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there is no compromise and we are going round in circles. I dont know where to go from here.

(31 Posts)
sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 12:45:42

I've namechanged for this as I've been on this site for a very long time and I dh no doubt knows my username. Please dont out if you recognise me.

I dont know where to start really. I just need to write something down. DH and I are fundamentally different. We should never have married really, I think we both knew that, its just that we loved each other and we thought it would be enough.

He is desperately unhappy with his life. I am not. He is unable to let go of something he thinks I said to him before we got married -he thinks he will never come first for me because I wanted to be with my ex - this isnt true - however he is inable to comprehend that because of whatever it was I said back then ( Id dont remember what it was and the likelyhood is that he twisted it to suit him anyway, but the point is it was years ago). Its always on the back of his mind, and whenever we disagree he says something to the effect of 'oh why dont you go back to ...'. I despair of this - to me its utterly ridiculous as we've been together for nine years and have two children. Unfortunately he cant get it out of his head. Apparently I havent convinced him otherwise in all this time. This makes me incredibly sad.

The other very big problem is that he doesnt want to be in this country - he wants to be in another one (Oz) and there is no compromise on this - we either live here or there forever (we lived there briefly before kids) . I dont want to live there - I love where we are now and cant understand why he thinks its better there - his excuse is that the kids will have better employment opportunities and I'm being selfish. I cant argue with that, but its really about him not them and we both know that.

He is so unhappy here. He hates his job, he refuses to like where we live (he called it boring last night) but there is loads to do and its lovely (from my pov obviously). He has no friends and apparently doesnt understand my need to make new ones (I dont have a need specifically - I just do it!) He has pined for Oz since we came back.

He would leave me if it wasnt for the kids - I know this. He does love me but it wouldnt be enough for him to stay. He loves them to bits though and wouldnt go without them. He said he could overlook our biggest issue if he was in Oz. I dont believe him at all. It wont change. In his eyes, thats the solution to everything. But I know that to make him happy, it will make me unhappy. I do love him, but if I went, I think he'd end up leaving me anyway, and I'd be stuck there forever because I'd be unable to bring the kids back (legally, and also because they need him too and I couldnt do that to any of them)

There are other issues between us that probably can be resolved, but these massive two will never go away. I know I have it easier, because we are where I want to be and I dont dwell on stuff like he does.

So we're kind of stuck in this situation that we deal with for a while, then for whatever reason he snaps and disappears to the spare room for days/weeks on end refusing to eat or come downstairs. It cant carry on, but what else do we do? I dont really expect an answer, I just wanted to spill really. so thanks if you got this far.

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Fri 21-Oct-11 13:43:33

Unfortunately he cant get it out of his head. Apparently I havent convinced him otherwise in all this time.

Look, you didn't cheat on him or anything, so it's not up to you to regain his trust. It's up to him to decide whether he can accept it and consign it to the past, or not. It doesn't sound like you've done anything wrong (do you think you have?), so it's not your job to "convince" him to get over himself.

From the other things you say (^"He is desperately unhappy with his life. "^, "The other very big problem is that he doesnt want to be in this country", ^"He hates his job"^), it sounds like he's just using this long-ago statement of yours as a convenient hook to hang his frustrations on. Making you the scapegoat for problems that are really up to him to solve, if he wants to solve them. You don't have to stand for it.

"It cant carry on, but what else do we do?"

"We" probably aren't going to do much of anything.

He is going to keep on sulking, blaming, and emotionally blackmailing you because it suits him just fine, for now. If he wanted to go to Oz, he could go there -- but then he'd lose this wonderful tool he has to emotionally blackmail you with. He's not going anywhere, is he? No, thought not. Complaining in order to keep you scurrying after him to soothe and comfort his ego is much more satisfactory to him right now than actually addressing any of his stated "problems".

You are either going to continue to put with it, or show him that you won't stand for this bullshit anymore.

What do you want to do?

