Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Scared of my DH what now?(73 Posts)
DH has gone from being my rock to scaring me. I am finally free of my depression and anxiety and thought this would be a happy time for us both. Only he's snapping at me, clingy and had a panic attack after my first ever night out alone since we got together, because he thinks I'm cheating with a friend of ours. While at the same time saying he knows I wouldn't do that, it's just him being insecure.
He's arranged childcare for nights out, something he never does. Only its so he can come on nights I have arranged. I feel I cant move without him being there. We have had issue with him being controlling before and counselling helped a lot. Only now I'm worrying I have been blind and just accepted things, even when others have questioned his actions.
He said I shouldn't change how I behave as that's not fair on me but I already feel like I have to so I don't make him feel worse. I want to ignore it, so it will go away but its not. I want to tell someone in RL but I don't want people to think bad of him.
So you have planned to go out with friends and he's booked childcare so he can come too? That's not on.
Do you and he go out together, as a couple?
What are the other things that people have questioned?
I actually find it disturbing that he has arranged childcare so he can now come on nights out you have arranged that he wasn't involved in, and I don't even know you.
And having a panic attack when you went out on your own for the first time since you got together? That is really disturbing - this guy has major issues, and it's not your responsibility to ensure he feels secure, I doubt there is anything you can do without literally isolating yourself. He's putting all his issues on to you, making it your job to stop him feeling insecure, whereas it's his job to realise his behaviour is bizarre and abnormal.....and controlling and abusive. My money is on this not happening anytime soon and your life is going to carry on getting more hellish.
Seriously, get out of this...x
It sounds like he likes you helpless and reliant on him.
He had a panic attack when you had your first night out alone? Wow - he really deserves an Oscar for that one.
You say you have had counselling, I'm presuming as a couple, but I understand that it's not recommended when one partner is exhibiting controlling behaviour. Find another counsellor and go alone.
He is making you change your behaviour, regardless of his words. Judge him by his actions, not what he says. And don't be afraid of people thinking bad of him - if it's his behaviour causing it, what's the problem with people knowing so that they can give you support.
If he supported you through your depression and anxiety and was not the cause of it. Then you need to support him and find a way through this together. My hubby supported me through my anxiety which was not easy because we had babies and young children. When he had a breakdown and was irrational with me I had to be there for him. Perhaps he feels terrified of looking after the kids alone. Again irrational, but fear does crazy things to a person.
So basically you're not sure if he ever stopped being controlling, it's just that whilst you were vulnerable you needed him more than you minded being controlled? Now that you're better again he's definitely ramping up the control.
As he's had counselling for this issue presumably he is reasonably open to returning to counselling again, given the problem has (at best) recurred (and at worst never actually went away).
Your instinct to ignore and keep the problem a secret is exactly what he wants. You need to break through this. Tell him he can't come on your night out (but arrange to do something together since he seems suddenly to be able to book babysitters). Start telling people in real life.
The nights out are to see bands that I have a new interest in. Only came about after we both had invite from friends. He wasn't overly keen and I loved it. I put lots more in calendar through the year. I thought it was good as not only something for me but going with our friends so I will be safe. Both friends are male but in our close social circle. I think DH tried to be OK with it initially and then started saying they were his friends first so I shouldn't be going without him. One of them is married and I am close friends with his wife too. She was happy as it meant she didn't have to go anymore if he was on his own. Honestly expected DH to be same.
He put an app on phone a few years ago so could see where I was. I got used to it and tbh I can be bit ditzy with directions. People thought it was weird but I told them he was just looking after me. He probably wasn't was he?
He knows its his issue and not my fault. He's promised to go see the GP if it doesn't lift. I believe him but my instincts are saying this is bad. We have all I could ever want, a happy family unit and good friends. I find it hard to be close to him after this all came out, I just want my normal carefree DH back.
oh boy. He sounds very controlling. No wonder you have been depressed and anxious. He is also accusing you repeatedly of something you have not done. You must feel like you are constantly on trial. How exhausting.
