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plan to work on the relationship or plan to leave it?

(12 Posts)
ppp123 Tue 01-Apr-14 11:31:17

Hi - new to mumsnet. Am 44, have two adolescent sons, who are lovely. Am with husband, with long standing issues. But we have always got through them together. However, over this last year, it has gone pretty pearshaped. He's having problems at work, and has poor relationships there. He's always angry and frustrated about his work. He seems angry and frustrated at home. He has no friends. He looks to me for everything, which can be very wearing at times. He does not like me going out, so I have no friends. The relationship seems difficult and stormy, most of the time, "being on eggshells" around him. He renarratises events, in ways that don't seem to make sense. He can be very controlling, but he does this out of "care" for me - every decision is talked about in minute detail, which again can be very tiring, and in the end I tend to give up and give in. When we try and put some plans in to sort this out, one minute it seems OK, then it escalates onto a really bad emotional atmosphere, with arguments and moodiness. So, for example, for the last few weeks he has been talking about our relationship problems, and going to see someone. I've just booked us in to see Relate. He's now angry I have done this. Also, I had a bad car accident over a year ago, and have been having psychological counselling for this -as part of this, the counsellor has asked me to look at any issues in being in a car. There were a couple of incidents over a decade ago, where his temper was really bad, and if in a car, he would "lose it", one incident being where he threatened to dump me out the car, and then go and take the kids away from me (the kids weren't in the car at the time). This ended in the car crashing, and police involvement, as he wouldn't stop the car, and wouldn't let me out. I think he was holding my hair or something, I can't really remember, I was just so shocked at the time. I just mentioned this incident to him today, given the context of counselling, and the fact he kept asking me what I was talking about to the counsellor. We have not really talked about this incident ever. He's now given me a relationship ultimatum, saying if i remember it this way, I remembered it wrong, and that he would never be abusive to me. ????? I think driving me in a car and doing what he did was abusive, and actually the way forward would be for him to take responsibility for what he did, and for us to work through this. I know I remember correctly, because the police asked me if i wanted to press charges, and their was a witness who followed us in a car, because she was worried about what was going on. But this is a decade ago, and old, old stuff. This must have hurt him, for me to bring this up suddenly like this too. As i say, our communication is really poor at the moment. At times I am scared of him, because of his moodiness, and there is a real feeling like he could just explode, and destroy everything. Maybe it's going to get really bad, before it can better? So maybe that's what's going on now? I have no friends, no-one I can talk this through with (except the counsellor I have, but that feels disloyal), I am feeling very upset and confused about all of this. Sorry for the long message.

YouAreMyRain Tue 01-Apr-14 11:40:47

You poor thing. He is controlling and abusive. He treated you so badly that a member of the public followed and the police asked you about pressing charges. It doesn't matter when this happened, it matters THAT this happened.

He gaslights you, you are scared of him, you walk on eggshells, he has isolated you from your friends.

Classic abuse. He doesn't have to punch you for it to be abusive. You need to get out. Have you contacted Women's Aid?

Jan45 Tue 01-Apr-14 11:46:39

He is abusing you and has done for a long time, he's removed you from any social life and blames you for everything, he's using you as a punchbag for all his own negativity.

It won't get better, it will stay shit or get worse, you know it.

Seriously, if you want a life of joy you will need to start making plans for a life that does not include him, he sounds truly awful, it's not your job to fix him, I'd be exhausted in your shoes and bloody angry that another human being was using me in such a horrible way.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 01-Apr-14 11:48:18

Do you work?
Do you have access to money?
This sounds truly horrendous to me.
He is abusing you day to day.
Isolating you. Gaslighting. You walking on eggshells.
Do you want to live the rest of your life like this?
Can you imagine putting up with this for another 10. 15, 20 years.
You are only 44.
What you do from here is up to you.
I stated again at 41 and it's been fine and dandy.
You sound really unhappy. We only get one life - you should have a happy one at the very least. It's what we all deserve.

As the saying goes on here. The only acceptable amount of abuse in a relationship is NONE!!!
That's right - NONE!
You know what you have to do.
Give Women's Aid a call or contact them via email on their website.

Time to get yourself back and get happy.
You've taken the first steps by realising now that this isn't right.

4free Tue 01-Apr-14 11:53:34

this is abuse, lots and lots of abuse! i was in a similar situation, was with my exdp 16 years, 3 dcs, i got out 3 months ago, best thing i ever did. you can do it too, lifes too short to live like this, if you need help get in touch with womans aid asap.

