Advanced search

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.

Controlling Husband, Narcissist I think! Need help to think straight!

(34 Posts)
iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 09:32:50

Hello there I'm new here.

I have been reading through the threads on here to help me confirm to myself I need to leave my OH.

To cut a VERY long story short. I met my OH at 15 (im 36) I have been with him all my adult life (married 5 years) and we have 2 DC. It has only been the last 3 years I have realised his behaviour isnt normal.

Like I said he has always been very controlling. We watch what he wants to watch on the TV, his opinions are always right, nothing is ever good enough. The house is never tidy enough, the kids are never quiet enough, EVERYTHING is my fault. The seperate instances are too many to list but here a few examples of how I have been reduced to a anxious self doubting emotional mess.

I would tidy the whole house so it looked lovely (to the detriment of spending time with my kids). He would come in from work, look in the understair cupboard and say "look at the fucking mess in this cupboard".

In bed he would tell me not to breathe on him as it annoys him (he has said this for at least the last 10 years)

In bed he will count out loud the number of times I move beacuse it disturbs him. I am asleep I will suddenly hear a loud FOUR waking me up. I fell like I have to go to bed lay still and not breathe!!

If he sees a piece of paper on the floor, he picks it up, holds it to my face and says "how come I can walk in and see this and pick it up, how many times have you walked past this today and not picked it up"

He critises my driving, he silently taps the gear stick if he thinks Im in the wrong gear, he constantly tell me how he has redone things after me so they get done "properly", I could go on and on.

Anyhow, to my current situation/state of mind. I am on anti Ds and have started smoking. Starting smoking at 35 fgs its the only thing that relaxes me enough to get me through the day. I left him once a couple of weeks ago for a week. I spent the time at my mums with the kids. I had a taste of a stress free life it was heaven. I didnt have that pit of my stomach feeling, I was relaxed and laughing for the first time in years. Everyone has now said they dont know how I live like I do. When I say why they hadnt said anthing earlier they say they didnt want to interfere as they thought I was happy.

I went back to the house because the kids were missing home (not him, they didnt ask for him once and he didnt ask to see them either). I went home and knew I had made a mistake immediately. He is "trying" but he just cant do it. He wanted us to come back but I'm already seeing the real him seeping through. Reducing the kids to tears a couple of times this week and telling me I "need" to wear perfume in bed because he can smell my Cigarettes. Telling me i'm miserable beacuse I really am avoiding him like the plague intimately, I just cant do it. I dont love him, I really dont think he loves me either and wish he would just admit it.

If he came home today and said he had met someone else and was leaving I would be over the moon (so wrong I know wishing him on someone else).

such a long post I know - It just feels so good getting it out, if you got this far thankyou for reading, I would appreciate any comments/experiences you have for me. I know I want to get divorced, I just dont know the best way of doing it, I mentioned seperation once to him about a month ago, he turned nasty and told me to go its his house (its not its a joint mortgage) and he frightened me a bit.

Know I need a new plan but putting it off because I know hes not going to make it easy!



SixtyFootDoll Sun 25-Sep-11 09:35:13

Contact women's aid and a good solicitor.
Absolutely no point in remaining with this man.

ButWhyIsTheGinGone Sun 25-Sep-11 09:36:02

Jesus! The examples you have given have shocked me!
I can't advise but just wanted you to know you have my sympathy, and hoping that someone with some sensible advice will be along shortly. Please, please get away from this man!

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 09:39:51

Thankyou for your quick replies,

I have already spoken to womens aid, they were lovely and really confirmed to me it is domestic abuse (which I still find hard, I thought they were just for violence/sexual abuse) but she was lovely didnt tell me what to do just listened.

My next step should be a solicitor I know, a friend has reccomended one to me who I will ring to get an appointment next week, its just a big step and letters will come here which sort of freaks me out a bit.

Thankyou for reading


toptramp Sun 25-Sep-11 09:46:46

Go for it! He sounds unbearable You will get help with housing benefit etc. Let him keep the house. Believe me; you won't know yourself once you leave this tosser.

toptramp Sun 25-Sep-11 09:48:58

Emotional abuse is just as bad as physical abuse. If not worse.

stabbystabbykillkill Sun 25-Sep-11 09:51:36

The hairs on the back of my neck are standing up.

