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Am I the emotionally abusive one???

(27 Posts)
Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 20:22:26

MNetters i have no idea why you would want to read this. Probably doesnt really matter. I'm just typing what's going round in my head.

DH and I have hit a really bad patch in our relationship. It felt like we had a great relationship with occasional rows that we didn't handle well. However the more I think about it the more I see problems that have been around a long time. DH doesn't see them so its like I'm ruining everything.

As a bit of background, recently I have been really depressed after a row where DH shouted. That was a few weeks ago. I fell into depression/anxiety, now eased with ADs. I cannot make any sense of anything. I'm not even going to ask anyone to try.

Whats worrying me today is that i tried reading about emotional abuse and wonder if I have all this the wrong way round. Things leapt out and made me think am i abusive? This genuinely terrifies me.

Is withholding sex controlling?
I have withdrawn. Is this sulking? Giving the silent treatment?
I am blaming him for everything which I read is abusive. I get annoyed when he says arguments are a two away street etc.
I am angry but unable to talk to DH. (Every time we do its a headfuck. I remember wrong/ I interpret incorrectly.)
I don't shout or lose my temper but DH said at the weekend he has been "walking on eggshells". That's awful. My mum was terribly abusive/violent. His words keep going round in my head.
DH would do anything to fix this but I have refused joint counselling. I just feel it would be a bad idea. But instead I leave him hanging not knowing where he stands.

I want to rewind and never have that silly row. I want my sanity back and to be happy again.

Am I abusive for dragging this out so long?

Moonax Wed 10-Feb-16 20:58:59

Didn't want to read and run.

You're depressed (ADs will help, but it all takes time) so you need to accept that you may not be a great judge of your own behaviour. That goes both ways - you could be seeing things in an overly negative way in terms of your own behaviour, or underplaying the way your DH behaves (which could be abusive and triggering your own behaviours).

Why do you feel that joint counselling would be a bad idea? Would you, for example, be open to counselling for yourself? That might allow you space to think about the whole relationship with someone non-judgmental to guide you.

Somehow you need to find a way to get past the anger and talk to each other. You can't re-wind and not have had the original row (well, you know that). You can get your sanity and happiness back, but only if you're prepared to move forward, not stay where you are stewing in misery.

Moonax Wed 10-Feb-16 20:59:49

I'm sure as well that others with a lot more experience will be along to give you good advice.

Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 21:26:14

Hi. Stewing is right. I am absolutely wallowing. It's tedious. If I don't sort it I will ruin things. I did try counselling by myself. I thought things were a little clearer. The counsellor was lovely but I think it was just a chance to indulge my negativity and wallowing. Like this thread!

nephrofox Wed 10-Feb-16 21:32:25

You don't suddenly "get depression" after a 1 off argument. There must be more to it than that.

pocketsaviour Wed 10-Feb-16 21:53:47

I'm going to answer some of your bullet points.

Is withholding sex controlling?
If you are withholding sex to punish the other person for something, or to manipulate them, then yes. If you just don't want sex right now, then no.

I have withdrawn. Is this sulking? Giving the silent treatment?
We don't know. Are you ignoring him and refusing to speak, or say anything other than clipped one-word answers? Or are you just a bit quieter than usual?

I am blaming him for everything which I read is abusive. I get annoyed when he says arguments are a two away street etc.
He is right that arguments are almost always a two-person thing. Why do you find this concept so unacceptable? Does it frighten you to think you might be at fault?

I am angry but unable to talk to DH. (Every time we do its a headfuck. I remember wrong/ I interpret incorrectly.)
Are you actually remembering/interpreting wrongly, or is this just what he says? when you consider things objectively, are you genuinely leaping to the wrong conclusions?

I don't shout or lose my temper but DH said at the weekend he has been "walking on eggshells". That's awful. My mum was terribly abusive/violent. His words keep going round in my head.
Yes, that does sound pretty awful - although it doesn't sound like you are purposely making this atmosphere.
Did he say that he has been doing this for a long time in your relationship? Or just since this last argument?

DH would do anything to fix this but I have refused joint counselling. I just feel it would be a bad idea. But instead I leave him hanging not knowing where he stands.
Can you look a little deeper inside yourself and ask where this fear of counselling comes from? Are you afraid to open up your emotions and therefore make yourself vulnerable? Do you have a need to "win"?

Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 21:54:48

Yes I know. But whatever has been less than perfect before, I was coping and living a happy life a month ago.

Hence the long hard thinking about what led me here.

And the horrible fear that it's me that's the problem as per opening post.

Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 21:59:06

Sorry that reply was to the post before. Cross post.

Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 22:22:33

If I try to talk about him being angry he wants to talk about what I did to make him angry. If I tell him something that was hurtful he tells me that I do the same. Maybe all fair enough, two-person thing etc but sometimes it's my feelings corrected. I told him I found his shouting scary once and he was scornful. So I ended up questioning if I had just said it to point score. Hand on heart, I don't know. I can't trust what I feel never mind my judgement of events. So I think joint counselling could be confusing.

Counsellor agreed for what it's worth. She was worried for me. But then she only had my version if events to go on. Did i lead her to that. See how confusing?

I don't think I want to win. I hold back on what I tell him because I hate to hurt him, he said recently that I make him out to be some kind of a monster. I felt terrible. But maybe I can't face counselling because I might have to face bad things about myself as above.

I've been trying to chat more normally but its a struggle. Probably fairly clipped answers would be accurate a week ago I'm afraid. Or if I'm really honest, hiding away in bed for the evening.

Iwantmymaidennameback Wed 10-Feb-16 22:26:41

What exactly was this particular argument about? It seems that as you were happy prior to it, then this argument must have been the catalyst for this sudden change in how you feel.

