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Please help, kicked me when I'm down and now wants to make up, can't cope

(180 Posts)
aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 08:57:53

Found out on Monday that H slept with someone four times while on two-week work trip abroad. Didn't use protection. He says he'd decided, without informing me, that we needed to get a divorce so was therefore single and not doing anything wrong (his very words). We'd had an argument the day before he'd left and he said I'd gone too far (again, didn't say that at the time). I'm in such a state I can't explain this properly.

The argument was nasty it's true. But I wasn't the only one, and he was pretty harsh, even threatening at one point. Now, he says he's not sure and is blaming what happened on the things I said. It came about because, as usual, he didn't take into account the fact that I have physical problems that make everything seem harder. It was DS's birthday and I wanted it to be great. He decided to invite his family and friends to dinner the same night, followed by six of his ex-colleagues the following evening. So I'd been cooking all weekend and preparing stuff for the kiddie party on Friday too. He hardly helped and wants a medal for what he did do. When he said in the middle of it that he was going out for a swim, leaving me with my DS and step-DS and all the cleaning, I lost it and we had the argument. I have a slipped disc (third in four years) and have been struggling with hormonal imbalance that started when I got chronic fatigue 10 years ago. It goes in cycles and my life is hugely better but I'm nowhere near to normal energy levels. Was getting back to proper weight but after this I've shrunk again, can only drink tea. The painkillers are the only things keeping me sane as one of them also treats anxiety. I'm gutted for DS too as I just can't see how we can get back from this as H says he will never feel remorse but is willing to start afresh (wtf?!).

What's worse is that I struggle to believe his version and feel he wanted to hurt me, as punishment for argument. I have no proof of that, just my gut. If he'd really decided to leave, would he have needed to tell me about OW? When he came home, we put little one to bed then he said he'd decided to leave. He burst into tears and was so distraught I softened (I'd been mad he'd not asked about DS by mail over the two weeks he was gone). That was when he told me about OW. This is the second time he's dealt with a dispute in this way, though the first time it was 'just a snog'. I'll never know, but he's such a child I believed him. Now I'm lost. Have managed to keep a brave face for DS but it's going to be hard to keep it up. H wants us to have counselling but my instinct says he wants to hurt me again by discussing it in front of someone else, humiliating others is a family trait, at least on of MIL's.

He didn't just have sex with OW, they spent time around people who know us both and to whom he probably told his version of events, that makes it ten times worse. It's horrible.
Please help, what are the baby steps to not lose it?

YouCanBe Sat 24-Nov-12 09:58:59

He doesn't sound like a partner or a friend. He sounds like he is trying to destroy you. sad
Please get out.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:05:49

Jax thanks for the empathy, I'm sorry to hear that.
And you're right about the responsibility thing. I've been seeing a psychologist and she's adamant that it's not my problem but I do have an issue accepting too much responsibility (been like that since I was little, won't go into it here) we're a perfect match on that account.
For instance, at the end of the argument I pushed passed him (not great I know) but it's because he has a habit of blocking my way to be provocative when we've fallen out (when i'm trying to get away to be alone and he wants us to talk). Thing is, he says he wasn't that time and so apparently it was ok that he then pulled me by the my hair and arm into another room to "talk".
That probably sounds horrendous, but I really want to get across the idea that it's a childish rage he gets into not an abusive adult one, iyswim. Whatever though, it made me feel sick and worried about our future. The difference is I didn't then go off and sleep with someone, I thought about it the whole time he was away and got advice from my psychologist.

Yes the advice here is really good and I intend to re-read it all again over and over til it gets through.
Again, thanks everyone, this is really helping.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 10:09:05

You say you live far from your family, can you move back to where you have a network of friends and family?

Do you work? How easy is it for you to leave him?

He sounds very immature and entitled.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 10:12:01

Pulling your hair may be childish, but it's also abusive and violent. Don't fool yourself into accepting it.

He's not a child.

glastocat Sat 24-Nov-12 10:12:47

Really, how can you be bothered? He sounds completely vile!

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 10:14:50

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ISayHolmes Sat 24-Nov-12 10:17:34

"it's a childish rage he gets into not an abusive adult one"

I have to disagree with you there, I'm afraid. Dragging you by the arm and hair is abusive, no matter what preceded it or followed on, no matter how many tears or apologies there are after. Even if it's in a fit of temper or childish rage.

He enjoys hurting you emotionally. He has the potential to do it physically as well. He is not a good person to be with.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:19:57

pictish you're right and that's what hurts, actions speak louder.
notquint I'm not defending him, but I don't think he engineers arguments to be able to take off the ring and have affairs. But I do think that when they happen, he uses flirting (emails etc.) and certain behaviours to hurt me. However subconscious that may be, that's what it feels like.

