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Burying your head in the sand to avoid confronting issues.

(39 Posts)
ArabellaArmstrong Tue 28-Feb-17 21:10:01

Anyone else do this? Over the years of my marriage I have avoided discussing lots of issues with my husband because I don't have the energy to deal with his reaction. I'm not just like it with my husband I'm like it with others too. When I left home at 18 I spent weeks worrying about how I would break it to my Mum and kept trying to imagine the conversation and I never actually told my Mum until my boyfriend came to collect my belongings so it ended up being a quick "Bye Mum I'm moving out today!"

Last year I decided that I was going to be brave and confront issues rather than avoiding subjects. I told dh that I had spent years bottling up my emotions and was no longer prepared to do this. From dh's point of view this resulted in him feeling "got at" and he felt that I just wanted to argue all the time.

I now feel like I'm back at square one and just feel weighted down. There are a couple of things that I want to tell dh about, nothing significant just a couple of social events that I have in the diary but I know that he will over react and I just don't have the energy to deal with this so what do I do? Do I cancel my plans to keep the peace? Do I walk on eggshells and then spend the next month arguing because I've annoyed him or do I tell him to "Fuck Off"?!

Hermonie2016 Tue 28-Feb-17 21:19:08

Are you expecting a negative reaction to you wanting to go out? If so that's not a healthy reaction from him!

What has been his response to you previously if you want to go out?

ArabellaArmstrong Tue 28-Feb-17 21:31:07

Yes I am. He doesn't like me going out anymore. That's awful isn't it?

jeaux90 Wed 01-Mar-17 07:48:01

Yes it's awful and he is living your life for you. What do you want to do about it?

Have a read up on emotional abuse.

SandyY2K Wed 01-Mar-17 10:03:53

Do you require him to be home with DC when you go out?

Does he go out himself?

I also don't like confrontation, but not to the point of saying I'm going out.

It's like you need permission from him and you shouldn't require his permission to go out.

This isn't how a marriage should be.

Poudrenez Wed 01-Mar-17 10:43:56

OP I can relate to the state of mind that you're describing here. I hate confrontation or sticking up for myself in any way, but I'm now comfortably middle-aged and have realised just how much this stunts me. I have a somewhat dominating DH who I generally get on very well with, and I let more than I'm happy with slide. It can be depressing, but it sounds like it's particularly acute for you, if you don't feel you can go out without him at all. Your need for this little bit of independance is obvious in your post, and seems completely reasonable to me. You've identified it, so how do you think you'll feel if you don't allow it for yourself? Resentful, I imagine. And that's not going to be fun for anyone. Obviously you can't turn into a fully assertive person overnight, but it sounds like you've gone too far down down the route of least resistance, and asserting the fact that you want to go out sounds like a good start. It'll probably boost your confidence. If your DH doesn't respond well, then that's a big problem, IMO.

pudding21 Wed 01-Mar-17 11:02:46

I hear you. I used to have to "wait" until the appropriate time to tell ex about what I was doing or wanted to do. Eggshells like you say. Its not nice and it erodes your self esteem and sense of autonomy. Its not a healthy way to live. You should give some deal breakers and if you want to stay try and see if he sticks to them. if you don't start thinking about leaving.

Don't cancel your plans.

springydaffs Wed 01-Mar-17 11:11:59

Some therapy - short term? - To look at why you are conflict averse may be an idea?

As for your H not liking you going out.. that could be a different thing altogether. It doesn't look good tbh ie it's not a good sign and could be an indication of control and therefore abuse from your H. You could have a look at the Freedom Programme online, specifically Pat Craven's little book 'Living with the Dominator'. It's good info for all women imo.

RubyWhichOne Wed 01-Mar-17 13:28:36

This is not right that your H doesn't like you going out, he can't own you. This is very concerning. What does he actually do if you do go out? How will he react?

Burying your head in sand and not confronting/discussing anything - yep, I'm very good at that. It seems to be especially hard if close family is involved. It's sort of feeling inside me, that I don't want to make things bigger than they are, or upsetting anyone. That it's just so much easier to ignore my own feelings or issues and 'go with the flow'. Making a fuss feels embarrassing.
I'm planning to see a counsellor to sort out why am I acting like this, plus some more stuff I need to work out, maybe it would be good for you too?

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 18:53:59

I'm not sure that assertiveness is the issue with me, I'm not sure what it is. There are certain subjects that I can't discuss with certain people but I'm not like this in all areas of my life.

The going out thing is a biggie, it hasn't always been this way. Pre kids we both had friends and went out individually less than some couples but still relatively regularly. Once we had children it stopped for both of us due to finances, losing touch with friends and the general drudgery of parenting. Kids now getting older and we have more time and a bit more cash plus I'm starting to feel like the old me that I used to be. Dh has no desire to socialise with anyone other than me now and he can't understand why I don't feel the same way.

I'm just not sure how to address this issue without having to put up with his strops and moodiness. I'm not a moody person and I find it really difficult having to tip toe around his moods.

AnyFucker Wed 01-Mar-17 18:57:52

That's called walking on egg shells and submitting to his control

You are in an abusive relationship, no matter what confrontational "style" you have

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 19:01:54

Why do you say it's abusive? I'm not disagreeing I just want to understand how other people perceive this.

