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Have i been emotionally abused my entire marriage?

(105 Posts)
Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:03:58

Hi, I discovered this site a few weeks ago and decided to tell you about how I've been treated in my marriage in the hope that you can help me. Before I begin, I must tell you that my DH acts in a normal, civil manner for most of the time. He can be very kind, for example, shortly after we met, he financially supported me through a one year training course and used his money to pay for a deposit on our first house. However, the trouble began when we were planning our wedding abroad. My parents and siblings said they would stay with us for a week, then go home so we could have our 'honeymoon'. My DP's mother insisted that it wasn't worth going for a week and was planning to stay with us for whole 2 weeks along with her husband, daughter and SIL. I wasn't happy with the situation, but DP said he wasn't prepared to say 'no' to his mother! After the wedding my DH was quite distant with me and was constantly fussing over his mum - she even sat with us in the horse-drawn carriage from the registry office! I feel we lost out on all the intimacy that should be built up at this time, and was made to feel like the unwanted addition to his family holiday.
When we returned home, my MIL announced that she wanted to leave city where she'd lived for 30 years and move to countryside. She and my DH came to agreement that she could have all our savings (14k) and she'd pay us back in her will! I wasn't even consulted! When I said 'no' they were both moody and sulky and I was made to feel selfish and mean. She eventually bought a new house - 4 doors down from DH and myself!!!!
When my husband was made redundant he got a new job 60 miles away from where we lived. He tried commuting, but eventually we decided that we'd have to move closer. My MIL started to make up stories about how she was becoming ill and hinting that she had cancer, I think to try and make us feel guilty. My DH, again, was cold and distant towards me, almost making it seem that I was 'making' him leave his mother.
We have 3 DD's (14,12 and 6) and he dotes on them. However, i feel that he speaks to me in a very derogatory way, for example when I said that i'd been 'stupid' at making a mistake about something, he replied "That's not stupid: it was idiotic". A few days ago I made a mistake on the computer and he was shouting "This isn't rocket science! Why don't you know this by now?" He does apologise afterwards, but says that I'm over sensitive. He also says I need to see all these things in isolation, and to stop drawing lines.
Can anyone help me make sense of this? I'd be very grateful. I also have lots more examples, should you need them.

TVTonight Mon 01-Jul-13 14:13:42


I'd say generally that a man whose mother is crackers makes poor husband material until he has recognized the issue and taken substantive efforts to distance himself. Your MIL sounds to me like a "Sacred Cow"

TVTonight Mon 01-Jul-13 14:14:33

Actually the shouting and belittling is abusive

cjel Mon 01-Jul-13 14:19:31

I'd say if yo feel it , then its probably true, not much point in asking his opinion hes hardly likely to say you are right i do mistreat you!!
As for m-in-l she will always come first. I used to think when a man gets married he leaves his mother and father and joins as one with his wife, trouble is no one tells some sons and their mums,

What are you thinking?

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:21:19

Thanks for your response. I have actually had thoughts about leaving, however, I have completely lost confidence in myself. When I discovered I was pregnant with first DD, we both decided I should give up work and be a SAHM. I think this was the worst decision I ever made since I lost all my skills and self-esteem. That was 14 years ago, and although I have a part-time job now it is fairly low paid and I would struggle to live independently.
His Mother is very much a Sacred Cow, and my DH has a really strange relationship with her. It's almost like she sees her son more like her husband.

cjel Mon 01-Jul-13 14:30:13

I wouldn't worry too much about finance, I put off leaving my xdh for years because of what he'd intimated about me managing, I've found that what he said I'd get was way below what i've had and I don't have dependant dcs. I'd say never let money be a reason to stay. I had years of suffering with my nerves but once i made the choice to leave haven't had one anxiety attack in the whole tow years. I've moved 3 times and renovated my new house on my own and I am sooo capable you wouldn't believe it!!

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:32:46

Thanks 8cjel8 . It's not just that he puts his family before anything else, he really dislikes my family too. It's almost as if he sees any time spent with my family as some sort of 'betrayal'. He would get very irritated if I ever suggested they stay with us. I think my family have been quite hurt over the fact that they hardly see my children. I suppose this all boils down to the fact that I always feel very subordinate to him.

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:38:19

Wow, that's really interesting. I also started experiencing panic attacks and anxiety a few years ago, I think brought about by the constant 'treading on eggshells' feeling I have with my DH. I'm not sure I'm as strong as you. I'm self-employed and my job also involves me needing a car, laptop, phone, printer and scanner. Because I spent so long out of the work place I'm useless at getting things up and running and would need help. I have no family nearby.

cjel Mon 01-Jul-13 14:47:11

I have bern on my own 2 years and still don't work, i am re training. I started this before leaving. If you think you can't cope i'd advise you start to plan/build your new life you want. If you are together at the end then good, if not you will also be happy with that. Try not too think that you have to have home, career, social life all sorted at once baby steps will be enough until you can run!!!

GiveMumABreak Mon 01-Jul-13 14:49:22

We all owe our temper and say shout things we regret sometimes. I think the fact that he does apologise is a good sign, perhaps he's just a normal flawed human.

However, the mother sounds awful, and completely controlling and manipulative (slightly narcissistic). The way in which he deals with her is not normal, and unless he is in agreement that her selfish behaviour is a problem things will not improve.

OP you sound as if your confidence has taken a knock? It also sounds like your DH puts his mother before you.

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 14:56:51

My DH would NEVER say anything negative about his mum, no matter what she did. He really does love her more than anything in the world, I suppose I just feel sad knowing that he will never feel quite the same way about me.
Yes, my confidence is really low. A lot of DH's comments are pretty low-level, but I do wonder about the effect of hearing them over such a long period of time ( also, he only apologises when I get upset or angry, otherwise I think he believes that it's a perfectly acceptable thing to say).

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:00:40

My DH would NEVER say anything negative about his mum, no matter what she did. He really does love her more than anything in the world, I suppose I just feel sad knowing that he will never feel quite the same way about me.
Yes, my confidence is really low. A lot of DH's comments are pretty low-level, but I do wonder about the effect of hearing them over such a long period of time ( also, he only apologises when I get upset or angry, otherwise I think he believes that it's a perfectly acceptable thing to say).

GiveMumABreak Mon 01-Jul-13 15:07:22

It's really wrong that you feel second to his mum, you should be his number 1 (and he yours!) I'm a mum to a wonderful son, I would never expect him to choose me over his wife (as hard as that would be!). Would he ever consider counselling together?

