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Anyone else had a partner with sports addictions

(30 Posts)
Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 20:09:32

After my previous thread I've been giving so much thought to where and what went wrong with my marriage. I do this to help me understand where I went wrong too. I am a strong believer in accepting responsibility for what our lives have in them. I can't put all the blame on him.

So to that end I want to ask a question of some of you. I have always thought my OH very rigid in his behaviour. It is very difficult to alter plans in fact I would say impossible. He had a drink issue a few years ago in as much that once he started he couldn't stop and would just keep going until either no one would serve him he would fall over, or on more than one occasion was arrested. This stopped pretty abruptly several years ago. He would occasionally go a bit over the top if he went out but that hasn't occurred for at least 7 years I think. This binge drinking did at one time result in a stay in a local psychiatric ward. He claimed his drink was spiked, his nurse claimed it was alcohol induced paranoia. This happened twice six months apart and he kept it a secret from me the first time but I found out about it just as it was happening the second time. Nothing like it has happened since as far as I am aware but I have wondered if he has got close and realised and backed off the booze for fear it was happening again and not let on. There have been occasions when I found his behaviour a bit odd and irrational if I am brutally honest but put it down to anger and frustration at not getting his own way or being stressed.

But I keep wondering what it was that made me feel so angry so much of the time. I am coming to the realisation that he just has an addictive personality that causes some pretty bizarre behaviour and selfishness.

I would like to explain how I come to this opinion and ask what others think of it.

Football: He has followed the same team that his father followed and probably his grandfather before that. His mood is affected by how the team has done each Saturday. He gets pretty euphoric if they win, and is unbearably snappy and critical of us all if they lose. I have noticed a strange smile on his face for hours afterwards if they beat any particular rival teams. He tries to avoid being on holiday once the season has started in August. He cannot go a Saturday without either listening to the match on the radio or watching it on a live stream on the computer, once the computer stream went down and was shouting at the internet provider threatening to sue. If we go to a wedding or something like that he will sneak out to the car to listen on the radio. If we are in the car going somewhere we are not allowed to speak and he gets quite uptight if he misses a moment of the commentary. My 13 year old daughter said that she had to stop him listening whilst driving her to a party once. He was proposing to listen on the connection on his Iphone through earphones whilst he was driving because it wasn't on the radio that afternoon. He organises visiting his elderly mother around the match weekends so he can go. That is not that often around 4 times a year normally. He spends hours and hours on a forum about his team discussing all aspects of the team and how it is run etc etc. This activity usually results in missing or forgetting to do things he was doing. i.e burnt dinners or boiled dry kettles, small kitchen fires etc etc. He has, on occasions, taken time off work to go to a match when I have thought him to be at work. He has not always admitted to this afterwards, actually he has never admitted it, I just found out a few times. He thought I should just laugh about it and indulge him his little whim.

