Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

Is this emotional abuse? Please advise.

(52 Posts)
lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:24:46

DH if often prone to sudden outbursts that come from nowhere and then he acts as if nothing has happened. Today driving home the conversation goes as follows.

Him: I am going to stop and get some mushrooms.
Me: Oh I bought some yesterday so no need
Him: fgs I just want to go into shop for vegetables
Me: erm ok

He comes out empty handed and I say 'what did you need to get'

Him: Fgs I just wanted to get a fizzy drink
Me_ Oh well why didnt you just be honest in the first place. ? Why mention mushrooms.
Him: fine I will be honest ..I don't always like you when you are being like this...

WTF. This was all said infront of ds who got upset. It happened just after dh beeped at another driver for getting too close...

I normally leave it but today told him he was being increduble hurtful.

His response was that I am a shit wife, treat him badly and never stick up for him.

I am pretty placid, he often kicks off over nothing. I am pretty sure am a good wife also. The blaime is also shifted on to me and I find these incidents pretty upsetting. Any one shed any light? I get regular I love you text etc so don't think the love has gone on his part.

Is this part of normal life, am I overreacting. help!!!

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:25:18

DH if often prone to sudden outbursts that come from nowhere and then he acts as if nothing has happened. Today driving home the conversation goes as follows.

Him: I am going to stop and get some mushrooms.
Me: Oh I bought some yesterday so no need
Him: fgs I just want to go into shop for vegetables
Me: erm ok

He comes out empty handed and I say 'what did you need to get'

Him: Fgs I just wanted to get a fizzy drink
Me_ Oh well why didnt you just be honest in the first place. ? Why mention mushrooms.
Him: fine I will be honest ..I don't always like you when you are being like this...

WTF. This was all said infront of ds who got upset. It happened just after dh beeped at another driver for getting too close...

I normally leave it but today told him he was being increduble hurtful.

His response was that I am a shit wife, treat him badly and never stick up for him.

I am pretty placid, he often kicks off over nothing. I am pretty sure am a good wife also. The blaime is also shifted on to me and I find these incidents pretty upsetting. Any one shed any light? I get regular I love you text etc so don't think the love has gone on his part.

Is this part of normal life, am I overreacting. help!!!

MaureenShit Sat 26-Jan-13 19:27:30

I'd check his mobile phone use.

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:31:19

He has walked before and I have always ended up apologising that I am a shit wife even when clearly not my fault. Maybe it is used as a form of control? He has always been like this- pretty sure there is no one else

colditz Sat 26-Jan-13 19:32:11

Any history of drug use?

myroomisatip Sat 26-Jan-13 19:33:08

Yes. I would class that as abusive. I also predict that it will get worse sad

porridgeLover Sat 26-Jan-13 19:35:07

No. I dont think you are over-reacting.

Will he sit to listen and have a conversation with you about a topic that you are not quite in agreement about?
Or does he have to 'win'?
How does he speak about other people? Are there large groups that he thinks are stupid, thick, lazy?

If yes to all of the above, you are either in, or on the way to, bullying from him.

arthriticfingers Sat 26-Jan-13 19:35:15

Check out the links at the top of this thread and come and talk to us if you want to.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1655328-Support-thread-for-those-in-Emotionally-abusive-relationships-15

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:37:51

yes , porridge, does often refer to groups of people as being stupid thick etc.

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 19:50:37

bump

ParsleyTheLioness Sat 26-Jan-13 19:58:49

This is bad, and has shades of 'gas lighting' about it also...sorry.

NotSuchASmugMarriedNow Sat 26-Jan-13 20:04:36

I have to say, I also thought it sounded like an excuse to use his mobile.

If he went in the shop for a fizzy drink, why did he come out empty handed?

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 20:07:58

any solutions? So not my fault right? Am sick of being made out to be unreasonable etc. He`also says I am shouting when I am not !

porridgeLover Sat 26-Jan-13 20:20:30

There is no solution that you can come up with that will change what he does or how he reacts. Nothing you can do.

