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Is this normal in a relationship????

(21 Posts)
Mary1935 Mon 06-Jul-15 14:51:30

Dear all, I will give a brief history first.
I had a very difficult upbringing which resulted in me finding men very scarey amongst other issues. I only had one boyfriend in my 20s which was on and off and he treated me badly. I had psyco therapy for 10 years which was painful but worth it. I then met my current husband when I was 42. We married and I had a child at 44. He also comes from a difficult past, Father very abusive alcoholic and violent to him and his sister. We both experienced real fear growing up

We both have issues I suppose. We are on our third lot of family therapy to try and address this. I have been very critical and can be cold towards him. (Mainly when I need to protect myself). He has hit me approx once a year over 6 years. He did move out last year for a week and I told him he needed anger management and that The Everyman project was good. He signed himself up but didn't go. He said "I'm not like them" he then said he would go to the gym to manage his stress and anger better. He's been 4 times. This therapy has helped though. He does take more responsibility for his actions more and I don't press his buttons and escalate it when I can see he's angry. He hasn't hit me since September last year.
I thought we were OK however he has major issues with noise. I had a flat which he lived in with me, he couldn't stand noise and he was scared in the evening walking back from the station.!!!!!. We needed to move as I was pregnant and I had the money for a large deposit as we needed 20% at the time. We moved 5 years ago. Its a terraced house with bay fronted windows.. Neighbours drive there cars onto the drive. On one side he things they may be listening to us if our window is open. He also put up big bushes in the back due to him needing privacy. We have new neighbours one the other side with 4 children. He's pushed me twice to speak to her and get them to be quieter. (I'm not going again). It's his problem I know but he makes it very unbearable at times. He's now been demanding we move!!!. We can't move in London too expensive. I don't want to move back to my home town as my family are very dysfunctional and we would have more problems added.

He has also had problems at work (his boss is female and I wonder if he likes women) he had 3 months off with stress after Xmas. His mother and him are very close. She's had strokes so her short term memory is bad. There is no use going for more than 20 mins. When she's in hospital he gets stressed. His sleep gets affected and he needed sleeping tablets and diazepan. She was in during May. He has poor sleep hygiene.

He does little around the house. He's no DIY skills but there are jobs he can do but doesn't. His excuse is 'we are busy'. He will wash up and cook and takes our son out o Sat to give me a break. I work 15 hours each week. It took him 3 years to mow the garden every month after a friend too him that "Mary shouldn't have to remind you to do I". I really thought we were moving forward with this therapy. I was happy. I've made new friends at school and at the church we go to. We are managing rows better, less destructive. I felt it was " more normal" however he dissatisfied = he has problems with the neighbours and he feels he's not acheived in his career. He went to Cambridge and got as first class degree and he sees people on TV and in the papers who went there and appear to have done well. Yes as I'm writing I can see " its all about him". Ivve not been good at identifying my needs. Do I stay _ it will be hard to separated due to our past and the shared love we have for our son. He does love him and tells me he loves me (although he has called me a bitch a couple of times recently). We both hopefully protect our son from some of this.

I welcome your advice. Thanks for reading. Mary.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Mon 06-Jul-15 19:21:37


This is a "normal" abusive relationship.

pocketsaviour Mon 06-Jul-15 19:25:25

As your son gets older, it will become harder and harder to protect him from his dad's anger and abuse.

When he has hit you, has it been reported to the police? Has it been discussed at family therapy sessions?

ALittleFaith Mon 06-Jul-15 19:30:31

To answer your question, no, it isn't normal. You and your son deserve better than this and he isn't going to change.

Trooperslane Mon 06-Jul-15 19:44:02

People should work through lots of issues.

Being attacked isn't one of them.

I'm so sorry Mary but you need him to leave. The fact that you're posting probably means you know it too.

You'll get loads of advice here. Look after yourself and DS x

QuiteLikely5 Mon 06-Jul-15 19:45:33

Not normal! He's dysfunctional and if you stay I'm afraid to say your son will turn out dysfunctional too.

He turned this way due to his environment growing up. Don't fool yourself that children can't feel, see and hear the dynamics of your relationship.

It all goes in then the dysfunction manifests itself later on in life when DC try to have relationships of their own.

callamia Mon 06-Jul-15 20:33:46

Please don't feel responsible for this man's future happiness, you're not - but he will be responsible for your future unhappiness. You can't creep around forever placating him because he is stressed or whatever. He will need to learn how to exist in the world in a way that doesn't involve making other people unhappy or hurt.

Your son will know what is happening, perhaps not everything, but the atmosphere and attitude from his father will be really difficult to hide. You both deserve a better time.

schlong Mon 06-Jul-15 22:06:18

Hit once a year for 6 years? My love once is too much. Get. Out. The fact he had an abusive upbringing doesn't justify his abuse. How old is your ds?