Golf: He has been a member of a golf club at all times throughout a married life. Even in times when we are pretty hard up. When I was expecting our first child he joined a club in secret and denied it when I found out. After our daughter was born he continued in this vein and throughout our marriage. He often takes time off work to play unknown to me, I have just found out a few times. When I let him know I know I he becomes very agitated and hostile. He spends thousands of £s on new equipment every each year. He spends every spare minute swinging a club in the garden either recording his swing to show a coach at the club on the computer. Practising his swing in front of the patio doors watching his reflection trying to perfect it. He practices putting in the house usually along the hall carpet. He has damaged light fittings and put holes in the ceiling practicing his swing in the house. He polishes his golf clubs every time he plays using household cleaners, dusters my nail brush. He refuses to do this in the utility room but in the bathroom. He uses towels from the airing cupboard to dry them off. He usually keeps his golf clubs in the house, quite often in the bedroom inside the wardrobe - refusing to put them in the garage where I think they belong. He has lessons a couple of times a week. He plays a couple of time a week. He goes out to get a pint of milk and ends up hitting a bucket of balls at the local driving range. He takes his golf clubs wherever he goes - they reside in the boot of his car all the time . They are permanently at his side in his car or in his bedroom. He keeps many sets of clubs not just one. He spends and hours trawling the net looking at new golf equipment and discussing golf equipment on the forums with other golfers. If he is injured he still carries on playing making his injuries worse. Two years ago he developed a lump on his shoulder due to carrying his bag around so much. He ignored and it turned nasty nearly costing him is arm and some of his shoulder muscle. When majors are on he will watch them throughout even staying up until the early hours if they are in the US meaning he gets a couple of hours before getting up for work. He will become pretty distressed if the internet connection goes down whilst he is watching. He will watch the matches on the net even when we are entertaining - usually by sitting there with the laptop computer on his lap. Once when I said that I couldn't take the morning off work to enable him to play a golf match and not look after our daughter he put his fist through a wall. We are on holiday at the moment without him. He is playing golf every day according to my daughter. When we left to come on holiday he was walking around with his head bent sideways because he had hurt his neck. He has no clothes apart from clothes for golfing clothes. I tell a lie he recently purchased a blazer for the golf club formal get togethers. A few years ago he couldn't even afford to buy a car for work as he was paying off his golf club membership so cycled to work 30 miles a day because I refused to let him have my car. He also books a golfing holiday with other golfing friends every year without fail whether he can afford it or not. Over the last three years his mother has given him large sums of money to enable some of this spending to take place. He keeps this money a secret from us.

So that takes up the year basically. But dear reader, you may be surprised to learn that he also manages to fit in road bike collecting. He has no less than three complete bikes and a couple of frames and bits to make a further two. Again he spends many hours on the internet discussing, looking for and reading about these bikes. These are in the main vintage circa 1970 specialist road bikes of Italian origin. They are in the garage (they were in the bedroom until I threw a hissy fit earlier this year) and they are valued circa £10,000 collectively. However, we cannot afford any house maintenance such as guttering leaking, facia falling off, fencing rotting, etc etc because basically we are skint. Apparently this state of affairs is my fault because I wanted to move house when our daughter was no longer able to sit up in her bed. Her bed had been built on a platform over the stairs in our tiny two up two down Victorian cottage purchases when we were a two income, childless couple.

When we first got together I tried, as so many of us do, to take in interest in his hobbies as I considered them to be part of him. However, I soon realised that these hobbies are all consuming and that there actually was no room for anything else. He shows absolutely no interest in anything me and my daughter do. She used to swim for a club but didn't want to continue. She complained that every time she looked up from her swimming training or competition swimming dad was looking at something on his Iphone. She lost interest and finally refused to go. Such a waste as she had so much talent. I tried to tell him that she needs to feel we are interested in what she does not just what we want her to do. He says that kids expect too much attention these days!

So tell me am I a demanding control freak as he is saying I am or am I well rid? What is the consensus of opinion, obsessive nutter, addict, or just a bloke?

IvyAndGold Mon 25-Jul-11 20:17:56

Christ confused and his redeeming features are...?

IvyAndGold Mon 25-Jul-11 20:18:57

P.S. you are not a control freak. He sounds very selfish and seriously needs to wake up and sort his priorities.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 20:28:56

Apparently I should be glad he doesn't drink, go off with other women, goes to work and earns a wage, doesn't hit me and lets me do what I want with no complaints from him. Mind you I have never had time to do what I like as I have always worked to top up the family income or been at home with our daughter. He is now asking me why I don't get a full time job now our daughter is 13 and less dependent on me.

His one redeeming feature was that he was a good lover, but that wore off a good few years ago to be frank.

I just so often felt right royal pissed off when I saw him standing in the garden swinging his club, taking divots out of our lawn or the irritating tap, tap, tap of putter against golf ball while I prepared the dinner. He said I was just moaning about anything he does just for the sake of moaning.

Lifeissweet Mon 25-Jul-11 20:29:42

What is he like at relationships in general? I'm no expert, but these kind of obsessions sound a little bit Aspergers to me. I am happy to be corrected on this.

