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friend ignores h, h blows a gasket at me - long, sorry

(64 Posts)
feelokaboutit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:54:13

Don't know how to think about this. My h and I have had lots of ups and downs in general, but over the last three/four years especially. We have gone through three long periods (the most recent has just finished) where he hasn't spoken to me at all (the longest time was for two months). All this means that I have (much more in the past) spoken to my friends about him quite a lot. We went to a few counselling sessions this year which we are no longer going to as he stopped coming after a huge blow up in one of them (which caused the last long period of silence). During the counselling it came to light that he is very bitter about my talking about him to other people - including my Aunt whom he knows. From my point of view, I was seeking support during times which were very difficult for me, and really talking about the whole of my relationship as it were - not just HIM - though he is an integral part of things!!

This is to set the context. I have a friend who comes over occasionally as her daughter is very good friends with mine. There was one occasion a few months back where she did pretty much ignore him when he came home and sat with her back turned to him, talking only to me. Now I don't know why she did this. H brought this up in counselling and said it was because I had badmouthed him to her. It is true that I had told her about my "relationship" and the hard things within it. I don't know if this is why she behaved in this way. I don't know her all that well really and it could be that she herself felt bad vibes from h (who can be very standoffish and sit in the corner of the living room, working on his laptop, ignoring everyone).

Since that occasion I think she might have come over once for a cup of tea and once briefly to pick up her daughter. Both times I was relieved that h wasn't around. Yesterday, thinking that things might be ok as we are getting on a little better since last long period of silence, I invited my friend over with another friend of ours. I told h who said he hoped they were going to "behave" to which I said I hoped he was going to. Not a good start.

H was out when they first came over so I thought he would be out all afternoon. I then went to get my son from guitar club leaving my other kids with my two friends at home, looking after their own kids and mine.

When I came back, h was also there, playing snooker in a room off the living room. My friends were sat at the table. No communication between both parties but I didn't know who had said hello to whom or not.

My friends and their children left. A while later h blew up saying he didn't want that "donkey" (my friend he dislikes) to ever come here again and that if I wanted to behave like that with her we could do it at her house. So she must have ignored him I take it. My other friend he said was "normal" because she must have greeted him when he came in. That if she (the "donkey") came here again he would say something. That she had ignored him again because of me. I said that this was not true (I haven't spoken to her about him for weeks and weeks at this stage), that I am not her. I also said that when his friend (A) came round and didn't seem able to make eye contact with me at all, I didn't go off on one. At this point h got angrier and called me "thick" and "dim", saying he hardly "A". I then said that maybe I don't know my friend either. Throughout his tirade he was effing and blinding. All in front of our three dc. I said I wouldn't not invite my friend here and that what he was saying sounded like a threat. He said it was. In short it was awful. All three kids were silent and watching. I then went upstairs upset and youngest dd folllowed and gave me a cuddle. When I came back down h was being super nice to kids. We haven't said a word to each other since then except for this morning when he was making himself a cup of tea and asked me if I wanted one.

I think my friend might be a bit upset as she was behaving a little strangely when she went home yesterday, and didn't answer a couple of texts I sent her (about non related things) later on. I am hoping to speak to her later on but don't really know how to bring up this whole thing without offending her.

During h's tirade yesterday where he called me thick and dim and shouted at me, I knew that really I cannot live with someone who thinks it's okay to talk to me like this, especially in front of the dc. Then I start to think about all the difficult things about being away from the dc some of the time if h and I separate sad.

H is a very closed off character who takes things very personally and is mistrustful of people in general. This is not the first time that he has expressed anger at being "ignored" in his own home. Yet he doesn't speak to my sister AT ALL when she comes over as they fell out more than two years ago. She was very upset about this at first but has got used to it. I can't get used to it though sad.

So I suppose my question is - is h right in feeling so aggrieved? Am I right to feel that really I cannot live with someone who calls me thick and dim in front of my kids??

feelokaboutit Thu 15-Nov-12 11:57:33

he hardly knew "A"

NicknameTaken Thu 15-Nov-12 11:59:37

You are right. Your H is a nasty bully. It is not acceptable to call you names in front of your dcs. You are not your H's whipping boy. You don't have to live like this.

Not speaking to you for 2 months is abusive behaviour. Seriously, this is no home for your dcs to grow up in. You've tried your utmost to make it work, but you can't. Time to put your energies into ending the relationship.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 15-Nov-12 12:01:24

I'm not surprised you and your H have had "a lot of ups and downs".

He stonewalls you for up to two months ! shock

What's in it for you in this marriage?

WkdSM Thu 15-Nov-12 12:03:27

I'm not going to say 'Leave the Bastard' - I am going to say 'Throw the Bastard out'.

