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Is this emotional abuse or am I overeacting?

(66 Posts)
wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:05:01

Hi Everyone,

My partner and I have been together for 11 years, 2 kids, both self employed, he works full time, me part time. Things have been up and down for a long time, and we both have our faults. He doesn't get angry, shout or hit me. He works hard and puts our family first.

BUT I am feeling more and more put down by him and whenever issues need addressing it always ends up my fault.

He says things like "don't expect me to just put my arm round you and tell you everything's alright, because that will just reinforce this behaviour" when I'm having a bad day and feel down and anxious for no particular reason.

Or on a Saturday night in if I've had a cider and go and get myself a glass of wine to follow "you're having wine as well then?" in a disapproving tone.

He tells me off like a child and I feel like I constantly have to "behave". He doesn't like me getting excited about things or getting emotional. He takes to piss out of me for my mannerisms and tells me "he settled for me"

Can't remember the last time he suggested we went out. And he'll never marry me.

But he lets me do whatever I want, my money is my money, his is his, I come and go as I please. He's anything but controlling, but he makes me feel uneasy and stupid and not good enough.

Am I just over emotional or does this need sorting? When I talk about my feelings I end up being told I don't do enough with the house and that he has to do all the maintenance (we are doing up an old house), and I get to do whatever I want and he doesn't have any hobbies etc. So I end up saying i'll change and try to do more. Then I get told I'm trying to hard and being obsessive again. Feel like I'm going crazy!!

Any advice appreciated

Thanks xxx

ruddygreattiger Fri 28-Nov-14 11:09:41

Sorry, he 'settled' for you? Wow, how fucking big of him. Sorry he sounds like an arrogant twat and no matter what you do it will never be enough.

SunnyBaudelaire Fri 28-Nov-14 11:13:48

yeh he sounds like a fuckwit - he 'lets you do whatever you like' does he?

nrv0us Fri 28-Nov-14 11:14:53

"Feel like I'm going crazy!!"

The gaslighting is working, then.

This definitely sounds very unpleasant. You ask 'Does this need sorting?' but I bet you know deep down that it does. If a friend of yours came to you with a story like this, what would you say to her? Give yourself the same compassion you'd give her. Even with all the positives you list ("He doesn't get angry, shout or hit me. He works hard and puts our family first." etc.) there are definitely areas of concern in the way he treats you.

KouignAmann Fri 28-Nov-14 11:15:09

He thinks he is better than you. And the boss of you. and he will never marry you. You deserve better.

This is going to be a LTB thread. Sorry

nrv0us Fri 28-Nov-14 11:17:05

"He doesn't like me getting excited about things or getting emotional."

Seriously? I mean...wow. Personally I like it when my wife gets excited about things, as it means she's feeling happy and fulfilled. But I guess it takes all sorts.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 28-Nov-14 11:17:30

Deliberately making someone feel small and/or insecure is deeply offensive behaviour in a partner, whatever official term you want to give it. Saying he settled for you.... awful. Telling you off like a child... demeaning. There are more ways of controlling someone than barring their movements or withholding cash. It's not overemotional to expect a little affection from a partner when you have a bad day - it's fairly basic human stuff. A total stranger would give you a hug ffs...

Aside from the emotional bullying it doesn't sound like a very secure set-up. You mention money briefly and the fact that he will 'never marry you'.... and ain't that ringing endorsement? What would happen if he walked out tomorrow or got hit by a bus? Are you a co-owner of your home? Named in a will? Beneficiary of life-insurance?

IrishBloodEnglishHeart Fri 28-Nov-14 11:17:39

It's rude, it's cruel, it's messing with your head. If it were me I would be deeply unhappy and wonder WTF I was still doing with him.

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:17:46

oh fuck I was afraid of that.

SweetErmengarde Fri 28-Nov-14 11:18:50

He is controlling.

You are moderating your behaviour and emotions in order to avoid him chastising you.

This is emotional abuse and the longer you tolerate it, the more it will erode your self-esteem.

He may well start on your dc once they are old enough to challenge him and have opinions of their own.

