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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?

WideScreenViper Sat 03-Aug-13 15:15:10

I am so pleased to hear you have stayed strong, reflected much and kept stepping forward.

Most of all that I think you have accepted you do not need any black and white situation to help you decide. You seem to have accepted being incompatible and life being too short is enough. And to have detached from him and his needs, quite a bit!

Also getting RL help, friends, WA, solicitors, CAB can all help to get you put a plan together. All the best with keeping on smile.

Doughnut123 Sat 03-Aug-13 00:15:57

You are NOT being hypersensitive!! I think your husband has told you you are hypersensitive and 'mad,' but he's projecting onto you. It is he who is the hypersensitive one! He's chipping away at your self esteem. He sounds like he has some serious mental health issues. And I totally agree with the other messages, he is most definitely abusing you. It is physical and emotional abuse. He is displaying signs of being a passive aggressive person, at times- withdrawing from you and clamming up. Unable to express his feelings of anger. Then, suddenly, it's like a volcano has erupted for no apparent reason. You saying you're walking on egg shells makes me want to cry. No one should feel afraid of their partner. You and your daughter need to get away from him. You have to put her needs and yours first. She will pick up on a lot that could really affect her. She will sense the fear in you. I seriously urge you to contact 'Women's Aid,' for support and also, try speaking to your health visitor. She will be able to help you access the help that you need. Be strong. It will get better. You are doing a great job as a mother. One day, you'll look back on this time and think, thank God I got out. Good luck.

slipperySlip000 Fri 02-Aug-13 23:49:52

vigilent am so pleased you are reaching out for support in rl. No need at all to respond to individual posts. Well done. Stay strong.

minkembernard Fri 02-Aug-13 22:22:16

vigilant I am sorry if us debating on your thread upset yousad
you are not to blame though! you don't make him do this. he chooses to do it and sad to say if he were with someone else, there would probably be a honeymoon period and then much the same would happen again. it is not to do with how he feels or what you do it is about how he thinks of you and probably of women in general. (bit of Lundy there but it makes sense- abuse stems from entitlement and thinking other people, his partner is there to meet his needs which are more important than his partners). You could not change yourself enough to make him stop not matter what you did. only he can change.

and all you can do is leave. live your own life and live it well flowers

and no you don't have to respond to everyonegrin

glad you are reaching out in rl. and no not all men are like that.
keep posting and / or come to the EA thread for support. you will find you will need a lot both while you are leaving and afterwards. it takes time to heal and untangle all the knots and confusion. be kind to

Vigilant Fri 02-Aug-13 22:07:23

Just a quick update. I am still in the spare room - hub didn't move out to a hotel for 2 weeks (he had threatened to leave ). I asked him to move out in a controlled way - 2 weeks in a hotel for thinking and breathing space. Anway when he didn't I moved to the spare room.

He hasn't asked when/if I'm coming back.
I want him to so that I can say that I'm not coming back as there is too much wrong in our marriage. We can then fix it (over time) or move on separately. Life is very short. There were other paths in life that I thought I was going to take and I guess that there are other paths out there too in the future.

He seems very unhappy so perhaps he also wants out? I will wait and see what happens. At present there is no dialogue other than around what we are eating etc.

I am trying to keep things calm though not sure how successful I am going to be. Tonight he wants me to cut his hair. He asked me the other night but I had already made plans to go out. When I came back later than expected, he was in bed and the next night I was out again (working) so couldn't. He's just asked again but I told him that I was working (true) so he has had a bit of a moan about it but I didn't respond. I am sure anger is brewing but he hasn't blown yet. Little one and I are out all day tomorrow so that will be good.

Thanks for all your posts.

I haven't responded to all of them, I hope that is ok. I have read them and feel supported by you all but I started to get stressed about having to reply to each and every one of you and then supposed and hoped that you might not mind.

Regarding the arguments over me 'enabling' my abuser. I have to say I was shocked and stressed about that. With a bit of thought though, I suppose that in being here, I am certainly enabling hubby to have a suitable target for his anger. I believe that we are a wrong pairing and perhaps if he was with someone else he wouldn't be this way.

