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Will he ever change?

(31 Posts)
feelingvunerable Sat 22-Jun-13 19:03:14


I will try and be brief.
Dh and have been together 20 years and have 3 dcs.
We had been having ups and downs and about 10 weeks ago things came to a head resulting in him threatening to leave and me telling him to fuck off then. He left that night at my insistance.
He was gone for a week and I missed him terribly but held out until he begged to come home, pleading that he would change and be the man that I deserved. I laid down some ground rules and he committed to them totally, or said he would. I told him that it would be forever and that if he couln't committ completely to the rules, then not to come back and we would divorce.

Last night we were supposed to go out after dropping dd1 at her hobby. He suggested this and wanted to talk as issues around him not putting me first were creeping back into our relationship. All well and good. However, he was late in and as a result, I had to take dd1 by myself. I was pissed off but not his fault.

The bit that pissed me off is this. he then rang to say he would be going out with a friend. I had hoped he would want to go out with me when I got back home, but no. The friend came first.
He didn't come in until 3pm, then slept downstairs which is another thing I have asked him not to do.

I deliberately went out today with a friend even though I had said we would all go to a bbq.

I am seething.
He hasn't tried to contact me all day.
He has lots of freedom, he was away 4 days last week with his mates.
He has also gone abroard this year with mates, which he has agreed will not happen again.

Can he change?
Why can't he put me first. That was a condition of us staying married, we put each other and the dcs first.
He has acknowledged that he feels loved and wanted by me, yet he has made me feel worthless.

Sorry for the long post.

SirSugar Sat 22-Jun-13 19:26:32

Nope; it's lip service.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 22-Jun-13 20:02:12

What do you get out of this relationship now?. I am talking in terms of your emotional needs here only, nothing else.

No, he won't change (and it may well be that his dad is very similar) but you can change how you react to him as of now.

We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents, what did his teach him and what did yours teach you?.

With regards to your children, what on earth are you both teaching them about relationships here?. That you are completely subservient to a man who likes to be King of All He Surveys?. Well who died and made him King exactly?. He's calling all the shots here; there is a massive power imbalance here in your relationship and its all in his favour.

Your children likely know that you are very unhappy and perhaps wonder of their parents why you are both actually together at all.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sat 22-Jun-13 20:25:57

Let's see... He sheds a few crocodile tears, makes a few empty promises, changes long enough for the dust to settle... and then goes back to normal. That's a person that knows there are no serious consequences to his actions and thinks, if he keeps his head down for a week or two, the little woman will calm down and it'll all blow over..... Sorry.

onetiredmummy Sat 22-Jun-13 20:56:54

I do agree with the other posters & think he's reverting back to form.

However because I don't know him is it possible that the friend had some life changing negative news, he went because the friend needed to talk but he knew you would be angry so he thought he'd better stay out of your way & sleep downstairs. Then thought you might enjoy a day to yourself today & tried to reciprocate the 'free time'?

Or is he indeed, a plank...

Wellwobbly Sun 23-Jun-13 11:47:34


He found out there were no consequences. A little week, a bit of tears, a few words, was all it took.

So sorry OP, the reality of this is very very hard to take. A book I thoroughly recommend is 'Should I stay or should I go?' by Lundy Bancroft.

The bit at the end that really reassures you to find yourself and stop thinking about [the uncaring man], to do the best thing for you, that you will be fine without him, is priceless.

sarahseashell Sun 23-Jun-13 16:13:13

do you think he could be having an affair?

akaWisey Sun 23-Jun-13 20:17:42

When you told him that you'd divorce him if he didn't stick by all the rules, did you mean it? Have you threatened such consequences before and not carried them through?

He doesn't believe you'll divorce him.

feelingvunerable Sun 23-Jun-13 22:30:44

Thanks for all your replies.

I lost my temper with him on Saturday night and started shouting at him and tlling him hat I was angry and livid with him and why had he treated me like this after all he has promised not to etc.
Eventually I calmed down and began crying and we talked.
He didn't think he had done anything wrong!

We made up and went to bed.

I had to take dd2 somewhere this morning and he called me to tell me he was going out for a pint, fine.
I then walked to meet him and we talked.

