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My DH informs me HE is in an abusive relationship!

(40 Posts)
justwanttobehappy Tue 14-Jun-11 10:02:17

Last night when I got home from work, my DH didn't drop the 'standard' bombshell. He informs me that HE is the one in an abusive relationship and begins to read the evidence LOUDLY, point by point from his Google search that I am abusing him emotionally without giving me a chance to say anything.

After a few years of being so let down (guys won't let you use the 'd' word) and him not being even close to the person he pretended to be when he was interested in me right in the beginning, I get landed with this! He still lives his life like a bachelor, puts himself first, has little regard for me or my DD and doesn't care for us like I would think a DH should. I know he loves me, but he just is so self centred and if he doesn't get what he wants he throws his toys until he gets his way and then I lose out in the end somehow.

I was actually going to post yesterday about what happened over the weekend to get an outsider's point of view to see if me being angry over what he did was irrational, and then I get this news last night after getting home after 11pm from my carer job. Now I really don't know which direction to go, my goodness I never thought I would be accused of being abusive!

PonceyMcPonce Tue 14-Jun-11 10:03:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TechLovingDad Tue 14-Jun-11 10:05:26

Why would you stay together? He clearly has no respect or feelings for you and is finding reasons to distance himself.

blackeyedsusan Tue 14-Jun-11 10:06:47

what evidence did he give?

looking at your post, i am gussing that he said you are being controlling (if you are expecting to take half the load of running a house raising a family)

blackeyedsusan Tue 14-Jun-11 10:07:38

(how dare you expect him to be a grown up) wink

animula Tue 14-Jun-11 10:16:47

Does he love you? Does he want this relationship to work? Do you?

If you both do - really, and personally, I think you should sit down and realy think about your answer to that, rather than telepathically concentrating on what his might be - then one thing that screams out is that neither of you is happy about the way your relationship is functioning, and the roles you perform in that.

Being neutral here ... but he seems to be saying that he feels coerced to perform a certain role that he doesn't like, and that he feels it is you coercing him.

On the other hand, you want him to contribute more labour.

Please excuse my cynicism, but it does sound initially rather like a chap being amazed and angry about how much work there is in a family. But that would be to dismiss the fact that things are clearly going very pear-shaped if he is googling "abuse".

Presumably at some level he feels that? Does he? Is it real for him? Is he just saying that? Does he have a point?

You have two paths here. you can assume he dosen't really mean it, and he is using this as a way of controlling/abusing you - in which case things are really not looking good in your relationship. Abuse/control are no-nos. Couple- Counselling won't work.

Or you can take it seriously, and in that case, it's time to go along for counselling, and to try and work out what you both want from a relationship, what you are both able to compromise on, what you can realistically achieve, and how to get there.

Obviously, I have no idea about how real any of this is. But things do sound quite awry if it's reached this point. Depending on a hole host of other stuff, not necessarily unfixable. But it does depend on all the background.

bejeezus Tue 14-Jun-11 10:17:24

my stbxh says i am the abusive one too; i try to control him by asking him to help with children or housework, [when he has other plans (which is always)]

i posted on here about it - and am from what i read in LB book--seems to be pretty standard behaviour for an abuser. I spent ALOT of time worrying about whether it was true---analysing every thing I did and said---thinking way back to when our relationship started to go tits up.

cestlavielife Tue 14-Jun-11 10:17:39

standard practice.

but accept it - suggest you split (even temporarily) so he can escape from your control.

bejeezus Tue 14-Jun-11 10:19:12

what did happen over the weekend?

Bennifer Tue 14-Jun-11 10:20:19

This is something that I do find interesting. I have no idea whether you're abusive, but so often we read on here from the victim's perspective, and almost by definition, the abuser wouldn't recognise their own behaviour as abusive and controlling. It's just a good reminder to try and be aware of our own behaviour I suppose

animula Tue 14-Jun-11 10:24:05

You know, I really want to emphasise this: if your gut feeling is that he is wrong, and you are not being abusive, the only possible conclusion you can draw is that this is a control tactic. And that does take you into the territory beejeezuz and cestlavie are pointing out.

Really, what do you think? Does he believe it? If he does believe it, has he outlined any strategies for how to remedy the situation? What are those?

The clues will be there.

animula Tue 14-Jun-11 10:43:03

justwanttobehappy - what else did he say after he said that/ along with saying that? How does he want things to change?

Bennifer - I'm thinking about your point. I think any response I might have would be quite long, so I will have to think it through. And perhaps this isn;t the place for such a long response anyway.