YouAreMyRain Tue 01-Apr-14 11:54:23

You can't mend this relationship because you can't change him. What you can do is choose not to have a relationship with him. You don't owe anyone a relationship. Hope you're ok.

I know how scary it is, thinking things are ok and then people on here pointing out how unacceptable and abusive things really are. I felt sick and had palpitations. When I realised what was really going on I left. You can too. Xx

tulipswouldbenice Tue 01-Apr-14 12:07:08

Agree with what everyone else has said. If you can find the courage to end it I think you would probably feel great relief. Your DH sounds very controlling and you deserve better. Re-read your post as if it was a stranger's, what would you think? Good luck, be strong x

onetiredmummy Tue 01-Apr-14 13:16:58

Hi ppp welcome to mumsnet & well done for having the courage to post here smile

It seems as though this has been going on for so long that you have now lost sight of what normal is in a relationship. Just because the car incident was a decade ago & he's rewritten it in his own head doesn't make it less important. You're worried about his feelings being hurt when he is trampling all over yours & has been for years!

There are so many red flags of abusive behaviour here its hard to pull anything one thing out to hold up, point & show to you that he is abusing you. Your instinct that he could 'explode & destroy everything' is probably true & its just a waiting game now of when that happens & how badly you are hurt when it does. Of course, it will be all your fault when that does happen.

Instead of Relate I think you should call Womens Aid

& if you don't want to leave yet then put some plans in place in case you do have leave suddenly. You need some cash in a bank account (preferably that he doesn't know about) & you need a place to run to with your sons. Put the Womens Aid number into your phone.

How are your sons? Are they happy? Are they seeing the sort of role model that they should be?

Ignore feelings of disloyalty. Its good that you are now in a place where you can talk & bring up these subjects instead of having to suppress them all the time. He has been training you for years to think that he is more important & that his feelings matter more, this is why when you talk openly you feel disloyal but don't pay any attention to it.

I think you need to leave him, take your sons & reclaim your life, your independence & your happiness. I also know its much easier to say than do.

Any time you want to talk then come on here & if you need any help with leaving, either practical or emotional there's usually somebody here who can help. You can talk about anything here. If you suspect he knows your username on here then change it, change it as often as you need to.

You deserve better than him.

ppp123 Tue 01-Apr-14 15:08:17

Thank you for all of your kind messages and support, and prompt answers. I guess that's very firmly answered my question.I had no idea I was in an abusive relationship, I just thought that it was always like this for everyone. I'm a bit in shock, and feel very shaky. Husband has climbed down from his relationship ultimatum from this morning, and says he doesn't want to make it bad for everyone at home. But he's still not making any sense, it's still "high drama", like a soap opera, and your posts have made me realise that he will never make any sense, which is why it's been so confusing and scary for such a long time, and this will continue unless we get professional help now. I've phoned my counsellor today to tell her what's going on, and I will be going to Relate with him next week, and if I have any concerns about my safety I will be picking up the phone to the police. It's either got to change, or I will be making an exit route, which I will do to suit the needs of me and the kids, and to keep us safe. I can't believe how stupid I've been, and have been pulled into his crazy way of looking at the world, with these negative relationship interactions all the time. Thanks for opening my eyes.

Dinnaeknowshitfromclay Tue 01-Apr-14 17:49:15

He has already done enough to justify your leaving him today. It won't change. Sorry to be negative but he sees you as a tool to vent his personality on and not a person in your own right. He may pick up his game for a while now and again but it will always revert.
A normal relationship is where you get to have some say in what goes on around you most if not all of the time. don't be embarrassed about it though, many of us have been there and it happens so slowly you don't realise what is happening. You have retained that spidey sense that despite his telling you you are wrong and his episodes of re-writing history, you still have that little bit of you left that says,'Hang on a cotton picking minute, that's not right, I'm not having that!'
To get back to planet normal you will have to leave him though PPP123. He will escalate if he gets wind of your planning to leave him though so proceed with caution.

AnyFucker Tue 01-Apr-14 18:05:14

Your husband is abusing you. Don't do joint counselling with him
Plan to end the relationship

YouAreMyRain Wed 02-Apr-14 00:03:49

What Anyfucker said. Counselling won't work with an abusive person.

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