What do you get out of this relationship now?.

This is not the relationship model you want to be showing your children as they learn about relationships from the two of you. What do you think you are both teaching them about relationships here?. What would you think if either one or all of them ended up with men like your H?.

Joint counselling, even if he would go anyway which he likely would not as he probably thinks there is no issue in the first place, is a complete non starter here due to the emotional abuse that he metes out.

Abusive men are not abusive all the time, many of them are infact plausible to the outside world. Your confidence at his hands has truly been shot to shreds but you still have choices even now. Walking on eggshells to my mind is actually code for living in fear.

You have a choice re this man, your children do not. One day your children will leave home, what then for you two?.

This man has been conditioned by his toxic mother to put her first. This has put you and the children well down the pecking order in his mind even if you are at all on his list of priorities, which you are not.

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 15:55:26

Thanks for all your responses. I definitely think that our relationship shows that wives are subordinate to husbands - which I feel ashamed about. My own parents shouted and screamed at each other all through my childhood, and I have a real fear of conflict as a result.
In answer to what I get out of the relationship now, well, it's really things that I know shouldn't matter e.g. complete financial security, living in a nice house in a nice part of town etc.
If I announced I was divorcing my DH people would be amazed. He is so relaxed and happy with neighbours etc. They have never seen this other side.
I guess what prompted this post was that a few weeks ago our car alarm went off by accident during the afternoon. my DH ran outside to check that it was actually our car, and then burst back into the house screaming "What are you F***ing doing, F***ing standing there, get the F***ing car key NOW"!!!! I had actually been looking for the key, but it wasn't where it normally was. I told him that if he ever spoke to me in that manner again ( it was in front of DD's too) I would divorce him. And then a few days ago we had the computer incident, so I'm just wondering whether I should be giving him another chance. I know my DD's would be devastated as he rarely loses his temper with them.
I think I might suggest going to see someone, although I know if they didn't agree with him, he would just dismiss them as being 'crap'.

Your silence re what you get out of this relationship now speaks volumes.

He's had more than enough opportunity and he's blown it. How many chances have you already given him though?. That does not even begin to address his issues of his dysfunctional relationship with his mother either.

He doesn't have to lose his temper with his daughters, he abuses them indirectly by directly abusing you instead. He is showing them that his word is law, they are likely to be fearful of them and do not say anything either for fear of further upsetting you. They are seeing and hearing all this and it is very damaging for them to be in such an atmosphere.

It is not altogether surprising that you are showing your DDs now what you saw in your own childhood, we after all learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents. Look at all the damaging crap your parents taught you - and what you are teaching your girls now. Its all horribly familiar isn't it?. Unfortunately no-one saw it fit to protect you and get you away from the verbal violence your parents meted out to each other, they put their own needs before yours. History now is in real danger of repeating itself. However, this time around you have posted on here, you know what he is doing to you here is wrong.

Is this really the ideal role model of a relationship you want to impart to your children?.

Joint counselling is a non starter due to the emotional abuse that is happening and is never recommended anyway in abuse situations. It would be more helpful to you if you were to see a counsellor on your own.

As I stated earlier as well, abusive men are very plausible to those in the outside world. This side of them remains hidden and behind closed doors.

Supposed financial security does not cut it though when your emotional needs are nowhere near being met by him. He totally disrespects you as a person, you are non person to him and thus do not matter.

Better to be alone than to be badly accompanied.

GiveMumABreak Mon 01-Jul-13 16:15:08

Yes as attila says perhaps a counsellor on your own is a good start?

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:20:30

You're right. I would like to see someone on my own. I did have 10 sessions with a C.B.T professional, not about our relationship, but about my anxiety, and she did mention that she thought I was a 'perfectionist'. This has made me question things, I'm not even sure I actually know what a normal relationship is. It did make me think for a while that everyone shouts and loses there temper from time to time, and to expect any different is just having too high expectations.
Do you have any recommendations for what sort of counsellor I should see?

IHateWinter Mon 01-Jul-13 16:22:03

What is his mothers marital status etc:? Is your husband her only son?

Firstly I think your husbands language and manner towards you is very derogatory and the swearing/name calling is completely unacceptable in any relationship based on mutual respect and love.

It sounds like he idolizes his mother, and has not accepted that when he married you, he promised to put you first and his mother second. You have every right to be upset at having been placed in the position where you are playing second fiddle to his mother. 'Mother comes first syndrome' happens in a lot of only-boy-in-the-family dynamics, - the son becomes a kind of replacement husband.

You sound like you have not expressed your frustrations with the situation for ages out of fear of conflict - I grew up in a shouty, negative household so I understand - and possibly fear of your husbands angry responses, which sound quite intense and overwhelming to deal with.

Problem is now you're really resentful.

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 16:23:26

Attila, just read your next post and a chill went down my spine. Those are the exact words I said to him..."You see me as a non person". He, of course, apologised and said he does love me, it's just that he gets tired/stressed sometimes.

I think toxic pil are at play here and whilst he carries on sticking by mil every whim you will never truly be happy. Don't give up hope that he will see the light and realise the hold mil has.

My relationship with dh can go through stages of him being conditioned by pil, then taking it out on me by being snappy, off and sometimes plain nasty. It can be particulaly bad during Christmas, Birthdays and celebration's that pil want the limelight in. Don't get me wrong i think my dh is a decent man, but he can go through stages of being under the FOG and it can get me down.
Maybe councilling would be a start, wish my dh would see one, until then i can't wait for the day he sees the light!

BACP are good re counsellors and do not charge a small fortune. Alternatively you could talk to Womens Aid as they could also be helpful to you.

He does really see you as a non person - he does not know the meaning of the word love and his relationship with his mother who may well be a narcissist is definitely dysfunctional.

He citing tiredness and stress is no excuse for his actions towards you. Its a cop out on his part.

Lweji Mon 01-Jul-13 16:56:07

I haven't read it all, but if he shouts and swears that much at home, unless your neighbours live quite far away they are likely to have heard it. sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Jul-13 17:38:11

What I'm seeing here mostly is that you were sold a pup. Lured in under false pretences initially and then had the spirit slowly crushed out of you subsequently. Pre-wedding it sounds like MIL kept a low(ish) profile and it was only when you were definitely tying the knot that you discovered you weren't becoming a wife, you were being recruited as Mum and Son's general lackey and heir-bearer....

