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Should we try counseling or should I just leave?

(50 Posts)
ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 18:40:02

My husband was a wonderful boyfriend, but since we got married he is impossible and I am beginning to wonder if I should keep trying or accept that it's over after just a few months of being married.

To put it simply, I feel a bit like i am married to an angry 16 year old even though I am 35 and my husband is 32. He has had some work/money problems since we got married, which I have been sympathetic to but since he started working again things are not that different. I earn more (always have, probably always will) and have been picking up the slack financially as well as doing pretty much everything around the house. After several months of huge arguments in which my husband hits himself and smashes things, threatens divorce and disappears all night with no contact I am wondering if i should just give up.

Minor disagreements - usually times when I am hurt by him being inconsiderate or shutting me out - are never resolved but escalate totally out of control. Often I feel my husband is trying to hurt or provoke me (once he drew on my face while i was sleeping, he mimics my voice, says I am too sensitive etc) or has no respect for me - when I tried to schedule my weekend and asked what time he was spending with friends he called me needy and controlling.

The breaking point was that he took a 3 week road trip with his friends - I wasn't invited and he wouldn't really discuss it with me. We haven't been on honeymoon and have no plans to travel together, which makes me feel sad and left out. I eventually found out where they were going from someone else, which really hurt my feelings and while he was gone I realized I am very unhappy. I feel lonely and unimportant and I am basically subsidizing my husband while he treats me this way.

I have been trying to forgive him for this, but so far i haven't been successful because other arguments raise similar feelings. This weekend he threatened to leave because I was upset at him - we were at a birthday dinner with his friends, he asked me to switch seats with him and turned his back on me to speak with a guy he knows. The way he asked me was publicly quite humiliating and i went home before him because I didn't want to cry in public. In his rage threatening to leave, he also threatened to put my belongings in a storage unit he has the keys to on the street.

In calm moments he says that he is depressed/dislikes himself and that I shouldn't take it personally, but often it feels like he hates me. And I wonder how long I can love someone who treats me like this and who hates himself. I hate conflict and these rows are incredibly draining.

gildedcage Mon 27-Jul-15 18:46:04

Honestly next time he threatens to leave call his bluff.

Why would he leave when you picking up all the slack? Frankly he acts as though now you're married he has carte blanch to treat you however he likes with no consequences.

How did you resolve the three week absence?

Nolim Mon 27-Jul-15 18:50:30

Either he sorts himself out or you are out. What does he says about counselling?

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Mon 27-Jul-15 18:50:34

Seems like you are the only one trying to make it work.

Sounds to me like you already know what to do.

What's your housing situation?

gildedcage Mon 27-Jul-15 18:59:56

Really when it comes to it I think he'll be a clinger. He is not going to give up a good thing easily.

I can't see that counselling will help stop him being purposefully selfish.

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 19:01:41

I don't disagree with any of these comments, I have called his bluff on moving out and he always comes back. I do think he thinks being married means total acceptance and that i can't leave. I'm not a doormat or religious/traditional so neither of these is true.

After the trip we had a good talk (I didn't speak to him while he was gone really because I wanted space to think about whether I wanted him to come home and in the end decided that I did). I made a few things very clear and at that time said the problem was his finances so I was hoping that getting the new job would help. I have thought at times that he might be quite depressed and expressing it as anger.

I was keen to try counseling but he backed out. Now he says he will go - I am trying to find a male counselor because I think it will work better that way. But part of me thinks I am an idiot and should just walk. That bit grows each time we have these fights. Any time he is aggressive I have told him he has to sleep elsewhere because it is scary.

As for housing, we are just moving into a new flat - we rent and I wanted to move to save some money, have a fresh start (he moved into my flat before we got married) and a bit more space. If we split I can stay there - he will have to be the one that leaves because he couldn't afford the rent on his own.

gildedcage Mon 27-Jul-15 19:10:54

Why are you looking for the counsellor? You can't fix him, only he can control his words and actions.

