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Not sure how to save this

(24 Posts)
Fasterthanquicksand Mon 30-Oct-17 11:20:30

Things have not been great between DP and I since the birth of DS two years ago. Possibly even before then. We went through a lot of stresses, including recurrent miscarriage, high risk pregnancy, family bereavement as well as stressful work situations (bullying) and frequent relocation for work. We used to have 'rules' for how to argue - try not to leave an argument unresolved before bed, try not to bring up past issues when arguing about current ones. Somehow we lost this. After DS was born and had significant medical issues, I felt he neglected me and essentially left me to do the difficult things, to keep everything together and he looked after himself first and minimised what I had done. When I had to return to work full-time, he didn't step up, and I found myself floored trying to do it all. Multiple tearful conversations followed where i begged him to help me, and where I repeatedly brought up the issues since DS birth. I never felt like he listened to me or was genuinely sorry - it seemed as if he only apologised to stop me talking. He also subsequently denied things happening as I remembered them. I didnt know how to deal with this and got increasingly angry and shouted and I suppose I emotionally distanced myself from him, not understanding how he could do those things/not feel bad for me feeling like this/why I was the only one doing anything about/trying to resolve it. He then also started shouting in return. We both said hurtful things to each other - the worst being when I said I couldn't live like this and we should separate. We then moved into separate rooms. He seemed indifferent to it all, but actually as my work intensity picked up, he started to ease my burden - doing the shopping, some laundry, some cleaning and taking more responsibility for DS - something I haven't properly acknowledged as it felt like I had to shout and scream for it to happen. Things between us were so bad that I cried at work and a kind colleague listened and was concerned for me. She suggested I call women's aid as she said some of his behaviour had been abusive and she was worried for me I looked up emotional abuse and I recognise a lot of the behaviours in him, but also in me - I have shouted, sworn, and name called. I feel awful about what I have done - I have been so wrapped up in how I am feeling that I haven't thought about what I could be doing to him. Things came to a head when I was looking at photos on his phone and saw an email from a friend of mine - he has met her at least once, if not more, without telling me and has been discussing our relationship problems with her (a single friend we both know has a crush on him, and he knows I am wary of as he had previously ignored me in her presence) as well as suddenly now getting some legal forms signed that I had been asking him to do for a while, but again not telling me about it. I couldn't keep this to myself so confronted him about it - he says it's just happened the once and although he doesn't think he did anything wrong and he was going to tell me (he says he didn't as I'm difficult to talk to), he eventually said he can see how I would be hurt, but then backtracked and said he didn't think he did anything wrong. I'm not sure what's right anymore - I feel betrayed that my friend and my husband would do this? She claimed in the email to be both of our friends and would reach out to me too, but hasn't and I think she's being disingenuous. I asked him how he felt, and he now tells me he has felt scared and unsafe with me always shouting, never feeling good enough, and just needed someone to talk to. His dishonesty hurts, but I believe him. And I feel awful to have made him feel like this. I have been really shortsigted. I love him, I want him to love me and I want our relationship to work but he says he doesn't know how he feels anymore. We are back in the marital bed but a long way from anything being normal. We have a counselling appointment booked soon, but in the meantime I don't know what to do - I am crying everyday. He suggested we just try and be 'normal' but I don't know how to hide my sadness.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 30-Oct-17 11:27:22

When is your counselling appointment?
This will hopefully help.
What does he do when you cry?
Is he still doing his fair share of house duties and childcare?

Fasterthanquicksand Mon 30-Oct-17 12:11:25

3 weeks. Sometimes he doesn't notice, Sometimes he continues what he's doing. And sometimes he taps my arm. He hugged me once. Yes, he seems to be doing them so far.

Fasterthanquicksand Mon 30-Oct-17 20:48:49


RunRabbitRunRabbit Mon 30-Oct-17 20:53:51

In the emotional abuse test how many of the behaviours did you find he did?

Fasterthanquicksand Sun 12-Nov-17 22:26:22

Over 50% but then so did I.

Counselling appointment is coming up this week. I'm struggling so much - I feel so anxious about it.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 13-Nov-17 08:56:08

That's normal.
But it will really help you.
I hope your weekend wasn't too bad.
Take it all one day at a time.

Jamboree05 Mon 13-Nov-17 09:31:21

OP. I didn't want to read and run although I'm not sure I will have much to add here.

It's normal to feel anxious about the counselling. It will likely unearth some hard truths and things will be said that are difficult to hear.

However, it is possible your marriage could be saved if you do hear them. Both of you. It sounds like you both need to adjust your behaviours towards each other and the counselling should help you do this.

In the meantime, be kind to yourself, and to him. flowers

Fasterthanquicksand Tue 14-Nov-17 08:49:52

He's stonewalling me again. Deferring all childcare/chores to me. Feels like I'm being punished.

Jamboree05 Tue 14-Nov-17 09:02:05

When is your counselling appointment OP?

Fasterthanquicksand Tue 14-Nov-17 10:07:47

Next week

Jamboree05 Tue 14-Nov-17 10:54:04

OK. So until your appointment, I would encourage you to try and ask him to do certain jobs, politely and without any shouting or malice. I know it's hard but try and maintain a calm approach to this. Encourage him to actively participate in the household- this may or may not work but at least you will be showing him how you both should be behaving towards each other.