What you can do is inform yourself, become aware of what he is doing, believe the voice in your gut that says this is not right. Defend yourself, to yourself.
As you become more aware, and stronger, you will find it easier to stand up to him.
At which point, he will either escalate to put you 'back in your place'..... or he may see the error of his ways and seek to improve how he relates to you. I will give you £100 if he does the second. sad

So first off, do as arthritic says, go look at the thread, look at what other people have been through (you are not alone), educate yourself.

If you have a good library or can download books, I found this good.
Others here recommend Lundy Bancroft.

lupo

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

Such men never change; all you can ultimately do in such circumstances is leave.

This is about power and control; abuse is about power and control. There are an awful lot of red flags here in your relationship. All his behaviuours are par for the course for abusive men, he is following that script to the letter.

Your H is an extremely poor role model for your DS to look up to; this relationship is broken and is really not fit for purpose. What do you want to teach your child about relationships?.

BertieBotts Sat 26-Jan-13 20:23:58

I don't know. It sounds hard to judge from that one example. But if you have to ask the question it does make me wonder...

How does he generally act when he's angry or upset about something? How does he react in an argument, for example. And if he upsets you, how does he react to that - is he worried or does he shrug it off?

You say maybe he uses (his behaviour) as a form of control - is he controlling, then?

BertieBotts Sat 26-Jan-13 20:25:45

In fact, let me re-word that - do you get the feeling that he likes/needs to be in control, especially within your relationship?

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 20:40:13

The thing is this sort of stuff happens about four times a year , rest of the time things are good, so I guess that is why I am still here. If it was more regukar I would prob leave tbh

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 20:49:10

The incident with the mushrooms/veg/drink/nothing is EXTREMELY odd. No, it's not normal; no, it's not you.

You said DS got upset, so I assume H was shouting or snarling? It doesn't come across in your post.

So, never mind how often he says he's going to do something which he doesn't do before doing something else and claiming it's what he said he was going to do [phew]! We'll look at that in a minute.

How often does he shout, snarl, call other people stupid, harass other drivers?
How often does he call you stupid, etc?
What does he say when you tell him he's scaring you or DS?
Does he throw things? Has he broken any stuff in anger?
Does he block you way so he can tell you off?

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:10:23

Hi garlic, no doesn't call me names as such, but often beeps horns at other drivers etc. Doesn't throw stuff, or shout .quitegood dad with ds etc. It is just these sudden unreasonable outbursts and cruel comments to me that come from nowehere. When I explain how unreasonable and hurtful he has been, then he reverts to blaiming and points out my flaws and what a rubbish wife I am. He says 'I am not going to be seen as the bad guy, then You are (insert criticisms about me..' If I don't call him on his behaviour than nothing happens and all reverts to normal.

I just don't understand where it all comes from and over something trivial like mushrooms fgs!

frustratedworkingmum Sat 26-Jan-13 21:13:44

Is he well? why would you go to the shop for mushrooms and then come out with a fizzy drink? Unless the shop didn't have mushrooms and you happned to fancy a drink, which then he woudl have said "oh, there were no mushrooms, i fancied a drink, do you want some?" not react defensively.

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:15:26

frusterated, good point..I def think he is unhinged sometimes. The vicious things he says to me are getting harder to deal with

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:16:33

"His response was that I am a shit wife, treat him badly and never stick up for him."

He does call you names sad

So NONE of this happens more than four times a year, when it all happens at once? Or is there some low-level anger going on in between?

I'm interested to hear whether you watch yourself in between times, perhaps taking care not to set him off. Also, does he do weird stuff like the shop incident four times a year? What other examples are there?

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:20:38

Can you have proper rows with him during 'normal' times? Or does he always resort to personal attacks, meaning you never get to make your case or criticise his?

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:33:53

no always resorts to personal attacks so I end up getting upset rather than getting my point across. Yes, would say that there is low level anger over the neighbour who doesn't need to work, other dads have nicer cars (ds at prep school) and more money, all his money goes on family, his mum preferhis brother , and prob that I am a shit wife while other men have nicer ones I should imagine. Lots of little petty things tbh. Now have written it all down doesn't sound ideal.

