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Tired of feeling on egg shells - what can I do?(42 Posts)
I am feeling very low and would welcome your thoughts. H got angry with me this morning, I did some work a while ago and found out yesterday the invoice hasn't been paid and I need to re-submit it. H said I should have checked before now and started shouting at me in front of DCs, saying I don't care, I don't take responsibility, everything left to him etc. I didn't answer except to ask him to stop as he was yelling on and on with DCs there.
I feel like I am always on edge waiting for the next outburst. I work but most housework and planning for DCs is down to me, so I am upset at him saying I don't do anything. He is quite right that I should have chased the money sooner. But I just feel I can't keep on top of everything and feel really alone. It was extra work anyway on top of my job.
I asked H if he thought it was ok to shout at me in front of DCs. Older DC was saying "Stop it daddy" and "poor mummy". I worry what example this sets for adult relationships - my parents were like this and see how I have ended up. H said it was my fault for not caring about our finances and not caring about our family. I then said "Fuck off" in response to that (I had sent DCs upstairs by then) and he went to work slamming the door. I was left trying not to cry and taking upset DCs to school.
I know he has a point about the money but his behaviour isn't ok, right? I really want to make a stand and say how unacceptable it is but I am rubbish at assertiveness. Please help me get a backbone and deal with this right? Thank you.
Of course his behaviour isn't ok. It's perfectly fine for him to feel you've done something wrong, but it's absolutely not fine for him to shout at you in front of the children as if you were some worthless employee.
The best way to tackle this, I think, is to sit down at a calm and quiet time and talk about how he speaks to you. See what his response is. If he's upset that he's upset you and makes a commitment to change then it's worth carrying on and working on it. There may be slips but as long as he's aware of them and is actively trying to repair them then there is hope.
But, if he gets angry or defensive, if he says you were entirely in the wrong, if he tries to say you wound him up etc then you really need to reconsider the relationship.
BTW, are you ok with the situation in which most housework and planning is down to you?
The behaviour isn't OK. If you're 'always on edge waiting for the next outburst' then this sounds like a regular thing, deliberately done to keep you down. Shouting and yelling is simply bullying and it's unacceptable. If you're left feeling tearful and low that's not how a loving, equal partnership should be. Your DCs will have been very alarmed and would have felt powerless to help you. So he's not even a good Dad on that basis.
I think assertiveness, in part, comes from the confidence and knowledge that you have other options and that you are not obliged to put up with it. You need moral, practical and emotional support from friends, family and professionals.
Have you ever confided in friends? Ever considered telling him to leave? Ever taken legal advice?
No absolutely not alright. Others will be along soon with more advice, but no-one can do everything and then extras on top and not forget the odd thing.
My response to this would be;
Ring him when he is alone and shout down the phone: how dare you speak to me like that? Who do you think you are? And how dare you speak to me like that in front of my children!
If you talk to me that way again and especially in front of the children I will be forced to have a rethink on my life as it stands!
Not the nicest approach but I think he needs telling. The nice, chat doesn't always work.
Definitely not ok.
And not chasing the payment is not the end of the world, even if you didn't do most housework and the children, work and work extra jobs.
Instead of asking him if he thinks it's ok to shout at you like that (even speak, really), tell him that the next such outburst and he can find somewhere else to live. And mean it.
It will only get worse otherwise.
Thank you Cailindana. No I'm not ok with it and have asked for him to take on more especially with laundry which seems constant with two young DCs. He seems to focus on what isn't done rather than what I'm trying to keep on top of. Yes I agree that a conversation when we are calm is needed but I've got to the point where I want more than a promise to change. You are spot on that it's like I'm staff.
Thank you for other responses. Cogito and Lweji yes I have been here before and given an ultimatum, he stopped drinking which was necessary. But his anger is still there and not addressed. No one much in RL but I have had advice here under other names. Have been looking at my options though - what accommodation I could afford on my own near DCs school, so I can feel like that's an option iykwim. I don't want to separate but I feel like he's gradually strangling my feelings for him.
Sadly, I have been there.
Keep up working on your leaving plan. You will get there, but be prepared to having to chuck him out or to leave sooner than you'd want.
He could work on his anger, but if it's only (or mostly) directed at you, then it's entirely his choice and not a problem he has.
I understand that QuiteLikely but shouting isn't really me and I would feel like I was behaving badly too. But I will use the second paragraph,.that says it exactly.
Ultimatum is probably the wrong word Cogito, someone on here described it as setting a boundary - like, you can carry on drinking if you want to, it's entirely your choice but if you do choose that our relationship will be over, because I'm not willing to put up with it.
His anger isn't just at me, he has a short fuse generally. His stepfather was an abusive drunk and H has unresolved feelings from this. But he needs to want to sort it out, not refuse any counselling type options and then take his outbursts out on me.
And I agree with Lweji that it's a choice anyway.
I'm sure he doesn't scream abuse at his boss, though.
Based on your subsequent posts, I'd say you're flogging a dead horse. If you've talked to him about this before and it's made no difference then I think perhaps you're now hitting the wall in terms of what you can tolerate. You seem to have handled this very well so far and he's basically done very little (apart from controlling his drinking) to repair the relationship. It's sad and disappointing but it might be time to start firming up those plans to leave.
Then you've already been assertive. You must have been prepared for the marriage to end over the alcohol abuse... or were you bluffing?
No Lweji he doesn't. Cogito I wasn't bluffing but I thought him stopping drinking would resolve more than it did. To be honest right now it feels like it could be over but I just feel so exhausted and ground down that I can't face it.
If you blamed the drinking for the anger, drinking tends to bring out the what people have inside, not cause their behaviour.
On the other hand, are you sure he's not hiding his drinking?
I'm sure he's not drinking. But I don't think he's totally happy about stopping, he stopped going to AA and says he's "not drinking" rather than given up or stopped. And yes the anger is still there.
An angry person doesn't need an excuse to be angry. If you take it on face value that alcohol is no longer a factor all you're left with is a bully who would rather frighten & intimidate others than do something constructive. When you say he has a short fuse generally, has his anger caused you/him other problems? Job loss? Police attention? Friends avoiding him?
His drinking caused all of those Cogito. Yes his behaviour today was bullying, which he would hate to hear.
Just spoke to H on the phone, pointless. He won't listen and just wants to go on about how useless I was about the invoice. Ended up saying he wants to split up. Now I can't stop crying.
Not actually about that - I fucking hate emotional blackmail so I said fine, lets. But all my feelings of despair about our relationship have all come to a head. I took him back too soon after he hit me, against all advice on here and now I'm in a state again. I feel like such a fuck up, all I want is to be a good mum and now I have DCs witnessing this crap.
He is only saying that to keep you in order.
You should really take him up on that offer and pack his stuff. Then cry it all out. <hugs>
Oh, so there's more back stuff.
Be careful, as this is a dangerous time, if you do kick him out.
Do you have friends or family that can support you now?
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