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AIBU to not know what to think of a relationship like this? is this abnormal or am i being judgy?

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dancingwithroses Tue 06-Feb-18 23:46:23

If you had a friend who described the following in her relationship, what would be your response?

Her husband has mood swings- is very kind and loving and affectionate one moment then shouts and swears and screams in her face (and the childrens) the next.

He calls her stupid, cow etc when she makes a mistake or does something wrong eg taking car to the wrong garage, spending too much money on clothes. He also treats the children the same way- screaming at them if they accidentally interrupt a conversation or talk too much (youngest DD struggles with boundaries and does not know whe to be quiet etc so gets shouted at a lot)

This couple have a lot of mutual friends- if he falls out with one of the friends or with her family, he bans her from seeing them and tells her he will leave her if she sees them. He has threatened to take the kids away from her. He has threatened to kill her. in front of the kids. she and the children arfe very frightened of making him angry.

BUT.....here is the thing....when he is not angry he can be lovely and kind. He provides well for her and the two girls with a nice home and holidays abroad and often tells his daughters they are besutiful and pretty. (Only if he annoyed with them he calls them fat or stupid etc) but he does npt do this every day. In facts, months can go on and he behaves just fine. And sometimes he will apologise to her or the kids after his outbursts. So this is not abuse, exactly. I do not think it is normal either though. She seems vey scared of making a mistake but also she ells me she loves him and he gives her a good life. I have known this family quite some time and the kids when they were little seemed quite affectionate with their father but now they seem nervous of him at times? Only when he is in a mood though, the rest of the time they seem like normal kids.

She tells me he often puts her down and the kids too and if she doesn't want to sleep with him because she is tired etc he sometimes gets angry and guilt trips her. When she tell sme this i do not know what to say? I am unmarried myself and have no experience of what i snormal in a marriage or not? maybe marriage counselling would help?

Greensleeves Tue 06-Feb-18 23:49:59

No, marriage counselling would do more harm than good. Divorce is what she needs.

This guy is an abusive controlling wanker. Counselling with men like this is disastrous, because they are manipulative and will turn every session into another emotional onslaught on his wife.

She needs to leave him. For her daughters as well as herself (calling them pretty and beautiful isn't much healthier than calling them fat and stupid - his attitude towards them is objectifying and further illustrates how much this wanker despises women).

GlitterGlassEye Tue 06-Feb-18 23:50:28

I’m not married either but I know full well this man is an abusive, horrible bastard.

And could he not actually be charged by the police for this behaviour? And social work involvement for the way he treats his young kids? I’m utterly appalled reading this.

FreezerBird Tue 06-Feb-18 23:52:09

So this is not abuse, exactly

Yes it is. Exactly.

dancingwithroses Tue 06-Feb-18 23:54:38

Greensleeves and GlitterGlassEye I did wonder if this qualified as abusive but it does not happen every day, as far as i know, so I wasnt sure if it qualified as abuse? (as I said, I am a bit naive about relationships tbh) He does not usually stop her seeing her friends etc, just if he has fallen out with them? So maybe would qualify as coercive control, maybe not?

Greensleeves Tue 06-Feb-18 23:57:10

Most domestic abuse doesn't happen every day. It's one of the things that makes it so hard for women and children to leave abusive men - the "good times". But he is controlling, unpredictable, cruel - and he won't change. The sooner she leaves, the better.

Birdsgottafly Tue 06-Feb-18 23:57:18

You both need to read about "cycles of abuse", that is what he is doing. He is nice enough for her not to leave.

He is emotionally abusing his DDs and it will stay with them for life.

As said marriage counselling is not appropriate because of the abuse.

The children probably seem normal, because they are in public and know that he will reign it in. Behind closed doors it will be a different matter.

TitaniasCloset Tue 06-Feb-18 23:57:37

Those children are going to grow up nervous wrecks from having to walk on eggshells all the time.

GlitterGlassEye Tue 06-Feb-18 23:58:13

He only has to be abusive once to be a disgusting human being. That’s when a lot of partners say goodbye but unfortunately for some (of us) that’s not the case and apologies are accepted on the basis that the behaviour never happens again. It always does though and it escalates.

Birdsgottafly Tue 06-Feb-18 23:58:40

"He does not usually stop her seeing her friends etc, just if he has fallen out with them? So maybe would qualify as coercive control, maybe not?"

Yes it would and everything that is happening in that house is now illegal.

Weezol Tue 06-Feb-18 23:59:05

It is abuse. Even if it happens twice a year not twice a day. He is abusing his wife and kids emotionally, financially and his wife sexually. Nagging/sulking/coercing to get sex is rape. I know because it happened to me.

