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Confused - I am the abuser or the abused?

(45 Posts)
TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:33:44

Married to DH 5 yrs, together for 6. 2 DC together, 1 DS from prev. rel. Rocky relationship all through the 6 yrs together. Have nearly parted on several occassions & had 3 lots of couples counselling which have helped in someways but not lastingly.

Argue all the time, generally over the same things. Totally opposed parenting styles, what being a family means, relationships with parents, work, money you name it. Some arguments have been going on for the full 6 yrs with no satisfactory conclusion or compromise ever reached. Both been treated for depression, him for anger management & me for self esteem issues. Not in any therapy at the mo. We both tend to say the same things about each other, we feel under valued and unsupported by our partner. Have read several self help books and partic. those related to EA and can see many of the traits in DH but also some in me too. I have a strong "sense" of equality which for me manifests as because DH works v hard as main breadwinner I am happy to take on all the household stuff & childcare etc. (I do work two days a week) but feel that this shouldn't mean he gets to squander whatever money he has left each month on shit just for himself. He feels that he should be left to spend it how he pleases. (Our financial situation not great, this is just one of many issues we have). For him he feels that everyone elses feeling & opinions count except his. However, I feel that me & all the kids (partic DS1) are always walking on eggshells so as not to rock the boat. The list is endless!!

Anyway, he has had a relatively major, but not lifethreatening, health scare (treatment is ongoing) and now says he will not longer put up with anymore crap from me, my family (mother - whole other story) or DS1 as life is too short. So I need to change my attitude, stop treating him like shit or he will go and find someone who does want him. Really, really confused about our future together or if we even have one???

SirBoobAlot Sat 02-Feb-13 00:37:55

Neither of you sound happy. You're facing up to the fact that you aren't perfect, and have faults, which is a big thing to do. But it doesn't sound like he's willing to do the same?

Your last paragraph, and about changing your attitude... What exactly does he mean by this?

Frankly anyone who said they didn't like my son would be gone before they could finish the sentence, married or no.

LemonDrizzled Sat 02-Feb-13 00:41:29

He sounds hard work! And quite likely abusive too. (Walking on eggshells is a clue)
What do you get out of the relationship?
It sounds like this is your chance to get rid of him by calling his bluff and just see how the house feels without him there. If it is more relaxed and calm and happy you have your answer. And he will have his chance to find someone who will appreciate him and his angry selfish ways!

I think your future together will be exactly the same as the last six years - with him not prepared to meet you halfway or take any responsibilty for his part in the conflict. Let me hazard a guess...he's the strict disciplinarian and you're 'too soft' - am I right?

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:55:03

SirBoobAlot - We aren't happy, sometimes we are less unhappy. He feels that I see him as the world's biggest shit, a total twat and that I'm always on at him. Telling him what he should and shouldn't be doing. He is a glass half empty person and rarely sees the positives in any situation. I am the opposite and am ALWAYS trying to encourage him to see that things aren't as bad/black as he thinks they are. This is what he sees as me telling him what he should/shouldn't be doing. I always try to look for the positives in any situation, even the most dire. He doesn't dislike DS1 but he doesn't exactly like him either. I think he feels intimidated and threatened by him as he is a reminder that I have been married before and i still have to have some contact with my ex. He thinks i favour him but this is simply not the case and I have looked long and hard at this. However, I do feel the need to defend him a lot as DH does misinterpret DS a lot because of his feelings towards him.

LemonDrizzled - There has been a few incidents with him, one quote serious for which I called the police. It was after that he had counselling but it definately destroyed the little remaining faith I had in him and I have struggled to regain that. We are all more relaxed when he is not there but I know that DD in partic would be upset if we parted as she is his favourite. As to what I get from the relationship, other than some financial security, I am not entirely sure sad

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 00:56:27

TallWivGlasses - you are exactly right.

You've nearly split up several times, had 3 lots of couples counselling, you've called the police on him, he's so negative he's sucking the life out of you (and your son?) ...I admire your perseverence TooMuch, but isn't it time to call it a day?

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:19:38

So he's negative... you walk on eggshells... you had to call police once (very serious)... you've had three lots of couples counselling and have only been with him six years.

Tallwivglasses has it - the future will be like the past. So if he's offering the option of leaving to find someone who does want him... how do you feel about taking him up on it?

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:20:14

Ah, x-post ; )

Great minds, wordy wink

wordyBird Sat 02-Feb-13 01:42:07


To my mind "walking on eggshells" is code for "living in fear".

I think he is using projection on you here when he says, "he will not longer put up with anymore crap from me, my family (mother - whole other story) or DS1 as life is too short. So I need to change my attitude, stop treating him like shit or he will go and find someone who does want him". This is what he is really like.

