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Help please: will sending this just make things worse?(156 Posts)
Horrible row with DH in the car on way home from visiting my sister for dinner. I apologised and we went to bed on OK terms, but I'm sick of the way he speaks to me in rows and the way they go from nothing to full on arguments if I say the wrong thing. So feel I need to vent. He gets pretty defensive if I say things to him so want to email him so that he can read and reflect on his own. Suspect he will be angry at first but hoping some of the points sink in. Tired of rowing in front of our two year old twins and know they deserve better. Also upset with the way he speaks to me. So thoughts on below? Thanks.
So it's 5am and I can't stop thinking about last night. This often happens when we have a row so I've decided to try to explain how I feel to you this time, rather than just stewing on things alone. And I'm not going to send this until you've left for work as I don't want you to read it when you're with me in case I spark another row. I hate rows.
So this is how I remember things from last night. And before I annoy you, this isn't about apportioning blame, far from it (as I know if I hadn't mentioned your mum it wouldn't have happened so equal blame has to sit with me). I'd just like you to understand how I feel.
We are in car. I've had a great afternoon and evening, feeling really happy. Try to explain how happy I was when you said you were on your way over to join us, even though I suspected you'd have preferred not to come and spend a few hours with my sister etc.
Get a response from you saying I owe you for it.
Immediately I feel on the defensive: I guess I felt protective over (my sister) and resentful that you see it as being that transactional. I guess in my mind I hoped it was the kind of thing partners do for each other (spend time with each other's family) and didn't want to feel indebted to you.
Instead of explaining that well, I quickly tried to think of an example of when I tried to do something similar. The first that came to mind was most recent: you suggesting that your mum comes down to look after the twins on Friday. Say that my first reaction was to say I didn't need her to, I was capable of looking after them whilst the lounge was being decorated, but that I thought about it and realised it was nice for you and your mum for her to help with them so I didn't say anything, and we did that.
Then you were furious.
I understand you being defensive over your mum but it feels as though sometimes you are over and above your loyalty to me. I wasn't attacking your mum. I wasn't trying to stop her seeing the kids. I wasn't criticising her. I was just trying to explain that, much as you probably felt today, the easiest and laziest option for me would have been to look after them myself. That's not to say I wasn't grateful to your mum for helping, of course. But I was just trying to make a point that I hadn't said anything to you along the lines of you owing me because to my mind you don't owe me. We are married and make an effort with each other's family. That's what we both do, all the time. And I just didn't want to be told I owed you for it, when the whole conversation started by me thanking you for making an effort.
Things I remember from the row that followed:
* I am not allowed to ever mention your mum again
* Your mum is much more important than my sister
* I am "disgusting"
* my own mum is "fucking pathetic"
* my parents cannot see the kids as much anymore, they see too much of the kids
* I am disgusting (it's that one that's keeping me awake).
* I am stupid and need to think before I speak
* you spoke with utter contempt about me
* I am passive aggressive and my behaviour disgusts you.
Those things are hard to hear. I'd like you to understand that the things you say stay with me. And when I make stupid little digs - which you said are unfair at the weekend so I am going to try to stop - about the old days when you used to like me, I guess it's because all the things you say are in the back of my mind and I fear that you don't. You've said the disgusting thing many times now and I worry deep down that's what you really do think of me. I'm also worried that the twins are starting to understand everything we say and that I don't want them to think that's your opinion of me, or that it's normal for people to feel like that in a relationship.
I try hard with us, I really do. And that's not saying you don't. Just trying to make you understand that I do. I sometimes bite my tongue, as I'm sure you do, for the sake of peace. I actively try to make you like me. I try not to irritate you. I try to change how I am when with your friends and family to try to be less chatty and annoying, and to make you proud. I try to make a big effort with your mum (eg trying to persuade her to stay longer on sat) even though I know she doesn't like me that much. I will make an effort again with your bro when we see him, even though I don't want to because I know how he feels about my mum (Oh and at this point I'd like you to consider how you'd feel about my sister if you knew she hated your mum, because I honestly think you would refuse to see her. I would never do that, and will make a big effort to get my relationship back on track with [brother], for you). I try - and I know I fail - not to nag. I try - and fail sometimes I know - not to moan about you watching a moderate amount of sport, or to moan about you shouting or swearing when watching it. I know that I too can have a temper and try to restrain it when you lose yours as that's when we have our worst rows, and I know that when I lose it I'm a wreck.