HerScaryness Fri 21-Oct-11 13:54:08

Love, I am scared for you WRT the holding onto an apparent comment from years ago. I worry too about the fact that you are trying to convince him of your commitment/worth/value etc and he's refusing to buy it.

The refusal to accommodate you, your country, or to be any part of it also bothers me.

I could be (and hope to be TBH) guilty of projection, but from what I read, it could be his plan all along.

You know that if he got you and the DC over to OZ, you'd be trapped there forever. I think he's using this comment as a weapon to beat you with. The refusal to integrate means that for you to gain his final acceptance you have to leave your home, give up your entire life for him... but I'm willing to bet that it'd be no different and you'd still hear him harping on about the comment.

If, when he trots out with the tired old nag of a comment, you turned around one day and said, Oh FFS, are you STILL banging on about this? Get a grip! If you called his bluff and said, I'm not moving, if you want to go to Oz, that's fine with me, but I'll be staying here, what would he do then?

To me, he's using anything he can to destabilise you, to unseat you and to dominate you. Making you scrabble for his approval. this imbalance in the relationship gives him almighty power.

As I said, I want nothing more than to be wrong, but you need to see what HE GAINS from repeatedly battering you with this alleged comment, and all his other non-partnership behaviour. If I were you I'd be inclined to stand my ground, refuse to be intimidated and see what happened.

You say yourself that it's not a relationship that should have even been, so let it go, you are clearly miserable. I promise you will feel better if you are not living under all this pressure.


SolidGoldVampireBat Fri 21-Oct-11 13:57:41

Yup, dump this whinyarsed loser. No matter what you do to placate and indulge him, he will still whine and sulk because what he wants is to make sure that you are miserable and all you can think of is pleasing him. I do not know too much about international law but I have a feeling that Australia is a country that a parent can not abduct their child to ie if DC went to visit him there and he refused to bring them home, the Australian police would dump him in a cell and bring them back to you. If that's true (check it out first) tell Moanybollocks to fuck off to Oz and he can have the kids visit him in the holidays.

HerScaryness Fri 21-Oct-11 13:58:59

ha ha.... great minds Puppy!

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 14:12:15

thanks for not mincing words pumpkin smile

I dont know what I want to do. I know what I dont want to do, and that is move to Oz. I also dont want us to split, but I dont want to be stuck in this stupid vicious circle.

And yes, I agree he is emotionally blackmailing me. He's done it many times. And then he snaps out of it and apologies, and then something happens and it starts again.

He cant go to Oz - not because of me, but because of the kids. They are his life (and mine - in a sense he's right now - he has become second best, but not because of any ex, because of our children) He would never leave without them, so I think his strategy is to martyr himself until I give in.

The ironic (not sure thats the right word) thing is that the last time he was offered work there, I was seriously considering it. I didnt hate it in Oz and was therefore prepared to consider what really was a good deal, but I was very carefully doing my homework about it all. He took my prolonged response (a whole weekend I believe - to decide on the rest of our lives) as a 'no' and told the company 'no' due to this strop. I told him I'd been considering it, but he didnt believe me at all even though I offered to show him my most excellent detailed chart of costings for everything. It was that reaction from that made my mind up.

So what do I want. Well what I want to put it bluntly much as you do, is for him to stop punishing me for something I havent done/for words I may have said a lifetime ago by continually bringing this up. I've told him that over and over. He doesnt budge, because its stuck in his head (there are other issues he - I believe he's mildly autistic for a lot of reasons, and actually so does he - he's not like other people - part of the reason I originally liked him - now part of the reason he does my head in).