It sounds like you are feeling better and he can't handle the change. For whatever reason, he actually preferred it when you were depressed and anxious. He isn't having a relationship with you, but with a fixed idea of you. He doesn't want you to be free.
Interesting that you say he was your rock, but also that he has been controlling before. What made you think he was your rock? Is it possible that he wasn't so great all along, and you're just seeing more clearly now?
I don't want people to think bad of him.
This is not your problem. We control people's opinions of our actions when we do them. He is responsible for what people think, not you. And worrying about this isn't going to make life better.
your normal carefree dh back?
When did you have a normal dh? He has had a tracker on your phone for years! Is there a key logger on your lap top?
Delete the app! Controlling behaviour of the highest order!
Yes counselling was joint. His behavior ground me down so much I couldn't keep going. Came to a head when he drove recklessly with me and DC in the car. I threatened divorce as he defended his actions. The counselling helped us both communicate much better and for 18months we have been doing well. I was even able to point out if he was being over baring and he was OK with that.
It such a mess, most of our friends are his long term friends. If they know then he either has those relationships change or I keep quiet and lose myself again. I adore his family and all we have with them, I don't want to lose that too. My family are no where near.
If he really was your Rock when you were at rock bottom, google Recovery by The Rescuer. Edward A Karpman Theory. He can change roles, from Rescuer to a victim, then to persecutor when the victim no longer needs help/ is ready for more independence.
And google The Drama Triangle.
OP he did not have a panic attack: he faked a panic attack so that he can continue to abuse and frighten you, whilst making you comply because you feel sorry for little old him.
Ok im a bit torn for advice here , on the one hand
he could have depression and anxiety and since you say he supported you do you think you could do the same for him ? he may be expressing it differently to how you did but doesn't mean he isn't feeling what he does even if we/you can't understand his behaviour
On the flip side he could be naturally a controlling person and now you no longer rely on him and have got your self sorted (well done ) and are feelin good about yourself he doesn't like it .
So essentially I haven't helped at all
I think you need to explain to him that his behaviour is unreasonable and cannot continue but you will support him to get some help with his issues that he clearly has if he's having panic attacks.
oh dear - controlling, trying to isolate you from friends, app on your phone. Please delete the app now - it is not normal.
And please get in touch with Women's Aid. He sounds awful. I would guess your anxiety is as a result of his control.
Karpman's model, from wiki, I've bolded bits that strike a chord from your situ.
Karpman drama triangle
Karpman used triangles to model conflicted or drama intense relationship transactions. He defined three roles in the relationship; Persecutor, Rescuer (the one up positions) and Victim (one down position). Karpman placed these three roles on an inverted triangle and referred to them as being the three aspects, or faces of drama. Karpman, who had interests in acting and was a member of the screen actors guild, choose the term "drama triangle" rather the term "conflict triangle" as the Victim in his model is not intended to represent an actual victim, but rather someone feeling or acting like a victim.
The Persecutor: The Persecutor insists, "It's all your fault." The Persecutor is controlling, blaming, critical, oppressive, angry, authoritative, rigid, and superior.
The Victim: The Victim is of course persecuted. The Victim's stance is "Poor me!" The Victim feels victimized, oppressed, helpless, hopeless, powerless, ashamed, and seems unable to make decisions, solve problems, take pleasure in life, or achieve insight. The Victim, if not being persecuted, will seek out a Persecutor and also a Rescuer who will "save" the day but also perpetuate the Victim's negative feelings.
The Rescuer: The rescuer's line is "Let me help you." A classic enabler, the Rescuer feels guilty if he/she doesn't go to the rescue. Yet his/her rescuing has negative effects: It keeps the Victim dependent and gives the Victim permission to fail. The rewards derived from this rescue role are that the focus is taken off of the rescuer. When he/she focuses their energy on someone else, it enables them to ignore their own anxiety and issues. This rescue role is also very pivotal, because their actual primary interest is really an avoidance of their own problems disguised as concern for the victim’s needs.
Initially, a drama triangle arises when a person takes on the role of a victim or persecutor. This person then feels the need to enlist other players in to the conflict. These enlisted players take on roles of their own that are not static and therefore various scenarios can occur. For example, the victim might reject the rescuer rescuer, the rescuer then switches to persecuting — or as often happens, a rescuer is encouraged to enter the situation.