He has not spoken to you for 2 months at a time - that is not a relationship or partnership with an emotionally developed adult. When he does speak to you he does so abusively in front of your DC's. That is abuse to you and your children.

Look at it this way - can you spend another 40 or 50 years in a relationship (I use the term loosely) with this person - if not, better to make the break now and not spend years regretting lost opportunities.

Better to not see your DCs for a coupe of weekends a month (or whatever) than to bring them up in an abusive household (and it is abusive). What kind of relationships will they view as acceptable if they grow up in this atmosphere.

Sorry to be harsh but I have been there done it and got the T shirt.

MediumOrchid Thu 15-Nov-12 12:05:43

So it's ok for him to not speak to you for 2 months but not ok for your friend to not speak to him for the duration of a visit?

HecatePropylaea Thu 15-Nov-12 12:05:50

No. He isn't right.

He's a nasty bully.

Poor you and your poor children, having to watch that.

It's damaging. It's wrecking you and it's going to hurt them too.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 15-Nov-12 12:09:36

I couldn't live like that! How do you manage. It must affect the children, and you can't want them growing up thinking that yours is a normal marriage.

He is definitely a bully.

Agree with the poster who said throw him out!

PeppermintPasty Thu 15-Nov-12 12:10:17

Well, he's immature in the extreme. He is not in the right in the scenario you have described. If he won't do things like counselling because he doesn't like the challenges they throw up (my inference), then you are left with very little to work with. He would need to be open to sorting his moods and temper out. He won't though, as he clearly thinks he has done nothing wrong. It doesn't bode well sad

He sounds like a complete cock. If my dh had ignored me for 2 months I'd assume he no longer wanted to be with me.

HotHotNot Thu 15-Nov-12 12:13:08

I'm sorry. He is judging you by his own twisted standards and paranoia. He may not know why he behaves like this or what effect it is having, but he sure as hell does not want to have a mirror held up to it. That is the best you can say about him.

You have tried to get him to address it with counselling. You have tried to live with it by suffering, with support. It hasn't worked and now your kids are getting poisoned.

I'm sorry, it's time for an exit plan.

foolonthehill Thu 15-Nov-12 12:22:23

So, Yet again I am reading about your "D"H's appalling behaviour. i don't think anyone is ever going to say he is reasonable and that you just need to find a way of communicating better or that you can fix this.

it's definitely a case that he frequently acts abusively towards you and he does this in front of your DC as often as not.

The question is when/whether you will believe that you are entitled to better than this and that HE is wrong to behave in this way..

Suggest you read Why does he do that and/or some of the links at the top of this thread

Men who feel entitled to act in these ways are deeply, fundamentally broken, they can only choose to fix themselves, few will choose this path and even fewer manage to rewrite the script of entitlement and abuse that is running in their heads to one of love care and concern. And they all are able to behave well if they choose, and they all don't because they don't want to in this particular situation.

good luck op

THERhubarb Thu 15-Nov-12 12:27:53


I think it often helps OP if you see things written down. So this is what I got from your OP.

1) Your H thinks it is acceptable to ignore you for months on end
2) Your H has not spoken to your sister in years
3) Your friend ignores him and he has a tantrum, not at her, at YOU
4) He calls your friends and you names in front of your children
5) He doesn't want YOU talking about HIM to your friends in case you are calling HIM names

Does that sound a bit like the pot calling the kettle to you?

He wants everything HIS way and there are rules for him and rules for you. He sounds like a controlling bully. Your friend is obviously not intimidated by him one little bit and that's why he doesn't like her.

I would question you on a few things though. If you hardly know your friend, why are you discussing your marriage with her? And do you normally leave your friends alone in your house whilst you pick up other children?

Those were just a few things I found a bit odd.

I have problems with my dh too and obviously I talk about those problems with trusted friends and family. I don't tend to talk about them with acquaintance friends iykwim? Mums who pop in for tea and a chat. I wouldn't confide in them about my marriage so perhaps you do need to think about who you are talking to. After all, would you like it if your dh spoke about your marriage and related the things YOU did and said to his work colleagues/friends/people down the pub?

It's hard to fathom all of this from your OP so apologies if I am getting this wrong. I also wouldn't leave friends in the house whilst I picked up other kids, I would make alternative arrangements or ask my dh to get them. That's just a politeness issue really.

None of this is any excuse for him to be so bullying and controlling however. It appears that if he is challenged, his response is to resort to name calling and sulking. Did he never grow out of being a child then? Does he not realise that adults don't do that kind of thing? Does he behave like this at work? If his boss criticises him then does he call his boss names and go off sulking? No? The he obviously realises that this is not normal behaviour for an adult. He does it because it's a way to control you. You obviously don't want to put up with verbal abuse and the silent treatment so you will do everything possible to prevent him from blowing up. He knows that and so this is his way of keeping you nicely under control.