My suggestion is therefore to take a big step sideways from the chronic emotional bullying that the pair of them have subjected you to, forget counselling for the time-being, and get some solid, practical, RL & legal advice about what a split would actually look like in reality. I notice you're worried that your part time job wouldn't be enough to survive on, for example. That's the kind of assumption you have to clear up. He's not going to leave Mummy and he's certainly not going to sign up to have his behaviour changed unless there is some serious threat to his lifestyle.

Once you have the practical advice, then have a 'we need to talk' session about his lack of respect, taking you for granted, verbal abuse and all the rest. Tackle it from a position of strength, point out the nitty-gritty things he'll lose when you walk with your DDs, and make it clear that you won't tolerate it. If you're looking for an angle for the counselling, assertiveness training might be a good place to start. The next time he crosses the line, pack the bag and show him the door.

Get off the eggshells.... Good luck

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 19:07:21

Thanks again for all your insightful comments.
I think the problem with my DH stems from the dysfunctional relationship between my MIL and FIL. My FIL never wanted to go out and socialise during their 50 year marriage, he also turned down promotions at work even though the family were short of money. My MIL turned to my DH (her eldest son, but she also has another son and daughter) as someone to confide in and vent all her frustrations and bitterness about her life. My DH then took on the role of father figure in the family and advises them on legal and financial matters, even to this day. His entire family look up to him. My MIL always goes on about the 'sacrafices' that they had to make in order to send their second son to expensive private school (my DH won a scholarship, but middle son failed entrance exam. Interestingly, daughter was sent to comprehensive). I think MIL is very dissatisfied about how her life turned out, and my DH tries to compensate for this.
My DH's brother is very different though. He has a happy-go-lucky attitude, he adores his wife and she wears the trousers in their relationship. Despite having 4 kids, they seem as happy now as they ever did.It makes me sad sometimes when I see them kiss in public - my DH would never do that.

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 19:11:29

Thanks CogitoErgoSometimes, you absolutely hit the nail on the head there. I'm going to try and arrange a free 30 min consultation with a solicitor as well. Although, he's such a high earner, I don't think his lifestyle will alter at all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 01-Jul-13 19:20:53

The fact that there is a normally functioning, emotionally literate, non-abusive brother kind of blows a hole a mile wide in the theory that your DH is only acting the way he does because of his upbringing. smile Rather than psychoanalysing your DH's family dynamic as a way to rationalise his attitude towards you try looking at it from the stance that (like his brother) he chooses to behave the way he does and would behave the same way, even if he had a completely different mother and father. If he replaced you with a different woman, he'd probably treat her the exact same way. You might find that a depressing thought but I think you have to start believing your DH is responsible for his own behaviour,... not you, not his parents, not his stressful job etc.

slipperySlip000 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:30:53

Cogito speaks the truth, although I am not sure the behaviour from this dh is chosen, as such, it is learned and entrenched behaviour borne out of a particular family dynamic. And very, very, hard to break.

Alipongo1 your situation is VERY similar to mine, I could have written a lot of your posts. In fact the family dynamic is not dissimilar, my own h tried (out of guilt) to make things better for his own mum who was physically, verbally, emotionally abused by her dh (my FIL).

One week ago I sort of blue a fuse with the low-level misery, negativity, occasional intimidating behaviour and lack of real effort with the kids. My h is now living out of the house.

There is loads to sort out, finances etc. and it was messy and unplanned. My friends have been amazing, and really rallied round. But you know what? Me and the kids are fine!!! It is a brave, brave thing to come out of your shell and show the world that your marriage was not what people thought it was. But you know what? Under all the unpeeling of the facade lies ME, minus the emotional strain and drain, happy, and no longer living a lie!!!

I would not recommend doing it in the way I did (all messy and unplanned). Take your time, get some legal advice. Then leave in a position of preparedness. You will never look back.

<handhold> and good luck flowers

Alipongo1 Mon 01-Jul-13 20:57:45

Thankyou, all of you. Slipperyslip, you've given me lots to think about, and I'm so pleased that you've turned your life around. I'm making a plan! Starting tomorrow, I'll begin getting photocopies of all our financial stuff.
Thanks again.

JaceyBee Mon 01-Jul-13 21:01:46

Actually it means nothing that the brother is completely different. Just because two siblings are brought up in the same household together it doesn't mean their experiences are the same, far from it in fact. They clearly have been treated differently to each other by their parents and the way they have turned out reflects this.

MmeLindor Mon 01-Jul-13 21:22:26

Google 'red flags controlling behaviour' and read a bit about this type of person. I can PM you a link to my blog about this, if you would like me to.

It is very difficult to pinpoint this kind of emotional abuse because at the first glance, the abuser seems such a nice and caring person, and the 'abuse' is excused as 'he's under a lot of pressure, he's tired/stressed'.

Is the incident with the car keys the first time that he has been verbally abusive towards you?

Darkesteyes Mon 01-Jul-13 22:02:23

. He also says I need to see all these things in isolation, and to stop drawing lines

So he says that but refuses to see your "mistakes" in isolation and shouts at you Yes he is emotionally abusing you and playing "different rules for different folks" Abuse and hypocrisy.

IEM3 Mon 01-Jul-13 23:18:26

I am in a similar situation but not the strange MIL. My H doesnt think much of my family and is quick to criticise them. I am making plans. Going through all sorts of emotions but made appt with solicitor. I hope you get some help.

DHtotalnob Mon 01-Jul-13 23:32:58

Fwiw, a friend of mine did study rocket science and she told me that, in the scheme of (physics type) things, it's not actually that hard.

This always makes me smile when people trot out the old 'rocket science' bollox

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Jul-13 07:50:06

"They clearly have been treated differently to each other by their parents and the way they have turned out reflects this."

Not necessarily. The only thing that is clear is that they have different personalities. Any parent of even a small child suspects that personality is fixed pretty early. Fundamental preferences are something you're born with, will die with, and, whilst behaviour can be modified according to circumstance no amount of good or bad parenting can turn a fundamentally decent person into an abuser or vice versa.

Alipongo1 Tue 02-Jul-13 11:43:51

Thanks, all you lovely people.

Have just been crying with laughter at DHtotalnob's comment.

