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Scared my marriage is ending

(34 Posts)
soconfusednow Wed 19-Mar-14 23:40:20

I've name changed for this post. I suppose I'd just like some advice. I'm so confused about my marriage. We just seem to be making each other unhappy but we have a two-year-old DD and I can't bear the thought of splitting up our family.

We've been together nearly ten years and married for almost three. We were love's young dream at the start and moved in very quickly. But in all honesty, I don't think that we should have got married. The warning signs were there.

He has a terrible temper and we've always had bad rows. Although he's never been violent, he's the sort of bloke who punches walls etc out of frustration. I sometimes find that I'm walking on egg shells around him.

We rarely have sex (initially we did but things soon petered out and he never wanted it). By some miracle, I got pregnant on our honeymoon and we now have a beautiful little girl. I feel as though I've spent the last two years in a fog as I had a touch of / anxiety and I've only recently started to feel like myself again. He was supportive when I was feeling down, which makes me feel even more guilty about the way I feel towards him now.

But the truth of it is that, now I can see clearly again, I'm scared that we're falling apart. Although he tells me that he loves me all the time, we (still) never have sex. He flies off the handle at the slightest thing. Tonight, he came in after having been drinking with colleagues and immediately flew into a temper when I disagreed with something he said. He threw the TV remote control at me, hitting my arm - it really hurt. When I told him that he shouldn't have done it, he started bringing up drunken misdemeanours I'd apparently committed when we'd first got together nearly ten years ago, as though that balanced it out.

I told him: 'I don't think we're right together any more' and he said that he had been thinking the same for the last few months.

Yet, five minutes earlier, we'd been talking about having another baby. I'm so confused. I don't know what to do.

He is a brilliant dad and our DD adores him but I'm not sure we can carry on like this.

soconfusednow Wed 19-Mar-14 23:41:07

That should say, that I had a touch of postnatal anxiety/PND after having DD.

AlternativeMoniker53 Wed 19-Mar-14 23:48:55

I think maybe give it a couple of days and look at it again when nobody's been drinking and it's not so late. If it still look rotten perhaps some marriage counselling would be a good idea? Try not to dwell and to get some sleep.

soconfusednow Wed 19-Mar-14 23:52:40

Thank you. Yes, I think marriage counselling could help. I don't want to give up on it but it hasn't been right for a while now.

Lovingfreedom Thu 20-Mar-14 00:00:39

Terrible temper? Walking on eggshells? Throwing the remote control at you? These are serious red flags and I would suggest you look at ways to break away from an aggressive and abusive man. Be careful, he sounds unpleasant and you need to make sure that you and your baby are safe. Take care. X

SylvanMuldoon Thu 20-Mar-14 00:05:45

He is abusive to you, this is not normal or acceptable behaviour. He's agreeing that you should split up because he thinks it will bring you 'back into line' and it's working isn't it?

Don't just accept this behaviour, you should never have to walk on eggshells around someone and his behaviour is escalating. Do you really want to bring another baby into this?

I know how scary it can be to contemplate life without someone you've been with for a long time but a good man would not treat you like this. Please get some outside help. Women's Aid can talk through this with you, he doesn't have to punch you in the face to be abusive.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 06:05:59

It's not advisable to engage in joint counselling when there is abuse, control or bullying present in a relationship. And I'm sorry but everything you're describing qualifies as 'Domestic Abuse'. Angry outbursts, punching walls, sexual rejection, destructive behaviour, rushing you into living together initially, steamrollering you into marriage. Even down to the part where you're on the brink of deciding to call it a day and he somehow talks it around to having another baby. Bullying, abusive men don't like to lose control and they will say whatever it takes to keep you close until they think the dust has settled. Including appearing to be kind and caring when it suits.

If you're considering counselling, seek it for yourself. Understand that his behaviour is the reason you are depressed and anxious and that it is deliberate. Does he behave aggressively towards others? Throw things at work colleagues etc? Or does he save it for you?.....

Please don't allow your DD to grow up thinking that this is an acceptable way for men to treat women. What he's doing to you now, she'll be on the receiving end of in due course... either at his hand or the nasty boyfriend she chooses because he reminds her so much of Dear Old Dad. hmm

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 20-Mar-14 06:21:35

Please don't even consider having another baby with him at the moment. Throwing a remote control at you is violence, hitting walls is violence, you having to walk on eggshells is abuse.

He has been angry all throughout the marriage, so he needs to address this, and you need separate counselling to see where you want to go with the marriage.

I personally think you would be better off going your separate ways, but obviously you are in the marriage and know if its worth working at, or if its possible for it to be worked at.

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 06:48:05

OP I think you are about to get a response here which will shock, and then frighten, you.

This man is violent towards you and although you haven't identified it yet, there is domestic abuse.