You know what you have to do don't you? He will stamp his feet, he will threaten you but just remember, he knows that his behaviour is unacceptable, he knows it's not normal, if he works then he does actually know how to behave with people or he would have been sacked by now. So refuse to put up with this any longer.

Let him shout, let him scream, let him threaten, let him blow off. Stand your ground. You are a human being, not some pet to be controlled. You deserve the same respect that he is demanding from you. Point out how contradictory he is and demand changes. Once he realises that you are serious he might just change. If he doesn't then don't worry, his threats are empty. He cannot take your children away, he cannot prevent you from having the house, he cannot do anything. Once he loses you, he loses his power.

Lovingfreedom Thu 15-Nov-12 12:29:07

I have read your posts before and felt before that you've done everything you can to try to make this work.

It's not your fault or your responsibility if your friend does or says something he doesn't like. And it's totally up to you, not him, who you are friends with.

IME it's more usual that if one partner has friends round then the other partner would volunteer to do the pick up from guitar...rather than hanging around the friends, playing snooker and making everyone feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Especially if they don't know each other well or don't really get on.

His regular behaviour includes stonewalling, verbal abuse and name calling (including in front of kids when you are not free to respond), isolation from friends, criticism and blame directed at you for things outwith your control. It does sound abusive and it's certainly not acceptable.

Strikes me that he's decided that you, your friends, the world is against him and it's not fair. I'm afraid that there's nothing you can do for guys like this. Nothing is ever good enough for them.

In your position I would make plans to end the relationship. I think you'll look back and the only regret you'll have is why you didn't do it sooner. (I'm really trying not to project too much based on my own experience...but stone-walling for days/weeks/months on end is off the scale on it's own as far as what is acceptable in any relationship, let alone a marriage). You'd have to be happier and healthier out of that kind of too I would think.

DragonMamma Thu 15-Nov-12 12:32:35

Words fail me, OP.

I've read most of your threads and you've been given such good advice previously so I don't know what it will take for you to leave this abusive, pathetic excuse for a man? Because you don't seem to think not talking to you for months on end, verbally abusing you in front of your kids and other crap, seems to warrant it so far?

Just get out of this relationship. For your sanity and your children's sake.

LulaPalooza Thu 15-Nov-12 12:34:16

Sweetheart, you've been posting threads about your H and the way he behaves for some time now and every time I read them they make me wince.

I'm not usually one to say "Leave the bastard" but... he's an almighty twat.

He doesn't make you happy. He's a bully, a coward and your kids are going to start thinking that the way he treats you/ communicates with you is normal.

I'm so sorry that despite your best efforts he is still treating you like shit.

As others have said, you need an exit plan. Please keep posting and I am sorry if I sound harsh.


THERhubarb Thu 15-Nov-12 12:43:46

OP, if you don't get out for your sake then think of your children.

They will grow up thinking that this kind of verbal abuse within a relationship is normal. The boys will think that this is how you treat women and the girls will think this is all they deserve. If you are unhappy now, just look at your children. Do you want them to have the same unhappy life? Is this the gift you will be giving to them?

It might be easier for you to just put up with it and stay put. You might feel that it's not worth taking such drastic action. That's all well and good for you but the children don't have a choice do they? They are the ones who have to grow up in this environment, with a father who is a verbally abusive controlling bully who goes on sulks for months on end and a mother who finds it easier to just stay with him but who is very unhappy. That's hardly a recipe for a happy childhood is it?

If you've posted about him before and not taken any advice then I despair, I really do. As a mother it is your duty to put your children first. That means that they come before your husband even, they are more important than your marriage. They deserve better. You do too, but you have a choice here, they don't. Think about their future, about their relationships and about the example you are both setting them.

For the sake of your children, you need to start making some tough decisions here. You have tried, you have given your marriage plenty of chances, you can hold your head up high and say that you really did fight for your marriage. Now you have to walk away before your marriage results in yet more children growing up thinking that abusive relationships are normal.

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

What has kept you within this abusive situation to date?

What do you want to teach your children about relationships?. Both of you are teaching your children damaging lessons re how relationships are conducted. You being called those names in front of your DC damages them as well as you.

Counselling is NEVER recommended when there is ongoing abuse. This is no marriage; this is a nightmare to be in. Your only real option now is to make plans to divorce him so that you and your children can leaad a life free of abuse.

What would it take for you to leave?. Are you now so downtrodden and conditioned to his abuse that you now cannot see which way is up?. The first step to leave is often the hardest one to take but there really is no other option open to you now.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 15-Nov-12 12:56:07

Yes, OP you do need an "Exit" plan.

