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DH never apologises, its ALWAYS someone else's fault, now becoming unbearable but don't know how to move on.please help

(173 Posts)
ilovelilos Sat 31-Aug-13 12:46:30

DH and I are in a terrible place. Been together 10 years, had a long period of secondary infertility in which he was extremely unsupportive, even though the problem was his, now we have moved on from that.
But now he is never able to see when he is at fault. And never apologises. It is always someone else's fault to the point of very cleverly imagining scenarios to twist it round so he is innocent.

I am by no means perfect but am definitely able to say sorry and move on.
He on the other hand calls me controlling if I ask for an apology, or says people are too sensitive if they have been upset by him. It's always me that need counselling, he says he is fine.

If it was the occasional episode I would ignore and move on without getting an apology, its just not worth the grief from him, but now its constant. I don't know how to carry on, every day brings new problems.

In front of our DD he has just told me to leave, get away from him, he doesn't want me around. That upsets me so much. I've told him in the past to stop talking like this in front of DD but his temper flares and you cant stop him.
Ive tried talking calmly and reasonably to him, suggesting marriage counselling but its always turned round to the fact that I need help, I've had a difficult childhood ( not true at all, we are a very close family). Its actually him with family issues.

Totally frustrated and unhappy, any ideas.

Thank you for reading x

Fairenuff Sat 31-Aug-13 16:05:06

But isnt every relationship "abusive" in some way?

No, absolutely not! Well, at least not in my experience. I haven't been in any abusive relationship. I would consider shouting could be abusive but dh and I don't shout at each other or at our children.

How can such an intelligent middle aged person not see what he is saying

The thing is OP, he can see it, he is choosing to behave like this. Probably because his self esteem is so low that he can't take any criticism at all.

However, he's perfectly happy to dish it out.

You can't fix this. He might be able to address his issues if he went to counselling but, as you say, he doesn't want to do that.

He is in denial. By staying with him and putting up with this you are helping him to continue living like this. Nothing will change unless he changes it. And he's not going to do that unless or until his life is uncomfortable enough for him.

The best shot at making this relationship work is for you to leave him, as he suggests. If he wants you back you can tell him not until he sorts himself out and proves by his actions that he has changed.

That would take at least two years, so you would be looking at a long term separation.

My guess is he would decide it's not worth the effort and look for another unsuspecting woman to attach himself to.

ilovelilos Sat 31-Aug-13 21:02:19

Thank you all and very clearly explained fairenuff.
But Im struggling to accept he won't change and Ive never been so frustrated in my life. Its making me so unhappy.
I've realised nothing that I say will have any positive effects on our marriage. He seems to resent most things I say, but is there really no hope for us. ?

WhiteandGreen Sat 31-Aug-13 21:22:21

I think the 'no councelling if there's abuse' comes from 'Why does he do that' by Lundy Bankroft. He points out that in his experience abusive men use vulnerabilities displayed during councelling to further refine their abuse.

ilovelilos Sat 31-Aug-13 21:32:03

I am determined to talk to him about us and tell him how unhappy I am. My problem is when he turns around everything so I am the problem, I find it very very hard to keep calm. How do I deal with that? Without shouting in frustration.
Thank you

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 21:40:27

You are kidding me WhiteandGreen shock

So it is a MN myth?

If that is true, wow.
So many MNetters been defrauded, if that is the right word.

I would get the book I recommended op, as a starting point.
At least then, you would understand a bit more about what is happening and why.
Then you can decide on your next step.

WhiteandGreen Sat 31-Aug-13 21:49:36

No, I don't think defrauded is the right word.

CharlotteCollinsismovingon Sat 31-Aug-13 22:05:26

Myth? Depends if you think Bancroft knows what he's talking about or not, I suppose. confused

OP, I should think you struggle to stay calm because he is not really listening to you, is he? It sounds like he listens only to tell you you've got it wrong? Or take offence at a perceived insult?

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 22:11:58

But it isnt true is it?

