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future with a short tempered husband

(32 Posts)
floatinglight Thu 18-Jun-15 13:51:12

My husband has been difficult to live with. Indian family, living together before marriage is not acceptable in our culture and I didn't gauge his real nature until we started living together after getting married. He is supportive most of the times. I can't get my head around him, specially regarding kids. My husband had a tough childhood and had no toys, much friends, activities etc and his mother's role is very grey to me. His grandparents had taken care for most of his life. He has never seen his father and his parents separated when MIL was pregnant. Mil and husband lived with his grandparents. My husband has become very short tempered in the last few years, specially since his grandparents died and he is assumed to take full responsibility of MIL. Mil and I don't get along at all and have minimal contact with her. She stays in our house for months but I don't talk to her. Issues, fights and arguments has taken a big toll on our relationship and we both have less patience with each other now.

He shows his irritation and says stuff directly to people which can offend them. Its very difficult to have any friends because of his behaviour. He thinks he is right in saying and showing how he feels directly to their face. Otherwise they should put their behaviour right in the first place. He can see each shortcoming in everyone around but his.

Recently my sister was visiting us and he was so rude to the kids all the time that I felt sorry that I invited my sister to stay with us for a few weeks for holiday. No amount of making him understand that it is not our position to tell off their kids each time, as it spoils the environment in the house when one adult is fighting with the kids for right and wrong at the same level and he should leave it to my sister to deal with them. If I say something directly as then my sister feels I should step in stop him from escalating things, he takes offence that I'm contradicting in front of them and if I hint with the looks, he says to me out loud that why am giving him the looks whereas I should be stopping the kids. Asked me "if I'm an activist for kids that I protect kids all the time" in front of everyone, not just once but a few times. The kids are very unruly I admit but they misbehave even more if corrected harshly. So trying to avoid to escalate the situation, my sister and I were complying a little to keep the kids happy for a few days as otherwise they are fine with their own dad around who they listen to. I stopped counting the times I had to say "not your kids" to keep it short without him getting annoyed at me and making it worse. My sister said she doesn't want us to fight as she knows her kids behaviour is excessively bad and let him say whatever, she will not mind. But I could feel that she felt bad and thought it reflected upon her.

I would guess in-laws have kept him on a tight leash all his life and would have been very obedient but he gets angry out of the ordinary when he sees children getting away with bad behaviour or having too much fun. If my sister and I went shopping and got some toys to kids which they were showing when we got home, his immediate comment was what did you deserve to get his toy? There is no warmth in his heart for kids. Kids do provoke us too but we have self control and specially as they are not my kids and are only visiting us for the first time in 10 years, I wasn't set on modifying their behaviour. But obviously my husband says they go on becoming rapists if you don't correct their mistakes. Odd comment but might be due to recent 2 years reports on rapes in India but still wtf? I'm giving this as an example as I feel there is no reasoning with him and somehow misbehaving kids are equivalent to heinous crimes or something along these lines in his head. The sister who was visiting said that he is so short tempered, specially around children, that it will be problematic with someone who cannot accept even an honest mistake from a child and my other sister says that he will probably soften when he has his own children.

Sorry for the long post. I know my family will not support me in divorcing him, its all very traditional. I don't personally like his new short tempered behaviour, there is no fun. We have been married 5 years and I don't have the courage to openly discuss the option for divorce with my family. It will be more painful for my parents than me and will affect my sister's lives and my sister's in-laws who would taunt them for life, blaming our upbringing, parents etc. One of my sister had a divorce and my parents were under immense stress as they were too keen to get her re-married as they believe that one has to be happily married to lead a happy life. My own mum tells me to accommodate with MIL and let her move in with us even against my wishes as MIL issues are all to common. I feel like I'm better alone than with him. Pressure is on from both families for having a baby after being married for 5 years. We're living sort of separate lives or at least I feel detached than as a couple just to avoid arguments. We are fine till we do our own things and sometimes as a couple on weekends. But that is because I know what not to do when he is around. Bring in someone for a day to our house and it becomes a battlefield. Too much to ask my husband to be nice to people? May be since I don't talk to MIL, he takes it out on me as he knows I feel embarrassed and awkward. I know I'm extremely rude to his mother as I don't talk to her when she is visiting us from India but its because of her putting me down for everything and not showing any respect for me. I have no desire left to have a relationship with her.

