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So it's not all in my head then:( (long)

(468 Posts)
MerlotforOne Tue 01-Jan-13 17:04:15

Can't quite believe I'm writing this, but need to get it written down before I minimise it again.
This morning, DH and I both a bit tired, DS (3) acting up a bit. DH offered to take DS and dog for a walk so I could get some peace. DS was being difficult about getting his coat on and DH was acting as though his temper was getting strained. He muttered 'I don't work hard all week to come home to this!' And then pinned DS on the stone floor and wrestled him into his coat. DS was sobbing and I wanted to comfort him, bu DH snarled t me to go upstairs and let him get on with it. I would normally retreat at this point so as not to provoke him, but today I decided not to and stood m ground.

He asked me again to go and I said if he was upset he should take the dog out and clear his head, and leave DS with me. He said 'you really don't want to push me just now' and I asked why he was threatening me? He walked over and shoved me really hard through the doorway into the next room and onto the floor. DS saw this sad and ran over to me. We both somehow ended up upstairs and DH followed us up and stood there saying I was over-reacting as it was only a shove had provoked him so i deserved the shove.

I was crying and DS was upset and brought me his muslin and dummy sad. I refused to let DH touch me and he told me again I was overreacting and denied the comment about me deserving it, said I had made that up. He then took DS and went for the walk. I haven't been able to send being in the same room all day, but daren't leave in case he gets really angry and does something worse.

He has only physically assaulted me once before, 8 years ago on holiday, and was so drunk at that time that he passed out and claimed no memory of it. He can be grumpy and I feel I walk on eggshells and that I have to justify myself a lot. Since the incident 8 years ago, I've always backed down before he lost his temper, and fooled myself that he'd changed, but I discovered mumsnet 6m ago and have been reading a lot on this board and feeling increasingly uneasy that quite a lot f it applied to me.

He is not at all financially controlling, but was very jealous and quite controlling of my social life (back when I had one) and can be quite argumentative after a drink (not that he drinks much these days). He can also be loving and affectionate and we have long periods of time where everything seems fine, but I've been excusing his behaviour for a very long time and now there are really no excuses left.

Don't know what to do really. Thoroughly miserable and very confused.

marriedinwhite Wed 16-Jan-13 19:36:45

Just remember that we are here for you - here for the good days, here for the bad days, here for the successes, here for the not so good times, here to hear about you and about ds. How is DS by the way? wine

MerlotforOne Thu 17-Jan-13 18:08:16

Well, the funeral was lovely. Very peaceful and actually quite cathartic. Feeling tired and a bit fragile now, but ok.

Math yes, this '^You seem to be a person who likes a settled routine, and can very effectively immerse yourself in activities that occupy your brain. Are you a person who can perform well when you have the security of knowing the expectations and parameters of your job?^' is very accurate. I have a lot of difficulty expressing negative emotions, as this was a big no no in my household growing up. I've literally never seen either of my parents openly express fear or anger, and it takes something pretty catastrophic to make them cry. I tend to feel that I shouldn't inflict my negative emotions on others and should manage them myself, but this is too big for that.

Tea, the change curve really helps. I'm familiar with Kubler Ross but hadn't seen it in that format before and it certainly helps make sense of the kaleidoscope of my feelings at the moment. Out of curiosity, did you stay with your H? Was 'trying hard' enough to make a long term difference?

Married thanks for the wine. DS is on good form as far as I can tell. He's basking in Daddy's attention, sleeping better, behaving better and I'm enjoying his company much more now that it feels less relentless. H is an absolute revelation in terms of his parenting ability now that he's actually dedicating some time and energy to DS. I'm hoping that DS is young enough that if he sees really positive role models and gets lots of positive parenting from here on in, he won't be too badly harmed by the whole experience.