I found out about the snog by looking at his myspace page (which is not snooping) that was gut-wrenching enough. But this time, he was all over FB showing pictures of how much fun he was having in NY (not showing OW thankfully) which was pretty hurtful anyway seeing as how we left on a bad note and he didn't write to his DS once. He plays the ostrich anyway when there's a problem.

I know how bad this sounds and it's obviously one-sided because you only have my version. I'm trying to stick to the facts as much as possible. For anyone who's wondering about the fact that I have a step-DS, no I was not my H's OW ever, we met after his first split when his DS was about 2. The worst thing is, the signs were all there.
I feel so stupid.

FobblyWoof Sat 24-Nov-12 10:22:08

I've only read the OP, but this is just awful. He thinks he can do whatever he wants, with what ever "justification" he wants. And he's managed to get you to a state where you doubt yourself and wonder whether it was ok. Well, it's not and he's a complete bastard

Leverette Sat 24-Nov-12 10:25:43

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ISayHolmes Sat 24-Nov-12 10:27:23

aefondkisses I completely believe you when you say there are good things your partner does do and that he has positive qualities as well. Really, I do. And I think everyone else who is reading and replying knows that as well, and doesn't think you're being biased and are trying to paint him as a bastard. But those things don't make up for his poor treatment of you, his cheating and his desire to cause you pain. Nothing can make up for what he's doing to you and the turmoil you're going through because of his deliberate choices.

CailinDana Sat 24-Nov-12 10:30:18

OP I think you've totally lost perspective here.

The facts are:
-You're quite seriously ill and need a good deal of help and attention
-In spite of this, you cooked for his friends while he did sweet fuck all
-He walked out and left you with all the work, despite knowing how unwell you are
-When you rightly challenged him on it, he didn't apologise, he started a row.
-When you tried to protect yourself by getting away he physically assaulted you, regardless of the fact that you have a very bad back
-He then went on a jolly and slept with another woman, four times, without protection, putting your health at further risk
-He claims to feel no remorse for what he's done but he still expects you to just lie down and let him kick you more for the rest of your life
-His "effort" to make all this better is to put back on his wedding ring (having earlier said he considered you divorced).

And you're willing to accept this? You're actually questioning your response? Where did you lose yourself so badly?

AlmostAHipster Sat 24-Nov-12 10:32:12

Please get the Hell away from this vicious man!

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:34:03

glastocat I guess the answer to that is that I try and see the behaviour as vile not the person, as they always have the potential to change. The problem is it's been like this from the start and the main issue of trust is still torturing me. As someone said further up, it's worn me down and now i don't even know what I think myself.
Notquint I live abroad, not far, in Europe. My family is scattered but we care deeply about one another. I'm too ashamed to tell my parents and never did about the first time. I've realised in therapy that I've always tried to protect them too. My friends would say just what you are all saying, so I guess I'm afraid of hearing that in RL especially as it would be over the phone. For now, that would just make the hurt even worse. Yes I do work (part-time because of fatigue though studying towards something else). I would be independent financially, but being freelance there's no guarantee of that lasting. I don't get sick leave either, which is also playing on my mind.
leverette you're spot on. But what do you do though? How do you leave (abandon) someone you know is a damaged child, however adult in age? I'm stuck and despite all my anger part of me still loves him. Because he has all the positives of a child too.
I wish I'd known about mumsnet the first time this happened, it would have been so good to get this advice.

Meringue33 Sat 24-Nov-12 10:42:02

Don't mistake pity for love :-(
Let him find someone else to mother him, if he insists on playing the damaged child. Meanwhile be your own mother for a while and your own best friend. What advice would you give her?

CailinDana Sat 24-Nov-12 10:43:55

You've answered the question I asked in my last post. You've lost yourself because you've become his mother rather than his partner. That is a totally unhealthy dynamic and it needs to end.

pictish Sat 24-Nov-12 10:45:42

He's an adult, an abusive adult. People like this can profoundly suck you in because your perception of them as a damaged child activates your 'loving parent' mode. The danger then is that your love is unconditional and you accept anything.

How true.

glastocat Sat 24-Nov-12 10:46:09

Why on earth do you think this is all you deserve? He is telling you he is a shit. He is acting like a shit. He makes no apology for being a shit! And yet you are still there. All this damaged child stuff is a crock. He is a nasty little prick and you need to get the hell away from him, no more excuses. He doesn't like you, never mind love you, he holds you in contempt and still you go back for more. This may sound harsh but you need to woman up and tell him to fuck off to the far side of fuck and then fuck off again.

