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Is it possible to turn an unhealthy relationship in to a healthy one?

(43 Posts)
Ibetyouwish Thu 10-Nov-16 12:09:15

And if it is, then how???

There is far too much back story to go in to. But the short version is that we'be been married for 12 years and in that time, DH has been involved with another woman (only got as far as text sex when I discovered his secret phone), has compulsively lied and is permanently grumpy since we had children. I get it, it's hard being a parent and you can't do whatever you want when you want. Sometimes the children are disobedient and that is trying. But, if we are not behind closed doors, he is lovely and has all the skills for dealing with it. Behind closed doors, everything is my fault and I'm a selfish, high maintenance bitch. The amount of shouting at the children is simply not acceptable. They must always obey him. If they don't, I have it all taken out on me because it's my fault. I even plead with the children to do as he demands so that I don't get in to trouble with him. Then he flips and is nice. "I love you" he says and I just think he doesn't even know what the word means. His temper is destroying our family.

But then he twists everything back on me - apparently I always lose my temper with the children. I have double standards. I'm just as bad as him. And it's because of how I parent that they behave badly for him because I undermine him.

The other morning, he told me that I was selfish because I asked him to give me a minute until I could go and check if a jumper fitted our 3 year old who he was trying to help get dressed because I had just finishing putting our 7 year old's hair up when the baby poo'd so I had just started changing a dirty nappy. Apparently, I should have left the baby mid-nappy change, gone to another room, checked the jumper and then carried on with what I was doing! When I said that I was just changing a dirty nappy, he said "it's all about you, isn't it?" I was like WTF and he just told me how selfish I was.

He's obviously not happy but I'm totally lost as to what to do to make things better.

Costacoffeeplease Thu 10-Nov-16 12:13:23

Separate, that's what you do

Why would you even want to stay?

You plead with the children to do what he says so he doesn't take it out on you? That's one of the most shocking things I've read on here

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:17:05

What a miserable existence, your children are being damaged here, they must be walking on eggshells, stop tolerating it and make a life without this vile soul destroying man, you and your kids do not need to live with him and suffer his crap.

Ibetyouwish Thu 10-Nov-16 12:17:20

I should add that it's things like asking them to just get in to their pyjamas like Daddy has asked otherwise mummy will be in trouble. That's still not good though, is it?

KondosSecretJunkRoom Thu 10-Nov-16 12:17:47

I don't think there's a way back from that. It sounds awful for you and your children and there's nothing you have written that suggests he even thinks he has a problem - let alone if he is capable of addressing it.

It must be utterly exhausting carrying that angry, contemptuous lump through life.

MorrisZapp Thu 10-Nov-16 12:20:10

Leave this hateful man. He is a shit husband and a worse father. He won't change, apart from getting worse.

Make plans. Tell people. Your kids deserve so much more than this shameful home life.

KondosSecretJunkRoom Thu 10-Nov-16 12:21:00

Sorry, I mean he holds you in contempt, not that he is contemptuous - which he may be but that's probably going over the top just from your posts

Costacoffeeplease Thu 10-Nov-16 12:30:58

How can you put the guilt of 'mummy being in trouble' onto your children?? I am genuinely shocked at that

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:32:02

The amount of shouting at the children is simply not acceptable. They must always obey him. If they don't, I have it all taken out on me because it's my fault

Keep reading this to yourself OP, he's abusive, you've probably got used to it over the years as it's crept in and now feel it's really not that bad, if your daughter had written this, what would you tell her to do? You should do the same.

BubblingUp Thu 10-Nov-16 12:32:14

All you can do is make yourself healthy since you can't single-handedly make a relationship healthy and you certainly can't make another human being healthy.

A "healthy" you would never tolerate what you are experiencing.

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:32:57

And no mummy in trouble is not good, it's all about fear, fear of him, fear for your kids and yourself, fuck that, you do know you can have a life free from this bully?

venusinscorpio Thu 10-Nov-16 12:40:43

No, you cannot make this very unhealthy relationship healthy. You are all walking on eggshells around this man. Why would he change? Why do you think he wants it any other way? Please speak to women's aid, he is emotionally abusive.

