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Wish I hadn't heard...

(27 Posts)
Ellienell Tue 19-Sep-17 14:31:09

Hi All, my partner and I have been together 10 years. We have 2 kids, busy lives/moderate stress and are an active family. When possible, we try and get out together for adventures etc. Recently he's been working longer and longer hours including weekends (I genuinely think he is just working, he enjoys it!!). He went out with some work colleagues recently and had a lot to drink. He kept Facetiming me and calling saying he loved me (this only really happens when he's drunk which is rare). He was showing me and my daughter to his colleagues on FaceTime (much to our embarrassment and suspect his, once he sobered up). Later that evening he kept phoning and eventually didn't hang up properly. I then overheard a conversation which deteriorated into a bit of an anti-partner conversation with a colleague of his. To cut a long story short his colleague had a row with his partner on the phone and I guess in support, my partner started to say horrid stuff about me and our relationship - 'you're not the only one mate' if it wasn't for the kids he'd have left years ago, he's nearly walked countless times. He said I gave him loads of grief about going out that night (I really didn't, I was a bit fed up that he wouldn't be around much that particular weekend with very little notice again, as well as lots of other weekends recently but certainly didn't give him grief). He's always been quite cool with me but he's like that in general and me and the kids joke about him not having any empathy/emotion for anything, so I'd always explained the way he is towards me like that. But now wondering if perhaps he genuinely doesn't like me. When he came home he was telling me about his friends relationship problems and telling me he was so lucky to have me. I left it for a couple of days and then told him I'd heard what he said. He just kind of brushed it off and said it wasn't true and patted my arm and went to sleep?!? Now feeling very confused and not sure what to think/do.. any advice appreciated!!

Ugene Tue 19-Sep-17 14:45:58

ohhh - This is really a tricky one! I am always scared when I eg text some "rants" about my husband that he may look on my phone when the respond from a friend or family member comes.

But I often "rant" just to get something off my shoulders and maybe get a second opinion and even though I am not doing it on purpose I may exaggerate sometimes. Maybe it was the same and your husband showed sympathy to his colleague by also exaggerating about your situation?

All the best!

motherofallfuckups Tue 19-Sep-17 14:54:08

No actually I think this is very serious. I could never look at him the same way and you'd be justified if you were to consider leaving actually. Two faced people are the worst.

There are a few little hints in your post that he's a pisstsker and sadly I suspect he's only nice to your face to keep you sweet. Maybe he does love you? Maybe he was just trying to sympathise with his friend? But he's just unveiled himself as extremely untrustworthy and I think you should look deeper into this...

How nice for him that he can work "longer and longer hours" just because he wants to. Doesn't sound like there is much equality regarding your free time and his and you have clearly become the default parent. To then find out that he publicly disrespects you (and tells lies about you) must be a kick in the test. The real clincher here is that he dismissed you when you brought it up. What a fucking arsehole, sorry.

You deserve a lot better than this. Don't be his mug, cause hell! Demand he phones his mate in front of you to tell him he was exaggerating. He will of course refuse at which point you should tell him to pack his bags and fuck off. I would but I have a slightly Italian temper on me.

I hate pricks like this - I see them often down the pub or wherever, constantly moaning about "her indoors" and how they're the poor put upon husband with the tyrannical wife. I know it's almost always bullshit as soon as they start up. It's the same old script. And do you know why they do it? Not just to sympathise with their mates but because they're laying the groundwork for any of their own possible bad behaviour in the future. "Cor Phil's always going for a drink after work isn't he?!" "Yeah but who could blame him - his wife is a right nag apparently - who'd want to go home to that every night?!" Or; "Guess what I heard?! Tony's been having an affair with the new receptionist!" "Yeah but him and his wife have separated in all but name - just living together for the kids these days!" This is why they do it!!!

A partner that does not speak well of you behind your back is not your best friend. This guy is out for himself. One day, overhearing what he said may well be one of the pivotal reasons you end your relationship with this douchebag (and I somewhat hope it is). There's a thread on relationships at the moment called "the sentence that ended your relationship" and this might well be one of those moments.

Good luck to you OP - you deserve so much better than this and I hope you can see that sooner rather than later. Like I said before, please don't roll over and meekly accept his dismissal. flowers

TheNaze73 Tue 19-Sep-17 14:56:12

A lot of people with short tempers rant & sometimes regret. This is a bit more than that though

Loopytiles Tue 19-Sep-17 14:56:19

Him saying those things to a friend or acquaintance, for any reason, specifically that he would've left if not for the DC, would be a deal-breaker for me. Trust would be gone.

Bertsfriend Tue 19-Sep-17 15:04:19

I agree with Motherofallfuckups, I hate two faced people and wouldn't accept that in a friendship let alone from my partner.

