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Help, advice please(122 Posts)
I can't really believe I am writing this, it may be a bit of a mind dump, so please bear with me.
I have upset my husband again, but I am not sure why he gets so annoyed, a lot of it might be in my head, or my fault, I am just so confused and even writing this is making me feel cold all over because once it is out there, it can't be unsaid, can it? And I suspect I am going to look like an idiot here.
I will go with this morning as an example, please do say if you think I was at fault because I am not sure, I am finding it really hard to get things straight in my head these days.
So we got up, H got breakfast for DD. I got her school stuff ready, uniform, lunch etc. Then I got some stuff together to wrap a parcel that needs returning and is being collected at some time today. I sat down on the living room floor to sort it - a process that would take a total of 5 mins as I had prepared everything last night.
H came in to the room and started to shout at me for not having done it the night before, he says I never finish anything I start. I said that I had prepared everything last night and that all I had to do was wrap it, which I continued to do.
Then he got more irate and said I was taking up all the room in the living room and that was the space he uses to dress DD (who can dress herself as an aside) and that he had to work, and that I wasn't even dressed and he supposed I expected him to take her to school. We had discussed that last night and we were both going to take her. He said that I always change my mind and I am impossible to live with. Oh and that I am still taking up all the room (it is not a small room btw).
So I moved back and gave him some more space and he continued to shout and swear at me. Then as he walked past me he kicked a can of drink in to me, it didn't hurt but it was deliberate. Then started getting DD dressed still mumbling and swearing that I never do anything and that he has work to do (he works from home) and that now he has to take DD to school.
I cried a bit - embarrassingly, he didn't hurt me or anything, I was just so frustrated. Then I went upstairs to get dressed so I could take DD to school, after 5 mins he sent her up so I could fix her hair and shouted up the stairs that he knew I wasn't bothering to take her but couldn't I at least watch her for 10 mins so he could work. I was dressed and ready to go at this point.
Then I took DD down to take her to school and he shouted at me for changing my mind again, he is fed up with me and he can't be bothered with 'this' any more.
I was going to go and get a coffee and sit in the library after I had dropped her off so he could relax and get on with his work but I thought he might be pissed off if I stayed out without telling him where I was/when I would be back so I came home. He is ignoring me now.
God reading that back it probably is my fault, I expect I am rather annoying. I am also shit with money which I know pisses him off but I struggle to change, I do try but I always fall back in to bad habits.
Gah! please help me figure out how to sort this out, otherwise he's going to be pissed off with me all day.
You aren't over reacting.
It will happen again...probably later on today even.
Ring women's aid.
Brace yourself - another link coming up:
CoDA - Codependents Anonymous. Codependents very often live through someone else, someone who is 'unhappy' and has 'issues'. It's not easy to explain codependence but realising I was codependent, a sucker for my husband's terrible childhood, helped me to see how I was part of the abusive dance ie I invited my husband's abuse becaue I thought he 'couldn't help it'. Well, he could 'help' being charm personified with everyone else, so he could 'help' being an abusive shit to me.
I repeat: your husband is NOT unhappy with you! He is very happy he has got you where he wants you. We are all responsible for our own happiness - throwing a tantrum because you're wrapping a present in the huge living room, 'getting in his way', was just an excuse to rough you up a bit. Makes him feel good, see. Powerful.
Do do your research, Alice. You have all the basic info on your thread that you need.
No one is horrible all the time.
Otherwise you wouldn't be with him, anyway he doesn't need to be. He can use you as a punching bag when he wants, but if he's in a good mood or you haven't annoyed him he doesn't need to waste his energy being mean to you.
But then you go away and think "If he's been okay now maybe I over-reacted earlier".
Please please phone women's aid, keep coming back here. Read other threads. This is not a good place to be, it isn't your fault.
I do not think you overreacted at all. Afterall he did kick a can of drink at you, was verbally abusive. And I'm assuming your DD witnessed all of it?
Do you think there is any underlying issues which you may not be aware of which could be the cause of his erratic behaviour or has he always been so Jekyll and Hyde?
I feel for you. Relationships are about mutual respect. Hey we all have arguments and say things we don't mean, but to pull you up on minor things is ridiculous.