Greensleeves Tue 06-Feb-18 23:59:47

And why would he "fall out with" her friends? There's no need for him to have enough to do with her friends to fall out with them, if he's not friends with them himself. This is a classic method of gradual isolation; he will "fall out with" more and more of her friends and family, and she will become less and less connected to them. Abusive men don't just say one day "I'm cutting you off from all your support networks, ok?". They use strategies. Like "falling out" with your friends.

JamButtyLand Wed 07-Feb-18 00:00:24

It is most definitely abuse, she needs to get her and the kids the hell away from him, soon. Very soon

dancingwithroses Wed 07-Feb-18 00:01:22

He does have a funny idea about things- oldest DD fell ill with a kind of teenage depression thing and hsi response was to tell her to not seek outside help because people would think badly of the family. He nags at the youngest about her weight- she is a bit tubby and likes her food but I have seen her in tears when he teases her in front of her friends. He also accuses her often of lying about things eg she said she did not want to go out for a walk with them because she had a cold and he was like "stop playing games- you are not really that sick- it will get your weight down." This girl struggles with certain school subjects and my friend tells me she suspects the child may have undiagnosed SEN but her DP is not happy with this- says the child is lazy and wanting sympathy and attention by pretending to be stupid. Both these parents are avid churchgoers and often have expressed an opinion that SEN is caused by demon posession or lack of discipline. I am a Christian myself but have not heard this weird stuff preached from the pulpit and we go to the same church, so I think they must have fallen in with a weird sect or been reading some odd books or something?

DramaAlpaca Wed 07-Feb-18 00:02:29

You are not being judgy.

The man you've described is a controlling, abusive bully and that is not a normal, healthy relationship.

dancingwithroses Wed 07-Feb-18 00:02:44

Weezol I am so sorry you went through that. I hope you were able to move out and start to heal? flowers

TitaniasCloset Wed 07-Feb-18 00:03:02

He is an abuser. She needs to get rid. Those poor children.

Greensleeves Wed 07-Feb-18 00:03:31

Somebody needs to get those girls the hell ot of that house. He is destroying them. And the mother needs to make up her mind - fast - which is more important: her children's safety and wellbeing, or this inadequate fuck and whatever nonsense cult he's involved in.

dancingwithroses Wed 07-Feb-18 00:05:55

BirdsgottaFly Yeah, I do worry sometimes about what must happen behind closed doors. I do know the youngest DD self harms. I have seen cuts on her arms. She does not seem to try and hide it, though, which makes me think she perhaps is wanting attention in some way? I would have thought an abused kid would try not to draw attention to themselves and be very shy, but I could well be wrong. I hope I'm not wrong though, Those poor DDs and their poor mum sad

Greensleeves Wed 07-Feb-18 00:08:46

No, abused kids don't always act out. Lacking self-confidence, eating problems and self-harm are all red flags that something is very, very wrong. Some children in abusive environments exhibit "frozen child" behaviour where they will try to shrink and disappear to avoid attracting attention, and these children often suffer terrible social anxiety.

There's so much damage being done here, it's heartbreaking.

Weezol Wed 07-Feb-18 00:13:32

Dancing Thank you. It was a long time ago 20 years or more, long before coercive control was recognised. It's only recently been written into Law. We didn't have any children thankfully. He was very similar in his behaviour to your friends husband.

I dated other men and eventually married, and none of them treated me like he did, ever.

I sought counselling about three years ago, which was hard but ultimately brilliant and improved all areas of my life.

Your friend could start by contacting Women's Aid for some advice. It's free and they are very supportive.

Jamiefraserskilt Wed 07-Feb-18 00:14:00

There was a storyline similar to this on the Archers.
Jekyll and Hyde husband who systematically fell out with her support network and made it hard for her to talk to anyone.
Treated her well in public
Nice house, holidays, pressies, etc.
He made her out to be mentally unstable
Was an abusive, violent manipulator who left her on edge 24/7. he broke her into a gibbering wreck.
Everything was her fault from him being angry, disappointed, questioning why he married such a stupid, ugly, useless cow......You get the picture When he started on the kid, that was it.
It didn't end well.
You could hear the cheer of middle aged listeners echoing for miles.
This is exactly the scenario you describe above.
Abusers are good at feeding bike shit then flipping it to smiles and loveliness. It makes them feel powerful but they are sick.
She needs help. Now.

Lanaorana2 Wed 07-Feb-18 00:15:41

Ugh. Um, OP why do you think people slice their own arms up just because they 'want attention'? Perhaps that might be a little mistaken?

littletinyme1 Wed 07-Feb-18 00:21:51

This is SHOCKING abuse.
He sounds terrible.
For sure, the dEVIL is not in the child with SEN but in the father!

dancingwithroses Wed 07-Feb-18 00:22:46

Lanaorana2 I used to self harm but hid it. That is why I was wondering? I was terrified if someone found out they would make me stop and I needed to do it to feel in control. I was very emotional and it was a way of dealing with extreme anger and punishing myself

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