Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Is he depressed, jekyll and hyde - or just an arse?!(93 Posts)
Apologies in advance if this is long.
Background: together since we were 19/20, married 20 years, 2 DCs 12 and 9. Both early 40s now. I work FT in a job I love, on a good salary. He has his own business which has been very up and down, and over the past 2-3 years more down than up. He works alone mainly.
He constantly puts me down. He resents my job; every argument we have seems to come back to my job "taking over". I do work often long hours, have to stay away the occasional night, sometimes catch up on stuff in the evening etc. But my salary is important as his income fluctuates. he is rude and abusive about my (female) boss, she is the "manc bitch" (she's not even from manchester, and he has met he about 4 or 5 times in 8 years). He constantly brings up the past - I'm far from proud of this, but I had a ONS not long after we married, and even now, nearly 20 years on, he still brings it up and basically blames me for all our problems. I thought we had moved on from that - afterwards I went through loads of shit with him (a lot of drunken behaviour, he broke my wrist, phoned prostitutes when pissed), but thought we had got over it, went onto have the kids etc. All was good until the last 3-4 years.
I am constantly accused of depriving him of sex. Depsite the fact I am "useless in bed", "just lie there", "never give me oral", he expects sex everytime we got to bed at the same time. The other night I was really tired and said no. He went into a complete childish sulk and proceeded to bad mouth me for the best part of 30 mins. This happens quite often and I end up giving in. Then he moans because I'm crap in bed.
He regularly bad mouths my parents which he knows winds me up. They are pretentious, ignorant and thick apparently. In the last few weeks I have been called an idiot, an imbecile and unclean.
Every evening he goes to the pub after work "for the company because you are so unsociable and don't talk to me". I just have nothing to say. He never asks me how I am, how my day was, if I talk about how I am feeling he immediately turns it around to him. He also says he goes to the pub because he spends all day "in the cell" - meaning his office, where he works alone, and gets company at the pub. He has 3-4 pints every evening, comes home about 7.30/8 - by which time the kids are dealt with and in bed - I've done homework / tea / bath / wind down time. Sometimes he comes home late after drinking much more, and that's awful.
I suspect some of this is down to stress because of the business, also my FIL died late last year after being diagnosed terminally ill early last year, so that has been stressful too, of course.
I don't help the situation - I do clam up when he's at home, I can't look him in the eye, I often will walk away if he starts on me, which winds him up even more. Or when he starts on one, I can't just sit there and take it and I argue back.
He can be nice. It's just the two personalities are hard to deal with - not knowing what sort of mood he will be in when he comes home, what his day has been like, whether anyone who owes the business has paid (if they haven't, it's hell), if I'm late its a nightmare etc. He does help with the kids if I am away early or finishing late, but often reluctantly.
This all sounds bad doesn't it?
He is being unrealistic.
He doesnt realise the damage he has done to the relationship. No idea at all.
And, for some reason, he isnt appreciating your financial efforts. Probably I suppose, because is ego is damaged?
The one thing I can see his pov a bit about is the going to the pub bit.
He works all day, more or less alone. That is lonely and isolating. He is going to then need company and socialising.
I am getting the idea, rightly or wrongly, that you do not have much enthusiasm for leaving the relationship?
I think you're right - I think his ego is damaged. I regularly get "well I was earning what you were 12 years ago" - yes he was, but he left that job, went to another on less money but with apparent prospects, then decided to set up on his own - which I was fully supportive of. Actually, its apparently been my fault he set up the business because I encouraged it.
I do understand his work is lonely. He sees the PT driver a couple of times a day, and the odd courier, but thats it. Although he could go out and see some customers (he used to do that a lot). Then he goes straight to the pub from work. Why not at least come home and spend time with the kids, even if not me? They often don't see him during the week, because when he gets home they are in bed, or about to go to bed. But every day? When I have picked them up, we get home and they say "daddy won't be in, he'll be at the pub" - thats hardly healthy for them to think that is it?
