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Partner has different personality when woken in morning... starting to really bother me.

(152 Posts)
StarsAreShining Fri 25-Jan-13 12:33:32

Ok, my partner and I have been together for just over a year, not living together, although he regularly stays over and me and my son both adore him. The problem is his attitude/behaviour when he wakes up. In normal, everyday life, he is the most kind, sweet, generous, gentle and loving man I've ever known. He has been my rock through a hellish year and is an excellent role model for my son. We were friends for years before deciding to take things further, and I've never been happier.

However, when he wakes up in the morning, he becomes a totally different person. A bit of background - he had insomnia for quite a long time and still has very unusual sleeping habits. He struggles to sleep. He has worked irregular shifts for many years, so has never developed a good routine. He's recently been offered a new job which offers slightly more usual hours, so he's trying to gradually train himself to wake up earlier. Anything before 10 is very early to him. It takes a very, very long time for him to wake up. He is unable to speak and doesn't have any memory of what's happened. On the few occasions I've made him get up, he has behaved very aggressively and it's taken at least ten minutes for him to respond and move. He sometimes falls over when he gets up and seems totally disorientated. I, on the other hand, love getting up early and getting things done, so I usually just leave him to get on with it.

There are three incidents in particular which are bothering me.
1 - I felt unwell and asked him to get up in the night as my son was crying. He was unresponsive and seemed totally uncaring, so i shook him to try and get a response. He then elbowed me twice in the stomach before storming out of the house. He only vaguely remembers this happening, but said that he thought I'd hit him when I touched him.
2 - Earlier this week, I was struggling to get my son ready for school. I suffer with depression and had an uncharacteristically bad morning after my son's (useless) father told me I'm a terrible parent. I was upset, so went upstairs and asked for help. He very angrily got up and went to the toilet. While he was in there, I lay on the bed because I was crying. He came back in and grabbed me by the wrist and ankle, telling me that I couldn't ask him to get up and then go back to bed. I was crying on and off for a little while. I discussed his with him yesterday and he didn't even realise that I was crying. It's like he's no longer human...
3 - This morning, his alarm went off at 8.30am, which is the time he's been trying to get out of bed. My son was happily sort of bouncing all over him, trying to get him up. He got angry and shoved him. It looked as though he meant to push him onto the bed because he was hurting him, but his hand caught him quite hard. I made him apologise and then took my son to school. When I came back, he was getting his stuff together to leave. I briefly discussed this with him and asked whether he remembered it. He said that he only had a vague memory of it, apologised and seemed very withdrawn and ashamed.

As he was leaving, I told him that he either sorts himself out or won't be staying overnight again as I wont have anybody treat us that way. He said that he understood and left.

I know it sounds as though I'm making a big deal of nothing, but it is so out of character for him and I don't really know what to do about it. It's as though he's still in a state of semi-consciousness for a long time after waking. Any advice?

CoteDAzur Fri 25-Jan-13 22:55:25

"the iphone 'sleep cycle' app - this uses the motion sensor in the iphone"

What "motion sensor in the iPhone"?

sarahseashell Fri 25-Jan-13 22:56:18

what's an MRA confused

seriously heston - history of abusive relationships, she's been with this person just a year and he's already elbowing her, shoving her son, grabbing her harshly and speaking to her harshly while she's crying hmm

I don't care how sleep-walky he is shock she'd be well advised to put herself and ds first and get rid IMO

hestonbloomingdale Fri 25-Jan-13 23:06:50

"get rid" is the standard response to just abour every post here. Its unbalanced, and overtly over reactionary. The OP has done everything right imo, she has told him to sort it out but also recognises that its out of character.

pictish Fri 25-Jan-13 23:11:54

And yet, something inside her doesn't swallow what he says so she brought it here.

sarahseashell Fri 25-Jan-13 23:12:17

I disagree - it's certainly not something I say on all threads. One year into a relationship she's still finding out about his character- and what she's found here is that he's capable of physical violence, irrespective of the excuse, as well as being unkind to her and irrespective of the excuse he's been physical with her ds.