Your H sounds awful to put it mildly, I would ask you why you have stayed to date?. Fear, shame, embarrassment, some financial security, wanting to make it work for the children?. This man cannot abide your eldest child likely because he is not his own biologically. He is therefore a lousy stepfather. He treats his DD better because she is his biologically. All that too will conspire to affect the relationship between your son and his sister to its detriment because he will see that he is being treated differently yet you as his mother did not remove them from this dysfunctional mess. You really do not want your children to turn around to you as adults and ask you why (if you did stay) you put this man before them. For those reasons alone he should be gone from your day to day lives. I think you would all be a lot happier.

I think the next 6 years will be very much like the last six if you do not get out this marriage. What has been tried to date has not worked and you cannot do the same now in the hopes of a different outcome.

I would call his bluff and start legal proceedings re separation. He likely will not want to leave the marital home.

Does he get angry with everyone around him equally or does he pour all his hate mainly onto you?. AM has not worked I daresay because he is at heart emotionally abusive.

Think carefully about what you want to teach your children about relationships because currently they are being imparted damaging lessons.

CabbageLeaves Sat 02-Feb-13 07:46:14

I had a friend in your circumstance. Her DS is now an adult and she has so many regrets about his childhood. She like you persevered, went to counselling etc etc. they lived 'on eggshells'. That child grew up in a very unhappy home, with fear, tension and misery....all because his mum wanted to make it work.

It was never going to work and they split 3 yrs ago when DS was about 16 so he then endured a bitter divorce. His relationship with his mum is poor mainly I think because he resents her for not looking after him but for putting the relationship first

I think you sound like you are staying through some skewed sense of moral, ethical code to marriage. Please leave and be happy

OneLieIn Sat 02-Feb-13 07:53:36

Call his bluff and separate.

I am a child of similar parents and all I would say is by staying in an abusive and unhappy relationship, you are not only unhappy, but your dcs will be unhappy too.


Lueji Sat 02-Feb-13 08:00:14

TBH, if you had to call the police, you should have got rid then.

He's a disaster area.

His negativity sounds like my ex.

And it feels that you are doing all the work.

And why should he spend all the money if you are saving a lot on childcare?

He feels that I see him as the world's biggest shit, a total twat
I think this shows what he feels about himself, why contradict him?

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:06:16

Ha ha I'm ill you all have to do what I say without arguing....What a self indulgent prat. Tell him to jog on...if he's still got the energy.

Lovingfreedom Sat 02-Feb-13 08:08:35

....where's he going to get the new partner who appreciates him?

AThingInYourLife Sat 02-Feb-13 08:15:50


Loving is right.

Suzietastic Sat 02-Feb-13 08:30:45

And why don't YOU go and find someone who will appreciate YOU? This sounds so draining. You can walk away knowing you have done everything you can. This situation sounds unhealthy for you and unhealthy for your children. Start seperarion proceedings now and look forward to a happier life x

TooMuchJD Sat 02-Feb-13 09:38:45

TBH i am more worried about the kids is we do seperate. Sadly he has a tendancy to be peevish & spiteful which I know will manifest itself as saying hurtful and nasty things to the kids about me, my family, DS1. My fear is that this is equally as damaging.

For me it would be better and for DS1, we coped before & would again however I am concerned for the younger two. My life does revolve around my kids and I get a bit panicy about the prospect of not having them around every other weekend,don't know what i would do with my time. (Sad I know)

I also worry that he may be I am wrong and that my theory for a good family is flawed but I have tried doing it his way to a certain degree and it just grated so much against my instincts that I couldn't sustain it as my heart wasn't in it. I believe in educating the kids and walking the walk so to speak where he feels that consequences are more appropriate. I do punish if they are intentionally naughty but don't feel its always needed for every indiscretion.

I don't really have many RL friends who i feel able to talk to (they have already told me before that they think we should seperate, that we only bring out the worst in each other)

scaevola Sat 02-Feb-13 09:46:20

If there reall is nothing much between you, even after three rounds of counselling, then can there be a future?

Communication between the two of you sounds to have failed completely (he might feel he's on eggshells too) and your description sounds as if nothing is ever talked through and solved. You're unhappy, he's unhappy; is there anything else to try together?

Listen to your friends. Don't worry about what he might say to your kids, they'll know the score. Besides, he'll probably be too ill to look after them much anyway hmm

I do not think he will give you an easy ride of it at all if you were to separate and at the very least you will need to consider formal i.e legal means re access. I am sure that your son would not want to see this man in any case. Such men do not let go of their victims easily and he'll drag it out for as long as he can.

If you do separate (and I would urge you to seek legal advice in any case) ensure that you mean business from the start and show you will not tolerate any crap he will come out with regarding access, finances etc. He will see his grip on power being taken from him so he will likely lash out at you and the children, such men can use kids as weapons against the mother for having tha gall in their eyes to leave.