In our big fights if I say that I would be better leaving him, he says he will never divorce and he calls people who divorce incompetent to resolve their issues. I don't know why he doesn't see an issue in his behaviour and no one believes it might make me want me to get separated from him. I know Indian women bear a lot but I feel stuck as an individual and doubt myself.

I guess the question is - are such men ever good with children if I do happen to continue living with him despite our own problems? What can I do to make the situation better if we have a baby? We do want a baby but I don't know if it is the right thing to do. Apologies I have written quite an essay sad

DorisLessingsCat Thu 18-Jun-15 14:31:14

Please please please don't have a baby. At the moment you feel trapped because of your families' expectations of you. If you have a baby then you really will be trapped.

There is only one good reason for leaving a marriage / relationship. Because you want to. Do you want to leave him? If so, then do.

He won't change unless he wants to change. Do you think he would consider counselling?

Smorgasboard Thu 18-Jun-15 14:46:12

Your sister is right, bad behavior of the children does reflect poorly on the parents. You and your sister seem to agree with your husband on this point, that the children are badly behaved, but then you don't say what your sister is prepared to do about it. If your husband did not try and discipline them, would your sister not either? Can't blame him for stepping in in that case.
However, seems like he is taking it to an extreme and there is a middle ground somewhere, that he is going way beyond, causing misery.
Hard to know if he would be more leanient with his own kids before you are in the situation. Nobody has a crystal ball, unfortunately, so that leaves your best guess being the lessons he has learned growing up. That you don't get on with your MIL to the extent of not speaking to her, is quite telling. Also, as your DH was brought up by his GP's, I'm wondering if you had a chance to meet them much before they died and did you get on with them? If not, I'd beware of tying yourself deeper with kids at this point, so I can see you have a dilemma.
Given previous family history on your DH side, doesn't sound too scandalous to divorce if your decision is to chose a man who would be a better role model. After all, it's only what his parents did, yor parents are still together so don't think your SIL's have cause to talk. Seems your DH has a hang-up about that in his past. Luckily he does not get to decide whether you can have a divorce or not, this you can do yourself if he likes it or not is irrelevant.
Gauge it by looking decades into the future, with kids and MIL all together, then consider if the thought seems not too bad or horrendous.

lilacblossomtime Thu 18-Jun-15 14:52:01

This is Britian 2015 and you sound like an educated, intelligent woman so you don't have to stay in an unhappy marriage to please your family. You can strike out on your own without your parents support if you have to. It does sound like your Dh has a lot of problems that might be helped by counselling and anger management training. If he agrees to that it is still up to you if you want to stay married.

PoppyField Thu 18-Jun-15 15:50:45

Hi OP,

I really, really agree with previous posters - please don't have a baby with this man. It will get worse and I am afraid you will be trapped.

You sound brilliant but I think he will gradually erode all your confidence and self-esteem with his anger and irrational behaviour. He sounds abusive and he is grooming you to feel nervous and responsible for his outrageous behaviour.

What can I do to make the situation better if we have a baby?

Your are not responsible for his behaviour and there is nothing you can do to change him. He is rude to your friends - he is trying to drive a wedge between you so that your support network is diminished. He is threatened if you have people that support and nourish you. Forget what your family think about divorce. You can do this without them. It would be nice if you had them to lean on, but you have no children so divorce would be a relatively clean process for you. Please, please go and see a solicitor and see what you have to do. Then you will be free to find someone who loves you AND sees you as an equal partner.

I understand the feeling of doubting yourself - I felt the same even without all the cultural pressure you face - he undermines your sense of security so much that you begin to doubt your own judgement. This is what happens when you live with someone like this.

I divorced my emotionally abusive and angry husband and I felt like a failure for a long time, even though I was fully supported by my parents and friends. I have children and it is so painful going through it. But you don't. Do this while you are child-free.