All said in front of your young son? How old is your ds?

Your H is a shocking man - his sort make me livid.

If you are such a shit wife he should stand by his words and leave you alone

Fight for custody for his boy. Let all and sundry know that you are a shit wife and presumably a shit mother?

But ha ha ha they never do this. They just stay around being terrorising miserable gits four times a year.

In between you wash his skiddy pants and cook for him. And question yourself.

You are doing your little boy no favours sticking with this arsewipe.

Tell him you agree you are a shit wife and it's about time he found himself a decent one. Present him with the divorce petition and request that he leaves.

And also, he can feck off. He is a knob.

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:38:24

Sorry for the 20 questions.

I'm trying to figure out whether he's a nasty bully, who only needs to have a go at you every few months to keep you in line, or an all right person who's showing signs of a growing health problem.

It can be quite difficult to work this out by yourself - or even with your close friends - because you can get used to bad behaviour. When you're always walking uphill, so to speak, you only notice how hard it is on the steep inclines. But it still makes you tired.

As a matter of interest, what do your friends think of him? Do they give him nicknames, like 'grumpy' or anything, or joke with you that he's hard work?

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:40:08

Cross-posted, lupo. God he's an arse! Poor you!

What UA said.

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:41:28

He's ground you down, hasn't he sad

Fight. You deserve a much nicer life, and so does your son.

Oh, and now that I have seen your last post I see he just as i expected - an entitled fucker who likes the outside image he portrays of being well off, great provider, his son in prep, all Mr Nice on the outside.

But the fact is, these entitled spoilt nonces hate spending 'their' money on their wives and children. They resent that they can't spend it all on themselves. Every last penny. They hate that they have to conceal their shitness by conforming to the lovely norm that being human is - ie being an adult and giving rather thank taking from your wife, son and the human race in general.

I expect his mother prefers his brother because he is preferable ?

I do wish your husband would fuck off go and find the great wife he thinks he deserves.

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:42:41

yes he stormed out my parents house last week because my dad dared to disagree with him about something and apparently I did not stick up for him...

Ok, well atleast mumsnet has shown me what I was questioning - that this is not down to me

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:45:04

NO, IT'S NOT YOU. It's him.

Divorce the fucker, seriously. You can't go on like this for another 15 years and it won't do DS any good either.

I bet your dad will back you.

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:46:18

You have all helped me feel better, a couple of hours ago I was actually wondering whether I am a bit of a shit wife, thanks for taking the time. I will continue to stand my ground and pull him up on his behaviour and will see what happens from there x

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 21:51:15

Good for you smile

A word of warning - whining, entitled bullies tend to get worse when their target stands up to them. He might notice something's up and start building defences. From the picture you've painted, these defences are likely to involve keeping money away from his expensive family subordinates. For your own peace of mind and future protection, please start keeping up-to-date copies of ALL his/your financial holdings, including pensions & insurances, etc, and keep an eye open for mystery bank accounts. Does he withhold access to the family money?

lupo Sat 26-Jan-13 21:55:28

garlic, you are very insightful - yes to the holding back money thing also. Quite scary that he seems to conform to a type so well. Do you work in this area or is it personal experience for you? (sorry, don't answer if I am being to nosey). Very interesting from an academic point of view ...here I am thinking I am imagining it all

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 22:00:55

Combination of experience (repeated) and self-study. I finally worked out I had to understand this crap if I wanted to avoid another gig as Prime Target!

This board is a fantastic resource; one of the best. Do have a read of some of the books & websites recommended. There's a good list on the OP of the Emotional Abuse threads. Knowledge is power smile

porridgeLover Sat 26-Jan-13 22:05:23

I think garlic is pointing out the 'script' that this type of man conforms to.
As she says, things may get worse as you see through him and he may sense a shift in the balance of power.
It's all about power.
He wants all of it in your relationship, you exist to bolster his image.