No, mmelindor, there have been quite a few other occasions where he has shouted at me. When I gave up work to have my first child, he arrived home one evening and asked me what I'd been doing all day. I listed the things that I'd been doing, one of which was cleaning. He then went round the room checking the surfaces for dust in a very angry manner! That was a long time ago, but more recently, I bought a steam cleaner (v cheap one) without asking. Again, he was so angry with me. He was shouting that it would absolutely ruin the (cheap) laminate floor. It hasn't. He never apologised.
However, what worries me more than the verbal bullying, is the strange things he does relating to any possession given from my family. Although I never saw him do it, I know it was him. Presents given from my parents to my children went missing, photographs of my parents have disappeared etc. One day I arrived home to discover him destroying 2 pieces of furniture in the garage. He never consulted me. My parents had given us the furniture, and they were old, but my DH insisted they were all riddled with woodworm. Once we arrived at my parents house late at night, when we got into their house my DH said he had to nip back to the car to get something. The next day, when we were leaving, my parents both gasped to see a massive dent in the door of their brand new car. Neither of them could explain how it had happened, as it hadn't been there the day before. My husband stood there and said nothing. I'M SURE IT WAS HIM! But, I had no proof, so again I said nothing.
Just writing this is making me feel sad and angry again. We're supposed to all be going on our family holiday in 2 weeks. the children have no idea what's going on in my head.

MmeLindor Tue 02-Jul-13 12:30:00

it sounds like he has been abusive for a long time, and you have learned how to live with it.

You shouldn't be going through life on your tiptoes, hoping not to disturb him or cause him to rage about something.

Alipongo1 Tue 02-Jul-13 12:43:58

I know, you're right. It sounds completely pathetic, but I'm scared of being on my own. I don't live near any family. Who will help me if my car breaks down? Who will fix a leaky water pipe? My DH is very capable like that.
I have my free 30 min appointment with solicitor tomorrow. DH and DD's know nothing. I feel sick with stress of it already, and all the worst bits are yet to come.

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Jul-13 13:02:44

"Who will help me if my car breaks down? Who will fix a leaky water pipe?"

Mechanic for the car? Plumber for the pipes? smile When all that's holding you back are feeble excuses like who will fix a leak I don't think you're even convincing yourself and it's just your apprehension talking. The more information you get from solicitors and so on I think the less your stress will become and the more your confidence will grow. Good luck

MmeLindor Tue 02-Jul-13 13:20:13

Its not pathetic, he has worn down your self-esteem so that you think you can't cope.

If my car breaks down, I take it to a garage. If a pipe bursts, I call a plumber. You don't have to do EVERYTHING.

I had a temporary 'split' with DH last year, as he was working abroad and only able to come over to see us every couple of weeks. I quickly learned to make decisions, to fix things (or find someone to fix them) and to stand on my own two feet. It was scary at first, but now I am much more confident and even though DH has now moved over here, I still do much more than I used to.

You can do this.

LisaMed Tue 02-Jul-13 13:49:55

It seems really overwhelming to strike out into the unknown. Loads of support available here.

I don't know half of what the wise ladies on here know, but stuff like, how do I fix a leaky pipe - YouTube video here Or there is ehow, or people on here, or neighbours, or a dozen different options. Stuff like leaky pipes are a huge mountain to climb at first when you are worried, but they are a part of the enormous mountain you can manage. Focus on the other stuff - trashing your family stuff is a deal breaker for me, but it may not be for you. If your h can keep you away from your family by this sort of stuff then he can be worse to you. Your family represent to him a factor that affects his control of you. hugs.

Sending you lots of positive vibes.

Alipongo1 Tue 02-Jul-13 14:03:29

Thanks for kind words everyone. The thing I'm dreading most is telling him I'm going to divorce him, but then having to live in the same house. I'm not sure I've got the emotional strength. I used to suffer with insomnia in the past, when my anxiety was bad. I know this will happen again because this is going to be the most difficult thing i'll ever do in my life. I would love to just 'disappear' from his life and create a whole new life somewhere else, but I can't because of the children.

MmeLindor Tue 02-Jul-13 15:57:06

Why do you have to stay in the same house? You could start anew.

Is the house you have one that you want to stay in? Really and truly?

cjel Tue 02-Jul-13 18:09:09

I would agree with getting on to BACP straight away, it may beok to find out what your legally entitled to but if yo are a wreck and don't see yourself as worth anything you won't be able to do it any way.

Start counselling asap with no delay. A good person-centred counsellor will help you recognise what you want for your life and give you the strength to cope with the things you are afraid

zigzoo Tue 02-Jul-13 21:06:11

Please please speak to woman's aid. Your post from 11:43 this morning really really worries me.
This is a form of gas lighting.

I am afraid this man will turn horribly nasty when he finds out you want to leave. Are you clearing your browsing history etc.

If it helps please share other things which niggle as being off which have happened in the past.

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 08:36:20

Hi again.
Yes, I always delete my browsing history, but I'm really scared I'll be seen going into the solicitors today - we live in such a small town where everyone knows everyone else.
We had a big argument last night where I recounted all the nasty things he'd done since we've been married. When I used the word 'abusive' he said it was an insult to those women who had really been abused. He also said I had a 'problem' in that I couldn't let go of the past. As far as he's concerned once an apology has been accepted the slate is wiped clean and that incident should never be referred to again. I'm starting to feel all mixed up and confused - is he right? Quite a lot of these incidents happened over a decade ago. He also says that he can't even remember some of these events, but I find them hard to forget because they were so hurtful.
ZigzooI have threatened to divorce him in the past, but never took any real steps to achieve it, so I think he would just see it as an 'empty' threat. However, I'm scared that when he knew it was really happening that he would do anything he could to mentally hurt me and make it as painful and stressful as he possibly could.

Do let us know how you get on at the Solicitors today. So what if someone you knew actually saw you go in?. Ok so its a small town but its still highly unlikely. People visit Solicitors anyway for all sorts of reasons too.

And no he is not right at all, he is still messing with your head and giving you spaghetti head as a result. Its yet another tactic that such abusive types use against their victim.

zigzoo Wed 03-Jul-13 09:16:01

Alipongo1 - just a tip - stop outside the solicitors entrance and pretend to answer a call or text then have a check of the street to see if you recognise anyone. On the way out ask if they have a back entrance. Good luck!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Jul-13 10:08:29

Of course he's not right. Elton John was wrong i.e. sorry is the easiest, not the hardest word... and if he thinks a casual 'sorry' is all that is required and you should just forget all about it and put your head back in the sand, he's being extremely selfish and disrespectful. He doesn't want to address the problem, doesn't want to make your life better and of course he doesn't want to acknowledge he's abusive. His sort never do.

