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.
What to do?????(9 Posts)
Ladies, not been on here for a while...but help!!!! I need some advice...
My husband and I have been together for twelve years. We met and were married two years later, then DD no 1 was born 1 year after that. We also have DD no2 - so girls aged 5 and 8.
Basically, I feel trapped and like I can't do anything right in our relationship. He always had a tendency to sulk and to quite openly tell me (very bluntly) if he disapproved of my choices of music, films, choices of friends etc. And in all honesty because of pure insecurity I changed myself to fit with his idea of what he wanted in a partner. I was desperately lonely when we met, felt entirely let down by my birth family, and because I felt a connection with him and was so desperate to have my own little family I 'bent' myself to be his lady, got married and then had our beautiful children.
I don't know also whether I felt I was 'rescuing' him - he was addicted to marijuana and stopped smoking heavily when DD no1 was born (I felt I had fixed him!). He had a recreational relationship with drugs generally - at one point he mentioned he would need a line of coke to get him through our wedding day... I told him how upset that made me...so he said he wouldn't. I later found out he had - and looking back on that I am so hurt.
Early in our marriage (and when pregnant with DD) we had various issues to discuss - and every time he would verbally beat my point of view down. The lowest point was when he told me he didn't know what my problem was because 'it wasn't like he beat me up or anything'.
Since then he has grown, he has changed, he has tried harder and we have has some good times.
But basically now I am at a massive crossroads....
My Mum died of cancer a couple of years ago, and during her illness my sister was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I helped to care for them both during various hospitalisations as well as looking after my beautiful girls. Through therapy I have covered enormous ground since then - I am learning to overcome some serious childhood abuse as well as all of the above and am starting to recognise my own needs as being of importance. I have suffered with both depression and anxiety (although looking at the above its not surprising!) but am feeling stronger now than I have in years.
I have a great job which I really enjoy (which also now makes me the main breadwinner in the home). My daughters are thriving and wonderful and for the first time ever I feel like its partly because I am a GOOD Mum (you wouldn't believe how long it has taken me to feel that!). I have great friends and know where I stand with my wider family.
BUT my relationship with my husband is in massive decline - almost like the better I feel, the worse things get. He seems permanently unhanppy, all he does is rant about things that piss him off, and his general stance is that he is 'hard done by' in life. I have recently dared to do a few things for ME (a weekend away with a group of friends, a spa day, a couple of sessions down the gym, etc) and his response has been to sulk, to tell me I am wasting money, that my need for some time to myself is harming the children and makes me a bad Mum.
I have calmly told him (big progress) these assumptions are not appropriate and that he owes me an apology for some of the hurtful things he has said (most recently when my friend's husband offered to drive us to our spa day so we could have a glass of bubbly to reward us for being 'supermums' - my husband said 'well he must know something I don't').
He won't apologise, and after a week of silent treatment he has now started to offer me a 'cup of tea' and ranting to me about politics again. His way of 'drawing a line' under it to move on - or minimising my feelings?
Oh, and he has had erectile dysfunction for around 3 years now. Every time sex doesn't happen it is because he is stressed, tired, or (the classic) my weight puts him off (I am maybe a stone heavier than I was when we married - post babies I am 10 and a half stone). I feel SO unattractive (don't 'think' I am really but its how I feel) and he does nothing to verbally reassure me either...I have to pray for a compliment...and I enjoy sex...and he won't go to the doctor...
THANKYOU SO MUCH FOR LISTENING. Advice needed - is there anyway forward here? Is he potentially emotionally abusive? What the bleep do I do???! He refuses to talk. I desperately don't want to make anything difficult for my beautiful girls. He's always told me they hate it when I go out (for work or for whatever). I've always taken that as being about me needing to be around more (how?) - but maybe it's because they don't want to be left with him as much?? Should I just stop questioning everything?
Arggggghhhh.... again....thanks for listening...and any advice welcome...thank you in anticipation....
Are YOU getting anything positive out of this relationship?
From what I can read, he is a miserable man child who sulks, doesn't appear to either appreciate you or offer you company, affection or even sex... sorry but your whole extra stone puts him off?! That;'s pretty nuts in my book (just asked Dh his opinion on that and he said he'd have to be half dead to be 'put off') He undermines you using the girls as a weapon..
On the other hand you are a successful mum, have a decent career and oh, a personality and life.
TBH if you decided to go it alone, your girls wouldn't be worse off for it. Don't stop questioning.. question everything because you deserve better!
