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Is it time to leave DH - arguing/silent treatment/DDs fed up with it all

(52 Posts)
bd38 Tue 04-Nov-14 01:48:46

Where do I start! Sorry it's so long!

My DH and I are not talking again - it's a regular occurrence, I can't discuss anything with him without it turning into an argument and then I get the silent treatment for up to a week or more sometimes. During these times, he is overly chatty and nice to our DDs. If he is annoyed with our 18yr DD, he is then nice to me and gives her the silent treatment. However, now my DDs are 18 and 13, they are more vocal and have spoken to me about their Dads constant moods, the cold atmosphere and tension he creates, but also with visitors if he is not in the mood, which is most of the time. My family give me advanced warning if they are "popping" round as they know what he is like. He doesn't like one of my friends because she is "loud" - I assure you she is a lovely person, just very outgoing and chatty. I can only invite her over if he is out.

My 18 year old said she hates the atmosphere when he is around. She is aware of the favouritism he shows towards my 13 year old, it is so obvious. He is all smiles and attentive to her, but cold and inattentive to my 18 year old and me mostly. Gives genuine praise to younger DD but half-hearted interest to my 18 year old. I have pointed this out to him but he denies he is any different.

Both my DDs say how much more relaxed and happy the atmosphere is when he is not around. There is a 14 year age gap between us, we have been together 20 years but got married 2 years ago. He has always been jealous/possessive of me and it has stopped me doing certain things, like girly weekends away with other mums, as I know he will just be very moody/tense. He shows jealousy if I go out with friends and says I prefer spending time with my friends than the family - I would add that I go out about once every 3 months in the evening with friends! I thought by marrying he would feel secure with me.

Also I feel I have to damp down having happy conversations with my DDs, especially my 18 DD, as he has been known to make snide comments like "you're a parent, not their friends"; "I might as well not be here"! When the girls were younger and me and him were not talking, he would be overly nice to them, chatting and laughing and if I tried to join in, he would say, "I wasn't talking to you, you always have to interrupt my conversations...".

Even if we are "fine", he might start a convo directed at younger DD and I will join in and he raises his eyes to heaven/makes a comment which then results in silence at the dinner table.

I have suggested relationship counselling over the years, but he refused. I went to one myself years ago, but felt we both needed to be there and he wouldn't discuss my meeting with the councillor.

I have put up with him for the sake of our DDs but my eldest has actually said to me why don't you leave him, it would be much better and happier without him. My youngest now stands up to him, and tells him to snap out of his mood, intervenes in "discussions" to make her point and I am concerned that it is now affecting them, and I have done the wrong thing staying with him for their sakes, as what they have experienced is a dysfunctional relationship and not a happy home most of the time.

He is and always has been a hard worker, taking providing for his family very responsibly and I cannot fault him there. However, I have only ever had maternity leave and worked since I was 16. I worked part time while my DDs were young and went back to full time 2 years ago and have a very good job so contribute equally to mortgage etc. I would be able to manage financially without him so that is not an issue for which I am very lucky. He would also be fine as he has his own business.

My 18 year old said she would love to move out because of her Dad but doesn't earn enough yet but is working full time so is of no financial burden to us.

We have been at the separating point before, but the time never seems right so as not to "ruin" some milestone for our DDs or family event, but I don't think there ever will be a right time. He has children from his previous marriage, who I get on very well with, and his siblings, so I am dreading the fall-out from that if we do separate.

Reading this through, I think I know the answer but just want some opinions - does anyone have a similar experience and what did you do for the best to resolve it?

PickledPorcupine Tue 04-Nov-14 03:23:22

I'm sorry, I don't have any experience/advice from your side but might have a little from the side of your children so didn't want to read and run.

He sounds like my dad. My dad was (still is, I'm just not there very much) an emotional bully. He would give me (and my mum) the silent treatment for weeks if he didn't get his own way. He was always in the wrong but twisted my mother into backing him up eventually and she never really stood up for me. He obviously favoured my younger sibling (but now I understand that it's just because of the younger bit so easier to manipulate, this isn't the case now we're both adults).

I wish my mum had backed me up more and taken my side (they're still together now). It hurts when I think about it and I've had to have counselling to come to terms with it. My dh wonders why I have anything to do with him sometimes but respects my decision that I only have one dad. When I see how his dad is/was with him and his sibling it breaks my heart that I didn't or don't have that.