And despite all that trying (which to reiterate I know you do too, and more) you still think I'm disgusting. And that makes me desperately sad as I don't know what makes you feel that way, or how to make it stop.
I would really like to do some phone counselling with relate, but I think you think it would be a waste of time. And who knows, maybe it would be. But if that won't work then please please have a think about how we can change things so we don't row as much (I'm also awake worrying about poor one of the twins asking us not to shout ). Tell me what I can do to avoid or minimise the rows. Tell me the things that annoy you the most so I can do them less, and the things you like about me so I can do them more.
I honestly think (DS) and (DS) deserve better parents than we both were last night in the car.
And, for what it's worth, thank you again for coming yesterday. And I love you for it and the effort you make with all my family, and many many other things (DH). xxx
Before you send it, have you thought about a divorce.
He sounds like a nightmare.
It sounds like he's a nasty shithead. I can see why you wrote this but I reckon it'll just bring more nastiness your way.
You poor sod. You're asking what you can do, or avoid doing, so you don't trigger off an abusive episode.
I'm absolutely certain that you don't earn the horrible things he calls you.
Have a read of The Abuser Profiles by Lundy Bancroft, will try and find a link for you.
I feel for you OP. You sound lovely and this sounds hard. I've no advice but if you were my friend I'd be telling you that you deserve so much better.
From how you describe things in your letter, I fear your husband may not take your feelings on board. But something has to change so it might be worth a try.
You sound very self aware & thoughtful. I think its a really good email - though rather long! I hope you get an equally considered response but I fear you may not. He sure is horrible in an argument!
Christ almighty, your poor twins.
And poor you.
I sometimes bite my tongue, as I'm sure you do, for the sake of peace. I actively try to make you like me. I try not to irritate you. I try to change how I am when with your friends and family to try to be less chatty and annoying, and to make you proud.
So does he try to be "less annoying", i.e. less his actual personality, so that YOU don't get annoyed?
It sounds like this man has been, for probably most of the years you've been together, putting you down and making you think that you're a terrible human being because you have a personality.
Do have a read of Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft. It's available on Kindle.
By the way I think sending this will result in a barrage of abuse about how you're "mental" and it didn't happen like that and he never said those things, but if he did then you deserved them.
Well send it if you wish but it won't make him behave any differently.
He's verbally and emotionally abusive and telling him you don't like it won't change that.
The saddest bit is at the end where you are thanking him for what he does for you and end it with kisses. You should be furious, not placating him, but because he's abusive you don't want to rile him further. You're trying to manage his abuse.
Honestly, have you considered splitting up?
I understand why you wrote it all out like that and want to send it to him. You are hoping it will shock him into 'seeing the light', he will suddenly realise how terribly he has been behaving towards you and it will all change.
It might happen like that.
But I think you need to be making plans for your next moves if it doesn't.
Life with your husband sounds terrible. I could not stay with a man who called me disgusting.
Why are you tip toeing around him? He was wrong.
You sound like you're trying to explain, find the right words to make him understand. As if you expect some magical combination of words will make the penny drop with him?
That's not going to happen. He's emotionally abusing you. He doesn't give a crap about your point of view. He's told you that plainly. I know it's so hurtful but you don't seem to be taking that information in.
You need to accept this is what he's like. He's a nasty asshole. I'm sorry OP.
If you hadn't mentioned your twins I would have been sure you were my best friend. I watch her going through the same thing with her husband, and it breaks my heart.
Whale you may want to get the name removed from your OP.
This does not sound like a good relationship at all. He's not at all supportive of you and you're trying to change yourself to please him. From my own experience, whatever you do will never be enough and you'll start to resent the fact you can't be yourself around him.
Best of luck OP, agree with Gilbert about the Lundy Bancroft book.
Oh, I would think hard before sending him your letter. You may want to hang fire a bit until you read the book.
Your children don't have to understand each word - they already understand exactly how you feel about each other. One of them will soon tell you that you're disgusting, when he doesn't want to put his shoes on or something.
Don't send the email.
