad right there.
Use this relationship as a stepping stone. You've learned a lot about yourself and what is And isn't acceptable, he's not the Forever Guy.
Don't waste another day on him, move onwards and upwards.
I also think this relationship has run it's course. Term over, adios, amigo.
Perhaps it has been a slow drip, or maybe not, but he seems to be using you (so you are his personal chef?). Not only that, but he seems to expect you to go into invisible mode and become an extension of his life...you sacrifice but he doesn't.
He is very dismissive of you. That is the real him, isn't it?
Trust your gut.
Op - I will generalise (to save time) I have never met more than a couple of teachers, I would employ myself. The rest I wouldn't pay in buttons. The problem is they go to school, go to college, go to uni and then go back to school. They don't mature with adults like the rest of us have to. In some respects that are just adult kids in the school.
As for having a relationship with one.... I would rather stay single. Hearing about the latest staff room squabble would drive me insane.
What DrM said above. I have met some nice, well-adjusted teachers, but these were in the minority . I think when people are intelligent, and socially skilled, they manage to cover up some of their 'ishoos' most of the time. What you are seeing here is 'leakage' of that nasty controlling misogony unfortunately. Left to continue, and in a living together relationship, I think he could get worse, sorry.
Interesting points, thank you all. I think the majority of teachers do an incredible job. I don't doubt it's tough. I wouldn't want to do it. But there just seems to be a block in that sector in understanding that others work very hard in long hours in their jobs too. I go out for drinks with them and the moaning is endless. They have unions to fight their corner over every little thing. They push back constantly. I wouldn't want to be in management in a school for any money.
It would be really interesting to see if any other partners feel the same - if it pervades their home lives too. Perhaps I should start a thread. Apparently the divorce rate is sky high and I can understand why.
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