You are not a failure. Don't see divorce as a failure of yours, the only failure is his - for being abusive, nasty and controlling. Good luck. You will be much better out of this. If my mother was your mother, she would say what she said to me 'You've got to get out of this!' I was so proud of her for saying that - I couldn't believe she wouldn't be disappointed in me. I would lend her to you if I could.

goddessofsmallthings Thu 18-Jun-15 17:15:59

I don't have the courage to openly discuss the option for divorce with my family. It will be more painful for my parents than me and will affect my sister's lives and my sister's in-laws who would taunt them for life, blaming our upbringing, parents etc.

Are you living your life for yourself or for your parents & sister?

At some point in the future your parents will have passed on, your sister's dc will be grown and flown, and your sister-in-laws will have long stopped their taunting.

What of you then? WIll you be stuck in your joyless marriage with children who will inevitably be damaged by your current husband's belief that they should be as deprived as he was in his childhood and who will grow up to become abusers or abused themselves?

My crystal ball shows that if you have children with this man, his mother will become a hands on grandmother and she and her son will band together to berate and denigrate you if you oppose any of their extremely harsh views on childraising.

But there's an alternative future for you in which you reclaim the power that was given to you at birth by divorcing this bad-tempered, intolerant, and socially offensive arsehole, and start living your life for yourself.

Attitudes in the Asian community are changing and what would be the stigma of divorce in certain Indian towns/villages has no place in the Western society which so many from the subcontinent have chosen to live in.

Atenco Thu 18-Jun-15 17:34:14

Yeap, divorce may be frown upon floatinglight but at least when you get home at night you can leave the frows outside the door. Most parents end up accepting and defending the decisions of their children, even when it is not what they would have wanted for them, because we love them. You do not have a child yet and hopefully you will not have one with this man, but when you have a daughter you realise that you did not bring her into this world for some man to mistreat.

floatinglight Thu 18-Jun-15 19:11:39

Thanks. I got more upset while writing the post. He takes the efforts, buys gifts for my family etc but lacks what I would consider basic courtesy and not say stuff while knowing it might offend the other person. When he dislikes someone, he truly means it and won't hide it.

He feels so justified and his duty/right to say it as if he has to say his piece because he was annoyed and could not control it. We took my sister and kids to for a short trip and treats everyone nicely. If I have lost something or forgotten something, doesn't get upset but says don't bother just buy a new one. When its just us, I can control the situation when he starts to loose it by asking him to leave the room or leaving myself and get some cooling off time or quick argument. Overall its not that bad when its just us, although its difficult because we both then don't want to compromise. I have a strong personality myself and can tell someone for right or wrong. We just have very different ways of communicating.

However it gets really embarrassing when we have people around. The usual ways to diffuse the situation with him can't happen and he goes on. Later on when I ask him in private, he says doesn't care that much and won't do it again. But he does it again and his way of saying 'my apologies' always have a funny tone to it to end the conversation. I can only go in circles up to a point.

Mistakes or misbehaviour from adults is mostly acceptable to him but when its children, its very odd. We don't even have kids for him to have this much frustration for other children. I would never say if someone else's child got a toy 'what did he do to deserve it' or 'its better to have pets than kids like this' how so much annoying. I'm sure my sister would not forget his one liners and I feel bad. He did apologise to my sister and me. But I do worry what's to come if I stay. Hopefully my parents have also seen some side of his nature during their stay.

Not planning for a baby but I was wondering how could someone be so strict/easily frustrated with kids and want children at the same time. I have met his grandfather, he seemed fine. Only met him twice for 6-8 days in total and he seemed fine. But I know everyone is more serious in their family as compared to mine. I probably have had much more fun in teenage or 20s than all his cousins grouped together so we might be the extreme for their standards. They don't have younger children in family so probably have forgotten how toddlers or 10 year olds behave and sibling fighting. Don't know.

pocketsaviour Thu 18-Jun-15 19:27:01

"...he gets angry out of the ordinary when he sees children getting away with bad behaviour or having too much fun ."

