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To be questioning whether or not I'm going to put up with DH's behaviour any longer?

(104 Posts)
TearyOnMothersDay Sun 10-Mar-13 22:33:41

I am a regular but I have namechanged so I am not recognised, as a few people I know in RL are on here too and they know my regular username.

I've been with my DH for about 11 years. I have one teenage DC from a previous marriage (her father was very abusive), and DH and I have two children together.

All is fine most of the time and in many ways my DH is a lovely bloke, however he doesn't seem to want to take an active part in family life the way many husbands and fathers do (eg he will never play with the youngest, who is 4), and he gets in moods from time to time, which last several days. During these moods he tries to convince me that it's my fault, and that there's nothing wrong with him and that it's just me that's the problem being oversensitive/taking it all the wrong way/imagining he's in a mood. Generally all is fine as long as it's all ticking over nicely but a big catalyst for one of these moods is if one of the DCs or I are ill. The 4 year old was ill between Xmas and new year and on the Saturday night I was up with him for most of the night. DH didn't try to help and instead just stormed off downstairs and slept there for the night, then the next day all he did all day was moan about how tired he was, and was just in a foul mood, picking at everything I did, even though it was me that had been up with DS all night.

He's also been in a mood for the last few days. He has been busy and a bit stressed at work, so I try not to be too harsh on him. However he seemed to wake up in a bad mood on Saturday morning, and was really snappy with me, uncommunicative and just didn't seem fussed about the kids or I. He had to take DC2 to an activity in the morning, then I asked if he'd collect her as I was getting lunch ready. He went off reluctantly and I could tell he wasn't happy. DD then had a party and he pointedly said he wasn't doing any other running around that day. So I took her to the party, got home and you could cut the atmosphere in the house with a knife, and before party pick up I asked why he was in this horrible mood and said it wasn't fair on any of us. I went to pick up DD, had a chat with some other mums and was about 45 minutes and when I got home DH said he'd been thinking and that I was disgusting in my behaviour and it wasn't him in a mood, it was me.

Fast forward to this morning. 4 year old came and got in bed with us early, and DH kept pulling the duvet off me and huffing and puffing. When he's in these moods he tries to antagonise me so that I say things then he can say it's me that's moody/horrible, so I let it go and just kept generally easing the duvet back over me. He then leapt out of bed and shouted that he was going downstairs to sleep, so he did, leaving DS and I in bed. I've had a horrible cold and cough for several days and haven't been sleeping too well, and at some point DS must have gone downstairs to join DH and when I woke up it was 10am. DH was moody that I had had a lie in for so long, but in all honesty I felt really ill. I then went for a bath, and whilst I was in the bath the phone rang and DH couldn't find either of the phones so he started shouting at me because of this, so I felt I had no choice but to get out of the bath. He's now spent the whole of today - mother's day - banging around, being snappy and huffy. He washed his work clothes tonight and washed them with a towel by mistake so they have fluff on them and he managed to find a way to blame me for that too, and then when I dared to protest, he spoke to me in a 'what on earth is wrong with you tone'

Sorry this is long, there is loads more I could say but I shall leave it here. I've just spent the whole of today feeling tearful and upset. I just want a nice family life, and to be treated nicely. Do I just put up with it and try to focus on the good points? Any tips on dealing with the moods? Thank you

Morloth Tue 12-Mar-13 05:33:35

It is just so sad Teary and it doesn't have to be this way.

Bubbles my DH works in an immensely stressful job, he is often away for weeks, I work long hours, we are both very stressed and sometimes we get a bit snippy with each other due to this.

Never once in the 15 years we have been married has he treated me in the way Teary's DH is treating her. This is because he is not abusive.

Teary's DH is doing it because he likes it, he likes her upset and under his control and confused and doubting herself. Who know why he likes it? Who cares?

It just has to stop.

ElectricSheep Tue 12-Mar-13 02:17:51

Not sure if anyone else has suggested it - but read Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft OP.

It is a clear account of emotional abuse strategies that abusers use and it has helped many people here on mn to see what is going on clearly. I think what you describe OP is a textbook case of emotional abuse.

REMEMBER it isn't you, it's him

IneedAsockamnesty Tue 12-Mar-13 01:48:46

Bubbles unless he is behaving in exactly the same way to his friends and work people then he is not just not coping or stressed.

If this behaviour is only limited to the family who reside with him then he is a abusive wanker.

bubbles1231 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:56:16

Yes- he sounds like a man who's not coping with his life, and who is totally stressed. As I said before it doesn't excuse the behaviour - it'd be horrendous to be on the receiving end of it. But people on here are very quick to go down the "leave the bastard" route with only snapshots of a relationship. As someone pointed out previously OP has to decide if she wants to stay or not.

yellowbrickrd Mon 11-Mar-13 23:34:35

Bubbles, did the read the op's posts at 13.04 and 17.40 today? There's absolutely no evidence there of a man trying to be the 'strong one' or struggling with vulnerability. There is overwhelming evidence of a ruthlessly selfish and nasty person who is exploiting the op's vulnerability.

