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How do I handle his behaviour?

(26 Posts)
Gitella Sun 03-Apr-16 17:20:04

I‘ve been with my husband for 21 years, married for 16, with two children girl age 10 and boy age 14. We have had our ups and downs but mostly it has been good. Until about 3 years ago. He decided to get in his best physical shape ever and started working out a lot. It has consumed him. Until then I was the fitter person in the marriage, something he liked a lot, because he admits to be very shallow and have little or no tolerance for people who don‘t take care of their physical appearance and also have no ambition. About the same time I lost 3 jobs in 2 years and my self-confidence was just blown away. Then I got an autoimmune disease, had to go on steroids, was too weak to work out and gained weight. I finally found a job which is ok but I‘m way overqualified for. Since the he‘s gone ice-cold on me. He says things like „Haven‘t you eaten enough“ when I go for seconds in dinner parties and never ever says things like he did before, like I look beautiful. He hardly speaks to me unless criticising, why don‘t you have a better job „or „why can‘t you keep the house cleaner „or „when are you going to the gym“. My friends notice this and are seriously thinking about intervention with him. I have VERY good friends by the way. He does not because he‘s always so critical of everyone. I‘m also afraid he‘s setting a horrible example for the kids because they are starting to talk to me like him, especially the 14 year old. We do things together with the kids. But the twist is that he seems to sense when I‘m at a breaking point and the does something really nice, like treating me to a spa or a special night out. But he never takes me to work cocktails or his gym group gatherings any more. It‘s like I‘m an elephant! I‘m 158 pound but used to be stick model thin at 110. Which he liked A LOT.
Do we have any chance at all other than me starving myself and throwing out CV‘s for jobs I‘m petrified of?

AnyFucker Sun 03-Apr-16 17:24:03

He sounds about as deep as a puddle hmm

Quite often the reason that someone starts suddenly finding fault with another person is because they have found a reason to devalue them in some way. An unfair comparison perhaps ? Has he had "mentionitis" about anyone recently ?

sooperdooper Sun 03-Apr-16 17:26:18

What are his positive points because he sounds horrible sad

FellOutOfBedTwice Sun 03-Apr-16 17:27:33

He sounds lovely.

tribpot Sun 03-Apr-16 17:30:21

Being with someone so superficial was never going to work once you failed on the only two things he values - appearance and career. Failing on both has revealed to you (I hope) that you have no true partnership with this man.

Never mind how do you handle his behaviour, why would you handle it? Is this a model you wish to see your children replicate? Personally I'd be worried that one or other of them would end up with an eating disorder as a result of his bullying.

Dellarobia Sun 03-Apr-16 18:07:08

He sounds awful OP sad

springydaffs Sun 03-Apr-16 18:31:34

Gosh. So were a trophy on his arm before. Now you've, you know, been hit by some serious life events, he is nowhere to be seen. In fact, he's holding your head under the water.

Vile vile vile. And VILE. Do something about this op . The big clue is your kids following his example. That just can't happen!

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 03-Apr-16 19:13:58

He's shown you his true colours, and now your children are following his example. He needs to go. Far, far away.

How do you handle his behaviour? A firm "fuck off" should tell him all he needs to know.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 03-Apr-16 19:34:21

Get rid of him. He's a puddle. You deserve better, and. I think you know that. Otherwise you wouldn't have posted asking for advice. Who is he exactly to be criticising other people. Why have people's body shapes got to please him. I bet he's got a face like a burst boot.

Northernparent68 Sun 03-Apr-16 20:53:33

The constant criticism must be draining, but presumably you knew when you married him he placed a high value on personal appearance and careers.

Rather than end the marriage can't you meet each other half way ? He could stop the constant moaning, and you could go to the gym, re assess your diet, which would improve your confidence.

As for the house work, it depends on who is home the most. If you work full time, it's equally his responsibility, if you re part time then maybe think are his criticisms valid.

It's not pleasant to have someone criticise your job, but maybe he feels the burden of being the main breadwinner, a compromise might be to say you will look for a better job in 2 years time when you ve got your confidence back.