Lovingfreedom Thu 15-Nov-12 12:57:13

To be fair, OP, I stayed in my relationship for 15 years despite what I now recognise as unreasonable behaviour. I'm sure there are plenty of others on here who have done the same.

Having said that...if I'd realised actually not how easy as such, but how equipped I would be, to put the plan in place and get out of the relationship and move on, I think I would have done it years ago. Likewise, if I'd realised how well the children would deal with the break, I definitely would have been out of my relationship years ago.

A block of 5 or 6 counselling sessions for me on my own were invaluable for helping make the 'should I stay or should I go?' decision and for building my confidence to devise and execute an exit plan. I'd recommend that rather than couples' counselling which sounds like a waste of time in this case.

FromEsme Thu 15-Nov-12 12:59:40

My mum once didn't speak to my dad for a month. As a child, it was awful. The atmosphere was terrible and I was upset all the time but felt I couldn't say anything.

Please do not put your children through the same thing. You need out of this relationship, as hard as it is.

joblot Thu 15-Nov-12 13:00:05

Wow. Seriously bad. Grott (get rid of the twat)

FairPhyllis Thu 15-Nov-12 13:13:04

Here's how it goes:

Your husband is emotionally abusive.

Your friend has figured this out and this is why she ignored him.

He has realised that she is onto him and he is angry that you might get some support from her.

He is trying to cut you off from other friends and family he does not approve of, because you might get some support from them. He does not want you to get any help from anyone else - he wants you totally isolated, to be his emotional punch bag - forever.

He sabotaged counselling because the relationship is already exactly how he wants it to be - he has no interest in a relationship where he can't bully and intimidate his partner.

Your children are getting incredibly distressed and damaged by all of this.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 15-Nov-12 13:40:30

What Phyllis said.

HansieMom Thu 15-Nov-12 13:58:08

Ask your friend what went on.

Your DH is very weird.

pictish Thu 15-Nov-12 14:04:31

I think Phyllis has probably hit the nail on the head, I'm afraid.

ClippedPhoenix Thu 15-Nov-12 14:07:29

It's simple really isn't OP, if he was a good loving and kind partner you wouldn't need such support, you would be telling all how content you were.

feelokaboutit Thu 15-Nov-12 17:19:22

Thanks for your messages. I didn't say anything to my friend. I saw her today and she seemed ok and I thought better not to rock her boat as it were.

Will write more later as ds wants pc and now is really not a good time for me to be typing!

Kundry Thu 15-Nov-12 20:52:47

Honestly, if my DH didn't speak to me for 2 months, I'd assume we'd split up.

What redeeming qualities does yours have to make it worth spending the next 30 yrs with him?

feelokaboutit Thu 15-Nov-12 23:07:35

I phoned a solicitor today and just the enormity of what I was doing has totally exhausted me and now my legs are aching and I really need to go to bed! I am terrified of the whole divorce process. It is by all accounts a very difficult thing to go through and I don't know if I have the strength, support network or courage to do it.

In any case this particular solicitor spoke to me for about 4 minutes on the phone (I had been told they offered a 15 minute free conversation) and then offered me one hour face to face for £99 plus vat, so I think I should shop around for someone who does actually offer a free half hour.

It is absolutely certain that I couldn't live with h while going through a divorce process. If/when we separate, I have to register an interest on the family home. Cannot imagine being around while he received a letter telling him this. He is once divorced already and very bitter about his ex wife getting the whole family home (he got a smaller business property with flat on top). In any case I do not want the whole house, but my ideal scenario is one where the house is sold and the equity is split between us. However this is not h's ideal scenario at all. He will say that he has slogged for years to pay for things (which he has).....

However, I cannot leave without anything, so things like registering my interest in the property would have to be done. This then leaves me in the awful position of having to move out somewhere rented possibly taking the kids with me (of course they would still stay with their Dad in this time, I wouldn't be "hogging" them). I think the kids are unlikely to want to leave their warm, cosy, family home. H would never leave the house and nor would I expect him to, he is very attached to it, works really hard to pay the mortgage, and runs part of his business from it. The whole thing is just awful.

I do agree that maybe I should not have confided as much as I did in my friend. However this is the fourth year we have known each other now, and we did/do get on well, and it is difficult to have an authentic conversation with someone if you say you are "fine" when in fact things are difficult at home.

I suppose I should just make a plan and slowly plod my way through it. Find work (hope to work as a teaching assistant), sort things in the house I want to take, arrange where we would live.... Then when I am prepared, I might have more courage to start the whole divorce proceeding. H doesn't need to know anything until I feel well and truly ready to face the music. Wish I could just close my eyes and find myself having gone through all the horrible bits.