I cant stop him pining for Oz. But I wish I really do that he could at least try to be happy here. I asked him last night why he was sitting in the spare room like a little gremlin - it was just making things worse, and to come down and have a cup of tea. He said you cant make it better with little things. And therein lies a massive gap between us. Because I think you can make it better with the little things. He doesnt understand why I want to stay here - well its a load of things (big things like lovely house and decent paid jobs (not great, but we do ok) and good primary schools and lots of things to do with the kids) but also small things - and I tried to explain about stupid things like old crumbling walls with ivy and general quirky british things but he just doesnt seem to get it. He just said but you have no ties any more ( because a big reason I came home was because of my dad who is gone now) so whats keeping you here. He cant seem to grasp that he isnt able to articulate why he wants to be in Oz either (apart from stuff about the kids futures, which is not really his reasons, its just his backup) He is just happier there.

OMG sorry I am rambling...

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 14:17:05

oh and the others - thanks too - your posts popped up whilst I was writing mine!

HerScaryness Fri 21-Oct-11 14:23:20

The spare room thing, too right he's martyring himself.

You need to lose patience with him. he won't go to Oz without the DC, OK fine, but he can still be a parent in the UK and not share a roof.

He needs to know that you have had enough. He either pisses on the pot or pisses OFF! YOU NEED TO MEAN IT TOO!

He's unlikely to be mildly autistic, he is anti-social, anti YOUR social! Anti-his social. He's accepted it because it's another way he can get away with crappy behaviour. Autistic or not, you don't have to put up with this grilling. It's inhumane!

He's not going to be happier there, he'll be more secure knowing you and the DC will be trapped there forever.

What is HIS family background like, why does he treat you like this?

WardrobeYeti Fri 21-Oct-11 14:40:37

sadmumoftwo- you obviously know your husband much better than anyone else, so tell me if this is of the mark: do you think he "enjoys" martyring himself? From what you've said it almost seems as if he relishes being unhappy and being dissatisfied with everything. If he truly, desperately wanted to go to Oz why did he flip and say no to the job after the weekend? Maybe because it would mean that he finally might get what he wanted.

Some people love to complain and refuse to change their lives and instead just stew in their misery. And by saying "no" and putting it down to you it gives him more to martyr himself with and something to blame you for. He didn't know for sure that you'd say no to the idea, but it suited him to turn it down and be able to use it against you in future. I bet if you told him you were considering it and might have said yes he'd turn around and say that you weren't and that you would turned it down, and refuse to let you say otherwise.

He sounds like he refuses to let himself be happy- for example, clinging onto that one thing you may or may not have said all these years ago as a way of sabotaging the relationship you have together. It's like he's his own worst enemy.

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 14:45:33

HS I am digesting (and working - clearly not doing the latter very well, but I need to get off the internet now lol!)

I spent my lunchbreak mullling about going to Oz, but I keep coming back to the fact that there is a very good chance we will split if we go, and I'm not prepared to take it.

I know what you say is right. I'm no angel believe me, but whilst I've been snappy and short tempered with him and said things I probably shouldnt have, I've never done anything to deserve what feels like a kick in the teeth every time we disagree.

I dont know in detail about his family life - he says he can take or leave them (he has a sister he tolerates and an uncle who he's fond of and then his mum), but he is in touch with them fairly frequently which is kind of contradictory. Although he could just be waiting for his inheritance (he jokes about that but theres a degree of truth in it) They seem to get on ok now - as in he moans when she visits, but they chat ok - more than toleration put it that way. His dad died when he was a teenager. Apparently his mum was pretty horrible to him when he was younger. He doesnt really elaborate on that. I really like her, but I'm well aware what she's like now has no bearing on how she was 30 years ago. I dont think there was anything terrible going on - maybe he had a hard time in general as a child because of his quirks. Maybe he felt his mum didnt support him and he's trying to ensure that I do in whatever way possible.

I'm trying to turn sad into cross right now.

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Fri 21-Oct-11 14:48:23

Well what I want to put it bluntly much as you do, is for him to stop punishing me for something I havent done/for words I may have said a lifetime ago by continually bringing this up. I've told him that over and over. He doesnt budge

What you for him to do something. Something you've asked him to do many times already. Well, it sounds like he's given you his answer.

