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I'm thinking about leaving dh. I don't know what to do.

(30 Posts)
overfacebook Sun 06-Sep-15 12:23:20

I don't know what to do. Dh and I have a toddler and I am also pregnant. We moved here for work and live hundreds of miles from our families. We also both work in busy, demanding jobs. We've been having a very stressful time with our home - dodgy builders etc, although it's mostly sorted now.

Recently I've been feeling like I'm on eggshells all the time with dh. Neither of us are perfect, but I feel that he's hyper critical of my faults and he points them out all the time. For example, if I say something on a morning which isn't completely bright and breezy, he will almost certainly say "oh you're not going to be shitty again all day are you?" So I then have to pretend that he hadn't annoyed me/hurt my feelings, and try to prove that I'm in an amazing mood. If I don't, he'll sulk or have a go at me for being shitty. If I complain about anything inconsiderate that he does, he flies off the handle and accuses me of being shitty. It's his favourite word.

Almost a year ago we ordered some new bathroom stuff. We accidentally ordered 2 taps, because the site suggested that we'd need it. Anyway, I found the spare tap yesterday and asked why we had it. He said it was because I'd ordered 2 because I hadn't understood the website. I know it's only a small thing, but it was a joint decision and it was nearly a year ago. I feel like he keeps tabs on mistakes I make so that he can bring them up in the future.

Another daft example - he made a big batch of stew yesterday. We always freeze portions. This morning he said that we needed to put it in freezer bags. I said "yes just let me get this one load of washing out and I'll be there". When I came back in 5 minutes later he'd gone back to bed (after putting dc down for a nap). I pottered about the kitchen for a bit and eventually went for a shower.

When I came into the bedroom afterwards he said that we were meant to have bagged up the stew, and I'd said I just had one load of washing to sort. I replied that yes, I had sorted the washing and come back in to find he'd gone back to bed, so I'd waited for a bit and then gone for my shower. His comment had felt like a dig. I then said something like, "ok, is that a problem?" I know I shouldn't have. He then shouted that there I went again, couldn't I say anything without being shitty? I stayed quite calm and repeated the conversation back to him. He stormed out.

I then said that maybe we should separate. He said nothing, just walked out of the roomroom. He's in the kitchen now bagging up the damn stew on his own.

It's stuff like this all the time. We argue all the time. I feel terrible and so sad. I'm so worried that our beloved dc will become aware of it. I don't know how we'll cope with 2 dc if things don't improve. Our families are supportive but they're so far away. We have good friends locally but I'm ashamed to tell them how bad it's got.

Any advice would be really appreciated.

overfacebook Sun 06-Sep-15 12:30:31

Sorry for the length. I don't even know what to say to him when I go back into the kitchen.

ShitHappens1 Sun 06-Sep-15 12:37:23

I think you know the answer. You don't deserve to be treated like this. Your loved one should bring you joy. He should pick you up when you are down. When you're having a shitty day, he should help make it better.

Life isn't about walking around on egg shells.

LockedBox Sun 06-Sep-15 13:10:18

You said "ok, is that a problem?" And you feel you shouldn't have said that?

This really leaps out at me. It's such a mild question, such a normal, ordinary run of the mill thing to ask and for you to feel bad about having expressed yourself in such a mild way is just awful.

have you considered counselling? It is possible that this is just a communication problem (although his constant use of the word shitty is very worrying and points to some serious disrespect of you) but TBH it does sound to me as though you just don't like each other very much and he's an arsehole

goddessofsmallthings Sun 06-Sep-15 13:15:39

Why does it take 2 of you to bag up stew, or any other dish, and put it in the freezer? confused

I suggest you try to have as pleasant a day as possible - maybe get out for a couple of hours this afternoon? - and resolve to talk to your dh after dc has gone to bed.

Open the conversation by asking if there is anything troubling him and listen to what he has to say before commenting that his continual references to what he appears to perceive as your faults is making you feel shitty unable to relax around him and ask him whether he thinks you've changed since you've moved to the new home that has been so fraught with building difficulties.

