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I don't know if this is normal

(26 Posts)
ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 11:45:07

Just to give you some background. I grew up in a dysfunctional family with DV and EA so I'm not sure what is "normal". Dh and I have been together for 8 years married for 8 months and have 2DD's. I care about him a lot but we've been under a lot of strain recently. DH makes all the financial decisions I'm a sahm, I've grown to resent him for it because my opinion doesn't really count. I'm tired and getting depressed about our relationship but at the same time feel trapped by it.

For example we he bought our house and he refused to sell his flat. After we moved out of the flat there was a 6 month period where we had to pay two mortgages, this nearly crippled us. And it continues to be a huge outlay when money is tight.

He works very long hours often leaving the house before we're up in the morning returning after the kids are in bed. But when he's at home he's either completely uninterested in the girls if the rugby/football is on. Or he lets our 3yr old daddy's girl, rule the roost. He refuses to give her any clear boundaries leaving me to do all the parenting to the point where Dd1 prefers daddy as he lets her do as she pleases. There was a point where he was encouraging Dd1 to be disrespectful to me which I thankfully put a stop to.

He distinctly treats both DD's differently which worries me a bit. Our youngest is too little to really understand but yet again this morning he was the first up with the kids at 6. Specifically made pancakes for himself and Dd1 yet didn't feed the baby or change her soaking wet nappy. It's not the first time it's happened, for me it's so alien that you'd make yourself breakfast and not feed your kids! DD1 is obviously now vocal when she's hungry/thirsty but it was the same when she was a baby. Now Dd2 is the one who doesn't get fed unless I ask him to.

He's pretty lazy, does the bare minimum in the house. I do everything. When I've pulled him up on his lack of input he's response has been "Well I pay the cleaner, don't I?!" He believes that because he goes to work that that is sufficient input. He does work very hard, I admit. He can be incredibly selfish, if it's not of any benefit to him he basically won't do it. I rarely go out without him as I've been made to feel guilty for leaving the children with him. Subsequently I have no life outside the house and my confidence has really suffered. I was meant to go out a few weeks ago for a friends birthday, he went out for the day doing his hobby and promised he'd be back by 2 so he could watch the girls. He got back 4 hrs late, meaning I missed my hair app. but by that time I was so furious with him I never went.

I'm just at the point where I'm not sure if I'm being petty but I've had enough. The things that I was happy to overlook a few years ago have suddenly become deal breakers. I want someone I can rely on. Someone whose willing to be an equal parent. Someone who is able to put the needs of his family before himself. And all the talking in the world isn't going to change things. I don't really even know why I'm posting this. <sigh>

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Dec-14 11:57:18

This is not normal at all.

You are basically repeating your parents own poor example in your relationship, you learnt a lot of damaging stuff from that and those lessons are still being played out even now.

What do you get out of this relationship now?. What is really keeping you within this and what made you marry such a man 8 months ago?. He is indeed only really interested in his own self and own needs; he does nto give a fig for either you or his DDs.

Is this really what you want to teach your children about relationships here; both of them could all too easily go onto choose someone like their dad as an adult. Its not a legacy to leave them is it?.

If you do not want a dysfunctional family life for your children as you yourself had then you must leave this person and as soon as possible. There is really no other option here. I would seek legal advice asap and find out exactly where you stand legally. You do not have to act on this advice straight away but knowledge after all is power.

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 12:04:14

What you're describing is not a healthy, equal, loving relationship. It is a one selfish man believing he is entitled to do his own thing and arrogantly taking it for granted that everyone else will fall in with his wishes. Not normal but, more importantly, not acceptable.

Finances, for example. Finances in a marriage are joint and what happens to them is a matter for discussion. He may earn the money outside the home but your contribution is just as valuable. Do you know what he earns? Do you look at bank statements? What happens when you say you disagree with a decision?

Doing the bare minimum in the house is another expression of arrogance. You're meant to a partnership, you both live in the same home and you're both parents to the children. Requires consistent small effort. Going out to work does not earn him a free ride. Neither does hiring a cleaner.

Finally, you need friends and a social life. If he's standing in the way of this then stand up to him and/or work around him. Book baby sitters rather than relying on him to turn up in time for hair appointments etc.

I'd also suggest that, quite soon, you urgently need to spend a week with family and without your DDs. Don't ask him if it's OK, just announce it and go. Let him work out how to get the time off work and how to take care of the DCs.... call it a bonding opportunity

Quitelikely Fri 19-Dec-14 12:05:28

No it's not normal!