If she accepts this now and makes excuses for him (that he's 'not awake' or has some kind of 'disorder') what does the future hold?
She has a ds to think of here and he has to come first. I'd end the relationship at this fairly early stage.

sarahseashell Fri 25-Jan-13 23:13:01

^ that was to heston btw

AbigailAdams Fri 25-Jan-13 23:15:07

Have I stumbled onto another handmaidens site?

This man is violent. End of. He said he thought you hit him before he hit you in the stomach. Even if that were true, he had the sense of entitlement to justify hitting you back. Not only that, hitting you back with more force and then blaming it on you.

And I am with pictish on the getting up going to the toilet and then grabbing you incident.

And does anyone really need to explain how wrong the incident with your son was.

It doesn't matter if he can't remember, at some level he feels entitled to hit you and your son.

And I don't believe for a single second he doesn't remember.

Run, very fast away from this man.

dequoisagitil Fri 25-Jan-13 23:18:56

Most people who come on here to complain about their relationship are driven by the fact that it is not resolved by talking or discussion.

Unfortunately if your relationship issues cannot be dealt with talking & discussion between yourselves then your relationship is screwed. Funnily enough hmm

Hence the predominance of LTB.

soontobeburns Fri 25-Jan-13 23:29:19

I believe it could be medical and am firmly in the camp of seeing the GP and helping him through it..yes no over night stays but dont LTB.

hestonbloomingdale Fri 25-Jan-13 23:39:32

@ dequoisagitil that would depend upon how much you have tried to discuss it and work through an issue.

There is way too much glib "tell em to fuck off" advice given freely to people that have posted when they are quite possibly emotionally unable to distinguish good advice from the bitter and twisted.

dequoisagitil Fri 25-Jan-13 23:42:29

Bollocks, heston.

I believe in people enough to know that they will try to talk to the person they are with, before they'll go crying to the internet. They do. Ask them.

pictish Fri 25-Jan-13 23:58:31

Yes indeed. We are by no means the first port of call...we are the last resort.
The OP knows it's not on...and that's why she's here.

Bitter and twisted my backside. None of us have anything to gain from steering the OP away from a decent man. Why would we do so?

The OP however, has everything to gain from steering herself away from a violent man who knows he has this 'problem' (or whatever the fuck it is) with being groggy and unaware, swears he can't remember, yet whose first reaction to imagining he had been hit, was to hit back hard. Twice.
You'd think, given his regular 'confusion' he'd give his girlfriend the benefit of the doubt before lashing out wouldn't you?

He hit her because he felt entitled to, whether he was groggy, confused, unaware or whatever other pish he spraffs to explain away his violence.

And there's no getting away from that.

dequoisagitil Sat 26-Jan-13 00:01:41

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

AbigailAdams Sat 26-Jan-13 00:01:54

Nope heston. We just don't like or feel we have to put up with being hit.

dequoisagitil Sat 26-Jan-13 00:02:58

And yeah, that's a personal attack.

AbigailAdams Sat 26-Jan-13 00:04:20

Oh and it is his problem, not hers to sort out. If he was bothered or mortified by what he had done, as any decent man would have been to know they hurt their partner, then he would have already got help. He hasn't. He doesn't see it as a problem.

pictish Sat 26-Jan-13 00:08:51

Both incidents the Op reports took place directly after her rousing him from his sleep to pitch in and help with her son.

I think that on those occasions he didn't want to get up and help out, and thought he would actively discourage her from doing so again in the future. Frankly.

pictish Sat 26-Jan-13 00:11:25

Both incidents of violence towards her, I meant to say.

The incident involving her son...well...if the OP thought it was 'just an accident' she wouldn't be bringing it up here now, would she?

She knows.

pictish Sat 26-Jan-13 00:12:13

She knows...but she doesn't want to accept it.

pictish Sat 26-Jan-13 00:17:38

He was unresponsive and seemed totally uncaring, so i shook him to try and get a response.He then elbowed me twice in the stomach before storming out of the house.He only vaguely remembers this happening, but said that he thought I'd hit him when I touched him.

He only vaguely remembers storming out of the house?