Be very careful if you are thinking of ending this.... start now with copying financial information, ferreting out the finances that he probably may have hidden from you.

But dont question yourself...although once you have seen the light it is hard to go back to the dark.....

So true porridge - once you have seen the light you can never go back to the dark.

Op, there is no harm in starting to understand, and have an equal hand in, your family finances.

This is fair and right. No matter what stage your marriage is at. This is so important.

We are not little women anymore who allow our menfolk to look after the finances and our futures.

We know how to do all the important things - like bleed once a month but still go out and smile; and how to breastfeed. (even if only for five minutes)

We also have to know other stuff to keep the oxygen-thiefs at bay:

How to change tyres, fill them with air (26 for front and back is ok) at the petrol station, switch the water off (stopcock), take the bins out with one hand, also the garden wheely bin, work a power drill, know what drill bits to use, use a palm sander and drink a Tom Collins at the same time, change endless batteries and have those batteries at hand, light fireworks safely, drink a yard of ale, cook really well healthily and quite cheaply, but also know how to cook mussels. Go on at least ONE holiday totally on your own and as many girls-holidays as you can manage, ..I digress:

Make sure you know what the finances are in your household. Set up a current account in your name only,

Make sure child benefit is paid into your sole account.

I only say this as I don't think you're H is going to be a goodun long-term OP. I hope I am wrong and I might well be. But forewarned is forearmed. A bank account in your name only is incredibly useful to have no matter what is happening in life. A form of freedom.

garlicblocks Sat 26-Jan-13 22:57:26

use a palm sander and drink a Tom Collins at the same time

Must try this next week wink

A bank account in your name only is incredibly useful to have no matter what is happening in life.

Definitely! Every woman should have her own power drill and bank account. The second is the more important.

foolonthehill Sat 26-Jan-13 22:57:40

not ideal at all, I think he kicks off seldom because you mostly avoid provoking reactions and modify your behaviour to cope with his.

The bad news is that as time goes on it usually gets harder to predict what sets these people off and the unreasonableness gets harder to deal with.

Get information for yourself then watch him....see where his behaviour fits with the profile. I like Lundy bancroft "Why does he do that, inside the minds of angry and controlling men, on special offer here www.bookdepository.co.uk/book/9780425191651?redirected=true&gclid=CKvC-PeOh7UCFXDLtAodPl4Acw.

there are some good online resources at the top of this thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1655328-Support-thread-for-those-in-Emotionally-abusive-relationships-15 as recommended above smilehi arth...

snowshapes Sat 26-Jan-13 23:13:56

I think UnlikelyAmazon is spot on with the description 'oxygen thief', but in reality, they steal your sanity. I agree with doing some reading and making sure that you have some money in your own name - and trying to detach and see what happens.

lupo Sun 03-Feb-13 14:22:27

Hi all

Just to update on a few things - I am quite financially savvy and organise accounts so should be ok there. I also work (3 jobs!) to cover ds school fees and am happy to do so -so it is not as though h has to pay for this.

Things have been tense all week, and this weekend he is very miserable, i feel tense and shaky by the atmosphere, ds not picked up on anything. Everyting is a big deal to him, weather is crap, internet provider are crap, just waiting for him to tell me I am crap tbh!

Tbh I am only hanging on in there for ds, to give him a 'family unit' but we will see. The strange things is I don't now why he is acting like this. He has been fine for the best part of two years, the last time he did this was work redundancies so wondering if its something similar. I am sick to death of being emotional punchbag, there is no excuse for it. He seems to hate everyone and everything and think that the whole world is against him..am so fed up with the outbursts. I can't have an adult conversation about what is wrong as he will just say something hurtful like -'It us you that makes me miserable'.
I am so close to saying -'well piss off then.' I will try and detach and ignore for ds sake . Any helpful hints appreciated.. thanks

lupo Sun 03-Feb-13 14:38:35

bump

thenightsky Sun 03-Feb-13 14:57:27

I'd go with the last line of your post.... 'well piss off then'.