Not least is the impact on the children. I read an article on divorce by Nora Ephron today and her paragraph about divorce and children is poignant:

"I can't think of anything good about divorce as far as the children are concerned. You can't kid yourself about that, although many people do.
They say things like: 'It's better for children not to grow up with their parents in an unhappy marriage.'
But unless the parents are beating each other up, or abusing the children, kids are better off if their parents are together.
Children are much too young to shuttle between houses. They're too young to handle the idea that the two people they love most in the world don't love each other any more, if they ever did.
They're too young to understand that all the wishful thinking in the world won't bring their parents back together. And the newfangled rigmarole of joint custody doesn't do anything to ease the cold reality: in order to see one parent, the child must walk out on the other."


squeakytoy Thu 15-Nov-12 23:53:09

That last paragraph was written by someone who clearly doesnt have a bloody clue.. dont believe a word of it.

Honestly, your children are not too young to be affected by the atmosphere. Do you really think that they will not have realised that Daddy hasnt spoken to Mummy for two months?????

Children are very easily adaptable, and can quickly get used to staying at Daddys house, and Mummys house.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:00:34

No, Nora Ephron, who died this year, was twice divorced and three times married. The first time she got divorced she didn't have children, the second time she did.
In any case, I really don't want my kids to grow up thinking their mum has accepted being called "dim" and "thick" and internalizing whatever that means for their own future relationships, so it is possible that my relationship has gone beyond what most people would consider acceptable.
It is very tempting to keep on hoping that things will improve between h and I however.

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 00:06:03

I'm fuming...that Nora Ephron is talking rubbish. Why not ask real people on MN who have done it successfully instead of listening to that smug, reactionary idiot. I've only been separated a year. Kids have good relationships with me and their dad. Most problems related to two homes ironed out by keeping a good calendar and doubling up as much as poss on clothes and essentials. Kids happy and secure. Performing well at school. Happy,popular and not obv effected by parental split. Couple of friends I know in similar set ups also have great, well adjusted and happy kids. We do almost 50:50. Kids not dragged away from either patent that way.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:07:22

I know that kids are adaptable. I just don't know how to get from the situation we are in now, to the one where we live in two separate homes and the kids have adapted. Plus cannot imagine being able to co-parent with someone whom I am sure will never speak to me again.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Nov-12 00:09:53

So, your friend had the courage to give your H a taste of his own medicine ?

Fucking good on her

Give that girl a medal grin

Any chance some of that kick-ass style could rub off on you ? It sounds (and has always sounded) like you would have a lot of support if you tell your inadequate fuck of a spouse to piss off out of your life. And still, you stay.

Nothing more to say, really.

One day (on your current course), your friends will disappear, and you will just have him. Is that a future you would look forward to ?

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:13:19

I don't think Nora Ephron was saying that kids can't adapt, I think she was saying that they have to make a big psychological shift which is probably not evident to the outside world.
I am not criticizing divorce or divorced people. I think divorce should be made easier and be more acceptable in society than it already is. It is absolutely normal for relationships to alter over time and for people to outgrow each other. I know that many people manage co-parenting well etc... and that children are resilient.
I am still very scared of what divorce might mean in my case however, and mainly because h is such a difficult person.

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 00:17:15

I just remembered who Ephron is....surprised at the quote....but anyway....

I don't talk to my ex or have a good relTionship with him or trust him. We do manage re kids tho. Only discuss times, places and arrangements plus essential health and education matters. And only by email and brief (me anyway).

You prob cant imagine it...but easier than you might think. You set up a schedule and stick to it.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:18:14

Hi AF, why would my friends disappear on my current course shock, what an awful thought! I do agree my friend has kick-ass style but she might maybe have thought of what knock on effect it might have on me (which is totally has as h and I are completely back to square one, in any case I am never going to forgive him for calling me dim and thick).
There are complex reasons for h's behaviour, some of which stem from his difficult teenage years with an alcoholic father. Due to past experiences he is extremely mistrustful of some people. I however cannot hope to "cure" him of his neuroses, or force him to go to psychotherapy, so yes, I do have to leave.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:18:34

it totally has

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 00:19:49

I don't interfere when kids are with him and I decide what happens when they are with me. You'll find a way of sorting it that suits you.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:23:05

Thx lovingfreedom, it is good to know that people manage with minimal contact. I just cannot seem to get myself from not very brave / passive person to someone who is totally in charge of her own life. I guess I thought things were on the up after h and I started talking again recently, and am now shocked to find we are back in this situation. The writing is totally on the wall, why is it that h will never be the one to set the ball rolling (re. separation) but will wait for me to do it, and then probably make my life very difficult as well angry.

