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Splitting... and I'm full of anxiety and can't calm down

(23 Posts)

It's not normal is it?

After almost 2 years, 1 year living together, we've made the decision to split. I didn't want to, but after we moved in things did a nose dive. I kept wanting them to go back to the way they were, but couldn't manage it and he didn't seem all that interested in trying.

Things have been bad. He's had issues seeing his son, and stress with work. I had issues with getting comfortable in a new place, managing work a long commute away and a difficult financial position. However, since moving in his attitude towards me got worse and worse.....

There are a number of things that have been going on - him being really anti-social with all my friends and family on many occassions (but perfectly fine with his), spending lots of time down the pub constantly while I sat at home with a sleeping 3yr old in a place where I didn't know anyone, issues of him going from 0 to 100 in anger terms in a split second and shouting and swearing, criticising my housework and lots of other things, undermining me with my son, mocking me, assuming buying things/ money would buy me, stropping around when something didn't suit (often including huffing and swearing), wanting to do exactly as he pleased all the time no matter what we had agreed/ arranged.

On my part, I recognise I had high expectations, and was a bit 'needy' as feeling a bit lost having moved. I did a very good job of responding to his strops with strops of my own, and even got very angry on a couple of occassions. He accused me of arguing a lot, but most of the time I would pick him up on something he did which I didn't like (swearing, ignoring etc) and it would escalate from there. I found it impossible to control. I can see we were both at fault, but I dont think he could see how awful he was being at times, yet I am able to hold up my hands to the stuff I have done, I'm ashamed and not proud.

So you would think I would be glad it's over, right?

But instead I'm anxious as hell. ALways. I keep going over and over things that have gone past, and thinking about how I could have handled it better. In my head I'm trying to fix it. Even when I remind myself of all the times he's shouted and sworn at me, screamed in my son's face, ignored my friends and family, embarassed me etc. It doesn't make me feel any better.

I'm worried about what next. Worried about me and my son. Desperately trying to keep the status quo instead of viewing this as a great opportunity to start again.

I'm not sleeping well, feel sick all the time, and on the verge of tears a lot. I don't know what to do.

This isn't normal is it?

What do I do?

hellsbellsmelons Mon 02-Sep-13 16:15:42

Even when I remind myself of all the times he's shouted and sworn at me, screamed in my son's face, ignored my friends and family, embarassed me etc

Keep reading the above. This was the reality.
What you were expecting was very different to what you got when you moved in.
He sounds horrible and abusive and you should be glad it's over.
You will mourn the relationship you wanted but never forget, you didn't get that.
It will take time to get over. But each day things will get a bit easier. Then you'll have a bit of a crash and then it starts to get better again.
You will get there.
Be good to yourself and take each day at a time.
Don't contact him at all. Just thing about DC and yourself.

Chyochan Mon 02-Sep-13 16:17:20

My advice is to try to accept that he is on the way out from what you say, and also that this is the best thing for you. He dose not sound like any kind of partner you deserve, or that anyone would want for any length of time tbh.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 02-Sep-13 16:17:27

Oh... and NO - the way he's been treating you is NOT normal!

Thanks both.

It's terrible. I try and remind myself of all the crap and i just can't get over not wanting him to go... how stupid!!

A few weeks ago I was even asking myself - do I really want this? Do I want to live the rest of my life with a man who woudl rather be down the pub and who has a way of regularly showing me little respect?

But then I remember all the good and nice times sad

One thing I struggle with the most.... he is making out to all and sundry - me included - like it's my fault, and that he hasn't done anything and I'm argumentative. He's so sure of it that I question myself. And I hate thinking that people think that of me.

He's also making out like is being Prince Charming by not kicking me out of the house right away, and letting me have the time to sort myself out. Yet this is a house that we both rent, are both on the lease. The only difference being he pays more rent as he earns more. Yet somehow it's him being totally reasonable. He can't see that he doesn't have a choice and this doesn't make him some sort of saint!

How do I calm down? How do I stop feeling so sick and on the verge of tears at odd moments? I wish I knew how to deal with it better and not be so worried about how I am going to cope etc.

bigstrongmama Mon 02-Sep-13 21:08:48

It's going to get better and you will cope. Sounds like you have made a good decision. Ignore his good guy act - he has to do that to stop himself feeling rubbish, doesn't make him a good guy.