I think your friends opinions are instructive; you and he should not be together at all so why are you together currently?. You cannot keep flogging a dead horse and he is inherently unreasonable and testy. He sucks all the joy out of your life and quite apart from anything else he has never been able to accept your own child from another marriage thus making your own child miserable. That in itself is reason enough to be shot of this manchild.

Xales Sat 02-Feb-13 11:30:15

How old is your DS1?

You and your children especially DS1 are walking on egg shells.

Now that you and DS1 have to bend over and take whatever he gives you from behind as he is ill and 'will leave you for someone who does want him' how much more is your DS1 going to have to take?

Put your children first and show them that a happy separated mother (and hopefully father when he finds 'the one who does want him') is much better than a shitty relationship where you either both make each other unhappy or one treats the rest like shit and they walk around fearing to upset him.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Sat 02-Feb-13 20:58:54

Here are 2 of your previous threads which I remembered (I posted on one under an old username):

I think you are probably being too hard on yourself. Do you throw things at him, threaten him, grab him, push him, cause him to bang his head on the floor and call him vile names when you argue? These are all things he has evidently done to you.

Have any of your counsellors had anything to say about how he is always blaming you and making out it's all your fault? My advice? Throw him out and get some counselling for yourself. Life is too short to spend with a prick like this.

MarilynValentine Sat 02-Feb-13 22:18:22

Separate. Why waste anymore of your life on this unpleasant person?

Your DC will be better for it in the long run. You will just have to deal with the fact you won't see the kids every other weekend - but that sacrifice will be completely worth it.

Don't give your children the blueprint that this sort of relationship is ok.

And - you are allowed to be happy.

bigbuttons Sat 02-Feb-13 22:24:31

op he will already be saying nasty things about you to the kids

I've just had a quick look at the threads linked above. You are still with this man because? confused

Astelia Sun 03-Feb-13 02:39:12

OP where do you want to be in five years time? Do you want the next five years to be the same as the last five?

As is often said on these boards; you can't change him, you can only change your response to him.

Please make plans for a better future for yourself and the DCs. Don't be afraid to think outside the box too- you can change anything about your life if you plan and prepare.

bigbuttons Sun 03-Feb-13 10:05:07

OP, love you could post a new post here everyday telling is about another shitty thing he has done.
He is an abuser.
I really really do understand how difficult it is to leave men like that, I've been there and done that. It took me 12 years to leave.

I also understand that you post up new threads to get validation that what is happening to you is wrong.

Nothing will change unless you make it happen.

He will never change. he will not change if you stay and he will not change if you leave. He already thinks it is all you fault ( my ex did and still does), he is already bad mouthing you to your children( my ex did and still does).

There is no getting away from your situation as it stands. The ONLY way it will stop is if you separate from him.

If you can't do it for yourself what about your poor ds1?

colditz Sun 03-Feb-13 14:49:54

Please leave before your son decides yu don't love him enough to protect him.

TooMuchJD Sun 03-Feb-13 20:29:54

Thank you everyone for your feedback, deep down I already know what the answer is. I'm just finding it really hard to find the strength to put things in motion. Had a very trying day with the two DC (DS1 at his dad's) and realised today just how tired and frustrated I am with everything. Desperately trying to get the clarity of mind needed to sort this whole mess out.

dondon33 Sun 03-Feb-13 21:00:21

Please read another thread called something like - If your parents stayed together.... I don't have time to find it right now.
It's about all of us who were raised in relationships where the parents either
A) shouldn't have been together in the first fecking place
B) stayed together way to long, subjecting their children to lives of misery while they 'tried' to make it work.

He sounds awful to be around OP, good luck with whatever you decide to do in the future.

Dump him. He is not worth a second more of your time or energy. See a solicitor, have a chat with Women's Aid, decide whether you want him out of the house or if you want to take the DC and move, then take the appropriate steps. If you've had to call the police on him previously it will not be too difficult to get him removed from the family home and kept away, and you can probably insist on supervised contact as well until he shows signs of being able to behave himself.

TooMuchJD Sun 03-Feb-13 23:02:32

Just read my previous posts, strangely I had forgotten about the earlier one(???). Feeling really stupid & weak willed right now, why the f**k am I willing to put up with this shit, please someone tell me!! You missed the one where he spent the evening with a woman he met in the pub on a night out & finally arrived home at 6am (only after I had called him, worried about where he was) whilst I was at home bf our son. Swore at the time he was only ensuring she got a taxi home as she was drunk, found out much later that they had kissed but nothing else (have doubted this ever since).