Please stay safe

cjel Wed 03-Jul-13 11:40:18

What he says about you is not the truth or reality. You are starting to realise this for yourself and no longer need to take notice of it. YOu may find that once he finds out you have the support of solicitors and aren't afraid to take it outside the home that he will lose his bite not get worse?
He may be so used to having his own way that hes forgotten that there is a world outside his thinking. Hope solicitor is helpfulx

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 15:18:27

Hi all, just back from the solicitors! This visit, along with all the helpful posts that I've received, has made me feel totally empowered. The solicitor said I would be treated as his equal by the courts (something that has never happened in our marriage) due to the length of our relationship. The solicitor also made comments like "It will be whatever you want it to be". Gosh! I've never felt so powerful! I now have to lead a double life for a little while as I need copies of a huge amount of paperwork, and I need to buy another computer etc. so that I can carry on working during the divorce (I'm pretty sure he'd 'accidently' break this one as soon as he knew I was going).
The only downside is that the solicitor recommended staying in this house while the divorce goes through. Can you imagine the atmosphere?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Jul-13 15:37:20

The advice to stay in the house is pretty standard but, unless you've outlined the bullying behaviour in the relationship, the solicitor will be working on the assumption that you're both reasonable people. If you are at all worried about the prospect of living under the same roof from a safety or mental wellbeing angle, and if you don't think your STBXH will leave of his own volition, then consider making plans for alternative living arrangements. Your rights don't change.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 03-Jul-13 15:41:00

Wow! You've done an incredible job so far already - don't doubt yourself, you're obviously more than capable!

Re the house situation - it maybe worth speaking to the solicitor about this in more detail and also contacting 'Shelter' who advise on all sorts of housing issues, not just living on the streets type homelessness.

I came very close to leaving my DH a couple of years ago, and the advice they gave me was that I could claim housing benefit to rent a property for up to 12 months, even though I had an interest in the marital home, providing I could show I was taking legal steps to obtain my share of the equity during that period. You can protect your interest in the marital home by filing for 'matrimonial home rights', which will prevent your DH doing anything dishonest whilst a settlement is agreed.

Not sure what the current legal situation is but definitely worth asking about - good luck!

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 15:43:25

Thanks Cogito. That was the only strange thing about my meeting, when I started to tell the solicitor about my DH's behaviour, his face remained completely impassive and he didn't really make any comment. Is this because he hears this sort of thing day in day out or because he didn't think it was that bad?!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Jul-13 15:51:30

Solicitors deal in legalities rather than emotions. Divorces are very much on a 'no fault' basis so bad behaviour doesn't change things very much. Unless there is something strictly illegal going on in the marriage then your solicitor is not that interested.

crossparsley Wed 03-Jul-13 16:06:24

Also, solicitors and other professionals who hear about the bad side of life will try not to react while you're telling the story, because if they did what a layperson would do and said "shit, really?", "that's horrible", etc, the speaking person might often want to make the listener feel better -most normal people don't want to make others upset - by saying " oh it's not that bad" and telling less of the details. Your solicitor knows you thought it was bad enough for you to go and see him, and he sounds as if he thinks you were right.

You did a powerful thing, you deserve to feel empowered.

Bakingtins Wed 03-Jul-13 16:11:35

Maybe the solicitor didn't think it was that bad.

Your DH's relationship with his mother sounds seriously dysfunctional. The rest of it wouldn't raise my eyebrows. Sometimes your DH speaks without thinking and later he apologises.

You have three children and I'm guessing more than a decade of marriage to this man. I think people on here are far too quick to say LTB. It's not them that will have to deal with the fall out.

Have you made any attempt to repair the relationship? Asked him if he'll come to counselling sessions? Can you remember any of the things you loved about him enough to marry him?

Just be really really sure it's what you want and that the marriage is irredeemable before you chuck the hand grenade in.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Jul-13 16:13:54

" The rest of it wouldn't raise my eyebrows"

Really? Does your partner regularly tell you that you're stupid, idiotic, make you feel worthless and generally treat you in a derogatory way? If that doesn't raise your eyebrows I feel genuinely sorry for you.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 03-Jul-13 16:19:43

... and why should the OP be the one responsible for 'repairing'? Why should she be persuading him to go to counselling? Why should she be searching her memory banks trying to conjure up loving memories? Why, just because she's had the misfortune to produce three of this man's children, is it always the fucking victim that gets told 'try harder'..... angry

Joint counselling as well is never recommended when there is ongoing abuse as there is in the OPs marriage.

Well done OP as well for going to see the Solicitor today.

cjel Wed 03-Jul-13 17:25:05

The solicitor will have to be guarded in what they say about your marriage as it may be used by some. They are there for the legalities. You are telling them you want to leave and end marriage, they are there to assist you in that.

I also left family home and rented, your legal rights don't change whoever stays or goes.
Try and find out your options if you don't want to stay in the same house together. If he contests divorce it could take a while.

You have done brilliantly so far. well done. Have you tracked down counsellor?

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 18:34:06

I do understand where you're coming from, Bakingtins. I've been married for 15 yrs (together for 18 yrs) , it's such along time that I don't think I even know what normal is. Last night in an argument my husband said "all couples have rows, that's normal", but we actually rarely have an argument, it's more these outbursts of shouting at me like I was a disobedient child. I've repeatedly told him how much this upsets me, and he does say he's sorry, but he still continues to do it (or much later will deny it ever happened). I just wonder sometimes if I might have turned out to be a completely different person if I'd married someone else instead. I feel that his lack of respect for me has had a big impact on my self-confidence. Ironically, it was me that ended up having CBT! He would never see a counsellor because he doesn't think he has a problem!

cjel Wed 03-Jul-13 18:45:41

Ali - was 50 after 30 years married and I can tell you its never too late to be what you should have been!smile

jomaynard Wed 03-Jul-13 19:17:32

My DH did some training once on how to deal with "shocking" information in an interview. It was basically how to not react, they were given the example of someone admitting to murder in a job interview. (It involves making notes on the previous question.)
This is something that a Lawyer will also be trained and experienced in. They can't react too much as it could create prejudice.

However if you didn't jell with this lawyer, you can try another one. BTW any you have seen cannot then be used by your H.

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 19:24:01

Cjel, was your husband emotionally abusive? Are you glad that you left him? Did you have children? I'd love to know your story.