MerlotforOne Thu 17-Jan-13 18:09:06

Apologies for failure of italics there!

tribpot Thu 17-Jan-13 19:06:21

I'm glad the funeral has given you some peace, Merlot.

swallowedAfly Fri 18-Jan-13 08:01:27

i think it's a sign you haven't had enough time or space merlot - that this can't be rushed through on thought and mental level processing but needs time - instincts, emotion, subconscious - they don't just bend to our will and that's good because they have a job to do, an important part of which is protecting us.

the disappearing with a rucksack for a week actually sounds rather good. you need some space and flow for those things like your instincts to reconnect - and yes you probably have repressed them - you've had to in order to live in the same house as him again i should think after he scared the shit out of you.

even a weekend off on your own might be good.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 18-Jan-13 10:59:45

H is an absolute revelation in terms of his parenting ability now that he's actually dedicating some time and energy to DS

Better late than never!

Glad the funeral was calming, Merlot.

MadBusLady Fri 18-Jan-13 11:22:06

Glad you're ok after the funeral.

the disappearing with a rucksack for a week actually sounds rather good.

Seconded. In fact I think this is a pretty good idea in most relationships from time to time. Never mind one where an issue as big as this has come up.

marriedinwhite Fri 18-Jan-13 18:15:45

Hoping he can keep it up Merlot. My DH can't but I have compromised because essentially he is a very very decent, grounded moral man. I am always the first to admit that he doesn't do practical or too emotional and got stuck in the childlock of parents who knew poverty and found an enduring Christian dourness. DH can do it spiritually and caringly - he just doesn't do the home-making and has never been able to drop the logging every penny spent and looking at how to save a h'penny. I'd love a more spontaneous fun bit but I accept it's not there becuase nobody showed him how to. He has never scared us though - if your dh ever does that again you come straight back on here for a stern talking to.

Bear in mind too that it's more bearable because DH does stress very well and reached the top and if I were to be entirely selfishs there's a bit of me that would have liked a more hands on husband, but we have worked at it and love each other very much and it would not be easy to sacrifice the income and the power he has achieved for the chance of something that might be a bit more touchy feely only to find out a few furlongs on that I couldn't actually find a better bloke.

Love and hugs and lots more wine

TeaMakesItAllPossible Fri 18-Jan-13 20:48:03

smile glad it helps. It really helped me dealing with others too - particularly my parents and siblings who just wanted things to move forward and for me to stay.

To answer your question. No. I did stay with him and then I left. For me, it was hard but ok - that I had to deal with all those things and that I was starting to train my little boy to dance on eggshells but I found in counselling that I had a line. And it was crossed when he admitted to being a bully but dismissed it with the comment "but isn't everyone at some point in their lives". I decided that for my son - I wanted him to experience a life where at least one of his parent's wasn't bullying and that it wasn't normal that one person's wants trumped all. It took a long time to get to that point though.

I'm really pleased that the funeral was one that did justice to the person.

JackieandJudy Fri 18-Jan-13 21:57:20

Merlot - I've just seen your thread after some time away from MN. I'm so sorry for all you've been, and still are, going through. I can't say anything any different, or any wiser, to anything that's already been written. Just want you to know that my thoughts are with you and your ds.

If you want to pm your whereabouts (roughly), and if we're in the same area, I'd be more than happy to meet up with you.

DewDr0p Fri 18-Jan-13 22:15:01

I've commented earlier Merlot but just wanted to send some support and encouragement. Do pm me your location if you'd like someone to meet up with.

Take care of yourself.

MerlotforOne Sat 19-Jan-13 19:19:24

Thanks JandJ, I've been lurking on your new thread and thinking of you and your DH.

I think you're all right that I haven't had enough time to process it, but at present I have more time to myself if I stay here than if I go elsewhere, as H is cooking, cleaning and spending time with DS so I get plenty of 'me time'. A weekend away by myself sounds lovely and I'll look into it, although I've got a lot on at work at present (can't cancel as it would risk my reputation in the long term and would lose a lot of money in the short term, as it's freelance), so I feel I ought to be spending time with DS a the weekends. I'm keeping March free of clinical commitments so I'll get a break then.

Tea thanks for sharing your story. I think counselling will hopefully help me to figure out my line!

My earlier perception of having no friends may have been a bit premature. Everyone is being lovely, although my friend who I said seemed to be in her bubble seems to actually be having nearly as much trouble with her H as I'm having with mine! We had lunch the other day and a good growl about our men!

