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Dear DH(473 Posts)
It's started so sweetly. I thought you were everything I ever wanted in a man. Vulnerable, yet attentive. Polite and unassuming. You were the antithesis of my ex and I welcomed you into my world with ease and comfort. Thinking all the while you were actually how you portrayed yourself to be.
Then we had words. I cannot remember what happened or why but you were here, staying with me and something was said you took offence to. You then took yourself up to the top of the garden to sulk, for over two hours.
I was bereft. Cried. What was it I had done so wrong to you to make you act this way? I Questioned and interrogated myself, because it was all me and my behaviour that had caused this wasn't it. You told me that.
I should have run here.
The next time. You came to stay, you had written a list of things you thought I had done while we were together that you saw as wrong. It was quite long. I was again devastated. I didn't realise that this was the first chink of my armour being chipped away. Chip away you continued to do and have been ever since.
I should have run here.
For years and months we have stayed together. Our arguments being about your behaviour, yet twisted around to make me think it was mine, after all; I am accusatory and proportioning blame at you where there was none. I don't let you get a word in. I don't let you speak. I get loud and angry. You don't have a voice. I..am..out..of..order.
This is now the reason you don't speak. You are afraid I will accuse and blame. None of this is your fault. I get drunk. I get angry. You are just an innocent in this failing relationship. You have never acted in any way that is wrong.
Now we are here. It's the last post. We are both defensive and angry with each other. I say you have done something and then I get accused of it. You behave like a child and yet I am suddenly the childish one if I pull you up on it.
I try to explain. I am told that I have stated I have done nothing but accuse and make myself seem the better person. According to you, I am stating that I am perfect and you are not. This is not what I feel I have done but I am wracked with guilt and second guessing myself because this is what you have said. I am trying to talk, to sort this out. I am left feeling like crap because I have failed, once again.
My mind is blown now. I second and third guess everything about myself now. I am fucked. I am not whole. I don't thank you.
I recognise your words. Ex-P and I used to be similar: any aspect of his behaviour that I pulled him up on would turn out to be either my fault or me imagining things because it wasn't him behaving like that but me, apparently. It destroys your spirit, your courage and how you relate to yourself. I'm sort this is happening to you.
I think you know, somewhere deep down (hopefully not so deep, that you can't uncover it) that this isn't your fault. It isn't. You have 't failed. Your in a relationship with a man who, if he's not emotionally abusive, is at least very angry, very inadequate, and seeks to absolve himself of responsibility by making out the responsibility is all yours. Either way, it's a shit relationship and one you'd be best out of.
What would you like to happen? Why do you think you posted here? How can we help?
Comtesse, thank you for your response.
I don't really know what I want right now. I feel stuck in a miserable situation I cannot get out of. I just wanted to post that as I haven't actually had the chance to say it out loud, at all.
Our arguments always end with me feeling like shit for things I know I haven't done. But he leaves me feeling like I have done them (?)
I sincerely want to be able to sort this out between us but know it isn't possible.
it fucking hurts like hell.
I could have written your post.
Sorry you are going through similar. I totally sympathise and empathise with you.
I am currently trying to process stuff in my mind. I posted something a few days ago, and the overwhelming response was that my partner is emotionally abusing me. I blamed myself for everything. I felt like I was going mad. I still can't really process it. I know what I need to do but don't feel strong enough to do it yet.
Will be following your thread with much interest and I will be fighting your corner
I'm glad that you do recognise, whatever he tells you, that it's not all your fault and you've not done what he claims you have - this is what sets the change in motion!
Have you told your OH that you think this is the final straw and you think you'd be better off apart? What did he say? If you haven't yet, what do you think he'd say? Sometimes, hearing your partner tell you with deadly seriousness that they're through can be the shock you need to want to make changes. I'm not saying that staying is what I recommend or the right thing to do, just that plenty of people enter relationship counselling after being at breaking point and find they can work through it.
Personally, I think that gas-lighting like this (being told you've done or said stuff you know you haven't or not done/said stuff you know you have) is really on of the signs of the end of the world. It's designed to crush you, make you question yourself, challenge your perception and sense of reality.
What makes you feel you can't leave the situation?
I think what set me on the road to believing I could leave was realising that break-ups feel like the world is falling apart. But it doesn't. Facebook was good for this: so many acquaintances with so many set-backs behind them that they clearly hadn't wanted any more than I wanted to have another failed relationship: but there they were, doing okay for the most part. Sounds silly to think of it that way, but I really found it helpful to acknowledge that I wasn't the first person to have a bad relationship; to not be able to work it out; to have the courage to say, "I don't want life to be like this anymore" and have the strength to move on.
Do you work with colleagues, have relatives, have friends and acquaintances, people you know at hobbies? Do you have the same particularly difficult making yourself understood to these people? If not, then it's probably safe to assume that you're not particularly difficult to communicate with, isn't it?
Sorry - gas lighting is a sign of the end of the road, not world.
Oh Contessa; Thank you so much for your time. you sound so lovely and understanding. I'll try to answer you, best I can.
Yes. He has been told. More than once, that I really cannot deal with him anymore. Have tried and tried. Fed up with doubting myself now (and second guessing) I feel like I am checking out, I don't want to and it makes me sad but check out I must. If I am to stay sane.
He never says anything more than "what do I want" if I answer that I want it to work then he responds with "so do i". The problem then is that he feels I am always having a go at him so he feels unable to talk. I have once given him free reign to talk, promised I wouldn't say a word until he said I could. I stuck to this, then he became inarticulate and nothing did ever get said. It all went roundabout ways.
