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"the ball and chain"

(72 Posts)
Cheburashka Fri 07-Oct-11 09:07:09

Right. Here's the problem (through my eyes)

DP is going out on his own tonight. A few days ago he said "I'm going out on Friday", he didn't invite me and he didn't ask (just out of politeness at least) whether I wanted to come. He is going out with an old friend (male) he hasn't seen for quite some time. I don't like that friend and DP claims that he didnt ask me to go out with them because "you dont like him". Later in the week I find messages they sent to each other where DP says "Its gonna be just you and I, I'm leaving the ball and chain at home"
Question1 is: How bad is it to be called "the ball and chain"? How would you feel if your partners called you that?

P.S. I got annoyed with him when we spoke because he didnt even ask if I wanted to go out - I've recently moved to England from another country, dont know anyone yet, i.e. he knows I've got nothing else to do but to stay at home all evening.
P.S.2 - I think he lied to me by saying "i didnt invite you because you dont like him anyway". Him saying "i'm leaving the ball and chain at home" means to me "I dont want her to come out with us"
P.S.3 - I could think on a deeper level about all this. DP drinks quite a lot and after many many many conversations, tears (mine) and long horrible evenings we've agreed he wouldn't drink more than 4 pints a night. He agreed and promised he wouldnt. Now I could see him going out with his mate as a way to drink more without me knowing about it (him and his friend have a long history of drinking together).

What do you think about all this? Am i being too sensitive? Should I just ignore all this? Or does it look like there is a problem? Any thoughts or comments would be highly appreciated as I cant talk to anyone about it right now.. Thank you!

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Fri 07-Oct-11 09:12:51

Can you describe your "long horrible evenings" in some more detail?

FWIW, you can't limit his drinking (his choice, and he probably sees you as being controlling about it), and you can't stop him calling you contempt-filled, sexist names. But you can decide that it's behaviour that is unacceptable to you.

toddlerama Fri 07-Oct-11 09:14:02

I'd be really hurt by being called that. sad

TiredOfGoingRoundInCircles Fri 07-Oct-11 09:14:11

Answer to Q1: very upset
For the rest, yes, I think you're right in that he sees it as a way to drink more. He probably agreed to stick to 4 pints to stop he horrible evenings and tears. If he doesn't really want to stick to 4 pints, he won't sad

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 09:35:03

Calling someone a 'ball and chain': Horribly disrespectful, childish and unpleasant. HOWEVER, is it possible that your OH was just trying to sound laddish/impress his friend/making a crass joke? He might have just been acting like a tit in an attempt to sound cool, and not realised that you'd see it and be hurt by it. My partner used to refer to me sometimes as 'the missus' until I put a stop to it, but for all I know, he still does it behind my back.

More worrying is the alcohol thing, - I think you are right that he wants an evening where someone isn't watching what he drinks. Also, this agreement about him not drinking more than 4 pints, - it seems to put you in a difficult position. It sounds a bit like you are now the person who tries to control his drinking, rather than doing it himself.

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 09:43:28

Did you move to England specifically to be with your dp, or have you met him since you moved here?

The problem seems to be that you're relying on him to entertain you because you haven't yet made friends.

He's off out for the equivalent of a night with the lads so why not take the opportunity to go somewhere yourself for the evening?

Cheburashka Fri 07-Oct-11 10:04:49

Well.. he agreed to stick to 4 pints and I agreed not to spend so much time on the internet as he didnt like that (it was something like a mutual promise). That was about 2 months ago, and since then he hasnt drank more than 4, I havent spent much time in front of the PC. Tonight is the first time he might (and I'm not saying he will) break the promise..

About being called "the ball and chain".. I agree he might be just trying to impress his friend and sound cool. I'm hoping that this is it, nothing more. He has called me "the missus" many times, I thought it was normal... and yes, he calls me other things like miserable cow, scumbag, etc, all in a joking way. However, I would never call him anything like that, even if it's a joke.

And yes, I moved to England so that we can be together. I really dont want him to entertain me, I want him to have fun time out with his friend, I just wish he had said "would u like to come", just so that I feel I'm somewhat important. I'm probably being overly sensitive but I just felt like he'd managed to get rid of me for tonight. And that's not a good place to be especially if you've moved countries to be together..I dont want anyone to feel sorry for the "lonely foreign girl" either, I have to try and make friends and I will.