Gotta go, dinner's ready! Being waited on hand and foot here.....

swallowedAfly Sun 20-Jan-13 18:42:11

try not to let the coincidence that you and her are struggling with them at the same time lead down to the, oh they're all like that, that's what men are bs line.

and the waited on hand and foot is lovely i'm sure but it's not showy displays you need and anyone can make a huge effort for a while. time will tell.

sorry to be negative - just keep your wits x

AnyFucker Sun 20-Jan-13 20:20:45

I feel very uncomfortable when I read your chirpy "oh lucky me, I am being waited on hand and foot" updates

he is a violent man

nothing changes that

you can have a good ole "aren't men crap" chinwag with your mate, but I hope it isn't boosting your "us women are all in this together" bullshitometer

what he has done is not healthy, not by a long shot, and I don't see anywhere that he is properly atoning for it, apart from bringing you a cup of tea or two sad

TurnipCake Sun 20-Jan-13 20:35:36

I have to say, I'm with swallowedAfly and AF on this. I didn't want to sound too negative either, but the tone from your last post (meeting up with a girlfriend, being waited on etc) almost sounded a little hypomanic to me and I wouldn't blame you for feeling so exhilarated at this point, but as been said, be on your guard.

You mentioned on the last page that he said something about feeling as though he landed his colleagues in it, perhaps I'm overly cynical but I do wonder whether he was trying to give your boundaries a 'nudge' there to see how you would react.

He's on his best behaviour at the moment and knows it. Take care of yourself, you were strong enough to leave the first time x

mathanxiety Sun 20-Jan-13 20:51:05

Six more times to go, statistically speaking.

AnyFucker Sun 20-Jan-13 20:52:15

We can wait it out, math

we always do sad

TeaMakesItAllPossible Mon 21-Jan-13 09:22:00

Just be very careful with the counselling. Go by yourself.

I thought going for counselling would make him realise that his way of doing things was wrong. It didn't. I then thought the sessions would help him accept that I was leaving - he was/is a supposedly intelligent man. I was wrong - he was still a control freak that used various forms of abuse to try and get his wife and his family back where it should be. It did get worse during the six months we were separating.

Please keep in your mind you've experienced is not normal.

Be safe. If you have any doubts at all ask him to leave again. At the moment your H has you where he wants you, so be very careful when you go through challenging the status quo over the coming months.

Chaoscarriesonagain Mon 21-Jan-13 09:42:44

Hi OP, been thinking of you!

Am glad that things have settled down and there is more harmony in the home. As other posters have said, and I really don't want to put a downer on things, I do think you have to employ a degrees of realism here; what has happened can't be minimised by short term fantastic DH behaviour. My ex P would do the exact same! Cook me dinner (after going to chemist to get me arnica for me bruises), treat me like a princess , you name it... until the next time!

I know it's super difficult as you work in the same industry, both professionals, shared colleagues , friends, you name it! I had and have the same scenario! I kept thinking 'this doesn't happen to someone like me, I am supposed to be intelligent, have a professional job, this automatically should command this area of my life to not be like this!'

Sadly I have come to the realisation that it can happen to anyone. You can't judge the pull of love and heart strings against logic and DV objectively when you're in it. Which is why you have to leave. And you did. I just worry OP that it wasn't for long enough? Please don't think am trying to judge your situation, am not. Am only speaking from my own and what I've learned and am continually learning.

I'm almost a month in, and a month apart. Am only beginning to be objective now. I am beginning to attach the love (and I still have bounds of it) against the logic, and reason that this is without question the right thing, where before I couldn't.

In the immediate aftermath, and when I did see him once, all I saw was love, a crying, hurt man, my life partner, the one I fancied, the one who held me when I was hurt. I was blinkered by love. I only saw what I wanted to see, I didn't see myself, I didn't what it was doing to me I only thought about him.

It's about you and DC now.

Sending you love

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 09:50:06

Good luck Chaoscarriesinagain that was a thought provoking and insightful post.

swallowedAfly Mon 21-Jan-13 10:20:56

the trouble with counselling (i trained as one) is that the nature of the process is to do address you and your agency/responsibility/choices etc. in the case of domestic violence or spousal abuse that can be really problematic. in most cases counsellors sit in the all-neutral posture - re: they don't name the agent or make moral judgements. again in abuse that is deeply problematic and i know women who have been really distressed after seeing a counsellor about for example sexual abuse because they felt the counsellor was condoning it by not judging it and in some way blaming them by focusing on them and never the abuser.

just something to be aware of.

i think it's important to find the right kind of help at sorting through this stuff and that may not be a generic counsellor.

porridgeLover Mon 21-Jan-13 12:54:34

I dont know what it is about your last post that just doesnt sit right.