Lifeissweet Mon 25-Jul-11 20:34:01

it just sounds so sad, Neelie. There is no way you should be grateful that he doesn't hit you, ffs! He sounds absent from you and your daughter. I'm not suggesting you leave him (unless you want to), but what exactly does he contribute to your lives in a positive way? I really feel for you. You must have a load more patience than I do. I just don't think I'd be able to put up with secrets, lies, and selfish obsessions.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 21:00:18

Lifeissweet I have suspected Aspergers myself on more than one occasion. My reason for this was that a friend of mine has a son that was diagnosed around 8 years old. He is now 14 and his behaviour is remarkably similar to my husbands. there are other indications too. He moved to the south east from the north east about 25 years ago but his only two close friends are from the north east. He has not forged any lasting friendships with people through us being a family. He continued to travel back home to the North East every weekend until he met me. He met me because I was looking for a lodger to help with my mortgage and he answered the advert. Our relationship developed from there pretty quickly if I'm honest We don't have any couples friends that we have dinner with or anything like that. The only couple we are friendly with are a couple who the man is an ex boyfriend of mine and they are now our daughter's god parents. I have even forged friendships with one of his workmates wife but he has not kept in touch with them. He blames his lack of friends on me saying I never let him out. We have over the years made friends with various people through having work done on our house, jobs or our daughter's school but these have all boiled down to being just my friends. He spends no time with them and never joins in with impromptu barbeques or get togethers saying he doesn't feel like or he is tired. Another thing I have noticed is how strange he is when he comes in from work. He goes and shuts himself away for at least an hour in the bathroom or the bedroom. Normally on the net but quite often just lying on his bed staring at the ceiling. He gets unreasonably rattled over noises if he is trying to sleep or if our daughter is playing with friends making a noise. He sleeps (or spends a lot of time in bed) around 10 hours a night but sleeps very fitfully waking and taking a pee several times a night, usually around 5-6 times. If agitated about something he will go to the toilet several times in one hour. He doesn't make very good eye contact often when he is talking. He perspires heavily in unusual situations, i.e wedding receptions, parties, school meetings, or any other situations outside the every day. However, he will often talk over people when they are talking or just not appear to be aware of what they are saying. He will interrupt often. He will dominate conversations with strange levels of detail that render the listener stupified. Or he will, as said before, not talk at all almost to the point of appearing rude. That sounds (and feels) very much AS to me but he insists that he went to see a counsellor and she said not.

IvyAndGold Mon 25-Jul-11 21:04:26

Oh yes, aren't you the lucky one! hmm Why did he not show an interest in the sport his own daughter was involved in?

Would he agree to some kind of counselling? Are there more reasons for you to stay than go?

It sounds like a pretty miserable life for you to be honest, Neelie sad <rubs arm>

IvyAndGold Mon 25-Jul-11 21:07:45

Sorry, x-posts. Does sound like it could be AS. Did he definitely go to the counsellor? I'd try and get him to go again, and see if you can accompany him to hear what is said and get your side across.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 21:20:00

Finances are the only reason really. that and I'm 55 and a bit scared of being lonely. But I've been lonely for 18 years if I'm honest.

Sometimes I think at least if they die we get loads of sympathy. If they leave or we leave them due to this kind of carp we are just told to get over it!!!

I am just so angry and frustrated all the time I would just be so much better able to deal with life if I were away from him I'm sure.

We separated a couple of years ago for 6 months but he insisted that after counselling he had changed. We have been for counselling quite a few times over the years but nothing has really made any difference. The lady we have been seeing recently just thinks we are not communicating our needs very well. He listens to her but she might as well be speaking in hubbahubba lingo for all the understanding he gets out of it. He often interrupts her and me during our sessions. She talks about faults on both our parts but afterwards he homes in on me saying "see I told you, you heard what she said about you, don't you realise its all you and you refuse to listen to anyone". I just can't answer because he doesn't get what she is saying at all. He read an email she sent to me in response to one I had written to her when I was distressed. Her reply was lengthy about 4 paragraphs but in one sentence she said " to protect yourself you need to be less plugged into what P is doing". He read "you are too concerned with what he is doing" and repeated this to me several times over the next week. This also further reinforced his belief that I am a control freak. His current reading matter apart from the psychology of good golf is "how to live with a control freak" and "what makes a control freak".