If it was drunken bullshit that he didn't mean then the very least he can do is put the colleague right by telling him it was all bollocks, you're a delight to be around and he's lucky to have you.

RedForFilth Tue 19-Sep-17 16:47:08

Personally I couldn't stay with someone like that. God knows what else he says behind your back.
This would make me end the relationship even with kids being involved but then my tolerance for being treated badly is so low now. I couldn't look at him the same.

Adora10 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:01:14

That is just awful, slags you off to anyone listening then pats your arm and says it wasn't meant, he sounds nasty and full of contempt tbh. I'd find it hard to get past too.

SandyY2K Tue 19-Sep-17 17:06:29

Honestly speaking, I don't believe he meant it. He'd have no reason to call and FaceTime while he's out if he really didn't like you.

He'd be glad to get away from you.

Having said that, I still wouldn't like it and I'd make it known by giving him a taste of the single life he claims he'd want if not for the kids..... but I'm not very forgiving with things like that unfortunately.

He'd have to beg and do some serious grovelling, as I would not accept a pat on the arm.

CoyoteCafe Tue 19-Sep-17 17:07:22

Wow. I think the combination of " if it wasn't for the kids he'd have left years ago, he's nearly walked countless times" and "He's always been quite cool with me but he's like that in general and me and the kids joke about him not having any empathy/emotion" are really pretty scary.

Do you want to be married to him? What is it like to live with him?

The line for me is that I cannot be with some one who doesn't care how I feel. Just can't do it.

Are their any other flags in the relationship? Are you isolated? Do you have equal say in finances? Do you get out with your friends as much as he does? Do you feel like he knows you are a human being with feelings?

SongforSal Tue 19-Sep-17 17:08:42

It could just be drunk talk. I was at a birthday party recently with DP, and a male mutual friend was telling him about a petty argument he had with his wife. DP then started agreeing, and randomly put my name in the mix. I made it clear the next day he was talking a load of crap. He fed me some bull about how he was sympathetic to his mate and didn't mean what he said. Without sounding like a sexist pratt. In my experience drunk men when together are like a witches coven.

Fruitcocktail6 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:12:08

Gosh it's tricky. I used to read texts on my exs phone all the time (was quite a toxic relationship and I became rather addicted to reading what he really thought of me). I would read things like he was going to break up with me that weekend, he never did, telling friends I was giving him grief about going out/drinking, I wasn't, etc etc. Always super in love and adoring to my face. Was bizarre and I'm truly glad to be out of it. The prick.

SandyY2K Tue 19-Sep-17 17:14:43

he's nearly walked countless times

Show him the door.

Shayelle Tue 19-Sep-17 17:28:02

Thats really nasty op and disloyal and disrespectful to you. What a 2 faced snake. flowers

Ellienell Tue 19-Sep-17 17:30:43

Thanks for the feedback everyone, really appreciate it. In answer to some of the questions above, he is a cool person emotionally. He's very guarded (his parents were a bit of a nightmare when he was younger and suspect there are quite a few barriers there because of that). Not to make excuses for him, but we do joke about it a little with a slightly more serious undertone of perhaps there is a little bit of Asbergers or similar going on. Having said that, it is hard work for me and at times a little heart breaking. I work hard to try and keep a very active family life for all of us and we do a lot of stuff together (outdoor persuits and sports). He's a capable and active person and we enjoy a lot of that side of life together. I don't get out that much with my mates, but enough for this phase of life - my kids are my priority right now. He does work hard and likes working hard over other pursuits. He's not great at reading emotion or understanding how things might affect other people and does have a bit of a killjoy side to him, particularly where making someone feel loved is concerned - but I think this has been a common theme in his past relationships too. He also works in a very male dominated industry which can't help - his mates have on occasion commented on how rubbish he is at relationships (with friends as well), but they all like him as he's a 'decent' person most of the time. What he said really threw me mainly because we hadn't had an argument and he'd been so nice to me shortly beforehand. The physical side of our relationship is fine (for tired, hard working parents with kids of a certain age 😄) so it was all a bit of a horrible shock to hear it and feel a bit sick still.

lollipop7 Tue 19-Sep-17 17:38:28

I don't think he could explain those sorts of comments away easily to me.

How could you not feel upset and confused but them and moreover doubt his sincerity, motives and what is the real version of his feelings?

ScruffyLookingNerfHerder Tue 19-Sep-17 17:40:12

MN is full of people ranting about their partners, it's a daily thing, so it's a bit rich for people to say they could not live with it from their partners - they're all ranting about him without having ever met him!

OP talk to him and tell him how you feel

RiseToday Tue 19-Sep-17 17:52:02

Look into Aspergers in more detail, it may well explain a lot about him and your relationship. One of the traits is that they are extremely honest....something to think about there!