You can't change him. You can't make him want to change. Only he can do that.

So, what can you do?

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 14:49:35

wardrobe yeti - I suspect you have hit the nail on the head. the words 'sabotage' and 'own worst enemy' ring very true actually. I often think he's deliberately trying to be unhappy, for whatever reason I dont know.

I bet if you told him you were considering it and might have said yes he'd turn around and say that you weren't and that you would turned it down, and refuse to let you say otherwise.

Um, yes, thats exactly what happened.

ItsMeAndMyPumpkinNow Fri 21-Oct-11 14:50:37

I often think he's deliberately trying to be unhappy, for whatever reason I dont know.

I do. To control you.

fiventhree Fri 21-Oct-11 15:07:20


I recognise this situation, because I wanted to come back to my home town after a long absence a couple of years ago, and my H didnt. He said he would, but reluctantly, and then changed his mind, so I forced the move. He has been angry since.

What I have learned about myself since, is that I wanted to come 'home' metaphorically', as I was unhappy in the relationship.

In my defence, I will say that my H has some particular issues which you dont, and which I wont go into again here, as I am currently posting about them elsewhere. Certainly, I can relate to the endless discussions which go nowhere.

Really, I knew that the relationship was the real problem at some level, but didnt feel I was able to get any changes from my H, and thought to myself that, either the fresh start will be good, or at least if not I will have support from elsewhere (family etc).

Since we have moved here, things have got steadily worse, and are now at crisis point. We have just started Relate, but it may be too late for us.

We should have gone for counselling two years ago instead of moving. Then either we would both have been happier regardless of where we lived, or we would have split up and could both have lived where we wanted.

Hope there is something of use there for you.

WardrobeYeti Fri 21-Oct-11 15:12:40

Some people would rather be unhappy than take action and make changes. Change is frightening, unsure and requires decisive behaviour, planning and all the rest. And changing things would mean giving up cherished resentment. So he makes excuses and dishes out blame.

The thing about Oz is you didn't live there long and you didn't have children when you were there. So it's pretty easy to idealise it into a wonderland when you were there before the stress and responsibility of children. How long did you live there exactly? It's been years so memory has probably softened his picture of it. Who knows, maybe he would be happier there: but I can't help but feel that he would replace one unhappiness with another in his mind and dwell on that instead.

What is sad is that he seems to have built you up as the source of his unhappiness- the person that is responsible for him being unhappy and keeping him away from Australia. Where is his accountability in all this? Perhaps it's easier to blame a spouse for all the troubles and problems than it is to look inwards.

Ineversignedupforthis Fri 21-Oct-11 15:24:06

It is well-known in counselling terms that people who are unhappy will often convince themselves that if they move, it will be an Enchanted Kingdom where they become happy as if by magic. This doesn't happen. It's called 'doing a geographical', and fits in very well with what others have said Upthread.
Five, I don't mean you btw, I think going home could possibly have been you looking after yourself very sensibly, ie if it doesn't work out, I will at least be in my home town.

SootySweepandSue Fri 21-Oct-11 15:28:50

Sorry is he Australian? I didn't quite get it from the post.

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 15:36:00

thanks for the post fiventhree - I appreciate that perspective. I dont know if it helps, but I'm feeling better with every person that gives me their view on it.
He wont go to relate. Like many things he is stubborn (stamps feet) about it is a very clear cut thing for him that he will not seek external help for personal problems. I'm not moving, thats for sure. I am very clear on that.

I have known him for quite a long time, and I dont think he wants to be a malicious person. He often tries hard to be kind in various kinds of ways.

What seems to have been established is that in the words of my DS1, he wants to be the goody, which makes me the baddy. I KNOW that HE doesnt think he is being unreasonable. Is he deliberately/knowingly behaving in a controlling way - are those two entirely different things? I dont think he is. From his POV he is entirely justified in the way he behaves.

