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Am I hyper-sensitive and mad or is he not nice?

(127 Posts)
Vigilant Sun 28-Jul-13 21:23:15

How do I know if I should stay with my hubby?
Sorry don't want to write DH as he's not a dearest.

When we started dating in 2006, we broke up a couple of times due to his anger over trivial things (I can't even remember what they were but usually my tone of voice). I remember spending one evening with him shouting and ranting and me crying hysterically and asking him to stop (we are talking 4 hours of shouting and I started to have palpitations and felt very sick). I decided that I would never be treated like that again and we broke up.

Next day he came round and said he was really a great guy, in fact he said, "here's some numbers - call any of my friends and they will all tell you the same". I didn't call any. I got back with him. It happened a couple of more times that year. I strive to avoid conflict in my life and if I can't (with other people) I am able to say " this is making me feel etc" and we can get a conversation going about said topic. With hubby I can't do this and never have been able to.

Anyway, fast forward a year or so and I'm pregnant (found out after we were having a lot of arguments). We moved in together at 5 months and got married at 9 months pregnant. I did so to do the best for my wee one. (and my parents wanted it as well).

I never 'fell in love' and never had a couple time - just the 2 of us - it was straight into motherhood. Our little one is now 5.

a few times a year, I upset him and he 'blows'. I think he 'goes nuts', shouting until he loses his voice, refusing to allow me to have a break from the argument (which all take the form of him antagonising me, me defending myself by saying, for example, I didn't use a particular tone of voice or I didn't mean to lift the plastic cover off the remote control when I was cleaning it and him just shouting I'm a liar, I did do it on purpose and now it will never be ok with bubbles underneath, or I have said something in a tone and apparently I do this all the time and speak to him like he's sh** on my shoe). The stony silences after these usually last one week.

Twice he has grabbed me a shaken me with rage (but he has NEVER hit me ever). If he did it would be so much clearer. On these occasions, he has then started sobbing and crying and saying he wouldn't cope if I left him. Once, we argued when we were out. He went nuts and grabbed the steering wheel and pulled it into the side of the road. That was a bit frightening. When he cries (only 3 times I think) I feel so bad for him, if only I didn't make him get this way. He says that I'm so perfect (sarcasm) and I'm always right (same again). If I try to tell him that he's crazy he tells me I'm varous things - paranoid, neurotic, manipulative and even, amazingly a psychopath.

Once, last week he held me and tried to stop leaving the bathroom - he'd come in in the middle of a rant. I'd gone in there for some peace but he came in anyway. The trigger is never obvious to me. I seem to (I guess I must) make him deeply unhappy and he is a silent chap in the respect that he doesn't say anything for ages then something happens 'that is like the straw that breaks the camel's back" and off he goes. Some of these happen when our little one is in the house (always in bed sleeping at night or morning - though this week she asked what our loud conversation was about. I told her that sometimes adults shout but that they still love each other as I don't want to show her a bad example of relationships).

But the truth is I probably am showing her one. To be fair, we get through our lives in an amicable way. I enjoy my life with my little one and my hobbies and interests. In public hubby is very popular with everyone. At home he spends his time watching TV and looking at his laptop. We don't chat much. Though he does sort of listen if I chat about light things, what little one did that day etc. He works full time, hates his work and works a long day. That doesn't help. But even when he was in a job he liked, things in our relationship were like this.

So how are they? I'm on eggshells. I am nervous of upsetting him (every day), I hate to break things in the house as he has to spend time fixing them. I hate if he finds something broken as then I get the blame. I am nervous if I hear him sigh (when in another room) as I cringe and wonder what I've done. I cringe if I hear him say "for God's sake" as I KNOW I've done something and then he comes and tells me. I can brush that of though and don't get too upset. Though, when I think about it I'm def on egg shells every day as I've said already.

Writing this makes me want to cry. My friend heard a little of this today and showed me this site. I found a link to hidden hurt and read the verbal abuse pages - I seemed to be 'ticking' the boxes as I read and thought, yes, he does those things. But when I read signs of an abuser - he didn't tick any of those boxes at all. Not jealous etc

I can't show him the page as he'd say I also do all those same things to him and we'd be no further forward.

