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I Don't Know What to do Anymore(63 Posts)
Hi all, firstly sorry for what will probably be a long post. I've never posted on here before but have come on out of desperation in the hope that some of you ladies might have a pearl of wisdom/suggestion/something.
Hubby and I are really at a crisis point. The other day he threw his wedding ring at me whilst shouting "I'm f**king unhappy". This is not the first huge argument we've had by any means, but it is the first time he's admitted to being unhappy (something I've known for a while now).
A bit of background:
He's widowed, he cared for his first wife for some years. It was v hard for him. He seems to have grieved and moved on (as much as one can).
This is my second marriage. We all get on well with the ex.
I have 2 kids from my previous (DS1 - 10, DS2 - 8), we have one together (DS3 - 3).
Finances are tight, but not desperate by any means. They are tight because we have a nice lifestyle. That's a choice. He is quite materialistic.
The kids love him.
I love him to bits and this is all breaking my heart
He says he loves us all too and doesn't want to leave (despite me having given him the option and made it very easy for him to do so)
The bottom line is that he is just awful to us. He never hugs or cuddles me (although we do have sex), he's short and bad tempered with everyone. He's horrible to my eldest (the other day he called him a d*ck-head because he didn't understand how to skim a stone. Fortunately DS1 didn't hear). We all have to walk on eggshells around him in case he kicks off. He is emotionally detached from all of us except his own son. We have had counselling but somehow none of that came up. It got focussed on finances, our lack of balance with that (he controls everything, I'm a SAHM). He sat there in front of the counsellor and I and put his public face on and made us both believe that he'd had some revelation and it was all going to be fine. Two months later, he's back to muttering under his breath and slamming doors.
There's obviously and awful lot more to it but I don't want to a) bore you all or b) clog up the facts. I just don't know what to do anymore. I've spent the last 4 years since he moved in with us (which is pretty much when he went from ace perfect partner to miserable ass) trying my hardest to make him happy and I'm clearly failing. I'm at the point now where I'm keeping him away from my eldest kids to at least try to protect them from the atmosphere (he works shifts so I can make sure they're apart for several days at a time). It's no way to live. We're currently considering him going abroad to work but it just feels like delaying the inevitable for when he comes home again.
Jesus christ. The kids might think they love him but he clearly treats them, and you, like shit. He is financially controlling and abusive. Dont wait until he goes abroad to work. You need him to leave. Why dont you work atm? Can you get a job pretty quickly?
You're night. It's no way to live.
You've been flogging a dead horse with the 'trying to make him happy' bollox. He isn't happy. And that's actually his responsibility. Because he's an adult. Correct me if I'm wrong but your marriage vows did not include 'I promise to make you happy' did they? Nobody is responsible for anybody else's happiness.
In the meantime you have the right to not be walking on eggshells, and you need to protect the kids from this toxic environment. It must be exhausting for you. You have the right to be treated with respect and consideration in your own home. This is no way to live.
Time for a very honest conversation with him. What was he seeking when he moved in with you? A domestic servant?
If you tell him the truth about how you feel, would he listen, do you think?
I would make a plan to leave/start divorce proceedings.
Alternatively encourage him to go abroad and end it then.
What do you get out of this relationship now?.
Why did you write that the kids love him, think they actually detest the man and wonder of you why on earth you are still with him. Is your "love" for him really based on some unhealthy co-dependency?.
No decent counsellor would have ever seen the two of you together. Joint counselling was never going to work out at all because he is at heart abusive. He just put on an act for this counsellor and that person fell for it, he completely manipulated the sessions.
I think you all live in fear of him and this is no life for you or your children.
Womens Aid can and will help you leave, please call them on 0808 2000 247 and start making an exit plan from this before you are all further damaged by this individual.
If he moved in with you then he needs to move straight back out again.
I don't work because when we decided to have DS3 we agreed that I would be a SAHM until he went to school, whilst at the same time retraining (which I am doing - although he still "thinks I could be doing more"). DS3 has just started nursery so I am now thinking maybe I could work while he's there, but it's only 2 days a week and is supposed to be the time when I really get my head down to study. I think he resents carrying the family finances on his own, but it is what we agreed when planning for a baby and I gave up my job to do so (stupid me).
I know he isn't happy and I (now) know I can't change that. I wish HE would take steps to change that though. I have suggested to him that he's depressed, which obviously got shot down. Last night I asked him how exactly he planned to make things better, as he promised, and he didn't have an answer other than "I'll just have to try harder, won't I"
I did suggest we go back to counselling again but he wasn't keen. I think if I demanded it he would go. He won't ever leave us, but equally he's not happy either and I have no idea why. If I ask him he literally ignores me and stares at the wall. If I make an assumption I'm accused of being an armchair psychologist.
A very sad story - and I agree with the comments above; your relationship is very unhealthy and very stressful on a day to day level. Living on eggshells is no way to live - it is destructive on many levels.