I guess I hope that he also comes to that conclusion and agrees to an amicable parting.

Cheerio for now

Vigilant Fri 02-Aug-13 21:55:19

giveitago thank you for your post. I haven't been on here for a few days. Much to think about and also h about too. I have said no to him a few times this week and he has been very quiet about it. I'm not sure he expected it! Simple things like no to popping to the shop when he could have gone etc but it all felt empowering!

I have mentioned his temper a few times to him but not in a counselling type of way. I don't actually fear provoking him at the moment - why is that I wonder!? I really don't know but I feel stronger than of late even though there is tension when we are together i.e. in the kitchen at the same time etc. I think it's all the lovely support on here.

I have also confided in a very, very dear male friend and asked him to have a read at this lot. Chaps like that give me hope that not all men are like this.

I have also let a close female friend read it too so I am reaching out both here and at home. I think that helps grin)

theWookiesWife Thu 01-Aug-13 23:21:55

I was so sad reading this OP - but it's so lovely to see all the support and advice you are offered on here . I really hope that this chap sorts his issues out and can start leaving normal happy family life with you and your daughter - or that you are able to move on to new pastures. Good luck to you all :-) hope you come through this ok !

whitesugar Thu 01-Aug-13 12:15:58

I wish someone had spelled it out to me when I was in your situation that I was enabling abuse. I was just like you trying to normalize things that were absolutely not normal. Your husband is not a nice person and he will not change. I experienced episodes of shoving, pushing about, terrifying angry outbursts and fooled myself that it wasn't bad as I wasn't hit. One day I asked a simple question and got thrown down the stairs and kicked repeatedly. Like someone up thread said this is a probable outcome for you.

Leaving is hard but you can do it. Your DD knows what is going on. I left penniless 15 years ago escorted out by police with toddler and pregnant. You can do it. ring WA this is their job they know the answers that you don't. You don't need to live your life like this. It is hard but it's just a different hard to what you are living with now. I wish you well and would love to hear that one day you and your DD are living in a loving environment.

minkembernard Tue 30-Jul-13 23:28:21

giveitago sorry you too are having such a horrible time.sad

good luck and god speed with making good your escape. you are wise to stay as safe as you can. I hope it comes as soon as possible.

baby steps by one...out the door.

vigilant hope you are ok today.

schmarn Tue 30-Jul-13 17:59:55

Vigilant, I can only affirm what others have said here. This is abuse. Holding someone and shaking them is physical violence. OK, it is not at the stage where he is battering you but, as you say, you are on eggshells all the time. That is no way to live.

Can I ask an obvious question? Have you ever discussed with him the fact that he seems unable to control his temper and that he should see a counsellor? If so, how did he react? I don't know a great deal about anger management counselling although I do know that your husband's affliction is a common one. Key to any hope here is that he recognises that he has a problem and seeks help. If he is prepared to do that maybe things can improve.

Please do not fool yourself into thinking he is a nice guy with a bit of a temper. Normal people don't blow their fuse over absolute trivia. The fact is that even he cannot control himself once the red mist has descended.

I could be wrong but I suspect that you would be (understandably) too afraid to broach the subject of counselling with him for fear of him kicking off. If that's the case then I'm afraid that you need to get yourself and your child away from him. It is only a matter of time before he starts raging at your daughter (if he hasn't started already - you haven't said one way or another). If he loses his rag at you for your tone of voice or because you dislodged the plastic wrap on the TV remote, your daughter is going to do something that sends him off a cliff. At that point, it isn't about your life choices and whether you can put up with him, you have someone else's welfare to consider. The moment your daughter becomes a victim is the moment that you start to bear some responsibility. You cannot allow that to happen.

Nancy66 Tue 30-Jul-13 17:01:30

Agree with everyone, you have to end this.

You live in fear of your partner. How can that be right? It's also a horribly toxic and stressful atmosphere for a child to live in.

He's your husband, he would still have to provide financial support if you split whether he likes it or not.

giveitago Tue 30-Jul-13 16:54:37

OP - so sorry you are going through this. He is abusing you.

