Advanced search

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.

Marriage counselling for 8 months - I don't think he will change

(23 Posts)
Funnyfishface Mon 24-Mar-14 00:24:59

Together for 23 years. 2 DS 24 and 19.
Husband unfortunately is insecure and jealous and controlling.
I was sahm until last year. Got office job which I love.
He controlled all finances.
We separated last summer for 6 months after he lost his temper and accused me of cheating when I was actually seeing a sick girlfriend in hospital.
Started counselling at that time. He moved back to the home after 6 months into spare room. We are still having counselling.
Yet I am still saying the same things. Last week he came into a pub where I was meeting my friend to check up on me.
I have never and would never cheat.
He sulks and is abusive. But I have invested 23 years and feel sorry for him. I do love him but times I don't like him.
I just don't know what to do.

MrsHoolie Mon 24-Mar-14 00:45:23

The knowledgable ladies on here always say that marriage counselling is not recommended in abusive relationships.
Do you want to actually be with him?

Funnyfishface Mon 24-Mar-14 00:51:45

Hi he is emotionally abusive not physically.

That's the thing really I have been with him for so long I can't imagine life without him in it. When he is in a good mood it's fine.
I would like a peaceful life.
He just constantly pushes for something else. He isn't at all content.
I think we have a very nice life.

BillyBanter Mon 24-Mar-14 01:01:27

How was the 6 months? Peaceful?

Ask yourself is it better to invest 23 years in an abusive relationship or to invest 30 years in an abusive relationship?

tallwivglasses Mon 24-Mar-14 01:10:51

Excellent point, Billy. Sorry you're going through this, OP. Why is he not content? What would make him content? What has he invested during those 23 years?

Funnyfishface Mon 24-Mar-14 08:04:26

Unfortunately he is quite a negative person and I don't think he will ever be content.
He is jealous of the lives our boys are living. And I am fearlessly defensive of them. They both work and pay keep. Albeit a small amount he thinks we should be making them pay a lot more. We don't need it but to hear him talk to other people he says he has to work 7 days a week to afford things. This isn't true. I know and can see how much money we have.

Our biggest rows are over money, sons, his inability to tell the truth. He lies like a small child. Over silly things.
He spent yesterday not talking to me because I made youngest son lunch to leave in fridge , to take to work as he was being picked up at 6 am. A one off. Petty crap

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 24-Mar-14 08:25:11

He's a bully. You don't get anywhere in counselling with a bully because. as far as they are concerned, everyone else is wrong and they're right. So there's no middle ground, no compromise, no willingness to change..... and no point continuing. He's been this way for 23 years. This is as good as he gets. Is it what you want to settle for?

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 24-Mar-14 08:27:24

Sorry op he sounds thoroughly unpleasant to be jealous of your own flesh and blood is an awful character trait, and just because you love him does not mean you have to stay with him. Not everyone we love is worth it or is good for us.

Maybe use the counselling on your own to explore why you stay, and 8 months and nothings changed, I do wonder about the effectiveness of your counsellor, that's a long time with no further forward. Maybe the goals need re visiting and more challenging to his thought processes.

Personally ide leave he's sucking you dry emotionally, also he who shouts the loudest might be projecting his own behaviour on to you, I wouldn't be surprised if he has or is cheating on you. thanks

Funnyfishface Tue 25-Mar-14 23:57:02

I was chatting to my sister tonight and she pointed out a few things.

I am a very loving person, I show my love openly but I have never fully let myself go to my husband. I have my guard up all the time and have since we met. I don't feel that I can trust him not to let me down somehow.

We don't respect each other at all. I feel as though he is shifty. I have to read between the lines of everything he says and unpick which bits are true and which are exaggerated

That sounds terrible doesn't it.

Amicus1966 Wed 26-Mar-14 00:06:21

I have come to realise that once the respect goes then the whole relationship is lost.
Your DCs are old enough to take care of themselves if need be so you don't need to stay with your DH any longer.
Do what you want not what you feel obligated to do.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 26-Mar-14 07:19:13

It sounds terrible because it's terrible. Imagine feeling that way about anyone else.... you wouldn't even entertain them as a friend, never mind a life-partner.

Funnyfishface Thu 14-Aug-14 04:40:33

I posted this in march this year. We are now 13 months of counselling and still in the same situation


I now have a solicitors appointment booked. I have made up my mind that we need to separate but I'm terrified.

I am scared that my anxiety will return and I go back downhill. I am on meds for anxiety and doing really well.

