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Am I a Man hater? How to restore this relationship??

(15 Posts)
whatn0w Thu 18-Dec-14 10:06:52

Backstory - I was raised by my dad and 3 older brothers with no positive female role models at all (dysfunctional mum, aunty, grandma - all toxic and all ties cut since my teens). Growing up all of my brothers cheated on their girlfriends. None have since cheated on their wives. I don't really have any examples of happy, strong, secure male/female relationships. I'm wary of women and wary of men.

Now married myself with 2 young DC and I just think I need to lighten the hell up and enjoy what I have but I really can't. Massive rows with DH this week over his continual use of Whatsapp - he is checking it every 2 hours from the moment he wakes up until he goes to sleep. There is a group conversation on there between his large group of male friends. I only know he is on it so often as within my conversation on there with him it tells me what time he last looked at the app. I was convinced he was chatting to a female (because what on earth can men find to talk about all day long every day? He says - banter) so snatched the phone one day and didn't find anything. I then suggested he put a photo of the 2 of us together as his profile image on there as a 'test' and he did so immediately and it's still there.

Things settled down, I accepted that perhaps I'm completely mental/paranoid.

Next argument - last night we were having general chit chat after dinner whilst he was playing a game on the computer. He was responding as normal then I mentioned that I'd just come off the phone to my friend who'd found receipts in her fiances wallet racking up £500 in a strip club last week. How awful. No response from him, nothing. Stopped talking. Wouldn't any decent man have had a few words - 'oh no, that is awful'. or 'god, what an idiot, I bet she's livid'. But nothing. Doesn't the absence of words imply he sees nothing wrong with this?

I feel like I'm turning into a man-hater - cheating seems to be EVERYWHERE, men don't seem to respect women in any sense, they think they're above us, better, more powerful. I just can't wrap my head around it all. I genuinely wish I was a lesbian!

I need therapy don't I? I've actually never come across any evidence that my husband has done anything wrong within our marriage but am starting to feel hatred towards him. I don't feel like he's my best friend or that we're on the same team. The mumsnet relationship forums are so triggering (I need to stop reading all the awful situations posted here!) and I feel genuinely stuck. I just want a happy marriage - what can I do? How can I lighten up? How can I relax within my relationship and stop living like this? I'm in danger of completely fucking up my whole life if I'm not careful. DH won't stick around forever with things like this.

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 10:23:51

IME Suspicion comes from several sources. One can be personal insecurity and low self-esteem. If you don't believe you are worthy of love, you may find yourself assuming that others are cheating or talking behind your back or lying when they say they love you. Another can be that you are being presented with vaguely strange behaviour and other cues that are mildly worrying. Nothing you can put your finger on but enough to make you feel uncomfortable. Another, of course, is that there really is something to be suspicious of.... so not so much 'trust issues' as being presented with something that is genuinely untrustworthy.

I would think you are somewhere between the first two at the moment. Your DH's behaviour, whilst not overtly suspect, is not reassuring you adequately. Someone on Whatsapp all the time may or may not be cheating but what is true to say is that it's pretty insulting to be in the same room with someone and, rather than chat to you, they are holding a conversation with someone else online.... I'm speculating but, if you feel you are being overlooked, taken for granted, ignored or similar.... that's going to be enough to knock your security.

Twinklestein Thu 18-Dec-14 10:27:08

Whatsapp is for teenagers. Any adult who's on it continuously needs a word with themselves.

whatn0w Thu 18-Dec-14 10:36:44

Cogito - thanks, you clarified that very well. You're right, I think it does currently lie somewhere between the first two.

Another thing you're right about - I do feel overlooked, taken for granted, ignored etc. I have raised this many times. I genuinely don't think he wants much conversation through the working week after work. I don't know what else to say to him.

Twinklestein - I agree. It's so bizarre. I didn't even know he was using Whatsapp actually. It was only when one of his friends mentioned 'the Whatsapp group' whilst eating out with us one evening that I queried it with my husband when we got home. That was a red flag for me - why does he never check his phone in front of me ever or mention any Whatsapp group yet I now know how to check when he's on it and he's on it all the time (when I'm not with him) It's so bizarre as he does now have the profile photo of us together so I'd be surprised if he was actually conversing with a female on there but why the secretiveness around it???

Joysmum Thu 18-Dec-14 10:39:28

I can really relate to what you've said in terms of trusting your DH.

I was like this in the early years of our relationship because my history.

Basically after years of proving himself trustworthy I've settled but I know this comes from a lack of belief in myself as a person to be worth staying with to the exclusion of all others. I'm not anything special, nowhere near.

My DH however thinks I am, that's the one thing I can be sure of but I just don't understant why.

I think he's a good guy but I've always had to work hard not to go down the man-hating route because of my previous relationship. I choose to trust but that trust is quickly spoilt and turns to anger and disappointment when men prove that they are liars.

