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.
Gathering my thoughts - am I mad, or is he a tosspot?(124 Posts)
I think I need to ltb - unless I really am mad?
I'm sorry, this is dreadfully long as I need to gather my thoughts. I've also name changed as I don't want to be linked to my other threads.
We have been together 17 years, married for eight and have a baby. I have been with him since I was 19- I know nothing else. He is 10 years older and previously had a marriage of convenience.
We have not had sex in over 18 months and before that, it used to be every couple of months only and over in minutes, that's if he could keep it up. (Our five month old was conceived with fertility treatment, after many years and many attempts).
This may be bearable if he showed me any affection, any hugs or kisses or anything at all, but there is nothing. I am not allowed even on the same sofa as him, so there is not even any cuddles in front of a film - which I would have no choice in anyway. I lost two stone in weight before I got pregnant, but it made no difference. He is about five stone heavier than when we met but thinks he's gods gift.
I have given up trying to get any affectionate response from him, even a cuddle, as the rejection floors me. Even when I was pregnant, he wouldn't massage me or rub my back
unless under duress. He only rubbed my back during my 50 hour labour because I begged him in front of the midwife. He keeps saying how hard the labour was on him!
Financially, we each pay in what is supposed to be a fair and equitable amount to a joint account to cover the household bills - except he's never upped his side since the late nineties, even when he was earning far more than me. I now earn more than him, but am currently on mat pay. This set up has seen me accumulate massive debt as I have paid for most things - our wedding, all fertility treatments, bills, any holidays, renovations and the latest: all expenses from our recent move (this means I am having to cut my maternity leave short). He's never contributed to Christmas and the only things he's bought our baby is a £5 babygro and a puppet toy. He won't pay towards childcare and was not interested in looking at nurseries with me, so I've looked and made the decision myself. While I've struggled and rummaged in the reduced bins, he's been guzzling anything up to four bottles of wine some nights. I even pay his mobile bills and he made me put his expensive car repair bills and glasses on my credit card. Of course he's never paid a penny towards this. I very much resent him for this. I realise this makes me an utter mug.
I have been alienated from any local friends - and most of my friends and family are four hours drive away. If I do meet anyone locally, he belittles them so I don't feel I can talk about them. I am very, very lonely but do try and get out to baby groups. The only thing is I find it very difficult to relax and join in as I have no confidence, so haven't made any friends. I find it hard to trust anyone or think of anything interesting to say.
There is no conversation - every night he's in front of the telly (I have no say in the programme) and he'll ignore me if I try and talk. The TV is on full blast as soon as he wakes, even if I'm asleep. I sometimes think he should have married the Samsung instead.
He won't go out with me, even to the cinema. If I get a present for birthdays or Christmas, there's no thought in it - I get things like remote control daleks or spacehoppers. Something last minute and the first thing he's seen in a shop. I'd love to see some live music or theatre, or get a book - but he doesn't think what I might like. It's like I'm not worth any thought at all.
If I ever offer an opinion that differs to his, he shouts me down or ignores me. He comes out with dreadful bigoted stuff and when I protest, he says I am easy to wind up. I don't want him spouting this vile stuff around my son, even if in 'jest.' Apparently this means I have no sense of humour.
At the weekends, he wakes me up to make him a cooked breakfast, even if I've been up through the night with the baby and even when I was recovering from the c section. After I'd had the section he was straight on at me to do the housework and pushed me so hard physically (in terms of activity) in the first couple of weeks post partum that I got a terrible wound infection. I had a hard time getting breast feeding established and when I was upset and doubting myself as as mother, he just shouted rather than offering support. He goes on at me about housework all the time then huffs and puffs and makes a show of redoing it to his standard. It makes me feel useless - I think I must be if I can't even stack the dishwasher or mop the floor right.
I'm pretty sure he gaslights me - denies I've said something or does something stupid then blames me. As an example, he left a bottle of breast milk out at room temperature over night, so it all had to be thrown away. When I asked him why he hadn't put it in the fridge, he shouted and blamed me for not telling him that it had to go back in the fridge - our son is five months old!