I have to point out I do have a problem with alcohol - my dad drinks a lot/borderline alcoholic. I have never spoken about this to anyone, not even family. Ignoring this though, DP still drinks a lot, i.e. it's not like a couple of pints and then I get sensitive about it because of my dad. When we go out on fridays, its at least 6 pints, during the week there might be a day or two when he doesnt drink anything. Otherwise it's always a few cans of beer, a few glasses of wine and loads on fridays/saturdays. DP says it's all in my head and it's all because of my dad, but I honestly dont think so. I'm sure my dad's drinking plays a big part, but it's not only that.

I'm very sorry for the long post. I could write a book about this right now. Thank you for your comments, they give me very useful points of view!

izzywhizzyletsgetbusy Fri 07-Oct-11 10:14:53

I get exactly where you're coming from and, regardless of whether he passes it off as a joke, the names he calls you are extremely disrespectful.

How long have you been in England? Did you live with him before you moved here? Did he drink a lot when you first met him?

Out of curiousity, where do you come from?

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 10:41:01

I don't want to play the armchair psychologist, (and I may be way out of line here) but this seems to have warning flags all over it:

- He calls you disrespectful names 'as a joke'. You don't like it when he does this, but either don't say anything, or if you do, he ignores it.

-You have moved to a different country to be with him, and feel lonely and isolated.

- Your father had a drinking problem/borderline alcoholic, and you have found yourself a man who is just the same. This is very common, - whether we like it or not, we often choose partners who replicate the conditions we grew up in, even if they were very, very negative.

- You try to control this man's drinking (presumably you couldn't control your father's?) and he (your boyf) allows you to lay down rules which he then tries to evade, rather than taking responsibility himself and setting his own limits.

Sorry if this sounds a bit dramatic/way off beam.

VeryLittleGraveEaters Fri 07-Oct-11 10:42:43

4 pints a day puts him firmly in alcoholic territory IMO. You are not being over-sensitive to question this.

The name-calling could be one of two thing; either he holds you in utter contempt, or it's an abusive technique designed to wear you down and make you more compliant. Either way, it's completely unacceptable

kaluki Fri 07-Oct-11 10:53:39

Oh dear.
The 'ball and chain' comment wouldn't bother me tbh, if said as a joke. DP calls me "the missus" or his "bird" etc but it is in a jokey tongue in cheek way.
If you don't like his friend then I guess its fair enough that he wouldn't take you along, and you should really try to make friends of your own and develop your own social life.
The drinking is a problem for you. Its irrelevant how you feel about your Dad's drinking. His drinking is the issue here and he is using your relationship with your Dad as a smokescreen. You can't stop him drinking or control his drinking, you have to decide what you can put up. Also, his drinking can't be compared to your PC use - he is also using that as a way to manipulate you.
Try looking up Alanon. It is for the families/partners of drinkers and it has some great techniques for dealing with the affects of drinking on you and your relationship.

Cheburashka Fri 07-Oct-11 10:54:20

Yes, he drank when I first met him but I didnt know how much as we didnt live together then. We met in Bulgaria (that's where I come from), we used to work at the same place, then came back to England and started living together. That's when I noticed that he drinks almost every evening. I'm not sure, it might be ok in England, but where I come from it's not acceptable at all to drink like that. Cultural differences.. It might be that it seems a lot only in my eyes. He says "ask anyone in England and they'll tell you 6 pints is nothing"..

Now we've reached the stage, I guess because of the 4 pints limit, that if he does something i dont like and I tell him that i dont like it, he calles me "controlling" straight away. If I show the slightest disapproval of something, I'm being negative and he gets anrgy and shouting. He basically wants to be left alone, but doesnt mind coming home to cooked dinners, washed clothes and a clean house every night. When I say I miss home he would say "stop moaning". I've been here for about a year now and I'm trying to go out and do my own things in my free time, but it's just not working all that great. I sometimes still can't believe I left all my family and friends and moved to England. Maybe it's important, I'm 25, he's 8 years older.

BertieBotts Fri 07-Oct-11 10:58:11

No I agree with you tigermoll. Often we pick relationships which mirror our parents', especially if that was disfunctional, because we were powerless to change it as a child and this is a way of attempting to get some control back (thinking you could change it if only you had got in there earlier, as an adult - so you recreate the situation in order to put it right.) This is completely subconscious - I'm not suggesting you've done this on purpose. But it sounds like your DP is using this against you, saying that because of a bad experience with your dad, you are overly paranoid. Whereas actually, firstly it probably means you're more aware of the potential problems, not paranoid at all, and secondly he should be more sensitive to this issue even if you are more sensitive than other people because evidently it must have been distressing to grow up with this.

Calling you disrespectful names is actually verbal abuse. It doesn't matter that he says he is joking - this is a really common "excuse". If you both called each other names but it genuinely was tongue in cheek and both found it funny, then that would be different, but it's the fact he continues to make these "jokes" when you've made it clear you're not amused by it and actually find it quite upsetting.