I am so scared of what the future holds.

plinth Thu 14-Aug-14 05:17:05

OP do you want to revisit this post again next year and still be in the same situation?

Of course separation is scary, because it's new and a leap into the unknown, but only you can enact change in your relationship and, if you don't want another two, ten or twenty years of the same old shit, what choice do to have?

I'm separated myself and it's been hard at times, but not as hard as trying to make a marriage work with a selfish git.

LoveBeingInTheSun Thu 14-Aug-14 05:45:43

You have tried but you can't changed someone else, only they can do that.

It is ok to decide enough is enough.

It will be hard, but some of that is just because it's different. It will be a good different though.

How did the children react to the deprecation last time?

Funnyfishface Thu 14-Aug-14 07:51:33

Plinth - thank you.
Your words are so true. Being married to him is such hard work and exhausting.

Lovebeing - although he moved out for 6 months last year, he was still very much in control. He was round the house all the time and didn't give me any space.
Our DS completely understand. They are very supportive.

We are still in separate rooms. And that suits me.
My mind is made up that we need to separate. But when I think of how I am going to tell him my anxiety goes through the roof.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Aug-14 08:07:34

The way emotionally abusive (psychologically bullying) men operate is to create anxiety in their victim. Anxiety makes someone vulnerable and easier to control. They are fearful of change and doubt their judgement. They lack the confidence to break away.

That's roughly where you are now. He's creating all your anxiety . The 'cure', if you like, is to put physical and emotional distance between you. I'm glad you've made your mind up to separate. If you can't face telling him alone, get someone to be with you or even write him a letter. Whatever it takes.

A little advance warning of what to expect. When you get rid of him there will be rush of adrenalin and a feeling of elation. Then you will feel anxious, a little lost, you may feel like you've done the wrong thing.... and that's the time to be super-strong with yourself, operate a strict 'no contact', draw on the support of family and friends to keep him away and keep yourself away. Your home has to become your sanctuary and he can not be part of your life for a long long time.

Good luck

petalsandstars Thu 14-Aug-14 08:52:14

I think your anxiety will go down once you are not in this relationship too

Funnyfishface Thu 14-Aug-14 17:58:18

Thank you for your replies.

I'm going to need your support in the coming months. If that's ok?

plinth Thu 14-Aug-14 18:27:05

Of course! I'd have gone nuts were it not for mn during my separation.

One word of advice - change your mn name regularly to something non googleable <bitter voice of experience>

LoveBeingInTheSun Thu 14-Aug-14 18:55:33

I was expecting you to say the doc were supportive; you really can't keep them in the position of watching this

BerylStreep Thu 14-Aug-14 20:36:04

It sounds like the right decision.

Funnyfishface Thu 14-Aug-14 22:29:53

Lovebeing - my DS are adults. Eldest is 24 and doesn't live with us and youngest is 19.
Unfortunately they don't know any different
. Fortunately they are mature, loving, gorgeous young men and I have brought them up to understand that controlling, abusive behaviour is not acceptable. They have seen how anxiety has devastated me and they are intelligent enough to know the causes.
I think like me, they actually feel sorry for him, because he is a product of his own negativity. He is just not able to change.

Funnyfishface Mon 17-Nov-14 00:13:47

Another 3 months further along.
I told h in September that I couldn't and wouldn't go on like this. I told him that I didn't feel the same. That I had changed and didn't want us to continue.
He has begged for forgiveness. Has overnight changed into Mr nice and I can't do enough for you. He has almost given up drinking. And all he wants to do is be with me.
However. I don't believe him. It is not possible for someone to change so dramatically in such a short space of time. I've told him this.
It actually doesn't matter whether he has changed or not. For me it's too little too late. 16 months of counselling too late.
He has got a place on the DV course respect from January. Which is 30 weeks of weekly group therapy.
I am waiting for him to move out. He has agreed to this albeit reluctantly.
I still think he is in denial.
We haven't done anything together as a couple nice July. My choice. I have gone to weddings on my own etc and feel that I have detached myself quite well.
Inside I'm gutted. Gutted that 24 years of marriage couldn't be saved. Gutted that I wasn't important enough to change before I hit rock bottom.

My next hurdle is Xmas. We always go to my parents. H is not invited. But ds2 feels sorry for dad so has said he won't leave him on his own.
I also feel sorry for him and responsible. But if I spend Xmas day with him what message am I sending.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: