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In need of a clear-headed view please - AIBU?? (long, sorry)(72 Posts)
I'm brand new here and have spent the last few sleepless nights trawling dozens of threads to see if I'm alone in what I'm experiencing and sadly it appears I'm not.
To cut a very long story short I've been married to DH for 14 years (together 21), we have one gorgeous DD (8), a lovely home, good jobs and a nice lifestyle. However, it seems none of this is enough for DH. Whether he is actually depressed in the true sense or just a miserable bastard I haven't quite worked out yet but either way he is getting worse, refuses to seek help or even speak to anyone about it. It seems to stem from him hating his job (I wouldn't dare tell you what he does for a living as it makes his behaviour seem all the more ridiculous). I try to be sympathetic and offer assistance as best I can but there is a limit to what I can do as I'm not his employee and have no input in his firm (he's self-employed). This misery for him has been going on for a few years and he has his good days and when he's happy he really is brilliant. He really wants for nothing and I try to tell him that he is actually very fortunate and most people would cut off their right leg to have what he has but his glass is permanently half empty and I don't think he'd ever be truly happy.
Things have been coming to a head in the last 2 years or so and his temper is getting ever shorter, he's getting angrier easier (the slightest thing can set him off), I tend to get the brunt of if but DD hasn't escaped it sadly (he blamed her for breaking the new TV - she hadn't, it was a software issue and replaced within a week and even if she had that was no way to speak to her) but she went to bed in floods of tears and he had to buy her a present (his idea, not mine) as an apology when he calmed down next day. Damage done though.... In recent months his attitude towards me has deteriorated dramatically.
An example of his worst behaviour happened last week; I got the usual text that he was having a bad day so my stomach instantly hit the floor, when I got home with DD he was already home and upstairs in bed (6.30pm), I tried to talk to him but he ignored me completely (a regular occurrence, sometimes for a couple of days interspersed with nasty texts), and when DD went to say goodnight to him (after I did bathtime etc as usual) she said he was asleep and it certainly looked to me like he was. I went downstairs and sat down, he came down within minutes and asked where his tea was. I explained that I hadn't made anything because he'd been asleep and as he'd ignored me I knew that had I made something, such was his past record, he'd have told me that he didn't want it and accuse me of wasting food. He went mental and called me a fucking sackless cunt. Not for the first time. This was red rag to a bull as everything was so unjustified and I hate that word and he knows it. We rowed for a little while, I told him I was done, that he was an emotional abuser, he laughed and asked if I'd been on course or something. He told me I "had one job", i.e. to make his tea, and I couldn't even do that right. I work full time, make decent money and still he doesn't regard me as his equal. He threatened to throw a glass of water over me and I told him that constitutes abuse and he did back off. I went upstairs for the rest of the evening and he ordered a pizza and it was all my fault that he was having to eat an unhealthy meal. ALL my fault. ALL of it. Next day was all texts from him telling me he was going to spend the weekend seeking alternative accommodation (which he didn't and I knew he wouldn't) and that he would tell our DD why she would lose her house (again all MY fault). I told him he had to do what he had to do but that I wasn't moving out (the house and all our savings - although technically jointly owned - are in my name). He then changed tack and told me he was going to end it all and that this was best for everyone and to tell DD how much he loves her. Again, not the first time he's threatened suicide. I have in the past hidden sharp knives etc from him in the middle of the night while he loses it and makes these threats, but now I'm at the stage of wanting to say "crack on" because I know he won't do it but I'm not that callous.
This is one snapshot but there's SO much more; he's accused me of wanting affairs with various tradesmen we've had in recently, I can't do anything right most of the time, I do or say the wrong thing and he's off on one, I live on eggshells as his mood can change at the drop of a hat and there's a limit to how much I can shield DD from it - she notices his mood changes because he disengages from her too. I'm not perfect but surely I don't deserve this. Is it EA or am I over-reacting? I do love him and I know deep down he loves me (he sent me a message to that effect on Saturday night, the closest thing I will get to an apology). Can I have an unbiased view please, now matter how unpalatable?