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 10:45:18

"I do feel overlooked, taken for granted, ignored etc."

Then this is the part you tackle and quite urgently. 'Nature abhors a vacuum' and all the time he is showing no interest in you, his attention is elsewhere and he is vague about what he's doing online, you are going to fill in the gaps with your own explanations. The less secure you feel, the more alarming those explanations are going to be.

I think the approach is... 'how can we get closer as a couple?'.... 'how can we stop the relationship drifting?' Have the conversation, set yourselves the challenge. Might include 'date nights', doing things together as well as apart so that you have interesting things to talk about, working on projects together, taking up a new hobby.....

If he has the energy to have Whatsapp chats after a day at work, he has the energy to talk to you. No relationship thrives when either party is ignoring the other.

whatn0w Thu 18-Dec-14 10:45:31

How did you stop yourself going down the man-hating route? I find it really hard not to! Does your DH reassure you a lot? How do you know that he thinks you're special? Is he forever telling you so? My DH does not tell me anything of the sort!

MephistophelesApprentice Thu 18-Dec-14 10:48:59

Just to say, everyone in our office (26 - 50 years old) uses WhatsApp, virtually as a social media tool. They create groups for parties, then everyone stays on the 'conversation' for months until the next one is organised. Seems to be the usual practice, so it's likely his friends might have created a group ages back and they just share the usual little titbits and asides day to day.

Can't assist on the communication issues, but I thought I'd put that in.

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 10:51:07

Forget this idea of 'man hating'.... you don't hate 'men' as a species, you're being ignored and taken for granted by the man that is meant to love and cherish you above all others. Quite a different thing

I don't have a DH but I have a reasonably long term boyfriend. I know he thinks I'm special because he tells me reasonably frequently, he's enthusiastic about my achievements, we have very interesting & funny conversations about all kinds of things, and he is quite thoughtful and attentive in general. I consider that normal...

whatn0w Thu 18-Dec-14 10:57:27

I agree with you completely. I just don't know where to go from here. I don't know if it's my issue to resolve (i.e. cut out the paranoia, trust implicitly, never question and then be met with a more favourable response from him) or whether this should be coming from his side in spite of my negativity towards him.

I'm wondering if your boyfriend is positive (i.e. 'normal') towards you because you have always been positive towards him.

CogitOIOIO Thu 18-Dec-14 11:08:45

It's a joint thing. All good relationships are a two-way street, not one person's sole responsibility. That's why couples counsellors make such a lucrative living out of correcting 'communication problems'. Yes, I'm positive towards my boyfriend ... I genuinely like him and find him interesting. If I didn't, I wouldn't be in a relationship with him.

How does your typical evening pan out? You mention he doesn't like to talk much after work. Our evening last night was dinner with a glass of wine, watched (and loudly took the piss out of) The Apprentice and then sat up chatting about various things for a while. That's typical for us.

dominogocatgo Thu 18-Dec-14 11:10:52

Some women cheat too, btw. Even lesbian women.

Beangarda Thu 18-Dec-14 11:12:06

Exactly what Cogito has said. Forget the idea of 'man hating', which is a misogynistic insult dreamed up to disparage the early days of second-wave feminism.

Your issue is not with all men, but with your dynamic with your husband, which sounds like the result of a combination of poor self-esteem and (cause or effect?) your husband's offhand-sounding treatment of you. Would you consider couples counselling to try to get to the root of it?

And I think you're right that you should limit your reading of some of the genuinely awful threads in the Relationships forum - remind yourself that it's not an accurate representation of real life, as (like the MIL threads) people only post when they have problems, rather than when their relationship us going well.

ItsGonnaBeCoolThisChristmas Thu 18-Dec-14 11:14:27

I also know actual grown adults, aged 40+ even, who regularly use Whats App to communicate with interest groups and family groups.

Re man hating, I have had times when I've felt myself going down this route. I acknowledge the differences between men and women, whilst focusing on dealing with individuals as people. I am a feminist and feel very angry about so many things in this world. However I also know many lovely wonderful men - stereotyping is not a useful way to address our realities, what is actually going on in our relationships.

Think about how insulted you would be by someone who would "women hate" and judge you by your gender class? And how pointless that would be for them to do. And how it wouldn't achieve anything.

Don't diminish your issues by gender bashing. Focus on individuals and focus on your problems.

It sounds like you have lots going on that you need to discuss with your P. Think about what you need from him, and talk with him about it. You can be angry with your P and feel let down by him whilst acknowledging not all men are like this.

Beangarda Thu 18-Dec-14 11:15:23

Do you like your husband, What? What drew you to him in the first place? Do you still want to be married to him? If his social networking site usage is taking away from time together, can you address that together? It sounds to me as if your mind has flitted immediately to infidelity, when in fact ignoring you to chat with his male friends may be the real issue in terms of lack of communication...?

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