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Relationships or mental health.... I don't know. I do know that I'm desperately unhappy

(192 Posts)

I've had to name change, I'm sorry. But My DP knows my username and I need some advice without him searching for me.
This might be long, just to warn you, as I'm trying to get down everything, but I will do my best to make it easy to read.

I think I'm in an emotionally abusive relationship, but I don't know for sure.
I don't know if it is me, or if he has anger management issues

Something hugely traumatic happened to us twice last year. I don't want to disclose details as it will out me, but I have struggled with day to day life since. I have had various counselling and CBT and it has been suggested (not diagnosed) by one of my therapists that I may have PTSD and PND as showing all the signs.

As I say, I can't manage day to day life terribly well. So many things trigger me, but I am trying to find a way to make peace with it and pretty much failing TBH. DP is desperate to move on. So am I, but I can't seem to find a way right now.

DP tries to be patient with me. He really does. But he is a talker (well, shouter) and I hate confrontation. Always have.

He always says "we need to talk more" but when we do he raises his voice at me, swears at me, and points his finger. And if he doesn't do all that, or if I ask him not to shout, his tone is extremely authoritative and can still be very intimidating even when he isn't shouting.
He says things that, to me, sound like he's saying one thing, then when I get confused and misunderstand he gets more angry.

I end up with my head swimming in confusion wondering what has happened. The more he shouts at me, the more confused I get about what he is saying. I tell him that all this tension is my fault because of the trauma and how its affected me and I apologise to him all the time. I tell him I hate myself for feeling the way I do and that I wish the pain would just go away.
But he says how can he love me when I don't even love myself. That he's a big believer in loving yourself in order for others to love you.

But its a vicious circle because I feel like this tension makes me hate myself, it gives me low self esteem. Especially when he is shouting at me. I just want to hide away and put my hands over my ears and hope that I disappear into thin air, just to make all the pain of the trauma and the shouting to stop.

I have always been a fairly confident person. When we first met nearly two years ago, I was even more confident as he used to constantly tell me how gorgeous/hot I was and he used to want to spend so much time with me, and text me all day. Sending me flowers to my office and going out of his way to make me happy and spend time with me. Things were so perfect. I'd never seen this side to him ever, nor had I ever seen this side to anyone.
But then we experienced this awful thing, twice, and things started to change.
I can't just be upset, I can't talk to him when I'm upset because that is when the anger starts. It's like he's forgotten how to be gentle and soothing and comforting. And if he doesn't shout at me, then he becomes really distant. When I need him the most, he spends more time away from me, almost withholding affection unless I specifically ask for it - then it isn't sincere. All I need is a hug and some gentle reassurance that we'll get through this together. But he says that is false and he should be allowed to be angry as it is 'just another emotion' All I ever say to him is "all I need is a hug" and he just refuses and says "it's all about what YOU want". "I'm such an ogre aren't I". "I've been hugging you but it is never enough!" "I'm such a prick, aren't I..." etc etc...

When these episodes happen, I get worse. I've never been so deep in depression in my entire life. A few weeks ago I even frantically searched for the pain killers so that I could just drift away and never come back, but he ran after me into the bathroom and took them from me. I was just so desperate to escape the hatred coming from him. It was a stupid moment of sheer desperation. Then it happened again, the next time he had an 'episode' I became so low that I hid in the bathroom and self harmed. I've never ever done anything like that before. And it didn't feel good afterwards, in fact I felt incredibly stupid, but I just didn't know where to turn. I almost wanted to see the pain I was feeling so badly.

I feel like he would rather see me deeply distraught than hug me and soothe me.

What is wrong with me? Is it me even? I have never experienced this kind of anger before. Completely and utterly unforgiving anger comes from him. Like nothing in the world will make him compassionate and loving.

Is it a form of narcissism even? I see that word thrown around on here regularly and googled, then found several articles. He seems to tick so many boxes, but am I just searching for a blame? Maybe it is me. If I wasn't so caught up in this trauma, if I could just find a way to move forward, everything would be ok.

All I know is that I just want all this to stop. I desperately want us to return to what we had and for me to make peace with these awful events. I just wish so much that I could have the DP I had before, and I am sure he wishes he could have the DP he had before.
We had such a perfect relationship. Really perfect. The love was so strong we always said nothing could break us. But now I'm sitting here broken into so many pieces that I don't know what to do anymore.

Like I said above, I used to be fairly confident. But I am just a shell these days. I don't know if that is because of the trauma, or because of the way DP treats me, or both. I just don't have any self confidence anymore.