What a crock of shit. He remembers perfectly well.

extracrunchy Sat 26-Jan-13 02:07:18

depuoisatgil I know your posts are born out of concern for the OP, but attacking another woman on the thread is totally counterproductive.

webweaverToo Sat 26-Jan-13 04:48:39

Hi Stars. I wonder whether your partner may have a sleep disorder called Confusional Arousals. From the page I've linked to:

A confusional arousal takes place as you wake up or just after waking.

You act in a way that is very strange and confused. It appears that you don’t know where you are or what you are doing. Your behavior may include the following:

Slow speech
Confused thinking
Poor memory
Blunt responses to questions or requests

You may seem to be awake even though you have a foggy state of mind. Episodes often start when someone else has to physically wake you up. It is common for you to sleepwalk or shout during an episode. You also may grind your teeth. A confusional arousal may last only a few minutes or a few hours. You tend to have no memory of these episodes....

...In some rare cases adults may display behavior that is very inappropriate. Their actions can be hostile and aggressive. This behavior can put a huge strain on their relationships with others.

I have Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, which basically means I'm an extreme night owl, so I know what you mean when you say that getting up at 10am would be incredibly early for your partner. If I'm woken by a phonecall from a client I can have a whole conversation with them, go back to bed and fall asleep again, and when I wake up later I barely remember I had the conversation, let alone the details of it.

Sleep disorders require the help of a sleep specialist, and may require time spent in a sleep clinic where their sleeping patterns are monitored, as well as keeping a sleep diary for a few weeks. Some are somewhat treatable, others (like mine) do not respond well to treatment and sufferers generally fall back into their abnormal sleep pattern within a short period of time.

I think the important thing for you to focus on is the way that your partner's behaviour (whether caused by a valid sleep disorder or just him being an arse, or a combination of the two) is affecting you and your son, as well as your partner.

It seems sensible advice for him not to do sleepovers at your place until he has been to the doctor. I think it's a good suggestion for you to go with him, as you have experienced and can describe his behaviour and he either genuinely does not remember, or (if he's actually an abusive arse as some posters believe) he chooses not to/pretends he can't remember.

A proper appointment at a sleep clinic would, I think, determine whether he's got a disorder or is an abuser. At that point, you would be able to make an informed decision about whether you want to maintain your relationship and perhaps not move in together at all, or if you do, sleep in different rooms or whatever - or, if he turns out to be an abuser, end your relationship altogether.

And in the meantime, requiring that he sleeps back at his place rather than at yours would keep you all safer and happier than you are at the moment. Good luck.

Finallygotaroundtoit Sat 26-Jan-13 07:45:52

He is abusive, the 'loss of memory' is an excuse and in his eyes absolves him.

Sleep clinic/ GP won't be able to help it's not a medical issue at all

RooneyMara Sat 26-Jan-13 08:05:06

how can he have no memory of elbowing the op, but remembers his reasons for doing so? makes very poor logic.

Hissy Sat 26-Jan-13 08:07:30

If a normal person with a sleep disorder finds out that they have elbowed their partner, and shoved their partner's son, they do not need to be made to apologise.

If nothing else they would be absolutely hell bent on making it up to the pair of them, apologising profusely and getting the sleep thing sorted out.

It wouldn't be a case of the person that got hit saying, for safety's sake, till this stuff is resolved, it's best if we don't share a bed. No. That would come from the PERSON WHO DID THE HITTING.

there seems to be NO remorse, no desire to resolve this, just a memory loss and a packing of bags.

This doesn't sit right at all. Normal people don't behave like that, they really don't. Not after the fact.

I think that he knows full well what he's doing, and he really thinks he's entitled to do so.

OP, I know you don't want to see that this man is abusive, but it's almost certain highly likely that he is. You know the score. You get sucked in to this, you may not get out.

He hurt your son, and he hurt you. You know he hit you on purpose, but your jury's out on if he meant to hurt your boy.

Are you waiting for him to MEAN it next time? If this bloke isn't going to get himself all the help there is, NOW, then you know that this means that he WANTS to carry on with this 'sleep disorder' that means he never has to help out during the night, is not expected to function first thing, and can lash out at any time.

Mark my words, you are in a relationship that in it's current state, is a danger to you and your son.

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