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Have just completely over reacted to DH, what is wrong with me?(100 Posts)
Bit of background - have been feeling general low rumbling dissatisfaction with DH, nothing major just a combination of me being ill and not getting out of the house much and him being tired and choosing to sleep/be on computer rather than talk to me. Honestly nothing major, but I'm feeling quite tetchy and tending to blame myself for him not wanting to spend time with me in the evenings when it's probably just that he's tired.
Anyway, this morning he was on fb talking to someone (female) he worked with 2 years ago, she had friended him, was asking how he was, and asked his to sign a goodbye card for someone they used to work with who was quitting. So far so normal, right? This girl who's leaving, my DH never really said they were good friends but took her out to dinner without my knowledge when they were working together
He also used to do overtime even after the shop should have been closed (most days actually). Said sometimes he was working, sometimes just smoking outside with "the boys". I was at home at the time with a very cranky sleep-rejecting baby and would have welcomed some support, but ended up feeling quite a lot of resentment.
Which I thought Id got over, but clearly not as when he mentioned about signing the leaving card I asked him if that wasn't a bit weird, seeming as he quit 2 years ago, claims to not have had much contact with her, didn't get on with her that well, so why were they chasing him up after 2 years? I told him I wondered if there was more going on, obviously they at least got on better than he said if 2 years has passed and people still think of him when she's leaving, plus a million other irrational lunatic things about what he might have been doing when he said he was working overtime (9am-11pm at least days)
He was understandably furious with me, I said far too much (and he said, and has said in the past, some pretty horrible things about me, one reason I feel a bit insecure I suppose), and I think I was quite irrational, but I know he's lied about things in the past so my heads all over the place. I will apologise to him when he gets home, but he said before he left he can't live with me because of what I said. Why did I get so crazy? Why couldn't I bottle it up?
Sorry for the long post.
Reading that back, I do totally suck, don't I
I suppose a lack of "attention" from him, plus seeing him being so excited to hear from someone else, plus the rumbling mystery of the girl he "didn't like" but took out for dinner behind my back, and still stays in touch with it seems just built up and flicked my crazy switch. I've been really stupid haven't I
You may or may not have overreacted but from what you say, it does sound like all is not rosy. Tell me to piss off but you do sound a bit cowed by his attitude to you, whether or not you are right about this other work friend. How is he in general ? Is he appreciative of you in any way? How does he like being a father ?
I think the main problem is that you don't feel your dh has you as his priority, if you felt you were his priority and important to him this woman/card/shop business wouldn't bother you.
And for him to say he can't live with you after you've said these things, that sounds ridiculous on his part. It sounds like a very strange reaction to what you say is one conversation.
I know he's lied about things in the past
What kind of things, in addition to having dinner with a female co-worker?
Doesn't really sound like you overreacted.
Why are you still with a liar?
I don't think you have overreacted.
He sounds selfish - leaving all the shit work of raising babies to you, not putting you first etc.
His choice to work overtime most days suggest he is avoiding family life - again another indication of his selfishness.
Taking a girl he says he "does not like" out for dinner is very dodgy - the dislike aspect could be an attempt to cover up his true feelings for her.
I would be interested to know about the lies too.
Being selfish, lying etc are all typical traits of a cheater.
We always say on here to trust your instincts.
I don't think you overreacted at all.
He has clearly broken your trust in the past, and so you are inclined to think badly of him when this kind of thing rears it's head.
And I think his reaction says a lot, that rather than say 'look Sock, I can see it looks bad but honestly nothing went on, I love you. Let's make some time to spend together etc etc' he has ranted at you and blamed you for the whole thing.
I do think it is rather a step from tetchy with each other, to 'I can't live with you'.
Tread carefully, and do NOT apologise.
Hi just wanted to say you have the right to feel that way.
You are not alone in how you feel,
I have been in a situation recently where I have had to tell someone to back off my husband on a public website.
it worked gone quiet now but was crossing boundaries.
even if they thought they were having a convo it was getting clicky.
Go with your gut instinct, as many people say on here. xx
If you think his face lights up when he's on FB and yet he's currently
tired and choosing to sleep/be on computer rather than talk to me then I don't blame you for feeling left out.
When you say I've been really stupid haven't I sorry to be dense, do you mean now or back then?
I'll try to answer as many points as I can Sorry if I miss anything out, not intentionally drip feeding but trying to catch up on work at the same time.
He is appreciative of me, but shows it by doing things not saying things. So he'll do lots around the house, but won't really be demonstrative with his feelings in other ways. I know doing things is valid, and nice, but when he's angry he really insults me (calls me crazy, irritating bitch, unstable, wishes we'd never got married etc etc) He says he only says them in the heat of the moment and doesn't mean them, but will really struggle to say anything nice.
I asked him jokingly why he loved me the other day (I had been dropping things, burnt dinner, lost his keys etc and kind of laughed at myself and said "why on earth do you love me, I'm a mess!") and he said he couldn't say any reasons. He was genuinely stumped. It just hurts to hear lots of nasty things and not so many nice. Actually he does says he loves me every day, but has said before that its because I "expect" it, not because he wants to He "feels uncomfortable" talking that way. Yet these other women must have found him nice to still want to be in touch years on, so I am very very jealous that they obviously adore this lovely side of him that he shows them, and I get the angry (not always, but in times of stress/fights), not caring side Pathetic, I know, but it does hurt.
I told him that's exactly why I was feeling jealous, he said it's easier to be nice to people you don't really know
I think he enjoys being a dad, but I don't like the way he talks to our oldest (4). He seems to get stressed with him quite easily and has started calling him "stupid". This alone makes me want to run for the hills, so I think all this is piling up on me really. (I have obviously told him in no uncertain terms to not ever do this again, and he is apologetic and will stop.)
