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What things became your 'normal' in your relationship that you now realise are far from normal?(14 Posts)
Husband of 20yrs has recently left me, after I discovered his affair.
I'm still struggling at times, even though I know deep down he's a shit I can't help but miss him and miss the future I thought we'd have.
However, having spent many hours talking to friends through all this, it's like I'm beginning to see the light. I've told them things about our marriage that I just accepted really but the looks on their faces when I tell them and their response 'that's not normal!!' is really helping me see that I will be so much better off without him.
So, these are the things that I thought were normal...
To never go on holiday. No break away of more than 2 nights duration, usually to a caravan park or a cheap hotel due to a theme park trip with the kids. Money no issue, I always longed to go away, preferably abroad. STBEXH refused saying it would be boring plus he'd never take the time off work (self-employed).
That I should look to my friends for emotional support/fun/pretty much everything before looking to him. I 'suffocated' him by being needy...I wasn't overly needy, just enjoyed being around him but this was too much to ask for. He said traditional roles had disappeared and whilst he felt he should be hunter/gatherer and not much more, modern life dictated he should be much more. He couldn't do this, he felt.
No affection. No kisses goodnight. No cuddles unless it would lead to sex. No gentle touch, holding hands if out anywhere. No meals out together.
Never wanting to do anything at weekends. No days out unless I really pushed for them. Just wanted to be at home after working all week which I do understand but we had 4 kids. They needed to get out of the house sometimes as did I!
God there are so many more, I don't actually know how I accepted any of this. Well, I didn't like it but he was never going to change and I guess that's what I accepted.
What were yours?
Oh and the one that lead to the most resentment probably....refusal to do anything around the house. Always good with the kids but never lifted a finger to help with housework/cooking/diy or anything. I was a SAHM so never expected anything from him during the week but even at weekends he would just watch me hoovering, cooking, folding washing...I redecorated 2 houses from top to bottom in less than a year...he never even helped as he 'didn't do painting'. I didn't like it either but it needed doing by someone!!
Not ever initiating a text conversation with him ever because it stressed him out if I did but not being allowed to phone him either as that bothered him too.
Having to respond immediately if he initiated a text conversation or face a barrage of several messages and phone calls because he 'needed to know' I was ok.
Having everything I liked or thought ridiculed and sometimes the same things becoming his favourite thing if a man suggested he would like it.
Always paying for dinners, trips away because he 'had no money' (I am a single mum of four and cared to one of the dc who has ASD but he earns £26k and was living with his parents then in a flat with £425 monthly rent)
Being constantly told I was embarrassing/overreacting/controlling whenever I was upset.
Never being able to rely on him doing anything he said he would and always letting me down re everything from dates to serious medical appointments.
Like you the separation is recent though we were only together 3 years but I'm still reeling really and depressed that I let it go on for so long.
No sex after the first year of a 4 yr relationship. I was 21-25yrs old. He was 10yrs older. It fucked me up so much and he made me feel dirty and weird for feeling that way. He never wanted to go out. He didn't like me having nights out either. He never said I love you. Apparently when you do that it ruins the relationship. I wish I had had MN to advise me at the time but it was pre-home internet.
I look back now in disbelief
Being checked up on countless times everywhere I went.
Not being trusted.
Not being allowed to have an opinion or having my opinions ridiculed.
Every hobby, band, tv show I liked he would tell me it was shit, unless of course someone else said they liked it and then he liked it.
Not being able to make decisions about my own life, my home.
My parenting being ridiculed daily, his way was always the right way.
Not being able to show emotions or else I was weak or crazy.
I could go on but that was my normal for many many years.
We dont have sex we havent for four years and weve been married for five . It was fine to start with but it was me that never reall wanted to ive never enjoyed it and to be honest when i read people on here saying they love it i usually think they are lying. After our daughter was born my husband wouldnt have sex with me and i never cared much. We have the odd moment but it makes me panic. I know its not normal but if i spilt up with him any relationship i had wouldnt be without sex
Not the point of the thread, but he's done you a massive favour OP. He sounds awful.
Sleeping on the sofa because he's passed out drunk across the bed, clothes, shoes and all.
Pretending to other people that his MS is the cause of his frequent falls, not beer.
Being anxious at the sound of a beer can opening.
Being the breadwinner because he's not going to take a job that's below him.
Never finishing a sentence.
Oh god, so many things! Like you, it wasn't until I started to tell people about it that I began to see how weird and wrong the whole situation was.
I was expected to get out of bed, make his breakfast and iron a shirt for him every morning (when we both worked full time)
I acted as his PA doing things like booking trains/flights for him and always printing out his boarding passes etc because he 'didn't know how' (i.e. couldn't be bothered and knew I'd do it for him)
I accepted that I was supposed to leave him alone every Saturday night because that was 'his' night - as we lived in a one-bedroom flat this meant me shutting myself in the bedroom while he took over the living room to play games and drink huge quantities of beer alone until he passed out on the sofa around 3am.
I accepted that my family were awful to be around and that he was doing me a 'favour' if we ever visited them. He would say I 'owed him one' and I would have to bribe him with promises to buy him dinner etc. When I tell people this now they look at me like I'm insane! My family are truly lovely, warm, generous people and anyone can see that.
I got used to doing something I really didn't like in the bedroom, because he would sulk if I didn't. We're not talking completely off-the-wall kinky stuff but not particularly 'vanilla' either. And definitely not something you'd expect to do every time - friends have looked at me with horror when I've told them that one!
Related to the above, I accepted that he was the expert in all things sex-related and that I just didn't know anything about it, and that there must be something wrong with me if I wasn't enjoying it. This was despite him being a virgin before me and having learned everything he knew from watching ridiculous over-the-top porn. It sounds so laughable now, doesn't it?
Oh, I also thought it was 'normal' for him to make sleazy comments about other girls. Not just remarking on them being attractive, but saying things like 'God I'm so horny, this girl in the gym was doing stretches in front of me wearing tight yoga pants and it gave me such a hard on'. And often even more crude things than that, but you get the idea!
It's amazing and scary what you can convince yourself is 'normal'. I just want to give my past self a slap and tell her to wake up!
Blimey, the things we accept as normal! I'm glad it's not just me yet saddened at the same time that so many others have lived like this.
Yes yes to feeling anxious at the sound of a beer can bring opened. My ex could drink 10 cans in a few hours then open a bottle of wine or hit the whisky. Then wonder why I never wanted sex with him. This was always how a Saturday night would be, then it progressed until right at the end it was every night almost.
He never came to any family events either. Or school ones. I'd be embarrassed turning up yet again on my own, explaining
lying to my family that he was working.
He'd never come on nights out with my friends and their partners, he'd claim the other men were all twats and he couldn't be doing with them. I wonder how many of those 'twats' are shagging another woman behind my friends' backs? Not many I bet. Who's the twat then?
He's done me the biggest favour of my life. I do know that. I just forget momentarily and that's when what he's done hurts so much
I still smile when I hear DH's key in the door when he returns from an evening out. I used to make sure I was in bed feigning sleep by last orders every night when I was with an abusive alcoholic. What a shocking waste of life.
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