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Are these red flags?

(26 Posts)
MissyB60 Sat 29-Aug-15 22:25:22

I've never posted here before, and have name changed to do so. I never thought I'd feel the need to, but there's some uncomfortable thoughts going round my mind regarding my marriage. I don't know if it's a blip, it could well be, and I'm not ready to give up on it yet, but just felt the need to write it down,get some perspective. First thing, I have never felt in danger or threatened at all. It's just a few things building up.

1 - disciplining our DS in ways that I find inappropriate - shouting in quite a harsh way towards a 2 year old. No physical harm at all. If I protest I'm "undermining" him, yet it doesn't go both ways. He doesn't respect my gentler ways of disciplining.

2 - I'm currently pregnant (very tough pregnancy physically) and unsure about breastfeeding. I did last time but hated it, and my view this time was I would see how it went, take each day at a time. I also have a toddler at home, so I worryit'll be tougher to breastfeed. That makes me a bad mother, because bottle feeding is only done by those who don't really care about their children.

3 - he sometimes talks to me like I'm stupid. I'm not. I know I'm not.

4 - appears to have no faith in my ability to cope after the birth. Wants to get his parents round every day. Wants to get a nanny. I think I can cope, or at least I know I would if I felt I wasn't being watched and judged. It's like he's waiting for me to fall apart so he can be right.

I just don't know what to think. We always had a good marriage, a very communicative and supportive one. I hope it's a blip, but I'm just not sure what I'd say if a friend told me all of the above.

LadyBlaBlah Sat 29-Aug-15 22:32:30

What sort of 'shouting' does he do to your 2 year old and you?

What is he saying to you both?

What is he saying about your 'ability to cope' after the birth?

Clobbered Sat 29-Aug-15 22:38:01

Sorry but this sounds like quite a pattern of undermining you. He does not respect your views or your ability to cope as a Mum.
Time for a serious chat. Is having your in-laws around going to help you or make things even worse?
If he insists on getting a nanny, just go with it and enjoy having an extra pair of hands who can help you out - you do not have to give up control of your kids' lives just because you have a helper! Nannies are fab!

MissyB60 Sat 29-Aug-15 22:42:47

It's not the worst shouting in the world, and never threatening words, but he's got a loud voice and I see DS get visibly scared, and it upsets me. He tells me to be quiet if I protest. Again, nothing threatening, but it's a one-way street - he never accepts my views but expects me to respect his. Again, when he speaks to me at these times,it's in a tone of voice that sometimes sounds a little frightening. I don't belieive he'd physically hurt either of us.

My ability to cope...hmmm....not 100% sure what his problem is exactly. I had a few down moments in the months after the birth last time, but I genuinely don't think I was depressed, just a new mother having a few difficulties finding her feet. But my feelingis that I'll never cope if I never have to. He's had a big pay rise since then, and I think he feels he just wants to throw money at things because he can. By the way, there's no financial abuse of any kind - I have my own job, my own salary, my own accounts, as well as shared ones. But he does seem to be chipping away at my confidence with this, which is worrying me a little.

I'm just a bit weirded out about where my supportive, loving husband has gone. I hope he comes back soon.

Lemonfizzypop Sat 29-Aug-15 23:08:36

Have you spoken to him about how you feel?

MissyB60 Sat 29-Aug-15 23:15:34

I tried to today. Said I wanted to be given a chance to cope. I said that I'd take each day as it comes regarding feeding. He didnt listen. Probably because I always feel that he thinks I'm a bit stupid.

I feel a bit silly posting. He's never been abusive, and up until now we've had a good relationship. Maybe it's the stress of a difficult pregnancy getting to both of us. I just feel not right. But not wrong enough to do anything drastic, just needed to write it down.

Lemonfizzypop Sat 29-Aug-15 23:58:06

Well he's behaving deeply selfishly and unpleasantly, and when you've tried to speak to him about it he shuts you down and doesn't seem to care how you feel, none of these are good signs imo.