I'm not going to say LTB but why are you so prepared to put it down to depression? Don't get me wrong he may well be but that in itself is not an excuse for terrible behaviour, which if nothing else is downright rude.

I envisage you doing all the leg work to repair this while he sits back and lets you. ..While blaming depression. You'll be the one ill in the end.

Don't enable terrible behaviour, you are at the start of your marriage and should start as you mean to go on, otherwise you're in for years of hell.

TheVermiciousKnid Mon 27-Jul-15 19:11:57

If (if!) he is being an arse because he is depressed (and I have my doubts about that), shouldn't he be doing everything he can to do something about it? Wouldn't counselling for him be more appropriate, rather than for you as a couple? And you're even bending over backwards for him, trying to find a male counsellor - and why is it you trying to find the counsellor anyway? He should be the one making an effort.

Sure, may he'll have some counselling and suddenly behave like a decent human being, but to be honest I can't quite see it. I agree with gildedcage: 'Frankly he acts as though now you're married he has carte blanch to treat you however he likes with no consequences.'

Good luck.

TheVermiciousKnid Mon 27-Jul-15 19:12:53

Hah, gildedcage, you're quicker than me ...

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 19:44:37

Well I have a therapist and I asked her for recommendations for us because I'm not 100% ready to walk away and he is now open to counseling. So i was thinking we might try - although I don't have high hopes for it and think he needs individual therapy to be honest.

I'm actually not quick to put it down to depression - he did seem depressed when he was out of work. Now he's not really got a reason to be depressed. he is tired from working 2 jobs and frustrated about not earning enough but actually I'm not convinced he is depressed and I certainly don't think that's an excuse.

I do think he feels inadequate/doesn't like himself very much and I'm the mirror for that so that's why he is behaving this way. I puzzled for a long time over why getting married made such a difference, but in the end I don't think it really matters - it is what it is at this point.

I'm just giving you background because in the past few months I have come a long way through thinking he is depressed or has a mental health problem, to feeling like he hates me to just thinking I don't want a marriage with someone who would rather spend the good bits of life with other people and treat me without respect.

I actually don't really want to go to couples therapy because if I am honest the problems are in his thoughts/behavior rather than being relationship problems and I don't need to hear whatever it is he feels deep down, I just want him to have a place to process that so that I'm not the victim of it.

Joysmum Mon 27-Jul-15 19:48:47

You can't try enough for 2.

If he's not trying, your marriage won't work.

MiscellaneousAssortment Mon 27-Jul-15 20:28:46

I've been there and done the councelling, and it was worse than useless, kept me in the relationship for a lot longer trying trying trying...

I was in deeper than you though, it sounds like you have your head firmly screwed on flowers

AnotherEmma Mon 27-Jul-15 20:36:25

Yep sounds like you have your head screwed on and have made up your mind:
"I don't want a marriage with someone who would rather spend the good bits of life with other people and treat me without respect."
FWIW you certainly have my blessing to LTB!!

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 20:41:37

This is interesting to me - did your partner see you as the problem? I wonder if my husband thinks counseling will help because he expects the counselor to side with him and say I am over-sensitive. Recently he told me I have deep emotional problems and an abandonment issue, which is rich coming from someone who punches themselves in the head over something that could be resolved with a simple apology.

I was thinking I might put a time limit on trying, although lately I find myself loving him less and a time limit is rather arbitrary.

I actually told him that his behavior was making me shut down and love him less which made him very upset. I also told him I was unhappy which I would have imagined was obvious but has upset him a great deal. I suppose I hoped that saying these things would get through to him, but I'm not sure he has the capacity to act on it - otherwise we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

kittybiscuits Mon 27-Jul-15 20:43:01

Please don't waste any more of your emotions, time or money on this loser. And please don't do counselling with him. He's only saying it to keep you hanging on and he will use it to justify his awful behaviour and get you to take 50% responsibility for it.