Having said that, Aspergers does not make someone a cruel, heartless bastard which is exactly what he is. Saying those things to a work colleague and then totally dismissing you is completely unacceptable

Adora10 Tue 19-Sep-17 18:01:08

Sorry but you now know what he's capable of and it's not nice; being drunk is no excuse, in fact being drunk usually brings out your true feelings, esp if he's a closed book.

I also don't see how having aspergers gives you the right to run down your OH; I'd have lost a lot of respect for him, I'd also make it crystal clear that if he decides to slag me off again, to anyone, about anything, I'd be gone, stand up for yourself OP.

HadronCollider Tue 19-Sep-17 18:05:14

I agree that people always come on MN to rant about their partners. Most of the time they have no intention of their other half ever seeing what they've written. Maybe he was exaggerating in order to show solidarity with a friend? And drunk people can talk a crock of shite. I think it's worth talking about some more, but I wouldn't jump to conclusions at this point.

TheRealBiscuitAddict Tue 19-Sep-17 18:06:03

It's one thing to say that your partner gets on your nerves a lot some of the time and that you've almost walked in the past. I think we've likely all been there and a lot of people have probably confided similar in a friend and we all probably have moments we would rather our partners never heard and conversely there are probably things all our partners have said to friends which we'd probably rather not know iyswim.

But it's quite another to say to someone that the only reason you're still there is because of the kids, because that makes all your feelings very clear. And once these things have been said they can't be unsaid.

I would be having a serious discussion as to whether he is in this relationship purely because of the kids because if he is then he's not under any obligation to stay.

And going against the grain slightly, while what he said is immensely hurtful, if he genuinely wants out then he does have the right to feel that way, but he needs to be honest now, because now he's laid out his feelings he can't take them back.

Butterymuffin Tue 19-Sep-17 18:11:43

Has he given any justification for what he said? How has he explained it?

SandyY2K Tue 19-Sep-17 18:53:45

I agree that a conversation is required where your feelings aren't minimised.

I'd tell him he was free to leave the relationship and wouldn't want him if he didn't want to be with me. I'd be clear that the split would allow him to spend quality time with the kids... during his time with them.

He has to see how serious you are.

Ask him how he'd feel if he heard you say something like that.

It's one thing saying he/she gets on your nerves...but saying you'd walk if not for the kids is quite a statement.

lollipop7 Tue 19-Sep-17 19:14:23

@HadronCollider I think that's a bit of a sweeping statement.

My ex could read what I've wrote on here it's all on police statements and court papers. And on the countless emails and texts between us!

I think there is a distinction to be drawn between some of the more surface level every day relationship issues where inequality in some form is less prevalent. It's not always "ranting" either these are often women in very sad or serious disempowering situations and have no other way of discreetly or safely accessing some peer support.

I think with posts like this it is quite easy to read between the lines with dilemmas like this and the OP has provided things to suggest this - to her, based on her other information - cannot just be laughed off as pissed up faux pas.

CoyoteCafe Tue 19-Sep-17 21:34:02

I don't think that autism/Asperger's explains his behavior.

But I wonder if narcissism does. Narcissism is characterized by a pattern of grandiosity, self-centered focus, need for admiration, self-serving attitude and a lack of empathy or consideration for others.

Here are my theories -- feel free to poke holes in them. I'm just trying to make sense of the situation.

1. By joining in the conversation and even upping it, he read social cues and he showed empathy, so he has those abilities (even when drunk) when he is dealing with people other than his wife and children.

2. Facing timing and showing other his wife and child wasn't about connecting with them (or else he would not have made them uncomfortable) but rather about showing the others what he has, a bit like how one might show off a nice car.

3. When he spoke to his colleagues, it is possible that every thing he said is a lie. But that is still a problem because it was a big lie. "Mirroring" is the term for people who copy others to a point that it is part of a personality disorder.

4. OR he was telling the truth and is quite miserable in the marriage, just there for the kids, etc. That doesn't ring true since they aren't fighting, everything seems fine at home, and he and his wife enjoy doing things together.

5. He doesn't see how very hurtful and destructive his words were to his wife. He was patronizing when she tried to talk about it. After all, he said it wasn't true, so that ought to be the end of it. The only way someone could think that is if they didn't believe their spouse was an actual person with feelings.

This is from the Out of the Fog website:
Children, spouses, friends, lovers - those closest to the Narcissist - are not considered individuals in their own right by the Narcissist - but rather extensions or, in the worst cases, the property of the Narcissist.
OutOfTheFog

To me, that sentence makes sense of the whole thing -- of why he is emotionally flat with his family but not with others, why he told a lie but failed to see why it would hurt, why he is often gone on weekends but gives little notice, and even why he wanted his work colleagues to FaceTime with his wife and daughter.

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