But after saying all that, (and this is such a cliche and I've read this sort of thing time and time again with an massive eyeroll) but when he is not being like that, he is utterly amazing. Everyone adores him and he does so much for everyone. My own mum thinks he's the bees knees. Despite me confiding in her and driving to hers in tears in the middle of the night, she still thinks he's brilliant. My DC think he is too, despite him being very strict with them. All my friends think he's perfect for me and unlike anyone else I've ever been with, that I am so lucky to have someone like him.

This just makes me think it must be me.

I will probably regret posting this. There isn't much point TBH because even if you all tell me to leave him, I can't . I just can't.
I guess I just need some kind of understanding of all of this and reasons why he can't just hug me and tell me its all going to be ok, and that we can get through this together.
Maybe some suggestions on how to cope with his talks/outbursts without becoming a crying sobbing wreck, thus making things even worse.

mummytime Sun 07-May-17 09:58:39

You need a break from him.

It should always be your mental health first. And he isn't aiding your recovery is he?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-May-17 10:08:06

Its not you, its him. He is abusive and he has basically acted like any other abusive man has done. He is no different from them and his nice/nasty cycle is a continuous one. He put on an act for you and it was maintained till he decided not to play nice any more. The nice man you knew is a mirage and was never real. These people as well can be very plausible to those in the outside world and I am also sorry that your mother here is being of no use nor ornament. That lack of overall support can make you feel more low and vulnerable too.

If he is nice to other people and can control himself around them then he does not have anger management problems. He has a problem with anger, your own anger when you rightly call him out on his own abusive behaviours towards you. AM as well is no solution to domestic violence and actually gives such men more tools to beat their target with.

Why can't you leave him?. No obstacle or any that you put in your own path here is actually insurmountable. He has done a real number on you to get you to this low point and you cannot and must not grow flowers in the hole he has dug for you. Time to dig your way out.

You will only find peace if you leave this man, he will keep on destroying you from the inside out otherwise and he will destroy your children too. Your children also are seeing you being abused by him and they could well become abusers or abused themselves as adults. You really cannot afford to do your bit here to teach them that this is normal because it really is not.

0808 2000 247 is the number to call WA on.

You're right, I do. But we live together, my DC go to the local schools so I can move them away.
If I could, I'd take the DC and go and stay with my mum for a bit, but I can't because of local commitments and schools.

I know you're right though, I just don't know how to have a break from him

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-May-17 10:14:31

Whose name is the property under; is it solely his for instance?

Schools are one thing but your children are seeing you as their mother being abused by this man within their home. That will do them far more harm in the long run than a change of schools or home environment.

Womens Aid are well worth talking to and they will help you here.

Naicehamshop Sun 07-May-17 10:18:03

I can't believe that he is shouting at you when you are struggling so much with your mental health. How could anyone justify that kind of behaviour?

He sounds incredibly unkind, to put it mildly. I wonder how much better you would feel if he wasn't there verbally attacking you? sad

Naicehamshop Sun 07-May-17 10:19:40

You definitely need some space from him to give you the chance to clear your head. Maybe ask him to move out for a while?

QuiteLikely5 Sun 07-May-17 10:28:55

You also need to address the traumatic incidents - it seems these have affected who you were and he wants the 'old you' back and vice versa you want the 'old him' back

I do think a break would be good so you can think more clearly.

I'm reluctant to say he's abusive because I'm not sure what the arguments are about and whether he's just having trouble articulating himself.

Unfortunately people, can raise their voice and be authoritive and although it's bad he may be frustrated with something that's been going on for two years.

Did you have a miscarriage op

Attila, I know. and thank you, I do appreciate your words and concern, I really do. but it's just so hard.
We both experienced these traumas so I am trying to understand that his behaviour is from that, and this is just the way he is dealing with it all.
Like I said, he wasn't like this before. I had never seen that side to him before this happened.

I just wish I wouldn't let it get to me so much and destroy me so much.

I feel like we're being punished, after such a horrible time that was neither of our faults.

NC4T Sun 07-May-17 10:37:57

I think I know who you are OP. If I'm right, I imagine it can be extremely frustrating, upsetting and bewildering living with you at times. Also, a lot of your trauma/sadness and slow recovery is because you want him to try again and he doesn't want to. I can imagine that this also terribly pressurising for him and I bet at times he gets furious with you.

But also he sounds completely unequipped to deal with your recovery in many ways. I feel like you are probably both destroying each other. Perhaps what has happened and, really sadly, destroyed what you had. Life is a complete bastard sometimes.

I'm sorry for you. But this relationship is not healthy and hasnt been for some time. And it's terrible for your DC. Please move out. I think once you're away from the possibility of him agreeing to try again, you will begin to be able to move on x

gamerchick Sun 07-May-17 10:40:10

It sounds as if you both went through something horrible and it sounds as if you're both not dealing with it well. You want him to be the strong protector so you can heal and he sees that but doesn't have the capacity to help you because he doesn't have anyone to help him. So he gets angry because you can't just be ok.