Like others have said. Seek help. Speak to an organisation that deals with these things. Don't suffer in silence.
He is an arse. Kicking a drink is something I would expect a 5 year old to do if they were angry, not an adult.
It's definitely not your fault.
I am reading the links. Thank you.
It's just so hard to see myself reflected back in them. I am ashamed of myself for being so weak.
You want him to be happy, you are bonded to him and you have a daughter.
I hazard a guess that you feel over responsible for other people's feelings and have adopted a role in life to help and heal others....
You could have a long argument about whether men (or women) who treat their partners like this are fully aware of what they are doing and how it has been modelled etc. But the point is that he does it, and he as an adult human being knows not to treat OTHER people like this, therefore he could choose to treat you and your DD with love and respect ..he just doesn't.
He could not be horrible ALL the time, you would not stay. He gives you just enough good to believe that the marriage is worth fighting for, that if only you could work out the magic formula he would be like that nearly all the time, that you somehow trigger the bad behaviour. This is called the cycle of abuse.
If it helps you don't have to write him off completely...you can give him the opportunity to change. Move out (or better, get him to move out) You can draw strong boundaries of acceptable behaviour, you can refuse to accept the blame for things that are not your fault, you can insist on respectful words and actions, on keeping to agreements...you can draw your line in the sand. but look at the women's aid website for safety planning because as control slips the bad behaviours often gets worse and whilst he chooses whether he will do the work to keep you, you can work on yourself and see whether you think he has done enough.
You're not weak. You're awesome. You know there's a problem or you wouldn't have posted in the first place. Every time you think you're weak or not good enough in some other way remember that's coming from him - why would you take his word for it? He's an inadequate bully who takes out his feelings of worthlessness on you.
You did not overreact! And you're not weak. Ten years of confidence-sapping emotional control have worn you down, as it would wear anyone down. Do try taping one of these rants. Then when you wonder, Did I overreact?, you can listen to it. It was real and it happened and you reacted to being irrationally shouted at the way most people would... it made you feel awful.
Brilliant that you're reading the links, Alice. Keep going.
As someone else said up thread, every word you've written tells how confused and unhappy and beaten down you're feeling.
Please listen to the advice you're getting on here. You are not weak, or stupid or pathetic. You are a woman who has been abused at the hands of a nasty bully.
He's an abusive husband and father and he's knocked you so far down you're now grateful when he's 'nice' to you. You feel you're over reacting at his appalling behaviour and you couldn't possibly run your life without him. Exactly how he wants you OP.
Well, you're not overreacting, you can live without him and if you get away from him you can be happy again.
I really want to cry for you reading your threads.
He really has knocked you down so low you can't see the wood for the trees.
But... you have posted as I think you now realise that something is wrong.
Keep reading all the advice on here.
The reason you are getting great advice is because so many women on here have been where you are and they know what you are feeling and what you are going through.
Listen to the wise women on here and start to put together a plan to get away.
As suggested many times already - womens aid is a good start.
Be strong - you can do this.
Stop letting this vile abusive man control your life - take charge for your daughters sake as well as your own.
"he is unhappy" - why?
he needs to address that not take it out on you
you are unhappy - because of the way he treats you. you can adress that by changing your behaviour and your reactions
go get a coffee in the library for example. stop thinking that what you do incites him to aggression.
and if living with you is impossible well he has a choice - he can leave.
That would not go down well MrsDeVere. I know he would say I was twisting things for my own agenda and painting him in a bad light. That is not what I am trying to do, I can only see things from my own perspective and this is how I feel.
Even if he's unhappy it's no excuse for him abusing you - it makes no difference if it's emotional or physical. He's taught you to see everything as you fault - as others have said this is typical abusive behavior.
Think what it's teaching your daughter about how women should be treated. No exactly a great example is it.
He is an abuser and won't get any better - you should leave him as soon as you can.
Exactly. but he's the master of twisting things to follow his own agenda. you are not painting him in a bad light, he is doing wrong things. some people are so good at it, it takes help from other people to see it. He sounds like an expert, and he is wrong.