Resentment is building. I know I am not the easiest person in the world to get along with, too bossy for my own good at times, need to stand up to mum occassionally, have my own anger issues born from frustration at times.

Aargghhh...........head is so fucked up at the moment!!

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Mon 04-Feb-13 01:25:10

Hey, don't put yourself down any more! I posted the links just to show a bit of the history here, which sadly demonstrates that it is you that has been abused.

I'm not surprised your feelings are all over the place at the moment, the treatment you have described would leave anyone hurt, frightened and yes, angry at times. None of us are perfect, all of us have areas of our lives we know we should change but find it v hard to do so.

Please try to remember:

It's not about the past any more, it's about the future and how you want the rest of your life and your children's lives to be.
It's not about him and his needs, it's about you and yours.
"The size of a man can be measured by the size of the thing that makes him angry." (J. Kenfield Morley)

Try to take SGB's advice and focus on one step at a time (sorry, but cliches becomes cliches because they have a strong element of truth!)

Take care, wishing you the best.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Mon 04-Feb-13 01:27:28

P.S. I have no direct experience of this, but a lot of posters recommend the Freedom Programme - I've heard it's available free online.

chucksaway Mon 04-Feb-13 06:05:06

you both sound like you have done a lot to try and work things out, yet somehow you are not finding any happy medium. do you both have troubled upbringings? this website is full of stories of men leaving their woman and from what youve said one glimmer of hope is that he does sound like he doesnt want to leave rather that he has to leave. once you put up any story like this on mumsnet you will get leave him leave him please make sure you have exhausted all avenues before you separate your family - saying that the situation sounds very toxic for your children

bigbuttons Mon 04-Feb-13 06:48:35

chucksaway. Your 'advice', although well meant, is dangerous.
Clearly you have never been in an abusive relationship( lucky you) and are therefore unable to spot one when it is waving at you with klaxons blaring.

Lizzabadger Mon 04-Feb-13 07:28:01

End it.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

chucksaway Mon 04-Feb-13 08:47:56

i appreciate i am not expert but from what i have read so far both parties seem to be abusing each other, hence the OP's original question - i have read so many times on this website once an abuser always an abuser. to me they sound like two people in turmoil wanting it to work but they simply dont have/ or cannot apply the tools to make it work - why have they stayed together so far? why have they jumped through hoops looking for ways to fix their broken relationship? it may in fact be that they have reached the end of a long road now and now the time has arrived where they do part - but i sense that is not what either party wants at all. OP has come here looking for some clarity as to how to gain some peace within her relationship, i dont have the answers sorry but hope you get what you are looking for from some of the more experienced women on here. all the best

Miggsie Mon 04-Feb-13 09:00:12

If your husband left - would you all be happier?


Your husband is making you all unhappy.

The fact you even had to ask the question in the OP shows he has so screwed with your mind you can't work out the boundaries any more.

If you left you would be happier, so would the children.
Yes, he will continue to be mean and spiteful but youwouldn't have it 24x7 and you might even meet someone who likes you.

Is your mother like your husband? Someone has conditioned you to expect abuse and not be happy.

TooMuchJD Mon 04-Feb-13 20:04:46

chucksaway what you say goes somewhere near the truth. My gut is that whilst in many ways we want the same outcomes in life we have very , very different ideas on how that should work. I don't feel that the hurtful things that have happened between us are necessarily premeditated or intentional. Some of the things he has said have been intended to hurt though and whilst I am good at forgiving I cannot forget them and the cummulative effect has made me detach emotionally which in turn has fuelled his feelings of rejection and that is really what he fears the most. What he fails to grasp is that his actions are making this happen and its not just in his personal life, his work life is the same. He has been told this by more than one professional that he needs to organise his life better and adjust his own reaction to stress rather than expect the stress to go away.

We are both struggling to gain some kind of acceptable control over the two LO's who are challenging but some of their behaviour is likely to be as a reaction to the tensions at home so it has all become a bit of a vicious circle.

I read another thread on here last night where it was the wife who was displaying the kind of behaviour my husband does and that has given me a different perspective, seeing it from her point of view. It does not make the behaviour acceptable though.

ReturnOfEmeraldGreen Tue 05-Feb-13 00:10:04

Life doesn't have to be this hard. Honestly it doesn't.

"If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. There's no point in being a damn fool about it" - W.C. Fields

Sorry if that's a little brutal. I also like:

“Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, and I'm going to be happy in it.” ― Groucho Marx

Good luck.

deleted203 Tue 05-Feb-13 00:16:58

I think all of the posters here are in agreement that this sounds like a shitty relationship to be in and that you would be much happier on your own.

Can I give you my own personal 'Is it time to call it a day' question?

I ended things with my Ex when I realised that if someone had told me that we would still be together in 30 years time I would have cut my own throat that night.

Try applying that...

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