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need perspective(64 Posts)
my partner and i are splitting up. We've been together 13 years. In many ways we get on amazingly well, but from the start, we've had these godawful rows. It's pretty much because he's angry with me, and I can understand many instances why. I know I've made many mistakes, but people do, and it's not been like I don't want to do what I can to help things be how he needs or even likes them to be (he's certainly done that for me). But the technicalities of the row are such that, when he explodes in a fit of temper, he's very verbally aggressive, and accuses me of having done/not done things on purpose, not giving a shit about him (this is obviously, how he feels by my not having done/not done the thing that upset him). When I tell him my side of the story, he dismisses it entirely. He tells me it's excuses/bullshit, and continues to what feels like verbally attack me not let me speak, dismiss everything I say as crap, shout, be verbally abusive, call me horrid names, tell me again what my transgression is and how nasty I am. I get more and more upset because he won't let me say anything, and the row escalates until I manage to leave (he physically blocks me for a long while) because I feel I can't participate in the row. His feeling is that he has told me what he wants from me "nicely" many times. When he sees me not producing the goods over and over again (sometimes I do, sometimes I don't I'm a working mum and the main carer for our offspring but that isn't good enough), it makes him feel more and more not cared about, until he explodes. But the upshot is that, in the entire marriage, we have not resolved a single row.
The things he gets upset about were mostly practical things, but also, me "not noticing" what he needed and providing it for me.
He tells me I have never said the right thing, at the right time, in the right way, which is why he has never listened to me and that I talk a load of crap.
I have tried to keep trying to say my side of the situation, to say it later that day, to bring it up the next day, the next week, the next month, a long time later. I've tried to change the language I use (until I get so upset at him not letting me into the conversation, I revert to classic "what not to say in a row" language). The only thing that has ever calmed him down when he's upset is if I don't say anything at all about my own feelings/my side of the story, but instead, simply focus on him and his feelings.
In other ways, he's been the perfect partner, and he feels that all he has done for me should be evidence that he loves me I shouldn't need him to listen to me in a row I should just shut up and do what he wants to prove I love him. But I have felt like I'm the baddie, I'm the crap one who doesn't care/do as much as the other person (for the other person), that I'm always letting the side down. And I have also always felt that it's not me he loves, but a "better" version of me that he's waiting for me to turn into. After all, if he loves me, why won't he listen to me?
We've been to 3 sets of counsellors. No joy.
Little bit more info I'm messy, he's OCDish, I'm in the moment, he's a planner. In many ways, these opposites come together very well. But I know my lack of organisation really pisses him off.
Apparently, our splitting up is entirely my fault, and he hasn't let me down in any way at all.
What do you all think? Bear in mind that he has really worked hard in our lives together, and although I've worked to my full capacity (which is lesser than his he's quicker, brighter, better than me at many things), he's felt throughout that I'm not pulling my weight, which he takes as proof that I don't care about him.
What a twat I am. I thought all those years "if he sees I love him more than his family ever did, I want him in my life, I like and love the person he is (when he's not shouting in my face), he'll be happy he's found something better and settle into it.
He can't love me. He can't love anyone. Because he doesn't know how it feels because he has never been loved and he's never loved himself. And what he feels is love for his family is what was his need for his family as a neglected, terrified young child, twisted into this feeling.
My parents were neglectful, but my father was very loving (but an alcoholic never abusive just an escapist). I do know what it feels like when someone looks at you with love in their eyes, and thinks you're just brilliant, and can see your flaws, but thinks your brilliant anyway.
Of course, he disappeared into a bottle when I was 10 and never reemerged. Took 20 years to bash up his liver. But throughout that time of him burying his head in the bottle, I knew without a doubt that his love was genuine, not conditional and self absorbed, like my mother's. I've repeated my mother's conditional love for me, perhaps I can repeat my father's love but with a man who isn't an addict, perferably!!!
That's why I hung around for so many years because I really believed in the good side of him, and I never thought he would never see how his behaviour was wrong, and how he was being unreasonable. But not once in 13 years did he listen to a word I say, acknowledge it or do anything other than dismiss it in every single row we had. And so many daily small events little bitchy comments, edgy shows of frustration, sharp words, comments, that I let slip past.
But his realisation never came. And from what others have said, he's a type, and it never will.
I think he's looking to punish me in place of his mum.
You aren't a twat! He is, for poisoning a relationship with someone who clearly wants to give and be loving.
You are incredibly insightful and perceptive. It's a double-edged sword, because you can't delude yourself that's it's anything but bad, BUT it frees you, because you know this isn't about you or your fault or anything like that. He is messed up, long before you ever met him, and he will keep on being messed up. Now you can untangle from his crap so that you and your DC don't end up totally messed up too. He is definitely punishing every woman he gets involved with for his mother. Don't let your boys learn that behaviour.
I'm really impressed by your insight, btw It's great that you know what genuine, inconditional love is. Not only can you save yourself now, but in general and you will know what that love is in the future, when you are ready. And your DC get it from you too.
You'll be pleased to know that, today, for the first time, I was standing in my garden and feeling actual joy in my heart. Not a familiar feeling of late. (and I saw 2 magpies right afterwards!) Reading this thread, and the culmination of the events of the past few months, has lead to some kind of change of feeling in me. I actually believe I am not what he says I am for the first time, and feel like I can see him for what he is. He is weak, and weaker than me, because I've survived his shit and feel I can be OK. He'll still be with him wherever he goes. He's weak because I know on some level, he KNOWS. But he doesn't have the courage to look at it. He's weak because he picks on someone weaker, because he uses his intelligence to hide the truth from himself, and because he's shat on a genuine love that could have nurtured him into old age. You're right he is the twat. Not me.
I'm feeling very loved up about the mumsnet community right now. This has been of immense help to me. Big huge hug to everyone who's taken the time to post and give me such considered, seriously helpful responses.
Great to hear this, Op But you've done all the hard work on yourself - we were just a sounding board for you to thrash out what you have already very perceptively worked out. IMHO, this surge of your true, happy, strong self emerging is far more rewarding than waiting for this loser to realise what a twunt he's been. Onwards and upwards, well done! (Hug right back)
I'm not lemon but can tell you about my experience of having a boy whose father was, and is, EA. He is a good father in many ways - he became a better father when we split up because he spends more time with him and it's better time - doing things that DS is interested in. It was better too because he was no longer exploding at my many minor indiscretions and calling me names in front of him. However, from my perspective there are some elements of the negative environment that comes with someone who is EA that my DS is exposed to
It is heartbreaking. Most of the "things" I feel I can help him with - either because of my professional skills or because I am free to set a good example. I am currently researching help for a couple of things we need support for. I will PM you.
Every single day I am glad that I left because of that boy. More than half his life is normal and I am now strong enough to get him support to deal with the rest.
I'm sure that with the level of self-awareness you're exhibiting you will be able to mitigate the risk.
"IMHO, this surge of your true, happy, strong self emerging is far more rewarding than waiting for this loser to realise what a twunt he's been"
Certainly, that feeling today was an addictive one. You've all said "it aint gonna happen" and, having been (even very recently) still desperate for him to just wake up and open his eyes and SEE, I'm very suddenly past it. Last night I read all your posts and it's like I have been working up to a moment of "click", realisation, and last it it came. Today, I woke up feeling like I don't need him to see. I bet on his deathbed he'll still be cursing me. Today, it's obvious to me that it's much better to focus on the 2 magpies
tallwivglasses that made me smile! I love a flash mob. So reassuring about human nature!
great find, tallwivglasses
spirit it's a long hard road to reach this point. You have done all the mental work needed to get here; the last day or so was just the last little bit.
Two for joy, yes! Each day is a step forward now.
It's nice to wake up in the mornings now and feel my life belongs to me again!
Smells - just found your thread and wanted to say I could have written your OP myself when I was with my husband 12 years ago.
You've done the right thing, and as far as that man is concerned no one will ever meet his expectations, but it will never be his fault.
The road ahead is hard at times, but I can promise you it does get better, I'm now happily engaged to a lovely man who really does love me and I love him and we have a lovely DD and life really couldn't be better, we do argue occasionally (I think every one does) but never has he made me doubt my value as a person, where as with SBXH I was selfish/rude/immature/useless... You name it, by the time I eventually left him I was a shell of my former self and it took years for me to gain my self confidence back, but you will and in the mean time, MN'ers will be here to hold your hand.
Thanks MTB. It's amazing. For so long I spoke to no one about this and felt so alone. It's such a comfort to know other women have gone through the same thing and come out the other side to a much happier life. I am crapping myself at the thought of my new independence, with dependents. Hearing stories of life beyond the veil is very comforting.
And good for you that you found a man to love you right!
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