His hours of overtime was very much in the past, he has since changed jobs and is at home a lot more, no more overtime. When he's at home, he does a more than equal share of housework and kid stuff without being asked.
Where am I with these points? Um, lies. Well, similar things really. Going for drinks after work with a woman, (different women on different occasions - only about 3 or 4 times
that I know about (various reasons for not saying - thought i would be jealous/wouldn't care/none of my business - depending on how arsey he was feeling. I know, he's a keeper isn't he!)
Alibaba I would love him to reply like that, it would make me feel so much better. However he knows I've been furious in the past so instantly thinks I'll be furious again, and attacks before he gets attacked. This has led to any insecurity of mine, if I mention it, getting a mostly angry response which makes the paranoia worse.
Donkeys Actually then and now really. I thought about leaving the first time but was newly pregnant, and didn't trust that I wasn't being overly hormonal. I should add, he doesn't spend time with other women now. He's realised what he did hurt me and broke my trust, but thinks I should be over it now and just forgive him already.
I don't think he's cheated, and I know I worry about it too much. I just hate that I've had to put up with all these insults from him, but other women seem to love him and think he's kind and sweet.. I should be happy that people view him like that, but I just feel this overwhelming jealousy. Is that odd or not odd??
Oh god, sorry for the length! <insert "that's what he said" joke at your leisure>
I don't think you have overreacted. I'd also feel jealous, upset and permanently suspicious if my DH had been out for dinner with a woman other than me. Can't think of any good reason for doing so, unless maybe they'd been friends 20 years before you came along, and rarely see each other.
Everyone says stuff they don't mean when they are upset, but the underlying reason you are upset is the main issue, and your DH shouldn't just dismiss that because you said some things you didn't think through in the heat of the moment.
he said it's easier to be nice to people you don't really know
And still get H privileges, riiiight.
I don't like the way he talks to our oldest (4). He seems to get stressed with him quite easily and has started calling him "stupid"
Whatever else is going on I'd stamp on this quick smart.
I don't get the impression he lacks self-esteem, ThatsNotMySock. Bit of a power imbalance going on here.
Of course it isn't odd. Your own husband can't think of a reason why he loves you? He calls you unstable and says he wishes he hadn't married you?
When a man tells you what he is like, listen to him. He is telling you what he is like.
The reason that other women find him charming company is because he makes an effort for them, takes them out for dinner (WTF??). And then he comes home and calls his wife crazy and irritating and can't tell her why he loves her.
I really don't think you should equate housework with him being appreciative of you. It is his house too, presumably he likes it to be clean and tidy? If this is the only tick on his card then things are in a sorry state.
What do you feel you get out of the relationship?
Well, he came home and I gave him a bit of space then tried to apologise and explain why I'd got upset about such a stupid thing. He wasn't interested in listening, or hearing my side, just got angry and defensive. He said he hated that I always dragged up these things from the past, as I said before he thinks I should be over it and trust him completely (despite him blaming it on me at the time!)
Things escalated badly (I got v ranty at being blocked again) and the upshot is, he doesn't think he wants to be together. Marriage is "too hard because you have to make time for other people" Being married/having kids is expensive, so he always has to worry about money He doesn't think he loves me (though he could just be with holding because he's pissed off with me - he does this a lot!)
I never nag him about money, I'm about to go back to work after being a SAHM, so I am making an effort.
Thanks for not thinking I'm totally crazy by the way. The things I said to him were really irrational and I do feel bad. I apologised but he says he can't go on any more being blamed for this. I have asked him countless times to have a proper conversation about this and why I felt hurt, but he manages to turn it into an argument or diatribe about how unreasonable I am. Not exactly reassuring! I think, although today was really unfair of me, it's all built up too much.
He says the marriage is over. Says he won't leave the house though. How convenient for him. Btw, he has form for this. Says this about once every 2 months, next day says sorry, he didn't mean it. Today I have told him even if he says that tomorrow, I will not listen. What a mess
Alibaba He not only does some housework, he also.. <gasp!!> goes out and earns all the money!! <bows down to all powerful husband>
Oh god, just remembered I have blocked out the part where he said he was being mean to me because "I needed to learn my lesson"
No thanks!! Rather remain uneducated!
Fuck me OP that is all pretty awful. I do feel that you are in an EA situation.
What do you want to do? It is all about him at the moment.
Well, he's called time on your marriage, so now it's time to start formalising your separation and eventual divorce.
This is emotional abuse, OP, and I suggest you take him seriously this time when he pronounces your marriage over...and take steps accordingly.
btw, I didn't think you were over reacting in the first place
you certainly under reacted big style when he gave you major cause for concern in the past
AF I agree that I under reacted in the past. If only I'd had the
mumsnet wisdom then that I have now. It's just been stumbling along since then really.
AThing I do agree, he seems to have laid his cards on the table, and I'm quite happy with that decision. It is really sad, and we have had some good times, but something about the situation we're in now is just crap. He says he's more stressed now he has more responsibilities (me&kids) and new harder job, but says it's OK to take that stress out on me as we're family
He thinks I'm asking him to change his personality, but all I'm asking is for him to stop insulting me. If he finds it hard to say lovely things, that's his personality in a way, I can understand that. But being insulted, then when I ask for reassurance being told he can't think of anything he loves about me.. seriously, how does he imagine that's normal? Well, apparently his family do it all the time so it's normal for him, and me saying it hurts me and asking him to stop is me being weird
I hate the kind of person I've become (worrying, insecure) so I'm not worried about being on my own. Just frustrated as I've been here so many times and he always apologises the next day, says he didn't mean it then all is calm until the next upset (except it's not calm, because I feel like shit.) Then I feel like I have to try again because "he didn't mean it". But I can't carry on like this. Have looked to see what benefits I would be allowed, at least till I get back on my feet at work, and it looks like I could make ends meet. I think he would leave and go home (other side of the country)
What else do I need to look in to? And how do I stay strong if he apologises and not slip back into the whole mess again?