Newes Sun 03-Apr-16 20:58:12

He's a dick. Lose about 160lb by getting rid of him.

redannie118 Sun 03-Apr-16 21:07:14

Wow op he sounds utterly vile. I was diagnosed with a major autoimmune disease this year too. Does he have any idea how crippling the fatigue and pain are? It does NOT have to be this way and do not try and make him happy by risking your health for you and your kids sake sit him down and tell him how you feel. Its sickness and in health thing he should be supporting you emotional and physical needs. My dh insisted I went part time, spends his weekends and days off doing housework, he drew up a jobs rota for my kids and explained to them why they need to help me and although ive put on 3 stone in the last year and walk with a cane now he tells me im beautiful all the time. Please please please op think carefully about why you are with someone who values you so little

LanaorAna1 Sun 03-Apr-16 21:25:20

I would talk to him about his failure to acknowledge the joys of middle-ageing as I suspect this is what's going on, mixed in with his own ego and a splash of midlife crisis. Tell him how much it hurts and how badly his superficiality reflects on him. Ask what marriage means to him. He may cave him and realise he's been an idiot when he considers the bond and history you share today.

Try some tough talking. I got very bad thyroid disease a few years ago and I put on buckets of weight - so fast I couldn't keep count of the gain. I feel for you - I was cruelly hurt when people started making frankly snappy remarks about it. I had to turn round and What would you prefer? Me in a wheelchair? That shut them up.

The only other thing I'd say is, and it's not a great one, is that some men really do only go for very thin women - you were 7.5 stone when you married. It's not helpful to speculate why they do this, but it can be a hard habit to break.

Gitella Sun 03-Apr-16 21:52:16

I don't think he's having an affair. He's starting up a company with a friend, which is stressing him out and he's working 18 hours a day in it. I know, because the wife of the friend confirms it. Unless when he's working out and that I know because of the selfies! Free time he spends with the kids. He has good points. He's a very good dad. He''s got a great sense of humour. And he was like a rock when my parents both died within few years of each other. When we had more income he whisked me of to Paris for a weekend and had a special neclace made with "our" numbers for our 10 years anniversary. Often so nice but something has really changed.

tribpot Sun 03-Apr-16 21:55:26

Paris and a necklace? Trinkets, instead of love.

AnyFucker Sun 03-Apr-16 22:02:38

Big "gestures" mean fuck all in the face of being treated like shit on a regular basis

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Sun 03-Apr-16 22:12:38

In the very unlikely event he is having an affair and someone else would put up with him, then. God help her. !!.

HeddaGarbled Sun 03-Apr-16 22:26:11

Oh dear, I see a dynamic here. Telling it like I see it is going to sound really really harsh but please understand that this is not what I think of you, or what you really are, but how I think he sees it.

He had a wife who looked good and had a good job. This made him feel and look good as in the eyes of others you looked like a catch and so made him look good. You were a trophy wife.

This would never have lasted anyway. We all age. Your illness and job situation has accelerated your decline from trophy-ness.

If he really loved you, this wouldn't matter. But he doesn't. He loved the idea of you as this ego boosting arm candy.

I would dump the shallow git and find a nice beta male who will love and cherish the real you through thick and thin.

AmIbeingTreasonable Mon 04-Apr-16 02:53:19

Sorry to tell you op but he is not "a very good dad". He is modelling his disgusting behaviour to the children who are already starting to see his behaviour as " normal" (hence the copying him).

Dellarobia Mon 04-Apr-16 07:49:56

My DH and I have been together nearly as long as you. Over the years he's taken me away for the weekend and given me special jewellery, but that wouldn't be what I would mention if someone asked me why he was a good husband. I'd talk about how kind and supportive he is, how he listens to me and respects my opinion, how we're a partnership. That's worth far more than the grand gestures IMO. Btw I also know he'd be very happy if I lost a little weight! It's not a huge thing in our relationship though.

LanaorAna1 Mon 04-Apr-16 11:56:42

Love, he's not a good dad. And you need to have a go at your rude child, as well.

SouthWesterlyWinds Mon 04-Apr-16 12:02:48

He talks to you like shit and your 14yp is now copying him. Is this how you want your son to grow up and treat people?

loopylou6 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:01:20

You are teaching your daughter that this is an acceptable way to be treated by a man, and you are teaching your son this is an acceptable way to treat a woman. You need to do something op.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 04-Apr-16 14:47:32

Oh dear..... we have the 'he's a good dad' line!
NO NO NO NO he is NOT!!!
He is teaching your DC some terrible lessons in how you treat loved ones and they in turn are repeating it.
As they learn from their parents it's hardly surprising.
The only way to make your DC see that this is NOT OK and NOT how you treat the ones you love, is to show them that you do not put up with it.
Why would you? Why should you?
He sounds awful.
Ultimatum time I think!
And follow through or he will just get more and more vile!

Gitella Mon 04-Apr-16 19:56:46

Gosh! You are all so great! So many great pointers to think about. Thank you all smile

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