What makes me feel like I can't leave? I can't. I have messed up things with my youngest, we have moved around so much the last few years and she is so settled now, I cannot do it to her again. He knows this; this is where his power lies.
I have a full time job in a qualified/professional capacity and never have had any problems making people understand me. Personal life is encroaching on my work though and I am finding it really hard to cope.
I am retreating into my shell more and more. I don't engage so much with old/longstanding friends. I don't want them to know my fairytale ended up being a nightmare.
Walk away. Just do it. Stop the endless discussions you cannot win. Be firm, be definite. It's over.
I'm not saying he is a narcissist as I don't know him but have you looked up the signs of narcissistic abuse?
You say you can't unsettle your daughter but is living as a shell of your former self fair on her?
He can move out, that way your daughter is not uprooted.
The problem is not that you can't find the words to make him understand, it's that he fully understands and does it anyway
Trying to make him understand you and accept your view of things is like pouring water into a bottomless pit. He will always turn it back on you.
If you stay you are teaching your daughter that this is how relationships work. You need to show her that this isn't normal or to be tolerated.
Whatthe .. I am so sorry you are going through similar, me heart goes out to you. I'll look for your thread after I've posted this.
Paddling duck, no I haven't read that one. I have read why does he do that though, after seeing it recommended on here once.
Matilda, I wish it was that easy.
Chris, we have talked about separating now. I have told him I need space, and perhaps we can go for counselling (again, this would be the second time for similar problem) but he does not offer to go, it's clear I am the one expected to go. Have told him that I can't uproot my girl again but he is not offering to go to give me that space. This is his house, his mortgage.
What you said about my girl learning about relationships from this is cutting me inside. You are right
have you taken legal advice to know where you stand in the event of a split ?
surely all the talking is done now
don't push him to go to joint counselling...Bancroft tells us it isn't recommended anyway
in your situation I would be looking at practical steps only to get away from him, or get him away from you
AF, not yet. I spoke with my manager earlier today as I need a few days off work right now to deal with this (my job is extremely stressful) and she has also advised this. I don't want to be in a position where I am asking him to leave his own house though, it seems unfair on him!
Fuck I already KNOW how stupid that^ sounds already; just reading it back, but I just don't need or want any more stress. I'm trapped aren't I!
He thinks all is going to be ok, but he didn't bother sorting out any counselling today, just went back to playing his fucking computer game as always. So I guess I have to sort it, if I want it.
How do people leave? I'm so scared.
What the hell is this going to do to my gorgeous little girl! Feel such a fucking failure as a mother right now.
if you are married and have dependent children it is not "his house" alone
you are trapped if you stay in the mindset that taking any kind of positive action to get away fom this horrible situation is "unfair" to him, yes of course you are
do you think he has considered the "fairness" of his behaviour towards you over the years ? has he lost one wink of sleep about what he has put you through ?
the first step is to speak to a professional about what leaving/divorcing would look like financially
you really need to do that
Is it just his house? I.e., did he own it and you moved into it to be with him? If so, then you're right, you probably can't make him move out - but you can ask him to, to give you some space.
Joint counselling with an emotionally abusive man is not a good idea. He won't do solo counselling because he doesn't think he needs to - and it won't do him any good until he realises he needs it anyway.
YOU otoh can have solo counselling to help you realise you are worth more than this shoddy treatment, and to give you strength and resolution to find a way out of it.
No, I don't think he has. He certainly hasn't cried himself to sleep like I have over the years. Seems strangely immune to it all actually. What is that about?
And - having xposted - what do you think living with an emotional abuser is going to do to your little girl? Do you think he will confine himself just to abusing you? As she gets older, he might start on her too - how do you think that will affect her confidence?
"strangely immune" - nothing strange about it! He's getting what he wants out of the relationship - power over you!
Sorry for causing you more hurt, Hanith
You are not a failure! Leaving shows your gorgeous girl that you are both worth more than this.
Young children are unbelievably resilient to change. They're much better at it than us adults
You could find a lovely home for the two of you and spoil each other rotten.
Practicalities. Legal advice? CAB? Phone tax credits and see what you're entitled to? Have a look at local estate agents' and see what's available.
It's a nightmare when you look at it all at once, break it down into chunks. You are worth more than this. You deserve to be happy.
yes, he is "immune"
he is getting what he wants by behaving as he does
you crying yourself to sleep at night and so lacking in confidence you can't envisage ever getting away from him
well, you can
AF I'll make some enquiries tomorrow. I know a few solicitors professionally who might be able to advise me. Thanks.
Thumb, we both moved into this house together but he was the one who got the mortgage for it (based on my earnings too) but it is in his name. I couldn't be part of it at the time as I was self employed, and my credit score was skewed.
He needs counselling for a lot more than just our relationship that's for sure. He mentioned a while ago about possibly being depressed but hasn't sone anything about seeking help for this, avoids doctors and dentists and the like with everything he is.
My baby girl though, have already told him his relationship with her is in serious trouble. Today he is being bestest step-daddy in the world. We don't have children together btw, sorry to drip feed.
He gaslights and ignores her too. She bites more then I do. I hate seeing it.
What the hell is this going to do to my gorgeous little girl! Feel such a fucking failure as a mother right now.
You are only a 'failure' if you fail to protect her when you can do so. Sometimes leaving, even if it means uprooting, is the right thing to do. It's not healthy for her to see you in turbulence. And trust me, even if you think you and your H are 'hiding your problems', she knows. Children always know when there is turmoil. And sometimes what they 'think' the problem is, is worse that what it really is because they (wrongly) blame themselves.
Right now you need to see a solicitor to find out what your rights are both in general and with regards to the house. Once you know that you can decide if fighting for the house is really worth it?
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