At the weekend he called after work to say he was meeting a friend for a couple of beers and would be back by 7. I was absolutely OK with this and said I'd get dinner when he came back. Except he didn't roll in until after midnight, steaming drunk. I wouldn't have minded so much if he'd have let me know so I wasn't hanging on waiting re. dinner and to let him in as he hadn't got his keys.
Today, I went to hang some washing out but the line went very slack. I brought it back in until I could get the line sorted and mentioned that I may have to get a new one and he started shouting and swearing at me. I asked him not to swear but he kept cutting me off when I tried to explain the line had gone funny - but he turned round and said he swears because of the way I speak to him and I was 'lucky I didn't get more than swearing from him.' At this point, I ran upstairs telling him to F off and not come back (I know I shouldn't have sworn, but I hated him at that moment). He went to work carrying the sandwiches I made for him. He came back this evening and has still not spoken to me - worst thing, he's not even cuddled our little boy.
If I ever confront him he says no one else would have me and I'm lucky to have him. He says I'm a moody, high maintenance cow.
There's more. I could probably write a novel, but I'm exhausted.
To the outside world he's charm personified - no one would ever believe me and would just take his word that I'm a nightmare to live with.
Perhaps I am and I just need to accept that despite my university education and career I'm fundamentally useless, unattractive and not worth talking to.
His good points? He's good at his own PR, he can be witty, he can be generous when he chooses to be, he loves our boy...
I know you'll all say to ltb and that's what I'd say if I was reading this too. He's all I've ever known though. This is my normal. He'd deny all this and say I was mad. My friends and family would all think I was horrifically stupid if I left as he's always saying 'what I'm like' to them so I'm sure they must wonder why he puts up with me.
Maybe it is me who's mad, I don't know. I just don't trust what I'm thinking or my instincts anymore.
I'm not expecting any replies to this behemoth post. I just needed to get it all out of my head as containing my unhappiness is making my head spin.
Thanks for reading, if you haven't died of boredom!
You do not deserve to be treated this way.
You are intelligent, articulate, loving, kind and caring. You are a wonderful mother and will be all your son will ever need. It's ok that until now, you have not realised how bad things are. But you have a son now. Gather your courage and do right by yourself and your baby - you both deserve it. You and your son could be so happy.
I always wish that people in similar situations to you could come and live in my house for a week. If you could see how my DH and I are; equal partners, equal parents, who feel loved and appreciated by each other. No big gestures - just lots of little ones i.e. try not to disturb the other if they are sleeping, bringing them a cup of tea to bed, a hug or kiss in passing, one bathing the baby while the other cooks. Appreciating what the other does, even - no, especially - the mundane things such as emptying the bins.
I can only imagine how scary it must feel to be saying what you are saying out loud - but there is always support, understanding and a hand to hold here.
Be brave - imagine yourself a year down the line, free from him and the obnoxious cloud he hangs over you, happy with your son.
As and for no one else would want you
how fucking dare he say that lots of people have been where you are, go on to find happiness alone, and then share that happiness with a deserving partner
As my mum always used to say, nothing is undoable.
Not a marriage, not a house sale.
Women's aid should hopefully be a practical first step, but I am also in the Midlands and would meet you anytime (have a baby too) to listen to and believe you. Honestly, just to listen in RL if it would help.
That really is. On top of all the other shit, like pushing you to do too much too soon after the C section, waking you up to make his fucking breakfast on a weekend, ignoring you when you have the temerity to speak to him and shouting you down if you happen to say something he disagrees with. He acts like it's 1948 and you're bloody lucky to have a husband at all!
on your behalf.
I don't post much in Relationships, but seriously, if I were you, I wouldn't waste another minute with this guy.
So, he's gone off to work and still hasn't said a word to me. We have his family coming round tonight - should prove interesting!
I'd go out tonight. Let him deal with his family.
You have made the first step in posting here, I hope it's really clear that the way he is acting is not acceptable or normal. You and your son are worth so much more.
I'm in Oxfordshire with a 6mo if you want a pal to meet up with for a laugh, a chat and a cuppa.