It can take time for you to come to terms with the fact that you are a victim.

My h is doing the same - in the name of peace and quiet, in the name of protecting dc from hearing horrible stuff, and in the name of 'family' (his idea of family) just took it all.

But guess what, each time you accept and then normalise something they up the ante and so it continues. It got to the stage that my dh would just hide behind ds. I have to bend to his will and then sort of apologise for it and then thank him.

I've started standing up for myself but it's made him worse as he tries to put me back in my place. This is because he's used to the upper hand will not put up with a fight back.

So, there's nothing I can do - he will not see sense - he will scream at me so he doesn't have to face himself and he knows he's very, very wrong. But it suits him like this. Your h is the same and you know it.

And further down the line it WILL get worse. You'll either get worn down or you'll start to assert yourself and he'll fight you back harder.

So keep things to yourself. And start planning how you will leave. It may take a few years (as it will in my case).

But before you can do anything you need to come to terms with the fact that you are being abused emotionally and, yes, WA do help women who are being EA as it's classed as domestic violence.

OP I do feel for you. I was like you - I'd post here and there and get the same responses as you and my view was also 'it's not that bad, he's not a terrible person'. Actually, it is bad and he's acting badly. It's taken me about 5 years to come out of this denial. You won't progress until you do.

Pozzled Tue 30-Jul-13 16:08:38

I hope you're still reading, Vigilant. It must be a real shock to the system seeing how everyone here views your relationship. You must badly want someone to say 'Yes, it's normal, and if you follow steps x, y and z it will all be fixed'. You now realize that we won't say that, but I guess it can't have sunk in yet.

As WideScreenViper says, one step at a time. Have you looked for the Lundy Bancroft book yet? Can you think of someone who could take delivery for you? You wouldn't even need to tell them what it is, you could say it's a surprise for your husband and you don't want him to see it...

(Well, it would be sort-of true!) wink

WideScreenViper Tue 30-Jul-13 10:12:43

Hi Vigilant, hope you have managed to take a step today.

minkembernard Tue 30-Jul-13 09:42:52

springtotty excellent insight into him punishing you for his childhood. thinking about my x did the same. punished me and everyone else and not only for that but for anything else he felt was not fair in his life.

on that note of compassion vigilant, most survivors of DA are very compassionate people (well i would say that wink) but what you need to do is to spend some of that compassion on yourself. think what you would advise a friend to do if she were in you position.

keep posting and if there is any practical advice other posters can give you on getting over some of the hurdles that you believe will make it hard for you to leave, then ask. there may be excellent suggestions- such as the one above about buying saving stamps if you can in with the shopping etc. so you have some fall back. also get any important documents safe and copy any financial details you can find. it all sounds a bit mercenary. but you are entitled to some of the financial assets of your marriage and he may try to hide them if he knows you are going. remember this is for your dd.

saggyhairyarse Tue 30-Jul-13 00:45:04

This is domestic abuse. When you say things build up and then something breaks the last straw on the camels back, that is an atypical abusive cycle. They lose the plot, you have the honeymoon period, the tension gradually builds up and then they blow again - round and a round.

Every day that you stay is a another day that you have lost to living with the anxiety of the abusive cycle reaching boiling point and, yes, your daughter feels that fear too (she will also grow up thinking that this is how men treat women and more than likely chose similar life partners herself, do you want that?).

There is no reason to stay, please leave and make a happier future for you and your daughter.

Woodlicence Tue 30-Jul-13 00:33:56

Would also recommend Why does he do that? by Lundy Bancroft or The emotionally abusive relationship by Beverly Engel? It might help to see things in black and white.
My partner never shouted, called me names and didn't actually hit me but he was abusive and it took me a long time to realise what was going on as he was very manipulative.
The questionnaire in the latter book brought me to my senses. On Amazon you can look inside the book and read the questionnaire without buying it.
Sometimes someone makes you feel bad but it's hard to pinpoint exactly what they are doing but if he is making you miserable then there definitely is a problem.
None of this is your fault but you may want to look at why you accepted his behaviour so you can make sure it never happens again. Sounds like you were emotionally neglected by your parents, this happened to me as well. I never thought my parents did anything wrong but they didn't do much right either. It was only when I had my own kids and loved them and lavished my energy and attention on them that I realised how crap my parents had been. I would never treat my children the way I was treated. My parents are different with my kids as well doesn't change the way they were with me and and don't ever think you were unlovable it was their problem that they couldn't love you properly not you.

springytotty Tue 30-Jul-13 00:26:08

great post Molly

that shocked me and made me very sad and sorry for him - because it was meant to. He knows how to wind you in, put on the doleful look: 'I ain't got nobody, only you'

It's all shit, darling.

