Advanced search

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.

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?

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 15:57:13

jan, I have been thinking about what you posted and minks comment. The OPs husband's behaviour reminds me of the way my mother treated me. My father stood by and did nothing for whatever reason. He enabled her behaviour by doing nothing. I, the target of her behaviour, did not surely.

In my own recent marriage, my STBXH started to emotionally abuse my dd and also pushed her. I left. Had I not left, I would have been enabling him. My dd was NOT.

The OP does not have anyone to step in and stop this for her. She has been living with it so long she takes it as normal. She needs every ounce of support and courage to get out of the web he has spun around her, preferably before dc2 comes along. She is not enabling his behaviour, she is the target of it. She is not in any way responsible for his behaviour towards her.

CailinDana Mon 29-Jul-13 16:03:23

Vigilant if someone on the street shook you would you just shrug it off? Of course not, because it is an assault. You would be well within your rights to report them to the police. Your husband should protect and support you, not assault you. In 11 years my dh has never even raised his voice never mind shook me. I love being with him because he makes me feel and loved. That's how it should be.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:08:37

fabulous, yes I agree, no way is she responsible for his behaviour towards her, what she does about it however is her responsibility for herself and her child.

RaspberrySnowCone Mon 29-Jul-13 16:21:11

You must not put up with this OP, your husband has some serious issues, is unhappy, controlling and abusive. His behaviour is completely unacceptable, no man who loves his wife would behave like that. Everyone rows with their partner from time to time but arguments happen on equal terms, your husband is trying to wear you down. It's setting a very bad example for your daughter who doesn't deserve to go through this, no matter how much you think she doesn't know there is still plenty that she will be aware of.

Can you make plans to leave? Or at the very least turn the tables on him and be clear he has gone way to far and you are leaving? Can you go to a friend/family?

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 16:34:17

In our neoliberal climate, yes, but equally, that is a huge burden to place on someone who is at the stage of realisation, without proper support, or real financial independence from someone invested in their staying. Leaving often takes a long time, even if the intention is to go (and if the perpetrator promises to change or controls the victim to such an extent, she can't think straight, it is not even that simple). None of that has anything to do with enabling, I would not have thought.

Anyway, not sure if that helps the OP, sorry. Apart from anything else, I would wish the OP courage and strength, and support.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 16:34:51

Sorry, first para was for jan

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 16:45:33

Fabulous, that makes sense yes.

Definition of enabling: To supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity; make able - sorry in my book she is enabling, purely by the fact she is there and allowing him to abuse.

Now before I get flamed again, yes I know it's a hard situation to get out of, I've been there with my friend but until the day dawns that the OP actually feels she is able to get out of this horrible situation, nothing will change, we're only worth the credit we give ourselves, I hope the OP realises that she is worth so much more, as is her child and she gets the support and finds the strength she will need to get out.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 17:02:11

jan45 if you feel I am abusing you rather than just disagreeing with your choice of language, then by all means report my post.

ThingsThatMakeYouGoHmmmmmmmmm Mon 29-Jul-13 17:08:38


You wrote " i am nervous each day ".

That is it. There.

You should not be nervous around your life partner.sad

GettingStrong Mon 29-Jul-13 17:13:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Jan45 Mon 29-Jul-13 17:29:15

I never accused, I put it how I saw it and the definition is above.

Trying to twist those words into something sinister to make it look like I am blaming the OP for her OHs behaviour is wrong.

As with my friend, it's a long road to getting there but if she really wants a better life, it can happen, eventually.

Vivacia Mon 29-Jul-13 18:05:55

Jan as mink said,
you are enabling him is victim blaming
allowing him to abuse you is victim blaming

Why do you think your posting is helpful? Or is it not meant to be?

Noregrets78 Mon 29-Jul-13 19:00:59

Not sure how to word this right, apologies if it comes out as a ramble...

I don't believe any abused woman is responsible for their abuse, in the same way that I don't believe anyone attacked is responsible for it. However there's a subtle message in there that you CAN do something to fix it.

Being abused makes you feel so low, and powerless. You can't see a way out, feel you're going mad, and that you're at the mercy of another person's (unpredictable) moods.

The message that you can do something about it should be an empowering one, not a blaming one. The feeling of taking back control of your life is great.

Hope OP is OK and not too shocked by the debate that's started!

