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Toxic friends now causing a rift between DH and I(52 Posts)
This is my first post so please excuse any etiquette faux pas!
I really don't know what to do as I think my marriage is in trouble.
We've just come back from a holiday abroad with our friends, a married couple, I'll call them Jill and Pete. DH and I have a 2 year old and I'm pregnant, second trimester. It was a lovely time for DD and my DH certainly had a good time (he slept a lot, never put DD to bed or bathed her, mentally checked out) but I felt like Jill and Pete treated me terribly, so much so by day 4 of 10 I was in tears when on my own, struggling to do everything, felt so stressed, I couldn't wait to go home, I ended up calling my mother in desperation and checking the cost of flights back home.
Our 'friends' are DH's friends before we met, they've known each other 18 years now, when they worked together. When my DH and I met, it was clear that I was to get on with them if I was to get on with him, as he was clear that they were very important to him. The first time I met Jill and Pete, Jill criticised my cooking, and interrogated me all evening, with her friend, about my ex boyfriend (amongst other things) who worked with DH which is how DH and I met, this ex-boyfriend cheated on me so I ended it, naturally. This upset me at the time, I didn't tell DH. Jill explained it later to me that my DH had 'strange' girlfriends in the past and they wanted to vet me, protecting him.
Now, Jill and Pete are the sort of people who are very domineering and strong characters, both of them in different ways. They always attack first to establish dominance, calling it 'banter', mocking and then pretending it's all a big joke. Very Alpha male and female. My husband is definitely a Beta male, agrees with everything they say and do, a lot goes over his head. Over the years they have both upset me, I've put it down to me not being used to 'banter' and blunt observations all the time. We have a lot of difference of opinion, they are quite racist, they ram their beliefs down people's throats, don't get me started on immigrants and Brexit!
Pete has argued and attacked me verbally so much over one period of time, I said to my DH that I couldn't be around Pete anymore, but DH made excuses that Pete was going through difficult times, which was true, so I swallowed a lot over the years.
We've holidayed a few times with the couple, they always had their way, had the bigger, best room etc, this was before DH and I had children.
Jill took over organising my hen party, my mother declined to go. They invited themselves to our wedding abroad, we were happy at the time with this, but our parents weren't thrilled wanting just a family affair. The wedding has a lot of sad memories for me involving conflict between my mother, and Jill and DH's mother and Jill. I didn't listen to my mother at the time and believed Jill's story. It took a long time to rebuild with my mother after that. My mother told me recently that a woman who tries to come between a mother and daughter tells me all I need to know about that woman, she was right.
Jill and Pete are 15 years older than me, and my DH is 9 years older than me, this has always made no difference to me but Jill and Pete have had children (close in age to me) and now have grandchildren. On our recent trip Jill was critical of our parenting, comparing our DD to her youngest grandson, and controlling in every sense. I did my bit staying in a cramped apartment, cooked and cleaned, but whatever I did seemed to be not good enough, 10 minutes in the bath was too long she was knocking on the door! She even tried to instruct a waiter to not clear away my DS's dinner, when I know my DS had long finished so I asked the waiter to clear it thank you very much! Loads of things like this happened all day every day. My DH stopped me from defending myself several times, he never defended me, and the sun shines out of his backside of course. Maybe it's because I argue back.
I tried to talk to DH about it, but he shut me out. He realised I was in tears (trying to hide it) whilst walking to a waterpark, and said to me 'are you being emotional again', he was quite caring but I really did not know how or what to say as he previously did not want to hear it.
Admittedly I'm more preg hormonal than normal, quicker to get irritated etc, but I am a calm rational person normally. I can't help but feeling that finally I see things clearly, see them in their true light, and feel like a fool. I'm not the only one who feels this way about them, as other friends have fallen out with them.
It's resulted in DH and I getting home, me exploding with rage at DH who was baiting me to 'spit it out', I told him everything, I was furious, very vitriolic against them. I don't recall ever being like this with him before, we bicker and I can get cross but this was another level. I feel regretful of this, I still need to apologise, but that's how I felt having suppressed this for so long I think. My other true friends would not treat me like this.
When we calmed down we had a heated discussion, telling home truths. He's now telling me he's not happy in our house, living where we are, I'd be happy to move I said I'll go wherever he wants to go, but his job is good where he is and won't be able to get anything as good elsewhere. He said I reminded him of my mother when I was full of hatred, he can't understand where it came from, and if he saw more of it he wouldn't stick around.