bubbles1231 Mon 11-Mar-13 23:24:46

I'm not trying to defend his behaviour but I think a lot of the time men feel they have to be the"strong ones" in a relationship. He's the bread winner etc, so what if, say, there's something horrendous going on at work that he's struggling to deal with, but can't talk about as he's worried it will make him look weak?
To defer it to you is a classic behaviour as it moves the attention away from him. I think men find feelings of vulnerability quite frightening.
You need to try to get him to open up, but that's the hard part without letting the accusations fly.

themaltesecat Mon 11-Mar-13 23:08:53

Please ring WA. You poor, dear lady. You and your kids are never going to look back once you're away from him. XXX

newcastle34 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:44:37

Just read the bit about the funeral and I am stunned that anyone could be so hearless. My dh isn't perfect and has moods too. I am currently considering ending relationship. He was supportive on the day of my mum's funeral and drove etc. Did ask me why I was crying once home that evening though. Was speechless.

Loislane78 Mon 11-Mar-13 21:27:01


Sounds EA as other posters have highlighted.

Does/do you think your 'D'P has any addictions - alcohol, drugs, gambling? It sometimes explains the extremes of moods and general isolation from the rest of the family since they are pre-occupied. Doesn't always mean they are heroin addicts drunk all day with no money, addiction comes in many forms.

And so does abuse.

If he says 'I'm not in a mood it's you', totally irrelevant. It's how YOU FEEL that matters.

Best of luck to you flowers

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 11-Mar-13 21:07:53

Do let us know if you'd like us to move this to relationships...

GregBishopsBottomBitch Mon 11-Mar-13 21:05:25

Fanjo Its a good thing that your OH was open and honest about the situation.

Until someone admits they have an issue, nothing can be done.

Fanjounchained Mon 11-Mar-13 18:10:57

I've been with my partner for 17 yrs. We had our DS 5 yrs ago and DD 3 yrs ago. He has always been a great father but not always the best partner. Prior to DS being born he could go for days on end not speaking to me and being emotionally abusive (I've only realised this in the last few years). Things came to a head when I was about 7 months pregnant with DS and he'd been in a mood for few days, not talking to me. I went and stayed with a family friend without saying where I was going. He didn't phone or contact anyone to see where I was. When I came home we eventually ended up having a massive row and I told him he/we needed to speak to someone as I couldn't live like this anymore. He spoke to his doctor, was prescribed anti-depressants and over the course of the last 5 yrs has seen a counsellor and a psychologist. Now he is a lot nicer person to be around but those years of walking on egg shells have left their mark on me and I still find myself thinking "oh shit, is he going back to how he was..." But he's not, I have to give him credit for the hard work he's done in counselling.

Having said all that, even at his worst, DH was nowhere near as bad as your DH sounds OP. Maybe you could save your relationship if he was to admit he had a problem and do something about it, but that's not really the question here. The question is do you actually think this is worth saving ? I really hope things work out for you. It's a truly horrible situation to be in. Take care.

AgathaF Mon 11-Mar-13 17:57:41

Teary do you have any trustworthy friends that you could talk this through with?

Bossybritches22 Mon 11-Mar-13 17:57:14

15 signs of EA (sent to me by a friend)

Emotional abuse, while it leaves no marks, can sometimes be the hardest type of abuse to understand in a relationship. It's hard to imagine that someone who "loves you" could abuse you -- and besides, it's just words, right? It's not like you're being BEATEN.

Sad truth is, while broken bones heal, the wounds left from emotional abuse can last a lifetime.

Emotional abuse is a form of abuse in which a partner uses verbal assault, fear, or humiliation to undermine the other person's self-esteem and self-worth. Emotional abuse is every bit as damaging as physical abuse.

Here are some signs you're in an emotionally abusive relationship:

1) You're afraid to tell your partner about a normal happening - your car needs brakes, your boss made you work overtime - because you're not sure how he will react.

2) When you do talk to your significant other, he puts you down and makes you feel stupid.

3) You make yourself available to your partner no matter what the personal cost - just to avoid a confrontation.

4) You no longer want to bring your significant other around your friends or family because you're afraid he will berate you and humiliate you in front of your loved ones.

5) You've begun to believe that you're the crazy one -- that you're the one with the problem.

6) When talking about an accomplishment - a promotion or something equally exciting - your partner sneers at you, putting you down, mocking your achievement rather than celebrating it.

7) You feel helpless, like you're trapped in the relationship.

8) Your partner treats you like an object, like property, not like a person with real feelings.

9) Your partner keeps a tight control on all things: money, the phone, using the car, who you see and what you do.

10) If you fight back, your significant other blames you for the abusive behavior. "If you weren't so dumb, I wouldn't have to yell at you."

11) You've begun to see yourself as worthless -- just like your partner tells you you are.

12) You'll go out of your way to please your significant other, no matter how much you have to sacrifice. If that means staying up all night to wash the floor, so be it. It beats the "lecture."

13) You're in complete isolation. Your partner doesn't want you around your friends or family and has convinced you that THEY are the ones who are abusive to you - not him.