The objective is to get the doors of unheated communication open with a view to resolving your difficulties before the arrival of dc2. It may be that moving so far away from family/friends has made him feel ultra responsible for everything including the badly plumbed sinks, or it could be that he now feels free to reveal a side of himself that he kept under wraps because he feared censure when living in close proximity to your loved ones.

TurnipCake Sun 06-Sep-15 13:19:15

Shitty? Darling, he's the shit angry

Living with him sounds like an exhausting mindfuck, no wonder you feel like walking on eggshells.

I think you need to start telling real life supportive people what's going on, and obviously continue posting here.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 06-Sep-15 13:40:44

No-one should be made to feel that they're walking on eggshells in order to avoid a confrontation. No-one!

Why does he feel that he's entitled to label your behaviour and responses as "shitty" when he's the one who is acting like the shit in your house?

If you feel that you're not able to discuss his behaviour in a cool and reasonable manner with him then you have a problem. Him.

overfacebook Sun 06-Sep-15 14:24:17

Thanks for the replies everyone. I wasn't very clear in my first post but we've actually lived in this area for about 12 years now, so used to being far from family.

When I went into the kitchen he patted me on the shoulder and said he loved me. I burst into tears and told him that I was sick of the emotional abuse with him saying I'm being shitty all the time. I said that if things didn't improve massively I would leave, and take the children with me. He said that I couldn't just 'take' the children, and I said 'watch me'.

Then we had a short row where I said I feel that he's constantly grinding me down, and he said that he could only hope this is all to do with pregnancy hormones.

Since then he's being extra calm and pleasant. Dc is up from nap now and I can hear them playing in the kitchen. They didn't hear any of the row, don't worry.

I'm trying to be normal for dc.

I thought about counselling but not sure where to start. Is Relate good? That's the only one I've heard of.

Thanks all.

TurnipCake Sun 06-Sep-15 14:40:23

I would go for counselling alone, it's not advised in abusive relationships.

Of course, now that you've told him you'll walk out, he's being extra nice to maintain the status quo.

If you say you're going to leave and don't follow it up with actually leaving, it tells him you're willing to stay despite the poor treatment.

It's not easy leaving a relationship like this. I put up with ghastly treatment for years and I'm exponentially happier now that I'm out of it.

TurnipCake Sun 06-Sep-15 14:41:07

^ as in, counselling together is not advised.

Phoenix67 Sun 06-Sep-15 17:55:24

OP - he's minimising your thoughts and feelings to suit himself. Yes hormones don't help when your pregnant but neither does one lose their ability to understand English. You know how he is making you feel, trust your gut instinct and your reality. Don't let him brush things under the carpet.

Chairmanofthebored Sun 06-Sep-15 20:50:02

Well my dh and I often bag up food together! One to hold bag and one to spoon it in, but that's not the issue really!
I don't think it's an abusive relationship but I agree he is being a shit. I would wonder why. Could he be depressed and this is why he is projecting onto you? I know when my dh or I are feeling low we can be critical and mean. It's worth really trying to get to the bottom of why he is being so awful. Good luck.

overfacebook Thu 10-Sep-15 21:00:50

Thanks for your supportive comments. We've calmed down and had a good talk. Things are looking up and I'm very hopeful that we'll be fine.

kittybiscuits Thu 10-Sep-15 21:43:58

Please don't go to counselling with him. He will pull a number on you and the counsellor. So you threatened to leave and he's reined it all back in. Sit back and observe his next move.

AnotherEmma Thu 10-Sep-15 21:57:45

Chairman "I don't think it's an abusive relationship" How the f**k do you know?! You don't know the relationship. Based on what the OP has said I think it very well could be abusive.

OP please look up Women's Aid, look at their website and/or call their their helpline. They will be able to help you work out whether the relationship is abusive, and advise you on what to do.

Good luck.

cozietoesie Thu 10-Sep-15 22:04:34

What was the talk about, broadly? eg what sort of things were you each saying to each other?

pocketsaviour Fri 11-Sep-15 10:54:26

For example, if I say something on a morning which isn't completely bright and breezy, he will almost certainly say "oh you're not going to be shitty again all day are you?" So I then have to pretend that he hadn't annoyed me/hurt my feelings, and try to prove that I'm in an amazing mood. If I don't, he'll sulk or have a go at me for being shitty. If I complain about anything inconsiderate that he does, he flies off the handle and accuses me of being shitty. It's his favourite word.