Bakingtins Wed 03-Jul-13 19:53:14

I'm not for a minute saying that OP should make all the effort, or stay if she really feels she is being abused, just that the mumsnet jury are awfully quick to say LTB.
I hope she doesn't in any sense think her children are a misfortune sad I imagine they will be just as shell shocked and devastated as her H if she suddenly decides to leave.
Monday OP is asking tentatively if her relationship is abusive, 2 days later on the advice of a bunch of total strangers she is seeing a solicitor and packing her bags. I guess it doesn't seem to me a very considered decision for something with such huge repercussions for the lives of at least five people.
OP, I wish you the very best whatever you choose to do.

Alipongo1 Wed 03-Jul-13 19:54:05

Thanks jomaynard, that's interesting. He also said as I was leaving "I hope you can sort things out", which I did find a little odd, given what I'd told him.

cjel Wed 03-Jul-13 21:35:22

Baking ime the fact that a woman gets to the point of wanting confirmation of the ea in her relationship would suggest that she knows what she wants to do any way. It is hard to consider leaving and it would n't be done on a whim because a couple of strangers are saying she should.

Ali, I had horrendous EA<PA and sexual abuse etc etc. we looked like a really successful couple to the outside. I had years of counselling to 'get over my issues' that he told me I had.I had endless breakdowns and felt really useless. about 8 years ago i finished counselling realising that my marriage wasn't right but not able to do anything about it. I started to train as a counsellor,(before i started it my dd said 'mum he won't like it he'll think you grow away from him and leave) he never even asked how my course was going and even said to one of my fellow students he thought it was good for me to have a little something to do. Slowly over a couple of years on the course | changed and then one day i found out he'd taken another woman out a couple of lunches. we agreed to try and make a go of out marriage and had the most wonderful 3 months like a honeymoon. I then found he was still txting her so within 3 weeks found, rented and moved out!!!
We have dd 30, ds 28 and 5 grandchildren from 13yrs to 18 months, we ran a business together and his family was his life. There were a lot of things going on for him and he is having a breakdownsad but I knew i was worth more than that and in a weird way although my heart was broken, she did me a favour.
18month on and I have sold a house, boght a house and renovated it. taken a year out of college and will be going back in september for another 2 years.

cjel Wed 03-Jul-13 21:49:58

ali. ave pm'd you.

zigzoo Wed 03-Jul-13 23:03:25

Have a look at dropbox as a way of backing up all the work information on your computer.

Changeasgoodas Wed 03-Jul-13 23:48:49

It sounds like your DH's mother has manipulated him to do her bidding through shaming him from a very young age. Thus making him lead his life in a way that avoids shame at all costs. Hence, it could be that something like the car alarm going off, which might make him look incompetent in front of neighbours absolutely sets him off. Criticising you, well that's a nice way for him to remind himself that he is alright really, project the shame outwards. Getting cross if you don't "get" something - again, reminders of fallibility, triggering shame which he quickly covers in anger.

Sounds like your CBT therapist only gave you half the story, and typical of the worrying way people are packed off too early from NHS limited session therapy. Yes, your need to do everything well may make you scared to start things or contribute to beliefs that you won't be able to run a house without him. It may help to loosen your standards in some areas BUT, when it comes to being treated well and with respect, your standards appear far too low and it is not perfectionist to expect to live your life without being insulted and shouted at. It is not perfectionist to expect to have your family photos and heirlooms respected rather than stolen and trashed.

Alipongo1 Thu 04-Jul-13 09:57:04

Thanks for all your thoughts, everyone.
Changeasgoodas I think you're absolutely right about the 'shame' thing, that's why I'm a bit worried about his reaction when he discovers that I am divorcing him. He is very good at appearing kind and jovial to people outside the family, but he makes sure that nobody gets too close to us. We don't really have any shared friends, in fact he doesn't have any friends at all, despite the fact that other men have invited him on various nights out.
Does anyone think he might actually change? The strange thing is that in the two years prior to getting married (when we lived together) there wasn't any sign of his bullying nature. I actually felt equal to him. I was excited about my training and prospective new career (funded mainly by him) and he seemed fairly relaxed and happy. I think I really did love him back then, I can clearly remember wanting to be with him all the time. He was my soulmate.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Jul-13 10:07:35

Sadly, the man you met & thought you knew two years prior to getting married was not the 'real him'. A lot of abusive men do this, he's nothing special. You say yourself that he can appear kind and jovial outside the family i.e. he can put on a convincing act when it suits his purposes. It clearly suited him to convince you that he was a regular guy that supported your training, saw women as equals and blah, blah, blah ... until the moment there's a ring on your finger, you're a 'done deal' and then, like the Child Catcher in Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang, away go the balloons and the streamers and the reality is that your kind, loving 'soul-mate' is just a nasty bloke that doesn't like women, but it's too late to complain.

This is the 'real him'.

cjel Thu 04-Jul-13 10:42:54

I believe everyone can change but I don't think he change has to include you.
The real him when he was your soul mate was the real him, The pressures of life have taken over and he feels are dealt with in the best way he knows to keep himself safe. He is scared and afraid and the only way he copes is by trying to control what he can. YOU!!
My dh was my soul mate for eight years and I know that wasn't an act to suit his purpose. I'd say the nasty bully is struggling to keep himself safe.the same that you have developed to help you cope .
It doesn't mean that you have to enable this behaviour.
As for it not being the real him because he is not like it when out so therefore can control it, all of us put on an act when we are out and control our feelings even if it is the abused partner pretending they are happy and hiding what they really feel like crying or screaming.
Its great that you have now seen that it is not you responsibility to help him cope this way.xx

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Jul-13 10:59:36

Where the hell are you getting 'scared and afraid' from?

cjel Thu 04-Jul-13 11:12:13

because its recognised human behaviour that when people are scared and afraid they behave badly to protect themselves.The fear of being shamed has been pointed out above and OP confirmed it.
Thats 'where the hell'

Snazzywaitingforsummer Thu 04-Jul-13 11:17:33

The problem is though that the husband isn't willing to change, keeps doing the same unpleasant stuff to the OP (shouting, bullying) and she has come to feel over many years she is very unhappy. So it does seem to me that it's reached the 'shape up or ship out' point. Maybe he would improve dramatically if she said she wanted him to leave and started divorce proceedings. Maybe he wouldn't and she'd realise it was for the best. Either way that's a win.