I say on here all the time if a man wants to be married and have children he needs to realise the responsibilities that fall within those roles. They are giving practical support to the children and home by lending a hand outwith working hours. Leisure time for both of you should be equal too.

Ask him calmly if he can start contributing to your life and that of your dc in a more meaningful way otherwise you fear for your future as man and wife.

Re the favouritism: is it possible that he can't relate very well to the youngest child so he focuses more on the eldest.

Tell him he holds the future in his hands. It's his to throw away!

Quitelikely Fri 19-Dec-14 12:06:09

As husband and wife! Doh

PeppermintPasty Fri 19-Dec-14 12:08:20

Does he mean you're the cleaner, and therefore he pays you? No, this doesn't sound normal at all. He sounds massively selfish and entitled.

WellnowImFucked Fri 19-Dec-14 12:12:43

Not in the least bit petty.

He wouldn't be able to work those long hours if you weren't doing everything else.

The treat of the children is very worrying, I suspect he's trying to do a divide and conquer there. While LO may not be fully aware thats shes being treated differently, she will be soon.

You only have to look at this section or AIBU to see how being treated as the less favoured child can affect people into adulthood and being the 'golden child' isn't good either.

Good Luck with whatever you decide to do

500Decibels Fri 19-Dec-14 12:28:26

Some of the things taken in isolation you could maybe understand but all together, he sounds very controlling and selfish. The fact that he was 4 hrs late for something you want to do is disgusting. That's a bit beyond selfish and downright malicious.
He got what he wanted which was for you not to go out.

If you're not ready to leave him then you have to keep talking to him. Start getting on with your own life and start getting babysitters. Start living like he's not part of the equation. It will be easier to move on then.

ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 12:52:05

I'm glad I'm not going mad. I know as a result of my upbringing I'm always doubting myself and don't assert myself as I should.

Last night I snapped at him when he came home and slammed the front door twice waking up the girls. But apparently I'm not being nice to him after he's had a very hard day at work. Bearing in mind the three of us are all ill and I've been woken up every half hr the previous night. He doesn't do any night wakings and if he does he just stands there watching me deal with the girls. Arghhhhh I'm so fed up!

We got married 8 month ago because a) we felt pressure from family to do so and b) I felt it was far more secure being married than not if you know what I mean.

We have a cleaner who comes once a week. So he reckons as he pays her he can get away with being slovenly. I agree he's completely arrogant but makes out he's the model father/husband to everyone that will listen.

In terms of finances I insisted on a joint bank account where a certain amount goes in each month which covers household expenses, food, clubs etc. but that it. He refused to put his pay in the joint acc. His salary goes into his acc. I know how much he earns and the statements are there if I want a nose through them. But he controls everything else, if I disagree with something he goes and does it anyway. Or does it and tells me after. He's been paying nearly a grand each year for one of his hobbies even when I've previously put the weekly shop on my credit card, but he refuses to cancel it. He's been only once only this year!

I have been thinking of disappearing for a week but the only thing that holds me back is my littlest.

ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 12:58:48

And besides MIL would drop everything to look after DD's so he wouldn't be cancelling/arranging anything for Dd's benefit.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Dec-14 12:58:51

Going away for a week is not enough, you need to divorce this man and asap. He is abusive to you and by turn your children on so many levels.

Neither daughter will thank you particularly when they are older for at all staying within this should you do so or choose to do so. His actions will damage the relationship between them as sisters because of his already apparent favouritism.

The children cannot and should not be used as glue to bind you together. You and this man are better off apart, you would be all free of his controlling abusive behaviour on a day to day basis.

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 13:01:58

Sadly selfish arrogant bullies may not be 'normal' but they are ten a penny. The choices you have - broadly - are to stand up to them, detach from them or reject them completely. He doesn't appear to respect you given that he treats your opinion and contribution with such contempt. I'm not seeing anything that could be called 'love' - he doesn't even seem to like you very much.

How do you see your future? If this is as good as this man is ever going to get and assuming he doesn't accept he's doing anything wrong ( highly likely if he's true to type) where do you see yourself next year or the next 10 years?

ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 13:04:14

attila my gut is telling me that I've reached my limit.

I agree it's not a healthy relationship. I feel trapped and scared of leaving...I'm NC with my family so it really would be just me and my little ones. I don't even know where to start.

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 13:11:48

A good place to start, if you feel trapped, can be to get some professional advice. CAB, a solicitor, an understanding of the various welfare systems etc. You may never need to use the information but, if you have it, you can argue from a position of strength. You may not have been married long but it could turn out to be a smart move.