Please get out now.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 28-Nov-14 11:18:51

"when I'm having a bad day and feel down and anxious for no particular reason. "

It's highly likely that the 'no particular reason' is a very solid reason... i.e. your relationship is a bad one.

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:20:53

I am co-owner of our properties. 3 houses. I have been blaming myself all these years and I was nervous of posting on here, Guess I didn't wan to face the truth. If it's my fault, at least I could keep trying sad

nrv0us Fri 28-Nov-14 11:22:30

To answer the question in your thread header: no, you are under-reacting.

Have you ever responded to any of his belittling comments or tried to have a discussion about the way he treats you? If so, how did it go? If not, how do you imagine it would go?

If the very idea of raising it with him puts a big knot in your stomach and raises your pulse rate (as I imagine it would) then you kind of have your answer.

SweetErmengarde Fri 28-Nov-14 11:25:48

This is not your fault, no amount of trying will make an abuser into a decent human being.

Somewhere in his life, he learned that to feel confident and secure, he had to undermine people and keep them under his control. This is forhis therapist (if he is ever self aware enough to seek one) to worry about, not you.

Your first priority is the wellbeing, physical and emotional, of you and your dc. Get what is due to you and get rid.

bobs123 Fri 28-Nov-14 11:29:16

but he makes me feel uneasy and stupid and not good enough.

With that sentence alone you are not over-reacting - unless you have massive confidence issues?

But he lets me do whatever I want, my money is my money, his is his

So you work pt and he works ft. Does he put in an equal percentage of his income?

Sounds a bit like a control thing - google passive aggressive.

You need first and foremost to sit him down and talk about how he is making you feel. Write it all down first.

Be strong - don't let him grind you down smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 28-Nov-14 11:29:42

Do you ever stand up to him? Dish back the insults? Or is the main effect that you feel ground down and not good enough?

NomorepepperpigPLEASE Fri 28-Nov-14 11:32:41

He sounds deeply unpleasant .

TheHermitCrab Fri 28-Nov-14 11:34:05

If you remove everything else he ever said, the "settling" for you is enough on it's own.

ruddygreattiger Fri 28-Nov-14 11:36:52

Op, you said in your opening post that in the past when you have tried talking about how you feel he instead attacks you with how little you contribute to helping out. So basically he is telling you he does'nt give a fudge about your feelings and you should be grateful to have him.

Threads like this worry me, how can seemingly intelligent hardworking women put up with this shit??

If my daughter told me what you posted above I would be beyond heartbroken that she was being treated so badly - and I would do anything to help her get out of the situation. Do you have parents close by that you can stay with?

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:39:04

If I stand up to him he just shrugs it off, he's emotionally very hard to penetrate.

All of his money goes to the mortgages and bills, then his business.

He can be lovely. We can have a really good time together. But it's an effort. Feel like I have to behave and I know that's wrong.

MorrisZapp Fri 28-Nov-14 11:40:43

You sound grateful that he doesn't hit you or tell you to stay in. Is he grateful for you not hitting him? Is hitting people standard behavior in your view?

PeppermintPasty Fri 28-Nov-14 11:41:18

Gosh yes, the settled for you thing brought me up sharp. What a disgustingly arrogant thing to say.

I agree, this is a 'LTB or spend years and years trying to change a situation that will never change' thread.

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:43:27

He's very clever at arguing. Don't know how he does it. But yes he makes me feel like I'm not good enough. But it's subtle and I do have confidence issues, but I wonder how much of that is him. When I'm at work and with my friends I'm really happy.

Sometimes when I'm with him I'm happy. But if I'm feeling down he finds that really hard to handle. He can't talk about mental health issues at all because he thinks it's something people should be able to control.

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:46:32

No I don't see hitting people as standard behavior.

I think he was trying to be funny when he said that. He would say it was a joke.

wineandbodycombatmakesmehappy Fri 28-Nov-14 11:48:35

If I tell him he's hurting my feelings, he says I', just taking things the wrong way, and twisting his words

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