I can't leave as I have no money of my own. I guess I must want to though as if I won lots of money my immediate answer to "what are you going to spend it on?" would be to say - a house/flat for just me and my lttle one.

Last week, in the middle of his rant, which started in response to my tone (I didn't know the answer to his question and he asked the same one 3 times) he threatened to leave and didn't know when he would be back. He went downstairs though and we didn't speak for a week. I have approached him for a cuddle and he coldly reciprocated.

I actually would like him to check into a hotel for a week or 2. I think the space would offer some clarity. I can't see me doing this with our little one as that would not be fair for them. I can't see me asking for that though - it could be more of a formal beginning of the end.

Anyone else relate to this?

YoniBottsBumgina Sun 28-Jul-13 23:05:30

Don't show him. It is an incredibly dangerous thing to do, to show someone who has signs of being abusive that you think they might be.

Please bear in mind NO abuser ticks every box. They just don't. There are as many "types" of abuse as there are different personalities, and they don't handily break off into categories of abuser, that's why all of the traits are on the same list even though some are unrelated. Ticking one or two boxes is enough - that's all it takes. If he ticks more than two, that's bad, really bad.

You should also be aware that the stereotype slap on the face/single punch is unlikely. Shoving, shaking, pushing - these are all physical abuse and much more likely than a punch or a slap. I don't want to scare you, but I feel I can't not say - it's far more likely, statistically, that he would go straight from an occasional shove once.every few years to a full on beating. Meaning, one you might not wake up from, or that might leave you with lifelong health issues. And every single woman says "No way, I know him. There is absolutely no way he would go that far." Sorry. Your bloke is not that special and different.

Women's aid help all women. They would absolutely help you. You can always phone and see what they say,eeven if all you want is a listening ear or confirmation that this isn't normal. Phoning them does not commit you to running away in the middle of the night, although they would certainly help you to do that if you wanted to.

BTW, if you were in any doubt, do not show him this thread. Men like your husband don't tend to take kindly to their wives seeking advice about them behind their backs. Stay safe.

Hoolit Sun 28-Jul-13 23:07:51

Vigilant, the one place in the whole world you and your little one should feel safe is in your own home.
Your words 'walking on eggshells' is a title of a dv campaign, this tells you all you need to know.
Has he always been like this? Are you thinking time away will make him see the errors of his ways?

You don't have to do anything you don't want but please confined in a friend, they maybe able to help you out so you don't need to rely on your parents.

Noregrets78 Sun 28-Jul-13 23:08:42

vigilant I haven't read all replies, but you should read 'Why does he do that' by Lundy Bancroft (get it delivered to a friend's house if you're scared). And also talk to the wonderful women on the EA support thread. I recognise sooo much from what you've posted.

I could tell you were in an abusive relationship just by reading the title.

Don't show him the details re: what you think he's doing wrong. He won't agree, it won't help, and he'll throw it back in your face.

The reason he's not been more violent is that you've learnt how to placate him, and are 'walking on eggshells' as you say. He doesn't need to be more violent, as his other tactics are working sufficiently well to control you.

Women's Aid will take you seriously. They're not just a shelter for battered women (although what would you define as a battered woman? He's been violent with you. The fact he hasn't actually hit you is irrelevant) - they are also a wonderful source of advice.

It may take you a long time to come to your own conclusion. But you can't fix him, he won't change. His actions come from the way he thinks, deep down inside. Him being nice in between is just a cycle to suck you in and keep you on side.

The finances WILL sort themselves out. you'll be entitled to far more once your living separately, as his income will not be taken into account. Come back and talk more when you get time.

I'm not going to dwell on the impact on your DD as it's hard enough without the guilt of that. But do think about what she's seeing as a 'normal' relationship, how would you feel if she was being treated as you are now? There's your answer to whether this is a good relationship.

I'm nearly divorced now, and we've been separated about 3 months after 15 years together. I'm all over the place as I'm not sure who I am any more, but it's an amazing feeling being able to work it out in freedom.

Good luck.

ChangingWoman Sun 28-Jul-13 23:12:06

There's nothing normal about your H's behaviour. Shaking you, shouting at you until he loses his voice, psychologically bullying and manipulating you - no, none of these things happen in healthy relationships.

