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is he being abusive, am I crazy or is this somewhere in the middle?

(28 Posts)
quesadilla Sun 02-Oct-11 13:08:34

have namechanged for this. I really need someone to tell me if I'm going mad or if my husband is being an arse. We went out to a barbecue at a friend's house yesterday. I have an 8 month-old dd. After a long spell (a really nice day during which no-one argued and there was no trouble), I said the baby was tired and I wanted to go home, so promptly called a cab. He said he would get another cab from the same company and bring the rest of the baby stuff home (we had brought some toys etc). I got back to the house about 8. 11 o'clock came and went and no news from him, no sign. I called, no answer. 12 came and went, I called, no answer. Ditto 1am. By this time quite worried, I sent a text saying could he just call to let me know he was OK. No answer. Finally, around 2am, he picks up the phone saying he's round the corner in a bar. I am miffed because I didn't know where he was, if he was safe etc. When he finally gets back, extremely drunk, I make it clear I'm not happy about his not having picked up any of my calls/texts. He goes off in a huge stomp. Comes in 10 mins later, kisses the baby, says "goodbye my love, you will never know your father, I'm sorry, but I will always love you." I give him an earful. For the rest of the night he goes around doing things basically designed to wind me up (throws objects out of the window, turns music on very loud, calls me a b***h.) No physical violence.
Eventually at about 5 am he kind of says sorry. I'm still pissed off. Get up at 10 am and ask him to look after the baby while I clean the house. Needless to say he has terrible hangover. Eventually, after baby has gone back to sleep, he storms off into the street, taking his passport (he's not British) and leaving his keys and mobile phone which may or may not be designed to make a point.
He may or may not have gone back to the country of his birth. Or he may be sulking. Am I right to think that he has crossed the rubicon and that I shouldn't take him back under any circumstances? If he does come back I'm inclined at the moment to say that the marriage is over, regardless of how much he apologises. My feeling is that a man who uses his daughter to emotionally blackmail his wife is probably capable of doing worse things even if he hasn't done them yet. But its also possible that I was a bit of a controlling so and so. I am at the end of my tether and would appreciate some advice.

Kayano Sun 02-Oct-11 13:27:30

I think that is outrageous!

It this a common occurrence or do you think the drink could have played a part if it is a one off? By takin his passport this morning I think this is him clearly trying to manipulate you and leave you uncertain of his intent sad

quesadilla Sun 02-Oct-11 13:30:54

Its not a common occurrence but its happened before (drink-fueled outbursts occasionally involving him throwing things though never at me and to be clear he's never hit me.) The drink does play a part, he does drink too much. He's also very prone to making things like this out to be my fault. But generally in our marriage he hasn't been one to stay out at all hours etc, he's started doing that only since the birth of our baby. I've occasionally asked him to rein it in and spend more time with us, he accuses me of trying to control him.

Fatshionista Sun 02-Oct-11 13:31:03

Seriously, he seems to have multiple issues. This is disgusting behaviour.

Tyr Sun 02-Oct-11 13:41:52

It's not very good behaviour, is it? All the same, he went for a drink after a barbie- what would you have said if he'd phoned to tell you? He should have done, especially if he had the baby's stuff with him.
You read him the riot act when he got in and he behaved like a drunken arse.
Then when he had a hangover, were you making a point of pushing the furniture and hoover around him to make him suffer? He then went off in a sulk like a drunken arse with a hangover.
How often does this happen?

quesadilla Sun 02-Oct-11 13:49:18

The strops and childish behaviour have happened periodically through our marriage; not very often, maybe twice a year. The going out very late and not telling me is a new thing though, only since our dd was born. Prior to that he almost never went out without me. I don't think there's another woman involved, I think its more about drinking, although I may be wrong. What should I do? assuming he comes back at all....

Tyr Sun 02-Oct-11 13:58:44

He'll be back. Both of you need a breather with a baby in the house. Could you agree that each of you gets to go out once in a while with friends without fear of retribution? Would that diffuse the situation?
Your turn next, obviously

PoppadumPreach Sun 02-Oct-11 14:01:19

YANBU at all.

It is terrible behaviour and perhaps, as you suggest, it is not being helped by drink.

If/when he does cone back, try to be as unemotional and pragmatic as possible. Just state

1. His behaviour is unacceptable to you
2 you DD is your primary concern
3. HE must tell you what he us going to do - ie it is his problem to solve. You will support and help but you are certainly not going to try to "control" him. Tell him he has 24hrs to tell you what he plans to do.

If he says it is your fault, etc etc then say fine, if that's fine, but it is unacceptable to you and ask him to leave.

