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DH is very controlling, selfish and often very angry - help!

(147 Posts)
LucyLego Thu 03-Jan-13 10:37:56

DH has had a rough ride in the last few years and it's changed him in to a different person. He has always been fiery but now it's ridiculous - he snaps at me, DCs and the dog for hardly any reason and shouts really loudly at me. He calls me a stupid woman, an idiot or tells me to shut up on an almost daily basis. He is often away with work and I don't work any more and it was supposed to make things easier but now it's even worse as he now never does anything useful with the DCs. I know I don't have to get up to go to work but it would be nice if I was allowed to go to the supermarket on my own just once in a while. He makes such a fuss about looking after DCs for an hour that it's just easier to take them with me. When he's at home he tends to just sit on the computer (yes, I see the irony!) and puts the TV on for DCs. He would never do any activities with them - colouring, painting, baking, going on a walk, taking them to a club etc. The most difficult things are to do with his opinion on my level of strictness with DCs and money. He constantly tells me that I don't discipline our DCs but the difference is that I don't just shout incessantly at them about nothing in particular. I can't get DS to nap in his bed anymore as DH has shouted so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that he says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries. This week I've been trying to organise our summer holiday and have emailed him a few ideas as he's been away with work. He rang and was really grumpy about it and said "you just do whatever you like" in a stroppy teenager way. He is obsessed with hoarding money and checks our bank balance every day and quizzes me on what I have spent money on. I haven't bought anything for myself for ages and the only money I spend is on food, bills and DCs' clothes. He got really annoyed with me about the money I spent at Christmas, even though the majority of it for his family. I really do still love him and I don't want to break up the family but I can't go on with this. Does it sound like he needs some kind of stress / anger management counselling? Any helpful advice welcome!

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:33:38

I agree with Pictish. This was my life for about 7 years. (it became gradually more intolerable). I was like that frog being boiled slowly. Nobody jumps into a boiling pan.

But back to a point Pictish made there, being a snappy bad tempered unreasonable grouch to you is an excellent coping mechanism for him. Your life on the other hand is probably so close to intolerable that things can't go on. Meanwhile back in his World, his ever need is catered to, his demands are met, he gets his me time (on the computer, away with work), he has a family who make no demands on him, they are there in the background. He has successfully trained you not to pick too many battles or any at all. So now the script is that you rarely challenge him because it's just not worth it. He has done an excellent job. Well done him.

I left a man like this and I'm not judging you, far from it. But he will OBVIOUSLY totally resist changing and will fob you off and maybe pretend to change a few times before you realise that he just won't.

I left once and I had a list of (very reasonable stipulations). He 'tried' for a few weeks and then when the kids were back at the school etc, he started refering to my tin pot parade (having left him).

I would tell him it's over because you're not happy with him. Pick phrases that can't be argued with. I feel miserable. I do not want to continue.

TantrumsAndBalloons Thu 03-Jan-13 11:33:57

your dc wont sleep in his bed because he associates bed with being naughty.

That isnt normal.

sorry, i know you want someone to help you justify that this is ok and fixable

but its not right and its affecting your children.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:35

He is aggressive to your children to the point that one of them sees nap time as a punishment.

You wanted encouragement: I encourage you to put yourself and your DC's needs above those of another adult who can take care of his own self. I encourage you to strive for your own happiness, because you deserve it. I encourage you to drop the notion that you can help someone who treats you badly while also remaining at his side (and thus confirming in his mind that he can continue to treat you badly, since you're still sticking around for more).

dequoisagitil Thu 03-Jan-13 11:35:47

You're minimising the abuse of your dc by saying it's only him being 'short-tempered' when 'they're naughty'. Yet it has such repercussions that your little ds associates bed with punishment and cannot nap anymore. sad

You know it's not right, and I know it's hard for you to read such replies because they cut you deep and scare you. But please keep reading, or try reading GettingBig's two threads, or the EA thread.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:23

Also, have a think about what love is.

When I left my x I felt the weight of his disapproval crushing me. I felt very 'connected' to his pain and tbh I felt his emotions MORE strongly than I felt MY own!!! But luckily I knew that that wasn't love! I never thought it was love. I felt too associated to his perspective, and felt his emotions more than my own, but I'm so grateful reading your posts that I never, ever confused that with love.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:25

Here is some encouragement for you.

I encourage you to leave your nasty, selfish, abusive husband, and live an enjoyable, peaceful, emotionally healthy life with your children. For their sakes, if not your own.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:28

He has trained you very well to get you to such a point hasn't he?.

