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Am I abusive?

(24 Posts)
Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 14:16:02

NC as dont want this asaociated with my usual NN.

Long story but I'll try to be brief without drip feeding.

Long term sufferer of depression. On a high dose of ADs which seem to work at times and not at all at others. Subsequently awaiting for a referal to a psychiatrist to see if I have Bipolar. (All symptoms seem to fit)

Left abusive exH after years of physical and mental abuse. Received counselling, did freedom programme, read a lot of books, etc.

Met new DP. Best relationship ive ever had. Hes kind, attentive, thoughtful, great with my DC. We have loads in common, laugh a lot, hes my best friend as well as DP. All great.

We decided a few months ago, after a year of dating to move in together. And here is where my problem starts.

Hes been used to being 'mothered'. He has no DC of his own and never had any real responsibility. Obviously moving in with someone who has DC was going to be a complete shocknto his system but he used to spend 3 nights with me before we loved together FT so i thought he would have some idea of what he was getting himself into.

He doesn't think for himself. He will do stuff around the house, but only when asked to. I deliberately didnt do any washing for a week to see when he'd decide to put a load in. It never happened. I got upset, explained I'm not his mother and he will have to think for himself. He took this as me criticising him and 'calling him an idiot'. I wasnt.

I do all the grocery shopping. I specifically ask him if hed like anything but he never gives me a list. Then complains theres 'nothing in'. Today on his way to work he said he was setting off early to go to the supermarket to buy a sandwich. I said he could save £3 and having to eat a crappy prepacked sandwich by making one and taking it with him. He said i was 'having a go' and being snippy.

He hasnt unpacked most of his clothes since we moved in and is living out of suitcases because theres 'no where to put his stuff'. We have a chest of drawers which half the space is his, a double wardrobe and a built in wardrobe one of which is his. He says it 'doesnt feel like his house' because the furniture is what i bought and is not his.

These are a few examples of things i do that he says make him feel like shit.

I admit that due to my current mental state i am more snappy than i usually would be, but when i know i am i apologise. I also have a tendency to go into shut down mode when I'm in confrontational situations because my head starts to feel like it's spinning and i cant concentrate.

Have i become the abuser? Am i making his life hell?

Biscuitsneeded Tue 03-Jan-17 14:23:17

You don't sound abusive to me. It just sounds as though you may have taken on a loveable but hopeless extra child. Set out your wishes now, OP, before bad habits/treating you like his mother become engrained! I guess that when he used to stay over nights here and there he was on more of a 'guest' footing and now he needs to make the mental shift into 'equal partner' territory. Is he paying rent/contributing to the mortgage? How about having a list of jobs that you divide between you, him and the DC according to capabilities?

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 03-Jan-17 14:29:52

No you're not abusive, you're expectations of him are completely reasonable; you want him to help out with some of the housework, washing and for him to put his own clothes away.

He must have been waited on hand and foot by his mother but he can't expect you to step into that role.

Instead of continually asking him and pointing things out, I think you need to sit down with him and thrash out a compromise together. He can agree what he will do around the house, e.g. a load of washing on his day off, putting his own clothes away, cleaning the bathroom once a week etc. It sounds a bit patronising but I do think he's acting like a bit of a child to be honest!

If the relationship is otherwise good between you, it may just take time for him to adjust. That said, that's hardly an excuse to turn things around on you and claim you are "making him feel bad". It's fine to ask him to help out. He is an adult in a family now.

SandyY2K Tue 03-Jan-17 14:30:33

I wouldn't say you're abusive, but I can understand how he doesn't feel it's his home.

Regarding the washing and shopping. You'll need to maybe take it in turns or divide up the chores.

I reckon he's struggling to feel like it's 'hine' for him. That's the problem with one person moving in to the other's house. You don't feel a part of it, just an add on.

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 14:36:27

Sandy just to clarify when we moved in together i left my rented house and we moved into a new house that we have rented together. I did this so he would feel like it was 'our' home and not him moving into 'my' home.