Please don't fall for the line that he is a great dad. He's a violent drunk and somebody has to protect your daughter from his damaging choices.

Please do not go to counselling with him. Go separately. Finally, it sounds as though his violence is escalating. It's to his benefit to keep you confused and worried.

Keep posting on here OP

nolongerbumpieorlumpie Thu 20-Mar-14 07:05:40

Hi, this may be an unpopular response with some but I am wondering whether he is suffering from depression. He has a lot of the hallmarks (I work with mh). This does not excuse but may explain the behavior.

I think you need to talk to a counsellor or gp as does he and I would recommend separately and together.

Good luck.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 07:20:04

Depression my arse hmm. He's a nasty little shit and he is choosing to bully the OP.

soconfusednow Thu 20-Mar-14 07:28:23

Thanks for the responses. I now feel incredibly disloyal that I have posted something because for his faults, he is a lovely person. He is an amazing dad.
nolongerbumpieorlumpie I have thought about depression too. He is very unfulfilled in his job. He's also tried repeatedly to give up smoking. Every time he tries, he is so unpleasant to be around - moody, flying off the handle, irrational...
He suffered depression after his dad died - just a few months after we got together. He was like a different person for a while then - he just completely withdrew. He talked about 'not wanting to be there' any more.
In retrospect, it so obvious that he was depressed. He also had debt problems, which I helped him sort out.
Eventually, I persuaded him to have counselling and it really helped him and he became the loving partner he'd been before - although our sex life never recovered, if I'm honest.
He always says how grateful he is that I stuck by him because we nearly split up at that point (at his hand). Sometimes I wonder if he just married me because he felt that he had to because I was loyal to him.
I don't think he's a bully - he just has a very short fuse. His own mum and brother have talked about this - about how he always had a very short temper, even as a child.
Secretly, I wondered if he was gay because he lost interest in sex pretty soon and we never really had a great connection in bed. He would often make excuses. And I wondered whether his short temper was to do with this.
He'll also sometimes make random comments like 'XX (random celeb) is a good looking bloke.'
Which I find quite odd.
I've been grasping at straws for a long time trying to figure it out. But when things are good between us, they're lovely and we have some really happy family days together. As I said, he's a lovely, gentle, caring dad and DD adores him.
The last two years have all been about DD. And it's taken me two years to feel like myself again and to see clearly.
And I've started to feel uneasy.
None of our friends and family would have a clue about this because they are always telling us that we are the 'perfect' couple and family.
Yet to me it feels like a house of cards that is always ready to topple over.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 07:34:06

"I don't think he's a bully - he just has a very short fuse."

A lot of bullying victims rationalise it the same way. He's depressed, he has 'anger issues', he's a good dad, he's had a bad childhood, he has problems, when he's lovely he's lovely..... everyone else thinks he's a lovely man.

He enjoys pushing you to the limit and then pulling you back in. He saves the remote throwing and the wall punching for your eyes only as a way of exerting control. You cling onto those few and far between happy family days in an attempt to forget the crappy behaviour. When you finally tell others what he's really like - and you will - they will be astonished.

It is a house of cards. Emotionally abusive relationships always are.

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 07:54:05

I think that it's perfectly possible that he is
- suffering from depression, and/or
- unhappy at work, and/or
- sometime really, really lovely, and/or
- had a difficult childhood, and/or
- possibly gay, and/or
- has a short fuse, and/or
- grieving for his dad.

But. These are separate to the choices he is making towards you and in proximity of his child.

I am not saying LTB. I think I'm saying SDNTH (Something Different Needs To Happen).

soconfusednow Thu 20-Mar-14 08:09:40

Thank you, Logg1e - Yes, I think you're right. We need to address this. He's apologised this morning and has now gone to work.
I'm going to speak to him tonight. We need to sort things out because it can't carry on like this.
Sometimes, I do fantasise about a fresh start.
But seeing him with DD today - seeing him being so gentle with her and her smile when he gives her a kiss goodbye - I just can't break up our family. It would break my heart to do that to her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 08:16:23

If you've been together 10 years, his behaviour towards you has been consistently bad and if there were warning signs before you got married three years ago, what makes you think he is capable of changing?

Abusive men can be perfectly lovely with small children because they are, by definition, completely under their control. As soon as your DD starts to find her voice, says 'no' etc his behaviour towards her is likely to be exactly the same as his behaviour towards you.

soconfusednow Thu 20-Mar-14 08:24:27

The thing is, I have a huge guilt complex. I somehow think this is partly my fault. And he tells me that I speak badly to him. That I should listen to how I sound when I speak to him.
He's gone off to work now, all quiet, and I feel bad for him.
I know that sounds pathetic. Believe me, I know.
But he's not some one dimensional bully. He can be so sweet and kind and thoughtful.
It's his temper that is the problem.