The motivations for each participant and the reason the situation endures is that each gets their unspoken (and frequently unconscious) psychological wishes/needs met in a manner they feel justified, without having to acknowledge the broader dysfunction or harm done in the situation as a whole. As such, each participant is acting upon their own selfish needs, rather than acting in a genuinely responsible or Altruistic manner. Thus a character might "ordinarily come on like a plaintive victim; it is now clear that she can switch into the role of Persecutor providing it is 'accidental' and she apologizes for it".
The motivations of the rescuer is the least obvious. In the terms of the drama triangle, the rescuer is someone who has a mixed or covert motive and is actually benefiting egoically in some way from being "the one who rescues". The rescuer has a surface motive of resolving the problem, and appears to make great efforts to solve it, but also has a hidden motive to not succeed, or to succeed in a way that they benefit. For example, they may get a self-esteem boost or receive respected rescue status, or derive enjoyment by having someone depend on them and trust them – and act in a way that ostensibly seems to be trying to help, but at a deeper level plays upon the victim in order to continue getting a payoff.
In some cases, the relationship between the victim and the rescuer can be one of codependency. The rescuer keeps the victim dependent on them by encouraging their victimhood. The victim gets their needs met by having the rescuer take care of them.
In general, participants tend to have a primary or habitual role (victim, rescuer, persecutor) when they enter into drama triangles. Participants first learn their habitual role in our family of origin. Even though participants each have a role with which they most identify, once on the triangle, participants rotate through all the positions, going completely around the triangle.
Each triangle has a payoff for those playing it. The antithesis of a drama triangle lies in discovering how to deprive the actors of their payoff.
I link that only to show you that it's not that unusual, and you're not wrong in your assessment that he has 'turned' on you. When you were down and grateful he was happy with the role of rescuer. Now that you want more independence he is not willing to allow that.
psychobabble you have described how I feel really. On the one hand my head is saying this isn't right. As someone else asked, yes there are other things that have occurred I'm now questioning was it really OK? He has calmed down over the years but he's very opinionated and blunt.
The other side is looking at my DH who is normally confident but does have a history of depression. He has been there and never moaned about me being I'll. I am there for him and should be now he needs me. I just can't see how he would choose to hurt me or behave this way by choice.
I'm wary of posting more examples as it will not make him sound good. That's a bad sign isn't it.
He said its occurred now because we haven't been getting on great recently and his first wife changed like I have just before she threw him out.
Your last sentence there - talk about utterly disabling you. His ex wife didn't "change", she just reached her limit after seeing the light.
Thank you for that Tetleys, I'm going to have to read it a few more times to take it all in. Some of it does resonate, I think I'm in a state of denial. Looking at DC2 sat next to me thinking, this can't be real. My DC are my world and I'm scared for what the future is bringing, for me and them.
I want to reach out to my friend but he's DH good friend too. It was him I went out with on night out, others could in come. We talked briefly about controlling and I think I realised that the rest of the crowd don't behave like my DH. He mentioned how DH rubs lots of people up wrong way which I know. I feel foolish for thinking that they did.
Also feeling like people will think bad of me because I have caused this reaction (I went out on night out with male friend). I was too drunk to walk home alone so stayed in his daughters bed. Let DH know and obviously he could see on app where I was. We have always been OK with those things, or at least I was confident he'd say if I'd attempted to walk that far drunk he'd have been unhappy. We have spoken plenty about others being wreckless doing it but I messed up didn't I.
You didn't mess up. You had a rare night out, got drunk and decided to stay somewhere safe, whilst letting your loved ones know you were okay. That's not messing up.
I can't believe the app thing either - I would flip and be seeing a lawyer if my husband tried to control me to that degree, regardless of how he dressed it up as trying to care for me.
world gone crazy A flaming for being a crap wife would be easier to read. I have felt numb all day but want to cry now after reading your post. How can life change so fast? Just last week I felt on top of the world, now I just feel so lost.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.