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H/DS - dysfunctional relationship(12 Posts)
Apologies for posting yet again about how awful my H is... but I am really struggling with what is happening now and not sure how to handle it and it would really help to write it down and try to make some sense of it. So sorry, this is probably going to be long but I'm trying to sort out what is happening, DS has been away for a while and I forgot how much tension there always was between H and DS.
DS has been home on an long break from uni, they have 5 weeks. He is, IMO, a very decent kid and I am extremely proud of him (in fact I glow with pride just thinking about him ). Hope I don't sound like I'm bragging, just want to say I think he's great.
However, he stays up late at night and sleeps until noon or so, and spends a lot of time playing computer games. He also writes games (he is a programmer, second year computer science) and over this holiday has also written a programming language and worked on other various projects and has updated his web site, CV style, in anticipation of applying for summer internship positions.
This morning H wanted him to go out with him, to stay at our other house, which is in the countryside and a sort of project, and DS didn't want to. H was really upset about this, calling him a lazy sh*t and saying that all he ever does is play games and he never gets out of bed before noon. I probably shouldn't have said it but I told H that maybe if he were nicer to DS he'd be more inclined to do things with him... H got furious with me and said it was my fault, why was I OK with things when clearly DS is lazy etc and why did I cause everyone to hate him... I said it wasn't that DS hated him just that it always ended up in an argument and that's why it isn't fun to do things with him... H shouted at me and threw a mug of coffee on the kitchen floor and it broke and went everywhere (he isn't usually violent but I don't usually stand up to him) Anyway, he left after that and I was so glad to see him go. I spoke to DS who was, I think, hurt by it all. I have no idea, how he feels about things, I imagine he has a lot of anger and I possibly (?) under-parent by trying to make up for the hard time that H gives him.
Anyway I thought having had some time to think H would be contrite or apologise but he's just called me and ranted away about how he is fed up with me saying everything is his fault-- I didn't really, just suggested that he looked at the situation as a two way street where feelings etc are concerned, but evidently what he heard was me blaming him for everything, and excusing DS's supposedly awful behaviour. BTW Ds's behaviour doesn't bother me in the slightest, he's great company and I love having him around and I know he works at night-- and if that's how he works best so be it. I tend to be an insomniac and we often have chats in the middle of the night.
My problem is... I have no idea whether DS's behaviour is horrible! Maybe his is and I'm wrong? I have no idea what is normal. I knew H at about the age that DS is and he wasn't great, (I pointed this out to H this morning) but I've no idea if I'm being too easy on DS, or whether it's OK to sleep all day, he's perfectly able to get himself to all uni classes on time when he has to. He's doing well at uni, major exams coming up over next month but if last year is anything to go by he;ll be in line for a first-- that is, if he prepares etc (don't want to jinx it of course) anyway, what I am trying to say is that it's his business what/when he does his revising, work etc and if it doesn't bother any of the rest of us what time he gets up why should H make a big deal about it? I think the getting up time is a red herring and if it wasn't that he'd find something else to pick on him for.
Also, DS has done a lot of work for H's firm, at their request he's set up their computer systems (and saved them a lot of money, they pay him but not nearly as much as they were paying their previous systems guys). Anyway H started going on about how he never responds to emails and how he was getting hell from the other directors... when I got off the phone I asked DS about it, he showed me emails from them all of which he'd responded to, it could be the case that they're complaining to H just in a jokey way or because they can, but they got a pretty good deal overall, IYKWIM.
So I'm trying to figure out what to do:
Take DS back to uni now, a few days early, so he doesn't have to deal with H anymore?
Take all the cr@p from H on myself which would involve me taking the blame for DS's 'awful' behaviour and telling DS off for sleeping until noon?