Your life with H sounds like a nightmare, frankly. You're definitely not oversensitive.

minkembernard Sun 28-Jul-13 23:17:43

sorry OP. yes this is abuse.
my abusive ex also used to explode occasionally. although in waves.
he was never jealous. he did not try to control where I went or whom I saw. he did not keep money from me.
but he did scare me, he pushed me, he shouted me down, he cornered me, he would argue relentlessly, he would blame me for things that were not my responsibility and he did not do his share of the stuff that needed to be done.

does any of this sound familiar?

if you come to the EA thread and describe your experiences you will find pretty much everyone will tell you this is abuse.

and it is perfectly normal to deny, to minimise, to think you are being over dramatic...partly because your nsdh has been telling you you are dramatic and it is nothing and you are making too much of it...I bet he insists you do not bring these arguments up after he has apologised and I bet when/if he does apologise there is an unhealthy dose of I only did x because you made me...or if you were nicer/quieter/better behaved then I would not have to shout at you...if you loved me more etc.

ask yourself three questions:
- are you prepared to accept this is all your fault?
- do you want your ds to have relationships like this when she grows up
- do you think he respects you? really respect you as an individual with your own thoughts and feelings?

if the answer is no, then when you are ready leave. he will not change.
get a copy of Lundy Bancroft, why does he do that. you will find he is in there.

and no WA is not only for battered women (we are in fact trying to get a campaign going to address just these points- what abuse can encompass and that WA and other support is there for do not need to wait until you are battered and bruised). many abusers never openly hit. However, shaking is a physical assault, it is illegal, if he does it again you should report it even if it is just to 101 so it can be logged without taking it further, likewise if you try to leave and feel that he may in any way harm you.

minkembernard Sun 28-Jul-13 23:20:57

x-posted with yoni and noregrets <waves>

good luck OP.
and before you even consider confronting him (I wouldn't) then read up on confronting your abuser.
also be aware counsellling is recommended for you but not couples counselling.

and have a look at links on EA thread to out of the FOG- the cycle of abuse, you will probably recognise this.

thenightsky Sun 28-Jul-13 23:32:28

I couldn't live in that atmosphere OP. sad

WideScreenViper Sun 28-Jul-13 23:47:48

There is no easy way to do this. You hope he will die, leave you for someone else, hit you so the police take him away, have a " lightbulb moment " as Anyfucker put it, and change his behaviour. Not. Going. To . Happen.

Yes it is up to you, yes it is hard work, yes you can do it.

Baby steps. Women's Aid for SAFE way to leave. Friend for emotional support, possible bolt hole. He is not your friend or lover any more, although you may have to act like it. You cannot share these steps with him. It could be dangerous.

Sleep well, cover your tracks and good luck tomorrow.

tightfortime Mon 29-Jul-13 01:40:48

OP, it is EA.

My ex never shoved, blocked doors or shouted. Never. He saved some of that for when I tried to leave - the most dangerous time.

But I felt uneasy and didn't know why. I walked on eggshells, didn't see people he disapproved of, was a perfectionist, kept house and our lives spotless, did whatever he wanted to keep the peace. If we disagreed, he would listen, ask if I 'felt better now' and walk away. He refused to apologise, just agreed to differ. His life and his kids took priority over mine, I couldn't even manage a fitness class fitting in with all I had to do to 'support' his busy life. I fumed with resentment as he watched tv in another room, while I cleaned/minded children and then he would demand sex.

It is no way to live and yours is far worse. Years on, he is still puzzled as to what he did wrong, it all came out of the blue for him when i left. Clearly, i was being 'influenced' by others. It was years building up and I tried suggesting counselling etc. He was and is blind to it. Just tells everyone I obviously wanted the single life again.

Now I'm free, happy, Dc is a different child confidence wise and very happy with new man, I'm me again.

Your OH sounds like he feels pushed into marriage. He will not see his faults, change, or make you fall in love with him again. He sounds dangerous and entitled, please LTB.

deleted203 Mon 29-Jul-13 01:44:58

He's a bullying, abusive nutter. Leave him as fast as you can. No one should live like this. And it is only a matter of time before she is as terrified as you are. Please go.

ninjasquirrel Mon 29-Jul-13 07:18:42

Baby steps... It sounds like you're not using contraception. Having another child in this relationship would be a really bad idea. So sorry you've had to cope with the miscarriages on top of anything else, but please protect yourself.