I do have enthusiasm to leave, believe me. I just need to get brave and act. I have spent too long trying to convince myself things would change. I suppose thats why I posted, because I wanted some support and views as to whether this is all my fault.
There is a book I sometimes recommend
"Why women Talk and Men Walk" How to improve your relationship..
But, I think both parties have to want to improve the relationship, and be willing to.
I am not sure that you want to, and I am not sure he is willing to.
I didnt realise that he doesnt even come home after work to see the kids while they are still awake.
And no, as others have said, you have tried hard for the relationship.
He has not been trying hard at all lately.
His ego and his wants are all that matter to him. Even his children don't register as important, since he doesn't see them - deliberately avoids them, apparently.
You are there to serve his requirements, or take the blame for anything that goes wrong in his life. No wonder you can't talk to him and feel too tired to act, Scooby!
This is definitely not your fault. Do take a look at the link arthriticfingers posted, as you will recognise your H there. But I would start to take more concrete steps out. A free half hour with a solicitor would be well worth your time, just to start the ball rolling.
He pops in for about 5 minutes each evening to
placate say hello, then off out. So I am left with the whole bedtime routine. Its not difficult, due to DCs ages, but its still all down to me to ensure homework done, reading done, tea eaten, clean, teeth, bed - oh and referee when they fall out!
DCs spend a lot of time in their bedrooms when we're downstairs. Yesterday H balled out DD for disappearing upstairs (she had been down here with me) as soon as he got in from an afternoon out with DS. Says a lot really. That was my fault too for mollycoddling her. Then he went to the pub!
I have read the link - thank you ArthriticFingers - and the verbal / emotional abuse sections rang so true. It's not just me is it?
No, not just you by a long chalk, scooby.
Your children are 12 and 9.
What are they saying about dad, apart from the going to the pub bit?
DS calls DD an idiot regularly - probably hears H say that to me. He is quite insolent sometimes towards me - does and says things he would never dare say / do if his dad was here. I often say to him "would you say / do that if daddy was here?" - and the answer of course is no. That said, he is an amazing DS, and I am very proud of him - I had a lady I know come up to me only yesterday and tell me what a credit he is to us. I can be a bit sort tempered with them, I think when I'm stressed, but I often get an out of the blue cuddle (esp DD) which is lovely.
I don't know what else they say / think about him tbh. Its not the sort of thing to discuss. But they must hear a lot of shit, which I hate, and because sometimes its me when I bite back, I'm ashamed of that.
Wouldn't you be better without him ?
From reading your posts, I can't see one positive he brings to your and the dc's life.
Blimey I found this hard to read because my situation was very simlar, I didn't think we would ever be free of my vile abusive ex but I kicked his sorry arse out and got an injunction.
I've never been so happy and relaxed.
The dc's are relaxed and their teachers comment how much happier they are!
Been with my new dp for just over a year and my life is so so different. I'm with someone who loves and respects me.
If I'm late home from work there are no arguments anymore, I have a bath ready and a glass of waiting for me.
He's gets up with the dc and let's me have a lie in, my ex never did that, ever.
You and your kids deserve so much better! Listen to AF and Izzy they really do make so much sense and put thinks into perspective!
No, I can't see any positives either. And your ds has learnt to treat his siter like your dh treats you, and may well treat his girlfriends like that, his wife, his own children.
End it, get the whole lot of you into therapy and put a stop to it.
"DS calls DD an idiot regularly - probably hears H say that to me".
Of course he does, he and his sister have seen and heard far more of their Dad's war against you than you would perhaps care to admit in their young lives. Are you really that surprised?.
I wrote earlier that both your H and yourself are teaching your children damaging lessons about relationships. That is still happening now and if you do not act this pattern that they are learning will repeat itself in their own adulthoods (your son will be emotionally abusive like his dad and his sister will become an emotional abuse victim like her mother currently is).
Where is your own tipping point Scooby?.
I'm now feeling like the worse mum in the world, why I have allowed this to happen? Because I'm scared? Because I'm weak? Because I think staying and dealing with shit is easier? Because I know he will make things hard? Because I'm worried about the DCs (although I totally see where you are all coming from that actually its worse to stay).