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 00:23:58

I agree with AF re friends....they won't keep hanging around if yr dh is there acting weird and calling them donkeys. They'll poss come back to you once you given him the boot though.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:24:33

Are there ever any things that make you feel like interfering? This is my worry. Also that I might be very jealous of their time together.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:26:07

Well, she didn't hear him call her a donkey but she must definitely have got a vibe. Plus there is no way I could invite her over after what he said yesterday... that if she came over again he would tell her what he thought. I feel like an ostrich with its head in the sand.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Nov-12 00:28:45

I hope your friends won't disappear if you continue to complain about such an abusive man but don't ever leave him

I hope they don't get disgusted by your choice to play your part in modelling such a poor relationship example to your dc

I wouldn't disappear, but I would get sick of listening to you whinge but not change a thing. I would slowly start to limit my time at your house because of your husband and how he made me feel and make no apology for that.

This is what happens, love. Your H will isolate you. You will be left with just him, and that is exactly where he wants you.

You haven't even bothered to talk with your friend about what happened, you prefer to brush it under the carpet and hope she understands. Nora Ephron isn't your friend. Nor is the voice in your head that excuses your husband his abusive behaviour because he had a difficult childhood.

Your children are having a difficult childhood. That is within your control to change.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 00:35:01

Yes maybe I should talk to her. I am quite shocked at what a big part she is "unwittingly" playing in the unravelling of my life (though maybe she is just symbolic), and don't know if it is good for her to know this.

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 00:44:27

If I'd been your friend visiting your home with my children, I wouldn't want my kids exposed to someone like your husband, so in addition to friends avoiding your home, your own kids are possibly going to miss out on the joys of easy friendship in eachother's houses. All because you won't leave your husband.

Your poor children are being exposed to something terrible here. For goodness sake, act as soon as you can to get away from this ghastly man. Some damage has already been caused to your children; please take responsibility now so that it doesn't get any worse.

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 01:01:57

I enjoy it tbh. Like having a bit of time to myself and getting out more. I enjoy my time with the kids and always look forward to seeing them again when they come back to me on my days. They look forward to seeing each parent too. My ex sometimes tries to tell me what I should do, I ignore him. I just don't interfere with him. That's cos I want a clean break and proper separation but I kind of have to trust that he can make reasonable choices for himself when he has kids. It has been stressful at timed getting to this point but not as difficult as I think I expected. You will cope.

Lovingfreedom Fri 16-Nov-12 01:05:13

I'd guess yr husband wouldn't have so much access if hes not been that hands on with kids so far. Mine was sahp so that's why ended up almost half n half.

You've said that your friend doesn't know you husband called her a donkey, but do you know that for sure. You said you were out when he returned home, could he have already said something to your friend.

I have read previous threads, not talking to your wife for 2 month is ridiculous. I'd have assumed we'd split up and moved out in that time

THERhubarb Fri 16-Nov-12 10:01:34

Dear Lord.

So your friend ignores your h and suddenly you are back to square one, yet you still hope that things might improve?

If the postman gives him a funny look will that send him over the edge too? You do realise that you won't be able to talk to anyone for fear of him getting a nasty 'vibe' and then shutting you out? You will be walking on eggshells for the rest of your life.

And what about your children? What if they suddenly start to question their father? What if they disagree with him? What if he starts dictating to them which friends they can and can't have at home? After all, if he treats you this way, his wife, then what is to stop him treating his kids like this?

Imagine when they hit their teens. They will be sulking, he will be sulking and you'll be stuck in the middle of it all, with everyone taking it out on you. Does that sound like a good scenario to you?

The name calling, again what makes you think it will stop with you? Will he resort to name calling when the kids start getting older? He might think the world of them now, but children change as they get older and start getting more independence. They start to challenge and question their parents and this is when he is going to show his true colours isn't it?

Adults cannot use their abusive childhoods as an excuse. I'm sure there are many children who have suffered worse than your dh and have not turned out like him. When you become an adult you choose the path you want to take. You accept consequences for your adults and you take full responsibility for them. In short, you stop blaming your childhood for everything and you grow up. He has never grown up.

My parents divorced acrimonously when I was 9. I was taken out of school one day during lunch, rushed home and was shoved in a van and told we were leaving my dad and moving. A lot of my toys got left behind, including my pet. It turns out my mother had been having an affair for years. He drove the van that day. My mother wasted no time in trying to make me frightened of my dad. She told me that I was never to tell him where we lived or he would get us, that he used to beat her, that he was a bully who never loved her, etc. In reality it was her boyfriend who was the bully. He would treat me like the lowest scum. He would constantly snipe at me, tell me how thick and ugly I was, shoot me looks as though I disgusted him and would make sexually inappropriate comments to my friend.

When I was in my 20s I re-established my relationship with my dad. He was none of the things she told me he was and I realised just how wronged he had been. I now have a lovely relationship with him whereas I have cut my mother out of my life completely.