Nolim Mon 27-Jul-15 20:45:08

Ljd i would expect any reasonable person, counsellor or not, to think that "someone who punches themselves in the head over something that could be resolved with a simple apology" is being unreasonable.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Mon 27-Jul-15 20:52:56

He was a wonderful boyfriend because he had a successful career woman in his sights. Then he married you, and not being a complete arsehole (but well into 90th centile) realised he would never actually measure up. This has driven him nuts. So he takes it on you by trying diminish you.

Fuck him off ASAP.

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:01:15

DisgraceToTheYChromosome - your comment made me cry but is very true. He has completely lost it since we got married and he has pretty much admitted that this is why. I have been wasting time trying to figure out if he is trying to push me to end it or whatever but really it is hopeless. I will figure a way out (without losing all my clothes in a public storage space debacle).

pocketsaviour Mon 27-Jul-15 21:11:25

Here's the good news: you haven't bought a house/flat together, so he's not about to walk off with half the equity in a home you've contributed 75% of the mortgage for.

Presumably the flat is in your name only? I would consult a solicitor about any legal considerations but basically give him notice to leave on X date (4 weeks notice would be more than fair.) Check with solicitor first though.

You'll need to wait til you've been married a year to file for divorce. Or you could just wait two years and then do a quickie divorce on grounds of separation. That will keep costs down.

More good news: can you imagine if he'd kept up the facade until you had children? Then you'd really be trapped.

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 21:32:32

He is on the lease but we don't have joint finances beyond a couple of credit cards and some money he owes me. I really would like to end things amicably but am aware that the possibility of that is slim and in the end I will probably have to get some friends to help me with that (one has already offered). I do need some time to work out how to exit the relationship in a way that causes me the least possible drama.

Thanks for the good news smile The other good thing is that I am 100% aware that I am reasonable and sane and he isn't succeeding in getting me to take the blame for his crazy behavior.

gildedcage Mon 27-Jul-15 21:45:02

Yes its definitely him with the issue. I'm mad on your behalf with his comments anout emotional issues...who does he think he is.

Its a massive plus that you have retained your independent position as this gives you the choice to do things sooner rather than later.

I wish you well.

MatildaTheCat Mon 27-Jul-15 21:49:25

Start by cancelling the joint credit cards.

Don't waste any more time on a man who says he hates you or similar. Move into the new flat but do so alone. He actually sounds as if he could be quite dangerous. Good luck with a smooth and safe exit.

wallaby73 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:11:17

Hang on, he drew on your face? Mimics your voice? Belittles you in private and public? Rages to the point he frightens you? Went on a 3 week holiday and wouldn't tell you where? I think you need explain no further; the word is "contempt",and to be honest you have an opportunity right now to remain where you are andhe moves out. This sounds like any further efforts from you will just lead to more abuse.

ljd2015 Mon 27-Jul-15 22:20:38

Believe me i'm not in denial about how bad it is. It's very sad to go from having a kind and loving partner to a scary bully in the house. I noticed if I withdraw from him he misses me and is nice again so I expect that that will happen for a while as I work out what to do.

He is unpredictable and I can't kick him out without planning to make sure that i don't end up with major problems (financially, otherwise) and need to move to a bigger cheaper apartment and that is happening now (literally).

I feel like he hates me for loving him and it is incredibly sad for me.

ljd2015 Tue 04-Aug-15 02:21:52

So I moved into the new apartment without my husband, I wish I had managed it by design but actually I lost it at him for not helping me and he left.

Now we are living separately and I feel so much better. I have been feeling very sad, but also much more sane.

I suppose my only question now is should I listen to his request that we go for counseling? I don't know if I could ever trust him again but He claims to be reading about marriage and trying to sort through what he is doing wrong.

My concern is that he is abusive and that counselling should be for him, not us. I also have no idea whether there is really hope that he will treat me as an equal or how long that would even take.

The first day after he disappeared I was grieving and processing the idea that I will be divorced in under a year. Now I feel very up and down, happy then anxious and confused.

Has anyone been through this? I don't know anyone who has been separated or dealt with an angry abusive man.

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