AnyFucker Mon 06-Jul-15 22:08:57

you are in an abusive relationship

the only acceptable level of abuse in a "normal" relationship is zero

TheoriginalLEM Mon 06-Jul-15 22:12:43

He actually sounds quite unwell and in need of psychiatric help. This however is no excuse for assault and it is not your responsibility to be his therapist.

Your responsibility is to yourself and your dc. Your relationship is far from normal and ok. You do not want this to be your child's reality.

woowoo22 Mon 06-Jul-15 22:58:17

He's assaulted you multiple times. It isn't that you push his buttons, it is that he's an abusive wanker.

springydaffs Mon 06-Jul-15 23:49:13

Don't stay with him because you feel sorry for his sad childhood. He is an adult now and can choose to address the abuse in his childhood.

He doesn't hit his boss or his lecturer so he can control it when he wants to. He doesn't control it with you bcs he doesn't want to. If he was serious about taking responsibility for his violence he would have signed up to the programme - or at least gone to the gym. No, it suits him to use you as a punchbag now and again, he's happy with that.

Don't feel sorry for him, feel sorry for you and your boy.

springydaffs Mon 06-Jul-15 23:52:16

He expects the world to rotate around his problems but doesn't expect to do anything about them himself - but it is available to him to work on his problems but that's what he isn't prepared to do: work.

Mary1935 Tue 07-Jul-15 14:58:40

Hi thank you all. I do appreciate your posts. My son is 6 soon and is happy I hope. We haven't addressed his anger in therapy yet but I will do now. Apart from him hitting me is there anything else in my post that tells you he's controlling. He said he's sorry about his behaviour and now said he's aware he needs long term counseling.

It's like I'm grateful that he loves me? However it's him that's always chasing me for affection. That's too much too _ He said if I want him to move out he will go without a problem. I'm not going to move with him _ that's one thing I'm sure off.

Thanks again all you good people. Mary

springydaffs Wed 08-Jul-15 20:35:39

I feel concerned about this, Mary. I don't feel this is a good relationship. I'm most concerned you feel grateful he loves you - yet he hits you and calls you a bitch. That's not good. Neither of those is our ever will be acceptable.

Have you done the Freedom Programme? Have you been to support groups for the type of abuse you suffered as a child? I'm a great believer in peer support - there is definitely a place for therapy/therapists but I think peer support brings something important to recovery.

Have a look to see where there is a Freedom Programme course near you (look on their site and click 'find a course'). It is a wonderful course, nurturing and validating. I can't recommend it highly enough. Give it a go? Xx

Sleepsoftly Wed 08-Jul-15 21:12:35

He does take more responsibility for his actions more and I don't press his buttons and escalate it when I can see he's angry

Where are these buttons? Behind his ear? Inside his armpit? You know you can't, right? Only he is responsible for what he feels and does.

MarinaCoyle Wed 08-Jul-15 21:40:47

To name just a few things apart front the hitting (which could not be a more screamingly alarming sign of utter disrespect)- he wouldn't do the Everyman thing, he's forcing you to deal with the neighbours when he's the one who has the problem, he does little or nothing around he house, he's called you a bitch, he's made you feel like he's doing you a favour by being with you.

This man does not respect, love or value you either for yourself or as the mother of his child.

I think maybe you feel that having come from a terrible childhood yourself you somehow shouldn't expect to have a "normal", kind, decent, well adjusted man. And this then makes you believe he's the best you can hope for.


He is cruel, selfish and abusive. He is a terrible role model for your son.

I feel sad for the child he once was. No child deserves such a childhood and it breaks my heart to hear stories like this. Don't let your son become one of those stories.


springydaffs Wed 08-Jul-15 23:02:50

Mary, you had an awful childhood but you don't do what he does. Plenty of us have had an awful childhood and we don't behave the way he does. It doesn't automatically follow. If he met eg the Queen he wouldn't hit her or call her a bitch ; there are plenty of ppl he wouldn't do this to, so he CAN control it if he wants to.

Please don't make excuses for his behaviour. There is NO excuse. You deserve to be loved and respected, valued and cherished. You have enough to be going on with with your awful start in life; you don't need his shit on top.

Jux Thu 09-Jul-15 19:43:22

Read the first post on this thread That's what you can expect as normal. Anything less is unacceptable.

When he hits you again, your son will be easily old enough to know what's going on. Continuing on this path with this man will help your son to learn that that is how a 'man' deals with a woman.

Stop it. Stop it now.

Whichseason Thu 09-Jul-15 19:57:16

The only positive seems to be that he 'helps' you out by doing the washing up and looking after his son for three hours. These are his jobs as well so he is not helping. In fact he is not pulling his weight.

Anon4Now2015 Thu 09-Jul-15 20:24:28

Have you told the family therapist that he hits you? I ask this as this is usually one of the grounds for refusing people family therapy. Family therapy can only really work when the people engaged are not fearful of each other or at risk from each other. Usually if people ask for family therapy and there is has/been physical violence then the violent partner has to get individual specialist therapy first as a pre-requisite before family therapy can begin.

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