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 19:14:32

I have been thinking about this, jan, and the point is that the OP can do nothing about his behavior (your sentence she is not responsible for his behaviour, she is responsible for what she does about it). She can do nothing about it, except leave, and for the reasons already stated, it is never that simple.
He, however, can do something about it. Stop. However, he won't because it serves him If OP leaves, he will find someone else to abuse, sure as day. Only he can do something about his behaviour.
So, she is enabling him by being there, providing with the opportunity to abuse? By virtue of being the mother of his child, believing he was a decent person worth sticking with? Can I tell you something? I left my marriage, my ex still harrassed me. have tried to close off every avenue legally, he still tries to find a way around. I am enabling him by being alive, because he will not let go. If I follow your argument.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 19:16:07

Though can I just add, for the OP, that my life is oh so much better without him

LegoLegoEverywhere Mon 29-Jul-13 19:18:08

I can see what Jan is trying to say. I was in an EA relationship and it took a (very stressful) year for me to get him out. During that time I had CBT and further along in the sessions we discussed by behaviour and how I reacted to him.

I was an enabler. I had been brought up as one by my mother. I fantasized as a child that I was adopted and my real mum would come and rescue me. (Your writing about him leaving for his ex struck a cord OP) My H was not in the same league as her but bad enough. My therapist made me see that although I enabled him I was in no way responsible for his actions. Those were his alone. I worked on my own self esteem to counteract my conditioned responses.

So yes not really helpful at this point in time but something to come back to in the future to ensure the OP doesn't find herself in this situation again.

In the meantime its babysteps. Get yourself some RL support, speak to your trusted friends and tell your GP. I realised the terrible financial position I was in (he had all the investments in his name having convinced me to part with mine) so started by opening my own accounts and putting money in when I could. I also got supermarket vouchers / stamps every week so I knew I could feed the kids if things became dire.

You can get through this OP. flowers

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 19:23:34

Jan i can now see based on your experience with your friend you were genuinely trying to help. I reacted badly because I have seen so many threads where the OP has had pressure headed upon them when they are already vulnerable
As gettingStrong says it is a process. it takes time to leave. leaving an abusive relationship is often far harder than leaving a non abusive on.
I should have worded my original response more gently.
survivors are not enabling their own abuse even if they stay. at no point do they consent to or allow abuse. abuse is entirely the choice of the abuser.

So let's not argue the point any further I can see we are all trying to help the OP so let's get back to that.

apologies OP for the
please keep posting. we are here to help you. it is possible to leave. many many women on MNEMONIC have and are living their lives free from control.
I hope you have had success contacting WA and are starting to see through the fog and realise, no you are definitely not mad.

Hissy Mon 29-Jul-13 19:45:54

The only thing an abused woman is responsible for is saving herself and her children.

Everything else is by the bye.

OP, please don't run from this thread, I know it's hard to hear all this, but for some of us it's physically hard to bear; seeing someone go through the same as we have ourselves.

It sounds the easiest thing to say, but the hardest thing to to, to leave, but really, all of that is in your mind.

Please my love, understand that you didn't cause this, you can't fix it, it won't ever get any better, and your child will grow up thinking this is what SHE should be aiming for.

By dealing with this now, you can start your life over, with her, and show her how wonderful life really can be.

I got out 2.5 years ago. I can't tell you how wonderful life is when your stomach isn't lurching every time you hear him breath in, or his footsteps coming in your direction, that million miles an hour inventory you take of the house when he comes back into it.

Give your tenants notice, move back home with your DD. Get the police to help you keep yourself safe, go see your GP, get this all logged, get the HV logged too, so that you have this in as many places as possible.

You can get legal aid for DV sometimes, so make sure you keep your chances as high as possible. In any event, IF you need restraining orders, you'll need all manner of evidence and corroboration to get that.

Let's hope you don't need any of that, but if you prepare as if you will, you'll be prepared if when he turns nasty.

Keep talking to us love, we know the panic, and can talk you through it.

fabulousfoxgloves Mon 29-Jul-13 20:02:54

All the best, OP, lots of good advice. I wish you strength.

To the rest of it, let me just say I have never enabled anyone by virtue of being myself.

Vigilant Mon 29-Jul-13 20:21:13

Noregrets78 Thank you for your post. I wish you luck and good wishes in your future. Sounds like the right decision without question. I am not sure/comfortable yet with the idea that he has been violent. I don't fit being shaken twice into the violent category and feel sad for him that I might get to be comfortable with that idea.

I have been reading all the posts over the last few hours but have not been able to post as I've been looking after my little one who is now in bed.

I am exhausted and didn't sleep after reading that I might be in danger.