This is the most terribly sad thing I've read today. Please imagine yourself with a little toddler, running around underfoot getting excited by playing with some toys, shrieking with laughter... and then the laughter turning to tears as daddy stands overhead shouting "You don't deserve to be this happy!"

Please do not have a child with this man. Don't even consider it for a minute.

I also think his basic nature is so angry that he may escalate to violence over time.

I can't say I have many friends in the Indian community but as a PP said, attitudes are changing. Shackling yourself to this man for the rest of your life is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Atenco Thu 18-Jun-15 19:42:56

Shackling yourself to this man for the rest of your life is wrong, wrong, wrong Well unless you decide not to have children that is.

Too much anger and repression around children tends to make angry rebellious children who are a whole lot more difficult to lot after, IMHO and really is that what you would want for an innocent creature?

HowDoesThatWork Thu 18-Jun-15 22:54:36

...he says he will never divorce...

So what. You can divorce him, he does not have a veto.

floatinglight Fri 19-Jun-15 11:26:29

I understand and have been putting it off but I would have wanted a family if he was more loving and caring. Everyone in RL minimises his behaviour and I agree with the comment on MIL, I always felt she will be too powerful in our relationship the more I got to know her so had to go no contact. Wish I could disappear and start a new life and don't care about getting divorce.

Skiptonlass Fri 19-Jun-15 11:49:35

You don't need his permission to divorce.

You can start a new life - you just have to be brave and go through some short term discomfort in your current one first.

thegreysheep Fri 19-Jun-15 15:40:39

Oh dear, if you did have children with this man sounds like it would be a "blame and shame" situation, and the damage would transfer to your children, as well as you.

Whether is behaviour is due to upbringing, issues whatever, is not your problem to sort out, though I understand the cultural aspect makes it easier for him to continue to be a misogynistic and children-hating bully - there is not the acceptance of divorce and a woman's right to a happy marriage or to leave, as there would be in other cultures, so this puts extra pressure on you and also makes him think you're "stuck".

As well as contacting Women's Aid, are there charities which are aimed at divorce/abusive marriages aimed at women from your culture in the UK? Sorry, I'm not UK based so am not familiar. As I think you might need that extra support, or maybe Women's Aid can advise you.

Best of luck.

Twinklestein Fri 19-Jun-15 15:47:37

I have quite a few Indian friends, but none who would put their 'culture' over their own sanity.

You're at a crossroads and you have a choice: knuckle down to a miserable life or stand up for yourself potentially against the disapproval of your family.

May I ask if you're Muslim or Hindu? The advice I would give depends partly on your religion...

floatinglight Fri 19-Jun-15 17:58:30

I don't lead a religious life, its something passed onto me from parents but he is Hindu. Husband is a not truly religious either but likes to be a bit religious.

I suppose I meant society - my family particularly if I used the word culture. I wouldn't put culture or religion over my happiness generally. I'm a bit doubtful myself if my husband is that bad on a daily basis but it is embarrassing to see his open display of arrogance. I'm not much bothered about what people say to me, but to my family. My parents particularly would like to see all their daughters married, settled and happy. They think there will be some problems in every married life. I'm sure they don't want me to be mistreated. I'm not treated as second class citizen by my husband. But I suppose his irritation on misbehaving kids, him being selfish or MIL being bossy don't strike them as particularly harmful to the extent of divorce.

My parents will ultimately support me, mine is not arranged marriage and they supported me. Divorce triggers other feelings (unhappiness/failure may be?) so its not purely about society/culture pressure. I have witnessed their pain and worries during my sister's separation and how stressed they were until she got divorced and later on re-married (5 years). That is also scary and now that she has just settled again, I give them my problems. I fell for the societal norms and followed the usual pattern of doing things by a certain age but I was immature with my rose tinted glasses on and could not see through him but how would someone if you don't live with them. When we were dating, we didn't have kids visiting or his mum bad mouthing me.

Twinklestein Fri 19-Jun-15 18:48:18

The reason I asked is that there are specific support networks for Muslim women.

I would contact this place: www.asianwomencentre.org.uk/
You can get access to support for women in similar situations - considering divorce - concerned about parental reactions etc.

