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So confused - is it him - or me?

(31 Posts)
Lharlieandcola Wed 02-Dec-15 09:44:16

I've posted about him before (NC'd now). We've been together a couple of years.

My friends worry that he's controlling. But he loves me more than anyone else ever has. Though he expects a lot in return.

We've been rowing so much recently - well into the night - and then I'm so tired, I just can't sleep.

I feel like I'm going crazy - and I can't stop crying. I just want a break and some space away from it all. But, for him, it's all or nothing.

And I'm so worried that if he goes, I'll regret it forever. I know how difficult it is to meet a decent, loyal man at my (grand) age.

Also, I have a track record for being very bad at relationships. It seems like I always want what I can't have.

Please advise me. Though I don't really know what I'm asking for. He tells me I need help. I just wonder if I need him gone.

And most importantly, I have my DC to think of. (Not his - but they get on very, very well) Do I stay together for their sake??

Hillfarmer Wed 02-Dec-15 09:50:11

Erm... didn't want to read and run, but if you are asking the question then perhaps you know something is not right here, rather than just a rough patch.

Difficult to say more unless you give a few examples of what you row about and how he conducts himself. But I suspect that if it feels abusive then it is abusive.

If that is the case he is not a 'decent, loyal man'.

You sound exhausted and miserable. It doesn't sound as if your relationship adding to your life at the moment.

And no it's not worth sacrificing yourself for the children. Nobody on here will tell you that.

expatinscotland Wed 02-Dec-15 09:52:17

Do the Freedom Programme!

DoreenLethal Wed 02-Dec-15 09:54:56

Do I stay together for their sake??


If your friends are telling you that he is controlling then please listen to them. They know you best.

Unless you want to be controlled of course, it's your choice.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 02-Dec-15 09:55:12

What does he expect in return?

Lharlieandcola Wed 02-Dec-15 10:07:54

Thanks for the replies.

Run - he thinks we should always put one-another first. We shouldn't make separate plans (ie arranging an evening out / weekend away) without discussing it first. Maybe this is normal - and I'm weird? To be fair, he never, ever does anything without consulting me first.

He doesn't like the fact that I'm always tired - and often want to go to bed early. He wants to talk at least 4 or 5 times a day.

He wants more sex than I do - and gets a bit pouty if he doesn't get it. He doesn't like me wearing PJs in bed - and gets a bit pouty if I do.

He doesn't like the pretty friendly relationship I now have with Ex-DP (DC's Dad).

He wants to be involved in everything I do - if I have friends coming over, he's never really keen on me seeing them by myself.

He also gets very upset if I am late - or don't do what I say I'm going to do (ie call at 6pm - and it ends up being 6.15pm).

That's quite a list, isn't it?!

Problem is, I've just been reading up on some old posts I made on here a few years ago, long before him - and when I was single. And I felt exactly the same way then - it was really interesting. As in, I felt tired, upset, bored, fed up - like my life wasn't as I envisaged it. And Now i still feel like that - but am ascribing all the blame to him. Maybe I am depressed.

gatewalker Wed 02-Dec-15 10:13:12

The reason you feel the same is that you need to address yourself first, OP - "wherever you go, there you are" and all that.

Your partner is absolutely controlling; but the decisions about the partners you choose based on your psychology (conscious and unconscious) is yours to deal with.

I'd be taking a (very long) break from him to work on myself, which is painful, but the depression and fatigue will lift. It takes a lot to hold everything in and down. The opposite of depression, in many cases, is expression.

Find yourself first.

Joysmum Wed 02-Dec-15 10:15:10

The first point I agree with. DH and I don't agree a plan without checking there's nothing else going on.

Everything else you listed though shock

You last paragraph says you still aren't happy. I'm not surprised!

It's funny how people who assume they have depression often don't have 'depression' in the medical sense but are simply ground down by someone, and when that someone is missing they miraculously feel better again.

summerwinterton Wed 02-Dec-15 10:36:29

have all your relatiionships been abusive - I second the Freedom Programme too.

Is he BF or DP or DH?

Your friends think he's controlling. You feel unhappy, tired, stressed. He's a sex pest, needs to talk/argue late into the night. No wonder you're tired.

True, you weren't happy before him. And you'll need to do some work on that (counselling, etc).

But at the moment you're miserable and modelling bad relationship to your DCs.

Lharlieandcola Wed 02-Dec-15 10:46:45

Is this abusive though?? Sometimes it feels like he is a bit controlling - but it's so hard to tell. He says it's because he loves me, and that we're in a partnership together - so we need to put one-another first. Above family, friends etc.

I've read up on "abusive traits". But so many of them don't fit. He never puts me down, never gets angry, tells me I'm gorgeous etc all the time.

When we do have sex, he's extremely thoughtful and selfless.

He is also generally very, very kind and thoughtful. Cooks nice food for me. Always happy to run out to the shops if we need anything. Is really, really super with DC - who adore him. Plays with them, does homework with them. Very helpful with housework.

I worry that because of poor relationship modelling in my past, I just default into blaming everything on a partner (when I have one). This happened with ExDp. And maybe this is me - not him.

I don't know what the freedom programme is? I do think I need to do some work on myself. He agrees - and says he wants to help me through it and support me.

My gut instinct says I can't do it with him - but, like I said, I think this is maybe more to do with him than me.

Lharlieandcola Wed 02-Dec-15 10:47:27

I mean - more to do with me than him!

DoreenLethal Wed 02-Dec-15 10:49:59

Usually I know if something else is going on for joint activities, ie the theatre etc so I never check with my OH if it just involves me and if he is simultaneously planning something that involves me he checks with me first. To never be able to plan your own routine without checking with your partner is something that I'd not be willing to do.