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 08:26:26

If he's gentle and smiley with her now, he will still be gentle and smiley with her as a single parent. It wouldn't be you breaking up the family, it would be you protecting your daughter and her mother from a dysfunctional relationship and poor role-modelling.

Logg1e Thu 20-Mar-14 08:31:50

OP The thing is, I have a huge guilt complex. I somehow think this is partly my fault.

I do worry about the different ways he seems to control your mood and keep you confused and on eggshells. What you describe here is not the actions and words of a loving partner.

Of course he's not a one-dimensional bully. I personally believe that nobody is out-and-out evil, let alone 100% bully.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 20-Mar-14 08:37:59

He may be a great dad but he isn't a great husband. He can continue to be a great dad if you split, and you may be free to have a life that you want with someone who will treat you well. You deserve that.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 08:38:53

Speaking badly? He throws things at you and punches the walls because of your tone of voice? Just imagine that playing out in a courtroom for a second.... 'M'lud my client should be released immediately for using household objects as missiles and acting in a violent manner towards the alleged victim because they had spoken to him in a funny way' hmm

Bullies never are one-dimensional. That's how they maintain relationships. They alternate lovely behaviour with bad behaviour - I call it 'good cop bad cop'. They follow terrible actions with OTT apologies. They express remorse & appear to reform for long enough for their victim to think things are OK, start feeling guilty and that they've been a total bitch to ever complain!!! Then they go right back to their default setting.

The result.... depression, anxiety, 'treading on eggshells', reluctance to act for fear of being seen as the bad woman that denied her DC the chance to grow up with someone everyone else thinks is a lovely man. It's not pathetic at all. It's just a very predictable formula that is common to a lot of emotionally and physically abusive relationships

Preciousbane Thu 20-Mar-14 08:49:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

woodrunner Thu 20-Mar-14 08:51:36

Lots of people will come on and tell you he is abusive. Lots of the things you say suggest he could well be. But he could also be going through a really tough time. And maybe you are sharp with him, just as he is short fused with you. Young kids really stress out even the strongest marriages at times.

DH once threw a chair across the room, narrowly missing baby DS2. He punched and broke a cupboard. He smashed a plate. And he thought our marriage was on the rocks when DC were tiny. He used to get blind drunk at times and I once found him downstairs at 3 am with his best friend (female) on his knee. And he's a sulky bugger. That list would make any sane person shout: Run for the hills. He's awful. You deserve more etc. On that list alone, they'd be right.

But I've known him 20 years. That short list is the sum of his bad behaviour. For the remaining days, months and years of the twenty I've known him he has been supportive, loving, funny, reliable, faithful, trustworthy, kind, considerate, a brilliant dad, pulled his weight around the house, made us laugh like drains every day, done dozens of spontaneous, romantic things, like tracking down songs I love even though I can't remember the name or words, just a fragment of the melody. He cooks, he ferries the kids around. He's brilliant with money and makes sure we always have enough, even during tough times (both freelance.) He's sane and considered life whereas I'm pretty rash and rush into things. He's generally gentle and kind and funny and silly and certainly always wants the best for his family. Long term, he's ace, and safe and sweet. The DC adore him and I'm glad we're together.

What I'm saying is: you are concerned right now, so you highlight the worrying stuff. To put it in perspective, you need to give equal thought to the good stuff. Check if it's there, how often things are good. Think what you want to protect and save, apart from wanting your child to have a solid family unit, which in itself is a great goal but not a strong enough reason to stay in a marriage if it's the only one.

Like Lottie, I did wonder if he's gay, if he never wants sex and is very uptight. But he has also had so many other pressures that may make him behave that way. To see if you can make it work, you need some time together in a relaxed environment. Maybe relate would help. Maybe you just need some nights off together, to rekindle the fun and things you had in common. You say you're only now getting back to feeling like you. The toughest times may be behind you. I'd give him a chance, your marriage and your family life a chance before ending things. If it doesn't work out, you always have the option of walking away.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 20-Mar-14 09:04:21

'Give him a chance' is appalling advice in a situation that is clearly escalating from verbal to physical violence. Abusive men often don't show their full hand until the arrival of the first child. 'Give him a chance' when he's throwing remote controls hard enough to hurt the OP and the next time she speaks to him in a way he doesn't like, he could do her some serious damage. I think people should always stand up to bullies and refuse to be cowed but, when a man is already showing aggression, that is too risky and they should get out.

Several women every week are killed by their partners and doubtless a lot of those will have been told to 'give them another chance'. hmm

Lovingfreedom Thu 20-Mar-14 09:12:28

OP if you read your own post back and try to respond as if someone else had written it...what would you think? It might also be worth remembering that you don't actually need an excuse to leave a situation or a relationship that doesn't feel right for you. Be careful not to get pregnant at the moment.

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