Do you get anything from this relationship? I don't really agree with labelling relationships (obviously not in all cases) and its not about saying if this is/isn't an emotionally abusive relationship - it's just about of you're happy. It doesn't sound like you are, and it sounds like you haven't been happy for a long time. I don't think there is anything you can do to fix your DH, it sounds like you put all the effort in why he just mopes around, bringing you down with him! That's not healthy! I'd say get out of there, your girls deserve better and you're obviously a strong and successful woman who will continue to succeed.
It sounds like he was happy to find you when you were miserable and insecure, but now that you are happy and doing well, he's pissed off because he can't feel superior to you any longer. Some men really don't like women in that they consider men to be human and women just 'women', there for men to own and make use of.
Bear in mind that it's ok to dump him if all he does is make you miserable. You don't need his permission or his co operation to end the marriage.
He is jealous pure and simple. You are totally amazing. LTB. Is that too harsh? No-one who loves you would make you feel like crap. I could write you a story.x
He does seem bad news.
He's down and wants to drag you down with him.
He does drugs, puts you down, is threatened by your happiness and success.
Let him go and pick himself up if he wants.
THANK YOU so much ladies. I appreciate all of your words very much. Thank you for the permission to keep questioning!!! For the record he no longer does drugs - thank God. He has come a long way since we have been together - we started out with me: 'but I would appreciate a present on my birthday'; him: 'but you haven't given me enough time to go out and buy one for you' to him now USUALLY remembering I appreciate these occasions marked...but then our last wedding anniversary was classic... he didn't even get me a card, and when I mentioned it he said 'he wasn't certain what he would have wrote in one if he had got one'.
I am not certain what I get out of this - apart from a nice(ish) home, and stability for my girls (isn't this worth more than my needs???!!!).
I DON'T KNOW - and I guess that's ok. He has been supportive in a lot of ways through some very tough times - but then thats no more than I would do for him I suppose. But it's gutting me that at this point when I am starting to feel positive about MY life that he is not happy with me, with anything. So yes, he is jealous, and I think he is threatened by me not needing him..
We talked this morning - breakthrough considering the last week - but it was crap. He said that the last week has been a 'breather' for him because he hasn't had to listen to me 'go on' about myself. He also said that the reason he won't enter into a proper discussion about us is that 'the things he has to say about the way he actually feels would probably lead to us being over'.
I got really upset at that - and then he said my tears at that point were exactly why he doesn't tell me how he feels...The OLD me would have begged him to 'forgive' me for something or other, but I actually summoned the strength to say 'well, if that's how you feel, you SHOULD tell me, so at least I know where I stand, and whether there is anything positive we can do to fix this. Or if you are just saying that to manipulate me so you can go back to default mode of ignoring my feelings, then that is just nasty, and not a good way to act towards me'....conversation over...nothing said since...not good.
I am really struggling with the idea that if our marriage is over (or if we need time out or similar) it will be OK. My upbrining was so turbulent that it terrifies me that my actions in saying how I feel / questioning our marriage will lead to my wonderful girls becoming messed up in the way that I have been. I know they AREN'T and WON'T suffer the abuse that I did, but I can't help feeling that I have totally FAILED if they don't grow up with two parents in the same home.
ARrgggghhh - and again thanks so much for listening.
"I am really struggling with the idea that if our marriage is over (or if we need time out or similar) it will be OK. "
Of course it'll be OK. It isn't failing children in the slightest to bring them up in two happy households. What really messes kids up is having to live alongside two adults that have no love and respect for each other, or where one is trying to browbeat the other into submission. Especially girls incidentally. The most powerful lesson you can teach girls is that women are strong, independent, capable, powerful and are emphatically NOT obliged to tolerate crappy treatment from a man & keep the peace just for the sake of a wedding ring.
You may have a desperately bad marriage but, if you play your cards right and act maturely, you can engineer a good split. This is your life, don't waste it.
"stability for my girls (isn't this worth more than my needs???!!!)."
No. I realise that your whole life you've probably been conditioned to think that 'nice girls don't.....' put themselves first or behave in ways that you have been taught to believe are selfish. But it's a very fundamental need - a deal-breaker some might say - that, if you are in a long-term relationship, it's with someone that respects you and who you can respect in return. Ignore that kind of basic requirement, think it doesn't matter, believe that others have higher priority needs... and you end up anxious, depressed, self-reproachful, frustrated and miserable as sin.
FWIW I think sacrificing your life like that is a too-big weight on little shoulders. When my own DM confessed once that she'd only stayed with my DF 'for your sake' - and still does - I felt quite responsible for the misery that resulted in for both of them. It's the saddest part of my life that 'for my sake' they are so unhappy.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.