I can imagine that there is part of you that doesnt want to lose face by admitting that he (and your marriage) is not as you thought or wanted it to be.

I feel uncomfortable about all the 'good dad' thing he's doing. I feel uncomfortable about him being back in your home with 'his feet under the table'. What repercussions have there really been for his actions. He's having to spend more time with his DS? He has colleague's sympathy for having been stressed?

I feel uncomfortable with how you seem to be 'intellectualising' your own hurt and pinning it as part of the 'cycle of grief'.

I may be well out of line, and you shouldnt hesitate to call BS if I'm wrong.
I've walked the walk of dealing with a highly respected healthcare professional STBXH who has a high profile locally. Who has held up the over-worked, stressed cards. I've been embarrassed to admit what happened to friends. I've had family want to smooth it all over. So I may be seeing my 'stuff' in your story. I hope I'm wrong for your sake.

MerlotforOne Mon 21-Jan-13 14:32:02

Thank you for keeping my feet firmly on the ground! The comment about being waited on hand and foot was supposed to be ironic, as this is how his life was up until 3 weeks ago and it's so easy compared to working AND doing everything else, that I feel quite chagrined that he's blaming his behaviour at least partially on stress! To address some of your points:

I'm 'hoping for the best and planning for the worst' at present. H has now proved that he can be a good husband and father when he wants to be, so I'm not going to tolerate any of his pleas that he's just not as capable as me in future. I was completely exhausted even before New Year and much as my parents were keen to help, after a week of DS and I, they were exhausted. I'm using this time to build myself up, rest, exercise, eat healthily, get my academic studies up to date and put some money away as an emergency fund so that I can pay for things like rental flat deposit etc if necessary. I've even had a look online at properties and figured out what I could afford and where and how that would fit with work and childcare. I'm currently applying for a permanent clinical post to give me more financial stability.

I will be going to counselling on my own and have flatly refused couple counselling for the time being. I plan to use the counselling to work through my own emotions and figure out what I want my life to be like and what my 'bottom line' is. I'm aware that I need to reassess all of my boundaries and ensure that they're in the right places and are rock solid going forwards. If I find that the generic counselling isn't helping, I have the direct number for my local Women's Aid office and will contact them for advice about specialist counselling.

I know for certain that I never want to go back to the way things were, but I also have 13 years invested in H and I need to know for myself whether he can actually change now that he's been confronted with my unhappiness and his abusive behaviours. He does accept that he was being abusive and says he doesn't ever want me to feel unhappy and afraid again. In my own mind, I've decided that if I ever feel intimidated or threatened by his mood again, that will be it. No more eggshells, if I felt intimidated or threatened again I'd leave and stay gone (not that I've told H that!).

I do realise that after I've worked through my feelings I may find I don't want to be with him anymore anyway, regardless of his behaviour going forwards. I am definitely suppressing a lot at the moment, but I really don't feel able to fall in a heap just now, and that's what would happen if I let myself feel all this. I'm hoping that I'll be able to work through it gradually rather than all at once, iykwim.

I know that my marriage isn't what I wanted it to be, but I do still think it could be what I want it to be. The difference between 8 years ago and now is that before I just swept it all under the carpet and carried on, now I'm speaking out, learning and challenging him on it. If I left now, I'd never know whether he could have changed and, for myself, I need to know that. If things start slipping again then I'll know that he can't/ won't and will be able to walk away without wondering 'what if?'

swallowedAfly Mon 21-Jan-13 15:34:02

sorry to nit pick but does he say he never wants you to feel unhappy and afraid again or does he say he never wants to make you feel unhappy and afraid again?

swallowedAfly Mon 21-Jan-13 15:34:39

the former is too close to the 'now don't go thinking and upsetting yourself' faux concern.

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