I'm especially alarmed to hear there are kids in the middle of all this.

You both need outside help and if that means splitting up then so be it. Go and see your GP to organise some councilling for yourself or pay for private, the sooner you can cope with everyday life the better.

Attila, I can't waste WA's time. I'm not going to take on their advice.

He just come downstairs and I apologised but he shouted again. told me that he gives me so much and gets no thanks. That I just keep kicking him in the balls. I told him I am desperate to get better.

I promise you. I don't. I am constantly telling him how grateful I am for everything he does, constantly. Because I know he needs to hear that. So I make a point of telling him regularly.

But he still uses the fact he does so much as ammunition.

I do an awful lot too though, and he doesn't see it. I would never ask for any thanks.

I feel like I've got to keep bigging him up but when we argue, it's not enough.

His parents are supposed to be coming over tonight, but he has told me that they can't now and it is my fault.

I can't stop sobbing.

Attila, the house is in both of our names

category12 Sun 07-May-17 10:49:17

You need a break from each other. Would he consider moving out for a while?

gamerchick - I've had various counselling. Nothing seems to work for me. I'm also on ADs.

I just want this all to stop now. I need something to erase my brain, get me back. I've neevr ever experienced this hell in my life. Never been one for depression. Always happy and easy going, even when I was in crappy relationships previously, I've always been very level headed. I've never had anyone treat me the way DP does since all this happened, so it's a shock and hard to process.

I know that if he could just be kind and gentle, I could get through it, but everytime he has an 'episode' I fall back again. He just can't seem to see it and blames me. When I tell him "I feel like this, when he does this" he says we are all responsible for out own feelings and emotions and it isn't his problem if I feel that way.

But I always thought kind and compassionate human beings are there for eachother when the shit hits the fan. If being kind and compassionate helps me, then why can't that continue? Why say we need to talk, then lash out at me? I never raise my voice, never talk about stuff unless he specifically asks. I just get on with things, and cry on my own. I'm not hard to live with. I treat him, I do lots for him and make lots of effort for him, yet it isn't enough, or he doesn't see it.
All he sees is what he does.

But reading that all back, it just looks like I'm looking to blame him. When it is me with this awful dark cloud that wont just fuck off.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-May-17 11:14:38

He is not above projecting his own stuff onto you. This is very much typical of how an abuser works. Nothing has worked because you are still together; he is the root cause of your unhappiness and the traumas you have suffered he now uses against you as well. If he thinks this lowly of you then why hasn't he already left?. Its because he gets some power and control out of it.

You would not be wasting WAs time at all if you were to talk to them.

Where are your children; presumably they are at home today as well?. What sort of an existence is this to them?. They are seeing and at the very least hearing all this day in and day out.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 07-May-17 11:16:16

His parents are supposed to be coming over tonight, but he has told me that they can't now and it is my fault.

And that is not your fault either. Who told them they cannot turn up tonight at your house; him?. His parents have free will and he is not the boss of them either.

He said there is no way he would bring his family into that situation and that we are in a terrible vicious circle.

My children are with their father today, we need to collect them in a couple of hours sad I need to sort myself out but I can;t stop sobbing. I want this all to stop now.

It isn't day in and day out. Mostly we get on well and they see a loving relationship. He tends to turn when we don't have the DC, its like he uses that opportunity to 'talk' which then escalates when he doesn't hear what he wants to hear.

DistanceCall Sun 07-May-17 11:26:08

You don't need counselling, OP. You need therapy. And you need to tell someone exactly what's going on with your husband and how he's treating you and making you feel. He needs to back off.

Can you tell a friend or a relative who will support you?

ElspethFlashman Sun 07-May-17 11:37:48

I know who you are too. flowers

I have suspected for some time that you would not have lasted without the traumatic bonding. That those two things made you both feel like you had been through so much that it obviously meant "forever".

I have always suspected that had none of those things happened even in the first place (if you know what I mean) - that if the two of you just had a rather uneventful relationship just the two of you - that his shoutiness would have had you being hmm before too long.

But since you've had this trauma, that you feel somehow you deserve it, cos you've been suicidal at times and haven't been east to live with etc etc.

Whereas if nothing had happened to you, you'd have been more like "Wait - I don't deserve shouting - my kids don't need to hear him shouting - fuck this!"

I feel like you have a lot invested in the idea of The Great Love Affair with him. I feel you want to believe We Were Tested But It Made Us Stronger!

I don't believe it has. I believe he has tried to understand you (I have read your blog and he says all the right things on it) but the proof is in the ordinary mundane day to day. And he's crap at that.