Ibetyouwish Thu 10-Nov-16 12:49:21

Costacoffeeplease, I totally get what you are saying. I don't know what to do when we are in a situation that a child is being stubbornly disobedient and DH is getting more and more irate. Despite my best tactics trying to calm DH down (always makes him worse) or trying to get the child to just do what has been asked demanded of them. Everything starts escalating and it's me who gets punished. I have only said it twice and I hate the fact that I have. I would never say it if the child was being asked to do something that was wrong. I simply can't take any more of how things are. The reality of the situation is that if the children don't behave how DH thinks they should, it is always my fault. I felt that I had to do something drastic to diffuse the situation. Clearly I was a shit mother.

AnyFucker Thu 10-Nov-16 12:53:23

Have a word with yourself

Pleading with your dc to behave to save your own skin ? Very, very worrying.

Those are the words of an appeaser. You and your children are living in an abusive household and you are equally culpable in exposing them to it

There is nothing redeemable here.

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 12:59:09

Tell him no more OP, he does it because he can and he gets away with it, probably gets off on the power and putting you down makes him feel big, what a sad bastard, just stop it now, you can decide whenever you want that you've had enough of him, he's one cheeky horrible git!

venusinscorpio Thu 10-Nov-16 13:01:34

Please don't emotionally blackmail your children. It's your husband who is in the wrong, not them. Please talk to someone and work out a plan to leave this man.

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 13:04:02

And, that's not even mentioning the sex texting, if that's as far as it went, you say he's a compulsive liar so who knows!

Ibetyouwish Thu 10-Nov-16 13:15:36

I don't intend to emotionally blackmail my children. I am interested how any of you would deal with that situation when it is happening and it is escalating. When you know that it has to stop, neither side is retreating and you are getting the full blame for it and are worried about what will happen next. I'm not excusing what I did. I hate myself for doing it. But I still don't know what else I could have done.

But, hey, you've clearly all decided that I'm the evil bitch that he thinks I am and that I should have some sort of mystical, magical power that makes my children do as they are told. No-one has offered any alternative of what I could/should have done in that moment.

adora1 Thu 10-Nov-16 13:19:42

I agree OP, he's putting you in an impossible situation, all you want is to diffuse and have tranquillity, that's why you do what you do, it's no way to live though is it, pretending to be someone else to appease a bully?

We're all telling you the same, don't tolerate it, you can leave a shit relationship you know, even with kids, not easy of course but what's the alternative?

donajimena Thu 10-Nov-16 13:20:47

I don't think you could have done anything differently. I'm not judging you.
I was in a similar situation with the father of my children. I couldn't do anything right or have an opinion.
I left. I'm now in a good relationship which has been good from the start.
So you can't change what's happened but this will never get better. You need to LTB

Costacoffeeplease Thu 10-Nov-16 13:21:42

HE is the issue here, dont get annoyed with everyone here who is telling you that

KondosSecretJunkRoom Thu 10-Nov-16 13:28:52

OP, you were in a tough situation, and you did the best thing you could at the time to de-escalate that situation.

But, that's not the solution, that's firefighting at the expense of your children's well being. It's a costly manoeuvre.

Now you need to leave because that's the only good choice left to you.

Ibetyouwish Thu 10-Nov-16 13:30:47

I don't know how to leave. Publically he is a nice guy. We have five children. I'm a SAHM partly so that he can work silly hours and the cost of childcare is more than I was earning. Our house is part of his payment for his job. I have no where to go. I can't drive at the moment as I'm waiting for some surgery on my brain and my brain issues are affecting my eyesight. I'm physically not well enough to look after the five children by myself all the time. And the fear that he would get time to have the children by himself as part of a contact order stops me from leaving. I can't bear to think about how he would cope with all five by himself. And he is clever enough and perfectly able to show that he can parent well when he is out in public so he would never be seen to be incapable of parenting.

chocoholic89 Thu 10-Nov-16 13:32:51

Sorry people are not being helpful. I could of wrote this post my self very similar situation for me.
Things are very crap atm it's not as easy as ditch him, I understand. But I bet some people see us as weak! I want my relationship to work but right now its not. flowers

TempusEedjit Thu 10-Nov-16 13:34:24

ibetyouwish in that moment when your DC were misbehaving why did you feel the need to intervene? Surely it was between your husband and the DC to resolve the situation between them? That's how I would have handled it differently.

If however you felt that not intervening wasn't an option because your H would have been too harsh on the DC (or indeed you) then that tells its own story doesn't it?

I know it's very easy to say but please leave this abusive monster. Your story has brought back vivid memories of how my dad used to parent me and my brother and after 15 years of me going no contact (basically until my dad died) I now have a very distant relationship with my mum because I resent her for not taking us out of the situation. Don't let this be you.

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