LadyMud Mon 29-Jul-13 09:10:13

Oh, Vigilant, your husband sounds exactly like an old college friend of mine, who I met up with again in 2006 (bloody Friends Reunited). During a string of serious health problems on his part, we became close friends (100% platonic), and I allowed him into my family.

The verbal abuse came totally out of the blue, which made it all the more scary. Like you, I learned to walk on eggshells. For several years, I blamed it on his mental health issues, and believed he would deteriorate even more without our support.

Like you, I minimised the abuse - until he started bullying some little children in my family. That's when I posted on Mumsnet for help, and my eyes were opened. Importantly, he didn't bully other adults, only me. So therefore he was capable of controlling his behaviour, and deliberately chose to abuse me.

Luckily he was only a friend, living 80 miles away, so it was easy to cut ties. I really miss the dear friend I imagined him to be, but definitely not the abusive bully he actually is.

springytoto Mon 29-Jul-13 11:24:42

he cheated on her after he was bullied

oh really? I'd take that with a pinch of salt if I were you.

You feel sorry for him because he's paved the way for you to feel sorry for him so you put up with his abuse - 'he can't help it poor love'. You say you don't want his money because it would hurt him. Well, he's hurt you and he's hurt your little one. Big time. And he doesn't care.

You say he's 'only' shaken you twice. That's two times too many. You are minimising his abuse because he minimises his abuse. You are quick to say you want to show him the relevant sites, slow to act unless he agrees. He has got you thinking he is God, or your dad. He is neither, whether he thinks he is or not - don't you go thinking he is! He has taken away your autonomy and adulthood, reducing you to a frightened child. That's what abusers do.

You're not the only one to fall for this shit btw! Your parents sound like a chocolate teapot. though that suggests they're actually sweet, if ineffectual, and I wonder if that is the case. The chances are that you were schooled in being treated like this when you were a child. It was probably going on in your family home and you imbibed that this is what relationships are like. They aren't. it's not ok to frighten you, intimidate you, ignore you, shake you, scream at you for hours and hours. Your little one may not have heard what he does, but she will be living in the atmosphere of it, the soup of it. Get her out as soon as you can. Please don't tell her you love one another, that isn't true. You don't have to say you hate one another but don't lie or she will think that loving relationships are abusive. Just as you did as a child, probably.

Womens Aid are very good and will help you to gradually put in place a strategy to get out. There is no alternative btw - he won't change. Please ignore the weeping and hand-wringing, it is meaningless. He will only be upset that he was caught, not because he did it. He 'loves' and 'needs' you so he has someone to terrorise, it makes him feel powerful. Sad bastard (sorry, but I am short on sympathy. There are many who feel vulnerable, weak, hurt but we don't terrorise other people).

Get the Lundy Bancroft book - Why Does He Do That. You will recognise what you read, and knowledge is power. You may want to attend the Freedom Programme which is a wonderful course which explains the tactics of abusers. You also get to meet other normal, lovely women just like yourself.

My abuser tailored his abuse to what I would accept. Those ticklists encompass a wide range of abusive tactics, abusers don't necessarily use them all. They have to keep things looking normal so they can keep abusing you under cover. He probably doesn't hit you because he knows, like you, that there's no going back from that, it is tangible evidence of abuse. My abuser was also careful too clever/devious to actually hit me. he came within a hairs breadth of it in countless ways, but never actually did the deed. I used to wish he would so I had somehting to go on. I think he knew that tbh.

burberryqueen Mon 29-Jul-13 11:30:06

you are not mad, my lovely, he is.
if I were you I would start making plans to leave - you don't need money to go a women's shelter

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 12:10:29

and yes I can see why you would not want to take his money from him.
but actually his dcs are entitled to his money. he is obliged to support them. and you are entitled to something too if the reason you have not been working is because you have been providing care for his dc. that is work.

before you believe too much about his past, I would speak to his ex. you will probably find he treated her the same and then painted himself the victim.

and it does not matter. nothing excuses the way he has been abusing you. nothing. you deserve better.