Why doesn't he like you going on the internet? Afraid you might actually make friends and find out that other men aren't all like him? (if so, you may well have just walked into his worst nightmare... make sure you delete these pages from your history or use private browsing.)

Alouiseg Fri 07-Oct-11 10:58:27

Do you work?

Katisha Fri 07-Oct-11 11:00:30

Agree there are lots of warning flags here.

He doesnt seem to respect you.
The drinking.
The inability to converse with you as an equal adult.

Do you want to stay with him? Would it make you feel better to stay or leave? If you left would you stay in England or go back?

YOu don't have to see it as failure if you go back - sometimes you don't know a a person until you live with them.

youllbewaiting Fri 07-Oct-11 11:03:17

If I were you I'd go back to Bulgaria. Neither of you sound very happy.

Katisha Fri 07-Oct-11 11:06:25

YOu are young - don't tie yourself to this silly man. You don't want to be walking on eggshells around him - no life.

LittleHousebytheRiver Fri 07-Oct-11 11:11:00

"ask anyone in England and they'll tell you 6 pints is nothing"..

Well if you are asking us you will not get that reply. 6 pints is binge drinking. From your description he is a heavy drinker and it is affecting your relationship making him aggressive and unpleasant. It will also be affecting his health and his finances. This is common here, especially among some sections of English society but it is not normal or healthy. Most of us don't binge drink and stay below the weekly number of units (35/week for men I think). 6 pints is 12 units.

So he is claiming his drinking is normal and you are making a fuss. In other words he doesn't see there is a problem and wants you to live with it/him.

Do you want your life to be like this? I think you deserve better.

Cheburashka Fri 07-Oct-11 11:11:24

tigermoll, I agree with everything you said. I couldn't control my dad's drinking, he probably doesnt even though that I know of his problem. I've never said anything about this to anyone as a teenager.

kaluki, thank you, I'll look that up. I never thought I might have to go to a meeting like that. Sometimes I just wonder how did it all end up like that.

Bertiebotts, this is exactly what I'm thinking. I really really dont want to end up in a situation where the problems my family had with my dad's drinking are repeated in my future family. I thought DP would be more sensitive and try and reduce his drinking because of my issues with alcohol, quite the opposite. He says "why should I drink less, just because of your dad's problems" and I say "because you might care how I feel about it" and he tells me not to be pathetic..

Alouiseg, yes I do, part-time at the moment and I'm starting full time next month. By then I'll be better paid than DP (this doesnt matter to me and we've never had any coversations or problems about how much each of us earns).

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 11:11:48

Oh darling, he sounds awful.

He gets angry, shouts at you, wants you as his housekeeper not his partner, and dismisses your emotions.

And six pints isn't nothing. Even for England.

coffeeinbed Fri 07-Oct-11 11:12:17

You're very young.
Now - this is an assumption, but given your background I think I might be right - you have lived with your parents before you moved in with him?
How independent were you back in your country?
It's a big challenge double that, in fact - moving countries and moving in with a partner.
You're homesick and not very happy.
You need a job - not sure if you work, and independence.

coffeeinbed Fri 07-Oct-11 11:14:50

X posted.
See you aswered the work question.
You cannot control his drinking.
Only he can do that.

LittleHousebytheRiver Fri 07-Oct-11 11:15:49

Just double checked through the Drinkaware website and it is now 21 units a week for men and no more than 4 units a day...

cestlavielife Fri 07-Oct-11 11:25:13

four pints per day is a lot of units! it is still a problem. cuttng back seriously would be to one pint a day.

"If I show the slightest disapproval of something, I'm being negative and he gets anrgy and shouting. He basically wants to be left alone, but doesnt mind coming home to cooked dinners, washed clothes and a clean house every night"

see what he wants?
a wife at home to do all this and above all not moan.
he doesnt respect you. at all.

move out and move on - before you have dc with him.

tigermoll Fri 07-Oct-11 11:25:55

I'm not sure he's even worth you going to a meeting for, - you could spend ages learning how to deal with his problems, understanding where he's coming from, recognising your own part in it, determining the best course of action and focussing on how best to proceed.

Or you could just save up some money and move out.

I don't want to sound brutal, but you don't owe him anything. You don't have any kids (I'm assuming) and you definitely DON'T have to stick around and help this selfish, lazy man wallow around in his problems.

When you get your full time job, make sure you keep hold of that money. You're 25, - don't waste your life trying to save someone who only wants you to wash his pants and cook him sausages.

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