It sounds like his 'outbursts' are already starting to become more frequent than 4 times a year sad

soulresolution Sun 03-Feb-13 15:06:13

You certainly shouldn't have to detach and ignore and certainly not for your ds sake. A 'family unit' can comprise all shapes and sizes and types and that includes one parent and one child. The key thing is to be a unit built on love and respect not tension, resentment, instability.

If there is something underlying his behaviour then I suppose he might be able to address it but that's not going to happen while he can take it out on you. Since you can manage financially I think your best option is to tell him to leave and sort himself out.

Herrena Sun 03-Feb-13 15:08:25

I think detaching and ignoring won't do your DS any favours. My family life was unhappy and my parents really should have split up. They stayed together because apparently a miserable 'intact' family unit is better than a 'dispersed' one hmm

Your DH sounds like he is being a twat to you in order to make himself feel better. I wonder what would happen if, every time he says something hurtful to you, you calmly reply 'It's a shame you feel that way' and don't respond emotionally. I bet he'd be fucking LIVID.

Do you really want to keep living with a nasty emotional bully like this?

LondonNinja Sun 03-Feb-13 15:21:46

Sorry you're going through this, OP. He does sound EA. Have you ever called him on his "I'm living such a shit life because of you," and tell him you're sorry he feels that way and it's no way for either of you to live, so perhaps it's time to call it a day as he's evidently miserable...?

lupo Sun 03-Feb-13 15:29:38

herrana I think I will try the 'Its a shame you feel that way ..' line and not respond emotionally. The only thing stopping me to calling it quits is that it would be heartbreaking for my sensitive gorgeous little boy

LondonNinja Sun 03-Feb-13 15:34:29

Can't help wondering what effect it will have on your lovely boy if he has to grow up thinking his father is right to treat his mother like crap... He will think EA is normal. Think very carefully about the lessons this man is teaching your DS.

lupo Sun 03-Feb-13 15:37:20

true, but how easy is it to walk? Sell the house, less money, devasted ds ...I guess there will come a point that even someone as patient as me will have to say enough is enough

Herrena Sun 03-Feb-13 16:38:55

But Lupo, if your son is sensitive then he'll be picking up on how nasty your H is being anyway. Your DS may be modifying his own behaviour so as not to upset daddy - children often do when they have parents like this. So you might not think he's picking up on it but in fact he's picking up on it all too well.

I'm sorry it's harsh and I'm sure you don't want to hear it, but I think that's the case. As for how easy it would be too walk... you wouldn't be the first and won't be the last and many women on this board have done it and will be very happy to advise you.

I think you have to choose the lesser of two evils for your DS; a home with both parents where daddy occasionally treats mummy like she's shit, or a home with one parent who isn't trying desperately to hold it together in the face of an awful atmosphere but is instead happy.

You are not wrong to want your son to grow up in a happy environment. Your DH is deliberately making you unhappy. This situation is of his making, not yours, and you would be perfectly justified in changing it for the better.

Lupo,

re your earlier comment:-

"I am only hanging on in there for ds, to give him a 'family unit' but we will see. The strange things is I don't now why he is acting like this".

Your DS is smart and probably thinks his parents fighting with each other is somehow his fault. Detaching and ignoring certainly will not make your DS feel better. The best thing you can do for the two of you is to tell your H to leave.

I can tell you why your DH is acting like this - its because he can and feels entitled to do so. He feels he is doing nothing wrong and he wants to drag you down with him, he will also drag down your child because he does not really care about him either. This is what emotionalluy abusive men do.

Please do not hang on in there for your DS; he will just learn more damaging lessons from the two of you as to how relationships are conducted. This is not the role model you want him to learn from and emulate as an adult. Also he should not be used by you as the glue to bind your horrid H and you together.

If you were to stay within this dysfunction your son won't thank you for doing so. He could instead ask you why you chose to put his horrid dad before him instead and you could wreak your own relationship with him as a result.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now