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not violent but emotionally abusive?

(150 Posts)
thatsnotmynamereally Tue 06-Nov-12 06:22:37

I am just wondering how obvious it must be to the rest of the world that DH is a manipulative d*ckhead? and why do I go along with it? Sorry-- this is a rather long rant but I just want to write it down so I'll stop going over it all in my head!

OK. Today he asked me if I'd go into his office with him, basically to keep him company as he'd be the only one there, he runs his own firm with a few others but they don't have much work at the moment so don't go in very often. DH likes to have people around him to talk to. I said no because I wanted to get some things done, ie laundry, sorting out some ISA transfers which should have been done two weeks ago, Ocado order, garden etc-- basically the things I normally do at home as I'm not working, I used to work full time but stopped about 3 years ago.

For the past week we had his brother (divorced) and BIL's little girl (5) staying with us. And it ended up being a total pain for me as I end up waiting on them hand and foot, basically just trying to be a good host but BIL is very hard work and never says thank you for anything. I really hadn't wanted them to come for various reasons-- mainly because the last time they stayed he (BIL) seemed so ungrateful and I ended up planning activities and having to go around with them (and pay for them FFS) and this time was about the same, but it was my DD's half term as well, she's applying to uni right now, and I'd looked forward to a nice calm week. We got through the week and all was OK-- not great-- but today was my first day at home since then.

Anyway DH was really annoyed (angry) that I didn't want to go in with him, but I stood my ground, he suggested that I go in and do some jobhunting but I said I wanted to stay and clean the house. So he went in-- not until about 12:00, did some work, I did some things around the house, he called at about 5:00 to be picked up at the tube (I have to be available for tube-pickups at all times as he doesn't like to take the bus, we have two cars so he could drive himself and park the car away from the tube-- what I did when I worked full time, the pick-ups are a real pain for me but that is another issue) and when we got into the house he had a go at me because it wasn't clean enough-- to be fair I had left the sitting room exactly how he'd left it that morning including his toast plate and mug on the table... but I had asked him to bring those things over and he hadn't-- this was after I'd had a total b%^ch session with him about how his brother had left cereal bowls etc all over and he'd agreed that it was not on!

So... I was planning on going to see fireworks with a friend-- he knew about this as I'd phoned him earlier-- I invited him (even though I really didn't want him to come as I wanted to have a good chat with friend), he said he might like to, after dinner-- I said OK dinner's almost ready-- I'd made sausages fried up with onions, plus cauliflower cheese, green beans, and the leftover roasted veges plus yorkshire puddings from a sumptuous roast dinner I'd made yesterday. Now I thought that was a pretty good effort. I brought it over to him, he immediately complained that the gravy was too thin, I was mildly annoyed and said that it wasn't but offered to remake it (Bisto, I despise it but he and kids love it) but he said too late, he'd already poured it, then he and DD and I all had our dinners, I poured the two of us a glass of red wine, asked if he was coming to the fireworks, he started complaining about the dinner which he said was very poor... and complained about the wine which was an expensive red I'd bought the day before and told him about because it was on a really good discount, I thought it was lovely but he was just looking for a reason to complain, he asked why there was no white wine in the house-- true, there wasn't but ?! I hadn't had time to re-stock! Not the end of the world? And we tend to drink red this time of year?! Sorry but I get so defensive, this has got to be part of the problem-- he started going on about how awful the dinner was, DD had a real go at him for being horrible to me and she told me the dinner was fine-- but what can you say if someone tells you that the dinner which you've cooked, which they've mostly eaten, is rubbish? I said, (a bit sarcastically but mainly to smooth things over), OK I'm sorry the dinner was sh*te and I'll never cook sausages again... blah blah... then he said, well you'd better get along to the fireworks and I said I'd bring a bottle of white wine back with me.

So I went off to the fireworks, a short walk away, met up with my friend, had a lovely time watching fireworks, which started much later than they'd said and went on for a fairly long time. We had such a nice chat and we decided we should go for a quick drink after to celebrate my birthday which was a week ago. So against my better judgement we did and had a lovely time, shared a bottle of wine and generally had a chat and caught up. Of course DH was annoyed that I hadn't turned up, called about 9:15 and asked where I was , I told him was just leaving, got a bottle of wine at Sainsburys on the way back and got home well before 10:00-- not unreasonably late.