Tell H's firm that DS will no longer be working for them as he's got to prioritize his studies and it's not worth it to get bullied by his dad? (would put them at a big disadvantage as he's their sole support now)
Or tell one or two of the other directors to put any comments through me as H has a totally dysfunctional relationship with DS?? (I think H makes out that they are mates and best of friends... other directors are friends of mine, we're all on good speaking terms)
Apologies for posting yet again when I sort of know the answer is LTB... I've already received excellent advice and I'm usually saying that I am preparing, but putting off dealing with things until after DD finishes her A2 exams (sort of excuse but I am between a rock and a hard place, cannot risk walking out now and having him direct his anger towards me when DD's in such a critical time, and all books/study sessions/dog/cat/ etc home comforts are here, and I don't think I could get him to shove off for so long, wish wish wish I could. Really wish that he just wouldn't come back )
Your ds is an adult now let him decide.
The work is valuable experience for his cv. Ds may see it as worth the aggro. Not your role to get involved.
Sounds a miserable existence stop making excuses...get your own pace where ds can come visit you. Otherwise you may find he won't come home again...
Yikes, wrote all that and didn't even think about DS being an adult for all intents and purposes. I'm sure I probably have a (slightly!) dysfunctional relationship with him as I end up feeling sorry for him. Thanks cest and that is my worry, that he won't feel that home is a place he can come
to get his washing done for home comforts and he'll just disappear out of our lives.
I've spoken to an estate agent about putting this house on the market and I want to buy a smaller flat in our same area, agent is very keen to list it as he sold our neighbours house recently and it went v fast as it's a good area for schools... so we've talked about selling and at first he was keen but when he saw that I was keen he started throwing up all sort of reasons not to, I think he has an inkling that I want to use it as a part of an exit strategy. I think if I make a move it will have to be decisive and not half-hearted, thought I might take a loan off of the mortgage and rent a flat, move out, then sort out sale/divorce etc from there. I haven't wanted to do that now as I couldn't bear the unknown, what if he comes around and bangs on the door, what if he tries to harm himself, I just cannot deal with it while DD is getting ready for exams. I tried to speak to women's aid but the day I went down they'd forgotten I was there and I ended up running out of the place in tears. Might give them another call tomorrow as I'd said I'd get back in touch at a later date.
There's more to it as today (yesterday) is the first day in years I've had some work to do, freelance, H has been making my life hell by throwing it in my face that I haven't been working for the past few years (it was his choice that I left my last full-time job which was about 3 years ago as he said I needed to look after kids/house better) and now that I actually have a really nice job to do, which looks like a long-term freelancing position (provided I can do the work which means I have to do a nice job with this first assignment) so H kicking off in such a dreadful way totally ruined my day as I couldn't really think about anything else after he had his tantrum and broke the cup. I was really scared last night after getting his phone call, he was so bitter. What really gets me down is that things could be so nice, on the surface everything is fine.
Your husband, as you know, is a piece of work OP. Please keep focused on securing work for yourself - you will need it when you liberate yourself, but he clearly knows this too, hence tantrums.
thanks kitty, I'm up now doing the work I should have done yesterday and am thrilled with the possibilities, won't be easy to work H is around as he'll try to derail me so I want to do it before he gets back, I can just predict it, will be looking over my shoulder and asking why I haven't finished it yet and saying that it's such an easy thing to do, he could do it in 10 minutes etc... unfortunately it's come via a contact of his, well actually one of the other guys in his firm who simply forwarded me an email and I did the rest, H is already said that he got this job for me and expects me to be grateful. But when I suggested that he was being obstructive a few days ago, when I simply went to meet with the guy to discuss the work and he kicked off about why was I spending so much of HIS money on tube fares, I suggested perhaps I should just drop the whole idea he told me to stop being so stupid, in worse language. Can't win!
I really think he is deluded/depressed/anxiety stricken/ mentally ill in some way but having read Lundy et al I know that this isn't my problem...
PS up doing the work but finding time to go on MN! must concentrate on work.
'Can't win' OP. Yep! Good on you for finding a way to get the work done. x
Getting the work done, in the face of all this terrible shit from your H shows how strong, focussed and able you are.
Just think, if you get rid of that truly awful man, you won't have to get up at silly o'clock to work around his impotent little tantrums, your DC will be able to thrive, and know there's a place they can always come to relax.
Your DD must know about how terrible your life is at the hands of her father, have you asked her how she finds the environment at home? Have you sounded out how you feel with her?