It now seems to be a person in a book saying that counselling doesnt work, or isnt recommended in abusive relationships[whatever that exactly means]

Not counsellors in the uk.

Ieattoomuchcake Sat 31-Aug-13 22:16:25

I don't think this squabble about the counselling advice is particularly helpful to op.

How are you lilo ?

What's your time difference? It's late here and I should sleep. But of course can't.

I think I still need to 'chat' to my DH at some point. Maybe tomorrow. How are things just now?

bunchoffives Sat 31-Aug-13 22:20:18

YB couselling where one person is abusive is not recommended because, as said above, what is said can be used by the abuser - eg fears are expressed which are then played on by the abuser.

In other cases the counsellor can support the abuser and legitimise their manipulative behaviour eg Abuser: I was silent (stonewalling) because I didn't know what to say. Cousellor: You didn't know what to say? It must have hard for you to know how to respond.

If you are curious about what abuse is there are plenty of web resources that define it.

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 22:28:42

But who says it is not recommended bunchoffives. Lundy Bancroft?

Or british counsellors.
And where is it written?

bunchoffives Sat 31-Aug-13 22:29:26

I'm afraid that if your DH is unwilling to talk reasonably or work with you to talk about your problems (or apologise for the ones he's responsible for) there is very little you can do to resolve your problems on your own. It is very draining and demoralising to continue to try to fix your marriage, effectively without your H.

My advice would be to consult a solicitor asap to find out exactly where you stand.

In the meantime it's important that you look after yourself - you sound pretty much at the end of your tether. Firstly, detach, detach, detach. Stop engaging with him. Don't react to him. Sit back and watch how he operates. What are his strategies to wind you up and put you down? How does he go about trying to exercise power and control?

Secondly, get out of the house and away from him as much as possible. Do some things you enjoy. Treat yourself. Listen to your inner voice and keep it nice towards yourself - catch those thoughts that are hard on yourself and stop them. Keep posting.

bunchoffives Sat 31-Aug-13 22:33:42

scroll down to Medical Help and Treatment

foolonthehill Sat 31-Aug-13 22:34:30 couples counselling and abusive relationships]] Women's Aid's view on couples counselling in Domestic abuse Respects view of couples counselling after attending and abusers programme

Acounselling view of what may be helpful and what may not

bunchoffives Sat 31-Aug-13 22:36:40

Great minds Fool grin

foolonthehill Sat 31-Aug-13 22:43:25

Dear OP I hope these links are useful to you.

In my experience the Relate counsellor was useless and did not recognise the abusive dynamic even when my husband practically explained to her howhis need for respect and compliance worked (he practically quoted Lundy Bancorft....not that I had read that book then!)

The thing is, however you feel about it...unless HE takes responsibility for himself and for his own attitudes and actions it won't matter who he does or does not speak to, or what you say to him. To change he has to want to change.

My own husband has gone through relate with me, then anger management, stress management, an abusers programme and nearly 2 years of individual counselling....the end result is that he can use the language, talk about change, effort, responsibility, remorse, forgiveness etc....but it has made not one jot of difference to the way he behaves or treats me, our children or the other people around him. His abuse works for him...and he is the only one he can really focus on, the rest of us are just little satellites revolving around his great sun.

We left, 2 years ago, he has fought every step of the way and done stuff that I would never have imagined he was capable of...but despite that we are all so much better.

Only you can decide what is right for you...but as you think and explore I hope you keep posting....because you will see the truth and then you will be able to decide what to do.

foolonthehill Sat 31-Aug-13 22:44:25

grin indeed olives.

I like a nice resource!

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 22:47:04

Thank you for the links both of you.
So basically, couples counselling is not generally recommended.

But obviously individual counselling is.

But this op cannot persuade her husband to go.

Perhaps it would be a good idea for herself to go, and then see if he would attend at a later date?