GP appt is a waste of time and effort. Who will see this person anyway?.

Unfortunately you are also complicit in the abuse of your children as you stand by and do nothing. He acts like this because he can; depression has nothing to do with this. Your own denial of abuse is particularly bad for your children as they are learning damaging stuff from both of you as to how relationships are conducted. You are both setting them up for a miserable life as adults.

What did you learn about relationships yourself when growing up?. Serious question.

You make excuse after excuse for your man and your own attitude towards him will be your ultimate undoing. Marriage vows are not worth this.

Sugarice Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:29

Lucy you are enabling him and his behaviour by excusing how he treats you and your kids.

I can't get DS to nap in his bed anymore as DH has shouted so often about putting DCs in bed when they are naughty that he says "but I haven't been naughty" and cries. This week I've been trying to organise our summer holiday and have emailed him a few ideas as he's been away with work. He rang and was really grumpy about it and said "you just do whatever you like" in a stroppy teenager way. He is obsessed with hoarding money and checks our bank balance every day and quizzes me on what I have spent money on. I haven't bought anything for myself for ages and the only money I spend is on food, bills and DCs' clothes. He got really annoyed with me about the money I spent at Christmas, even though the majority of it for his family. I really do still love him and I don't want to break up the family but I can't go on with this

He is not going to change, stand up for your children for goodness sake!.

abbierhodes Thu 03-Jan-13 11:38:51

'Can't see you are anything less than a complete cow.'

Fair enough. I can take that because a stranger on the internet calling me names is not damaging. Your child being afraid of his own bed is damaging him.

Read your post again, read the advice again, and think about it. I know it must hurt to hear, but that. Is because it is the truth.

'Please don't post anything more unless you are encouraging'
I am encouraging you to take a long hard look at the situation. Don't do anything else yet, just think. Sit back, watch how he interacts with your children. Consider how he makes them feel. Consider how he makes you feel.

Then, as other posters have said, look at how he is with other people, outside the family. Watch how he manages to control his temper with them. Then consider whether or not his behaviour towards you is something he can't help.

If he was gone from the house, for 2 weeks, from today, would that be a good 2 weeks or a bad 2 weeks? Don't feel you have to answer me on here, just think about it.

I wish you lots of luck in getting out of this situation however you choose.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:40:26

Pictish, the things is though, creating these threads is what you do when you first realise that things aren't right. You can help OPs with realisations but you can't speed up the thought processes too much.

THEY can only leave when they can pull that bravery out of the bag. I am still sometimes I managed it. I still sometimes feel I could be there, still.

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 11:40:40

This has nothing whatsoever to do with depression as FiercePanda says and everything to do with him being abusive.

The only constructive advice in an abusive relationship is to leave. I think most people here understand it isn't always that easy and you need time to get your head round it BUT

1. He will not change because he gets benefits for behaving like this and his attitude is that he feels justified. Nothing you or the GP say or do will change that.
2. The abuse is likely to escalate i.e. get more frequent or become violent (if it hasn't already)
3. The only person who can do anything about his behaviour is him and ONLY if there are consequences for his actions i.e. you and the children leaving, his family not putting up with it, his friends not putting up with it and him entering an abuser programme. Even then it would take years.

However, I don't think you are ready to hear that. Your children might be though.

AbigailAdams Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:13

And couselling for an abuser is not advised. And any counsellor worth their salt would know that.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:24

I can tell you now what will happen at that GPs appt; the following could well happen:-

1. He will refuse to go
2. You go with him, he will talk over you in there and will make you out to be the bad person and/or mad.
3. You will be too scared to speak up because he is there

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:42:55

abberholds, good question. Somebody asked me on another forum if I could fast forward to the end of the break up, to a point in the future where we'd split up and the dust had settled, would I press that button and I thought YES. mY YES nearly burst out of me. So I realised it was the drama and the stress of dealing with the split that I was dreading, not the future. It's so hard to get through the split. But it's like climbing a hill before you freewheel, it IS worth it.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:44:54

I wouldn't waste too much energy giving him chances to change. Why would he change?

Attila is right. go to the gp on your own.

I went to the counsellor with my x, just a couple of times but I found it very hard to articulate (particularly with him sitting there) why life with him was so hard. I ended up looking the unreasonable one I think. NOt that the counsellor's opinion of me matters a jot NOW.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:45:28

Mulberry I agree. There is no set or words that will make anyone see the light - particularly when they are determined not to.