And I'll add that I am not a counsellor, and any suggestions/observations I make are only tentative.

fuzzywuzzy Tue 14-Jun-11 10:43:51

I'm rather curious, he accused you of being abusive and read out in detail the google search he did, then what?

Did he offer suggestions to remedy this, what happened after his initial diagnosis of you?

I was in an abusive marriage for years.....never ever had the courage to tell him he was an abusive cunt tho, not then not now altho I did get away from him so I suppose my actions did all the talking. Personally I have no interest in ever telling ex he is/was an abuser. I want to be no where near him.

In light of which I find your H's reaction to your alleged abusive behaviour, rather interesting.

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jun-11 11:21:44

set him free, then

this marriage clearly isn't working, is it ?

jjgirl Tue 14-Jun-11 11:26:35

my DH is like this. he says i am abusive because i dare to do things like ask him for a finacial contribution to household expenses. or pick up wert towels off the floor, take his shoes off when inside. could he empty the dishwasher for me. although he does have plenty of time for himslef and can go out whenever he wants and do what he wants. it does not bother him that i was working three jobs just to get by with a baby. of course it was my fault i nealy had a nervous breakdown trying to manage everything. no sympathy or help on that one.

i would be interested to hear what your DP list of abuse is.

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jun-11 11:29:44

jj, why do you stay with a man like that ?

couldn't you just get rid ? I am sure your life would be easier not harder without another man-child in your life

garlicbutter Tue 14-Jun-11 12:03:29

When my ex did this, I knew nothing about emotional abuse. I accepted what he said about my controlling/harassment, was remorseful and asked what I could do differently. His answers - which were all very accusatory; no sorrow or empathy - were pretty vague and amounted to "Get off my case".

After writing it all down, later, and thinking it through alone, I realised my 'abuse' was nothing more than distress at him acting like a single man. Your H's problem might turn out to be resentment that you don't like being a servant to your 'partner'?

So, although it wasn't a tactic when I did it, I think it makes a useful one. Say you see his point, what can you do differently, etc ... and look at his answers objectively.

The realisation part is really hard, isn't it? Good luck.

cestlavielife Tue 14-Jun-11 12:19:46

i have never said to my exP during or after "you are/were abusive" though i did try to say specific behaviours were unacceptable - eg "you cannot come in my house as you smashed it up" - he always had a reason for doing them eg "you made me" "it is your fault" "you provoked me" "i am stressed"
however, he has routinely told me eg by text or email "you are abusive" so many times since we split in 2008.

go figure.

cestlavielife Tue 14-Jun-11 12:23:05

eg - a previous conversation - (dont have contact now except via third party, mostly) you are abusive to me making me stand on doorstep when i pick dc up "
"you have to wait outside becuase you smashed up my house the last time you came in"
"that was your fault you provoked me you are being abusive to me "

expatinscotland Tue 14-Jun-11 12:26:30

Get rid! If you wanted another child in your life you'd have one.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 14-Jun-11 12:27:43

My stbxh also complained about my controlling ways. Like garlicbutter, I was genuinely remorseful and offered to change, to do whatever it would take to improve the relationship, to improve his treatment of me. He couldn't make any specific requests either. The only specifics he came up with, I promptly changed. The abuse he dished out only got worse, though, until the day I was finally ready to call his actions that, and left.

Seems pretty twisted for your H to call you abusive and stay. Sounds rather like a manipulation tactic to put you back where he wants you. And that's control.

cestlavielife Tue 14-Jun-11 14:04:31

there is a book called i hate you dont leave me - book itself isnt briliant but the title says it all...

justwanttobehappy Tue 14-Jun-11 18:29:24

I am completely overwhelmed by all the responses, and the terrible guilt of 'causing abuse' in my relationship is starting to subside as I realise that I am not totally to blame. I also feel incredible relief that I am not the only person to have gone through something like this and I am so happy I posted this today! I am thankful for and appreciate each of your replies, even the objective ones which help me to assess what I could do to improve things around here.

Let me explain further as I owe it to all of you for being so kind in helping me understand my situation.

Just after 5pm when I phoned my husband to see how his day was and to find out where he was on his journey back from Bristol (we live in Surrey) to make sure he'd be home in time for me to leave for work by 7.30pm, he casually tells me he's just gone through BATH! Over an hour into London, a tube journey and an hour train trip home, I realise he isn't going to make it. He did try to help and he phoned his sister and her husband but they had dinner plans, and he texted me to say they can't help look after our DD, but he would ‘try his best to be home in time’... As a carer, I can't be late or miss appointments, these people depend on me for their well being, and this is the second time I would have to phone work to say I can't make it because my DH does not think about anything but himself, he doesn't communicate with me, and doesn’t include me in on any plans so I can try to help (or advise my work with more notice) that I am unable to work that night. I’d far rather let them know I can’t work days before than phone them and let them down at the last minute, it’s not right and not fair. He eventually arrived home 45 minutes late, and I had to ask my cousin who is living with us for a short while if she minded cancelling her plans to look after my DD until my DH got home. Thankfully she was able to assist, but what is going to happen when none of them can help? Will I have to look like the unreliable, irresponsible person because I have to phone in to work to say I won’t make it.