To calm down: things which helped me were writing (start with I feel... When he did this I felt... This helps you get through your feelings, helps them become more manageable), seeing people as much as I could handle, yoga, sleeping pills (for the really bad nights) and taking small steps towards a happy future.

I think it is very normal to feel like you do in the circumstances, doesn't mean you are doing the wrong thing. Make sure you are eating well and looking after yourself. Hope you find a new place and a lovely new start soon!

Thanks bigstrong.

I'm seeing a counsellor tomorrow for the first time. Something I had booked a few weeks back. I'm hoping this will help. I've been having some issues about self esteem and now I'm wondering if it's all interconnected.

I will write some stuff down I think. Not just about this but about everything.

I feel much calmer today. But then it has been the way, while we are at work we don't see each other much (we are still living together) and I feel better about things.... then the weekend comes and we see each other and it's all horrible.

It is the right decision though, isn't it? We have not been making each other happy.

Catwoman12 Tue 03-Sep-13 12:40:59

Giant, I feel for you I really do, my partner left on Sunday, even though I packed his things, as he was too much of a coward, it was him who left me, I'm pregnant and feeling very vulnerable, I know exactly how you are feeling and have emailed a few counsellors too, will you let me know how it goes? Sounds like something I need but don't know what to expect, people tell you that your better off, it doesn't make it any easier though, stay strong, and just remind yourself you have a gorgeous 3yo that will never leave you!

I have found writing all the bad points down against the good points very therapeutic, as the cons out weigh the pros by far confusedsad

Good luck, xx

Oh Catwoman, I'm sorry.

I will let you know how it goes.

I know what you mean about feeling vulnerable, and I'm not even pregnant! I feel for you. And yes no matter how many times people say I'll be better off it doesn't sink in.

I think making a list of the bad and good points is a good idea too. My problem is it was so variable. When it was good it was great, when it was bad it was really bad.

You sound like you've been really strong though. Thanks for the luck, I hope it all works for you too.

Chyochan Tue 03-Sep-13 16:52:15

As for making outs its you, what a shit, hes using the fact you are a thoughtful person against you, dont fall for it. Also realise other people are not as gulible as he would like, I bet many of these friends and family know full well the score with you two but are just too polite to mention it to him, or maybe even have but thats not the story hes going to tell you. Convincing you 'everyone thinks its your fault' is just more of his abuse, see it for what it is, an attempt to make you feel even worse about yourself because he thinks your easier to control that way.

Thanks Chyochan.

To be very honest, I have been blaming myself totally. I've been looking at all the things I have done, and that I might have done differrently. And have been beating myself up. Whereas he is just going on happy as larry. That's not normal is it? He's done quite a number on my confidence hasn't he?

I wish I could find the inner confidence, the feisty person I was a few years back, and pull myself together. I just seem to be worrying about everything so much, I'm getting myself in a tizz.

Chyochan Wed 04-Sep-13 12:46:51

Dont beat yourself up, noone is perfect and a reasonable partner would know that and if they had problems with something about you they would try to work on things with you. It sounds like this guy is using probably what is nothing more that being a normal person with wants and needs against you, meanwhile minimising totally anything wrong with him even if its something pritty major. Get this; I once had a partner who repetedly turned me down for sex because he prefered porn, on his insistance I worked with him to help him get over his problem, guess what, he then dumped me for critizing him for putting carrots in bolignase sauce, aparently he felt rejected. I think he actually thought these two things were comparable! Being attached and trying to have a normal relationship with someone so selfish can confuse you so much that you feel you cant be sure of anything anymore. Its not your fault.

LemonDrizzled Wed 04-Sep-13 13:05:11

Sounds like when you moved in with him he revealed his hand as an abusive git! You might find some of the links and handholding on the EA Support thread useful to get your head straight. Once you end a relationship with someone like this they go to huge lengths to portray themselves as the victim and you as the one to blame for everything. And they up the ante with the nice and nasty cycle till your head is spinning.

Just be grateful you have dodged a bullet and won't have to spend the next twenty years being slowly ground down by him. Have you got a plan for where you will go? And do you have any money saved to cover the set up costs when your lease ends? Deposit money? I found it helped to concentrate on practical details and look one step ahead at a time and not try to see further than the next hour/day/week.

Chyochan and Lemon.

Thanks you. I went to my first counselling meeting today. It was hard, very hard, but I was able to open up to him and he thinks he can help me, to help myself.