I told him that I needed more help from him with DS. He takes off for an hour or two doing man stuff, I never do that. He farts around in the garage avoiding DS a lot. He never puts he to bed or bathes her, his excuse is that DS is clingy with me so lets not to upset her I should do it. I've always been happy being a mum, I relish it, but my pregnancy has made me tired and ill at times. My DH has DS Mon-Wed 9-5 when I'm at work, so I come home, and I'm on mummy duty. He works 4 hours a day Thur-Sun, so when he comes home he goes off and does other things, I'm with DS the whole time. My MIL comes down to help out on occasion, but I still do the lion's share with DS, as my MIL also does not want to upset my DS, I've had to insist during the first trimester with awful MS, and also to put my foot down with DS so she isn't spoilt!
My DH can do no wrong with Jill and my MIL! He can be quite manipulative and stubborn, also miserable at times. Yet he claims I have been moody for 6 months to a year when I come home from work- completely untrue.
All of this came out in the wash yesterday. My parents are moving house to be closer to us in the next few months, from being 7 hours drive away. My DH is not happy about this, as my mum cannot stand Jill.
Basically, can I avoid these toxic people? How without causing an argument with DH? Should I carry on compromising and be fake? I can't forgive my DH for some of the things he has been saying but then I said hurtful things too.
Please help sorry this is long :-(
You need to avoid them its simple. Nothing to stop Dh from seeing them if he wants - just without you. I would avoid for your sanity and maybe over time your dh will see them for what they are.
I think your issue here is with your DH really.
Agree with earthbound. Tell dh you and the friends are at different stages in life and you have no time for them. Why is he working so little and what will happen when you go on ml?
The friends aren't the problem - your DH is for allowing them to treat you like this.
I think you need to put your foot down and say that:
1. Your DH needs to spend more time with you and your DH and not just assume that if you are home his time is free.
2. You aren't seeing Jill and Pete any more.
My DH has DS Mon-Wed 9-5 when I'm at work, so I come home, and I'm on mummy duty. He works 4 hours a day Thur-Sun, so when he comes home he goes off and does other things, I'm with DS the whole time. My MIL comes down to help out on occasion, but I still do the lion's share with DS. He is doing a lot of childcare with your DS and you also get help from your MIL. I don't really that is your problem. Some men are better at spending time with their children when they are older.
I think you need to be a bit more assertive with these people. You may be overthinking this, you say she organised your hen weekend. I don't think she would have bothered if she didn't like you. Also you said your mother wanted a quiet wedding but what about you and your DH what did you want.
We all have arguments and say things we don't really mean so don't take it to heart.
I also think having to cook on holiday is not really a holiday especially as you are pregnant and with a little one.
Definitely agree that your dh is the real problem.
To be honest, I think you need to remove yourself entirely from the situation and contact with these people. Only you know whether this will involve ending your marriage in order to protect yourself
Thank you so much for all your thoughts so far, really appreciate it ;-)
He has a very odd, far-too-close relationship with these people, allowing them to dictate to him how he lives as if he rather likes being their pet. It's like having a bad set of in-laws who feel no woman is good enough for their pwecious ikkle boy. You're treated like a walking uterus and housekeeper, reminded by this creepy cultish threesome of your rightful place, which is silent and taking their abuse.
Creepy weirdos. They don't respect you, are trying to crush and after all these years it's unlikely any kind of epiphany is going to make them start acting normally - especially with their bizarre threesome so heavily intertwined, no outsiders allowed.
He'd have to do a complete 180 to fix this, and people simply don't change.
(what's this 'awesome' job where he only works 4 hours a day 4 days a week? Supermodel?)
Remember that you are pregnant and need physical and emotional support. The lack of it at this vulnerable stage is really indicative of the sort of people they are. Good luck
His friends are his, not yours. There's no reason on this earth why you should spend time with people who are critical and unkind to you.
Happily, you are going to be far too busy quite soon with two children to take care of to spend any time with them. He can see them on his own if he must.
However, your real problem is your husband. He's enslaved to this couple for some reason and if the scales haven't fallen from his eyes by now, they probably never will. I'd find it really troubling to be around someone so weak and so blind.
Jill is a bully.
Your DH is gutless.
He would rather throw you under the bus, into a bully's path, and let you do all the child-rearing to boot. I wouldn't be able to feel respect or sexual attraction for such a man. He isn't your partner, as he hasn't got your back.
Staying with someone like that is just going to kill your own self-esteem dead. Look, you even opened your post with an apology! Like you're already excusing yourself for existing. The way he ignores your needs and your wellbeing is already eating away at you. Get out before there's nothing left of you.
This is a bit of a horror story. I hope you can get away from all three of the weirdos.