If you feel the same way as you did when you were single, I'd suggest that he doesn't offer an advantage to your life so why oh why carry this on?

MovemberSucks Wed 02-Dec-15 10:54:56

I think rowing into the night when he knows you are exhausted and would rather go to bed early is abusive, it's a way of punishing you and you are probably easier to control if you are too tired all the time to think straight. If you say that you are tired and you'll talk about it tomorrow, does he keep going with the row?

Lharlieandcola Wed 02-Dec-15 11:02:51

Pre Sorry - he's a DP - we live together, though by default more than anything else.

KinkyAfro Wed 02-Dec-15 11:11:21

What's his problem with you wearing pyjamas in bed?

DoreenLethal Wed 02-Dec-15 11:15:36

What's his problem with you wearing pyjamas in bed?

Barrier to shagging natch.

hellsbellsmelons Wed 02-Dec-15 11:28:54

OMG - don't you feel suffocated?
That's how it reads to me.
I'm sorry but sometimes friends and family come first.
In fact, most of the time.
They will ALWAYS be there for you. He might not.
They in turn may need you when they are ill or need help and support.
His logic is way off on that one.

Please do the Freedom Programme as already mentioned.
You aren't happy.
He IS controlling.
Please get him away and work on yourself.

AnotherEmma Wed 02-Dec-15 11:29:05

I think he is controlling and could potentially become more abusive. Sleep deprivation is physical abuse. And I would be particularly worried about sexual abuse. He might start to blur the lines as far as consent is concerned by putting pressure on you to have sex. If he doesn't like you wearing pyjamas I would be a bit worried about him trying to initiate sex when you're asleep or too sleepy to realise what's going on and say no.

By the way, being in a relationship does mean prioritising your partner, but it doesn't mean sacrificing other relationships with family and friends. If you love someone you don't stifle who they are, you give them space when you need it.

He doesn't have to fit all the signs of emotional abuse to be abusive. Just one of those behaviours is one too many.

Please do the Freedom Programme or get some counselling to discuss your relationships. It will help you decide what to do and avoid ending up with abusive and controlling men in future.

You could also read the book(s) by Lundy Bancroft.

Good luck.

AnotherEmma Wed 02-Dec-15 11:30:56

If you love someone you don't stifle who they are, you give them space when they need it.

Preciousxbane Wed 02-Dec-15 11:33:36

First point fine, the rest no way.

That kind of controlling behaviour when you are in the thick of it is harder to notice though so see why you are confused.

It sounds suffocating, I agree with the freedom programme.

Guiltypleasures001 Wed 02-Dec-15 11:58:44

He's killing you with kindness, he seems to have inserted himself in to every part of your life, your a prisoner to his helpful affections. But he's not being effectionate when he's pouting about and sulking about sex.

Won't leave you alone with friends, is that just in case you turn to them for help or they tell you how the see it. He keeps you up to the point of exhaustion.

He sounds like he is trying to get you addicted to having him around, he's controlling you by stealth and your to knackered mentally and physically to see it. Not all abusive controlling partners are screaming shouty types, yours is worse because you don't see them coming and when you wake up and see what's going on, your trapped.

It's interesting you say he's living there by default, I doubt it's by accident op your worn down and doubting yourself. While you still have a modicum of free will I suggest you use it to untangle this web he has woven around you.

No abuser is nasty all the time.

And AnotherEmma is correct that he doesn't have to display all signs to be an abuser.

Your mention of he's living with you "by default" sounds interesting. Care to elaborate?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 02-Dec-15 17:16:40

There is a very easy way to tell if he is abusive.

Start wearing pyjamas when you want. Perhaps mention that you like wearing pyjamas. If you like it and its your own clothes then he would be odd to complain.

Make sure you see your friends regularly without him. Tell him you like a "girls night" so he's not invited. He should have absolutely no problem with this. None.

So what if he doesn't like you going to bed early? Go to bed when you want. Messing with your bedtime is a major red flag. I assume you are aiming for 8 hours sleep not 12. Point out that you need 8hrs. A caring partner will have no problem with that.

If he "gets pouty" about any of the above, ignore it. If he is nice he will realise he is being silly and stop the poutiness. If he is abusive he will pressure you to bend go his unreasonable demands about your completely normal reasonable requests that reflect your own needs as your own person.

Could you Imagine doing any of that?

Hillfarmer Wed 02-Dec-15 17:54:11

I do think I need to do some work on myself. He agrees - and says he wants to help me through it and support me.

He wants you to think you are mad. Do the Freedom Programme, either local to you or online. It will help you look at this relationships and the patterns of your previous relationships.

He is controlling. I think 'controlling' and 'abusive' are pretty much interchangeable. If he is trying to control you then that is abusive. What makes you think that 'controlling' is not 'abuse'. If someone is controlling you - where you go, when you go to bed, what to wear in bed, who you see - then that is pretty bad behaviour. He is warping you to suit himself. It is pretty hideous and I applaud your wonderful friends for having the courage to point this out to you. It is a tough thing to do. They are right to be concerned about you.

RunRabbit's list of things to do would give you a proper wake-up call. Would you do any or all of these things? If not, what stops you. If the answer is 'him', then I think it is time to get out of the relationship. Stop making excuses for him about being good with the kids and going out to get stuff for you... if he's a controlling, manipulative person then he is not a nice person to have for a partner or stepdad. His 'nice bits' absolutely DO NOT compensate for his nasty bits. He could be 90per cent nice and still be a fucking psychopath. Don't fall for that.

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