Can I put up with it? No not like he is right now, I can't. So I'm going to have to tell him (again) that I'm sick of his Sh*t. But without the swearing. Because that upsets him (oh dont get me started) Do I issue an ultimatum? I dont know. I cannot face breaking up my family, not that I think its me doing this - what I mean is, I'm not sure I can face instigating it, because I like my life, like I said. And I like him, when hes not doing this to me.
oh I'm rambling again I know. I'm trying to figure out what it is that I want.

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 15:43:44

hes not Australian, no. And he would be happier there - this I know - in the same way I know I'm happier here - just not happier with ME - that would be the same.
And he does blame me for not being there, because it was my decision to come back.
I knew from the start he wanted to live there, and it was stupid of me to not take that seriously enough. He knew that when I moved over (15 months) , it was temporary as far as I was concerned, and that I could go either way. I was very torn about the whole thing, but I never really settled - I dont think I had time to.

I suspect that he blames me for not giving him the choice, because I was pregnant when I moved back (thats what tipped the scales for me). In his head I gave him no option. I think he resents the fact that because it was me carrying our child, it gave me the decision as to its location, and therefore our location. I think its entirely possible that he wouldnt have come back with me (actually he didnt - he stayed out there earning when I came home and returned 3 months later) but for DS1.

SootySweepandSue Fri 21-Oct-11 15:52:55

If he is not Australian then I do feel he is delusional. It's almost child-like and reminds me of when one child wants to play house and the other one snakes & ladders!

Would it even be practical to move there from a visa point of view? Could you work there eventually?

These decisions just have to be joint and if he can't see that, well, yes ask him to leave or reconsider his actions. He is not a partner if he will not do this.

SootySweepandSue Fri 21-Oct-11 16:00:55

Another thought..what exactly is it about Australia he likes? Has he been specific about this? Have you asked?

I've lived abroad too but to me the place is never the place it's about the people you are with and perhaps the ambiance but that's so personally interpreted. Never been to Oz though.

sadmumoftwo Fri 21-Oct-11 16:10:21

ss&s - its not about people for him (although the friends he has are there - he's never made any here and we've been back over 5 years) . he was happy there. he had a good (easy) job that paid a lot, and he can make a lot of money as could I (this is relative though - I've done the sums and we wouldnt be better off, we'd just earn more) He isnt realistic about it in imo.
He is unable to articulate what it is he likes. I can give you a list of things he DOESNT like about it there, but he brushes these off. The extreme heat in summer is one of them. but its fair to say he was a happier person when we lived there. We had no responsiblities then though.

witchyhills Fri 21-Oct-11 16:15:04

Sounds a bit like my DH, he's from NZ and often talks about how he is trapped here. He would go to NZ or Australia, and he whinges so much about the UK, and about the outdoor lifestyle over there.

I don't see the attraction myself, I don't even have that feeling of wanting an extended holiday over there. I think that if we went, he would still work long hours, I wouldn't see him and I'd be stuck with his friends, none of whom I like very much

If he just made the most of what this country has to offer we might be ok.
But no, he wants to eat, drink and sit around watching TV. You can do that anywhere

ImperialBlether Fri 21-Oct-11 17:51:11

With regard to him bringing up a past boyfriend, I'd say, "I never think of that man unless you mention him" - that might help stop him in his tracks.

SootySweepandSue Fri 21-Oct-11 18:00:02

I can't believe he is unable to be specific about why he wants to live there so much. I was thinking maybe he was very outdoorsy or couldn't handle the cold.

It does point to him just having the 'Magic Kingdom' syndrome that another poster mentioned. It sounds like he is unhappy but doesn't even really understand why himself and is just pinning it on Australia. I do think maybe a stern ultimatum and some counselling may help. I feel so sorry for you trying to run a family and all he wants to do is fly across the world. It's not on. If he has no friends, is he depressed?

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