Thanks for listening x
this link may help you
Well, I don't know you don't slip back. I expect you have to be sure in your own mind you have had enough. Write it all down. Reread this thread. Get some RL support that doesn't consist of male-appeasing shite like "he doesn't know what he is doing" (he does) and "he loves you really, and if you just try harder you can make it work" (you can't).
Do lots of reading about emotionally abusive relationships and the co-dependent traps you have been falling into for so long. It's all out there.
Only you can do it though. I actually recommend you don't go ahead with anything if you are not 100% sure. Because if you cave again your self esteem and self respect will plummet further.
You do not talk to your significant other the way he has talked to you (name calling, put downs, saying he never should of married etc).
It may take a few months or a few years but this will erode your self esteem & you'll see it for what it is. It certainly isn't normal & it was sad to read it as you underplay it so much.
"He thinks I'm asking him to change his personality, but all I'm asking is for him to stop insulting me"
He's decided it's not something he can change about himself & it's just how he is (that's bs by the way but this will be how he justifies it to himself).
You really are better off without
Thanks OrchardKeeper He really does make me feel like everyone talks to their partner like this, and I'm just making a big deal out of nothing. I don't know why I believed him, am I stupid?!
And yy to your 2nd post, that's exactly what he says. That's just the way he is, he can't change it, and if I don't like it I should go and marry some mug who's nice to me all the time. He actually says these things, and makes me feel like I'm in the wrong for being needy. God forbid he could show a bit of kindness instead. He must really hate me to not even be bothered.
Btw, he would say he shows lots of kindness by helping out with housework and kids, and that is lovely of him. But if I try to bring up "You know when you said you didn't know why loved me? Were you just angry or did you mean it?" I'll either get told "dunno really" silence, grumped at for bringing up the same old things again and again, or sworn at/walked away from. I don't know, maybe me asking for reassurance is really that annoying. Common sense would dictate though, that if you reassure someone properly, they don't come crawling back to you with the same anxiety again and again..
You need to stop asking him for reassurance
Not because you have been wrong or "needy" to do so, but because he uses it as a weapon against you
You are giving him all the armoury to hurt you with, love
Detachment and indifference is what you are aiming for. He is never going to give you what you need.
Have you read "The Verbally Abusive Relationship" by Patricia Evans ? I highly recommend it, and you will find this man within the pages of that book.
Apathy or indifference, it's soul destroying. Where does he get off, swearing at you? Anyone else cross his path in life he'd treat like this? No! He reserves that for you.
AF Sorry, I meant to say thank you for the link you gave me. Very useful
Actually, I have read the Patricia Evans book And yes, found him in there a little bit. It did help me to detach, I also have some some individual counselling to find strategies to help me detach or not get drawn in to fights and both have really helped. Unfortunately I found I detached to the point of contempt. Recently I've been trying to get closer again, and I think that's making me feel clingier. I know I can detach if I want to, but it makes me feel very distant from him. I can't seem to detach from the insults alone, although I suppose that's pretty hard.
I have also read "I Love You But I Don't Trust You" (good principles but no point asking him to work through it with me) and "Hold Me Tight" Bit cheesy but good, but he refused to try. (What a surprise.)
I do understand that I need to stop asking him for reassurance. It really is just giving him power, isn't it. Just feel pretty lonely/pissed off that it's come to this. Thanks for the advice x
Unfortunately I found I detached to the point of contempt.
This is where you and I part company. You see, I consider contempt for him to be a fortunate thing, the only sane response.
Donkeys Lucky lucky me! He really should have worked that into the vows somehow, I was wearing flats, I could have legged it!!
with all the champagne
AF Interestingly, I did print out the online resources linked to that book when he was going through a stage of wanting to change and stop being so angry with me. He asked me what he could do, and I had no idea but found those online and gave them to him. He did say a lot of it hit home, and said he would work through it but somewhat predictably he hasn't looked at them since. I will try the book for myself though, thanks
X post! Maybe I'm not as daft as I think!
You certainly are not daft. Him ? He's learned only one way to interact with someone he professes to love.
It's not going to give him the chance of long term happiness
You, on the other hand....
Oh fgs. This morning he has been quiet but looking guilty, no apology but both trying to make conversation normally in front of the DCs. He's even just asked what I want him to get me for my birthday
My brain really really hurts! What is going on with him?
Op - bottling up does not work. Think of a coke bottle explexploding when pressure gets too much.
If you dont verbalise these increasing feelings of insecurity and resentment, and understand where they come from, his and your frustration will likely increase and drive a wedge between you.
Id recommend counselling together. It sounds like you both need support to communicate with each other.
Ok and reading the other posts your wrote,
If he is cycling between making threats to leave and back tracking id say it sounds like he cannot see how to resolve the situation. He does not have any more skills to handle your behaviour - youve described someone who does not appear to have much emotional iq.
Pure conjecture, but I'll go further and state that as he does not understand your behaviour he's beginning to focus on the negative s of the relationship hence why he is questioning it's value.
The other issues here purely on what you describe are that he is either perceiving your desire to talk about your feelings as blame, or you are actually blaming his behaviour. Either way he is not up for listening to this. You are then growing in frustration. Another negative cycle.
You need support together if u both want this to improve.