Lemonfizzypop Sun 30-Aug-15 00:00:38

You don't sound silly at all, if my partner was behaving like this I'd feel exactly the same.

VaviaVive Sun 30-Aug-15 02:07:29

Have you always felt this way? Or is it since becoming pregnant? It could be hyper sensitivity due to pregnancy hormones

AnotherEmma Sun 30-Aug-15 03:29:36

"It could be hyper sensitivity due to pregnancy hormones"

Absolute bullshit. He doesn't listen to the OP or respect her feelings or opinions. That's not her being "over sensitive" FFS. At best he is being a bad partner, at worst he is emotionally abusive. Apparently some abusers only start to act in abusive ways (or increase the abuse) when their partners are pregnant. Probably something to do with you being more vulnerable and relying on them more. It could be that.

VaviaVive Sun 30-Aug-15 03:46:25

OP, you mentioned you were feeling down after your previous birth. May I ask how bad it got?

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sun 30-Aug-15 07:35:19

I wanted to be given a chance to cope. I said that I'd take each day as it comes regarding feeding. He didnt listen. Probably because I always feel that he thinks I'm a bit stupid.

This statement sounds like a red flag to me. In our house the conversation would have been more like "There is no way I'm having your parents round so much and no way I'm having a nanny after the baby is born. It is unnecessary and would annoy me." Any further dissent would have been met with "No, I have said no. I will be the one on mat leave not you. I do not want it and I am not having it."

Do you usually defer to him when a decision is needed? Do you allow yourself to agree to differ sometimes and do something even if he doesn't like it?

MissyB60 Sun 30-Aug-15 09:23:18

I'm pretty sure I wasn't depressed after the last birth. I found it difficult to adjust occasionally, and had some tough days, but I think I coped ok.

I don't defer to him in other things. I got pregnant when I wanted to (he'd have done it sooner) our house was a joint decision. He earns more money, but that has never been any source of argument. I actually like his parents and don't mind them coming round, but I don't want to feel like he's using them to keep an eye on me.

The feeding thing is what's bothering me at the moment. I breastfed last time and had a very difficult start to it. I managed to continue for a few months but never felt pressured by him. This time it's different. Maybe it's the more stressful job he's taken on, I don't know.

I don't think right now he's abusive in any way. Maybe for some reason he is trying to be a bit controlling at the moment. At the moment all I can do is get through this pregnancy and its difficulties and make sure I have plenty of contact with the people I want.

Lweji Sun 30-Aug-15 09:28:25

This may sound irrelevant, but are you going back to work after the second baby?

Lweji Sun 30-Aug-15 09:34:42

I'd probably be more assertive and see how he reacts.
No shouting at the 2 year old. He may have better strategies, but that doesn't include shouting.
You will see how you feel about breastfeeding and he doesn't say a word about it and supports your decision, because it's your body.
You'll see if you need help and by whom, as it's you who'll be with the children.
Anything else and he's on a slippery road to being kicked out.
You should talk about all these concerns when you have a quiet moment. His reaction should be your guide on how to proceed.

MissyB60 Sun 30-Aug-15 09:40:08

Yes, I am going back to work after a year off. It's non-negotiable. He knows that and does (or at least appears) to accept it. I'm a better mother for working. There's no way he'd stop me doing that.

Thanks for listening. Glad to know I wasn't just being silly with what I was thinking. Not so glad to realise that there actually could be something really wrong, but hopefully we're at a point where things haven't deteriorated so much that I'm in a really desperate situation.

Zanymummy Sun 30-Aug-15 09:46:54

Maybe he is stressed with new job and new baby on the way and doesn't realise how he is coming across? does he have other outlets/hobbies to blow off some steam what about a best friend of his that visits or phones is it possible to get him to ask hubby if all ok in a round about way? could his parents you are friendly with help with him?