Biscuits yes he does contribute to the rent/bills. And it does feel like i have another child. When he thinks I'm 'having a go' he happily stomps off to the bedroom and sits on his ipad for the rest of the evening.

I agree that we need to have a calm sit down and discuss which jobs need doing, how frequently and who will do them. I just don't know how i can do this without it sounding like I'm being a patronising controlling bitch and him thinking I'm 'calling him an idiot'.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 03-Jan-17 14:40:21

You need to sit him down and talk to him.
Tell him you want all his stuff unpacked in in cupboards and wardrobes by the end of the next weekend.
Then write a list of weekly chores.
Decide who does which ones so they are split evenly.
Ensure you go shopping together.

With his attitude it will never feel like his home.
It's not really.
It's yours and short of moving that feeling will never go away.

Yes it's your furniture.
Ask him what pieces HE would like to replace and with what?
When my OH moved into my old he did loads so it felt more like he had contributed.
He did the whole 2nd floor. 3 bedrooms, 1 en-suite and a bathroom.
Redecorated and remodelled and new furniture.
All done and paid for by him.
Also re-did the kitchen when I was away on holiday once.
Did it feel anymore like HIS home after that!
NOPE! Not really.

There's only so much you can do.
If he isn't happy living with you and doing things equally then it's better he moves out and you go back to dating until you are ready to buy something together???
That's what I would be proposing anyway!

Bluntness100 Tue 03-Jan-17 14:42:17

Well I think you're both struggling to adjust. On the one hand if he wants to buy a sandwich I'm unsure why he can't, it's his call. On the other side the fact he's not unpacked is weird.

The two of you do need to sit down, first job unpacking , second job work out a rota of jobs and who does what. Thirdly, agree in shopping and who likes to eat what.

Biscuitsneeded Tue 03-Jan-17 14:46:28

That's good that it's a new house for both of you - an opportunity to work out afresh whose space is where, what needs to be done by whom etc. Just say to him that you don't want to keep having conflict over chores, so rather than you having to 'have a go' at him (as he sees it) when he doesn't pull his weight, the two of you could work out jointly who is going to do what. It may be that you need to compromise a little because nobody is going to do things exactly how you might do them, but he needs to understand what the jobs are (he may not realise if his mum really has done everything up until now) and to show willing in doing them before you get to having to nag at him.

ILostItInTheEarlyNineties Tue 03-Jan-17 14:47:43

Perhaps list all the basic household tasks, including sorting out bills, washing and grocery shopping and ask him to let you know what he is willing to commit to helping with? That way, it's his choice. He needs to realise that with an extra adult in the house, your workload has increased.

You're not being controlling or abusive. If anything, he is manipulating you by making you feel guilty for upsetting him. It sounds as though he is using that as an excuse to flounce off to his room like a lazy arse!

Just because you've been in an abusive relationship in the past, doesn't mean you have to settle for a man that treats you like this. You deserve to feel happy and secure in your own home.
I think you need to make it clear to him that he has to change his attitude towards his role in the family.

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 14:49:28

Hellsbells its so frustrating isnt it.

I got rid of all of the living room furniture from my old house and replaxed it with stuff we had chosen together. We cant currently afford to replace the bedroom furniture at the moment, and to be honest i wouldnt want to as its gorgeous, only a couple of years old and it cost a fortune. He said he was fine with this.

Since he been living with his parents he didn't have a lot of his own furniture anyway. He had his bed, but we agreed to use mine as its a KS and his is a double.

When we started unpacking the kitchen things i asked him where stuff should go so he wpuld be able to find things. I got no input so unpacked myself. He complains that the kitchen is 'mine' because he has to search for things to find them.

I'm not sure how much else i can do to make him feel at home.

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 15:00:23

Well I think you're both struggling to adjust.

Bluntness i think you're absolutely right.

Ive gone from living with my ex who - although he was a knob - was very house proud and always pulled his weight with household tasks, to living on my own doing everything my own way, to now living with the loveliest man alive, but who wont do anything.