Apparently he thinks that in these weeks since the initial break up I have changed.
I have become more vocal, angry even, and have been quick to pull him over the coals whenever he hasn't toed the the line so to speak.

He has mentioned before about me "having a go" at him.
He has said that I am quick to react now and I know that I have started swearing, tough I did point out that we are not living in 1920 and women are allowed to swear (although I really wan to stop this).

I have told him that the kind, passive, accomodating me got nowhere so maybe on a subconscious level I am acting more assertively.

He has said that he in't sure if he wants to stay with me and I am in bits.
I,ve tried talking to him but don't want to accept less than I want from my marriage.

This is awful.

I will get hold of the book someone recommended upthread.
No, we have never separated before this either.

tightfortime Sun 23-Jun-13 23:43:32

He wants out and he's trying to make it your fault Hun. Dominant men hate it when we find a voice, swear and stand up for ourselves because after all, he has had years of doing as he likes.

tightfortime Sun 23-Jun-13 23:46:07

Oh and I've changed have you? I remember that one. I was 'being influenced' by others yadda yadda. Never even gave me credit for finally sticking up for myself.

Two years on and he has the audacity to tell me that the 'new' me (no, the one I was before you wore me down actually) is very attractive and he wishes I'd been more like this when together!! Wtf!

Xales Sun 23-Jun-13 23:55:51

Ahh so what he is saying is he has treated you as shabbily as before. You have actually pulled him up on it. He doesn't like it. And if you don't get back in your box he is not sure he wants to stay with you.

So you STFU and let him do what he wants or he will leave and he gets to continue to treat you like shit.

Nice threats to keep you in your place and let him do as he wants.

feelingvunerable Mon 24-Jun-13 22:30:22

Oh fuck just had another ding dong with "d" h.

I am on an emotional rollocoaster.
Because the last time I went away for a girl's weekend he left my youngest dcs alone, whilst he was out drinking, which resulted in them ringing me at 1.20am asking what they should do. I have told him I wouldn't be too happy with letting him have them overnight if we did separate.
He has tried repeatedly to justify this and I am not happy. The time before that I went away he also left them, but my eldest dc, who was 15, may have been in I can't remember.

Things are getting ugly and he insists he wouldn't leave them alone if he was living elsewhere.

He brought this up sating that it is looking like we will separate.

He is constantly now trying to justify all the nights out he has had and we are going around in circles.
Any advice?

DHtotalnob Mon 24-Jun-13 22:37:35

Er, just re-read that.

Practicalities are dealt with second. Do what is right for you and your children.

How old are they?

cerealqueen Mon 24-Jun-13 22:39:07

I am sorry you are going through this

this alone would send me running
Because the last time I went away for a girl's weekend he left my youngest dcs alone, whilst he was out drinking, which resulted in them ringing me at 1.20am asking what they should do.

But in addition to what you have already said, it sounds like you would be much better off without him. Your are not happy with him are you?

feelingvunerable Mon 24-Jun-13 22:44:51

My2 youngest are 14 and 11.
He cannot seem to understand that no matter what HE thinks, THEY were worried.
I was actually asleep in bed when they woke me up by ringing my mobile phone.
I was also overseas!!!
He can see nothing wrong with this behaviour and I calmly pointed out that actually, it isn't right.
Ii don't want to get into another slanging match but would have to take issue with him having overnight access.

He genuinely thinks that I am dictating things to him about how much "free time" ha has.
I really don't know if things can improve.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 24-Jun-13 22:46:02

He didn't think he had done anything wrong! We made up and went to bed.

Why did you make up, if he couldn't even admit wrong?
I think you sold yourself short, and probably have been so repeatedly in your relationship with this man.

It's time to get tough. He has just demonstrated to you that, no, he won't change. There's your answer.

What are you going to do now, though?

feelingvunerable Mon 24-Jun-13 22:52:41

I have no idea what to do.
Sometimes I want to make it work but need him to make it work fully too.
Other times I am angry and think i really acnnot carry on trying.It just shouldn't be so much effort and that is what I can't seem to get him to understand. It should come naturally to put me and his dcs first, all the time.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 24-Jun-13 22:56:03

that is what I can't seem to get him to understand.