HotHotNot Sat 24-Nov-12 10:46:50

He may not have thought it through with cold clarity and premeditation but he is, in effect, training you to accept the little mother role at home letting him have his "life on the road" whenever it suits him. Do you want a life where your emotional needs are ignored and you have to turn a blind eye to his affairs? When one might turn serious and he leaves anyway?

As for being an adult child, he is capable of getting therapy as you are instead of using women in his life in an attempt to heal the damage for him. Leave him to get on with it. Sort out your life the way you want it. Life's too short to accept anything else.

aufaniae Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:26

The most dangerous person in this relationship to you is in fact you.

"I try and see the behaviour as vile not the person, as they always have the potential to change."


You are a nice person and he is manipulating that. You are making the very grave mistake of judging him by your standards. He is a vile person and he is damaging you greatly. But your refusal to see the obvious - he's vile and deserves no respect from you - is what's stopping you leave. You need to get over this and quick, for your own safety.

I'm sorry if I sound harsh but I recognise myself in you. I have wasted over 10 years of my life with two men whom I mothered and loved unconditionally. I excused their bad behaviour towards me as I saw it as not really their fault. (Bad childhoods, etc etc) It took me years to see what was obvious to everyone else. They were, quite simply arseholes. And actually, how I'm treated matters greatly. The last one cost me many friends and my self-esteem. It did get so bad in the end that I did at last learn that he was, quite simply vile, and that the reasons for him being like that are irrelevant!! The most important thing was that he was damaging me, and I had to get away.

This was many years ago now, but I'm still recovering from the damage to my self-esteem.

"How do you leave (abandon) someone you know is a damaged child, however adult in age?"

He is not a child!. Children learn and grow. He is not going to. The man he is, today, is who he really is. Please, make sure you are not living in the past (making excuses for who he is) or an imaginary future (of how things might be if only ...) There is no happy ending, it will only get worse. You need to accept that the way he treats you is the real him, and the truth is hugely damaging to you. You must get away from him. You deserve some of your love. He does not, he's had his chance. Enough now.

aefondkisses Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:48

glastocat I wish I could have your clarity, it would be so much easier. It's just not that clean cut for me, however illogical that may seem from the outside. I would have said the same thing as you in the past, before I got into this relationship. His family are pretty toxic (my SIL recently told me she thinks H's big brother is a "malignant narcissist"!) but as someone said earlier this stuff sucks you in so you feel it's your fault for not being good enough. That combined with my own stuff makes it really hard to see a way out.

HotHot I've wondered about the "training" thing but can't face it. And no I don't want my emotional needs ignored any more, because I want to be a healthy happy mum for DS. Oh God that's me crying again. Didn't ever expect this to happen. All I've wanted from him was to be reassuring, so that the good moments weren't undermined by all this doubt.

meringue33 how? I can't work it out sad

madeiracake Sat 24-Nov-12 10:58:55

we're all damaged children in the sense fond - it's not an excuse. you are trying to give unconditional love to an adult who is behaving abusively towards you, this puts you in an incredibly vulnerable situation. Can you consider your needs as as important as his for a minute? - you'll instantly see what's wrong. He sounds appalling. CailinDana's advice is excellent as usual.

aufaniae Sat 24-Nov-12 10:59:50

Sorry, I meant to say that the truth is that this relationship is hugely damaging to you.

NotQuintAtAllOhNo Sat 24-Nov-12 11:00:24

Him being a "damaged child" is not a reason to stay though. Neither is it an excuse. Every time he is vicious and disrespectful, deceitful and cruel, it is the adult him making these choices. He is damaging the "adult you" with his behaviour, and dont you think there is a risk that he is creating further "damaged children" (ie his own children) with his behaviour?

Are you also in awe of him, like your neighbours and friends where you live now?

Anniegetyourgun Sat 24-Nov-12 11:02:45

That just so sounded like a man who behaved extremely badly on purpose, pushing you to your limits so you would be bound to snap, knowing he had a trip abroad so that he would have what he oddly considers a perfect excuse to shag around whilst away. I bet you had a row last time he went away too. An interesting experiment might be to absolutely refuse to argue in the week before his next trip, whatever he does or says, and see how far the behaviour escalates as he becomes more and more desperate to wind you up. But really, isn't life too short for silly games?

OK, so emotionally this man is a child. But mentally and physically he isn't. So you don't need to stay with him to look after him. He is perfectly capable of looking after himself. It didn't take him long to find another woman when he went on his trips abroad, did it? And it won't take him long to find one in the UK when you decide you've had enough. Not that he needs a woman to look after him anyway - he's a big boy.

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