Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Help Me Take Action, please(39 Posts)
I'm going to try and keep this as efficient as possible - as per, there's a million things, details, anecdotes etc that I could relay, but we'd be here all day.
I'm 29, divorced, solvent, successful, no kids; he's nearly 47, solvent, divorced, 9 year old child. Dating 7 months. All fine until month 4/5.
Unanimously, all my friends and parents say to not bother with him, I deserve better etc. They think he's rude, controlling, immature and doesn't act his age in the slightest. We've gone through a two month rocky patch. Essentially, I was going to his 6 nights a week. I had told him, several times, this wasn't workable for me - I was knackered and at his beck and call (he has his child half the week). We were having crisis talks. I laid down my standard - I didn't ask him to change anything about himself; it was more 'this is my baseline. I will not settle for less'. In the week since, he hasn't really come on leaps and bounds. Only now he walks on the outside of the pavement (although makes a song and dance about it).
Quick list of things he does, positive and negative:
- exact same cultural interests as me;
- smart, educated, can make me laugh. In the first few months, we had a click that, for me, is rare. Maybe happened once before in my life;
- has called me 'despicable', 'egocentric', 'thoughtless', 'oafish' for infractions such as I had a bad day and had a vent whilst he wanted to talk about some 'harrowing' lecture he'd just been to;
- calls me 'selfish' because e.g. I don't always put my seatbelt on - not a passing comment. I mean he rails at me for it. Also comments, with a tone, how much I swear or that I am 'a barrage of cynicism'. I feel he criticises me a lot...and I feel like I have to drop things into conversation to prove e.g. that I'm not 'thoughtless' or 'selfish' by mentioning how I did something for a friend's birthday, or that other people think I do lots of little sweet things for them;
- amazing, amazing sex;
- childishly pouts perhaps in an effort to control i.e. despite me saying 6 nights a week was too much, he says that my current optimal 2-3 times per week of seeing each other 'doesn't make me feel close to you. I feel like it's not a relationship. I don't feel connected to you and it's only been a week' - subtext to me being 'unless you bend to my will and go back to 6 nights per week of seeing each other, I won't love you as much';
- constantly promises the future e.g. just after I broke up with him 6 days ago, it's all 'let's go for a weekend away!' or 'let's go visit my dad's home town' (I've never met his father before);
- gets upset if I don't have the same reaction to e.g. a movie as him;
- if I'm upset at something he has done, he'll excuse it by saying 'it's just well-intentioned banter. You need to grow a thicker skin'.
I have never ever said to him 'you are too X; you need to change by doing Y'. I let him be him...my philosophy being 'people don't change. You either accept their flaws/quirks, or you walk. It's your problem, not theirs'.
When I was married before, EVERYONE said EXH was a bad egg. I don't want to make the same mistake twice. My gut reaction is just end it. A big part of this is that I can't handle dating again. I like the domesticity of a 7 month relationship. God, that's pathetic, isn't it? I find myself biting my tongue a lot around him or looking at him thinking 'ugh. Shut up' or thinking he's a gaslighter/hypocrite. Part of me thinks 'it shouldn't be this hard in the honeymoon period', the other thinks 'fuck. There was a great spark'
Oh wisdom of MN, help a girl out, please?
Goodness, he sounds like hard work to me. My standard for a relationship is that 'life is more fun with him around than not'. Obviously, this needs to flex a bit when life generally is being a bit xxxxxx: family funeral is never going to be fun, the point is that it is better with him than without.
How does that work in your life?
He is dreadful; you are in your prime; you do not need this creep; you can do so much better. At 47 he is not likely to change, except to get worse.
Also with your friends, he's an arsehole.
I am at you insisting he walks on the outside of you though. Love, no cart wheel is going to splash your pretty petticoat! You say you have your standards, but they're misplaced to me. Walk wherever you happen to stand as you come out - and worry more about having standards re manipulative shit!!
One thing I am with him on though... I would find someone refusing to where a seatbelt irresponsible, immature - and yes, selfish if I'm the driver and they are therefore forcing me into 'police' roll over it.
Buckle up, but dump this loser!
FinallyHere - I totally get what you mean. When I had a few days apart from him last week, I was so much happier! I had time for me, friends, hobbies.
I just don't get how a 47 year old man hasn't got the memo on how to be with women or not to be so selfish?
When an acquaintance turned to me and said, 'it makes me so angry that he talks to you like that', the look on his face was a bit of a wake up call.