Sorry for the long reply. Keep talking to your daughters and it sounds like you will anyway but please put their needs first. flowers for you.

Canyouforgiveher Tue 04-Nov-14 04:12:35

I'm wondering why you would want to stay more than why you would want to leave/split. Why would you want to live in a home where someone blanks you/doesn't talk to you/ignores you and is rude to you on a regular basis? I wouldn't share a railway carriage with someone like that still less my home life and bed.

From what you describe I doubt if counselling would do any good but maybe you want to give it a shot.

Why not sit down and imagine an evening where you come home, your dds are there, you share a nice relaxed meal (or you have an argument with one of them about something parental like the rest of us), you tell them you are going out with your friend X to the cinema the next night, and you head to bed - happy, relaxed, not tiptoeing around moods or worrying about what will happen if you go out the next night. Bet it sounds better than the way you live now.

I grew up with someone whose moods dominated the house. I was absolutely adamant I would never ever live like that as a grown up (and she wasn't even as bad as you describe your dh)

yougotafriend Tue 04-Nov-14 07:08:34

He sounds like my H. We are in the process of separating, it took me 23yrs to "see the light" so don't beat yourself up just be thankful that you finally have.

What you have experienced is emotional abuse. It is hard to 'label" their behaviour as abuse as we don't necessarily feel like victims, but it is.

He uses moods/temper to manipulate you into behaving in a manner that he feels is appropriate. He controls how you socialise and who with. I bet you feel like you're constantly treading on eggshells and anticipating how he will react to almost everything you do and say, there's always that one comment that you imagine couldn't be misconstrued on any way.... But you're wrong he can twist everything.
I have 2 DS 16 & 17 they're fine with us splitting.

Once you make that decision and know you're going to stick to it this time (like you we had many near misses) the sense of relief is amazing, it's like a wright's been lifted.

If I could give you any practical advice it would be to make as many plans and sort out as many financial arrangements as you can before announcing that you're leaving (if it will be you who goes). 6 wks later were still under the same roof and it's hell.

Good luck, stay strong and don't minimise what you have suffered over the years.

FunkyBoldRibena Tue 04-Nov-14 07:18:34

Q. Why would you stay?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 04-Nov-14 07:19:54

What you're describing is emotional abuse or psychological bullying. Manipulation and control based on the granting and withdrawal of affection. It's very common and very wrong. It's bad enough experiencing this treatment from another adult, from a parent it's truly crushing and extraordinarily cruel. Your self-esteem has clearly hit an all time low and I shudder to think what this appalling behaviour is doing to your DDs' confidence and I worry that your youngest's attempts to stand up to the bullying will lead to her becoming a particular target. When they choose partners in future, there's a massive risk that they will choose someone who treats them just like Dad. They will feel comfortable with his version of 'love'. Awful

If you're putting up with him 'for the sake of the DDs' that's been a horrible mistake. They've had no choice.

You don't waste your time on relationship counselling with an abusive man. They have no intention of changing behaviour so, even if you get them through the door to a counsellor, they will use the sessions as a platform to stress why they are in the right and everyone else is wrong. If you sought personal counselling to help you work out what's stopping you from leaving, that might be more beneficial.

Please listen to your DDs and go through with the separation. In the meantime, stand up to him every... single... time.... and stand up for your DDs as well. No more creeping about trying to keep him sweet. You cannot resolve him, you can only reject the treatment.

Anniegetyourgun Tue 04-Nov-14 07:30:07

I thought by marrying he would feel secure with me.

I made that mistake too. Doesn't work, does it?

In hindsight I don't think it was really insecurity at all. I suspect it was wanting the spouse's entire attention focussed on them. He actually did say to me once, a propos of SIL going for a night out, "married women don't go out with their friends". Denied it later of course... but he bloody well did say it.

Anyway: bottom line is, run away, run away. Your daughters have even asked you to in so many words, so how can you tell yourself that staying is for them?

Joysmum Tue 04-Nov-14 07:34:44

Why stay together?

Clearly it's not just you being sensitive, everyone is being affected too and dances round him. Sounds to me like everyone would be happier, especially you and your girls.

StopBarking Tue 04-Nov-14 07:36:40

yes it is time to leave. YOu only have one life. show your daughter that this treatment from a man is unacceptable. show her that before she chooses a husband who treats her like her dad treats you/her.

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 04-Nov-14 07:43:46

He sounds like a complete and utter arse. He is abusive. Even your dds are telling you to ltb! So that's what I suggest too.