Ha Lueji It's either that or a nice new husband, one of those wimpy ones that is emotionally supportive?
delia I think the wedge is already there. I tried asking him to counselling, but he said he didn't think it would help him, so I ended up going on my own. I've read a ton of relationship help books and tried to discuss them with him, and he'll play along for a while then admit he thinks it's all bull. And discussing my feelings always seem to lead to a row, so I don't know what more I can do. (I do completely agree with you though!)
He often says that he loves it when I'm happy, but when I bring up these feelings he hates it, can't cope with that kind of relationship, hasn't got the capacity to support me. Which is kind of shit, because he needs a lot of support from me which I happily give him (well gave him. I have been holding back lately because it feels so unfair.) Feels a bit like emotional blackmail - I love you when you're happy and smiley, but if you want to have a serious talk, or discuss something that's hurt you then I hate you and I can't cope and you're an irritating bitch
Oh, you poor thing! You do not suck and it's not even a little bit surprising you feel insecure. You're basically hanging in there on the dim hope that a partner who doesn't love you will suddenly begin
Tbh, there's no excuse for the way he acts towards you. Not loving a person doesn't compel you to treat them so shabbily. I have to disagree with Delia; threatening divorce every couple of months isn't the last resort of a person lacking eq. It's the action of a bully who desires his wife's insecurity.
Please listen to the wise women here You deserve respect!
X post delia
Very wise words! I think that's exactly how he sees it.
When i talk to him (apart from yesterday) I always try not to blame him, to try and talk about it gently. If I went in all guns blazing I could understand his reaction, but I'm really not. If he then says something horrible and I cry, he looks at me like I disgust him. He really doesn't care if I'm hurt.
I would imagine though that he blames himself so instantly puts his defenses up and everything I say sound like criticism. But I don't know how to get him to get over that, and actually hear what I'm saying. And I don't know how much longer I can take the insults really
he looks at me like I disgust him
Why keep trying ? Really ?
I think you have exhausted all avenues except the obvious one.
And that is for him to meet you halfway, for more than a token few days
Which leads to the obvious next step
Put up and shut up, or end it
I know which one I would choose
Aand x posted with garlic too!
Hmm. I wonder which one it is. He seems to think saying that it's over is the only way to defuse the row/shock me into silence. He can't understand why I then get upset.
(And yes, he glares, he rolls his eyes, he sneers at me when I cry, he looks at me like he hates me and asks me who the hell do I think I am.. that's not normal even when you're angry, is it?)
I just feel all over the place. Yesterday I felt strong, now I'm wondering what to do, why is he being nice again if he hates me, or did he just say that to hurt me? Is it me causing his anger? Am I just a really irritating person to be with?
I joked on our wedding day that I wanted to marry the cake (it as amazing.) I should have married the fucking cake
he glares, he rolls his eyes, he sneers at me when I cry, he looks at me like he hates me and asks me who the hell do I think I am.. that's not normal even when you're angry, is it?
It's only normal in people who are trying to intimidate others. When someone acts like this, their target usually has a go back because it is so deeply insulting. Bullies do it to those they perceive as weaker than them - often women & children - so they get to intimidate them without the bother of a fight.
He's making sure you know he finds your humanity despicable. Make of that what you will.
Just wanted to say OP, the responsibility for his anger lies with him and him alone.
Only you can decide what your next step will be but I think you need to ask yourself whether you really want to continue in this cycle - your H doesn't seem like he's going to change any time soon so if you want things to be different it's going to have to come from you (and by this I mean getting out, not putting up).
Good luck whatever you decide.
If he and you feel you are heading to the point of destruction, then what on earth has he got against counselling for one final hurrah?
Youve both got a negative cycle going on here. He is attacking you, as he perceives being attacked. Pretty infantile behaviour but where a lit of people retreat to.
May I suggest the following:
Dont mention any of whats happened. Try and act cool, give both of you some time out from the emotional stuff.
Then say to him after a day or two that you want to schedule in a chat. Ask when he'd be prepared to talk openly. Dont arrange it for when your tired. Etc. Also agree a max. Length of discussion. Half an hour maybe. Some people like warning as they feel less defensive.
During the chat don't harp on or mention specifics. That will cause an argument. Instead anglevthe chat around the fact you both agree the situation is not making either of you happy. Then its a discussion of if there is a solution do you both want to fix it? If yes how can you fix it together. Now he sounds like he thinks its hopeless and there is no solution. This is where you need to get tactical and sell the counselling as a solution to your own issues. Not his. Say you have realised that you are not communicating to him in a healthy way. Say youve realised your behaviour is affecting you both, you don't like it either. If you went to joint counselling together you feel strongly it would help you understand him better and would help everything.
He cant get defensive if you say this. You may think this sounds too much but youve got here a man who feels trapped in a corner. Give him some air. If he takes the bait then of course joint counselling will explore both sides eventually but you just need to get him through the door.
Id also agree sone rules.
No arguing or emotional discussions outside an agreed a brief daily or weekly slot. Outside the time slot dont mention anything negative. In return he needs to agree to be open to listening.
Things never work if we say to ourselves 'one more thing is the final straw'. Because you will both continue to upset each other as this takes a while. You have to agree to wipe each others slate clean, and be tolerant. Id sell this as a "look, let's both agree to give this another shot".Agree to review progress in 2 or 3 months.
Nothing will change unless something changes.
People can be pretty horrible.
He loved you once because he married you.
He has become bitter and childish because he cannot cope. He has told you he cannot cope by telling you he thinks the only solution is ending it.
Was he always this bad? Were you always so insecure?
It's very sweet of you to think a marriage proposal means love, Delia, but sadly it can mean a lot of other things. Ownership and control can be labelled 'love' but the word doesn't turn them into positive qualities.