I am also happily married now with a wonderful husband. So my point is that shit happens to all of us, it's how we deal with it that matters. My brother in law went through a shitty divorce, she got the house, she badmouthed him to the kids, she denied him custody (unless it suited her) she changed her plans constantly, she was just as awkward as she could possibly be yet because he worked so hard to make sure the kids were ok, they have coped well. They are now 12 and 14 and from his side of the family, they are brought up in a loving and stable environment so no matter what happens with her, they know that once with their dad, everything is ok.

My advice if you are going to get divorced is to be honest with your children. Don't be afraid to tell them. Never badmouth their father no matter what he does or says to them. Be the bigger person. Explain fully that it's not their fault and that both of you still love them very much and encourage them to talk to you about their fears. Get them involved too, show them around flats, let them pick furnishings etc.

I would advise that whilst proceedings are taking place, yes do register an interest in the house but move out for a while. Could you stay with your parents? Or a friend? You say you have no support network but you have the 2 friends you told us about and I'm sure there must be others. You also have your sister who will no doubt be overjoyed that you are leaving him. If you confide in these people, you might discover that you have more support than you realise and I'm sure they will bend over backwards to help you leave him as they can see what is happening and I'm sure it must be painful for them to watch someone they care about, being treated in this way.

See this website for free legal advice and have a look at Divorce Aid for advice on coping, telling your h and telling the kids.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 10:02:17

"I am terrified of the whole divorce process. It is by all accounts a very difficult thing to go through"

Having lived in an abusive relationship, and having been through a divorce, believe me, the divorce part is a walk in the park by comparison. The hard bit is where you're at now, trying to get to the point of ending the relationship. Once the decision is made and you get going, the momentum carries you through. I'm glad you are shopping around for solicitors - it makes a huge difference to have one that you really trust.

I think the kids are unlikely to want to leave their warm, cosy, family home. H would never leave the house

Be very careful. Do not allow the dcs to end up with him as the residential parent because you are ready to sacrifice for them and want them to have what's familiar. I speak as someone who had two refuge workers spend ages talking me out of leaving dd with my ex Mon-Fri just so she would be in a familiar nursery. Right now, you might say, "Oh, he's such a good dad". No. He is a fundamentally selfish individual who puts his own interests above those around him. Such people can be "fun" parents (for a while), but ultimately they are not "good" parents.

To counteract the Nora Ephron quote, here is a real-life experience I had last week. My ex was trying to forbid me holding a birthday party for dd's fifth birthday (not because he was intending to hold a party or anything, he just didn't want me to celebrate at all because it fell on "his" day). I made it clear it would go ahead. Later, as we walked home, DD spontaneously started chanting "He's not the boss of us, he's not the boss of us". I'm really glad I have sent her that message.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 12:44:51

My Dad lives abroad and my Mum died 6 years ago, so I cannot go and stay with
my parents sad. I envy those friends who have their parents up the road.
I don't have that many close friends and everybody seems to be so overwhelmed by their own life that it is difficult imagining anyone wanting me and my 3 dc on top of them.
My sister does live close by but has a tiny flat and a very busy life.
I am worried that if I leave the family home, h may be more likely to get custody were he to go for it, as it would mean the children were in their familiar environment.
I am totally stuck between a rock and a hard place. I am totally not adversarial by nature and I feel I will be letting myself in for hell. If h blew a gasket about friend, imagine how he will be about all of this.
I want to run away and have it all sorted out without being there blush.

NicknameTaken Fri 16-Nov-12 12:54:33

Look, one step at a time. First identify a good solicitor. Find out what your options are. I agree, don't leave the family home until you've had legal advice.

My family are in a different country, so I couldn't go to them. It's still doable. Don't look too far ahead. Set yourself the first goal of finding the solicitor, and worry about the next bit when you come to it. Anything is doable if you break it down into manageable chunks.

THERhubarb Fri 16-Nov-12 13:01:35


Sounds to me like you are just coming up with a list of excuses as to why you can't possibly leave him.

So friggin' what if he blows a gasket? What are you afraid he will do? Sulk on you for 2 months? He's already not talking to you. Or are you afraid he will do something worse? Has he ever been violent towards you? You do realise that if he is violent and you report it, the chances of him getting custody of the kids just shrank to zero.

As it is, he is emotionally abusive so I doubt any custody hearing will go his way.

Contact your citizens advice bureau. You can ring them or go in and make an appointment. They will tell you, free of charge, what you are entitled to. They can help you organise housing, benefits and other necessities.

Right now, you are just guessing about what will happen. You don't actually know. Knowledge is power so find out what you can do about this situation. Find out what your rights are and how you can provide for yourself and your children.