I slept in the spare room last night and did my hubby the courtesy of telling him this calmly before I did so. His response was a sneering one, just a mild but sneering and loud "Jesus Chriiiiist grow up". I felt a little empowered and said calmly that " I was now all quite grown up" and reminded him that he had threatened to leave last week but yet didn't. I suggested that him having fortnight in a hotel would be good to get some space. Or that he should stay with a friend to which he replied, sadly, that he didn't have any friends (that shocked me and made me very sad and sorry for him). It's weird, and I digress, but only the other year he mocked me and said I didn't have many friends but I actually have about 8 very close ones grin)

He didn't leave the house until an hour after he should have this morning and I thought that perhaps he'd packed a bag. All day I wondered this and jumped when I heard a noise. But he's back this evening being polite (well so far anyway).

I have had my eyes opened a fair bit. That's to say the least by reading the posts on here!

I just wonder if there's a chance that this is just a grumpy guy who has a temper that gets the better of him and everyone on here is worrying about me unecessarily?

I am sure he loves me. I wonder too, more of a question really, If I was a bad person, ie. who seems to inadvertently push all his buttons (I swear I am not aware of this and strive to avoid all conflict, so this is hypothetical.)...anyway if I was the cause of this anger does that justify it...or no matter how bad a person's behavour was, is there never an excuse for shouting? I'm confused, clearly I accept, since other couples argue.

I don't argue, and can say I've never shouted first at anyone and tell myfriends tha I'm like a child when it comes to anger. I fear it.

Can I put this another way, when does a shouting man become an abuser? I can't see hubby in this way at all.

Vigilant Mon 29-Jul-13 20:32:01

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.

Well it's like you have a crystal ball. He is NEVER jealous, doesn't contrl me directly, and is v generous with money but just has a templer. Is there an EA thread, I am new on here but will type that in and see it I can locate it. I would be interested to get a bloke on here responding to my post - would he be shocked or say it's normal I wonder?

A poster (sorry not check who) mentioned about whether I'm so used to this that it's become normalized? I am not sure, I'm not close to my mother and always believed my dad didn't love me (though I did tell my mum that). They never said they loved me or were proud of me and I did that thing where I took up hobbies I hated to get dad to spend time with me and I always tried to get his attention and have him be proud of me. I don't remember cuddles or days out, except when my neighbours took me too the park. Mum didn't work so she could have but didn't. Hubby says they are cold fishes, lazy and selfish and unloving though they are very different with our little one. So maybe it's just me? Unlovable? Anyway I'm sure thats a different post lol?!

Thank you for some of the posts on here, especially when someone mentions their own circumstances. I appreciate that you know what you are talking about. I'm not yet ready to accept my own situation but do feel that I've had an epiphany (is that the right word?)

I called WA this morning and said I couldn't talk as my little one was in the house; I asked could someone read my post and tell me what WA thought about it. They told me to post it on their board and a moderator would reply if I asked them to. I logged on tonight but it advises 2 days for a registration to be accepted. It also says that in order to register I needed to tick a box confirming I was a survivor of domestic violence even though I'M NOT. I ticked it anyway but clearly this isn't the right site for me and I wld be laughed away.

Vigilant Mon 29-Jul-13 20:33:15

Hi Hissy - get all this logged - where exactly? Sorry to be dumb

BMW6 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:34:03

If he uses shouting to intimidate you, knowing that he is doing so, then he is an abuser.

My own DH has a very loud voice when angry - he used to be a drill seargent- but is a world away from the behaviour your own husband is doing.

BMW6 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:36:55

Are you afraid of him?

If you are, then you MUST get out of it. No-one should be in a relationship with a person who makes them afraid. Ever.

Noregrets78 Mon 29-Jul-13 20:47:03

vigilant Everything you say is just so familiar to us who are slightly further ahead with the process. Minimising, normalising, not being sure if he is abusive or not. Personally I had a great childhood, and have never felt I might be 'unloveable'. I find it so sad that you think that might be the problem. It's absolutely not.

The EA support thread is really great, and includes links to some websites at the top. I'm no good at linking to threads, but it's on the relationships board, and is very active so always near the top. Currently called 'support for those in emotionally abusive relationships: 24'. Personally I started looking on there after I posted, described myself as 'empathetic' in relation to my husband, and got a reply that I was actually 'pathetic'. it was the last thing I wanted to hear when I was already so low, and someone recommended I go over there to get advice from people who understood what I was going through. I suggest you do the same.

The book by Lundy Bancroft mentioned a couple of times is truly life changing. There's a section in there on different types of abusers - might fit in one or many of the examples, but you'll recognise him there.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now