I know I have not dealt with it at all well if it is AS but to be frank I don't want to. Its not my problem any more and it takes a ruddy angel to be able to put up that kind of behaviour and I am the most non angelic person I know.

Katisha Mon 25-Jul-11 21:26:36

How did you feel when you did that separation?

Have you gone through finances - what is your work situation? Could you sell the house and downsize with DD?

Sounds like life is on hold with no real hope of change. He won't change. YOu could though - you could make a decisive move.

garlicbutter Mon 25-Jul-11 21:36:06

I can't see how a diagnosis will be any help to you, him or your DCs. If his behaviours were caused by a meteor shower, knowing that wouldn't change anything.

People can be addicted to anything at all. You are certainly describing multiple addictions. If, by a miracle, he gave one up would he then replace it with another? He clearly loves his 'hobbies' more than he loves his wife and children; that is all you need to know, really.

You're also describing abuse. You've already mentioned physically threatening behaviour, discounting and blaming. I'm sure there's more.

I am one year older than you. I live alone and in poverty, following events connected to a bad marriage. I miss my old home, friends and money, but what I have now is a sort of comfortable peace (contentment) and the emotional space ti figure out what went wrong and who I really am. The events were not my fault _at all_: something I was unable to accept back then, as I'd been so well conditioned to take responsibility (blame) for other people's malicious actions. I hope you can see why I'm telling you this.

Please read "Why Does He Do That?" by Lundy Bancroft.

garlicbutter Mon 25-Jul-11 21:44:37

I forgot to put an important point in my "one year older" paragraph. Like everyone else at this age, I've become aware of limited time remaining and feel highly motivated to prioritise whatever matters to me personally. I expect to become more 'selfish' and demanding in the near future, because I'm running out of second chances and shan't fuck around doing stuff because other people think I should.

If I were still in a marriage that didn't make me happier at this stage, I'd be packing a bag. Life really is too short.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 21:50:51

When we separated I felt relief at first. But then he made his life so chaotic and difficult he made it look like he couldn't cope without us. He then got a cancer scare and I took him back out of pity and fear as his behaviour was frightening me and his daughter. I called the police on more than one occasion when he refused to leave. That is when he admitted to problems and went for counselling on his own for over a year. I just don't think it worked or was done for long enough or was effective.

NotQuiteSoDesperate Mon 25-Jul-11 22:01:52

I have an ASD son and your DH's behaviour rings huge bells for me! Don't know what else to say, except thatnyou only get one life. Do you want to spend the rest of it like this?

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 22:23:43

I am acutely aware of the life I have getting shorter. Sadly my daughter doesn't see that much wrong in him as he is not the one doing the getting cross as far as she can see. She doesn't realise just how distant her father is as she has only had that kind of father and just thinks that is how they are probably. However, she sees her mother getting cross and she feels sorry for poor daddy who just wants to be left alone to get on with what he wants. I don't know if she will ever realise.

She is 13. I am so afraid of how the split is going to affect her. We have her in a very good school that attracts some fees. I am afraid this can't continue when we split.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 22:26:30

I have to add that the school I have got my daughter into is unusual in that it is a day boarding school so she spends a long day there and they have a family type set up a bit like a full boarding school. We had some problems probably due the arguing over the years and I know this school has helped her immeasurably in her emotional state since she has been there.
I don't want her to lose this as it has been her saviour in many ways.

NotQuiteSoDesperate Mon 25-Jul-11 22:32:17

That's interesting about her being at boarding school. Has she much experience for her friends' relationships with their dads? If they are more hands on - if you see what I mean. I am lucky in some ways in that DH has been very hands on in that he is disabled and at home and I work full time. So our DSs are used to a very involved dad - maybe too involved sometimes.