Can anyone think of a reason to stay? I'm just so indecisive and don't want to throw away something wherein I, initially, at least, had a great rapport.
A reason to stay?
Yeah, if it's your thing to be treated like shit, he serves that need pretty well.
Ellisandra - thanks for your message.
The whole pavement thing is just a small gesture, but means a lot in my 'language'. I could maybe tolerate some of his 'well-intentioned' mocking if he showed doting/respect by indulging me in a small request, IYSWIM?
Oh, the seatbelt - no, I totally get that if I was sat behind someone, had a crash etc, I would likely kill that person. However, he was more 'if you die, it won't effect you, but the ones you love will have to mourn'... I then asked my dad about this...he didn't think I was selfish and wouldn't nag me to put a seatbelt on. My dad was of the persuasion that 'you're a big girl. You do as you please. Nobody's your judge. You answer to yourself'
From what little I've detailed in my original post, is MN unanimous in him being 100% controlling? Or is it more grey area/fence-sitting than that?
Thanks in advance
Why do you not think you deserve better than the crumbs he offers you?. The sex may be good but the rest of your relationship sounds frankly awful. That so called spark was just a damp squib. You're seeing what he is really like and that real him is abusive. He wants absolute power and control over you; he does not see you as an equal at all. He sees you as a possession and such men do not let go of their victim easily. I think you're going to have a hard time in getting rid of him but rid yourself of him you must.
And you are still with him because? Why is your relationship bar still so very low that this has been somehow acceptable to you?. This reads like you are being suffocated by this person emotionally, he is clearly no good for you at all. He is also not your project to rescue and or save. You do not owe this person anything but he thinks you owe him a great deal.
Relationships should not be such hard work honestly.
Whatever crap you learnt about relationships when growing up (and I think your ex has a lot to do with this as well now) needs unlearning through counselling. There are many red flags around this person and you ignore this at your peril.
Love your own self for a change trite as it may sound. Dump this loser and work on rebuilding your own life and self worth before he further drags you down with him.
At seven months you should not be thinking about domesticity. It may be comforting to you but why is that?. Are you really afraid of being on your own that much?.
I would suggest you read "Why does he do that?" written by Lundy Bancroft and enrol on Womens Aid's Freedom Programme.
After I called it a day last week, he said that he wouldn't e.g. go on about the seatbelt thing or get upset when I didn't react the same as him to things...I said that he's human. His patience will drop eventually.
So, he has the intention, at least, of changing his ways/attitude, but is that enough?
Princess di didn't put her seatbelt on....ah, but I see you don't have kids. In that case, your funeral as long as you are not sitting behind someone. Dickish way to die but your choice to risk it.
Otherwise - he is rude to you but a good lay. Is that the best you can do from the available pool of millions of men?
Fuck that for a game of soldiers.
He gets upset when you don't have the same reaction to a film. What an absolute crock of shite.
The man is a control freak.
I was walking behind two women just the other day and heard a snippet of their conversation. One was telling the other what she had said to their mutual friend. "I told her that when you are in a relationship with someone, they should enhance you. Enhance your life. Add to it. Not bring you down. Not like he does". A young woman, no older than 20 who has got it spot on. I share be sharing this pearl of wisdom with my dd and ds.
So apart from the sex, what does he do to enhance your life?
all my friends and parents say to not bother with him, I deserve better
Please listen to them.
He sounds vile!
Re-read your post!
Then read it again.
There's 1 positive and that's good sex.
Yeah we all love good sex.
But seriously??? You are 29 and you've been with one dickhead already.
Don't do this to yourself.
Please look at why you need a man in your life all the time.
Why you aren't happy on your own?
Being single is far better than what you are saying here.
re your comment:-
" I'm just so indecisive and don't want to throw away something wherein I, initially, at least, had a great rapport".
That leads me to ask you:-
a. What did you learn about relationships when growing up? What sort of an example did your parents set you?.
b. Do you know about the sunken costs fallacy?. Clearly not.
Do read the "sunken costs fallacy" because the above smacks of that. Its basically causing you to keep on making poor relationship decisions. Your ex was a poor relationship decision as is this man now.
People get bogged down by focusing on their sunk costs.
There are two ways to understand this process, both involving avoidance. One is an avoidance of disappointment or loss when something doesn’t work out. When a relationship doesn’t succeed, especially after a long period, especially after many shared experiences and especially after developing a hope that the relationship would be a good one, it is a loss. It is a loss of what might have been and an acknowledgement that a part of one’s life has been devoted to this endeavour.
