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Married a stranger and going insane. (literally)(212 Posts)
I started a thread about this last week
And got a lot of advice but since Friday have seriously been so ill and sick full of nerves. I think what has happened has just hit me. Really hit me.
Went to a party without DH, an old "friend" of DH was there (hasn't seen in 12 years), he let slip that DH liked a lot bit of coke back in the day whilst drunk. I didn't know this so casually questioned DH when I got home. DH said only a couple of times but even though thus guy was drunk he didn't seem to mean a couple of times. Prodded a little and DH exposed a past of drugs and epic disaster when he was in a foreign country in early 20's doing a grad scheme.
The main horrific facts are:
Started as fun, coke got bad after meeting a girl who introduced him to harder stuff (crack mainly)
Horrid relationship together - the worst of it was him beating her during a drug fuelled argument (he admits this, said he blacked out but takes responsibility)
One morning after a crack binge she wanted more, he said no and she started screaming that he raped her (which he maintains he didn't and was never charged but spent two nights in jail)
She started selling herself and he would do drugs with her still after he found out
He finds her dead after they split up and her family goes nuts and accuses him of having a hand in it and he was interrogated by the police intensely. (not charged with anything and didn't have anything to do with it)
There was lying, stealing, manipulation involved as well but the above is the worst of it.
After she died he ran home scared shitless and has been clean ever since. He only took a sip of champagne at our wedding. He has always said he just simply doesn't drink and I never thought much of it
We have spoken about this "properly" around twice before I shut down for 3 weeks and when I tried to speak about it he calmly said he doesn't like talking about it because it is in the past. He said he's told me all I need to know and he's like it to stay in the past and not infect his new life. He said he supports my feelings but he doesn't want to sit with me and go through every gorey detail of his addiction. He said addicts do disgusting things and it's impractical to dwell.
He said not to tell anyone and that he didn't tell me because he was never charged, most importantly innocent, and yes things got insane but for the most of it he was a 22 year old dickhead.
I got a lot of advice on the other thread but I'm feeling alone, like i married a stranger. He's giving hugs and kisses and saying he understands my shock but does he really? I've started to really really think....Why is my usually supportive husband shutting me down? He's doing it politely, but doing it never the less.
I believe him as I've done research about drug abuse and things can get mad. But I just don't like the way he is handling this. He seems detached from what happened. He spoke about it really calmly. Didn't cry or shudder or look in pain once. I find this weird but many people on the other thread said they have had murky pasts and don't let it haunt them anymore either. I've heard SO many opinions and all of them make sense and have standing. Every last one. I'm so confused. I go from wanting to hold him and forget about this to wanting a divorce every other hour.
He wasn't honest with you.
The man you loved did not exist.
This other man isn't what you want, is he?
We all have a past. I think the fact that he didn't tell you says more about his mental state than deliberately trying to mislead you. Finding the person you loved dead under those circumstances must have seriously affected his mental health. It is new and raw to you. Can you both look for (individual) counselling?
Tbh the violence would be a deal breaker for me. You can't excuse that as a "murky past".
I think you need to cut him a break. He has dealt with it in his own way and you have to respect that
You yourself said you shut down when trying to talk about it. Maybe he took that option years ago and just doesn't want to open up.
I suffered some horrible things when younger and have no wish to discuss these or bring them up with my dh. If they came up, I doubt I would want to talk about it.
Your dh still is the man he was. You just know more about him now.
I read your other thread. I don't think he's done anything wrong. He didn't commit murder. He was an idiotic 22 year old. He didn't tell you because it has no bearing on the person he is now.
I think you have had a very extreme reaction to this, maybe you have had a very sheltered/privileged life up to now. So maybe counselling would be beneficial.
I wish you and your DH well.
You think she's had an extreme reaction? So this is normal now is it?
In that case I've had a sheltered upbringing too and will be doing the same for as much as I can for my dc! If violence and heavy drug use is blasé now I want none of it.
Oh Stealth I missed that. Yes that should ring alarm bells. It is his past, and it may never rear it's ugly head again, but do you want to take that risk? I wouldn't.
Oh and being accused of rape ans finding your girlfriend dead
He just wants to get on with what he sees as his 'real' life, I think.
He has found a way to minimise in his head and is trying to brush it all under the rug - which is awful, but understandable. My concern is that recovery usually means owning up to everything you've done and being honest with those closest to you. He chose not to do that, for ten years.
I would find it pretty hard to forgive - yes everyone has a past but this isn't just a one night stand as a student - this is some pretty nasty shit and you deserved to know prior to marriage.
I think what would bother me is the whole brushing under the carpet thing.
I would suggest counselling.