One thing he did say was, from that the few things I had described he does believe that my Ex has been emotionally abusive, and that he has ground me down and that a lot of what I was expecting is normal.

I can't tell you what a relief it is to hear a lot of that, from someone who doesn't know either of us. I know no-one can truly know what goes on in someone elses relationship, but he has made me feel less like beating myself up over this, and a bit less anxious about things.

Lemon - I think you're right about focussing on the practical. I don't yet have a deposit, but I finished paying a loan off this month (hooray!) and over the next couple of months can save that money and will have the deposit! I also opened a new credit card and transferred my balance to get a period of 0% interest which will help!!

I've been to see a house today, just to get an idea of what kind of thing I can get for my money and suss out where I might like to live. It is all making me feel much more in control of the situation.

Beccaloolah Wed 04-Sep-13 19:45:15

Hi - I haven't read all the responses but concentrated on your situation.

I have had the same. I have basically been with a man who thinks he is single, can do what he wants all the time - 11 holidays alone since son was born - Australia, Brazil, Cambodia, boys weekends, South Africa for football blah blah blah (still he complained - he even said men that didn't want to do it were dull/boring/controlled/sad and the women that didn't let them go were controlling etc). He would give me lists of dates pretty much each week/month when he'd be out etc and when I needed to take days off for his social life.

Yet once, ONCE, when I wanted to go to a hen do he could not take the time off or finish early (he works weekends and doesn't get many off a year) but the following week from the hen do finished early to meet up with a mate. When I pointed it out he said he didn't realise I really wanted to go.

He once booked a group holiday for other blokes girlfriends and FORGOT to book me on it!!

And I put up with and tried to make him like me more/love me more by letting him do all these things.

After sooo long (and infidellity and prostitutes along with the selfishness etc), I went to counselling and go the confidence to say i wanted out.

A few days ago I posted that I was still sharing our house (thankfully only for another week) and had got caught up with a flirty man. My ex confronted him and it's all gone horrid and flirty man ignores me and it hurts.

Anyhow, what i mean to say is this. I have spent my entire 13-year relationship trying to make him happy, trying to question what I have done that makes him unhappy. Went to counselling alone when he called me posionous, angry, resentful, bitter, angry, frigid, cold and dead inside.

The thing I realised when I met flirty guy was that I was none of these things. I was ONLY these things with my partner. I was totally beginning to believe my own press.

The one and only thing I can be gratefully to flirty guy (used to be nicknamed The Crush TC which now stands for TOTAL C***) is that he made me realise I was worth soooo much more.

Of course you are anxious and of course the future is very scary but it is also exciting and should be the start of a new chapter in your life.

We as women - because we are not just mums - need to realise that we are worthy people in our own right. We are not there to please our men but have the right to be in a mutually respectfully and understanding relationship. A partnership in fact. Being together isn't about one person being in control. My ex talks in terms of winning and losing. He says I have won because I've got what I want.

I find it baffling that he thinks I planned to be a single mother.

Anyway, sorry less about me. You need to take the power back.

Do you love this man and want to be with him? Does he make you the best person you can be? And if the answer to at least one of these questions is no then despite the long road ahead, you can do it and will do it and you will be better off without him.

Good luck. You can do it. XX

Thank you Beccaloulah, I'm sorry you've been going through so much, but it sounds like you are starting to feel much better, and that gives me some comfort, it really does.

Do I love him? I don't know anymore. DOes he make me the best person I can be? NO.

And that says it all really.

I know I need to move forward and move on, but something is holding me back, and after talking to the counsellor today, I think that thing is my own lack of self confidence and self esteem.

I don't deserve anything that has been going on, it wasn't all my fault, I can say it, but I just don't believe it yet. I'm hoping it will come soon.

I'm focussing on setting me and my son up and getting to the point where we are both happy. I'm just scared of what it entails. Thank you for believeing in me!

kalidanger Wed 04-Sep-13 20:07:31

That's a lovely post Becc thanks

OP I think you have to concentrate on getting out. It's living with him that's making you feel loopy. Obviously you're doing all you can but you shouldn't despair that you're not getting over it quickly because, actually, how could you while being stuck with him? Head down, power in through thanks Can you borrow a 'little' money to move more quickly?

Beccaloolah Wed 04-Sep-13 20:25:19

It will take a while to believe it isn't you. As women - and especially when we become mums - we try to be everything to everybody. And quite frankly it's bloody impossible. We get lost along the way. And we all, everyone of us, deserve partners that understand that and help us.

