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Friend thinks my husbands behaviour is controlling, but ok because he doesn't realise he is doing it

(21 Posts)
LittleMissGeneric Tue 29-Dec-15 00:36:22

I have talked to her before about my relationship, and she knows my husband.

I saw her recently and was talking about how he is changing jobs in work (not his choice, but happens in his line of work so not a surprise), and I said I'm worried about childcare as I work weekends, and don't want to keep putting on my parents, and she said I should be able to give up my job if I want as it would solve the problem, (work less than 8 hours a week) and I should discuss it at least as an option.

I said there is no point discussing it, he won't let me give up, and would shut the discussion straight down.

I've never felt like decisions are joint, he is very black and white about things, and can't see other people's views/opinions. He is used to being in charge in work, and people not questioning him, and when I asked him about childcare he just casually said don't worry we will sort it! I asked how, he said we will cross that bridge when we come to it!

This is one thing in a long line, and I do think his behaviour is controlling sometimes, but she said his behaviour is controlling (I didn't mention that word, she did) and said something like this would be a deal breaker for her.

But then goes on to say he's not a bad person, and he doesn't know he is doing it, he doesn't mean to be.

I'm so confused, does that mean it's not as bad as I think, or is she minimizing his behaviour?

summerainbow Tue 29-Dec-15 01:15:03

Of course he is controlling.

Change to weekday working and pay for childcare if you don't to put out your parents .

ladybird69 Tue 29-Dec-15 01:37:53

he's controlling, youre meant to sort out these trivial little things like your children's child care without disturbing him because its beneath his radar!!!! and God forbid he'd have to care for his own children.
my own story I was head hunted for 2 well paid dream jobs he wouldn't allow it as he'd have to a)join in childcare (not an option in my eyes) or b) pay for child care for our own children. I was a 'good' wife stayed at home saved him thousands per year on child care allowed him to play hard and worked hard. I practically turned into his slave ie didn't have new clothes was too exhausted to go out? he went on work jollies and men weekends for networking I had nothing. God I could go on and on.
seriously listen to your friends mine all disappeared because he was such an evil s.o.b

trackrBird Tue 29-Dec-15 02:06:59

Your friend is perhaps trying to tell you the truth, without rocking the boat too much. It's your marriage, and your decision what to do about it; and she may feel she can't criticise your husband without alienating you.

I'm only guessing, but the fact she said it was a deal breaker for her indicates how strongly she feels.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 29-Dec-15 02:20:04

Your friend clearly sees your h for what he is, which is a controlling twunt who demands to have his way in all things, and she's made her feelings known to you by saying that his latest decree would be a dealbreaker for her.

However, as you appear to be far more accepting of his ways than many other woman would be, I suspect that your friend attempted to tone down her remarks by adding the disclaimer about him not being a bad person etc as she values your friendship and doesn't want you to feel judged or belittled for putting up with his crap.

Out of interest, why are you kowtowing to your h when his behaviour is such that it's grounds for divorce? Have you considered that letting him have his way in all things is not the best role model for your dc and that his controlling ways will inevitably extend to them?

Duckdeamon Tue 29-Dec-15 06:44:35

Do you want to continue working weekends? Are you happy with your current WoH hours, job and work pattern?

As PPs have said, he is clearly controlling and your friend is understandably concerned about you, probably trying to say things in a way not to push you away.

of course he knows he's like that: it's working well for him. How does he react when you don't go along with his wishes or drop things? Not well I bet.

Since he's the one who's changed his working hours, he should organise the childcare. Not from your parents. If you inform him he needs to sort it out and arrange paid care, what will his reaction be?

Have observed that friends with "difficult" partners often put upon family or friends rather than risk conflict with their partners: a red flag in my book.

LidikaLikes Tue 29-Dec-15 08:11:55

Sorry if I've misunderstood, but am I right in thinking your DH works weekdays and you look after DC, and then you work at the weekend and your parents look after DC?

Does he ever actually do anything with his own DC?

TheBestChocolateIsFree Tue 29-Dec-15 08:18:53

I think the deal is that at the moment he normally looks after DC at the weekend while OP works, but when he takes his new job he won't be able to do that so OP will have to quit job or exploit GPs

ObsidianBlackbirdMcNight Tue 29-Dec-15 08:22:12

It's not ok to be controlling at all, regardless of whether you think he's doing it on purpose or by accident.