I think both of our expectations were different. He obviously had no idea what was involved with ribbing a household. I expected he'd have some idea and that the extra adult around would lighten my load rather than increase it.

roseteapot101 Tue 03-Jan-17 15:01:04

similar boat here

my man before moving in together was living with his mother i soon learnt i had adopted a man child.At first i felt like such a cow having to nag nag nag.

I have learnt that we sometimes need to really talk.I have to explain your not a idiot if no one showed you how to do something how are you to know.Let me help you,once you know then it wont be problem will it.

I caught him once using a scour on plastic and another time he dyed my white underwear salmon when he tried to do the laundry

explain that as we both live together now we have to work together to make our home nice.When there is clothes lying around it makes me unhappy.Please help me all clothes must be washed,dried,ironed,folded and put away if we do this together it wont be so much hard work .The shopping take him with you and question what would you like to eat for breakfast,what snacks do you like and whats your favourite things for dinner.Go in detail ,when asking something

part of moving in together is learning how to work together as a team .

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 15:06:32

I caught him once using a scour on plastic and another time he dyed my white underwear salmon when he tried to do the laundry

This made me laugh. In the last month my DP has put defrosted meat back in the freezer, cooked a pan of pasta for 40 minutes then complained that it was soggy, fed youngest DC a bowl of dry cereal, which he proceeded to throw on the floor and then DP picked it all up by hand instead of using the hoover, cooked a fried egg then went to pour the boiling oil down the sink...

He does make me chuckle, but i have my head in my hands at the same time.

roseteapot101 Tue 03-Jan-17 15:19:05

I caught him once using a scour on plastic and another time he dyed my white underwear salmon when he tried to do the laundry

This made me laugh. In the last month my DP has put defrosted meat back in the freezer, cooked a pan of pasta for 40 minutes then complained that it was soggy, fed youngest DC a bowl of dry cereal, which he proceeded to throw on the floor and then DP picked it all up by hand instead of using the hoover, cooked a fried egg then went to pour the boiling oil down the sink...

He does make me chuckle, but i have my head in my hands at the same time.

this is what life is like with a man child lol ,you have to learn to discuss things and work together eventually they learn mine has really surprised me this year with what hes learnt.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Jan-17 15:25:38

No you have not become his abuser nor have made his life hell here. There has been no coercion here and he has acted of his own free will. Blaming you and in turn your children for how things for him have turned out is wrong.

The basic problem here is that he still wants to be mothered; he wants you to carry on where his mother (who likely waited on her son hand and foot from infancy like a slave) left off. He is an emotionally immature manchild and such men never change.

Do not settle for this. Is this also what you want to teach your children about relationships as well?.

He is hard work and you have quite enough on your plate already without having a manchild around to make hard work of basic household tasks, tasks that he should have got to grips with long before now. I blame his mother as much as he to be honest with you; they are both responsible here.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Jan-17 15:30:04

"In the last month my DP has put defrosted meat back in the freezer, cooked a pan of pasta for 40 minutes then complained that it was soggy, fed youngest DC a bowl of dry cereal, which he proceeded to throw on the floor and then DP picked it all up by hand instead of using the hoover, cooked a fried egg then went to pour the boiling oil down the sink... "

What do you get out of this relationship now OP; what is in this for you?.

Is he really an ideal example of a man to be showing your children, an adult who wants to be still mothered all the time?. He is completely useless as a stepfather figure to your children.

Life with any adult you live with should not be like this. It could also be construed perhaps as he deliberately trying to get out of doing household tasks on the grounds of learned helplessness and incompetence (therefore having you step in to clear up).

Does this man work?. I bet you he is not as bloody incompetent there.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 03-Jan-17 15:44:10

No, don't make lists of chores etc and sit him down for a chat! That's being a mum to a teenager.

Your comment about the sandwich was a bit mum of teenager. I'd have snapped at you too, so patronising, like a female version of mansplaining. Manchildsplaining.

Ask him what he feels he needs to do to make it work. He's an adult. Empower him.