This sounds abusive to me. He's forcing the OP to not feel or express her emotions, or he punishes her with sulking or verbal abuse. That is not a healthy reaction.

OP I would not recommend Relate - their counsellors don't have a huge amount of training. If you want to give it a go, I'd suggest looking for someone locally who has been practising a long time.

If your H admits his behaviour is abusive, and he genuinely wants to change... well the decision is up to you. I will say that I think some men (and women) simply repeat what they saw in their parents' marriage, and may think of it as normal. If they accept that it is not, then there is hope, if they commit to changing and seek treatment (alone, not with you.)

I can say this was the case for me. My parents' marriage was hugely dysfunctional, and I copied those patterns into my early relationships as an adult. Lots of passive aggression, sulking, expecting my partner to read my mind, not to mention sleeping with other people. It took a lot of work for me to recognise what I was doing and change myself.

However if your H is minimising and denying his behaviour, it doesn't bode well.

Chairmanofthebored Fri 11-Sep-15 14:15:34

Anotheremma What I should have said was, based on what op said i wouldn't automatically assume it's an abusive relationship. But to be honest neither should you assume it is abusive. You seem quite angry, to have posted such a nasty reply. I was trying to give a balanced view, that's all.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Fri 11-Sep-15 14:35:57

Relate is good. Google to find your nearest branch.

Sounds like you've both had a stressful time of it lately, builders, second pregnancy etc etc...Still no excuse for him behaving like that though.

If you've had your talk and all is well going forwards then good stuff. But mind you don't end up back where you started in two weeks and then get into the cycle of talking about it, it all improves for a bit, then deteriorates again. Bit of counselling might help or maybe even try and spend a bit of time kid free and just do something nice together-try and cement your truce kind of thing?

rouxlebandit Fri 11-Sep-15 14:50:25

He patted you on the shoulder and said that he loved you. But IMO you spoilt what could have been a lovely moment of reconciliation between the two of you. Instead of going into a rant about his emotional abuse and threatening to leave him, you should have reciprocated his expression of love. Your tears alone would have been enough to make me hug and kiss you and to apologise but you saw it as weakness on his part so you stuck the boot in.

APlaceOnTheCouch Fri 11-Sep-15 15:15:43

Instead of going into a rant about his emotional abuse and threatening to leave him, you should have reciprocated his expression of love.
Seriously? hmm The OP was perfectly entitled to tell her DH how she feels. He can't be excused all bad behaviour because he says 'I love you' and pats her on the shoulder. That's not an apology. OP was complaining about how he grinds her down (and one of the ways he does it is to invalidate her feelings) so you tell her to ignore her feelings, and her DH then goes on to blame her feelings on hormones so he doesn't have to address his behaviour.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 11-Sep-15 15:31:52

"Instead of going into a rant about his emotional abuse and threatening to leave him, you should have reciprocated his expression of love"

What utter bullcrap roux; his "apology" was anything but. The only person this man loves is his own self and he has refused to take any responsibility for his actions. He cares not a jot for the OP, that was not the action of a loving man.

To the OP:-
Emotional abuse, infact abuse of any type thrives on secrecy. You need to start opening up more to a trusted friend or two. At the very least you need to talk to Womens Aid if you do not feel you can as yet confide in someone in your real life circle.

The only level of abuse acceptable within any relationship is NONE. Presumably his parents are the same; this is likely to be learnt behaviour and thus deeply ingrained within his own pysche.

If you argue all the time your children will eventually pick up on that atmosphere and they do not even have to be in the same room. Sound after all does travel.

What do you want to teach them about relationships?.

I would avoid Relate and instead talk to Womens Aid; their number is 0808 2000 247. Do not undertake any joint counselling with him; joint counselling is never recommended where there is abuse of any type within the relationship.

pocketsaviour Fri 11-Sep-15 16:06:49

Roux, you are an absolute disgrace to your sex. Your habit of excusing abusers becomes clearer every time you post.

don271 Fri 11-Sep-15 16:56:59

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

NorksAreMessy Fri 11-Sep-15 17:34:42


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