Stonewalling you is not acceptable but at this point it sounds like any discussions may need some guidance and a counsellor is obviously best placed to do this.

When you go into your session, make sure you know what you want to talk about- write it down if need be. This shouldn't be seen as ammunition though. Use it as a at to facilitate healthy conversation.

In the meantime, come vent on here or come here for support. This might be a difficult week but you are at least making steps towards making things better.

Fasterthanquicksand Sun 19-Nov-17 17:13:20

So had the appointment. It was a relate 'intake appointment where they find out what the problems are. They asked me what I wanted - I said to work on my anger and resolve our problems. He said he didn't know and not even sure of he wants to stay married. He says i have toruted him. And yet reached over to touch my leg when I was crying about a specific incident where I felt vulnerable. I explained I feel anxious because I don't know where I stand. And that I feel neglected in terms of affection and communication.

They put us on a waiting list, so I don't know how long it will be before anything happens. When we last spoke he agreed we should try to be nice to each other - I haven't lost my temper once. But he has been stonewalling me., and not really helping with DS - its much like it was on maternoty leave. I am the default parent and dont even need to be asked It's just assumed. I feel so alone.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 19-Nov-17 17:22:45

When a child is born it’s like a bomb going off in your life.

Team work is essential as is lots of sleep.

It looks like mass resentment has taken over everything as you have both not agreed on your new roles or what they should look like. And who should be doing what.

You are married yet feel like a single parent? What is the point of that right?

It also seems like you had a hard time after the birth and he did not support you?

Perhaps he was traumatised too?

NotTheFordType Sun 19-Nov-17 17:36:27

he has felt scared and unsafe with me always shouting, never feeling good enough, and just needed someone to talk to

Aye right. My fat backside!

He said he didn't know and not even sure of he wants to stay married

Translation: I had no idea when we had a baby that I would be expected to parent it, and I don't want to. I want my wife to do all of the work, and I can just swoop in at tea time and play happy cuddles with my child for half an hour while the wife makes my dinner, does the washing, hoovers the entire house and makes herself seductive and alluring so I can get my balls drained at bedtime.

Fasterthanquicksand Sun 19-Nov-17 23:57:02

He tells me I've been abusive, been controlling and manipulative. And that it's been going on way before DS. I don't know what to think anymore. He's never said anything.

Fasterthanquicksand Mon 20-Nov-17 07:39:33

Feeling really low

Isetan Mon 20-Nov-17 08:17:18

NotTheFordType hit the nail on the head and this is where his resentment lies but won’t say it because he knows it’ll make him look bad. Instead, he stonewalls and gaslights you to provoke you and then uses your frustration and anger as justification for his poor behaviour.

It sounds like he has checked out of the relationship and the ‘friend’ was an ego stroke. You can’t work on your marriage alone and it doesn’t sound like he wants to but is either to chicken shit or lazy to end it officially.

Save your strength and sanity and disengage from his emotional bullshit, every time you react to his provocation you’re giving him what he wants, ammunition to use against you.

Continue with Relate but be prepared that it’s usefulness won’t be in saving your marriage but helping you let go of a toxic relationship and a selfish man.

nafflikethat Mon 20-Nov-17 08:21:22

Hi faster, I hope you are ok. I didn't want to read and run. I don't really have any advice but I do empathise, myself and my partner are experiencing similar difficulties after the birth of our daughter and we are soon to have another.

I have also been trying to determine whether the relationship was abusive and found that I have these tendencies too, and have been told I am a bully etc even though I feel as though I too walk on eggshells.

At least he is cooperating with the counselling. I would be concerned there was more going on with this 'friend' and he has perhaps re-evaluated your relationship based on this to some degree but it's hard to know for sure.

There is so much stuff out there about emotional abuse and people are very quick to make judgments, especially on Mumsnet. I would say go easy on yourself, when kids are involved it becomes much more complicated. Sometimes the best thing is to take a step back, maybe a temporary separation if you feel you could cope with dc on your own for a bit? It might help you get the distance you need to make whatever changes are necessary.

Alittlepotofrosie Mon 20-Nov-17 08:40:04

If you're both abusing each other think about your poor child stuck in the middle. There isn't a minimum level of unhappiness that you have to reach before you're allowed to end a relationship. Sounds like this one has run its course and you'd both be better off separating for good.

hellsbellsmelons Mon 20-Nov-17 09:01:03

All abusers say that.
Have a read of THIS THREAD
He's gaslights you and stonewalls.
Honestly, you are doing it all on your own anyway.
You won't change him.
So you need to take back control and decide what you want?

Fasterthanquicksand Fri 24-Nov-17 12:48:48

And now the 'friend' won't stop interfering...

Cottongusset Fri 24-Nov-17 16:43:34

Why would you want to save all this shit. Sorry to be blunt but your life sounds crap.

LesisMiserable Fri 24-Nov-17 17:30:17

I did see a lot of blame from you directed at him in the first half of the thread, but then recognition in the latter. It may be he has had enough of feeling like the cause of all the issues and wants out. I think if you want to salvage this you both have to work hard to like each other as individuals again.

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