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Neutral position required(12 Posts)
Quite scared to post this. I have a very difficult relationship with my mother, so SF's (stepfather, love him) birthday meal tonight was always going to be fraught. But I expected the difficulty to be around DM's lies, not DH. So DH has form for being late and stopping off at the pub. Meal was at 7. I had no phone reception in the restaurant. 7:20, I text "Ou est tu? We are ordering". No sign at gone half past, so I run outside and ring him. Turns out he's still at work (DM's fault, indirectly), no worries! I went to his office, pick up SF pressie, go back to restaurant, explain DH is still working.
SF slags off DH quite loudly to my step sister. I swallow it and carry on. Make reasonable excuses for DH (very valid - mother has been an utter arse in case anyone thinks I'm drip feeding). All good.
Then DH starts sending insane texts and messages to SF. Eg; "send my wife home or I'll be sending her brother and his wife over to you". "Send my wife home".
Now I laughed this off - it's ridiculous. He never says anything like that to me in real life, we have a very equal partnership, and I'm the main breadwinner. SF asked me some pointed questions, I rebuffed them.
Then SF pulled out his phone. Loads of missed calls, all from DH quite aggressively demanding my presence home. I dismissed it as him going through a rough time.
Got home. DH on sofa, kebab remnants on table. I asked why he would belittle me so much in public when he never does it in private (and trust me, this never ever happens in private). He told me to shut my mouth. Very loudly, so my brother and his wife could hear downstairs in the spare bedroom..I have never been told to "Shut your mouth" before.
And this is the bit I don't get. He never, NEVER, behaves like his when it's just us. All of a sudden, he's decided it's ok to throw his weight around in public (and where my brother can hear) and so my entire family now think I'm a battered wife because of one evening of controlling messages. Just tackled him about it and explained how it looked and all he can say is "I was going to come for the meal, but you ordered in 20 mins, that's not reasonable". My point is a) you were late and b) doesn't excuse you sending controlling messages to my SF on his birthday. And c) that behaviour is utterly unacceptable.
We've been together for 12 years, married for 18months, and I have genuinely never seen this side of him. But it makes me want to run for the hills.
I would. Run for the hills, that is. UNLESS this is just a one off & it never happens again.
All I would do right now would be to think very, very hard about the last 12 years, and even harder about the last 18 months. Look carefully for other incidents you may have shrugged off or rationalized. If it's true that he's NEVER behaved this way before, maybe it was a bad day for him & he took it out on you. That's no excuse, his behaviour was in no way acceptable.
If, after reflection, you do see a pattern of bad behaviour, you'll need to decide if counseling is in order or if you just want to call it quits.
If there is no pattern, you should be able to discuss it with him tomorrow when he has cooled down. Tell him you're concerned about the way he acted because it was so out of character. That it was frightening and humiliating for you and that you cannot allow him to ever treat you this way again. It's a 'deal breaker'.
Perhaps he should have a physical? High blood pressure or other conditions can make people act in the strangest ways.
i would be asking wtf. seriously. i would be angry. he embarrassed you needlessly in front of relatives and ruined your SF birthday meal with his weird messages.
i would have gone ape shit. personally i would have packed a bag and gone to a hotel to cool off. then spoke to him to ask what the actual fuck he though he was doing.
such a monumental shift in his demeanour would have me asking some serious questions and stating my position VERY clearly. ie - do this again and your are out on your stupid arse with a suit case....
It sounds as if you love and trust your stepfather. It also sounds as if he had a few words to say about your DH, which you dismissed or rebuffed. Could he have a point though? Is he seeing something that you're not seeing, or accepting as ok?
What was DH's response, when you told him his behaviour was unacceptable?
He didn't want to go the meal and took his frustration out on you. That still begs the question WTAF was that all about ?
Does he resent that you earn more than him and is trying to get some power (albeit in a really inappropriate way?)
Not explaining or justifying his behaviour in any way, but was there anything about this meal with your mother, or is he annoyed about having your brother at home?
When you say he doesn't show this behaviour in private. Are you sure there are no signs you normally dismiss?
If he has form for being late because he goes to the pub, he doesn't sound very caring or respectful of your feelings.
It's also interesting that you only married 18 month ago. Abusive behaviour often starts when they feel you are somehow less likely to leave.
He sounds pissed to me and you say he has form for being late and stopping off at the pub. Whether pissed or not, I agree with the PP that he probably thinks, now that you're 'trapped' with a wedding ring, he can do/say what he likes. He has no respect for you or anyone else.
That's really helpful, thank you. If I look back I can definitely find instances at the beginning of our relationship, but genuinely not for the last ten years. He is my very best friend and always has my back, particularly in my relationship with my mother. So maybe there is something else going on that I'm overlooking. But this is just so public and belittles me so much, there's no way I can tolerate it. I will talk to him later when everyone's gone home - I need to know that he gets the problem and I guess that will tell me what I need to know.
You say he defends you against your mother who is an 'utter arse'. However, his own behaviour has 'utter arse' written all over it as well. Strikes me that you have two unpleasant people each trying to control you with different bullying tactics. Be careful that, by judging him against the standard set by your mother, you're not downplaying his behaviour. You don't have to choose either... you can reject both....
You might have something there Cogito. The excuses I made for him have a lot to do with her behaviour, eg if she hadn't put us in this position this wouldn't be happening. But equally, I rocked up and behaved for the sake of my SF, so why shouldn't he? I need to take her out of it and make him
accountable for his behaviour towards me - no other noise.
It sounds like you've gone onto marry someone who is actually as nasty as your own mother is. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents; what did yours teach you?. You neither need this woman or your H who seems cut from similar cloth.
BTW if counselling is considered go on your own.
I would think very carefully about your future with this man at all.
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