The less emotional you are the better. He will take you more seriously. Also, don't get drawn into an argument.

I do realise it will be hard, but he is being a pig and you deserve better.

flimflammery Sun 02-Oct-11 14:06:43

I wouldn't call it abusive, but you're definitely not crazy. He's being selfish and inconsiderate and I would guess trying to escape his responsibilities as a new dad. I also don't get why he's the one storming off.
Maybe you should calmly say (or write) to him that you don't want to be controlling, you don't mind him going out, but its not OK with you for him to be out till 2am without letting you know where he is. It shows lack of respect. And his behaviour when he came home drunk, and the next day, was way out of order. If this kind of behaviour continues then you will have to seriously think about whether there is any future in your relationship.

quesadilla Sun 02-Oct-11 14:47:03

Thanks. He has come back, says I need to make a decision about the future of the relationship and that I need psychiatric help. I still haven't had an apology. Has taken the baby off to nap together. I said that he needed to change and I wouldn't accept behaviour like this under any circumstances and he's acting like its all my fault. I'm still very very upset and confused. Feel like if he won't commit to changing I have no choice but to end the marriage but I don't want to do this without giving it a chance.

elesbells Sun 02-Oct-11 15:16:38

Does he feel neglected since the birth? Men sometimes have trouble adjusting to the change in their lives when a baby comes along.

Think about it, we naturally bond with our babies and fuss over them and usually, we instinctively know our whole lives are going to change. Men sometimes don't realise the enormity of that change.

It would be interesting to know if he was like this before the baby came along? I'm not implying for a second that he doesn't love you or your daughter - just that he's feeling a bit 'henpecked' (for want of a better word). I know when we had our first dd, without realising I would say 'hold her this way' or 'no, you need to do this' IYSWIM? I now know I made him feel like a little boy.

I'm not excusing his behaviour by no means, its unacceptable but I don't think its a reason to end your marriage. Things take time to adjust and I think its worth exploring other options than to just give up on it. I think his actions show all the signs of attention seeking...

HerHissyness Sun 02-Oct-11 15:18:32

OK, twenty questions time... grin

how long have you known him, how long have you been married. Is he an EU citizen or non-EU. Truthfully, is there any potential reason he may have to have to marry you? Not suggesting anything at all at this stage, but it can help get the best picture.

What exactly is he saying YOU need psychiatric help for?

You say, after a long spell (no arguments etc)... so are there spells where there ARE a lot of arguments?

Has he called you names in the past?

Does he drink often? Does he get drunk often?

Otherwise, what you have said to him today is spot on! That you will NOT tolerate any repetition of his behaviour,

Tell him that if HE buggers off and his DD won't know him that is entirely down to him, but to remind him that it's his choice and you will NOT put up with any and every bit of shit he throws just to have a man in your lives. There are billions of other men, and not all of them will strop and sulk and piss off to the bottom of a bottle until dawn.

Bluff this bugger out, this is him trying rebelling since the birth most likely, flexing his man muscles and getting away with as much as he can now you are otherwise occupied. he is shoving you into Mother mode and not partner. You'll end up resenting him if he's not careful!

NettleTea Sun 02-Oct-11 15:44:41

my ex wan non EU and he would often use the 'Im not sure about the relationship' as a form of blackmail if I was too 'controlling' ie trying to actually have some kind of relationship with him, and him coming and going when he pleased, with whomever he pleased and spending all the money......

I dont think you are crazy. I suspect he thinks he can start to act up a bit more now you have a child, as you are less likely to walk out. I suspect that you are more committed to the relationship than he is (or he wouldnt be making threats about 'daddy leaving', etc when questioned on his behaviour)

Dont doubt your mental state. Expecting someone to do what they have told you they will do is not controlling. Expecting them to let you know if the plans have been changed is not controlling. What happened to the baby stuff he was supposed to be bringing back- did he take it to the pub with him?

The arguements and strops in the past - were they around you questioning his behaviour? Is he happy so long as he can do as he pleases. Were you working previously? Who was paying when you went out together? Sorry to be nosy......

crestofthewave Sun 02-Oct-11 15:58:09

So he is putting the onus on you to take responsibility for the relationship then.And,starting this it seems as soon as you become a mum,and as Hissy says,are otherwise occupied with your dc being your first responsibility,and your freedom reduced.And, pulling the 'psychiatric' card out of the hat.angry

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Oct-11 16:47:36

Ohhh sorry, I couldn't be doing with this at all.

I'm single now and can't believe what sort of crap people put up with in their marriages.

dreamingbohemian Sun 02-Oct-11 16:58:29

I think the most important thing is that this state of affairs cannot continue, and so the two of you need to do something

He thinks you need psychiatric help -- would he be willing to go to counseling together with you? Would he be willing to stop drinking? or whatever it takes to improve things?