AnyFucker Wed 01-Mar-17 19:17:51

If you have to modify your behaviour to not "set him off"

If you are not heard

He is controlling

You would like to go out but fear the punishment too much

Abusive. All of it.

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 19:41:13

How would you handle the situation differently to me. This is typically how it goes -

Me -Oh by the way next Saturday I'm out with X

Him - (face like thunder) Oh that's just great. You're never interested in going out with me you just want to socialise with other people. You expect me to be at home looking after the kids worrying about what time you're home whilst you're having a great time with your "friends"

Me - We can go out together but you always come up with excuses when the time comes. You could call your old friends to go out why don't you call Y.

Him - I don't want to go out with anyone other than you, you're all I need but I've never been enough for you. You take me for a mug you really do.

Plus there will be weeks of him walking around looking I've killed his kitten and slamming doors and generally being a moody arse. Because I don't do "moods" and hate atmospheres I end up being the one trying to make the peace and smooth things over.

For lots of reasons I can't tell him to Fuck Off to the retirement home for middle aged joysuckers. So I have to manage it for now. He knows it's an issue I've made my feelings very clear. However I don't want to have the "big talk" every time I go out, which isn't very often anyway! I just want to see my friends and have a few glasses of wine without feeling that I've had to fight a bloody battle just to get there. It spoils my evening it really does. Plus there are rules about where I go, certain establishments are no goes and he texts and calls endlessly.

AnyFucker Wed 01-Mar-17 19:46:53

Stop doing the Big Talk

Get a family calendar. Display it prominently. When you plan to go out, write it on there.

When the time comes, do not engage. Pit you're coat on and go.

But honestly, love. You should not be "managing" this. Mutual respect.. .where is that ?

AnyFucker Wed 01-Mar-17 19:49:04

Oh, and turn off your phone when you are out.
But this is me, not you, and I speak from the position of a non abusive relationship. None of that shit is ok. Fuck the lot of it. LTB.

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 19:55:21

That's actually the same advice as my friend gave me! I have a couple of things planned this month, I've left it a bit late to put it on the calendar and for him to notice so I think I'll text him.

The really annoying thing about all of this is he genuinely thinks that he is right and it makes me feel guilty and like I'm doing something wrong. I can't relate to him at all and it is becoming a real concern to me that we are just not on the page about anything anymore. The only thing we have in common is a similar sense of humour, only there isn't that much to laugh about at the moment.

foolonthehill Wed 01-Mar-17 19:56:15

AF speaks the truth...
You are in an abusive relationship where your "D"H controls you by his words and actions. He transfers blame, is mistrustful of you and has made you the guardian of his mood and wellbeing. Not a healthy relationship at all and a very bad example to your DC who will see, hear and understand it all.

What would you say to one of them if they were grown up and in a relationship like yours?

Please think about it...you will tell us he has X, Y and Z good points...of course he does, or you would not be there at all. Think back, I expect his behaviour changed when you had DC... when you could no longer play handmaiden to him and you had to put other people (DC) first from time to time.

foolonthehill Wed 01-Mar-17 19:59:13

you describe Fear (of his reaction) a feeling of Obligation to him and Guilt which he is placing upon you for perfectly reasonable behaviours.

the FOG of living in an emotionally abusive relationship....keeps us there and keeps us down.

For light relief remember that the only person who gets hurt when a doormat rises up is the person who is standing on her. smile

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 19:59:32

If I turn my phone off that means that I'm snogging the face off somebody (as far as he is concerned). If he can't reach me he would think nothing of sticking the kids in the car and coming out to find me. He has on occasion phoned the people I'm with, he's even phoned the pub or restaurant that I'm at if I'm not picking up. I would rather keep my phone on as I don't like involving other people if I can help it.

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 20:03:25

Fool, if I'm honest he has probably always been like this in different ways. When you're in your 20s and all your mates are being cheated on lied to you think to yourself at least I don't have to put with all that shit. Then you grow up and realise that you have a different sort of problem.

foolonthehill Wed 01-Mar-17 20:07:05

so ........are you going to submit and readjust your life and have it whittled away bit by bit as you walk on eggshells and try to manage his emotions (you won't manage it all the time) and bear the cost for yourself and let your children bear it too?
...or are you open to investigating what is going on and contemplating a solution where you and your DC can build a life where normal is normal?

I recommend reading "why does he do that?" by Lundy Bancroft or looking through internet resources on emotional abuse.

foolonthehill Wed 01-Mar-17 20:10:30

by the way.....I speak from experience as do many of the posters above.
It is hard but it is possible to have a wonderful life apart even with hardships of other sorts. And I am neither brave, nor well equipped to deal with this stuff.

AnyFucker Wed 01-Mar-17 20:11:14

What he thinks is WRONG

ArabellaArmstrong Wed 01-Mar-17 20:12:23

I know I have choices. Difficult for me to make any drastic decisions right now but I'm not prepared to live like this forever.

I do worry about the kids and what they are taking in from this. I'm not the meek and mild person that perhaps this thread gives the impression of and I have sometimes over reacted when I feel that I'm not being heard and I know thats not healthy. It's a pretty dysfunctional relationship. Although I think there is still some love there. Maybe.

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