You are telling a story I would have told 3 years ago. Even the don't breath on me, don't move, the gear stick, nothing being good enough, with him all your adult life - all so so familiar my skin is creeping and my hands are shaking with the memories.

Please leave him. It won't be nearly as bad as you think I promise and you will look back in years to come and wonder why you stayed so long.

I walked away and let him keep the house.

I kept my sanity.

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 09:52:56

It certainly feels horrible Toptramp.

Forgot to mention he cant stand any of my family and questions why I am going to see them, how long I'm going to be etc.

My family are lovely BTW.

Just cant get my head round how it has took me so long to realise this isnt right, I just feel like a robot, unable to think for myself.


stabbystabbykillkill Sun 25-Sep-11 09:55:30

Oh love of course he can't stand your family and questions how long you'll be, how often you see them. And your friends.

You can do this you know - if I can, anyone can and it WILL be a million billion times better afterwards.

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 09:58:22

SSKK (love your name)

Thankyou for your experience, its difficult sometimes to get people to understand how it wears you down, people just say tell him to f* O** when he tells you do do something but its just not that easy.

Keeping my sanity at the moment would be enough for me too!


Nat38 Sun 25-Sep-11 09:59:40

regarding the posting of letters-can you not have them directed to your mums house?? does she live nearby so it would be easy to pick them up from there??!! surely it would be easier to leave him & all that it entails than to stay with him??!! my advice is as it sounds that you`ve already made up your mind about leaving him-HURRY UP & get things moving for your own sanity & the happiness for yourself & your kids!!!
Good luck. xx

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 10:05:43

Thanks Nat,

I think I have already made up my mind, well I know I have. It feels like this is solely my decision and its not just my life its the kids too. My sis asked me if I was going to stick it out till after xmas for the kids. This made me feel like it would be best for them to do so. I need to be sure I'm making the right decision but I guess you cant be 100% sure of anything in life. i honestly dont think I could stick it out for another 13 weeks. Because I am full of self doubt at the moment I am questioning my ability to make such a big decision even though i know in my heart its the right one.

Dont think Im making much sense am I. Sorry to give my head a shake.


LittleHousebytheRiver Sun 25-Sep-11 10:10:14

iwill sorry to hear about your troubles. Can I invite you to pop over onto the support threat for Emotional Abuse? It's a warm and friendly place (with snacks) and most of us have been through what you are experiencing.

I had completely forgotten that gear stick thing, my Ex used to do that! How lovely it is now to drive the car how I want, well or badly, without criticism!

Don't feel you have to rush to decide what to do, as long as you are safe. This is a big decision and getting legal advice about the house for your DC sake is worth while. They are entitled to a home even if their dad doesn't want them to have it.

MarginallyNarkyPuffin Sun 25-Sep-11 10:16:19

Don't be hard on yourself. If you met him at 15 you were too young to have a chance to spot any red flags. If he had been like this from day one you wouldn't be with him. It must have built up gradually. When you're in a relationship with someone it's much harder to see the gradual changes.

Nat38 Sun 25-Sep-11 10:16:49

nobody can be sure of any thing in life!!! regarding christmas for the kids, would it not be a lot more stress free, happier & FUN if it was just you & the kids?? not that I am telling you what to do!! god forbid-just another way of looking at it!! I know christmas can cost a lot especially if your on your own, but sounds like you & your kids need to have fun, so why not get making & baking & stuff this christmas time if you do take the plunge!! Invite family round with requests to bring certain things like pudding, starter(??!!), bottle of wine etc to help you out & to have a big celebration!!

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 10:18:03

Thanks little,

I will pop over, only read the relationship board so far. See you there!


wicketkeeper Sun 25-Sep-11 10:19:50

Get one thing absolutely straight. You do NOT need his permission to leave. You do NOT need to mention it to him. You do NOT need his approval to go.

Just go.

I went - at the time I didn't even know this sort of abuse had a name, I just knew I couldn't stand it any longer. My situation was so similar - outwardly everyone thought we were happily married, but I wasn't allowed to cuddle up to him in bed because of my knees (bony, apparently), I could spend forever cleaning and tidying and he would home-in immediately on the one thing I hadn't had time to do, no-one was allowed to talk while he was listening to music, and he would do a little cough thing if he thought I was doing something wrong whilst driving.