Sock joked that she'd rather be marrying the cake. I suspect her unconscious mind knew exactly what she was saying at the time.
I think what you are confusing, garlic, is that love can mean different things to different people.
delia - that is all very well, if both parties are accepting of their share of the blame and are resolved to turn things around.
The situation that the OP is in, where she has become the emotional punchbag for her husband's angry outbursts and is expected to tolerate them without flinching or be accused of being 'crazy, irritating, mental' and so on, is quite, quite different.
Sock you are so passive in this. You are letting him call all the shots. He has asked you what you want for your birthday, which you take as him not wanting to end the marriage. So your plans to be on your own have gone out of the window seemingly?
I didn't confuse anything, delia. I query your assumption that Mr Sock must have loved OP "because he married her".
Good lord, delia
You are advising OP to take all the blame...to acknowledge that her own behaviour causes his anger and contempt
Is that serious advice ? Really ? A man like this would take that as a green light to carry on his emotional abuse of her.
I would never, ever take that road in a thousand months of sundays. I would leave first.
I expect OJ loved Nicole Brown Simpson when he married her. < sigh >
Get a grip people.
Im not suggesting she take blame and own his behaviour.
Im suggesting she take blame for her own behaviour and use that angle as temporary leverage.
How on earth are you managing to twist my suggestion of avoiding an argument in order to get counselling for the both of them as allowing bad behaviour to continue?
As I said, its a last ditch effort that could be employed. The counselling or ending it is a solution, my suggestions is a means.
Garlic, of course other reasons are involved, but you cant diminish one persons definition or meaning of love just because it doesn't fit with yours.
AF - and Jesus loved us once but he left!!!
Yes. I can do that too. Doesnt it look silly. I came on here to comment on op's message, not get drawn into schoolyard games by some with a swear word in their name.
No, your pronouncement that just because he married her there must still be a kernel of love and affection for her against the evidence of all his actions is what helps to keep women in abusive situations. The societal expectation that women must subsume themselves to appease a man at all cost to herself is a very pervasive and damaging one....one that you seem keen to promote.
I suggest you stop reading the bible, quit looking for the love and honour in people who have none and start getting real, delia
Hes been abusive to you. You didnt overreact. he will grind you down to a shell of yourself.
He even got you apologising for not being happy with being abused, and he sneers at you when you cry!!
I could cry for you xx
you cant diminish one persons definition or meaning of love just because it doesn't fit with yours.
I said "ownership and control". I certainly can 'diminish' the definition of anyone who calls that love.
I thought you were just naive & dippy. I'm beginning to see you have some sort of happy-clappy, vaguely sexist agenda.
Branleuse has just said exactly how I feel after reading this thread.
I cannot imagine why you are still apologising and trying to make this work.
He is abusing you, and it is what it is.
You can carry on being unhappy or you can get out and get some happiness in your life.
The choice is yours!!!
delia He cant get defensive if you say this
He can and he frequently does I've tried this angle before, going in very gently, making it my issue and that I need his help and being very careful not to attack him. It's worked once, he listened and tried to understand. He said he hated himself for hurting me, but found it difficult to know how to fix it or see why I would still be upset. He promised to read up on the Lundy Bancroft online resources, and we left it at that.
A couple of months later another issue came up and I addressed it that way again, the instant reaction was "Oh my god, why can you never let this go, how long are you going to keep throwing this in my face for!! Shut up and leave me alone!" (It wasn't exactly the same issue again and again I should add, it was something that made him seem as if he'd been untruthful and I wanted to get to the bottom of it rather than keep worrying).
But yes, I do agree with you that he's being childish/pathetically manchildish. Was he always this bad? Before we got married, no. After? Gradually. It seems the more stress he has, (harder job, kids, responsibility) the worse it gets. Have I always been this insecure? Nope. Not had this issue in previous relationships. I have been very insecure since he started insulting me. It's not my natural state, I'm usually a bit feisty and arse kicky.
Alibaba I feel so passive, just exhausted by the whole thing. It feels like it would be easier to cope if it's his decision, I could just get on with things. But he would have to move away if we split I think, and feeling responsible for him being away from the kids feels awful (though I know it's really his fault, iykwim, it would be me now making the decision and that feels very scary.) The kids love him, but he doesn't love me. Who do I put first?
Branleuse and hellsbells
Making personal disparaging remarks doesnt add weight to your argument.
It would be easy of me to be deliberately offensive to you back but there is no purpose. Come on now, don't resort to this.
We have a differing opinion. I did not say x and y "are" love. What I said is that we can all have our own definition. Doesnt mean we behave that way or it comes out the right way. I was also referring to past feelings, not current behaviour. It was you who made that connection.
My comment was designed to provoke a response from op - I was not clear from what has been said whether this dynamic has always been present or whether its worsened. My impression from first post was that this has not been the status quo in the past.
Sorry op. Cross posted again!
Ok, then that does sound more problematic. It certainly does sound like he doesnt have the capacity to understand the issues. The ultimate block is going to be whether he is prepared to communicate with you.
I know this is really hard, lovely. But ALL children love their parents, it's coded into them. They're not making a choice, iyswim, because they've never had another dad to compare him with.
Children are born with an inner directive to love their parents, and be loved by them. Whatever they receive from their parents in the early years, they experience as love. When they get older and meet more families, where the father doesn't insult the mother, they notice the difference ... and start justifying their own dad's behaviour to themselves. Thus begins the process of learning to justify abuse
It is worth removing children from an abusive parent, comforting them through the separation, and explaining that we don't live with people who disrespect us. This is basic self-worth. He can still be their dad, just not in the same house as you.
To take this a step further...