I also think it's like living with your tormentor because he could really give you what you crave, but he refuses it. Cos apparently he is more important. Another man would long ago have changed his decision. It is utterly cruel. It baffles me that he is so intransigent. It is a level of selfishness I can't even comprehend.

If you were alone you may become accepting in time. But sleeping beside someone every night who refuses to budge and inch to help you..... fucking hell, how do you cope?

Hermonie2016 Sun 07-May-17 11:52:29

2 years is around the time when the issues appear so whilst you may blame the events it's probadly just accelerated the process.

You could be emotional incompatible, some people just can't relate to each other in a way they both need. Loving someone when you don't speak their emotional language leads to issues.Some people just don't like outward emotional people, they prefer the tight lipped approach.

However it could be that he is emotional abusive, it's all about him and he can't bear you to have weaknesses or be emotional as it detracts from him.

Either way you have a very unhealthy relationship.Did you rush moving in together? How old are the dc?
You can't make him better or change him.You either have to tolerate it or leave.

Get yourself stronger perhaps finding people to confide in.

Atenco Sun 07-May-17 12:04:36

I'm so sorry you are going through this, OP, but he sounds like a text-book abuser, particularly the gifts of flowers and telling you how wonderful you are at the start of the relationship. It may be hard to get out, but you have to.

Yoksha Sun 07-May-17 13:21:17

namechange,

Reading your OP & subsequent updates have made me so sad for you. It all seems so claustrophobic. You must get your thinking gear around getting yourself emotionally healthier away from him. Why not suggest this with a proviso of coming together again to see if you too can recapture what you seem to think was "your perfect relationship". No relationship is perfect. All humans are incomplete on some level.

I don't want to seem cruel, but you're flogging a dead horse expecting him to help you heal. Ain't never going to happen in any dimension. Something I have learned as I've "grown" is we don't have the right to expect others to be responsible for our happiness. No person should have that foisted on them.

He's either a tortured soul, or he's an abusive twat. You need to get stronger so you can assess which he is.

Something that keeps on remerging is my brain is a fact I was told a long time ago. It concerns the old fashioned method deep see divers used to tell which way was up when they became confused and disoriented. It was simply a cork fixed onto the end of their dagger. When they entered their state of confusion and lost perspective in their surroundings they knew instinctively to let loose their cork/dagger combo. The cork would always bob in the right direction. Even if the diver's senses were convincing him which way was up, but in fact would have ended in the diver drowning, he knew deep down to pay attention to the cork to get him to safety. Of course nowadays its all hi-tech.

Why have I posted this? You've somehow got all tangled up emotionally. You don't even know which way is up. You need to strengthen & ground yourself first & foremost.

jouu Sun 07-May-17 15:25:28

You seem to be struggling to accept that he isn't helping you recover. But I'm sorry, it's got to the point where you're self harming in an effort to distract yourself from the truth. Which is, that he isn't helping you, and isn't going to.

I know you're in pain but I urge you to refocus yourself to accepting the truth that this relationship is not going to get better.

Stop asking why he won't help. Stop trying to convince him to help. Stop asking yourself why he would help. Stop berating him for not helping. Stop berating yourself for not being able to convince him to help.

You are burning through all that energy focused on him and why he won't help you... Take that mass of energy and help yourself.

The first step is to get distance from him. Stop thinking about anything except getting away from him. You're not going to get better until you find the distance , so for pitys sake focus on that.

You seem to feel, for whatever reason, that if HE helped you, was kind to you, etc, you'd be able to recover. But that's not what you actually need to recover. Your mind is tricking you. What you really need is to be away from this person so that healing can start. You can heal just as well on your own as you can in a relationship... Millions of single people recover from psychological trauma without leaning on anyone but themselves and a counsellor. You can do that too. You don't need him.

springydaffs Mon 08-May-17 00:14:30

I have to say, it does sound to me that you are in an abusive relationship. I can't be sure but it certainly sounds like it.

You say you won't call WA (or 'waste their time'..) - have you called them before? ie do you know what to expect if you call them. If you haven't called them then you may be surprised - they are THE experts on domestic abuse and don't push or force. They know how hard it is for us to leave, or even to make any sense of what is happening.

As well as the national WA helpline (0808 2000 247) you can call your local Womens Aid office - it's easier to get through on this line during the day (office hours). The national helpline isn't as busy as night/overnight though.

WA will help you. They have a lot of practical resources and know the ropes, know how to get things done.

Don't be thinking WA is only for those who are being hit. The majority of callers have never been hit - there are others forms of abuse that kill slowly from the inside.

Whether or not he is an abuser (though it certainly sounds like it re love bombing you, charm personified...), WA will help. The clue is in their name.

flowers

springydaffs Mon 08-May-17 00:16:21

The national helpline isn't as busy AT night/overnight though. ie call at night/overnight if you can. 24/7 service.

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