As young people, it's vital that you clearly show that your marriage is NOT what they emulate, that it's dysfunctional.
Btw, your take on your boy is right, your H wants everyone to think he's everyone's best mate, including his son, but he lacks the personality/strength to be a decent dad. Your DS has the measure of him. That's what frustrates your H.
Your H is behaving like this through weakness, not strength. He knows uyou could beat him hands down in every single way, and that's why he's so vile.
The more strong you get, the worse he'll be. Use this as your bellweather, allow that knowledge to spur you on, no matter how shitty he gets.
I said to you last time not to let him back when he stropped off to the country house, I said call the police if he did. One day you CAN do that, you don't have to live life like this.
It's so much better without these terrible men in our lives. Imagine the peace and quiet, the calm happiness. Aim for it. It's there waiting for you and your family. You'll never regret it.
You know what OP, as I was reading all I could think was how normal and nice DS sounds and how draining, critical, snippy, and negative H is. Not just of DS but you as well.
My DS is also into gaming and wants to do computer science. Him and his mates are all up playing til late at weekend, he would stay on all night if i let him. A lot of it is the fact that people online are from all over the world like USA which are at least 5 hours behind us so being online at 2 am here is only 9pm there. . Also they are obsessed.
I don't think it would bother me while he is studying and keeping up..I bet half his course do the same. Obviously he will need to keep more normal hours when he gets a job but he's a student and will look back on his 'no responsibility student in bed all day' period with fondness I am sure.
Your problem is with H not your son.
"what if he tries to harm himself"
what if he does? his decision/responsibility not yours... it sounds like he angry not suicidal !
if you around - you call 999 let them deal with it
if you not - well his choice really.
on practical level, check his life insurance covers death by suicide .
when are dd's exams?
have you actually sat down and talked to her?
offered her chance to move out and live somewhere peaceful where she can revise for her exams in peace with just you ?
you couls even present it thus - that you would like to move out just you and dd so she can revise peacefully.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks so much for listening to my rants and for your kind words... so glad we have this place to offload as I don't have anyone else to turn to, I called a local DV place today, had a good chat but they just kept asking me what I wanted, and I didn't really know, I don't think a restraining order would be called for, I don't want to leave for all my reasons, so I got a solicitor's number that they recommended and I will give them a call. I called a friend but I got the distinct impression that she doesn't want to get involved... best not to give too much away, anyway.
It's been such a lovely day, doing my work on the computer with no one nagging, it's been a few years since I used this software so a bit stressful, but seems possible.. as predicted, H called and demanded that we come out and I said I had to do the work (of course he said 'what that tiny bit of work, should take you 10 minutes' then 'you can bring your laptop and do it out here') and to be honest I'm looking at a compromise where I drop DS off at uni on sat, then proceed on out to where he is. The alternative is he comes home tonight in an awful strop and makes life total hell for everyone.
Vegan yes it takes a particular type of mindset to do CS... obsessed is putting it mildly! But I'm thrilled because DS is very employable, he writes apps freelancing and gets enough £££ that we never have to top up his student loan, I believe he has a decent surplus at the moment.
Harriet thanks, the exams are the crucial thing right now and TBH even without a DH (d*ckhead) in our lives DD and I would be stressed to the max, I think that part of H's stress is due to that but a really pathetic excuse, as a parent you have to support them, not take it on as 'poor me look at all the stress you put me through' (did this last week when I told him DD got a C on a mock exam, he flipped out then blamed me FFS it's only a mock!).
I do think that DS has him figured out, he said to me that H is OK as long as everyone does exactly what he wants and as long as everything is revolving around him. And he can be nice with it. But just so so wrong with that anger simmering below the surface.
Hissy I know I should have taken your advice before re: not letting him back in, but when it came down to it I couldn't. I just am so used to smoothing things over BUT now am finding that when I do 'challenge' him he does seem to escalate in his anger which is not a good sign and I am scared of what would come next, the cup incident yesterday felt really nasty to me and that was, I suppose, pretty tame. Especially with the kids around-- if I notified the police, then refused to let him in, I am sure there would be some major fallout and I'll need to be so sure of myself before that happens.
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