OP, the 11.43 post about how stuff from your parents disappears is really chilling. I don't like it at all that he is capable of that and will just tell bare faced lies about it. That could escalate quite badly. And it is just wrong that you have had to put up with his family intruding but your own don't get a look in. By itself that is wrong.

With all the 'you should take thins in isolation' crap, he is telling you how to feel. He's also being hypocritical, but importantly he is telling you that your feelings are not valid if he says they aren't. You are entitled to feel however you want. I don't think this man will ever let you do that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Jul-13 11:18:07

This man sounds anything but scared and afraid.

cjel Thu 04-Jul-13 11:26:44

cogito, he is very typically a man who is afraid of whatever and desperately trying to control what he can to make his life work for him.

Not excusing his behaviour but it is what it is.
OP doesn't have to live with it just because she can understand why he is like it, but the way he is with his dm confirms why he acts like he does, the stuff with OPs family stuff also says to me that he is driven by the fear that his dm instilled in him. to confirm his view of what a 'safe' life he is so driven to make it work he will take all steps necessary to succeed.

Alipongo1 Thu 04-Jul-13 11:42:47

Thanks all.
When I had my CBT the therapist told me to stop dwelling on unhappy things from the past (my childhood) and to focus on the 'here and now'. She was right, when I started doing that I felt a great deal better. However, when it comes to the relationship with my husband, there can be long periods of time between his abusive behaviour, and for much of the time he can appear a nice, normal person; In order to get the strength to leave him I have to gather together in my mind all the nasty things he's done over the last 17 years - exactly what I was told NOT to do!
I wish I knew what other people's marriages are like. My husband won't socialise with other couples so I actually don't know how other women are treated. I know nobody is perfect - have I been expecting too much?
For example, I had a miscarriage at 12 weeks ( it happened in the night ) I passed out on the bathroom floor. He didn't call an ambulance/ring a doctor and the following morning just went to work as normal. I felt scared that something bad was going to happen to me and he would just stand by and allow it to happen. I spent the following day alone in the house and when I went to pick up my daughters from school I burst into tears in the playground. I felt very hurt and let down, especially as we'd told everyone I was pregnant a couple of days beforehand. He did buy me a bunch of flowers later in the week (the first in our 10 yr relationship). Is that normal for a DH to behave that way?

Biscuitsareme Thu 04-Jul-13 11:47:32

No, that's not normal. I'm shock and sad.

I'm not surprised you can't just leave the past be if it includes memories like that.

flowers wishing you all the best flowers

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 04-Jul-13 11:59:10

"Is that normal for a DH to behave that way?"

Put it this way. Had you collapsed in the street, any random stranger would have shown you ten times more care and attention than that. No, it's not in the slightest bit normal and expecting ordinary human decency from the person who is supposed to love you above all others is not 'too much'. I've rarely heard anything so cruel and heartless.

You may not socialise as a couple but don't you have women friends that you meet up with?

Snazzywaitingforsummer Thu 04-Jul-13 12:47:04

But I think that's slightly different, because your childhood is over now and you are living as an adult (albeit one shaped by your childhood as everyone is), whereas your marriage is ongoing. Your 'here and now' is shaped by the things that have happened previously in the marriage. Plus, even if there are gaps between the worst episodes, your husband has shown that this is a recurrent behaviour pattern and even if it improves at times, you can't count on it going away. So it is very much part of your 'here and now', because it is present as a possibility for you every day.

"I felt scared that something bad was going to happen to me and he would just stand by and allow it to happen"

This is the here and now for you. And I can tell you that you deserve a lot better.

My husband is far from perfect but he would not do this and he would have cared for me after a miscarriage. He does not let his mother dictate how we live, nor does she take precedence over his own household.

I think the problem is that some woman moan about their DHs being insensitive, critical etc, and you have wondered if the stuff your DH does is what they mean. It isn't. It's on another level for you.

cjel Thu 04-Jul-13 16:37:39

I'm also going to say that the things that happened to you in childhood could need to be looked at and they could explain why you have felt that this awful treatment from your dh is normal, why you think that you don't deserve to be treated better. We are all shaped by our pasts and although i would never want to dwell on bad situations the reactions and how you felt about them can help you understand the present.

Alipongo1 Thu 04-Jul-13 19:11:45

Thanks for your opinions.
I do have some female friends that I meet up with and they do quibble about their DHs a little bit. I've never told them about the things that my DH has done, if I'm honest it's because I feel ashamed and embarrassed.

I do have another example, albeit from a long time ago (which according to my husband means it no longer counts). A few weeks before birth of first DH we went on a 'dry-run' to see how long it would take to get to the hospital in the car. On the way he announced that his brother's business was in trouble and that we would have to give him our money to bail him out! His DM had been on the phone again expecting him to sort out all her family troubles.I had just given up work! We were expecting our first child any day! He didn't even say "Would you mind if..." it was just a statement of fact. Fortunately it never came to that, but again it demonstrated how his family take precedence over me.
Could anyone tell me the sort of things a nice man does for his wife? I would be so interested to see if my DH actually does any of these things. goes... (not sure what good it will do you though, because even if he does any of the things a 'nice man' does for his wife, he still does the horrid things IYSWIM and you have already said that in between his abusive behaviours are times when he is a nice, normal person)

Sort of things my DH (a nice man) does:

Calls me darling, sweetheart, never calls me stupid

Always speaks to me in a decent, respectful way doesn't shout at me

Brings me brew and toast in bed every morning

Shows his appreciation of me and anything I might do for him like cooking supper, sorting anything out etc

Listens to my ideas even the mad ones and listens generally

Makes me laugh a lot

Enjoys my company

Rubs my back before we sleep

Is encouraging to me when I want to do something

Treats others decently

Loves my DCs as well as his own

Actually, I could just go on and on, but I'll stop now because blush well you get the picture... And because Alipongo1 these things are just an illustration of what you asked about a 'nice man'.

And, even if your H does some of these things sometimes an actual nice man (as opposed to a nasty man who is being nice) wouldn't treat someone the way your H treats you, sad sorry

cjel Thu 04-Jul-13 20:34:58

A nice man would put you and dcs above anyone else.If his dm asked for money for db he would consult you and say things like 'guess what she wants now - shes mad'!!!!!

GettingStrong Thu 04-Jul-13 22:44:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

<does a small pom-pom wave in GS's direction!>

Alipongo1 Fri 05-Jul-13 09:44:56

Scarlet Thankyou for letting me know what your nice DH does. You're a very lucky lady.
I'm struggling to think of much DH makes me a cup of tea if he's making one for himself. He mows the lawn and puts the bin out. He takes the DD's to and from their hobbies.