I agree with the other posters who say that the problem is with your husband, not his friends. I would also be much more assertive with Jill, but I'm guessing that if you haven't put her in her place already, then it may be something that doesn't come easily to you.
The thing that jumped out the most for me was that you seem to have swallowed an awful lot for a long time, and when you finally blow your top, your husband's response is that he doesn't like it, you remind him of your mother and if he sees any more of it, he'll be off. That sounds quite threatening; 'suck it up and don't cause a fuss or I'll leave you'.
Had he mentioned wanting to leave the area before, or is it just since your parents have been planning to move closer? I think you've got trouble brewing in that part of your life, so I'd be prepared for it if I were you.
Sounds awful. Your dh loyalty should be to you foremost!
Have I got this right: your parents are moving home to be nearer to you and suddenly your husband has decided that you need to move while you've got another baby on the way?
NO! Just no.
Ask yourself this: why, at a time when you're going to need help and support, help and support which you do not currently get from him, that he wants to drag you off somewhere else where there likely won't be any at all? Under the threat that you toe the line or he "won't stick around"?
Your situation is very worrying to me. I agree that your DH is the problem here, none of this sound normal or healthy to me.
Please try to stay away from this couple, make your mental and physical health your priority. Even if that means you have to be a little 'selfish'. Focus on your children.
From your OP I wouldn't trust your husband, he doesn't appear to be a true partner to you, this would concern me for your relationship for the long term.
I really hope things can improve for you but he will need to make a lot of changes to become the husband you need and the father your children deserve. He needs to want to make this change and right now I don't think he sees the enormity of the situation.
I hate to say this but your husband loves Jill more than you. He has made it painfully clear that if you dare continue to complain about narcissist Jill, you will be discarded. The three of them are bullying you, they want to keep your family away because they know that your Mother sees through their freakish relationship. They also know that she won't tolerate the way that they are treating you.
It sounds very much like your Mother tried to protect you in the past, they managed to create a huge fall out with her to keep this scenario going. It almost looks like they picked you together, they wanted someone much younger, someone impressionable that would let them walk straight over them. They picked well. Unfortunately they didn't plan for you growing up, you are not the easily impressionable young woman you once were. You are a Mother and you know that you deserve better.
Unfortunately there appear to be four people involved in your marriage, it seems very clear that if you force your husband to choose, he won't choose you.
You are still young op. You deserve a husband who will put his wife and children first always. You deserve a man who loves you for you and not only because you get along with his very odd friends. Please be careful, I think that there is potential for serious manipulation and emotional abuse from these three. Make sure that you gather all of your documents together, call woman's aid for advice. Confide in your parents and even your midwife, these people have emotionally abused you for years. Do not trust them, they have potential to make you out to be unstable and therefore attempt to gain custody of your children.
Your Dh ( eugh, sticks in my throat ) wants to keep total control over you. You need to detach emotionally from all of this. You've come across as a second rate servsnt to this weirdo cultish threesome.
Your holiday seems like it was a nightmare. He's now panicking your parents are moving house. Hence his sudden unhappiness with your current house. He doesn't respect you. It's doubtful he loves you. I'm sorry for being so opinionated. It screams out from your post.
Detach, detach, detach. Your mental health & self esteem will only spiral downwards. You could consider some counselling, because I detect that all the major adults in your life seem to pull you ever which way.
This is like Rosemary's Baby! None of these people, your husband included, are your friends. Jill is clearly threatened by you, probably by your youth and the fact your husband married you. She sounds an utter bitch. Her husband is horrible and I wouldn't be in a room with either of them. But it's your husband you should be worried about. He is really horrible. He doesn't have your back. He's weak and happy for them to bully you. Ugh.
Your poor mother. It sounds as though she's worried for you, that she's coming to live near you. That should tell you a lot.
I would never go on holiday with them again.
The rest - see how you feel after DC2. You might be too busy / knackered to see them again. Ever.
Your dh should be supporting you. He isn't. This lack of support will only become more of a problem after dc2 arrives
He shouldn't let these people pick on you
He shouldn't let you take on all the work (cooking cleaning childcare) especially as you are pregnant
It sounds like you have a really strong relationship with your mother which is great. She sounds like she has seen through this (very odd) relationship with the other two. Have you discussed the holiday with her?
I would be inclined to say that you are never seeing them again. He is free to socialise with them, away from your house, as he pleases.
That's only a first start. As everyone else has said, he seems weak, doesn't have your interests at heart, minimises your views, and lets you do the lion's share of child-rearing.
Do you think he is sexually attracted to Jill?
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