I am sorry to say, that in my own experience, as one grows and sees a different and more respectful way for fathers to treat the mothers of their children....then it is likely they will start to wonder why they weren't protected from it
My father was not someone you could call a good role model. I equally resent my mother for subjecting me to him, and putting her relationship with him before the emotional needs of her children.
OP - didn't you say that he is already calling your 4 year old names? Think about how it makes you feel when he calls you things, and he is doing the same to a child, who has no power to remove himself from the situation.
Are you the first of your group of friends to settle and start a family? There's a leap from being one of a loved up couple and being expected to mature and be a parent and carry a load of responsibility, whether mum or dad.
I think your H feels out of his depth. It's a shitty way to admit to it ie berating you but you are both a reminder of days gone by (youth + laughs + getting by) and of adult life (marriage vows + DCs + mortgage). You are closest and the one he can get away with dumping his frustrations on. Except you carry equal responsibilities and you're his wife not a doormat.
If he doesn't grasp by now it's sink or swim time I think you need to get your ducks in a row. At present he is calling the tune. It's draining and not fair for him to throw a tantrum and swear at you and think ever faithful TNMSock will sit and take it. Feisty is what he needs to remember you were and can be again.
Perhaps packing him a bag and suggesting a trip to your PILs would give him time to reflect.
I think you both sound as if you have alot of suppressed emotion and anger. OP, you apologise for things which seem quite understandable to me.
Better that you both sit down for a period of uninterrupted time and talk through everything. Why he can't cope/feels trapped, why you are angry and disappointed and what you both want to move forward. I hope he doesn't have a female friend in the wings whom he is hoping to get together with as that will distort his views.
But there seems to be alot of underlying anger and worry and I can't see things improving without bringing it out into the open (in a calm and adult way).
Where did this thread get the idea he's a bit stressed, feels trapped or just needs a quiet chat with OP? The man has a history of lying, refuses to discuss 'issues', belittles his wife's feelings, insults and ignores her, sneers at her distress and looks at her in disgust. He is an appalling bully.
I know garlic. The poor man is clearly overwhelmed with responsibility and can't possibly be expected to be civil to his wife
This kind of attitude, that men need to be coaxed and persuaded into acceptable behaviour is what leads to situations of domestic abuse, because his feelings are seen as more important.
Right, quick post while he's in the shower
and I'm in the kitchen turning the hot tap on and off at random
Had a brief talk after the kids were in bed. He doesn't seem to have realised that the things he has said have stayed with me. When he calls me an irritating bitch, for eg, he just means I'm an irritating bitch at that precise moment not all the time. (As if that wasn't bad enough!!) Whereas I feel that he feels that way about me all the time. I've said that being insulted, told our marriage was a mistake etc is really damaging to hear and difficult to recover from. He seems genuinely shocked to hear this
It just muddles the whole thing. If he was being angry about it, it would be a very easy decision to leave, but now he seems to feel sorry about it, but even if we can talk, I won't really know if he "gets" it
Sock you said earlier he's started calling your child stupid, it makes you want to run for the hills so you've put your foot down and he has apologised and said it 'will stop'.
This line or two encapsulates the big problem with this man and your relationship. If he's said it more than once then either he hasn't been called on it or he has and it's made no difference. This is exactly the same as the horrible, insulting stuff he's said to you, except as Alibaba said your son doesn't have the option of standing up for himself or leaving.
As regards the abuse directed at you, whether you call him on it or not, it continues unabated and it is grinding you down until you can't see the wood for the trees.
But your child's experience is a moment of perfect clarity. If the man is willing to subject a little four year old boy to this kind of esteem-shrinking treatment then he does not deserve your presence in his household, and certainly not that of his children.
Please don't allow his very, very inadequate impression of an apology today make any difference to this clear view he's given you. He's a belittling, twisted and entitled moron who should be packing his bags and not subjecting you or your children to any more bullshit. You sound lovely.
He hasn't apologised though, has he? It is still your fault for reacting as you do - according to him.
He has got you so muddled, so busy second guessing his thoughts, feelings and so on, that you aren't thinking about yourself at all. Don't make the mistake of thinking that your confusion is accidental, he has changed tack on purpose.
Why does it matter so much whether he "gets it"?
It is quite clear he never will, but still you would stay for his "lightbulb moment" that will never come
You are doing your son a grave injustice I am sorry to say
He's hugely shocked to discover his insults & threats leave an impression on you. So what does think you were crying about, all those times he was so sympathetic?
Good to see you heard him with s, Sock.
So his realisation is a small starting point. Does he realise the link between him saying hurtful comments that undermine your confidence and that you behave in a more insecure manner which he then doesn't like?
I wonder what his explanation is about how he thinks you might feel after such a comment.
May I add - I've just re-read your thread in one go, as there was something I thought I might have missed in the overall picture. The outstanding feature of your posts is what a great young woman you sound! You're humane, witty, perceptive, loving, intelligent, sensible, thoughtful and articulate. It's a crying shame to see you reduced to self-doubt and insecurity. I really hope you'll remove his 'power' to hurt you in short order: you deserve a life as good as you can make it, and so do DC.
He isn't up to to this level of commitment and effort. It may start sinking in how serious you are if you propose a break to give you space to think.
He isn't up to to this level of commitment and effort.
I assume you mean he isn't capable of being in a healthy relationship? I'd agree with that.
We might differ on whether a partner has any business trying to teach a fully-grown adult how to behave with decent consideration to his own family. But no doubt OP can make her own calls on that.
Yes that's why I said earlier they're equals, OP's not a doormat and he certainly shouldn't get away with calling their DS names like 'stupid'. To break the cycle of upset and truce I reckon they need a break. Nothing to do with coaxing or persuading.