Anapit Mon 25-Jul-11 22:40:35

Thissounds unbearable. My DP does not work and spends thousands of pounds on his sporting hobby ( scuba diving) . I am
Trying to get the courage / timing to leave him. Your situation sounds even worse sad

Katisha Mon 25-Jul-11 23:03:32

Does he pay for the school fees? Just had a quick google and it sems courts will often rule that the school fees have to carry on being paid rather than disrupt the child's education.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 23:04:43

She has one close friend whose dad seems similar. However, he is always at home. He seems a pretty laid back kind of bloke. I have never seen him do anything outside the house. Whenever I go to the house he's sat on the sofa watching TV. He apparently gets up very early goes to work very early and watches TV all day. His wife is similar. The kids seem to be at friends' houses all the time. She has an older sister who is always out at friends houses and my daughter's friends spends most of her time at our house with me and my daughter. In fact she is with me on holiday right now. She sleeps at our house most weekends too despite the fact we can see her house from ours. They are like sisters really. Her other close friend at school has just told her that her parents are splitting up but she is going to live with her dad as mum is clearly mad!!!

One couple we are very friendly with is the couple with the AS son. They also have two girls. The dad is very pro active but my daughter says that he is too much and a bit controlling in her eyes. He does do a lot with the kids though. I find it very telling that my daughter has never once got upset about daddy being absent or going away. He has gone away for work on occasions, off for holidays and often goes away for weekends to his mums. She hardly mentions him or asks if and when he is coming back. She didn't even appear to care when he moved out a couple of years ago. She just seems to go along with whatever life chucks at her. Some may say that is positive but I think that she is emotionally flat and holds her feelings in check. This worries me greatly. I sometimes wish she would kick up a bit of a fuss.

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 23:11:00

We both pay the school fees out of our wages through the child care vouchers scheme. Half each exactly.

Katisha Mon 25-Jul-11 23:12:06

Well I think you should take some advice. Why not book a session with a solicitor to see what sort of things may and may not happen if you separate?

Neeliethere Mon 25-Jul-11 23:20:55

I just wish he would move out. His thinking is he moved out two years ago and why should he do it again. He works shifts. Earlier one week and lates the next. On his early shift he leave the house at 06.00 am and on his late shift he arrives home at 11.30 pm.

I honestly don't know why he thinks he can be the main carer but that is what he says he is going to fight for. I, on the other hand, work part time to fit in with being there for my daughter when she finishes school each day. Since going to this new school I have tried to increase my working hours. But working for the Civil service that has not been possible due to severe cut backs of late. I am hopeful once the rounds of redundancies have finished a full time position might come up. I am not prepared to move from the service as this is relatively secure at my time of working life.

I have read posts where his plan appears to be that he stays in our marital home and I move out with the daughter remaining with him. I guess he thinks I will go to the house at 6.00 am one week and stay there till 11.30 the other week. This is not separating and moving on with life.

But the worrying thing is if he did decide to move out he will, like last time, move into a completely unsuitable house share, normally with women as he doesn't think he can share with blokes. He then starts complaining how it is unfair, he can't see have his daughter where he lives, he's living out of a suitcase etc etc. Keeps turning up unannounced and not turning up when expected. Lets himself in when I'm not there or just arrives in the middle of the night or day and refuses to leave saying he has nowhere to go. Then starts getting nasty saying its his house he will come and go as he pleases.

Oh if only....... I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and find somewhere else for myself and hope my daughter will come with me.

garlicbutter Mon 25-Jul-11 23:22:43

Seconded, Katisha.

Neelie (love your nickname, by the way!), you will feel better once you've started getting your facts together, doing some sums and working out your various options for real. It helps you feel like flotsam on the eddies of your own life.

I'm a bit worried about DD, she sounds rather detached. I suppose she might have some degree of ASD, but it sounds pretty likely she's simply internalised as fact that fathers/men are remote beings who wander off at will. This won't bode awfully well for her adult relationships ...

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