If you are NC with your family , how could they put pressure on you to get married?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 19-Dec-14 13:14:49

Its "scary" to leave because it is the unknown but its a lot more frightening frankly to stay and let him further abuse you and by turn your children. Take that leap of faith and leave your abuser. Your children will model their behaviour based on what he does at home (i.e. nothing) as well, you've already seen that with your eldest child and you cannot protect them at home fully from his abuses of you.

This is absolutely not what you want to be teaching them about relationships. He is also financially abusive to you as well given the situation re the finances. Its all about power and control, he wants absolute over you and will stop at nothing here.

The first step that you yourself need to take to get out is often the hardest one to take but once you've done that it will get easier.

Womens Aid on 0808 200 247 can and will help you leave, do call them. All calls are confidential.

MildDrPepperAddiction Fri 19-Dec-14 13:17:24

Not normal. You are repeating your parents' pattern.

You need to think about what you want for your Dds in terms of them being able to have healthy relationships when they are older. Do you want them to follow your pattern?

ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 13:30:48

Absolutely don't want the pattern repeating. There definitely isn't any DV, I would be out of the door very quickly. I'm ashamed that I've made such an awful choice. In hindsight I was trying so hard to recreate what I never had. The one thing that I wanted was a stable loving family for my girls. Especially after the childhood I had. I know I have to leave as I'm getting more and more depressed.

NC with my mother and one brother only in the last 10 months or so. But that a whole other thread. His family were also very keen that we were married ASAP. Dp comes from a very traditional set up.

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 13:35:28

You don't really have to say he comes from a traditional set up. The idea that women are servants is straight out of an earlier era and I'm guessing his parents were his template.

nicenewdusters Fri 19-Dec-14 14:21:17

Have just read the whole thread. I think you're going to lose yourself if you stay with this man any longer. You sound at the moment like you're pretty clear headed and can see the possibility of escape. If you let him grind you down any more though this may change.

You say you feel ashamed for making such an awful choice in being with this man. The shame lays with him totally. He's a failure as a husband, and sounds like he makes poor, lazy parenting decisions.

You have the chance to make a good choice now for you and your children. It will be hard at first, of course, but no harder than waking up next to him and spending time with a controlling bully. You are totally normal, his vile behaviour is not. Just think, you'll be giving him the time to do all he wants - watch sports, enjoy his hobby, spend his money on himself and be a weekend Disney Dad. You on the other hand will have an authentic life and will be a proper parent to your daughters.

He's doing exactly what he wants, do the same !!

SparkleZilla Fri 19-Dec-14 14:26:17

ask yourself if this is the life you want for your DD? if not - then dont settle for it for yourself xxx you are strong than you know, and if you cant do it for you, do it for your children x

how do you feel waking up without him? does it make you feel freer and happier?

ImIBeingTotalyUnreasonable Fri 19-Dec-14 15:01:26

cog he's got a pretty good template in his father who although runs several businesses is incapable unwilling of doing basic things for himself. It's not what I want or had envisaged marriage to be all about.

I feel half the person I used to be...And deep down I've realised that things can't carry on as they are. I want more for myself and for my DD's. I have to leave. I need to start putting things in place before walking away.

How would one go about finding a reputable solicitor? And are housing benefits only payable after you've separated and left the house? And if so how would I even be able to get a deposit together? As I imagine it will be me leaving the family home.

Sorry for the rambling. And thanks for all your wise words so far.

Lucy90 Fri 19-Dec-14 15:30:55

Anyone who left my child in a soaking nappy and unfed would be straight out the door-and if it was her father the relationship would come to an abrupt stop, never mind anything else youve mentioned

SolidGoldBrass Fri 19-Dec-14 15:51:49

Get rid of this misogynistic shitbag and life will improve.
While I would normally agree that leaving the kids with him and going away/out is a good idea, I actually don't recommend it in this case - if he is prepared to leave a baby wet and hungry then he might do something else unpleasant to the DDs if you go away - just to put you in your place and make you reluctant ever to leave him with them again.

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 17:00:25

You can ask locally for a recommendation for a solicitor and The Law Society website has a good search function. Some offer a free initial consultation so it's worth shopping around. CAB can also offer some legal advice and they can help you with questions about benefits.

Good luck

CogitOIOIO Fri 19-Dec-14 17:03:07

Should add.... Most solicitors would advise that you stay in the marital home. Get the information first before rushing to act or making assumptions. As a married woman with DCs you are in a relatively good position

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