Thank you for reading if you got this far!
That sounds so utterly, utterly miserable.
I'm sorry, I have no good advice, but no you are not over-reacting.
If he's not willing to change things - get help for his anger or depression, change his job, whatever - I don't think I'd be able to continue the relationship.
On the job thing - my dad used to have an enviable job that he was objectively brilliant at. He hated it and was pretty unbearable for a few years before he packed it in and did something else. It is absolutely no excuse for your DH's behaviour, which is unacceptable. But a change might help his underlying mood.
Take a deep breath... any one part of that is enought to kill any loving feelings you once had for him. Callous as it sounds, and it feels even more so, it really doesn't matter why he is as he is, that is his problem for him to sort out, you cannot do that for him.
You MUST do what is best for you and your DD. Whatever that means for him it will be up to him to sort out.
If he came home, apologised and made an appointment with GP, counsellor etc, you would probably stick with it to see how that turned out. But he hasn't...might he, do you think?
So you might be right, he has to move out and sort himself out, allow you and your DD a happier life.
WA for advice and support. I am guesing more specific advice will be here soon. Good luck getting your own head around what you need to do.
I should clarify - i don't think you should stay with him and put up with abuse while he sorts out whether the job is the issue, I realise it sounded like that.
Thanks, just wanted to hear someone else say it because I sometimes think I'm being unreasonable and wrap myself in knots thinking it must be my fault....
What do you get out of this relationship now?. You say you love him
but is your love for him really based on an unhealthy co-dependency?. His actions towards you are not at all loving ones and some mealy mouthed text message does not cut it either. He has not even been bothered to talk to you in person.
I would seek legal advice with a view to divorcing him asap. This situation has become intolerable for you and your DD.
What is your DD learning about relationships here from the two of you?. Currently she is being imparted a lot of damaging lessons and learning that yes this is how people behave in relationships. You're showing her that currently at least his treatment of you is acceptable to you. Its no legacy to leave her as an adult when by that stage she has problems forming healthy relationships. You cannot fully shield her from his abuse of you and in turn her.
Womens Aid are also well worth having a chat with on 0808 2000247.
And its not you, its him. By blaming you he is actively refusing to take any responsibility for his actions let alone apologise for them. Such men never apologise nor accept any responsibility for his actions.
God, that is really awful. The calling you vile names, threatening suicide and threatening to throw water over you is really bad.
It sounds like his behaviour is escalating. Would you agree with that? If so, I think he needs to live elsewhere for a while at least while he works on his issues (or chooses not to).
You have to protect you and your daughter. That's the bottom line.
Thanks everyone, my instinct is telling me to get the hell out (or tell him to), the prospect of doing it is terrifying though. On one level I know that if we sold the house (which to me now is bricks & mortar, not a home) I could get something nice for me & DD, and while the thought of making that initial first move is scary and I know he'd put me through hell and dance rings round me in legal proceedings, the thought of ultimately living (relatively) peacefully is an attractive thought.
How do you approach someone like this - in the middle of the next row or when he's being placid and will look at me like I have 3 heads because we are getting on?
Could be bipolar?
It doesn't matter if he is or not. He's not willing to seek help anyway, and is using it as a weapon/excuse for being abusive.
It's his responsibility to deal with any potential illness.
Could be bipolar?
It COULD be indeed.
But... it is definitely very very high level abuse.
Please act to get your DC away from this awful atmosphere.
It must be awful for her.
Contact Womens Aid.
They can put you in contact with a good solicitor who is good at dealing with abusive dick heads.
Serve divorce papers, sell the house and get the hell out of there.
Every day your DC has to endure this is another day towards her becoming a victim herself in future. I have no idea about your childhood but I can guess!
Teach her now that abuse is not to be tolerated and that you can and will walk away.
You cannot love this man. You might love who he was. But you cannot love someone who hates you with such venom. You do know that - right???