His first divorce is nothing to do with you and no doubt you've only ever heard his side of the story. Chances are that he treated his first wife exactly like he is treating you and she got out in time. So what if he has to leave the family home whilst you are in the process of selling? Perhaps he should have thought about that before he bullied you, tried to drive away your friends and verbally abused you in front of the kids.

You are still putting his needs before yours. You are worried about where he will work, what his reaction will be, etc. What about you? Do you think he is sat there now worrying about you and your feelings?

I don't get you OP, I really don't. By all accounts you've done these threads before and I have no doubt you got some really good advice from them. Yet when push comes to shove you make your excuses and perhaps we won't hear from you again until the next time.

Well then can I leave you with this parting advice. Your children think this behaviour is normal. This is how they will see relationships. He will treat them as he treats you now. If you care about your children's future you would leave. If you don't leave, then what happens to your children is entirely on your head. There are consequences for inaction as well as action and your inaction is sending them a very clear message that this behaviour is to be tolerated and accepted. So they may grow up to be the abuser or to be abused. How do you think that will make you feel?

Stop pretending everything is ok. Stop making excuses. Give your kids the chance they deserve.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:40:10

Thanks for more messages. Spoke to friend today and asked if she had been ok at my house as she had seemed a little upset when she left (which I must have projected onto her at the time confused). She said she was totally fine and that I always worry about stuff like that and just laughed. So I think maybe she doesn't realize any of what is going on. She probably just thinks h is very grumpy and leaves him to it. She doesn't realize that he is fuming because he feels so ignored by a visitor to his house. It's really swings and roundabouts because I don't think how offputting h can be to some people. If he likes someone however he can be affable and polite.

The thing about h is that he immigrated to this country when he was 10, and both he and his family had a very hard time when they first came here (in the 60s - h is now 56 and I am 43), having stones thrown at them and being spat at in the street. This was then followed by his Dad eventually leaving the family home due to his alchoholism. H's ego is extremely fragile and he will negatively interpret things which are nothing to other people.

Anyway, the upshot of all this is that h and I are totally not talking again. Not only h (who finds it very easy not to talk and was really only talking when I spoke to him before) but also me, because I cannot bring myself to say anything to him. That would make it seem that I condone / accept his behaviour the other evening calling me thick / dim / shouting and swearing. This is all like a nightmare. We are supposed to be going to his mother's house this weekend as it is ds's birthday next week but I don't know how I travel with h and spend time in his family's home, when we are in this state sad.

Words cannot express how awful I feel inside, but am having to half function because of this kids.

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:40:47

h realizes how offputting he can be

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:45:57

I am worried it is going to get to the stage where I cannot function at all. Plus even more depressing is that I am guessing that h simply thinks all of this is my fault and that I am now paying for problems of my own causing.

foolonthehill Fri 16-Nov-12 16:48:51

it is horrible, I really know.

Reading you post above I can see you trying to make sense of him and reflecting on the horrible times he has had and then turning round to see the horrible times you are having now...are they linked? probably not as much as you think.

Plenty of people have terrible times in their past. For some it gives them deeper empathy, motivation to change the world for the better and fuel for the fires of justice and love, for others it becomes the reason they are allowed to get away with unacceptable behaviour and the excuse that either they or others use when they are less than the people they could/can be.

The truth is why ever he acts as he does you cannot change him. Only he can.

SO, will you stay and make excuses for him, lve your life as best you can and do everything you can to limit the damage to your DC?
OR will you decide that this is enough and you and DC deserve better and should not be damaged by him any longer.

At the end of the day only you can make your decision. I made mine.

AnyFucker Fri 16-Nov-12 16:51:03

What way to live sad

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:52:52

thank you for saying you understand how horrible it is - thing is, I think dc are being damaged by the fact that the combination of me and him just doesn't work, not solely by h iyswim, who does love them loads and shows them affection...
I think our relationship has run its course and he is acting out (and has for months and months) because he doesn't want to be the one to break us up

feelokaboutit Fri 16-Nov-12 16:54:25

What I am trying to say is that the combination of me having the issues I have (scared of confrontation, low self-confidence) and the ones he has (short temper, blaming, shameful feelings from past) is a bad one

Charbon Fri 16-Nov-12 17:25:37

You've got that absolutely spot-on.

The combination of an abusive man and a woman who puts her own fear before her children's happiness is a horrendous parental situation for your kids.

Both of you are behaving selfishly in your own ways and only you can change your own behaviour.

foolonthehill Fri 16-Nov-12 22:13:09

A relationship is always a sum of the two parts. Action and reaction. We are all human, imperfect. The thing is you can make this better for at least some of the people and DC. Only he can change him.

can you list the reasons you feel are pulling you into this relationship rather than freeing you from it?

maybe we can help with some of the stuff that prevents you from calling time and telling him that it is not working and that without a massive miracle it never will.

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