She may not need many sessions. But he is likely to.
And once she has gone, he has less "excuses".

yellowballoons Sat 31-Aug-13 22:51:24

foolonthehill sad

I am surprised he did all that, if in his heart of hearts, he must have known that he had no intention of changing his behaviour?

foolonthehill Sat 31-Aug-13 22:54:45

How much is much programming?
I think he did it because other people paid, other people expected it and he wanted others to see how serious he was about coming home.....

his last threatening missive letter actually told me that he had "jumped through all your hoops" and that now I was morally obliged to let him come back hmm. He does little work and has plenty of time and some very very nice rich friends

OxfordBags Sun 01-Sep-13 00:23:10

OP, why can't you believe he won't change? He's not changed yet, has he? He's getting more entrenched, isn't he - even less likely to change than ever before. As he gets older, he will be getting more and more set in his ways.

This is a lifelong psychological issue he has been carrying, from what you say about his childhood. His life revolves around self-protection, which is why he can never be wrong and everything and everyone else is to blame for the tiniest thing, even to the extent of lying. And when he accuses you of something that does not desceibe but which actually described him, his behaviour, his past, etc., it's all part of that dysfunction: he cannot even deal with taking responsibility secretly wthin himself, he has to transfer his issues onto you. There is a proper psychological term for this, but I can't remember it, sorry.

He isn't going to change. If he was, he would have done. You can't help him - I mean, you can't because nothing has worked,but more importantly, because it is not your responsibility to help or change him. Only he can do it and he doesn't want to.maybe he can't and never will.

Witnessing such frustrating and no doubt sometimes bizarre behaviour and reasoning from her father, and your pain and frustration, and the general abusiveness of him towards you, will be damaging your behaviour. Wthout meaning to scare you, having a parent that denies or twists reality is a key factor behind many personality disorders and MH issues. By staying, you are both training your daughter to be abused herself as an adult.

Would you want her to be treated like this? No? Then you need to ask yourself 2 simple questions: why are you keeping her in a situation that is a training ground for future victimhood (yes, it's his fault, but you can chose to remove you and DD from his abuse) and if this treatment would be horrific if done to her as an adult, how come you think it is okay for you to suffer?


Isetan Sun 01-Sep-13 00:30:15

There aren't any magic combinations of words that you could say that would "make him see how much he is hurting you and your child". It sounds like he has a need, bordering on the pathological, to have someone to blame for all that he judges to be wrong in his world and his favoured person of choice is you. You haven't earned this position, it has been bestowed upon you and therefore your influence in this circumstance is very limited.

For those posters who suggested the OP goes back to her country of birth, if her current country of residence and the desired/ destined country of residence are both signatories to the Hague Convention on Child Abduction then it doesn't matter where the child was born. The courts where the child habitually live will have jurisdiction on child residence matters. Failure to secure the father's or the local courts permission could lead to the father demanding the child's return.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sun 01-Sep-13 01:27:53

Nice back-pedalling yellowballoons

You couldn't have googled very hard because I had already also found all those links posted above in about 3 minutes.

It would be nice of you to apologise to the OP for trying to derail or at least hijack her thread.

OP, when you talk to him, would it help you to have your points written down, and even some reminders of how you want to act / come across e.g. "stay calm", "take a deep breath" etc.

I am afraid you have to prepare yourself for him not to hear you though.

CCTVmum Sun 01-Sep-13 03:48:26

look up narcassistic personality disorder. Their is a man who has NPD and writes and explains it well....Dr ? claims to be in it. Sadly cant think of his name as sounds Romanian etc but in USA?

Your husband cannot cope with being wrong so instinctivily believes what has happened through his eyes only. he will truly believe his own mind and confince you that you are a liar!

Any childhood issues with parents?

Counselling will not work as he will not believe you and only how he sees things which can be very distorted.

If you feed a narc so praise them up pretend to agree with everything then that will help keep them happy. for a quiet life but they say t hey are emotional vampires?

Remove emotion, talk factual and keep to agendas. I agree with Oxfordbags re you wont change him...he cant see it as no insight..if a disorder of personality their is no treatment as such esp when the person themselves cant see any problems as no insight.

CCTVmum Sun 01-Sep-13 04:11:20

found the Dr. It is called Selflove

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