He has since told me that ‘I was working’ and ‘this is a million pound business relationship’ in other words, my job(s) (I have two jobs, one in the evenings and one on the weekends to make sure he is home to look after our DD because we can’t afford full-time nursery costs) aren’t as important as his and I have to just accept the fact that he needs to go to these appointments. If he had arranged for the previous day, which I would have suggested had he chatted to me about his plan and what arrangement we could come to, he would not have had a deadline because I wasn’t working that night, OR if he told me he’d be home late on the Friday, as soon as I knew I would have swapped nights with work which wouldn’t have been a problem at all. I hope this explanation makes sense!

Then on Saturday he took her to watch the cricket with him, not telling me where they were or what they were doing and she arrived home totally inappropriately dressed with sandals and shorts on well after 8pm, and Sunday when I got home from work she had this massive top lip which I noticed immediately when she came to me to say hello, which he had not noticed at all. I think she has an abscess, off to the dentist in the morning. She was also saying ‘stop it’ which she doesn’t learn from CBeebies or from me... This makes me wonder the level of care she gets and maybe she is better off with a childminder whose sole responsibility it is to make sure she’s looked after, and not a parent who lets her run amok without really playing an active part in her life and making the most of time spent with her and giving her the attention she needs.

To those of you who mentioned it happens to you when you ask for a little help around the house – you hit the nail on the head. I look after a 2 year old, do all the housework, meals, make and attend appointments, washing etc and have two jobs so it would really help me to have a little bit of ‘downtime’ if he willingly helped without having to be asked sometimes. Most of the time he eats the dinner I cook before I go to work and once DD is in bed, he falls asleep on the sofa so he’s sparko when I arrive home after my carer job. He is putting in such long hours and I can imagine how tired he must be, but it would help so much if he could wash the remaining dishes and wipe the kitchen counters before he lies down and falls asleep. So yes, I resent being a ‘servant’ as well as working two jobs at odd hours to help to contribute to this relationship and he thinking that because he has the bigger responsibilities in terms of what he has to pay for, that he deserves to do what he likes which is 95% of the case!
The reason I am abusive to him, is because when he Googled ‘Relationship Abuse’ some of the points mentioned referred back to me telling him sometimes that he’s lazy, no good – self esteem issues etc and a few others which I cannot remember because I was in such a state when he accused me, so he put two and two together and came up with that he’s being abused. Never mind that perhaps some of the other points refer to him!!

Second lastly, YES! HE IS A CHILD and I wonder if he’ll ever grow up and face his responsibilities as a husband and a father.

Finally, and maybe this answers it for all of us and hopefully cannot be construed as a reason why I have to accept this all. He has/had ADD and some say this may be the reason why he does not plan/communicate in advance, but does this give him an excuse to get away with being irresponsible time and time again, or do I just have to be more understanding and accommodating because of it??

AnyFucker Tue 14-Jun-11 18:45:54

in answer to your last question... no

justwanttobehappy Tue 14-Jun-11 20:00:25

I forgot to answer a few things - when I tried to explain some of the points he was reading off of Google, he didn't give me a chance and just read louder and LOUDER. So I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth because I wasn't getting anywhere and then he switched off the lounge lights and lay on the sofa for the night and hasn't spoken to me since. At least I got the bed to myself and my little DD when she woke up in pain. Late the previous night I took her to him crying because I had work the next day at 7am and it was weekend for him, and without checking to see if she was okay first, he fell asleep on her too! I took her back, gave her meds and had her with me for the night which was exhausting but made me happy that at least I knew she was properly cared for - by me.

Tonight he got in, grabbed his cricket stuff and went off to practise in the nets again without saying a word!

Garlicbutter and ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow, on countless occasions I have asked him what I am doing or NOT doing to warrant this behaviour or prevent him from being the person I fell in love with, and what can I change to make things better for us. To date, I have never received a proper answer. I KNOW I am guilty of not showing him the demonstrative love a partner deserves in a relationship, but I can't find it in me to throw my arms around him, tell him I love him and how terrific he is, when that's the last thing I feel because I am so disappointed. I know it is wrong and I should show him more love, but I find it so hard, unnatural and it would be a farce so I'd rather not do it!

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