I feel that there is no kindness or tenderness towards me, although he is very affectionate with the DD's. When we sit altogether on the sofa he always hugs them close, so he is definitely capable of feeling warmth and affection. My youngest asked me a few weeks ago "Do you and Daddy ever kiss or cuddle?" I don't think we ever have in the 6 years she's been alive.

Sometimes I think it might be something I've done. It's actually hard for me to think of any nice things that I do for him. I mean, I do cook, shop, clean, laundry, organise DD's etc., but then I have never worked full time since we were married, so it only seems fair that I do these things.

Somebody wrote in their post that I had resentments over the things DH has done and said - they were absolutely right. Each time he does one of these nasty things, something inside of me makes me withdraw from him.

To be honest, I really only have myself to blame. When I was growing up my parents never said the words "I love you" to me. However, my DH said these words to me after only a few weeks of meeting him! I was schmitten! I couldn't ever imagine meeting anyone else who would feel the same way about me, so I felt I had to marry him.

cjel Fri 05-Jul-13 09:49:52

I just keep thinking that I am sort of pleased that you are realising early enough to have a lovely longlife without this treatment. I waited till I was 50 before I was able to make the break. I felt overwhelming sadness at the realising that someone I loved so much had been so cruel to me.
It is not your 'fault' but your upbringing would have left you open the abuse.
Understanding why you have put up with it is very freeing - hopefully it will help you to be aware for your future relationships.

captainmummy Fri 05-Jul-13 13:54:51

My dp tells me he loves me every single day. Phones at lunchtime. Sees me every evening (we don't live together) and texts me in the morning before work.
He does any DIY or cleaning i ask. He will cook, shop, serve, clear away. He buys me flowers (occasionally!) and wine (more often!)

He always cuddles up when watching TV. He plays with my dc, and loves them. He lets me put them first.

I couldn't beleive it when your dh said your MIL wanted your money (ok, joint money but yours as well) for your BIL, and he was ready to do that, without even consulting you! Even as a SAHM you have the right to joint finances, you are doing a full-time job (and more!) so yes, that is your money too.

I'm not surprised you withdraw from him - it sounds like he is not that close to you anyway, and you are just an appendage to look after him and the dc.

I think he could find out that in fact you are a lot more than that, when you get your own life back.

slipperySlip000 Fri 05-Jul-13 16:07:44

"Each time he does one of these nasty things, something inside of me makes me withdraw from him."

EXACTLY the same thing happened with my and my h. Eventually I withdrew to the extent that I could look at things a whole lots more dispassionately. This allowed me to think 'f*ck this for a larf', leave, and reclaim a sense of me. I feel the same thing happening to you, Alipongo. Let me tell you something..... emotionally I have never felt better, even though it was only 14 days ago!

Whether or not he is abusive is sort of academic, in a way. Whatever has happened in your marriage he has chip, chip, chipped away at your ability to be close to him, love him, work in a partnership.

Do you want to retire with this man? If not, just get out now and start living the rest of your life in a way that's true to yourself. You deserve better than this.

The solicitor is not there to validate. He is there to facilitate the legalities. You don't have to justify anything to anyone but yourself.

Thinking of you flowers

suburbophobe Fri 05-Jul-13 18:37:54

Could anyone tell me the sort of things a nice man does for his wife?

My dad who was with my mum for 70 years brought home a bunch of flowers every Xmas eve.

I think that was lovely because it showed he appreciated everything she did over Christmas. He did lots of other nice things for her like take her out for dinner, on holiday, etc. But I think that is just normal (if it is financially viable) things you do for/with the one you love.

I'm so glad you are getting great advice on here. Your miscarriage experience sent shivers down my spine... So sorry you had to go through that (as well as the other stuff of course).

How he treats your parents is beyond despicable.

Alipongo1 Fri 05-Jul-13 19:22:48

Hi everyone-Thanks for all your input.

Just had another argument with DH about all these incidents. He is absolutely exasperated with me - he says I have a "massive problem" in the fact that I can't let go of the past, despite the fact that at least 4 f the incidents happened within the last 2 months.

Feel sick with stress of all this.

Floppityflop Fri 05-Jul-13 19:24:58

Isn't this what is called gaslighting?

cjel Fri 05-Jul-13 19:29:09

I wouldn't bother to waste any more time trying to get him to admit he has done anything wrong. You know he has. people on here have confirmed your feelings and he will not change when he thinks he can get a way with it. He may only change when you are not around, not while you stay.

springytata Sat 06-Jul-13 10:43:12

Sorry if I've missed it (haven't read the whole thread - sorry) but this sounds like a cultural thing. Is he british? His adoration for his mother and also dropping everything/funding family projects/businesses sounds like a particular culture. Asian? Middle eastern? Are you british?

fwiw you are in a horrible marriage. He may have a good public face but you know what happens in your home. Death by a thousand papercuts sad

Alipongo1 Sat 06-Jul-13 14:18:13

Hi again,

springy we are all British, so he's not got that as an excuse.

We had another argument this morning where he insisted I had to change. he kept saying things like "Am I so terrible?" When I read some of the other posts, he's not as bad as most of the other men. Now I don't know if I'm doing the right thing.

jayho Sat 06-Jul-13 14:20:32

Ali delurking to say it doesn't matter what he's like in comparison to other people, it's how he makes you feel that counts.

Good luck

springytata Sat 06-Jul-13 16:45:03

Has anyone mentioned the Freedom Programme ? I'd get on that iiwy and then you can check out what's going on in your marriage.

I am amazed to hear he's british. I'm amazed to hear his mother was in the coach at your wedding - that just makes me cringe.

As for 'am I so bad?' - my abusive ex used to say the same. HIs reasoning was that he didn't hit me. But you don't have to be hit to be a victim of domestic abuse. there are plenty of ways to destroy your partner.

cjel Sat 06-Jul-13 16:57:45

springy, weird to say you are amazed hes british, mine is and so are most of the people on here who it happens to, the freedom programme is full of white british women whose white british men are the same.

ALI, he won't own it Yes he is so bad and that also is classic trying to make you doubt yourself so he will start to make you feel you need 'help' with your problems,
Find people to listen to who will confirm what you are feeling not challenge it.

amybenson03 Tue 31-Dec-13 17:43:08

Have you gone through with the divorce?

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