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Is Dh controlling?

(380 Posts)
enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:00:19

I'm unsure if I will even post this, but I just want to write it out.

I've been feeling a bit down recently, so my dm suggested that dd and I could stay with them for a few days. We don't live close to family and I don't drive (am learning), so I don't get to see them much and have been missing them. The plan was for my sister to kindly drive us there and back in a few days.

I've been asking Dh what he thinks of the idea and if he's happy with it as he's been having a hard time at work, but every time I ask he just says he'll think about it. My family have needed an answer, so I perhaps wrongly pretty much said dd and I would be able to come.

Dh and I were talking about it again last night, and I could see he just wasn't happy about it. So I text my sister to tell her unfortunately we couldn't come now, but that Dh thinks we can all come as a family soon anyway. I told Dh but he wanted to look at what I had written. I told him no, it's the principal of not trusting me, I didn't want him to read my messages. That's just not something we do. But he kept pressuring me over and over, asking me lots of questions and making me feel nervous. In the end I let him read the messages (covering what my sister had written, as she had seen through what I'd said and wasn't too happy with dh and I didn't want him reading that).

Dh was upset about what I'd written, when I had only written the reasons he would rather I didn't go with dd. Maybe I shouldn't have written it in that way which I apologised for, but for years I feel I don't always give my family the full impression as I don't want them to be upset with dh, and I didn't want to do that again. Still, I had only written the truth to my sister.

Afterwards I was upset, and explained to Dh I felt he was bullying me into showing my messages which I was unhappy about. I also mentioned that over the years people have often told me that they think he can be controlling of me. He just didn't seem to understand and I just apologised.

Most of the time we genuinely have a wonderful relationship. He builds me up and makes me feel valued, loved and special. He's a fantastic dad to dd. He takes care of us, and is always there for us. But occasionally, things like this happen which I'm just not okay with. I try to speak to Dh, but he's is very clever and I feel I always just feel bad for saying anything.

I guess I'm just wondering what others opinions are in this please. Thank you

wingingitmomma Fri 10-Feb-17 08:07:17

It sounds like he does control you. What strikes me is how much you apologise. Stop, you have nothing to apologise for! Are young frightened of him? And no I don't mean has he hit you just are you frightened?

He must of wanted to see your messages but deep down he knows that he is being controlling. Sorry you are going through this OP. If you're really unhappy with this behaviour it's time to set up some boundaries and lay down the law. Hope you can sort this out.

wingingitmomma Fri 10-Feb-17 08:08:23

Ask him if he would like to know one day your dd was being forced to show her messages. Or that she was being told she could come and stay with the both of you because her partner wouldn't allow it.

supermodel Fri 10-Feb-17 08:10:54

Yes he is.

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:12:07

Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I know I need to stop apologising, I never set out to but I just end up feeling bad. I can feel intimidated by him at times, which I tried to explain to him but he didn't seem to understand. To clarify, he has never and would never hurt me physically. He is a strong character, and in the occasional moment like this I can feel nervous and intimidated by him.

I want to explain how I feel and set some boundaries, I just always seem to end up feeling guilty.

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:16:27

That's a good way of thinking of it. If Dh really thought about it, I imagine he wouldn't be happy to know someone did that to dd as she's the apple of his eye.

wingingitmomma Fri 10-Feb-17 08:18:39

Don't feel guilty what's the harm in you spending a few days with your mum? My OH gets on really well with my dad its mental it's like my dad is his dad my OH is often round there and atleast once a month will call me and ask if he can stay there for the night (not because we have argued or anything usually because some sort of sporting event is on telly) I love it and it really does help to recharge the batteries the time apart is often good for us it's not like you are leaving dd for him to deal with or you're asking to go on a girls weekend god knows where! Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't do not even your husband. You say your husband builds you up but he sounds very clever because what really jumps out is your lack of self esteem as in you always end up being the one to feel guilty.. that's got to change you have NOTHING to feel guilty for x

Blackbird82 Fri 10-Feb-17 08:19:47

He's definitely controlling and he 100% knows he is too hence being 'upset' when you told him so.

Also you say he's fantastic, building you up and making you feel valued and loved etc. I would say that this is merely an illusion, it's what he wants you to think/believe. He's conditioning you......

People who are genuinely loving and supportive do NOT sabotage their partners plans to see family or friends. He should have been happily waving you off! You do not have to ask his permission to leave your home!

There are some huge red flags here OP. The fact that your family have already identified he is controlling should surely tell you something!

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:22:50

Thank you, I know you're right. I sometimes want to speak to him but can struggle to articulate myself well.

It's hard as Dh hasn't always had the best relationship with my family, and I feel bad for making it worse. I was just really excited about having a few days away and have really let my mum down too.

AllTheLight Fri 10-Feb-17 08:23:40

I think it's human nature to be curious when someone is writing a message about you. As he doesn't ask to see your messages generally, and it was only in this instance because the message was about him, then I'd say that is normal and not controlling.

I'd be a bit more worried about why, when you needed an answer from him about you and DD going, you didn't seem to feel able to tell him to stop faffing about and properly discuss whether or not you were going. Did he stop you going or just say he'd rather you didn't?

I'd be more worried about the underlying issue (why you ended up not going to see your family) than the bit about the messages.

echt Fri 10-Feb-17 08:24:53

I also mentioned that over the years people have often told me that they think he can be controlling of me. He just didn't seem to understand and I just apologised.

If outsiders have been so bold as to say this, then yes he is controlling.

Blackbird82 Fri 10-Feb-17 08:26:51

He is emotionally abusing you OP. It can sometimes be very difficult to see what's actually going on especially as you perceive him to be so loving/kind etc.

