Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
i always seem to be the one that needs 'fixing'.(28 Posts)
i live with my partner and we are expecting our first child in november. we are very different people and in the past always managed to work through it (usually me having to change). i am an introverted,creative,sensitive and intuitive person and he is a sociable, control freaky, micro-manage every detail person. Our differences seemed for a while to compliment one another, but now that i'm pregnant it all has got serious. I know i'm crap at making decisions, even sometimes having any kind of ideas when put on the spot. i tend to go with the flow, or when pressured zone out. he needs everything to be timetabled and known. he thinks i should go to see a counsellor to fix my 'problems'. This was from an incident yesterday when he asked what i would like to do for the day together. the more he stressed me out with the importance of this decision, the less i could think straight and he eventually blew up and said i had to get this fixed as he had done all he could with me.
before we met i had made my peace with myself and accepted myself, i knew i would never be the one dancing on the tables but i have other qualities that make me unique. now i just seem to have so many things 'wrong' with me. his expectations are so high and i'm so angry it's always me that has to try to change. he is self employed and i have to remind him he's not my boss.
sorry it's so long. i am once again being pro active and enrolling on an nlp course and booking a counsellor to help with my confidence. but i am so sad at the moment.
oh dear - he is going to get a shock when the baby comes....can't control or micro-manage a baby....
I can imagine your frustration - is there anyway he would go with you to counselling?
It would be great if you could go to marriage guidance.
I don't think the problem is you. I'd hate to feel pressured by someone like that all the time. Utmost make you feel that you're it good enough or that there's something wrong with you. That's abusive in my humble opinion.
I'd be feet tempted to tell him to get off my case and find someone else to bully actually. He sounds like a real bully.
thanks for the replies. i have asked if he'd come to relate with me, but he said we have the resources to sort it ourselves. i know he thinks he's helping me, trying to help me grow, but he does it all the wrong way by criticising. he wants to empower me but he just squishes me instead with his big clumsy hobnail boots. we'd known each other for a long time before we got together, and both knew we would eventually be each others 'the one'. but i feel i have vastly disappointed him, i haven't lived up to the image of me he had in his head. i can't be someone i'm not. but i do want to honour myself and show him my most shiny and fabulous self. feeling like a turd doesn't enable that to happen and i want to find a way to show him how bloody great i am, if he'd just stop and take a breath. he never smells the roses, whereas i am drunk on perfume and need to get my head out of the flowerbed. i am a dreamer and he cant stand 'wasting time' and cant sit still. sigh. i hope we arn't so incompatible it's hopeless. we planned and wanted this baby. i am so scared of the future, i just wanted to enjoy this magical time of my life but i spend it crying and feeling hopeless.
From what you say it sounds like he is the one with the problem. why does he have to feel so insecure that everything has to be micromanaged.
Why do you have to be fixed? Where is his compromise? You make it sound as though you are his project.
I'd think very carefully about continuing this relationship. What are you getting out of it? What happens when the baby arrives is he going to criticise and undermine you then?
The current situation sounds like a fast track route to post natal depression, you already sound depressed.
How is he going to be as a father? Approachable or with impossible standards and always undermining his dc for not being good enough. There are a few kids around with those fathers - they are the quiet worried looking ones in the corner.
You need to go to relate either with him or separately, he does not sound as though he has the resources or personal insight to deal with the issues on his own.
thanks for the reply. i have told him i wouldn't tolerate him being so critical when the baby arrives- i think he'll realise he'll have to chill and it will be messy and there'll be nothing he can do about it. he's worked so hard for his business and that bleeds into our relationship sometimes. i am fed up of him going on about my 'low self esteem'. as a child he had it, and was quiet and introverted due to a strict upbringing, and he is proud that he taught himself to be outgoing and successful. but he sees it as weakness now that must be fixed in others. i do not deny i need to work on myself, but i want to do it in my own, natural way, everyone is a work in progress and i want to enjoy all the positive things in my life not constantly reminded of my weak bits. he can't sit still long enough to 'hear' the things i am saying here. i must say though it is helping me straighten out the issues in my head. i refuse to be a problem child!