Pozzled Mon 29-Jul-13 13:53:25

Vigilant please do NOT try to show your H this thread or any sites about abuse etc. I know what you're thinking- 'He's a good guy really, he doesn't realize what he's doing to me, if I show him, maybe he will change'. Unfortunately, none of it is true. He will not have that lightbulb moment, because he already knows that he's treating you like shit. If you try to tell him, you will just give him ammunition to use against you... More sarcasm, more accusations of paranoia, or insinuations that you are going crazy.

Speak to women's aid when you can, keep posting here, and read as much about abusive behaviour as you can- keep noticing how many boxes he ticks. And if you're not sure if something is normal in a relationship, ask here- one feature of abuse is that you become used to it,minimize it and lose perspective on what is normal.

As I said earlier, you don't need to leave today, or tomorrow (although I'd be cheering if you felt you could!) But the sooner you can accept that HE won't change, the sooner you can make the necessary changes yourself.

burberryqueen Mon 29-Jul-13 14:05:10

google 'red flags for abuse in a relationship' and check how many boxes he ticks...

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:16:32

He is a psycho and you are enabling it by staying with him and allowing him to abuse you, your child is also learning from this and will think it normal for a husband to shout so loud and so much that he loses his voice. You do not have a relationship, you are his punch bag, maybe not literally, yet but you are. Please wake up and give yourself and your child a life you both deserve.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 14:29:44

Jan45 hmm seriously not helpful victim blaming. shock
please have a think before you post this kind of thing of DA threads. it perpetuates myths about the survivors of DA which make it harder for them to leave.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 14:46:46

I am giving my opinion, not victim blaming, how is it not helpful - would it be better if I lied about the situation?

Please you have a think before you harrass other posters.

I hardly think my comment is going to unable her to leave him - quite the opposite.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 14:58:22

you are enabling him is victim blaming
allowing him to abuse you is victim blaming.

I am not harassing you. I am giving my opinion on your post.
I think it is a victim blaming and hence unhelpful.

Abusers constantly undermine their partners confidence and criticise their parenting ability. they don't need it from other people too.

The OP is not at fault. her husband is at fault. your post is implying she is at fault.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 15:13:22

In your book it is, I live in the real world and it's called the cold hard facts of the matter and the fact is if you stay then you are enabling and allowing someone to abuse you, sorry if this offends but I'd guess the OP already knows this.

I am not asking for your opinion on my post, I am not in dialogue with you so yes you are harrassing me.

I do know the definition of abuse thanks, I am in no way abusing the OP or trying to undermine her confidence, as I've said above, it's my opinion, what she does with it is irrelevant.

Not once have I said the OP is at fault nor does my post imply it, she is not responsible for him being an abuser but she is responsible for her own happiness and that of her child and as I said in my initial post, is entitled to a life they both deserve.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 15:27:24

jan45 it is not a fact that the OP is enabling her abuser. it is an opinion. based on a myth.
I will grant you the cold and the hard if you insist.

the cold hard facts of the matter and the fact is if you stay then you are enabling and allowing someone to abuse you

yes this ^ ^does offend me. it offends me a lot. if i did not feel very strongly about it I would not have said anything.

it is not as easy to leave an abusive relationship as many people seem to think. it is a move that should be considered carefully and which can take time to accomplish safely.

the only thing which language such as enabling and allowing adds to any of the many helpful replies the OP has already received is guilt. guilt is the last thing you need more of when you live in an abusive relationship.

guilt is not helpful.

hope on the other hand is.

DA is a complex issue. You may understand the definition but you post implies you don't understand the reality.

YoniBottsBumgina Mon 29-Jul-13 15:30:16

OP are you ok? Sorry if we have come on a bit strong. You will get excellent support here if you want it.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 15:40:08

My post was not directed at you, you decided to attack me and accuse me of being a `victim blamer` which I certainly am not, so please refrain from giving me `your` abuse.

A good friend of mine was in a very similar situation to the OP, she still thanks me to this day for being honest and telling her she was enabling and allowing the abuse by staying there - if you are offended by what I say then that's a shame, it's also a shame you are intent on having a go at me.

I was there, and it wasn't easy to get out of no, but she did it. It's not guilt in my book, it's confirmation of what she will already know.

I have a lot of hope for her and as I have said she deserves a good life.

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