More back story here-- it was my birthday a week ago on the Friday that BIL was due to turn up to the train station at 9:30PM and he needed picking up from the station in the car (he's got health issues, couldn't ask him to get a taxi) so that scuppered any thoughts of an evening glass of fizz or celebration, not really too dramatic about it but knowing we had to get ready for him coming which we weren't looking forward to sort of ruined the day. DH thought we should do something to celebrate my birthday, I said that I was just fine not doing too much but he insisted so we decided to go to Bicester outlet mall... just for a fun day out, no serious shopping or anything. It's about an hours drive from us and we got there it was packed, so packed that we couldn't find a parking space and DH got furious and drove really fast and angry up and down the parking lanes-- people jumped out of the way-- I of course got really upset by this, then DH found a parking attendant and shouted at him for 10 minutes when the guy suggested we park by the train station. So we drove away with him shouting that he was never going back there-- OK it was annoying not to find a space but FFS supposed to be my birthday celebration! Anyway we ended up having lunch at a restaurant but not fun-- and I wasn't 'allowed' to mention Bicester and how unreasonable he'd been. Anyway-- last night I thought I should have been able to say to DH that my friend was taking me for a birthday drink without me feeling guilty about it, as I'd had no other acknowledgement!

DH went to bed just before I got in last night, I went up to see him and he said I'd ruined everything, blah blah, so I said OK fine and went downstairs to sleep on the sofa. Now I'm awake at 4AM and rather furious with the situation. Sorry if it's TMI but just wanted to write it down... so many more examples like this seem to be happening on a daily basis... I need to do something but I'm not sure what! Don't want to make any effort to rock the boat until lovely DD, who is very understanding and knows that DH gets into these moods, gets her uni place sorted out...

Numberlock Tue 06-Nov-12 06:30:10

Why do you put up with this?

omletta Tue 06-Nov-12 06:36:46

Re read your OP, as numberlock says why?

akaemmafrost Tue 06-Nov-12 06:38:39

Christ on a bike! What an ARSE! Sorry, not helpful but that's what I think.

Homebird8 Tue 06-Nov-12 06:39:27

I should be frightened if I were you. EA definitely, and it's controlling your life. You say you don't want to do anything until DD has her uni place sorted out. Once that's done then won't it be her next milestone, and then her next? Won't she be more able to concentrate on her own life path if she knows her DM is making the moves she needs to make too. I'm not in any position to advise you on what exactly you should do although I've a feeling you know already. My advice is not to wait. What RL support do you have?

omletta Tue 06-Nov-12 06:43:51

Is he always like this of does it come and go?

BeckAndCall Tue 06-Nov-12 06:49:13

Is he always like this or is he having a particularly hard time with something?

On the face of it, with just this info, it seems like he's always picking a fight and is angling to get you to retaliate. You could retaliate and say something like'cook your own dinner next time!) and see what happens, or you could just ask him straight out why he's being such a twat (because he really, really is)

thatsnotmynamereally Tue 06-Nov-12 06:49:46

Yikes, read that back and it does sound dire, more so than I meant! Blame the late night. Going to bed now (well back to the sofa anyway) and will think about it tomorrow... it's not as un-livable as it sounds but something needs to be done. (feeling a bit ashamed tbh!)

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 06-Nov-12 06:56:39

"Don't want to make any effort to rock the boat until lovely DD, who is very understanding and knows that DH gets into these moods, gets her uni place sorted out..."

And then you may well find some excuse not to rock the boat then either. Do not wait, start making plans to separate now.

Your DD likely knows all too well how unhappy things are at home and she has seen and heard more of her dad's private war with you than you perhaps realise or even care to admit. She may well wonder why you have stayed with him and even perhaps wonder why in her childhood, you put him before her.

What have you both taught your daughter about relationships; two words here suffice - damaging lessons. How would you feel if she were to choose a man like her Dad for a husband?. You've both taught her this.

What has kept you within this, the forlorn hope that if you hung around he would somehow change for the better?. I think you do need to ask yourself why you have gone along with this to date.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 06-Nov-12 06:58:19

Why isn't he on the sofa?.

BTW sofas should not be used for sleeping on as that can cause back problems.

BeckAndCall Tue 06-Nov-12 07:47:47

I agree with you thinking of my our DD first and not rushing into anything - upper sixth is a tough year and if you can give her some stability, that's a good choice.

And I would also take the devil's advocate view to attila's here in that you are teaching your DD that you don't just leave when things get tough, you try to work it out and compromise. Your view of marriage may be that it's forever and that you adapt and change your expectations, so that may be the lesson you're trying to teach her. It's not for us to say what lessons are most important for you to teach your DD.

Offred Tue 06-Nov-12 07:53:25

Teaching a child to put up with abusive treatment because "marriage is forever" or "when things get tough you work at it" is not a good plan. Those are exactly the wrong lessons to learn; the right ones being that every person deserves to be respected by their partner and that no relationship is worth putting up with being disrespected or abused. Being with someone abusive is not "things getting tough" he will likely have been the same for the entire marriage it is just only now that the op has realised. You cannot "work on" abuse, you can only tolerate it or not.

Offred Tue 06-Nov-12 07:54:27

The ds's year is tough anyway when she may feel she has to monitor and police her abusive father.

Offred Tue 06-Nov-12 07:54:48

Dd's - autocorrect!