Another angle to evaluate is that focus on “sunk cost” creates a distraction from one’s inner truth. The sentence often goes like, “I’ve already invested to much, so I can’t notice my thoughts and feelings that are telling me to end or change this relationship.”
This is a type of insidious defense against noticing yourself. You enter into a neglectful relationship with yourself which divorces you from your inner thoughts and the quiet feelings that might guide you in your life. In other words, thinking about what already has been may prevent you from deciding what you want your life to be.
The key is to clear away the distractions to rational and emotional clarity. Getting stuck in your “sunk cost” prevents you from this clarity, whether in your relationships or your investments.
hellsbells and attila - I completely see your mutual points, and agree. I do feel that, soon-to-be 30, I'm 'on the shelf'...I loved the idea of being married, so when I divorced him, I felt like I had failed, maybe? And, thus, wanted to quickly 'repair' and get all domestic, babies etc etc etc. I'm an over-loyal person. A penguin that mates for life, if you will!
your gut is right. leave him and don't take him back when he says he's changed - he won't change.
and why on earth aren't you wearing a seatbelt?! are you nuts?!
Attila - re sunk costs. Again, completely agree. Everything you (and others) are saying makes total total crystal clear sense to me.I just feel like I'm swimming in confusion. If a friend were in my position, I'd say to her what you're all saying to me.
Is it a red flag with all his 'future projecting' stuff? He's been doing it for months now, but considering we broke up (briefly) on Friday and two days later he's giving it the 'another weekend away together' and basically 'come meet my dad', he's really stepped it up/is delusional/is emotionally immature.
I do feel that, soon-to-be 30, I'm 'on the shelf'...I loved the idea of being married, so when I divorced him, I felt like I had failed, maybe? And, thus, wanted to quickly 'repair' and get all domestic, babies etc etc etc. I'm an over-loyal person. A penguin that mates for life, if you will!
If anyone has "failed" here it is your ex and your current boyfriend who is also a loser.
Being nearly 30 does not mean you are set for a life on the shelf either; this is utter hogwash but you're going to have to raise your bar a lot higher now because this could keep on happening to you otherwise.
Love your own self for a change. You are such a romantic pushover and currently receptive to abusers like this current individual to get their claws into. Men like this and your ex take an awful long time to recover from. Its not a quick fix at all to heal.
(and do wear your seatbelt whenever you are in a car. You can all too easily be thrown forwards regardless of where you are sitting and you do not ever want to be a human missile).
First off, wear your seatbelt woman, its the law for a reason!
Right, now thats out of the way - seriously, ditch him. It sounds like hes not thinking about you at all, he wants you at his 6 days a week because it suits him, he gets angry when you have a different reaction to him because he thinks his own is the only correct one, and thats not something that will change any time soon. Maybe in a few years if he really wanted to change it, which it doesnt sound like he does.
Its not easy to confront a friend on their partner being bad to them, if you have multiple people doing it then I suggest you listen carefully to what they are telling you to decide if there is any truth in it.
And he future fakes as well. Another red flag here amongst many.
So what did you learn about relationships when growing up?
If you would tell other people the same then why can't you take your own advice?. He has caused your confusion or spaghetti head now, this is what abusive men do to their victims. It will get to the stage where you do not know which way is up and you will be a shadow of your former self.
Hills are that way Thunder >>>>>>
Remain with him and it will be a huge error of judgment on your part.
Do read this:-
OK, OK. I'll wear my seatbelt! [Disclaimer: I only didn't wear it in Central London...because the traffic doesn't get above 15mph)
Can I just block him...or do I have to give him another dumping text?
Also, it's been 6 days since I laid down the line to him. I don't give him longer, right? 6 days is enough to up your game?
The thing is, my parents have an amazing marriage. They've been together 40 years and I had a totally healthy childhood.
Thanks, Attila, I'll take a look at that link
Sending another dumping text is just a way for you to re-engage.
Own your decision (as it's a good one) and just move on.
I would block him from all means of contacting you now; he has already been given his marching orders. Your family and friends support will also be vital to you at this time, lean on them. He will not likely let go of you at all easily (this is because he will then have to find another woman to control) so you need to stand firm here.
Please consider WAs Freedom Programme as well.
Join the discussion
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.