Seeyounearertime Tue 29-Dec-15 08:27:39

If decision arent joint then why are you worrying bout asking him? Just do what you like.
I'd suggest kicking him up the backside hard enough that he gets a headache.

LittleMissGeneric Tue 29-Dec-15 08:40:12

Sorry I wasn't clear in OP, he works some weekends at the moment, and looks after them on the ones he doesn't.

He will be working more weekends, on the new shifts (which now include nights)

It's only in the last year or so, and after having various CBT/counseling I have even realized his behaviour is like this.

We tried joint counseling (on his request) but it was awful, he made me out to look lazy, and even denied something I brought up, saying it never happened. That just made me feel even worse.

I have anxiety and depression, which he aggrevates, but this makes it hard to leave as I can't see a way out, and I don't earn much working less than 8 hours a week. We also owe my parents money (whole other story and not one I'm happy with) I feel trapped and scared.

People seem to love him though, he's very outgoing and charming and people are genuinely surprised when I mention anything.

Thank your for the replies, and it's an interesting point about my friend, I never looked at it that way.

shouldwestayorshouldwego Tue 29-Dec-15 08:41:47

To be honest in your situation I wouldn't want to give up your job as you might need that independence. Is there any chance you could change your hours?

ptumbi Tue 29-Dec-15 08:44:45

OP that is why it is never a good idea to have joint counselling with an abuser.
And that is what he is.

ProfGrammaticus Tue 29-Dec-15 08:48:44

Your friend means that she thinks your DH is controlling, but she is trying to tell you that without losing your friendship, so she says the other things about him too. She may believe these other things. But she definitely thinks he is controlling and she thinks this is not ok, otherwise she would not have said anything.

LIZS Tue 29-Dec-15 08:48:54

How old are dc? Any chance you could look for another weekday job and keep your w/e one until you do. He does sound controlling but many women are content not to take responsibility for decisions. Your parents would rather support you to be happy than call in a loan.

category12 Tue 29-Dec-15 08:49:27

I don't think giving up your job is a good idea. Total dependence on someone who is controlling? Nah.

Look for better hours and more independence, not less.

SSargassoSea Tue 29-Dec-15 08:57:00

Well you can't change another person so no point thinking you can fix him or his attitude. You can only change yours.

I would speak to a solicitor to see where you could stand financially. Not necessarily to arrange divorce but to KNOW what the real possibilities are so that if he shuts you down when you attempt to discuss things you can ignore his comments as you KNOW what is what and when he is talking bollox.

That should give you more confidence and allow you to sensibly plan for the future in regards to working/ not working etc

Other people's views don't really count because other people like to be liked so will humour a bully, ignore things rather than rock the boat.

LittleMissGeneric Tue 29-Dec-15 09:18:26

I have been looking for more hours in other jobs for a while, but it's difficult as by the time I pay for travel and before and after school club, I wouldn't earn anything.

There just aren't many jobs around either so there is big competition.

I know giving up my job isn't ideal, but neither is putting on my parents all the time.

I couldn't change my hours, but will speak to my boss about maybe swapping some weekends if I can, I've got nothing to lose by asking.

Duckdeamon Tue 29-Dec-15 09:37:26

You've begun to see through your counselling etc that he is abusive.

It is often easier to get a job when already in work: agree with PPs that quitting in your situation isn't a good plan, certainly before legal advice on what your financial position might be if you leave him.

Weekend childcare can be found: he should help organise this. Childcare costs should be considered against overall family money, not just your earnings. Medium and long term benefits of work should be considered (eg scope to earn more in future if you work now; pension building up) as well as short term costs.

Do you have full access to family money? Know how much he earns and has in savings?

Duckdeamon Tue 29-Dec-15 09:44:37

The childcare is a joint issue to organise and pay for: he is a parent too, works in the week and at weekends, and doesn't have to consider childcare - you're covering it all. Seems unfair.

LIZS Tue 29-Dec-15 09:45:38

Even if you didn't make money initially the long term benefits of working outside the home could be with it. Paying for childcare is a joint investment so shouldn't be seen in terms of your wage needing to cover it. If your dh will be working more w/e will he not be more available in the week.

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