I don't think your husband has done anything wrong in not telling you any of this, I think you are majorly over reacting and I don't think you have any right to make him tell you about his past.
saying he understands my shock but does he really?
Of course he does... he lived that past, the one that hearing about shocks you.
You have every right to reassess your reltaionship but he also has every right to have made a new start and consigned that to his past.
he doesn't want to sit with me and go through every gorey detail of his addiction. Of course he doesn't. His past life and mistakes are not some gore fest to titillate. They are his issues to deal with. Which is why he is calm, detached, impersonal. If he was not he would not be a fully functioning adult, the man you fell in love with.
You say you shut down for 3 weeks on hearing about it. He probably took a lot longer having lived through it all. His current feelings/attitude are his coping mechanism. You cannot question that, it is his right to deal with it as he sees fit.
You can question whether or not you wish to remain with him. Sadly you now have to consider the for worse element of marriage vows. Whatver you decision you will not be wrong... you will be doing that is right for you... just as he did all those years ago.
I was off the rails at 20/21, the way I was living did not reflect how I'd been brought up. By 24 I was qualified as teacher and livig a very clean and ordinary life. While I never did anything as serious as some of things your DH did I drunk heavily, did speed every now and then and the crowd I hung out with were 'going nowhere' types (but then they probably thought that about me too). There is no way my husband would have been interested in me on any level at that time.
You should take into account the sitational factors that may have compounded certain behaviours at the time and decide if any current behaviours ever make you feel even just uncomfortable.
I believe people can change. I suppose this is what you are tryign to figure out. I think your husband needs to give you space to process this and should maybe answering any questions you have factually. if he has dealt with all that happened he should be able to talk about it factually. That said if you had done some of those things you wouldnt be proud of them and want to talk about them.
What is he like now, are there any red flags, but for this information about his past have you been happy. Would it help to speak to his parents?
It's his past not yours.
I was a drug addict in my teens and it bares no relation to who I am today and I don't tell anyone about it. It was over ten years ago and yes I did awful things to get more drugs but it's not something I would discuss with someone new now.
You don't have to disclose every single piece of information about yourself to a new partner. Maybe it says something about your relationship that he couldn't trust you to tell you his past and that says more about you then him.
I don't think you've overreacted at all. If there were no drug abuse in his story, but the acts of violence and the rape accusation remained, there would surely be no doubt as to whether this was an overreaction on the part of the OP. Drug abuse does not absolve him.
Personally I would be very wary. You say he is shutting you down, yet that won't make any of your valid concerns disappear. It's all very well suggesting the OP gets counselling (actually a good idea in itself) but if she wants a discussion with him about this moving forward I think she has the right to request that.
Equally she is completely within her rights to end this relationship and personally I wouldn't blame her. His past is his own, but to shut down any discussions with the OP or minimising her worries strikes me as massively disrespectful. I'm not sure I could stay with a man who admits beating his previous partner, whether he blacked out or not.
I think this is probably something you need to discuss with a relationship councilor. It is a huge revelation, and don't think anyone on here is qualified to help you sort your way forward (together or apart).
AS you are married I assume you've been together at least a few years? If he's never been anything but decent to you and you've seen no worrying signs of a relapse, addictive behaviours etc, then I think you need to cut him some slack and stop grilling him. It's obviously traumatising him to be made to keep raking over old ground, he's seen and done some awful things, he's admitted that he was young and stupid, he's got himself clean and made a new life. Not everyone wants to keep going over old ground and why does he owe it to you to keep doing that now that you know? What else is there to say?
It's up to you how you choose to deal with what you've learnt but if you choose to keep punishing or questioning him over something that never affected or concerned you and happened a long time ago then you might just be cutting off your nose to spite your face and throwing away the chance of a good life with a decent man.
By all means be vigilant for signs of a substance abuse relapse or any violence/anger problems on his part and be prepared to act swiftly if you ever feel that things are going dangerously downhill, but if he has never given you any reason to worry up until now then I think it's unfair to assume that any of this is likely to happen again. He was living a very different life then and drugs make people behave in ways that they never would had they not had them.
You say he is shutting you down, yet that won't make any of your valid concerns disappear. It's all very well suggesting the OP gets counselling (actually a good idea in itself) but if she wants a discussion with him about this moving forward I think she has the right to request that.
Yes to counselling. But she has had a conversation, she knows a lot about what went on. The shutting down is, as far as OP says, about details, which he won't go into. OP has the broad outline of what went on and, quite understandably, feels the need for detail. That clashes with his need not to relieve it for someone elses interest/gratification.
The only real advice for you mummymalta is to repeat, whatever you decide will be best for you. If you can get counselling you might be able to work through it all better.
It's a shame you didn't just continue with the other thread. Your opening post on this thread is a decent summary, but really doesn't convey the depth of violence or how horiffic some of the stuff they did together was.