You spent a whole day wondering if he'd packed a bag. You jumped when he came home. That's not normal! It's not normal to live like that. You may never have seen a functioning, loving relationship - but I assure you it isn't like that. People don't jump like a cat on a hot tin roof when their supposed loving partner comes home. People aren't frightened of their partners.

Please read the Lundy Bancroft book (sorry to nag! But don't let him see it). Your husband is an abuser. Posters on your thread have been where you are and can see it because we've lived it not seen it once removed in a friend You want to hear a sad, sad story of a sad, sad childhood? My husband had it - he wore it like a badge. I felt so sorry for him.... which was how he hooked me in and kept me hooked in. I had to get over the compassion I felt for him - and the way that dawned was that I realised he was not experiencing his own pain about his childhood, he was punishing me for it. But I wasn't there; I didn't condone it and I wouldn't have supported it if I had been there. It had nothing to do with me, yet I was being made to pay for it.

you are not being disloyal to work through this without his knowledge. You are saving yourself and your daughter. If you can't do it for you yet, do it for her.

Molly333 Mon 29-Jul-13 23:54:48

That's a really sad sad story but maybe my story will help you . I was a child like yr child , my mum started like this then as I got older she made many excuses for him , I remember seeing my mum beaten in the end ( he has not hit you YET, he will it always escalates!

But guess what I married exactly the same man , I made excuses until one dreadful night where he went for my daughter, I fought him but ended up in hospital , seven years on and buckets of help and counselling we are ok , we hv been so so poor but really we are not , we are safe and so so happy , he doesn't see his children now , he can't be bothered although of course that's all my fault ( if it rains it is ) and guess what again I'm at university and he's not got a job , his family don't care anymore for him either , finally you hv to get out , you have to be poor it's part of yr journey but overall save your children from watching this and living yr life as I did !! Counselling is yr answer here , you need to relearn to live again and you can as u know already it's wrong . Good luck missy x

AnyFucker Mon 29-Jul-13 23:48:24

OP, I can see you are desperate for just one person to come on here and say what you are experiencing at the hands of this man is normal, but I am afraid the only individual that ever could would also be an abuser

FairyFi Mon 29-Jul-13 23:21:39


FairyFi Mon 29-Jul-13 23:21:23

darling Vigilant

You are terrified.

Nothing more, or anyone else matters than that. You make your mind up.

Your choices are your own, they do not belong to anyone else regardless of how you may feel pressures this way and that.

Listen to yourself saying you are terrified. there is loads of help out there when you want it.

Abused women end up feeling they have no choice, in this and in every thing else you do have choice. Noone can make those choices for you.

You find out what you need to know and go your own way lovely.

I am so sorry for the things you have experienced, you and your LO.

My heart goes to you, and I wish you all the best with your way.

((hugs)) xxx

You will find a bolholt with many of us posting on your thread xx take care of you xxx

Vivacia Mon 29-Jul-13 22:46:01

OP I know grumpy men with short tempers. They don't shake women or follow them around shouting at them or stand in doorways blocking the exit.

As for being annoying, I am annoying. I sing loudly and badly on every car journey. I ask my partner three questions in a row without listening to one answer. I leave my towel on the floor of the landing. However, I only ever receive respect and compassion and patience and forgiveness from my partner. You are not causing this.

GettingStrong Mon 29-Jul-13 21:06:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

minkembernard Mon 29-Jul-13 21:06:19

sorry!! my phone is terrible.
EA thread with helpful links grin
a helpful look would not be much use.

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