ShebaShimmyShake Sun 30-Aug-15 09:52:37

It may not be abusive (although abuse does not always fit into neat definitions and lines) but it is making you very unhappy and causing distress in your family. A lot of people often feel that they have no right to complain/leave/take action unless they are actually at death's door. You must remember that a) relationships don't have to be full on abusive to be wrong and unsustainable and b) full on abusive relationships rarely, if ever, start that way - they begin on slippery slopes.

I'd suggest counselling or a mediator who may be able to communicate your concerns to him in such a way that he won't immediately be on the defensive (that's not a comment on your ability to communicate; people like this will take it badly from their partner whatever you do, because of the context they have built around you), but I guess it's likely he'll refuse, for all manner of reasons.

It is of course your decision how to proceed. All I would bear in mind is, if you're unhappy and don't see it getting any better, you don't have to wait until fists are flying or abusive names are being shouted before you have a right to leave, if that is what you want to do.

AskBasil Sun 30-Aug-15 10:55:44

He may need a short sharp shock to get him to stop treating you as if you are a flaky child who can't cope. Something like "I will not live with you anymore if you continue to treat me like this." Sometimes, people gradually behave worse and worse and don't realise it until they're stopped in their tracks by someone spelling it out to them how bad it is.

Lots of men would rather risk losing their home, families, etc., than go to relationship counselling, but if he wouldn't, then that would probably be a good place to start. Just the suggestion that you as a couple need relationship counselling, might be enough of a shock to him to make him realise how awful he's being.

And yes, the flags are really waving merrily in the breeze, he sounds controlling and dismissive of you and your feelings. That's actually enough for you not to put up with - as Shebashimmyshake says, you don't have to wait till it gets to fisticuffs and daily screaming rows, before you decide that this relationship is unacceptable. It is completely unacceptable for him to be dismissing what you are saying as if you don't have a voice in your own relationship. I don't know how you can put up with it, it's downright oppressive.

AnotherEmma Sun 30-Aug-15 11:12:16

I agree with Sheba and AskBasil.
If he won't agree to couples counselling, would you consider counselling for yourself? Not because any of this is your fault - just so you have a safe space to discuss how you feel about the relationship and decide how you want to deal with the issues.

Twinklestein Sun 30-Aug-15 11:22:23

He's obviously not financially abusive but he sounds verbally abusive to you and your son, and a bit of a bully.

I doubt he genuinely thinks you're stupid, it's simply a tactic to undermine you and give him the upper hand.

But it's clear he doesn't respect you.

Jux Sun 30-Aug-15 11:50:40

"Where has my supportive, loving husband gone? I hope he comes back soon." Say it to him. If that doesn't halt him in his tracks and make him listen to you, nothing will.

pocketsaviour Sun 30-Aug-15 18:44:27

it's a one-way street - he never accepts my views but expects me to respect his. Again, when he speaks to me at these times,it's in a tone of voice that sometimes sounds a little frightening.

This would be unacceptable for me.

How long have you been together? Are you married?

Has he always been this way or has it got this way more recently? Perhaps since your first child?

Would you consider relationship counselling?

I'm wondering if he has moved you from a box marked "professional, independent woman" to "mother, probably a bit dumb, like mine is" in his head.

pocketsaviour Sun 30-Aug-15 18:44:57

To add... I'm not saying his mum is thick! I'm saying maybe that's how he saw his dad treat his mum, growing up.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sun 30-Aug-15 19:45:21

Nip it all in the bud. You yourself can clearly imagine how this behaviour could blossom into oppressive abusive behaviour. Prune this shit now, root it right out. This will mean challenging all the little slights, all the talking down, etc even though challenging each incident might seem petty in isolation.

Imagine your child entering the teenage years and getting all superior, snotty and entitled, I bet you'd challenge every little nonsense, well, treat DH like he's trying it on like that. Stamp on it.

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