Oh love, you shouldn't have to try to make your husband like you. Of everyone in the world, your partner should be the one person you can rely on to accept you just as you are.
I wouldn't send the email, BUT I would keep it for myself to read back through to remind myself that I deserve better than this - because you do, OP, and so do your children.
Op, You need to take a long hard look at what you wrote and decide is this what you want for the rest of your life.
I honestly do not know which of your statements was the saddest I actively try to make you like me. I try not to irritate you but the following is one of the saddest things I have read I try to change how I am when with your friends and family to try to be less chatty and annoying, and to make you proud
Only you know if you are prepared to change yourself into someone else (to please your DH). One word of caution though, no matter how much you change it will never be enough for him I suspect.
Personally I would rewrite your email explaining how you want him to change or else the marriage is over. Which person do you want as the role model for your DC's you or your DH?
I'd cut the email right down TBH.
Yesterday an argument started over something minor. The escalation of this and the disrespectful way you spoke (then use bullet points above) is unacceptable way to apes ask to the mother of your children.
Therefore you have 2 choices. Change the way you act towards me or go and live elsewhere.
Your situation sounds awful. It all seems to be about how you are meant to change to make him happier.
Your email is well written and you have clearly put a lot of thought into it, but I would expect that it won't have the result you want to to, and would echo the advice to think about what you do next after that. Would he go to counselling if you said it was that or splitting up?
Use Youarentkiddingme 's email. Much more appropriate in my view.
Even better would be, 'After yesterday, fuck off'.
I wouldn't send the email I doubt he will read it all. I think it's better to speak to him face to face, if he doesn't respond the way you would like then I think you seriously need to think about what you get from this relationship. It's not nice walking on eggshells, I've been there and eventually made the decision to get out.
Ok I am going to go slightly against the grain here not because I don't think that your dh was in the wrong but because rows can sometimes escalate out of the silliest things, and before you know it they have got out of hand and everyone is upset.
You said that your dh texted that you owe him for going to see your sister and that you became defensive. Did he actually mean it in the way which put you on the defensive? Or did he mean it in a "you owe me," lighthearted way and you immediately became defensive and hit back so to speak?
No good can ever come of a "well if you say this then I should be saying that," kind of argument. It's just point scoring and ends up with both parties being defensive, often for no real valid reason.
I agree you need to communicate over this in a way which does let him know how you're feeling when certain things are said, but you need to do it in such a way which gives you both the opportunity to talk about how you feel. If I'd said to my dp "you owe me," over spending some time with his family, had meant it in a lighthearted way (let's face it, many partners don't want to spend too much time with the in laws," and he had overreacted in a "well if you're going to be like that then you owe me for letting your mum come down," kind of way I would be defensive and annoyed as well.
So it's all about context. Does he feel that your family are too involved? Are they too involved? There are plenty of mil threads from the other side on here, is it possible that he feels your family take over and are too demanding? Trotting out the ltb card off the back of the details of one argument is not helpful. Yes, this may be a small part of a big picture, but equally I imagine that every one of us could be told to ltb if sharing our worst ever row on here.
Only you know the real state of your relationship. Communication is key here.
You could make it shorter so he'll read it.
You could replace it with "I'm sorry sorry sorry, I'm too scared to blame you when I should, please treat me like a door mat".
I'm sorry love, but that's what it says.
Like the counselling bit - can we do Relate? I know you won't so can we do something else?
You're accommodating his refusal in advance.
Better to say "last night was terrible, we can't fix our communication on our own, either we do Relate or we split".
I honestly wouldn't send it. I'd see a solicitor and understand EXACTLY how I would leave him before I spoke about it at all. You'll feel more powerful if you're prepared.
NO-ONE gets to call you disgusting.
The bit about trying not to be chatty resonated with me. My ex was just like this, really emotionally abusive. I think he was jealous of me being sociable and chatty. Note; he is my ex, I got fed up with living a miserable, egg shells, existence like yours and managed to leave. You would be much happier without him and could be yourself again.
Btw I was totally with wanbaBe on the "you owe me" comment. When I read that I was prepaying to say that you over reacted to a really common throw away line.
But the rest of your email made me feel that even if you over reacted on that, your 'relationship' is an unhealthy mess.
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