I would urge people to at least read the op's posts (all of them) on the other thread.
If people haven't read your other thread, you're going to get a lot more of the 'everyone has a past', 'you have lived a sheltered life' type replies.
I can totally understand your conflict - you look at your DH and he's in part the man you've known for years and you love the bones of him, but you can't help seeing who he was & the disgusting things he did - then there's the fact that he lied to you about his past for so long and only told you because a mate dropped him in it. Of course you can't tell someone every little detail about your past, but I definitely see it as lying by omission to not tell someone about a serious drug addiction, violence, prostitution & finding your girlfriend dead. Lying about why he doesn't drink & lying in other conversations you have had.
I can understand why you are torn in two 💐 For very different reasons (an affair) I was torn as well. I put myself through hell trying to 'get past it' whilst after the initial disclosure & conversations he just wanted to 'put it to bed' (yep, he actually used those words, the fool, I went off on one big time). Of course, having been on MN for many years now I realise the mistakes I made at the time. However, the bottom line was that it tire us apart, as much as I loved him I couldn't get past what he'd done. People will say it's different because he did that during our relationship & your DH did what he did prior to yours - but I disagree, because he has spent your whole relationship lying to you about what has made him who he is.
I understand his wish to confine it to the past, but he doesn't get that luxury. You don't drop a bombshell like this then expect things to go back to how they were. Tough luck if he doesn't want to discuss it - if he wants your marriage to survive he needs to do what you need him to. What you need to decide is what you need from him. Personally, I don't think you are going to get it, because you want him to show regret, remorse, a depth of feeling about it all and he doesn't, he's just basically shrugging and saying 'it's in the past' - no emotional depth. No shame/horror/disgust about how he treat her or their victims. He left it all there, he came back to the UK and resumed his life here, unsullied by it. His girlfriend & their victims didn't have that luxury.
I understand people who feel that their past is their business and they don't have to tell their DH/DW/DP, but I disagree. I think big things that make you who you are and your reactions to things what they are and involve lying regularly should be shared before someone allows another person to make a life commitment to you.
Just remember, it's not a case of separating now or never. You can leave next week, next month, next year or in 5 years time.
People are entitled to sort themselves out and build a new life. How horrible if our mistakes were to haunt us forever. He is not that man now. It is something he has shut out, tried to forget. I know people with rocky pasts, and have family members who had very interesting teenage/young adult years. They now have families, respectable jobs, don't drink. Simply, they grew up.
My DH talks a little about where he used to live, and what happened, but he was on the edge of it all. Those more involved, have blocked it out.
I don't see the need for the drama. He is the man you married, has been for years and years. An appropriate reaction would have been, "Shit, did that really happen? How scary! So glad you got away from it all, love you!"
Counselling - in real life, perhaps just you at first and then as a couple.
All the advice on the Internet means nothing compared to someone who can see you both in person and give you dedicated attention.
Also - as is said many times on relationship boards - if you want to end the relationship, you can anytime. Just like no one should LTB because of strangers on the Internet, no one should feel compelled to stay either. That's totally your decision and one you're allowed to make without permission if everything in you is screaming "get out".
I think it's a moot point whether others feel they would have or should have been fine with the revelations, the fact is op clearly isn't.
And as she's the one living with him, that's her prerogative. We could debate all night on whether op should or shouldn't feel the way she does but I don't think that will change her feelings.
Op try counselling. Getting some real life perspective will help.
If you cannot get past it, I think separation is the only option.
But counselling might help shed light on how you can get past it, if at all.
Perhaps he didn't tell you because he's ashamed and disgusted by the life he used to lead. Perhaps he's a totally different person to who he once was. Perhaps he desperatly wants to forget the awful things that happened and live for the future not re-live the past. Perhaps he's punished himself enough for the choices he made. Perhaps he was frightened you'd stop loving him if you knew.
Perhaps he was right not to tell you.
I agree that this is YOUR problem OP. Yes, your DH has an extremely murky past, much more murky than most other people's. However, it sounds as if he has completely moved on from that horrible stage of his life and I can't blame him for a) wanting to do this and b) not wanting to drag it all up again with you. I expect he's pretty horrified and ashamed, tbh, I would be if that was my past. He's now living a respectable life in which he doesn't even drink. He HAS turned things around totally. I agree with others - get therapy for yourself. This is old news to him. Its not shocking any more, which is why he didn't 'cry on your shoulder'. He was probably cringing at having to even talk about it. I do think he should've told you before you got married and I'm concerned that he didn't, but his reaction now doesn't seem strange to me at all. Its done. Its over with. It was a horrible period of his life that he'd rather forget and I don't blame him.
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