I cannot see any future here, OP.
On the very best, most sympathetic reading of your husband, he is completely and utterly emotionally clueless, to the point where he cannot retain the most simple information about human relationships ("When I cry it means you have upset me". "When you call me an irritating bitch and you wish you had never married me, that is upsetting to me", I mean seriously? Seriously? ) AND furthermore he is completely unwilling to educate himself and doesn't think there is any merit in doing so. And he believes that he has a right to continue to be nasty to you because you are family, and that it is hard to be nice to people you live with. I mean, all I am doing is paraphrasing back to you the things he has said when he is calm and rational and trying to be reasonable.
Shall I say that again? NONE of this is in the heat of the moment. Your husband, in his nicest, most reasonable moments, has told you that:
He doesn't understand that throwing vile insults your way has a lasting effect
He can't think of any reasons he might love you
Marriage is too hard because you have to be nice to people and also you have to share your money with your own family
All of the above is just his personality and he can't change it and doesn't see why he should
OP, I cannot see how much clearer he can make this. He is completely unwilling to treat you with basic decency. He has TOLD you this. He has told you this over and over and over again. What more does he have to do to get you to hear this?
Wow, sorry, holy over formatting batman.
I've just read this whole thread in one go. I'd say you have been massively under reacting to done quite appalling behaviour for some time, and it depresses me how desperately some
one posters would encourage you to work, work, work at a marriage that you're clearly totally alone in valuing. He'd rather be smoking out back of work them helping you with the children? Being married is too hard because he's expected to be nice to you?
Why do you want to be married to this man? Other than because he is the father of your children and you know society expects you to "make it work"?
If a man walked up to you in a pub and spoke to you the way your husband does you wouldn't stop to have a drink with him, let alone resolve to fix him and spend the rest of your life with him.
Just going back to the beginning of the thread, he apparently thinks "Being married/having kids is expensive, so he always has to worry about money". I would be keen to point out to him that there's no going back now on this... He will still find his kids cost a lot even if you and he split up!
He says the marriage is over.
Quite frankly - good. Get a solicitor. Get him out. He's not expecting you to do this. He thinks he's got you right where he wants you, that that sort of talk will scare you into shutting up.
Well, I can answer garlic and delias posts..
He's hugely shocked to discover his insults & threats leave an impression on you. So what does think you were crying about, all those times he was so sympathetic
He has said many a time that crying is just manipulation. Me crying is me trying to manipulate him into giving up the fight
and he won't be beaten by a mere, unstable, conniving woman dammit
Does he realise the link between him saying hurtful comments that undermine your confidence and that you behave in a more insecure manner which he then doesn't like
He doesn't seem to. I must have explained it about a thousand times and he looks blank. I ask him if he can imagine how he'd feel in that position and he has no idea, and won't even try to empathise. I ask him how he would feel if someone talked to him like that and he said they never had so he had no idea.
I now know this is utter bullshit as when I was angry with him about the way he spoke to our son, he said that his parents always called him a little idiot, useless etc so he thought it was normal. I asked him how he felt as a kid then, did he have confidence in himself or did he see himself as an idiot. He seemed to have a lightbulb moment where he realised it had really affected him and he had and still has a really negative self image. So that shocked him into stopping talking to our son like that immediately (I'm glad to say, or our local news might have read "Sulking man found stranded in deserted road with mysterious boot shaped mark on buttock")
But he still either can't seem to make the connection between how he talks to me and how insecure I feel. He asks me things like, why does his opinion matter so much to me? Why do I care what he says to me, I should just be confident in my self <insert utterly bewildered and no idea where to start with that mess emoticon>
When we met he said he loved that I was always happy, smiling and confident. Things which I am very much not now. So if that's what attracted him to me, why does he seem so intent on crushing those bits and turning me into someone (weepy, insecure) he hates?
Oh, interesting thing as well. He has had a fairly close friend for the last 10 years or so. They live quite far apart now but both love the same hobby and often catch up via email/fb. Recently the friend said he was going to stop being an armchair supporter and start playing. H took the piss and said he shouldn't bother, he'd be rubbish, friend said he was serious, he was really excited about it and thought he could manage it. H carried on taking the piss, and this friend has now unfriended him on fb, and despite H emailing to apologise for overstepping the mark, this friend has not responded and seems to have cut him out completely.
Anyone think that he will realise the way he talks to people hurts them and change his ways?
<crickets and tumbleweed>
Thanks for listening again, and thanks garlicballs for your lovely post
Oh and unsurprisingly he offered to put the kids to bed tonight, so he could fall asleep on their floor and can avoid talking to me until tomorrow.
Wow. My armchair psychologist cap has stuck itself to my head and I can't get it off ... ... Telling you what you already know about the inside of your husband's head; it must be a lonely, unforgiving terrain. All rocks and dry, howling winds.
His delightful parents basically taught him he's worthless and doesn't count. Hence his verbal abuse: it's his normal, as he said. Fantastic that he stopped doing it to DS (you both did really well there!) but, while his internal self-talk is all negatives, he'll be unable to 'hear' that it's the wrong way to speak to others. He slags himself off viciously (scripts bestowed on him by mum & dad) and he gets along okay, so why's everyone else complaining?
He won't be able to see that, not only do his words cause pain to others, but he adds to it by dismissing their pain and piling on more abuse. He can't see this because his miserable 'normal' doesn't allow for emotional pain. It's weak and nobody cares anyway. Fucking excellent what mean-spirited parents can do to a child's psyche. A gift for life, that is
But he does feel emotional pain. Has been feeling it since he was a little boy; it still hurts. Nobody cares. It's weak; he is weak for hurting. He hates being weak, in all the ways his parents 'hated on him' for
having feelings being weak. Upset people are despicable. He's despicable; he despises you when you're upset. Take it like a man, can't you?!