14) You've begun to feel as though you deserve to be treated badly. If you were a better person, you wouldn't make him so mad!

15) You find yourself having to rush to his defense whenever he is brought up in conversation. You make excuses for his behavior regardless of the situation.

If you're in an emotionally abusive relationship or even if you think you're being abused but it's "not bad enough" to do anything about it, remember: it is. No one deserves to be treated this way, and everyone is worthy of respect. Even you.

Do any of these ring a bell OP?

TearyOnMothersDay Mon 11-Mar-13 17:40:40

My head feels a total mess tbh. I don't know what to do for the best at the moment.

I keep thinking of other things he's done in the past though; threatening to leave when DC3 was about a week old as he felt I wasn't appreciative enough of the housework and cooking he'd been doing. Threatening to leave days after one of my cats had died as apparently I was miserable. Not believing I had PND after DC3 and saying 'not that old chestnut again' if ever I mentioned it. And all of it was apparently me, and not him. It was me, my fault

ThreeWheelsGood Mon 11-Mar-13 17:27:13

Writehand - have you read the OP's follow up posts? It really doesn't sound comparable.

yellowbrickrd Mon 11-Mar-13 16:47:56

Meant to add in my last post teary that it's probably best to move this to Relationships or start a new thread there if you are going to keep posting for support. That should help to reduce the incidence of posts like the one above.

mungotracy Mon 11-Mar-13 16:30:59

Its not unreasonable to think that at all.....What is 'unreasonable', if anything, is coming to the internet chatroom like this with your problem rather than any of the other routes. I will not make sweeping generalised sexist statement like "another abusive man" or suggest that "he won't change" because i dont know this to be true and neither do any of the other posters who have passed judgment in a manner they would be outraged at if a woman was involved. If you cant talk to him about it then either work out someway you can or you truly do have a problem and you should end the relationship.

Writehand Mon 11-Mar-13 15:46:37

My DH, who was a lovely, lovely man, always got very grumpy when I was ill. At first I got very fed up with it, and felt he was getting at me. He really was a pain -- just when I felt my worst he started huffing and stropping. Totally irrational.

As I got to know him better I realised that me being ill really scared him, which he expressed (as is common in men) through anger. To him I was the mainstay of the family, I was the main pole for the tent, and if something was wrong with me his whole world might collapse.

It turned out that he had had bad experiences when he was young, and illness in anyone he loved just terrified him and, tbh, he reacted to it by behaving very badly.

Once we'd tracked down what was going on I could call him on it, and it was out in the open. He got a lot better. Is there any chance your DH is feeling the same?

yellowbrickrd Mon 11-Mar-13 15:37:52

Your post about the funeral is truly dreadful teary. You say in your op that he can be a lovely bloke but I can't imagine anything he could do that would make up for such behaviour - it is undisguised abuse.

I haven't read this book but I have seen it mentioned a number of time on the Relationships board as being very helpful and insightful.

Inertia Mon 11-Mar-13 14:57:44

Teary- just another voice to add to the dozens saying that you're not being over-sensitive. This man is deliberately doing things to upset you and make life as difficult as possible for you; it seems that he is doing it both out of pure spite and in an attempt to provoke a reaction from you which he believes justifies the subsequent shouting at you.

WRT to the funeral- firstly I'm sorry for your loss, and secondly that isn't the way a loving husband would behave towards his recently bereaved wife. In those circumstances my DH did all the driving, took care of the practical arrangements as far as he could, and took full responsibility for the care of our DC so that I could be involved with helping family at the wake.

And the keys- I don't think he's ever done this, but he would have been apologetic and made arrangements to return them to me. With this, and other practical things that would make your life very inconvenient, I think you need to plan ahead and make sure there is no way he can do anything like this by accident - keys/ purse/ phone always kept in your handbag, pushchair in the house not car (you'll know the sort of thing he'd do).

It's all designed to make you question yourself. Sorry my love, you have moved from an abusive man to a manipulative, sly abusive man.

cozietoesie Mon 11-Mar-13 14:56:13


Yes - I think you're in denial, sorry. There's calculated cruelty in Teary's DH's actions.

Lueji Mon 11-Mar-13 14:53:34

In the meantime, can you find ways to cope with his undermining tactics?

Say, get a 3rd set of keys, without his knowledge, and keep it somewhere safe so that you are not inconvenienced?

Lueji Mon 11-Mar-13 14:49:44

Just adding that I fully agree with the other pps.

I get in moods, sometimes (although more when I was with twat ex, go figure...), but I always point out to people that I am the one in a bad mood, and definitely don't try to hurt people (like pulling duvets) on purpose.

And I wonder about the keys by accident too.

He is making your and your DC's lives miserable and you are fully justified in calling WA, particularly if you have difficulty in leaving rather than getting him to leave.

LadyMercy Mon 11-Mar-13 14:41:24

Teary, a normal reaction to me phoning DP to ask if he's taken my keys would be: I'm so sorry, don't know how I did that. Can you manage or do you want me to come home and drop them off?

Does he take responsibility for anything? Is it always you/the traffic/the bus/the taxman that is responsible?

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