It's true that there are problems in any marriage but your husband does sound particularly obnoxious.

If your sister is already divorced, surely that makes it easier for you? If your parents chose to worry about her or you, that's up to them. You're an adult, you're not giving them your problems, they're choosing to take them on, which is not necessary. You can reassure them of that.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jun-15 05:36:18

Floatinglight, please do not have a baby with this man.

He doesn't want a baby or a child of his own out of a spirit of liking babies or children and wanting to enrich his life by their presence or experience the joy and pain of bringing a baby up to be ready to take their place in the world. He just wants the status associated with being the father of an unfortunate baby or child of his own.

He has some cockeyed notion that being married and having an elderly mother to look after makes him head of household and that there are privileges associated with that -- in other words, a massive sense of entitlement to be a jerk to everyone who crosses his threshold, you included.

Whatever happened to him in his childhood, the result is a man who cannot encounter other people on an equal footing. He has to be superior, to be mean, to be judgmental.

The net result to you if you stay with him will be isolation from your family and friends as he will be so horrible to everyone that they will stay away, and you will also feel his wrath and inability to deal with people in a civilised way.

In other words, I am advising you that there are worse things than putting up with your family's disappointment. Marriage is not supposed to be this hard. Please do not put the feelings of others before your own chance to live without having to carry the weight of this man's (huge) issues on your back.

Atenco Sat 20-Jun-15 14:32:31

My parents particularly would like to see all their daughters married, settled and happy

That is the most universal desire of parents from every culture and the important word here is HAPPY.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Sat 20-Jun-15 17:46:39

Do you think he would be a kind, loving, patient father who will nurture his children's talents and accept them whoever they are? If the answer is no then don't inflict him on a child for god's sake.

Inexperiencedchick Sat 20-Jun-15 21:11:58

Hope you will come out with the right decision no matter how hard it is.

flowers

floatinglight Sat 20-Jun-15 23:21:50

Wish people I care about were realistic too. I know deep down what's right to do and will have to find my way out. Thank you for posting replies.

FantasticButtocks Sat 20-Jun-15 23:42:27

He is demonstrating to you what sort of father he will be. When you watch the way he speaks to and behaves towards other people's children, imagine having to watch him doing the same with your own children. Imagine how that would feel. It's not going to be a happy family life is it?

Do what you need to do. Best of luck.

mathanxiety Sat 20-Jun-15 23:48:41

Floating, you can't live your life constantly wishing other people were different. The only person whose life and thoughts you can change is you. I know from experience this is easier said than done.

But maybe if you do decide to draw a line under this relationship and move on separately you could tell your parents the news and accompany it with the statement, 'Mum and Dad, I am sorry if this outcome disappoints you and makes you unhappy. This is the last thing I would have wished for too, from this relationship and the last thing I ever wanted to happen to me in my life was an unhappy marriage. But what I need from you as my parents at this point in my life is...' and tell them as nicely as possible that you need no judgement or pressure, just patience and understanding and to try to set their own feelings as community members aside.

Bogeyface Sun 21-Jun-15 00:32:55

I feel so sorry for your husband as he obviously had a very unhappy childhood and he needs help to deal with that.

But........you are not the person who can help him and having a child with him will just pass that unhappiness on to the next generation. His behaviour with your sisters children, whether their behaviour justified it or not, shows how he believes children should a) behave and b) be treated. No child is perfect. A child of his will misbehave, have tantrums etc at times. He has been brought up to think that childhood essentials such as toys are things to be earned. That shows that he while he will believe he is being a good father, from the example he has been shown, he wont be the kind of father that a child needs him to be. He doesnt know how.

I do feel very sad for the life he had as a child and to a certain extent has now because he doesnt sound like he is very happy. I dont think this is anything to do with you, but comes from seeing that the world you and most of us live in is very different to the one he was brought up in. He is questioning everything and realising that he doesnt fit in.

He is a very damaged man, which is heartbreaking, but the best thing you can do is make sure that he doesnt pass that on to any child you have, which means that you must not have a child with him as the father.

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