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AIBU or is this EA?

(24 Posts)
Cadburyhome Mon 12-Oct-15 21:09:57

I'm currently married with a DS and 2 DSC from husbands first marriage. Children are all still young (less than 10) and we've been together 4 years.

Recently my DH and I have been having difficulties. From my point of view the main issues I have are DH will berate in public in front of our friends to the point where all our friends are looking really uncomfortable and I'm mortified.

When we're at home if he says something hurtful, I'll explain to him how it made me feel. He'll brush it off by saying "I never intentionally say anything to upset you". As a result I look like I'm over reacting, being emotional and he has a free pass to say what he likes. He doesn't acknowledge I'm upset and he doesn't accept my feelings are justified.

When we argue, he manages to turn the argument into something completely different, I'm left feeling exasperated and often end up walking away because I can't deal with the frustration. He then calls me passive aggressive for giving him the silent treatment. The truth is I don't have the energy to argue with him.

I can feel myself withdrawing from the relationship and don't know what to do? I guess I'm after some advice as to how my situation sounds to an outsider? Am I being oversensitive or do I have a genuine reason to be miffed with him?

cheapskatemum Mon 12-Oct-15 21:18:02

My gut feeling is that if you feel hurt by what he has said, or feel humiliated in front of your friends, then that is probably your gut reaction and not over sensitivity. It is difficult to tell, however, without any examples of what he has said. The other thing I would do, if I'd noticed my friends looking uncomfortable, is speak to them about such incidents when you see them without DH around and see what their opinions are.

Wotsitsareafterme Mon 12-Oct-15 21:29:27

He sounds like a knob. Sorry. I'm not surprised you are withdrawing - tell him that?

Cadburyhome Mon 12-Oct-15 21:36:47

We've tried to talk to each other but discussions quickly descend and end up being counter productive. We seem to be papering over the cracks at the moment. Neither of us have actually left but he's told me he thought about it.

He's does a good job of manipulating me and the situation. He spouts off how he does everything to avoid conflict. Instead he behaves like a petulant child and will mope, sulk and wallow, until I can't take it anymore and lose my temper. And thus I'm the aggressive one who causes trouble.

AnotherEmma Mon 12-Oct-15 21:39:06

He is emotionally abusive. Accusing you of being "over sensitive" is classic behaviour from an abuser. If he doesn't even acknowledge your feelings, let alone respect them, he doesn't deserve to be in a relationship with you.

AnotherEmma Mon 12-Oct-15 21:39:59

Cross post. Blaming you for everything: another classic in the abuse handbook.

AnotherEmma Mon 12-Oct-15 21:43:06

How many of these 30 signs of emotional abuse are true of his behaviour in your relationship?

Cadburyhome Mon 12-Oct-15 21:54:05

What an eye opener that was, thank you anotheremma. As I was reading I was mentally saying tick, yep, oh and that one.

It's amazing to be able to read something which sums him up. For ages I'd been paranoid that I was going crazy and started to doubt myself. It's reassuring to know it isn't just me being sensitive.

I guess my next question would be how do I talk to him about it? It's unlikely he's going to admit it / suddenly develop a sense of self awareness. I can already second guess what he'll say in response. He's withdrawn, as a result of the way I've treated him.

AnotherEmma Mon 12-Oct-15 21:58:53

You're welcome - glad you found it helpful.

"For ages I'd been paranoid that I was going crazy and started to doubt myself."
That's exactly what emotional abuse does to you, sadly. You need to keep talking lots to other people - your friends, us MNers, anyone but him! - to hang on to your sanity, self esteem and sense of normality.

I'm afraid I don't know the answer to your question about how to talk to him. My advice would be not to talk to him, actually, and just leave, but I realise you might not be ready for that yet. The article has some good tips at the end though.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 13-Oct-15 09:01:27

"I guess my next question would be how do I talk to him about it?"

Short answer to that question is you cannot. The only opinion that matters to him is his own and he feels that he has done nothing wrong in the first place. I would look into making an exit plan and start putting your own needs first.

What reasons were you given by him for his first marriage breaking down?.

Costacoffeeplease Tue 13-Oct-15 09:06:27

Agree, no point talking to him, if there was it would have worked before

Time to decide what you want and how best to achieve it - do you work, own or rent?

hellsbellsmelons Tue 13-Oct-15 09:09:30

What a horrible way to live.
This will be your life for the next 10-20-30 years if you stay with him.
You can't reason with him. You know this already.
I'd be getting my 'ducks in a row' and getting a exit plan together.
What is the house situation? Rented? Mortgage? Together?
Get some legal advice. Lots of solicitors do a free half our consultation so get as much advice as possible.
Get your important documents together. Birth certificate, passport, marriage certificate, mortgage documents, anything else you can think of.
Get all that out of the house and give it to a family member to keep safe you.
If possible get some proof of his income, bank accounts, savings, pensions etc....
No-one is going to tell you to stay or leave, that is your decision.
But..... putting up with abuse is NOT OK.