You can't get him to understand. He chooses not to. It is not in your control.

The only thing in your control is how you react. Will you continue to make up with him, over and over again, to the same result? Or will you put your foot down and end this relationship? Those are your options. I'm very sorry, but it really is this stark.

Wellwobbly Tue 25-Jun-13 07:50:57

that is what I can't seem to get him to understand.

He understands perfectly. That is why he is making it a power struggle which he fully intends to win, at your and the children's expense.

But that would mean that he would have to stop thinking about himself, putting himself first, and making an effort to care about other people.


'It isn't that he doesn't see, it is that he disagrees' - Dr George Simon.

At least he is being open about it and you can choose to see this or carry on hoping he will change, OP (he wont).

Mine was much more sneaky and passive aggressive. Said he was 'working on it' whilst carrying on exactly as he always had. It has taken me 4 years to get it, I hope it doens't take you that long OP.

My best advice for you? It really hurts, but see him for who he really is, not who you wished he was, or knew he 'could' be. That is the biggest trap of all and the one we women are 100% responsible for. Only we invest in their 'potential', whilst they clearly tell us who they are!

AnyFucker Tue 25-Jun-13 08:03:07

Is he an alcoholic ?

Anniegetyourgun Tue 25-Jun-13 12:10:31

He says he's not sure if he wants to stay. Well, that's all right, isn't it, because you're not sure if you want him to stay either. The thing is, you want some changes and have said you won't settle for less. He, however, wants everything to go back to how it was before you climbed out of the box - ie going out and doing what he wants while you hold the fort, raise the children single-handed and keep a lovely home waiting for whenever he can be bothered to stop by. By the sound of it you've had every reason to pull him up, but instead of being apologetic he's blaming you for being upset. That doesn't sound like someone who is interested in even trying to change.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 25-Jun-13 15:42:06

Going back to the title of the thread.
The answer is screamingly, obviously - NO!!
He's proved it over and over again.
If he's 'not sure' if he wants to stay, tell him to get out then.
And stick to it this time.
He leaves children on their own while he goes out to drink until gone 1:30am.
Tell the kids that if he isn't back by midnight they need to call the police next time! That's just totally irresponsible of him.
He sounds like a complete and utter knob. You need to ditch this man-child and move on and find some happiness for you!

feelingvunerable Tue 25-Jun-13 16:34:06

I am absolutely distraught.
He has said that he has seen a side of my personality that he doesn't like, the assertive, angry one. he isn't used to me swearing at him but he has almost destroyed me.
I have told him that it is partly his fault as part of me died when he left us before and i cannot bring myself to be that accomodating again.

He has tried to turn it round to me saying that I am demanding too much from him and he isn't sure if he can cope with me.
I have told him that i'm not prepared to just do the boring stuff, I want to go out with him at weekends and should be the first choice for nights out.
i am fine with him seeing friends etc but he said last time that the problems were all his fault for not putting me and the dcs fist!

Af- I do think he drinks too much and after his weekend away he said he thought he should cut down, only to go out on the Friday drinking until the early hours of the morning!

He has suggested that the problems are with him and he might nee to see someone.
I think I will suggest he sees the doctor for advice.
I'm not sure if we shoould see relate together, even if just to get a professional outside handle on the situation.

AnyFucker Tue 25-Jun-13 16:57:35

I wouldn't do joint counselling with this man, as that requires both people taking full responsibility for their own part in a relationship breakdown

He is likely to use the sessions to a) play the victim b) trash and/or manipulate the counsellor c) use what is said in the sessions as a further stick to beat you with

I believe he has a major problem with alcohol and is acting like an absolute arse to cover it up as he is unable to prioritise his family over alcohol. He would rather you thought he was abusive (which he is) than take responsibilty for his actions.

My advice to you is to tell him to leave while he seeks help with an addiction to alcohol and to not come back until he has completely changed his attitude towards family life. That will take an extended period of time (months, not weeks at least), and very possibly will never happen until he faces up to what he is.

he is telling you he can't cope with you being assertive and insisting he acts like a decent grown up

in that case, give him what he clearly wants and tell him to leave

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