Or does he think that it's all your fault and he isn't contributing to problems at all?

He does sound massively unreasonable... at the same time, I look back to that first year after having a baby and cringe at some of the fights my DH and I got up to (including things that at the time I thought I was totally in the right and now look back and think oh my god, I was being a real jerk)

You need to talk to him when you're both calm and not-hungover and see if you can agree on a plan to improve things. If not, well, life is too short for this kind of drama really.

quesadilla Sun 02-Oct-11 17:01:52

He is non EU and yes obviously I have thought about the ramifications of that. We've been together 7 years, married five. There have been periods when we've had a lot of arguments, interspersed with periods of harmony. He hasn't really called me a lot of names in the past. B***h is a bit of a sore point because he uses the work jokingly a lot and he knows I don't like it.

ImperialBlether Sun 02-Oct-11 17:08:11

I think it's perfectly reasonable to expect a husband to say if he is going to be out longer than his wife expected, to answer his phone and not to cause trouble when he comes home very late.

I think she should expect not to be called a bitch.

I think if a man says 'goodbye' to his daughter and says he won't be seeing her again, he is an overdramatic and manipulative twat.

I also think that if after he's done all that he then says his wife needs psychiatric help, he's probably right - maybe not for the reasons he thinks, though. I think his wife should see a psychiatrist to understand why she is putting up with dreadful treatment and why she hasn't told him to bugger off.

neuroticmumof3 Sun 02-Oct-11 17:22:09

I completely agree with Imperial.

HerHissyness Sun 02-Oct-11 18:39:16

Hmm, yes this sounds more and more like 'I can, so I will!' He thinks because you have his child perhaps that means you have less options? hmm

This is a game of chicken. Don't blink. Stand FIRM and refuse to budge on thinking that this is unreasonable and disrespectful of you. That he is trying to manipulate you into shutting TFU and putting up with it.

Remind him that you are perfectly sane, that you are a good mother and will be so whether or not he chooses to be a part of it.

This is either him playing king of the castle, or running away from the responsibility of being a father. He has attempted to rule himself out of the parenting role today by incapacitating himself when YOU have taken up the slack thus far.

neither of these scenarios makes him a very attractive man, nor adequate role model.

Remind him that if he insists on shirking his duties as a husband and father then it'll be highly unlikely that he'll be missed in any way shape or form when he leaves.

Show him that you will NOT fall apart if he abandons you. Men often use this threat to get their own way.

PamBeesly Sun 02-Oct-11 18:50:43

He is abusive and trying to turn this on you by saying you need psychiatric help. He is not a good partner OP and he is trying to make you feel like you are crazy. His behaviour is disgraceful and he is trying to use your DD too by saying "goodbye my love, you will never know your father, I'm sorry, but I will always love you." What kind of a selfish person does that?
He sounds really bad, is there something in the marriage that you think is worth saving? If so go ahead, only you know.

EssentialFattyAcid Sun 02-Oct-11 19:02:03

Agree that you should consider whether there is anything within the relationship worth saving.

Staying out late without prior arrangement, and being uncontactable is unacceptable behaviour.

Calling you a bitch is completely unacceptable.

Pretending to walk out on the realtionship to gain power within the relationship is unacceptable.

Telling you that YOU need psychiatric help is manipulative and controlling and unacceptable behaviour.

Think hard about this relationship, OP.

Annie421 Sun 02-Oct-11 19:07:33

He's not North African is he? ... he sounds exactly like the father of my child ... an abusive bully. Mine is very childish, drank and couldn't hold his drink as he is muslim and not used to drinking so it effects him badly. You've had a baby so he thinks he has you now and thinks he can do whatever the hell he wants - do you really want a life of this? I wasted almost 8 years on a creep like this, 4 of those living in his home country, my life was a living hell, it was only after having his baby that i realised i couldn't put my daughter through his emotional abuse so i got away - this wont get better, this is abuse, you are not crazy, believe me he will never change, and as he is now showing his true colours he wont feel the need to hide his abusive ways anymore.

Annie421 Sun 02-Oct-11 19:10:31

Oh and mine would tell me i needed help all of the time ... he would even do things like tell me things and then say he didn't say it, take food out of the oven when i had just put it in, take tea bags out of the cups when i wasn't looking ... all things to make me think i was going mental, i knew i had put the food in the oven etc but he would say that i hadn't ... i really did start to question my own sanity until i saw him for what he really is.

Annie421 Sun 02-Oct-11 19:13:53

where is he from?

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