Maybe have a chat with Womens Aid. They will also be able to help you to see this for what it is.
You could even sign up to do their Freedom Programme. You can do it on line. That will also be a massive eye opener for you.
The scales are falling. But I think you need to more time to fully come to terms with it.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 13-Oct-15 09:14:02

HOUR not our!

Beaverfever Tue 13-Oct-15 11:12:41

My husband dos this all the time.

Got to the point where friends and family were embarrassed on my behalf.

He just used to say he was joking when I brought him up on it and that I can't take a joke like I used to.

Wore me down.

I had put up with it for 10 years, I left him 2 months ago.

I will never let anyone talk to me like that again.

He is still completely I accepting that this was a major reason for the split and still tries to tell me that I didn't try hard enough at the relationship

Beaverfever Tue 13-Oct-15 11:14:43

And I left, without a job and without any money.
Luckily I had my parents where I still am now.
My husband is refusing (or maybe just delaying) selling the house, and refusing to let me take anything from the house.
Mao my parents have had to buy me chest of drawers, wardrobe etc.

I still have my dog at least ??

And I start a job on Monday

AnotherEmma Tue 13-Oct-15 11:19:27

Beaver that's amazing, well done for leaving him and for getting a job.

Have you had any legal advice? If not get some asap.

You should be legally entitled to go over there and get your stuff.

Beaverfever Tue 13-Oct-15 11:34:32

Thanks Emma. I have not yet got legal advice.

I know I need to buy I'm happy with having nothing and I don't care if he delays selling the house (so long as I get my half when it does) I'm in no rush. However, I do want it to be done. I do want it to be officially over.
I don't want him coming to my parents house and talking about me to them at the weekend when I am not here.
I don't want my parents telling me that he was a lovely guy and they miss him and love him, and that they worry I have made the right decision. (These comments have all pretty much stopped now but I got a lot of it in the first few weeks)
My parents are the only ones that seem to not realise what he was doing to me.
All my friends and his family could see it and hated it and stopped inviting us to things together.
I will be so much happier without him.

It's only been 2 months and I feel so much lighter , happier, content, despite losing my lovely cottage.

I have just read the link you posted up thread and every single point is true for me.
I wish I spotted the signs earlier.

AnotherEmma Tue 13-Oct-15 11:48:55

"I do want it to be done. I do want it to be officially over. "
That's why you need legal advice asap, love.
I'm sorry your parents haven't been supportive. It's good that you've been able to live with them but think about moving out when you have got the ball rolling with the divorce and got settled in your new job.

Jan45 Tue 13-Oct-15 11:52:32

Don't let anyone bring you down, your friends have obviously noticed so it's not in your head, you've given him chances to rectify his behaviour, he's point blank refused, next move is to separate, don't accept this treatment, it's him with the problem, he sounds devoid of any consideration or support for you.

Cadburyhome Tue 13-Oct-15 19:59:13

Thanks for the advice everyone. Today I'm feeling less strong and like I'm being rash. I go back to work soon and am thinking maybe things will be better then. It's such a massive decision I don't want to regret it especially as our DC is still young.

Beaver, you sound awesome have these flowers you give me hope that you can make it out the other side.

Namechanger2015 Tue 13-Oct-15 20:50:00

Read these two books - you can download onto a kindle or a kindle app:

Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft

Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Guide to Knowing if Your Relationship Can -and Should- be Saved by Lundy Bancroft

Both books helped me enormously in leaving my abusive H. Like you I was unsure if he was abusive, and didn't want to make the wrong decision. The books helped me to be able to recognise and name lots of his behaviours, and understand why I was feeling like something was wrong, but without being able to put my finger on exactly what it was.

Your H sounds a lot like mine, and leaving him in January was the best thing I ever did.

cheapskatemum Sat 17-Oct-15 20:57:56

Cadburyhome things probably will be better when you go back to work, because I guess you will be away from him more (unless your work hours tally, or are within his) and you will have something else to take your mind off the difficulties in your relationship. But that's not really a good reason to stay with him, is it?

Cadburyhome Sat 17-Oct-15 21:37:35

Namechanger2015 Thanks I'll definitely be getting a copy of those books.

cheapskatemum You're right. Its not a good reason to stay with him. I just want to be 100% sure about the decision before i make it, because it will completely change mine and my DC life. I'm not comfortable with making that decision, when i still have doubts. I hope you can understand where i'm coming from. I do really appreciate your advice, its certainly not a case of me sticking my head in the sand, more just biding my time, and doing it on my terms.

cheapskatemum Sun 25-Oct-15 20:26:51

Handholding, not judging, Cadburyhome sorry if that sounded harsh, I can be a bit direct!

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