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Unraveling my feelings - marriage problems(8 Posts)
I posted before and received good constructive advice. DH and I married 6 years. Ups and downs. But too many downs. It’s fair to describe a lot of his behaviour as passive aggressive.
Earlier this year I felt tired of it, arguing too much and little arguments would lead to ridiculously huge arguments, such as me giving DH wrong directions one day in the car.. he realised they were wrong so we didn’t go the wrong way.. but instead of allowing me to just say ‘oops sorry’ it led to a ranting; I always think I am right, followed by a full character assassination including reference to my ex partner etc etc. I am a tough cookie but this had me very upset.
Later I tried to discuss everything with DH, my thoughts were that neither of us could be happy and these arguments could be death by a thousand cuts for our marriage. He claimed he wasn’t unhappy and nothing really changed.
DH then went away on a course for work, I didn’t miss him when he was away and to my surprise he initiated a conversation on his return. He claimed the course really made him look at himself and he recognised that his behaviour had been bad. I was honest & told him I didn’t miss him when he was away, I felt free from worrying if he would sulk or moan about something. I said I wasn’t sure I was still in love with him. He took it very badly & offered to leave but hadn’t really anywhere to go. I said we should try and see how things were after a while...
That was about 8 weeks ago & he has changed for the better, hardly any arguments, helping & is more understanding around the house. But now he’s obsessing that I am not showing him enough affection. He’s watching my online fb status, has gone through all my text msgs to my best friend & been snooping on me. He knows this was a really bad thing to do and confessed to it.
He thinks it’s me who’s changed & suspects a 3rd party. I was furious. It’s like he’s looking for confirmation that I want to be with him all the time. Even a peck on the cheek makes me feel like I’m being scrutinised that I’m not engaging enough.
Whilst he holds his hands up to his previous behaviour, in some ways it’s almost like he’s willing me to admit to something or someone else so I will be the bad guy. Again he swears up and down that’s not the case, that he’s terrified of losing me, I am his world etc.
I posted before about his change of character after returning from his work trip. He swears nothing happened whilst he was away, it was just a very deep course that made him look at his behaviour. I can’t find any evidence to say that anything else happened to trigger his change (but I did wonder).
I am torn between wishing I was on my own & keeping the family unit together. If I could just magic back all my feelings to when I was madly in love with him I would. Despite everything we did have good times too, particularly with the kids (3 between us). It’s no small decision to split up a family and I keep thinking of my youngest (4) not having her dad around all the time, family holidays, etc… The thought of the actual mechanics of separating is also horrible.
I have told him that I can’t deal with the scrutiny and next time he threatens to leave I won’t talk him down (he’s told me 2 or 3 times he’s going as he doesn’t feel that my chemistry or my body language is demonstrating my commitment). Is there any way forward? He claims to love me but I am confused about what I actually want.
Sorry it’s so long, any tips to help me unravel my own feelings?
Hmm, well, I am not sure how you stuck it out so long. His behaviour hasn't really changed though - you were always in the wrong before he went away, and now you're still in the wrong but in a different way.
You mention your 4 year old but what about these two older children; they as well are learning about relationships from the two of you as their parents. Is this really the model you want to be teaching them?. Even if they do not directly see him having a pop at you they certainly see your discomfort from it and your reactions to it afterwards; both spoken and unspoken. They pick up on all the vibes. Its not their fault either that their dad has seemingly taken to conduct his own private war against you as their mother. You are still being monitored by him here; his actions are about having power and control over you.
Forget him as a dad for the minute, how do you feel about him as a husband? Things are bad when you are writing that you do not miss him when he is away. What do you get out of this relationship now? Something has kept you within this to date so what is it?
If you are thinking of staying solely and primarily for your children I would urge you to think again. Staying for the kids rarely if ever works out well, you just also end up teaching them that a loveless marriage is their norm too.
Don't know your previous post but hate to say it but I think his behaviour comes from his own reflection and I would wonder what he did indeed do when working away, what's the back story?
Whatever though it still does not give him the right to treat you this way, it's no life at all.
OP, he probably senses that you have had enough. He went away, you didn't miss him and in fact felt better with him gone. You got to live your life without worrying about him morning, and enjoyed it. You were open with him that you weren't sure about if you lived him. He is now panicking that instead of putting up with his moods and criticism, you will take action.
My DH was the same when I finally got to the point that I couldn't take it anymore. All the things that had made me carry on - the kids, his inevitable bad reaction, the fact he had nowhere to go - I just got to the point where I had to end it. It sounds like you are approaching that point, and your DH knows it.
I'm now a year post separation, and all the fallout was as bad, and worse, than I expected. My children have taken it very hard. But it was the right decision.
category12 - you've summed up how i feel - that i'm still n the wrong but in a different way !
There's no back story to his trip - he was away for a week overseas, didn't call often but msgd me frequently. I was adamant that something must have happened but he claims not & I can't find any evidence to the contrary.
I did previously have suspicions about a girl at his work who I know he works closely with & is friends with - but I think that was me being overly suspicious due to her having had affair with one of his previous colleagues .. She wasn't on the trip and I can't see any evidence of communication apart from a work related text (where he called her an over familiar nickname).
i am definitely a people pleaser and have put up with too much in the past... But he is a good dad and when he relaxes we have good times. We share common interests & I suspect many of our friends and family would be shocked to know the situation. I guess in my mind it's still too early to know if he's really changed. He is doing all things I'd desperately wanted him to do in the past - just with the added obsessing that I don't love him enough...
He is showing signs of being a narcissist: hot and cold behaviour; nice one minute, nasty the next. Look up the criteria. When it looks like you might leave he starts acting better to reel you back under his control. - and I'm afraid it could well be an act. Accusing you of an affair can be a classic case of projection. As I understand it, snooping is abusive. The ticking off after giving mistaken directions was about him keeping the upper hand in your relationship. I bet you feel more like a child than an equal partner.
Just because you don't have evidence doesn't mean your gut feeling isn't spot on. 'I love you' can be the most manipulative words ever because it's difficult to believe they could be insincere. I'm sorry it's not looking good for your long term happiness.
. . . . Snooping can be part of a pattern of abuse. You are allowed privacy, even from your partner.
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