In response to those who're saying don't make his breakfast/leave him to deal with his family - I would just add that if YOU decide it's safer, there's nothing wrong with keeping your head down and playing the compliant wifey while you're steadily and methodically putting in place your plans to leave. Don't ever think there's a way you "should" be or that it's in any way your fault for not being more assertive or whatever.
You are never going to flourish in this relationship. Your dc is not going to flourish in this home environment. It's really just a question of the logistics of leaving.
Thank you again for all the support - I have two free half hours booked with local solicitors next week and have gathered all of our identity docs etc into one place. I think I will have to sit tight for a bit until I can get done cash behind me, but there's been some fabulous advice here for which I feel truly grateful.
Starting to feel a teensy bit empowered now!
Great to hear Keep it up you're worth it as is your little one x
Fab! It's amazing how starting to take action can help you get past that hopeless and helpless feeling. Best of luck!
Dont stay in and entertain his family....let him do it!
I am speechless.
Have a look here OP and please take concrete steps to get you and your dc away from this horrific excuse for a man.
You are me one year ago, I kicked my H out after 15 years of exactly the same. Our dd is 11 and he doesn't provide for her even now, he is pathetic and you are better off without him. Yes it will be hard, as he has made you feel it is you but this doesn't last long, as for your friends, if they're like mine their true opinions come out once you've left him (wish you'd done it sooner was one friends response!!)
Good luck x
At the solicitors, I would suggest that its really important to raise the issue of a) the house and b) the debts you have because you've been taking on all the financial problems - including his car maintenance.
Can you ring WA and get any further information and assistance from them?
Op. what makes you think this relationship is remotely normal?
People just don't live like this they really don't.
A lovely life awaits you, you just have to take it.
How was last night shadow?
Did he behave when his family were around?
How are you doing?
Hi, well he's speaking to me again. Had to really when his family were here and some had traveled quite a way so didn't want an atmosphere around them. I think he thinks it's all OK now - and it so, so isn't.
Onwards and upwards.
Oh my, just read your thread and am horrified for you. My advice? Get those finances sorted, they are the key to your freedom. And luckily as he is out at work all week you've got plenty of planning time. If you're going to stick around, play it clever to win the long game. Don't let him have any inklings of what you're up to.
And your mother, dear god, what to say? If you were MY daughter I'd have got straight in the car to come and get you both. Perhaps she didn't understand the full picture? Is it worth writing/emailing her?
Make sure you change the passwords on all your online accounts too just in case. Always worth being a bit paranoid!
I wonder if you've been a bit self-effacing with your mother? Did you tell her in detail how unhappy you are, why you are, what he's like, how little he contributes emotionally and financially? If you minimised, in other words; which is something I suspect you do a fair bit of, when talking about your own unhappiness, and probably your h's unpleasantness too.
If that is what happened, do you think it would be worth printing off your op and sending it to her, or to another member of your family?
He does sound exceptionally unpleasant, and I do wonder whether your childhood had a similar sort of figure in it, but that's by the bye for now.
He's done right number on you anyway. I, too, am willing to bet that he hasn't pulled the wool over nearly many so people's eyes as you think, and that you'll be surprised how many people will come crawling out of the woodwork giving you support once he's out of your life.
Meanwhile, I think you definitely need rl support too. Please ring Women's Aid. They are great for supporting women who are being abused, and make no mistake, you are.
Gosh, shadow. You are incredibly strong for having lived like this for so long and still having that spark in you! fantastic.
Don't believe his nice act again, I'm sure you wont, just saying it for reinforcement!
Sell your house. Honestly, to get away from this utter waste of space will be worth any money in the world. I'm in such a crap financial position, partly due to my x, I have NO income whatsoever. But it's still great. It's worth it because there is a bright future ahead where I can do what I please for education and work, and I can spend the money we do have on other things than booze and fags.
For you it will be a huge burden off your shoulders, as he does not seem to contribute one penny, in fact the total opposite.
Seconding all others who've said call WA or a domestic abuse line if you have a local one. They are usually also very good at practical advice, and some are able to meet up with you in RL too, this is certainly the case if you happen to be in Surrey. It's a big thing to get one's head around but it is worth it.
Join the discussion
Please login first.