It's horrid and, really, I do feel for him - largely because I've had a lot of this in my own head. I remember when Insane Narc Bully Boss yelled that nothing he said seemed to make any difference (to my stupidity & general uselessness), I yelled back that nobody could be harder on me than I was on myself. I didn't see the significance of that until I started therapy, a few years later. That level of therapy is, I've got to say, a long slog and deeply unpleasant in parts. And expensive. You have to be seriously committed to get it working right.
I don't see your H as sociopathically mis-wired in the head, mainly because of the way he understood what you were saying about DS and changed his ways. It seems, too, that he wants to understand what you're saying about the pain he's caused you - but that's the long slog, to really get it. You can't, unfortunately, pop him in a time machine and give him a new childhood - and the one he had didn't teach him about balanced, happy relationships. I'm pretty sure he was attracted to feisty, happy, lovely you because you represent(ed) what's missing in his make-up. Perhaps, on some level, he hoped to 'catch' it off you. Shame it doesn't work like that, eh
For all the sympathy I feel, I can't advise you to hang around fixing him. You'll be a worn-out old woman by the time you succeed, drowning in a river of tears. Explain, by all means, and support him to start addressing it in therapy if he wants. But don't try to be his therapist. You need to get away from his rocky desert, run around in sunny meadows and plant lovely flowers for your own psyche <metaphor overkill, sorry> Unwittingly or not, he's killing you off. Get yourself back.
Oh dear, that was a bit of a brain fart I'm supposed to be alseep.
Hope you can make something out of it!
garlic far from a brain fart, that was some epic psychology! It does make a lot of sense about him hating weakness. He said he used to cry all the time until he was a teenager, then promised himself he would never cry again as it was weak and pathetic. So I suppose he just sees all crying as weak and pathetic.
His mindset seems so stubborn though, he's still convinced that it's ok for him to insult me as that's his way. I've explained that in my family my parents insulted each other and fought a lot, and ended up getting divorced. So being insulted makes me very upset and nervous because that's what's happened in my family. But he still thinks I'm the strange one and he shouldn't have to change. If I ask him "But surely you don't want to do anything that hurts someone, if you love them? You love me, and you know it hurts me, so why not stop?" but I can see his brain just short out. He can't answer that, apart from saying, "Because it's just my way, you should understand that and not be upset."
Well, I really could go around in circles with that kind of example, but honestly.. the more I detach the more I can see how ridiculous it is. We tried to talk last night, but if I bought up anything he didn't like, he would start with the insults, then tell me I needed to work on my attitude, tell me I should watch what I say. Before I posted on here, that would have reduced me to tears and had me wondering why he hated me. Now with all the very wise posts here I was able to detach from it and tell him he had no right to talk about my attitude (bringing something up to try and stop the fights) when he was the one calling me stupid, crazy, irritating on a regular basis, that he should be the one watching what he says. He stormed off and told me to stop talking to him. Think that tells me all I need to know, doesn't it. We can't discuss things without him blaming me ("I only insult you because you make me angry!") and storming off every 5 minutes then refusing to talk for the rest of the day.
Given that after he said he wanted to leave on Weds night, in the 24 hours after he never told me that he'd changed his mind but carried on acting normally, apparently that meant that things were now ok between us and there was nothing to discuss. Is it just me, or is that a bit weird?
I asked him to leave last night but he really has nowhere to go. His family are on the other side of the country, his job is here, and we have absolutely no spare budget for a hotel room. He doesn't have any friends who could put him up. My parents live very close by but both in one bedroom houses so no space for me and 2 kids. He slept on the sofa last night and when me and the kids came down this morning I sent him back up to bed, hopefully he'll stay there all day.
<dreams of sunny, nightmare free meadows>
Garlic has explained very well the likely underlying reasons for some of his behaviour.
I think when choosing a partner we can be attracted to the qualities in them that we don't have ourselves, for instance you said your cheerful disposition. But the problem is we naively subconsciously hope it will magically rub off on us. Instead we are more likely to crush it because the more we realise we do not have that trait, the more we perceive that as a threat. This other person is showing us up! A non relationship example could be smoking. Ive witnessed people dragging each other back down.
The barrier from what you described is his complete refusal to accept his behaviour as unhealthy and begin to explore it and change. Communication IMO is essessential for things to change. He is refusing.
Gawd, he sounds a complete emotional disaster, he has a self-fulfilling prophecy of miserableness and failure. Prob due to his childhood.
But he mustn't be allowed to inflict this on your DCs.
Would he read this thread as garlic and delia have summed things up very well?
For his sake he needs therapy to fix himself. But he has to fix himself, you can't do it, OP, so that's the decider. If he wants to change perhaps give him a second chance. If he doesn't you will have to move on.
FFS don't show him the thread.
Suggesting an op show the thread to the subject of a thread is the stupidest advice to regularly crop up.
Have to come back and say I don't agree with you Chub. DP can't see/admit he has problems, and won't accept advice or warnings from OP.
So what now. Even if he moves out and they divorce he will have access to DS.
Reading this will no doubt anger him but imo less than if OP discussed him in real life with family or friends then told him about it or got them to talk to him (more humiliating imo). If he reads it he might see that he needs counselling to sort himself out and to sort out the results of his childhood. Or he might ignore it but then that is where it's at now.
My reservation would be if OP showed her P this and thereafter he'd keep checking MN to try and keep tabs on her or even use it against her. Sad when posters have to change names and feel inhibited when they could otherwise offload and vent.
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