You sound lovely and he sounds horrible. He's the one who needs fixing. Buy him a book on being an expectant dad. He should be helping you enjoy your pregnancy, not make you feel inadequate.
As boysrock said, you sound like some sort of a creepy project to him. I've a feeling the baby will be an 'experiment' too. I'm very concerned about you. Please talk to your midwife. Do you have family and friends nearby?
I want to come round and kick him up the backside
btw, don't the roses smell lovely at this time of year
yes i have my parents and sister nearby and we're very close, another thing he doesnt understand as he isnt close to his family. but is this just all a case of men=mars women=venus? i want to see a counsellor/life coach now but for myself, not to mold myself into how i should be. i agree he needs to look at himself too, bustling about being the sorter-outer like he's the best. And he does think he's the best. i joke about it sometimes and he laughs, but agrees. he wouldn't have been so successful had he not had a superiority complex! yes, he needs his arse kicking.
mmm, the roses are lush
Everybody's being very nice to you but I think he sounds like a twat. I can't see why you feel you need to "work on yourself". You were fine with being yourself before he got his claws into you. Either he doesn't want a partner with your personality, in which case he should find another instead of changing you, or he's doing it for the fun of breaking you. I know which I'm guessing.
He won't be able to micro-manage a baby, he'll hate not being the centre of attention, and having a needy child will make it easy for him to drive wedges between you and your family.
If nothing else, I urge you to discuss everything, openly, with your own friends and family.
oh dear, your DH sounds just like mine and I'm afraid you really really need to sort things out before the baby arrives. I don't even see myself as a particularly sensitive person but I have struggled so so much with the fact that every argument ends with me just giving up trying to put my point of view across and meekly agreeing that I should be trying harder (normally in tears) to be a better person.
My DS is a year old now and sometimes things are ok but my pregnancy and the first six months were terrible. I do wonder if I had mild PND as I felt absolutely despairing so many times, utterly worthless. You can put your foot down about him accepting that the baby won't be perfect/controllable but I found it was more about me (yet again) not matching up to his expectations. Having a baby is hard enough as it is. You do NOT want to be made to feel that you are failing in any way. I was lucky that I already had a child from a previous relationship so knew that I could be a good mum, otherwise I am sure I would have crumbled. Please make sure you have a really good support network around you to give you positive encouragement, help and love.
My DH doesn't realise the effect he has on me. It's not malicious, he just genuinely doesn't understand why I get things so 'wrong'. One day I will find the strength to tackle the problem properly, but it would have been much easier if I'd done it already. You should definitely get some counselling, but not because you have a problem, but to help you deal with his.
If you can also get him to talk to you properly, so much the better, but I think it could take some time and the most important thing right now is that you are in the right place to ENJOY your pregnancy and ENJOY having your beautiful baby when it arrives.
I feel for you so much. I am almost constantly sad these days and wonder how we can ever get back to being content with each other.
Sounds really hard. Would definitely recommend that you talk to someone in RL - friends, family, a counsellor - about this relationship.
IMO thinking that he is better than you and that you need fixing is unacceptable and suggests that the problem is him, not you.
As sairie says, after the baby arrives your DP may well start to criticise your parenting, e.g. if the baby cries, doesn't sleep, is clingy. The post-natal period can be really challenging and hard on self-esteem, even without PND, and an unsupportive partner like this won't help.
I think you need to sit him down and tell him that unless he can treat you with respect he can fuck off and this is how much maintenance he will be paying you. You are not his pet or his servant. I think this is a man who has trouble seeing women as human beings, he considers anyone who hasn't got a penis inherently inferior to anyone who has. THe thing is, bullying, selfish, sexist men like this get worse during pregnancy and much worse when the baby arrives. You'll have been submitting without really noticing up until now - or at least generally thinking that you shouldn't sweat the small stuff - but when there is a baby and you naturally prioritise the baby over the man, the man will start acting up and doing everything he can to make sure that you consider and prioritize his whims.