DevaDiva Tue 06-Nov-12 07:58:00

Bloody hell! Make him read your OP, if there's any chance of him changing the penny will drop and you can start to talk about how to change what's wrong if that's what you want to do. Good luck x

tallwivglasses Tue 06-Nov-12 09:14:44

Personally, I'd have stuck his sausages up his arse.

BeckAndCall Tue 06-Nov-12 09:15:15

offred I"m not saying that those maxims hold to be true, but they may be the OPs principles, we don't know. I'm just saying there are other lessons to learn than the usual knee jerk 'leave the bastard'.

And we don't know what else is going on that is upsetting the OP's DH and we don't know if he's only been doing this for the last week or if it's a habit of a decade. It would be a poor marriage if you couldn't cut your OH a bit of slack if there is something else going on. But it it's the habit of a decade, that's a different story.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 06-Nov-12 09:57:02

Yes indeed, when things get tough you work at it. You pull together through the hard times so you can enjoy the good times together. If one of you is less fun than they used to be due to, say, illness, bereavement, pregnancy, the other needs to pick up the slack and be supportive. It's what you sign up for when you get married and/or have children together. Sometimes bringing up a family is a hard slog.

I fail to see why any of this excuses the OP's H from going off on one because the gravy was too thin, or she dares to stay out chatting to a friend until <gasp> 10pm! I would also be interested to hear how the judge would have reacted had the idiot hit somebody by driving aggressively in a car park and then claimed it was all his wife's fault for, er... it being full?

Basically he's behaving like a total dick because he can. Explain to me just how much slack it is reasonable to cut him in those circumstances.

Oh, and, OP: LTB wink

pictish Tue 06-Nov-12 10:02:12

You have become embroiled in a controlling relationship, and because it's all so insidious, you are unsure as to whether or not you have a point.

Well, you do. What you desribe sounds horrific it's all about him and that's just the way he likes it and will be determined to keep it. He wants you scuttling about to his command.

Are you ok with that?

BeckAndCall Tue 06-Nov-12 10:02:43

annie in practice, less slack than she's shown him already to be honest. Things should probably have come to a head sooner, but this is where the OP is at now, so the first thing to figure out is 'why'. Has he been a twat all along or is something behind this... The answer would at least influence what the OP does next.

pictish Tue 06-Nov-12 10:03:54

To go on and on and bloody on about his supposed crap tea is just a prime example of his control. There was nothing bloody wrong with that meal!!

I bet though, you feel obliged to try harder tonight.

That's how it works. He's a pig.

foolonthehill Tue 06-Nov-12 10:17:54

It's not necessarily a "knee jerk reaction" to suggest that the OP considers leaving. After all she has clearly been there for some time doing her best and maintaining the relationship/her DH and DC.

This is appears to be the normal state of affairs for her, her DD and her husband. Not healthy, all of the above appears to be both verbally and emotionally abusive. To add clarity we have the eg of the BIL who seems to have the same issues of entitlement as his brother...what chances they learned it from the cradle?

Obviously only you can decide what to do OP but please consider that you are modelling a relationship to your DD that is not healthy, respectful nor equal. This increases her chances of ending up in a relationship that is unhealthy, disrespectful and unequal at best, at worst this can escalate to physical and sexual abuse. Also consider that this is unhealthy for you, and much less than marriage was designed to be and that you should expect.

Working at abusive relationships seldom (never?) works (see how she has stood her ground only once and for the rest of the time has taken blame, "fixed" the problems and manoeuvred round him), because usually only one person wants it to change.

Op you could have a read around, there are good links at the top of this thread www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1583744-Support-for-those-in-Emotionally-Abusive-Relationship-12

maybe start with www.hiddenhurt.co.uk

Once you have "seen" and acknowledged that problem maybe you will see your way through to the next step you want to take.

I wish you al the best

Anniegetyourgun Tue 06-Nov-12 10:19:01

I bet picking at the tea was a revenge thing because she wouldn't come to work with him (to do what? Sit there twiddling her thumbs for a few hours? And what would he have then said about the housework and cooking she hadn't been able to do?). Demanding white wine not because he really wanted any, but because there was only red. And the BIL sounds like a waste of oxygen as well. It would be interesting to know whether the whole family is like it (except the MIL? Someone has to be the dogsbody, unless they're stinking rich and employ minions household staff to do pretty much everything).

One of the prime indicators that someone is an abuser is their attitude to people they consider their social inferiors. Thus, the H shouting at the parking attendant is another sign he is a nasty bastard rather than just someone under stress.

DD sounds lovely. I really hope the biggest lesson she learns from all this is not to settle down with anyone like her father or uncle. And the second biggest, not to behave like them.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 06-Nov-12 10:20:12

Ha, X-posted with you, fool !

AnyFucker Tue 06-Nov-12 10:21:38

I lost the will to read all your post about half way through.

He is a textbook arsehole.

How can you live with him ?

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