I was in an abusive relationship for years. I used to excuse him too. I claimed depession, stress, lack of money, tiredness, emotional problems, and any other pish he pedalled out to me in order to explain away his terrible behaviour. I also accepted his apologies and hangdog expression as proof that he wasn't horrible deliberately, or just needed some help.

It took me a long time to get clarity. A long, miserable, abusive, diminishing time.

But I got it. And I have KEPT IT.

Once you know the abuse for what it is, you can't unknow it.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Thu 03-Jan-13 11:48:19

If he doesn't want to behave like this, why isn't he booking his own GP appointment, Lucy?

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:50:46

I will admit to having created a thread like this. April 2007 it was. I don't know what I was expecting really, maybe that about half of the posters would say 'ah shurrr men, marriage is hard work, it'd be tougher being single'. At that point I was really questioning everything, and I think at that point what would have comforted me was useless words telling me it was normal or relatively normal. But I was pasted. 500 posters told me to leave. I suppose I became quite defensive. But It did definitely change my perception of the relationship. It gave me the confidence to realise that it was unacceptable, and I left three months later.

I used to excuse my x too. His parents were odd, he'd no parenting model, but he never ever cut me an ounce of slack, and still doesn't!! He said recently to my mother that he's no idea why i left him. He did "nothing wrong". I spelled it all out umpteen times. they're not hardwired to hear criticism though.

I agree, the crucial point is that once you know what abuse is you can't unknow it.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:52:30

If you do manage to get him to the GP, or if he refuses to go but you go own your own, please print off your original post and show the GP.

If, as you think, we are overreacting and you think the GP will be able to help, at least they'll have a fuller picture of how to help. You have nothing to lose by being honest with the GP.

I would even suggest you go on your own first and show him your OP, and then take it from there.

WeeWeeWeeAllTheWayHome Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:25

X posts with lots of people.

houseelfdobby Thu 03-Jan-13 11:53:38

First of all, have a big hug. You and your DH are clearly under a lot of strain. IKWYM about not giving up on a marriage at the first hurdle BUT nor do you want this to continue for years. So DO try to fix it, and if your DH doesn't or can't change, then plan to move on without him. I am guessing that your DH feels entitled because he sees himself as WORKING all day whilst he sees you as HAVING DAYS OFF AT HOME. Just a guess, but lots of men act like this once their wives give up work and if they have an important job - does he have an important job? If he could stand back, this is not the life he would choose either. You need to make him realise that you are NOT his secretary, just there to do his bidding (His secretary gets to go home at the end of the day and is PAID to do what he asks - you seem to be expected to keep going 24/7). I don't suppose for a moment he wants the resultant relationship with his DC that he is creating. He just needs to stop and take stock. Of course, that is easier said than done, perhaps you could take him away for an evening or even a whole weekend and get him relaxed? Then ask him what he is hoping for from family life - ask an open question if possible. Let him know how you feel about all his shouting - that it makes you sad and makes you gradually be falling out of love with him, and tell him that is NOT what you want and if he doesn't want it either then he needs to change. Good luck. None of it will be easy, but you never know.....

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:57:46

Personally, I think going to the GP is pointless. He hasn't made the appointment...she has. He doesn't care. He may well say this and that, but he does nothing at all.

It's Women's Aid the OP needs, not a GP. GPs are neither qualified or particularly interested in fixing abusive relationships.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 11:58:34

Have you read the thread houseofdobby? what more can the OP do? when she is the one already making every single concession, every single compromise, all the childcare, all the housework, being the recipient of all of his outbursts and negative emotions......................

What more do you think she can 'do' to fix it? confused He just needs to take stock you say. It's NOT that simple. It's not like changing a lightbulb. My x had it spelled out to him a million times but his sense of entitlement prevented him from seeing it. In his eyes he was entitled to have all his demands met and he was entitled to snap at me if I didn't jump quickly enough and high enough.

This is not a mindset that can be fixed by 'taking stock'. You can't sit down with a pot of tea and a few cucumber sandwiches to disccuss this.

Do you seriously think that the OP has never let it be known that she's not happy to be shouted at? Do you think that her FIRST port of call was this thread?

I sometimes wonder about the posts clueless people make in these situations. If it's not in your sphere of reference then please, don't post.

pictish Thu 03-Jan-13 11:59:07

Not that they could fix them if they tried of course.

Mu1berryBush Thu 03-Jan-13 12:00:16

I agree Pictish.

Straight to Women's Aid. Anything else is denial. It's continuing to make excuses for him. Boo hoo poor HIM. He on the otherhand will not cut you one single solitary ounce of slack will he?

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