Woman's Aid will be able to offer support - good suggestion.
Also you might want to get some free legal advice, its always good to know what your rights are before you do anything - www.thefamilylawpanel.org
They don't detest him, they do love him. They often ask when he's going to be home (he works shifts) and say they miss him when he's been away for a few days. He has worked abroad before, and both displayed very clear signs of anxiety at the thought of him going and were very sad until he came back. When he's nice, he's great. There is no problem with DS2, but myself and DS1 are clearly the ones that rile him for some reason. I'm aware it's all unacceptable, but I also think that he has an issue and that if he/we could fix him we'd have our happy family back. I said in sickness and in health. He's still there, every now and then I see it.
Sorry, i forgot you said you were married when i asked why you werent currently working.
Dont think you can fix him. You cant. Counselling wont help as he isnt interested. Divorce is your only way to protect your older children from him.
Why are you and he still together?.
Forget joint counselling with him, he will manipulate both you and the counsellor.
If anyone leaves here it will need to be you instigating that process (and then he'll go around moaning that, "she left me boo hoo").
He gets all that he wants out of this relationship in terms of power and control within it. He is happy as a clam being miserable to everyone around him, he just wants to drag everyone else down with him. All you people are ending up doing now is walking on eggshells around him. He only cares about his own self and having someone i.e. you as his current wife to look after him.
Op the fact they think they love him is worse. It means his terrible treatment / attitude towards them is what they think is normal. It is what theyll base their future relationships on.
Read my lips. He is a passive, entitled, abusive man.
'Try harder' means 'put on a mask and pretend I'm nice and respectful'
So forget counselling. It's bad enough to leave. And implement plan b:
1) see a solicitor, get advice about how things will look when you divorce him
2) start applying for jobs
3) start detached from him and start planning a new life for you, without him dragging you and the kids down.
PS I did it, my circs were similar to yours. If I can, you can........
You can never act as a rescuer and or saviour in a relationship. What made you at all think you could fix this individual?. That unhealthy thought is something that has ultimately cost you and your children very dearly indeed.
Your children probably do not like to see you upset and want to see you happy so mould their questions to you accordingly; they are telling you what you want to hear re this man. You and he are currently still together after all.
Abusive men do the nice and nasty cycle very well but its a continuous cycle.
Your eldest son riles him likely because he is older, may observe a lot more and perhaps answers him back more or asks more searching questions. He does not like you because men like this hate women, all of them. He does not want your help and support.
What do you think your children are learning from the two of you about relationships here?. Would you want them to do the very same or similar in their own adult relationships?.
It doesn't seem that there's anything to salvage here, sorry. He's not interested in changing, why would he, you're all tiptoeing round him? Time to protect your children and get rid of him
A lot of what you all say makes sense. I'm sorely tempted to show him the replies! He doesn't need me to look after him though - he's ex military (I know!) and very much looks after himself. That's another issue. He rarely wants me to do anything in terms of looking after him. I no longer do the ironing (apparently it's not up to scratch!) and he never accepts lunch/cups of coffee etc. He's often to be found doing housework, in fact, he never sits still.
Things aren't good enough as they are for you, and most importantly your children, and he's not taking steps to change that. So can you live like this for the rest of your life because that's what you're committing yourself to as things stand.
I do not think you would actually show him these replies but I would urge you anyway not to show him any of this thread. That would be a red rag to a bull and he would likely dismiss us as raging anti men harpies. Apart from anything else you need a safe controlled outlet for your thoughts and feelings.
Just why are you and he still together now?. What is in this for you now?.
They will love him, kids are conditioned to love people who abuse them, because they have no idea that the behaviour they are experiencing is wrong, because they have nothing to compare it to.
I love him. It's really as simple as that. Obviously there are practical factors like the house etc, but ultimately I'd still be with him whether he provided that or not. (if he were nice to us!) He thinks that he has to give us absolutely everything and breaks himself trying to provide it. He doesn't listen when I say I don't need the big house, the holiday, the meals out etc. To him, showing love is spending money, not being nice!
Love. Is. Not. Enough.
If it's not mutual, it's not even love. It's dependency. You can do better than this.
I would add 3) to the plan. Find a good therapist and go on your own.
if he were nice to us!
You see, this is 'basic run of the mill shouldn't even have to be mentioned' stuff. If he can't even be nice to you what's the point?
Yes Costacoffeeplease, you are right. I suspect there is a reason WHY though, and I am reluctant to throw away a relationship that could be saved if the root cause is identified and fixed. As not only his wife, but a human being, I feel I should help him to find out what it is that's bothering him so much, because I do believe his claims that he loves us despite his shitty attitude. In addition, he saw me through some pretty awful depression a few years ago, complete with counselling for me, and I think I should be able to offer that same support back.
He should be motivated to find that out and fix it, but he isn't - you can't do it for him
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