Moonax Wed 10-Feb-16 22:42:19

Was this the first argument you'd had?

It does seem from what you're saying that it opened up a lot of things you're finding it very hard to deal with. From what you say, it's had a huge effect on both of you, so what was it about? Money, feelings, children, work? Any of those could make you suddenly realise you don't feel the same way about something important.

I'm concerned that you seem to think the counselling is permission to feel negative. That's part of the process to some extent. It is about you, it's supposed to be self-centred. Eventually you start to work through that, but like the ADs, it isn't an instant process.

Justlurkingaround Wed 10-Feb-16 23:12:33

I think the disagreement was trivial. I was upset because he shouted rather than what we disagreed over. I don't do shouting at all. Find it upsetting. Seemed worse because it escalated quickly, he blew up in front of the kids, it was a bit intimidating and he said I wanted him to, i pushed him. I made the mistake of not dropping the discussion quick enough.

Tbh I posted here soon after. General consensus was he didn't behave well.

But what's bothering me today is being a bit horrified that maybe DH could point out emotional abuse in me.

Marchate Thu 11-Feb-16 00:07:09

You sound very sad. Hopefully that will improve soon and you will have more clarity

Abuse is intentional and is dished out with bad intentions towards the victim. Do you think you are guilty of that? You sound too worried that you could be like that - not something an abuser would care about

Would you be able to say more about your mum? Was she violent towards you, or another family member?

Justlurkingaround Thu 11-Feb-16 00:35:04

No, definitely no intention to hurt.

Most of my mums anger was directed at one of my siblings. It was a very unpleasant atmosphere.

Justlurkingaround Thu 11-Feb-16 11:41:00

Nothing like a hilly walk to clear the head a bit. It seems so obvious. I don't have to behave like this. I don't need to panic about whether I've been abusive. I can simply stop doing these things.

I may not be able to fix everything but I'm responsible for my own actions. They are not beyond my control.

I'm not sure about joint counselling still but I think either I work up to that or accept that there are things I need to let go. Staying in limbo will get us nowhere.

Justlurkingaround Fri 12-Feb-16 10:41:40

Couldn't even put my positive thoughts into actions for one night with DH. Going to ask for stronger ADs.

Am becoming a big fat-fucking-clichéd medicated housewife.

Not to mention rambling to myself on the internet. I am so overwhelmed.

LittleMissUpset Fri 12-Feb-16 11:16:31

I could be wrong, but it could be he is emotionally abusing you. Abusers are very good at turning things round on the other person, and making it look like they have the problem.

I think my husband may be emotionally abusive and possibly narcissistic, but he has always put things back on me, and made me feel like it's my fault. I have such low self esteem that even when friends tell me it's not my fault, I still can't believe it.

Read about gaslighting OP, see if it sounds familiar.

Justlurkingaround Fri 12-Feb-16 12:10:08

I did read about it recently but it seemed a bit unlikely.

A month ago we rowed, we talked about it after, I had overreacted etc, we agreed I was perhaps depressed and should get ADs. The next day i was utterly overwhelmed with inexplicable fear. I was scared to do anything. Walked for hours, scared to use phone, email etc it made no sense and was terrifying. No idea what I was scared of. It took a few days to pass.

Started on ADs.

I thought I could see some problems in the lead up where I felt I had no say in my life but now i don't know what to think. It was all small things. My husband is a really good person.

Sorry you find yourself confused too. It's horrible isnt it.

moopymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 14:39:04

This just sounds like your both not communicating well which has lead to negative behaviour on both sides.

Due to your anxiety everything will seem more amplified and decisions more difficult. Remember aswell we can all recognise ourselves in most of those behaviours. I know I'm capable of sulking and the silent treatment for a bit. It's abusive when it's done in an extreme way, continuously with the intention of hurting and punishing the other person.

moopymoodle Fri 12-Feb-16 14:47:35

Also OP. Google claire weekes free audios. They will help you deal with the depression and anxiety. Try not to analyse problems at the moment, deal with the depression and anxiety and when you feel more clear headed you can sort this.

Anxiety makes it impossible to decide anything. And I mean anything, I panicked once as I pondered about reality then concluded I must be psychotic to wonder about such things. I wasn't, it was all normal thoughts amplified by my anxiety state which led to s spiral of analysing everything.

Justlurkingaround Fri 12-Feb-16 15:48:56

Thanks moopy. Yes the over analysing sounds right. I look forward to being clear headed again.

Galvanised Fri 12-Feb-16 16:03:43

If someone shouts at you in a row, roaring shouting for example, it's distressing. A normal response to that is to withdraw, to feel shocked, to take time out to lick your wounds. If the shouting person doesn't apologise, you probably won't feel normal afterwards. Most likely you wouldn't feel in the slightest bit sexually attracted to them. More likely hurt, angry, upset.
I think you have acted normally here. Talk to and listen to your counsellor, and whatever you do don't consider joint counselling with someone that is emotionally abusing you. You sound to me as though you are stuck in that fog of confusion that emotional abuse brings. Hopefully the counselling will help with that.

Galvanised Fri 12-Feb-16 16:09:13

Re read your post of 10/2 22.22
Your husband is not listening to you, he is managing to twist your valid concerns around. That is probably what is concerning your counsellor.

Galvanised Fri 12-Feb-16 16:12:20

And your post after that, where you describe him as intimidating- and suggesting that it was your fault for bringing it up / not backing down soon enough.
These are emotionally abusive tactics and responses.

Justlurkingaround Fri 12-Feb-16 16:56:22

But what if I read the wrong meaning into the actions. This is what DH has said about this and other things. He isn't trying to intimidate or shut down the row etc. He just isn't thinking at the time. Likewise other actions that don't feel loving are just thoughtless. But I will do the counselling by myself.

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