If you had an abusive ex you've probably got codependency tendencies so you've got to be extra alert to your own inclination to rescue him, martyring yourself, conflict avoidance etc.

You rescued and martyred with the kitchen stuff. You asked him to make a decision on where stuff would go then when he had no opinion you unpacked it all yourself. In my house that would be us unpacking it together with the no opinion person following the instructions of the opiniated person. Like fuck I'd do it myself.

Washing too. The way you handled the test you set up feels like the kind of thing one does to a sulky teenager or when considering LTB, not in the honeymoon phase. At this stage of the relationship I'd expect you to say something like "Oh look, we've run out of pants, ha ha, we both forgot to do any washing this week! What divvies we are! How about you deal with the laundry mountain this weekend and I do all the cooking, deal?"

As for the unpacking, just tell him the suitcases are annoying you. If he says he has nowhere to put his stuff say something like "That's a shame. Oh well, when you've got as far as you can, let me know if you want to trade some space with me before you go off and buy new furniture!"

If you don't want to be his mum, don't act like his mum.

claraschu Tue 03-Jan-17 16:03:17

The thing that would worry me is not any of the mistakes he makes, which really aren not a big deal, in my opinion. The problem is the sulking and the inability or lack of desire to join in and learn new skills.

It also pisses me off that everyone blames his mother. Surely his incompetence is just as much his father's fault???

He is obviously going to be stressed out and feeling a bit in shock leaving his parents' house to live in a house where he has the role of stepfather (or at least near to a stepfather) to 3 kids. That is a big leap for him.

hellsbellsmelons Tue 03-Jan-17 16:21:21

don't make lists of chores etc and sit him down for a chat
Why not?
He probably doesn't know exactly what needs doing.
And if he has something to follow it means he can action it all.
It's what saved my marriage for 10 years!
He can't guess at what should be done in the house so writing it all out and him choosing what he want to do will help surely????

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 16:24:30

Attila yes he does work, and i know for a fact he's not incompetent there as he's recently been promoted to a managerial position!

clara i agree it has been a big leap for him. I just assumed he would know some basic life skills at his age. (E.g. he asked if we needed to ring a plumber to fit the washing machine when we moved in. He was gobsmacked when he found out I'd done it myself!)

Run you're absolutely right, i do need to stop acting like his mum. The sandwich comment may have been patronising and unnecessary, so i will apologise to him when he gets in. But I'm just tired of being told 'there's nothing in' to eat, (when there is!) And if there wasn't, if he can go to the supermarket to buy a sandwich, he can pick up something he actually wants 'in' even if he's not told me to get it in the weekly shop.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Jan-17 16:41:27

I did not think he was incompetent at work but chooses to be so in your home instead. Learned helplessness indeed, he is hard work and you'd be a fool frankly to continue any sort of a relationship with him due to the fact he still wants to be mothered. You are not his mother and he is supposed to be an equal partner to you. He is clearly not and is therefore not ideal relationship material.

Re a point that claraschu has made, I was also wondering about his father in all this as he has not been mentioned. Is his dad still around?.
FWIW claraschu, overmothered men tend to have emotionally absent or otherwise passive fathers.

Do not be a rescuer and or saviour to him either; neither approach works at all in relationships.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 03-Jan-17 16:43:55

Re a comment made by Run:-

"If you had an abusive ex you've probably got codependency tendencies so you've got to be extra alert to your own inclination to rescue him, martyring yourself, conflict avoidance etc".

This in spades. I would think you are co-dependent and act out co-dependent patterns of behaviour in relationships. That particular state for you is very unhealthy.

Givingmyselfaheadache Tue 03-Jan-17 16:46:00

Attila His father works away and has done since he was very small. His mother was distraught when he said he was moving out. She tried to guilt him into staying by telling him 'she'd be all on her own' without him sob. (Hence him never having moved out before.)

StiffenedPleat Tue 03-Jan-17 19:26:57

Just move apart and go back to having a relationship without the bullshit of having to live together.

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