My friend has it - a new friend of two years - and to be honest it blew my mind. I kinda assumed everyone was in a shitty relationship but just coping better than me. If I wasn't a bitch, and if actually fancied him - i would want to be with him! JOKE!!!

If it helps, I realised that the example I was setting to my son as to how relationships should be was totally appalling. I set a blueprint for the way my son should be with friends/partners in the future. I want to teach him that every human being deserves respect, understanding and ultimately kindness. And he isn't learning that from our dysfunctional relationship.

Somebody once said to me "you are partly responsible as you are choosing to keep the situation the same."

I admit I was horrified and a little angry. I thought how dare they say I kept the situation the same - I was angry and he was at fault. But they were right. Only I had it in me to take control and say NO, enough already! I am better than this. I can be happy and happiness is without you.


Kalidanger - yes, I can' see living with him isn't helping. I'm doing all I can and will be out of here asap. I'm doing my best to avoid him at the moment too! So with not seeing each other much, it's getting a little better.

Beccaloolah - Yes. The anger and swearing he uses all the time, the shouting rows we get into - it's not a good example from my son, and I can see some of it coming out already.

This is all good for me, thank you all.

It's helping me to stop pine for what once was - it wasn't brilliant anyway - and focussing on making sure it stops and getting out rather than obsessing about what went wrong.

Anniegetyourgun Wed 04-Sep-13 20:44:29

Drawing on my own experience a bit here: if someone is nice when you get together, then they're not so nice, you start to believe it must be something you've done to spoil things; especially when they oh so kindly point it out to you. So you try to change, but then you do something else "wrong", and the goalposts keep shifting and somehow you never get back to the niceness you had in the beginning. You spend the entire relationship running around trying to fix it. Obviously it must be your fault, right? Because they can be really nice with other people, especially their bits on the side/next girlfriend, you must be the one who ruined a good thing.

Well actually, no, you're not. He was ever so nice before you moved in, while you still had options, when you didn't see each other 24/7. Once you're under a roof together, pooled your finances, moved away from your support network, you're vulnerable and by God do some people take advantage of that. Believe me, when he's got the next poor woman hooked she'll get the same treatment.

You're a whole lot smarter than I am, you know. It took me twenty-five years to go " 'ere, wait a minute - that's bullshit!". You've done it in two.

Annie, thanks. It did feel like once I moved in he was no longer bothered about making effort as much.... and that got even worse over time.

I feel a bit like I'm painting him out to be a complete arsehole though, and I don't really think he is.

What I do think, is that he lack empathy, is not able to see things from others' point of view, and therefore is selfish. He also has a lot of stress, with his ex and seeing his son, and with money, that have caused him problems, taken a lot of his energy and makes him quite bitter.

He was very generous, and very willing to do things for me.... we struggled at times because he wanted to do things which I felt I could or should do without help - this was more my issue than his, about feeling I should struggle alone. He is very practical and always willing to do those sorts of things (DIY, Car maintenance etc) and can be very generous with money.

I was talking to a mutual friend of ours last night - she was his friend first. She agreed that she thought the counsellor was right, as she has seen first hand some of the stuff he has done. But she did say she didn't think Ex does it maliciously, but more doesn't realise, and that his experience with his ex has warped his view of what's normal.

I get that. I do. I think Ex can actually a be a really nice person, but the thing I'm now struggling with is that although these things are going on, there is really no excuse for treating someone that way. Is there? He could see how unhappy he was making me, which was why he eventually called it quits, but how could he continue to swear and criticise and cause rows and then blame me?

WE have agreed to try and be friends. I'm not sure what to so with that. Like I say, I'm sure I wouldn't come up against this behaviour when not in arelationship with him.... so do I stay friends?

Things in the house are a bit tense. We're keeping out of each others' way.

I can feel a huge part of me wanting to be overly friendly and placate him, and try to make things better etc. But it's not worth it, right? It's effort I need to focus elsewhere, isn't it?

Also - he swore down the phone yesterday (we were trying to sort out the alarm engineer while he was here) he got al exasperated in irritated and sweary. I couldn't tell if it was at me, or something he was doing - but if it was the latter surely you would say 'Oh, I don't mean you by the way'?

Am I just looking for the bad in everything all the time? This is what he tells me I do.

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