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what if its me unwittingly being a bastard?

(16 Posts)
joblot Sun 12-Jun-11 22:23:17

I've posted before, anxious about my relationship being verbally abusive. We've been to relate, it wasn't too useful. We argue badly a few times a week. Today, yet another horrendous row. I feel awful, so does she. But I stay for a number of reasons, children, lifestyle, and perhaps a big one being the feeling I am a controlling person without seeing it. I mean, would anyone recognize this in themself? I am 15 years older than dp, I wonder if unwittingly I am very set in my ways and she interprets this as controlling.

I've been to doc for counselling but there's a 15 month waiting list. I haven't found a local counsellor I can trust.

Back to being a bastard, any thoughts?

Eurostar Sun 12-Jun-11 22:31:52

The worry here is, that in the list of why you stay, you haven't mentioned DP. Don't know if that's because you think that's a given or if she is actually low down on the list. Either way, it's not good is it?

If you can afford it, why not look harder for a local therapist, one who lists anger management as an area they work with too. So long as the therapist is registered with one of the main bodies, BACP, BABCP, UKCP, you should be able to trust them. Why do you presume that you can trust an NHS counsellor more than an accredited private one?

Meanwhile, why not also get yourself a self-help CBT based book on anger management and see if you recognise yourself in the descriptions of the way people express anger?

As for, am I set in my ways or am I controlling? You could list a few situations where you won't change your ways and ask people how they would interpret it. Are you trying to get her to change her behaviour?

buzzsore Sun 12-Jun-11 22:38:28

Well, are you very set in your ways? Is your way always the best way? Do you ever give ground or is it always her?

Why would she 'interpret' your behaviour as controlling if it isn't? I mean, does she say you are controlling? If she does say that, do you doubt her & why? Is she someone who lies or doesn't know her own mind?

joblot Sun 12-Jun-11 22:51:18

She knows her own mind as much as anyone. Problem is I feel attacked and got at. But I am pretty stuck in some ways. I have tried to change but some new tricks are not easily learned. God I feel old. I just feel so low. I've messed up and I can't change my ways to make it ok. I wish I could.
Yes I am trying to change her. I want her to be more efficient, take more responsibility for parenting etc. I think we want each otherr to change. Our arguments are grim- accusation followed by yes but you... So tedious

Eurostar Sun 12-Jun-11 23:05:56

Two people trying to change each other. Sounds a nightmare. What would happen if neither of you changed and you accepted each other and decided you'd put together each's strengths and weaknesses to play on the same team?

garlicbutter Sun 12-Jun-11 23:41:41

Would it be possible to give some examples of what kicks it all off? You might be too set in your ways and/or too bossy - wanting your partner to "be" something she is not doesn't bode too well - but it's also possible she's been picking at you and you've reacted by digging your heels in.

One thing that might need saying is: it's never a good idea to change the person you're with. You should have waited for the person who's already what you want.

Might be best to call a gracious end to things, but please do keep posting if it will help you get your head straight.

joblot Mon 13-Jun-11 12:09:58

Thank you for being kind. I'm very organised, shes not, we live in my house so I do things a certain way because I've been there 20 years. We are very different. I think ive been rather anal since she moved in. I think I live very well on my own but not with others. Trouble is I want to be part of a family yet don't seem able to achieve it.
I will ask round friends again for a decent therapist.
I've been so low for so long, its difficult to get perspective. Thats why posting here helps

buzzsore Mon 13-Jun-11 12:40:54

If you think you might be depressed, go and see the GP. You won't necessarily need anti-depressants, but it's worth checking into whether you need a bit of help, either with counselling, medication or exercise etc.

I think it's a bit worrying that you see the house as yours - I know it is - but when you share it with a partner it should become "ours". Have you considered moving somewhere else that you're not so set in and that she can have input into? Or can you resist the impulse to ask her to do thigs your way but let her do it her way?

How long have you been together? (Haven't seen your other thread(s)).

joblot Mon 13-Jun-11 15:27:37

We've been together 3 years. This is very much my house. Perhaps I'm not committed enough. We talked about buying together but it would be crazy to do it whilst things are so rocky. I'm scared I cant make that leap.
I'm already on anti depressants, just doubled the dose. I'm not in a very.good way psychologically or emotionally. God what a fuck up

joblot Mon 13-Jun-11 16:11:34

We've been together 3 years. This is very much my house. Perhaps I'm not committed enough. We talked about buying together but it would be crazy to do it whilst things are so rocky. I'm scared I cant make that leap.
I'm already on anti depressants, just doubled the dose. I'm not in a very.good way psychologically or emotionally. God what a fuck up

joblot Mon 13-Jun-11 16:13:24

Oops sorry for double post

garlicbutter Mon 13-Jun-11 16:53:15

Hmm, don't swear at yourself! Depression feeds on that.

Does DP feel you ought to split?

Eurostar Mon 13-Jun-11 21:46:43

It doesn't sound easy to live with you if you are set in your ways in "your" house. How is she going to feel comfortable if it is not "our" house? Maybe you are right that she is being inefficient sometimes, after all, you say you are older and sometimes we learn as we get older that, boring as it might seem for instance to plan our lives with a diary, it's kind of necessary sometimes too. Or that, once a few massive electric bills have come in, we will use the washing machine more efficiently and turn things off. However, is it really so vital that she changes? Is she a danger to the DC? Does she forget to feed/wash/clothe them warmly when she is in charge? Or is it something smaller that really won't matter 6 months from now?

As long as you tell yourself you can't do this or you are a loner, you won't be able to do it. You don't need to ask friends for a therapist. Go on to the BACP website and search for a therapist in your area and ring a few until you find one that you "click" with and who likes to work with relationship problems.

joblot Wed 15-Jun-11 16:50:58

I think i have been controlling. When people have reflected back what I've said it has made me think. I've been thinking about role models from childhood too.
But in the now i have become hung up with what she and stepchild do wrong- in my critical eyes. Crap for all of us, tho there's lots I just internalise, I'm not completely awful.
ive acknowledged to her that I can see how my behavioyr has upset her. So we've started talking at least

garlicbutter Wed 15-Jun-11 21:04:01

That's amazing smile It takes a bit of that old-fashioned word, humility, to recognise these things about ourselves.

I do hope you find a decent therapist (pick one you like, it's essential). From the little you've written here I think CBT will help you greatly, as long as you find a sufficiently intelligent practitioner. It teaches you how to alter those critical thought patterns - I'm guessing you're also very self-critical - replacing them with more constructive ones.

lucky24 Wed 15-Jun-11 21:39:58

Your comment "accusation followed by yes but you... So tedious" reminded me of when me and DH saw a councillor she asked one of us to say something that bothered us followed by "this makes me feel x y z" then the other one was to repeat what they had said word for word to show they were listening.

My DH started and i replied "but ...." the councillor rightly interrupted me to say no you need to repeat to show you are listening and take on-board what DH has said. So i did.

If you are at the stage where you both know there are problems and want to make the effprt to sort them out could you try the above technic to try to listen to each others concerns.

On the house frount could you redecorate? chose some new furniture together, to try for you to let go abit in the fact that its your house and to help her and the DCs feel like its their home too?

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