You feel unconfident... so he shouts at you and wrecks your confidence.
oh sairie thankyou for your response and i'm so sorry you are in the situation you are in. I hope you can resolve it somehow.
i have told him i need to nip this in the bud but like your oh he doesn't realise his effect, he can't understand why i'm so not with the (his) programme. he says i'm too sensitive and i should give as good as i get. non of it is malicious, he is constantly on the go, improving, moving forward, and expects the same of me.
he judges everything by his standards and level of success (he started from nothing) and he wants the same for me. unfortunately i don't have that set of values. it is definitely worth putting the work in as we love each other and when we finally do find a meeting point things become easy and clear. it's just fighting through the jungle to that clear spot is exhausting.
thanks all for your replies. xxx
He does realise. That's why he does it. So does Sairie's H. They are both controlling.
OP, look at this and see if any of it is familiar.
Please don't rely on him being more chilled when the baby is here.
He is a bully and it will get worse.
My guess is he still has self esteem problems and thinks that if he can destroy yours, it will somehow boost his own
Actually what exactly is 'wrong' with you? Well you just need to get his list out, he thinks he knows best. No one is perfect, we all have our good and bad points, but to suggest that you somehow do not live up to his standards is unacceptable. Why is it deemed necessary for you to do the NLP, what is that meant to fix? IMHO you'd be better off getting some independent support to find your own feet.
He knew you before you got together, he chose to have a child with you. Yet somehow you're not quite making the grade? tbh he sounds totally anal, afraid his own shadow my catch him. What is all that activity enabling him to run away from?
Agree he is controlling, and once the baby is born this may get worse as it will put extra pressure on both of you and the last thing you will need is to feel you don't measure up as a mother and for your DC not to measure up all his/her life.
My alarm bells are ringing here. He's being controlling and critical, is undermining your self esteem and things have escalated during pregnancy. Sounds like the beginning of domestic abuse to me.
My ex was like this. That's why he's my ex.
I second the suggestion that you go and get some counselling on your own. I think you will find it very helpful.
That part should be easy, pod. He reckons you need lots of training & improving, right? Okay, then. I recommend you book yourself on an assertiveness course, find a counsellor to help you with your 'issues' - one you like, feel you can trust and who seems assertive (hint: a feminist-informed woman could be helpful) and try a 'self-realisation' course. For the latter, I suggest the Freedom Programme which is free.
Both of you might be very surprised by the new, improved you.
You have got some really good advice here, and it is good to act on warning signs but remember that none of us know your DH, so what might look like early signs of abuse in isolation may not be as bad.
Now I really sound like I'm making excuses for your DH (and what he's doing definitely isn't right) but is there any pattern to when he blows up or turns your differences into an issue? My DH doesn't deal with certain situations nearly as well as he thinks and pregnancy/childbirth/early babyhood were really stressful for him and I see now that he was trying to get some control over the situation. Not that DH has ever acknowledged this as being the case but it does help me deal with it i.e. I know it's not 'personal' iyswim? He doesn't actually think that I'm bad at what I'm doing, just overreacts to the differences in our approaches. It helps me stay stronger when I'm doubting myself to remember this.
I know you have already tried to talk to your DH about how he makes you feel. If your situation is as similar to mine as it sounds, he probably talks you round in circles until you are just too confused and exhausted to argue any more? Could you try writing him a letter?
Do try to focus on some of the good points about your DH too though, in particular that he isn't hurting you deliberately. It will help you (if you) want to repair this situation and, although it's not fair, it sounds like it will need to be you being the strong and patient one while you work through this. Just don't take all the 'blame' - he needs to respect you and your approach as equally valid. Stay strong x
thanks for all your advice lovelies. i have booked some counselling sessions for myself and also had my first driving lesson today (i'm 38 and never felt responsible enough before) . i know i have to just get on with it and show him my way is,as you say sairie is just as valid. i feel this is instinctively the right way, to show him rather than try to tell him, as he's not very good at listening beyond his inner voice preparing for his next point. i just have to be the happy, confident independent woman i would be if he hadn't interfered and he'll have to deal with it.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.