Fast-forward 11 years and I'm married to the most wonderful man who actually wants me to cuddle him, doesn't particularly notice if I've tidied or not but appreciates what I do in general, fills the house with music and chat and TV and doesn't worry about who's talking when, and it turns out my driving's not so bad after all (we hadn't been together long when he handed me the keys to his very big, very powerful company car and said, 'You drive, I'm exhausted, it's OK I've put your name on the insurance' - and then promptly fell asleep!)

Please, just go.

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 10:25:57

Thanks Wicket,

Just a couple of questions if you dont mind. Did you keep in contact with your ex? I am worried that after we split he will still make my life a misery beacuse of the contact we will have to have regarding the kids. Also did you feel guilty, I feel responsible for his happiness in a strange sort of way because I am causing this situation?


GeekLove Sun 25-Sep-11 10:28:08

Christmas is three months away! You have doing very well in detecting yourself from this relationship which has been such a big part of your life even if you are seeing it for what it is.
You will be doing yourself and DCs a disservice if you stay there any longer than you must as in your head the relationship is over.
Talk to Woman's aid and find your what you are entitled too. Check out properties in terms of moving out. What would concern menus if your H gets wind of your plans he could turn violent. I would also get copies of passports, bank details, birth certificates and some emergency bags in case you do need to leave.
As for Christmas,'being able to stay in bed, play games with the kids, bake tasty food and watching what you like is worth far more than money.

GeekLove Sun 25-Sep-11 10:29:32

I meant concern me not menus!

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 10:33:26

lol thanks geek,

Christmas is 1/4 of a year away I have family I could stay with too. If the kids hadnt asked to come home I wouldnt be here. I would have liked them to stay in their own home so they are only dealing with parents splitting up not moving aswell. But I know this may not be possible.

thanks again


Anniegetyourgun Sun 25-Sep-11 10:40:49

You don't have to stick it out till Christmas because of what your sister said - not that she even said you should, but in any case, she's only listening, she's not living it (and I suspect you don't tell her the whole of it). Only you in this world can decide what you can put up with.

If you do decide, or circumstances compel you, to stay a bit longer, is there any possibility of sleeping in a different room meanwhile? Surely your OH would prefer not being woken by you (shock horror) moving in your sleep, despicable creature that you are, and not smelling your fag ash? The fact that you too would get a good night's sleep is neither here nor there...

SirSugar Sun 25-Sep-11 10:41:59

IWBF, do not concern yourself with his happiness; Is he concerned about yours?

iwillbefree Sun 25-Sep-11 10:53:55

Hi Annie,

Thankyou, I need some black humour (intead of crying all the time). I could sleep in my youngest sons rooms as he has taken to sleeping on the bottom bunk of his brother. I havnt so far to keep the peace, but im so anxious at the moment I know I need to take another baby step away from him. I would rather boil my head than be intimate with him, but he seems to think everything is ok and is carrying on as normal which is making me go insane.


No he is not in the slightest bit bothered if im happy, but he has always made me feel everything is my fault, i dont know how not to take the blame for things because I always have. I know I need to change my way of thinking but its easier said than done. I'm telling myself all the time to prioritise me and the kids but hes so demanding and draining its so hard.

God I sound so weak.


Anniegetyourgun Sun 25-Sep-11 11:09:09

Thanks iwill, one endeavours to please! I knew I was getting over my controlling ex when my sense of humour reappeared. Treasure yours.

You don't sound weak, actually. You're doing pretty well for someone who's been groomed to be a doormat for over 20 years. And that's a thing, btw: if you've been with him all your adult (and pre-adult!) life, and are married, a solicitor is likely to tell you that you are entitled to a fair share of the marital assets. It's a very good thing you are getting legal advice so you know where you really stand. Let your H tell you he kept you all these years so you owe him for putting a roof over your head; the other side of the argument is that you have enabled him to go to work by minding his house and looking after his children, and in the process giving up the chance to earn your own living and buy your own house. You are a life partner, not a pet, nor yet, in SGB's famous phrase, a domestic appliance with vagina attachment.

This does assume you're in the UK but even if you aren't, the law is likely to say something different to a man who wants everything his own way. He may also tell you to walk if you want but leave the children behind. That is not his decision to make.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now