It sounds like he intimidates you. He makes you feel nervous, you think he is more intelligent than you, that you struggle to articulate yourself.

Does he makes you feel stupid?

Your family don't like him and I completely understand why.

Costacoffeeplease Fri 10-Feb-17 08:28:51

Yes he sound controlling - and he understands alright, he just doesn't want you to understand it

If you want to go to your mum, go, don't let his sulking or throwing a tantrum stop you. I'd be staying at your mum's for a good long while

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:29:21

Thank you blackbird. I do wonder if after sleeping on it and thinking about what I said he'll see what I was saying, but I'm not so sure.

He genuinely is great most of the time, just a few times a year something like this happens. It's hard, as my mum thinks he can be controlling, but he thinks my mum can be controlling.

It's difficult, as in our faith he's the leader in our home. Generally decisions are made together, but if occasionally we can't decide then it's his call. I agreed to this when we got married, but struggle with the reality of it sometimes. I'm also a people pleaser - so although he wouldn't stop us from going, I wouldn't want to go and have him upset with me as I would struggle to relax and feel guilty.

Telfordmaybe Fri 10-Feb-17 08:30:12

You shouldn't have to ask for his permission to go visit your family!

You can run it by him, to make sure nothing else is planned during those days, but you shouldn't need his permission.

Yes, he is controlling.

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:34:36

I had asked several times over the past few days what he thought, but he kept saying he was thinking/praying about what to do. He didn't understand why I kept wanting answer so soon, but my family were re arranging things for my visit so needed an answer soon.

The reason I wanted to go - dd is a lovely but tricky baby at times, and I've been feeling a little run down so my mum thought it would be a nice break, and I could also catch up with some friends I haven't seen in a long time.

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:36:55

I was just wanting his blessing it was okay with him, as he has been having a hard time with some work issues and I wouldn't want to go when he needed me. As I said, he wouldn't literally stop me from going or anything. He also made a good point that I would never want him to take dd away from me for a few days.

Brillig Fri 10-Feb-17 08:48:07

But he has stopped you from going, hasn't he? He may not have physically barred the door so you can't get out, but he's manipulated you to ensure that you've cancelled your plans.

Do you get a say in anything? It sounds as though your assigned role is to wait passively while other people make decisions for you, and that's not right.

Blackbird82 Fri 10-Feb-17 08:48:40

OP I know you think things are usually great and that he only behaves like this occasionally but I'm sorry, I just don't think that can be true.

I'll bet that he has a pattern of controlling behaviour and I if you looked a little more closely, you would begin to see other examples of this.

So what would happen if you just said to him: I'm going to my parents, it's something I really want to do, it's my decision and I shouldn't be made to feel guilty for this....

Would he sulk, argue with you, make you feel guilty, force you to submit etc?

Please don't let him make you feel stupid or inferior to him. I do think you need to change your way that you view your relationship/his behaviour. Not something that can necessarily happen overnight but having a load of strangers on the internet confirm what you think about him will hopefully give you some strength to try and tackle this

fuzzywuzzy Fri 10-Feb-17 08:48:53

what was there to pray over, you wanted to spend time with your family as you're finding life with a baby tricky. It is normal and happens.

Ex (not the ex) used to pull the religious card when he wanted thnigs his way, he was also a controlling bully and abusive in many other ways, he was very religious when it came to his 'rights'. Unfortunately for him I was bought up taught my religious rights and his half baked half true religiosity didn't stand up under scrutiny.

Couldn't you tell him you prayed and the reply was to go and rest at your mums for a while?

fuzzywuzzy Fri 10-Feb-17 08:49:35

'note the ex' that should read

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:56:59

Do you really think he has manipulated me? He said last night he felt manipulated by me, when I really hadn't.

If I went I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. I would know he wasn't happy and worry about it. I'm not just like this with him, but everyone in my life. I constantly feel I must be on good terms with everyone in my life, or I feel very anxious. Dh rightly said I have a need to try and be perfect (perfect wife /mum/daughter), which is impossible so I always feel I've let myself down.

I prayed about it too, and felt it wold be good for me. Dh is not my God, but I sometimes feel I answer more to him.

I'll be honest here - about 5/6 months ago I posted a thread with a different situation but the same question - I think I had hundreds of replies mostly telling me that Dh was big controlling, but I freaked out and got the thread deleted. If Dh is controlling though, how can he really not see it? I love him so much and he's made my life so much better.

enchantmentandlove Fri 10-Feb-17 08:59:30

Being controlling*

Costacoffeeplease Fri 10-Feb-17 09:02:55

He's playing on your feelings of guilt, and yes, manipulating you

You don't have to be perfect you know, none of us are. What's the point of feeling bad all the time, if you make a decision to do something, then do it and enjoy it. It really isn't for him to give you permission or not, you are equal to him

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 10-Feb-17 09:06:04

You think he has made your life better but he has not really done that. He is controlling you; he does not have to hit you to hurt you.

He did stop you from going out by simply looking at you disapprovingly. You saw that look of his and cancelled your visit to your sister. He also does not want you to go anywhere without either him or your DD.

Your own people pleasing nature works against you as well because exploitative people like your H can and will exploit that in you for all its worth. He can also see that you cannot and will not say no. People pleasing is itself a very unhealthy pattern of behaviour. Who taught you how to people please; it probably came from one of your parents.

We teach people how to treat us by the behaviour we accept or reject from them. It is extremely important to ignore feelings of guilt. You deserve to take care of yourself, it is nothing to ever feel guilty about.

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