Your perspective is fine, and your feelings are exactly right. He makes your head spin and you're reeling from not knowing what to think. That is not painting him in a bad light, that is telling things how they are. He is also not good for your daughter. Sadly, he is using her to get to you, and soon she'll also feel that she can do nothing right to please him. I hope you feel stronger. carry on reading the links and what people are posting.
You're supposed to have your own agenda. Of course you have your own agenda. You want your daughter to grow up strong and confident and happy, and you want to be happy & feel good about yourself & be loved. Your DH should want the same things for you both. Sadly, that's not his agenda.
Push your agenda!!
I know it's a shock when you realise you've been in a situation that has ground you down to powder. You think you are weak, how could I have let that happen etc.
It's not true, though. Abusers do it slowly. They use trust and all the good things in a relationship to gradually manipulate and brainwash you. Really, it doesn't happen overnight. They use techniques that are used in brainwashing. They seem to have a 6th sense about how to do it. Maybe it's in human nature to control and manipulate, maybe they enjoy exploiting that side of them, and us.
whatever, it isn't your fault; though I perfectly appreciate the shame of ending up in the situation you are in, because I felt that shame, too. It doesn't belong to us, it belongs to our abusers. There is no way you would have known, or counteracted, what he has been doing. Now I know a lot about abuse, I see it coming and can act. Until you know, you don't know iyswim.
It's happened to countless numbers of us. My friends said that, of all the people they knew, they never would dream I would end up being abused. Which just goes to show, it can happen to anyone.
He is being perfectly nice this evening except for a couple of snarky remarks
He's currently putting DD to bed while I do some work.
I still feel a bit meh though, my mind is racing.
it's a lot to take in. Your mind will be spinning I guess. Try to resist the urge to go and hide under a local bush!!
He is being perfectly nice this evening except for a couple of snarky remarks...just so you know, this is not "perfectly nice" this is not right and not normal. This might be considered normal if he were a sulky teenager or if you had had a major row about something important (mark you, not right, just normal people might do it)...heaven's you were only wrapping a parcel in a largish room for 5 minutes.
In a reasonable relationship this would not even have been commented upon (other than to say maybe "thanks for sorting out that parcel") let alone still getting snarky comments 12 hours later!!
'She is amazing, I want amazing things for her, she's so confident, clever, funny, kind she is an incredible little person'
Your daughter isn't these things by chance, OP. You, I would bet, are also clever, funny, kind and incredible. But he has beaten the confidence out of you. You certainly sound loving, forgiving, thoughtful and intelligent just from your few posts here.
I wish you luck in whatever you decide.
As soon as I read this: H came in to the room and started to shout at me that was enough for me to say: What the Actual Fuck?
Your H comes into a room and starts to shout at you?
And this has been an accepted part of your relationship, that he is allowed to get away with that, for how long?
Then I read the rest. So appalled.
Am just hoping someone is able persuade you that this behaviour from him is simply not acceptable. I really want you to be able to say to him: Don't ever shout at me again. Ever. Because if you do, I will divorce you, and I fucking well mean it
Because there is no valid argument to that. If he then said, "but you frustrate/annoy/upset/manipulate/irritate/whatever me," then that is still no reason to think that shouting at you is ever ok.
But it sounds as though he has worn you down, so you actually think you deserve this.
Even if you were really, really, really lazy, and annoying, and inept, then it would still be wrong for him to treat you this way. I wish you understood that.
I have had two husbands, was with first one for 14 years, and current one for 15 years, and neither of them has ever walked into a room and started shouting at me. People who live in a house together, mums, dads, children, whoever, need to show each other respect, and I am sure that is what you would like your DD to learn.
Don't accept less, for dd, or for yourself. The way you treat yourself, and allow yourself to be treated, is being witnessed by your dd who will learn to do what you do. You certainly don't want her growing up thinking it is fine to let a man shout at her. You need to teach her this is wrong.
And I'm so sorry you are going through this and, reading this thread, probably beginning to realise what has been going on.
Hope you can get some help in stopping this now.
You know it's not the shouting so much that bothers me. I can live with shouting. It's the aggression.
He has actually very rarely been physical with me, he certainly hasn't ever 'hit' me and I don't think that he would but I do find him intimidating, I am nervous of him. Not all the time but sometimes.
If he stands behind me I feel on edge - not that I particularly like anyone standing behind me.
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