QuietNinjaTardis Tue 04-Nov-14 07:45:02

I also suggest that when you have ltb that you invite your friends and family round and celebrate the fact that he can no longer control who you can and can't see.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Tue 04-Nov-14 08:00:43

You stayed with him for the sake of your girls but he's fucking with their heads as much as yours, and the eldest wants to move out to get away from him. Surely that's your answer?

Stupidhead Tue 04-Nov-14 08:07:35

My ex was like this. EA, controlling and an alcoholic but a hard worker which in his eyes is everything. He would embarrass me in front of my friends if he didn't want them there. We didn't have 'our' friends as he had none. He also favoured our second child (we have 3) to the point where the two older ones tried to get into his computer and 'guessed' the password of DC2s name. X would also play me off against them. Or try to. He sucked the life out of rooms when he walked in to the point where the DCs would leave or stop whatever they were doing/watching.

What will happen in 5 years when the DCs have moved out? You'll be alone with him.

Men like this don't change (mine was also older). They promise to and my X would last 6 weeks tops then back to sulks and eggshell walking. When I left my eldest (then 12) asked if I'd have him back, I said 'sorry but I can't'. He said, 'good because I'd run away'.

You have to get out for your sake and the DDs sake, you CAN have a happy life. It's scary but you will manage, you'll survive and you'll be happier than ever. Stop making excuses for birthdays etc or they'll never be a right time x

gatewalker Tue 04-Nov-14 08:15:32

Yes. Yes it is.


lemisscared Tue 04-Nov-14 08:19:32

It was time to leave a long time ago thanks

Footle Tue 04-Nov-14 08:39:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Tue 04-Nov-14 08:42:51

Yep time to divorce, I cannot see any reason for you to stay?

AnyFawker Tue 04-Nov-14 08:51:00

You will lose your daughters if you stay with this man

You have been warned

colafrosties Tue 04-Nov-14 08:57:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GoatsDoRoam Tue 04-Nov-14 08:58:31

I am concerned that it is now affecting them, and I have done the wrong thing staying with him for their sakes, as what they have experienced is a dysfunctional relationship and not a happy home most of the time.

Yes, your concerns are well-founded.

TheHoneyBadger Tue 04-Nov-14 09:04:41

some people, excuse my bluntness, are just wankers! horrible to be around, selfish, self-centred, kill atmospheres, take out their moods on everyone else etc.

it's not too late for your dds to learn it's ok to put yourself first and decide enough is enough and not put up with a moody arse dictating the atmosphere and messing with everyone's heads.

you can still show them that and express to them your regret that you didn't do it sooner.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 04-Nov-14 09:06:42

What the other respondents here have written. Staying for the sake of the children never works and doing that also affects your own relationship with them. You have a choice re this man, they do not. If you were to stay they could well ask of you why you put him before them.

Time to walk away from this emotionally abusive man you married now.
He is but a millstone around your neck. You need to break free of this man.

Joint counselling will be a waste of time in such circumstances and joint counselling is never recommended where there is abuse of any sort within the relationship.

What do you want to teach your children about relationships here, surely not this awful and dysfunctional role model of a relationship?. Both have already learnt more than enough damaging lessons already, particularly your youngest.

Bakeoffcakes Tue 04-Nov-14 09:13:38

You poor thing, you only have to read your first paragraph to think "leave this man" but you then go on to describe more and more abusive behaviour.

You really don't need to explain yourself, just leave this man, he's an abusive bully and you and your DDs lives will be so much happier without him being around everyday.

LegoCaltrops Tue 04-Nov-14 09:24:27

He sounds like really hard work. It doesn't sound he likes or respects you much, to treat you like that. You seem to be justifying staying by saying it's for the sake of your DDs, but he's making their lives a misery as well.

Do you actually like him? Do your DDs? If I were you, or them, I would be out ASAP. And that is exactly what I suspect will happen as soon as your DDs are financially able to leave, and you will be left to live the rest of your life with him, and his moods.

You are right, you do know the answer, you need to leave. You need to leave. He's not going to change.

AgathaF Tue 04-Nov-14 09:32:44

You have no more reasons to stay with this vile man. He makes you unhappy.He makes your DC unhappy. You are financially stable without him. Your DDs want you to leave him - they want to live away from him. He is not a good man. Long-term, your life with him will never improve, he will just grind you further and further down. Your old age with him looks grim.

What possible reason could you have to stay?

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