He's been out now for 5 hours, rang an hour ago to say he would be 20 mins, he hasn't eaten since a sandwich at lunchtime, yet will have been drinking. At least DCs and I have had a lovely roast chicken
He is going to come in pissed and belligerent, isn't he ?
You are not the worst mum in the world so park that thought as of now. Abuse in insidious in its onset and he's taken many years to bring you to this low point you are now at.
You've probably stayed to date for a whole host of reasons; the ones you've listed as well as fear, shame, embarrassment and the hope he would one day change. Reasons for not readily leaving are many and complex and making the decision to actually leave is very hard.
Where do you see yourself in say 6 months time?.
You are not the worst mum in the world, but your eyes are open now. It won't be the easiest thing in the world to do, but hang on to what Atilla said at 19:25 about your children's futures and you'll get throughh it.
Keep yourself safe. Keep your children safe. Make a plan. Photocopy all important documents and stash them at work, along with passports etc.
Phone Women's Aid, and let them help you make a plan. Good luck. You can do it.
Thanks Attila, I do see that it has taken years to get to this stage, and I do feel low. And I think fear, shame and embarrassment is definitely part of it too.
Six months time? I would like to be on a beach with the DCs - own house, pink or purple bedroom (!), not worrying if I havent been arsed to do the housework, and just smiling. Relaxed. Happy.
OP, have you heard of Boiled Frog Syndrome ?
You are not a bad mother. He is a bad father.
You can improve your children's lives though, and remove them from his damaging influence. Lots of women do, and they never regret doing it.
Thanks AF - I hadn't heard of that before, but Wikipedia has put me right. And I understand what you mean by it.
He's still not home. I'm trying to relax but can't. It's a crap way to live.
I can do this
This is my first ever post so sorry if anything is wrong.
He sounds vile & exactly like my ex partner who i split up with before xmas after 14 years.We have a 9 year old who took it quite badly at first. Even though dc use to ask me if we could not live with his dad because the atmosphere was so bad & we got to the stage where we would avoid going home because he would start shouting the minute we were together in the house.Once you decide you want to leave you have to put your mind to it.I had no money of my own as i was never keen on leaving dc with ex partner for long periods of times so worked in school hours.Luckily my mum helped me to move out & i even though it is hard to be a lone parent at times it is the best decision i ever made.Only regret is that i did not have the guts to do it when dc was a baby for his sake rather than mine.
Being on edge constantly, stomach churning, never feeling good enough all typical symptons of living with a bully.
Yes, treading on egg shells is a crap way to live
is this what you envisaged as your life ?
Worrying and fretting about what sort of mood a self-entitled fuckwit like him is going to come home in ?
Watching and waiting to see how much he is going to take his own twattery out on you and the dc's ?
You deserve better than that...anyone does
Well, he came home at 8.30, so been out for 6 hours. Worse for wear, but not rolling drunk. Trouble is he gets mouthy when like this. He 'only went to watch the rugby' and I pointed out it was finished by 5, but of course he got talking and someone bought him a drink, so he had to buy one back etc etc. then started bad mouthing one of my friends. She's not a close friend, but part of the girls group I'm in, we meet once a month, and see each other locally a lot too, some of them are school mums too. Apparently she loves herself, loves it up her and probably gives a good blow job, but she's a bitch. Completely went off on one, even though I was trying to ask him about why he was so late, she was a totally ireelevant part of the conversation. He does that all the time. Most of my friends get slagged off for one reason or another. It's all part of the script isn't it?
I've left him downstairs, am in bed. He's playing music loudly, probably deliberately, he'll fall asleep in the chair,then eventually come to bed and snore all night. Fucking shit.
Scooby - just wanted to say I recognise a lot of what you say and I too am in a situation that I know I need to leave - but doing so takes a lot of bravery.
I hope you manage to make that decision - and I hope I do too
I think when he is slagging off your friends its because he is jealous of people who you like and get on well with. Classic needy behavoir.
Join the discussion
Please login first.