How can this be your fault? He is a grown up and is choosing to treat you terribly. In your shoes I would leave.
jesus, I'd have been out of there at the 'cunt" and "you have one job to do" bit.
either he gets treatment for whatever is wrong with him (if it is an abusive personality, there is no cure really) pronto or why would you continue? Maybe it is bipolar or depression or whatever. But maybe he is just a depressed man whose feels his depression give him permission to be an abusive fucker to his wife and daughter.
your dd is being affected too - she will not thank you for making her live in this kind of situation where she has to shut up or edit herself to stop her dad going off.
next time he is calm, sit him down and read from a list. explain exactly what happened this last time just as you did here. read it out calmly as a description. tell him you will not live like that and ask him what he is going to do about it (not do it again isn't an answer). Tell him the very next time he raises his voice, that is it.
or else you could just go to a solicitor and start the proceedings to separate/divorce.
Most of this behaviour is straight out of the EA handbook. right down the threats of suicide. gas lighting, the cycle of pleasantness after a blow out.
You already know this is abuse. whether he is depressed or not he won't help himself & he won't let you help.
Yes its scary facing the reality, but you say its getting worse.
Get yourself lawyered up, & live happily ever after.
If you only think of one thing, make it this:
You and your small child, are sleeping under the same roof, as a man you have to hide knives from
If this alone doesn't scare the shit out of you, I don't know what will. He sounds seriously unstable, and he could turn on you both in a heartbeat. In fact, I was watching a documentary the other day, about a man who had killed his DC, as he knew that this was the biggest way to hurt his ExW.
In your shoes, I'd get a friend/family member to move in for a few days, whilst you get rid of him (for safety). Change the locks.
Agree with mix56 this is all classic emotional abuse, right down to the suicide threats. He despises you and probably all women too.
You can get out - so do it.
Go and see a lawyer, they can write to him and serve divorce papers. If you can get out and live elsewhere while the house is sold then so much the better.
I left an EA man and you can too.
You need the advice of Womens Aid because the separation could be dangerous.
Or contact your local DV unit (via olive 101) and get referred to an IDVA.
Or do both. But please leave this horrible, abusive man.
for you and your poor dd
Jesus, what a horrible, horrible man, please see this for what it is, it's emotional abuse and threatening violence too, and a wee girl in the middle of a toxic and dysfunctional relationship - he sounds unhinged, who cares what he has, he's abusing you, it's vile, do something about it, you don't have to accept this crap of anyone.
I'm with the others and, as someone who has been there, I speak from experience. It's clear cut EA. He hurls abuse at you, blame shifts, then sends one nice text in the middle of all this that seems extra nice because it's in the middle of some other nasty stuff.
These people don't change. I know it will be hard but it's time to get out. The walking on eggshells becomes normal after a time but, believe me, it's not. It's extremely stressful when you're in it and you only realise how bad it is when you're out of it and looking back.
Whatever his problem is, it's not your problem to fix.
Oh my god!
Sorry, I'm at work and been in a meeting.
Thank you so much for all of your replies, I'm very grateful but also totally shocked at just how bad this looks from outside. I thought it was just me. I think he's too much of a coward to do anything to either himself or me/us but.......I also thought I'd married a gentle man so what do I know? I thought I was an intelligent woman.
There are plenty of us intelligent women who have ended up in this situation. PLENTY.
Yes he's a coward, they mostly are. Me and my ex would still have been married to this day if I had not ended it. Despite his misery and 'depression'. The depression was bollocks. It's just Emotional Abuse.
Leaving that man it was they best thing I ever did for me and my dc.
You can do it too. But you need to take advice and leave carefully, OP. You've got some planning to do and some phonecalls to make.
Good luck OP.
I was totally taken in by mine too and I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent. I spent 5 years with someone very similar to your ex (but I didn't live with him). They are so very good at fooling people.
I think part of the problem is that the behaviour becomes normal after a while. The first time they blow up, it's horrible. The second and the third, the same. Then we just shrug our shoulders at the 4th and 5th and all the times after that - I used to think "here we go again" and did everything I could to get the nice guy back. He never did come back as he'd not really been there in the first place.
It is shocking when you realise what you've been putting up with. I think it's time for this man to go and for you to put you and your child first now.
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