When your partner doesn't get angry or violent, but does ultimately want you to curb your behaviour, is it abuse?
I mean when they genuinely think you are being the unreasonable one, that once a week/fortnight out is selfish, because you must be having an affair, your tops are too low, you aren't keeping up the housework...
It just feels off to call it abuse when he seems to genuinely think it's me. He sulks rather than get's angry (most of the time), and then just ignores it the next day.
I know this is a cliché, but he isn't a bad guy. He does nice things, he plays with the children. I feel like I'm going mad.
Does it matter whether it's abuse or not? If this relationship doesn't work for you, you can leave. You're not his prisoner.
He does sound abusive btw, and it is very typical for abusers to be nice sometimes (otherwise why would you be with him in the first place) but regardless, you are a free human being and if someone is making your life miserable you can get rid of them. In fact, even if they're lovely all the time, you can still not be with them that's totally up to you.
Yes it is abuse because it is a form of control. Some types of emotional abuse are passive aggressive behaviour, non communication, witholdong affection,Jealousy,controlling about what you wear who you see where you go and what you spend etc Curbing your behaviour as you put it. If you dont stand up for yourself and set boundaries you will spend your life walking on eggshells living and behaving how your partner wants you too.
He won't leave, he threatens to kill himself or take the children. We're married and both legal tenants on the home. He cries and says there's no point in living if I give up, but he won't change either.
I'm trying really hard, but part of me feels like it's all my fault. That he can't help it, that he had a hard childhood and has been betrayed before.
He cries and says there's no point in living if I give up, but he won't change either.
Abuse. The sort of abuse where he doesn't want you, doesn't care for you and certainly has no intention of making you happy but wants to keep you dancing to his shitty tune. Having a difficult childhood doesn't excuse his behaviour. As an adult he chooses his behaviour, he chooses to try to control and manipulate you and he chooses to put his own needs above those of his family.
Abusers don't love the people they're with. They have no regard for anyone but themselves. You know it's abuse, you know it's not ok and you know the impact it could potentially have on the children. You have the right and the strength to fix this. You have the strength to get away. Womens Aid can help - 0808 2000247.
Absolutely call Womens Aid. He sounds awful. The manipulative threatening suicide is a huge red flag. Most people that threaten don't follow through. Please call them 0808 2000 247 and get an exit plan in place. This is an awful example of a relationship to be setting your DC!
I am not condoning this in any way, I KNOW it's wrong. It's just so confusing, he will keep saying how he's a good bloke because he does X, Y, Z and genuinely seems to think I'm the one that's being unreasonable.
I will make a call. Thank you. I just find it hard to see the wood for the trees
I know it is hard. Remember that you have basically been brainwashed by him in to accepting his version of reality for however many years you've been together. It is very hard to get any perspective on it while you're living in the middle of it.
It is cruel, manipulative behavior and you and your kids deserve better.
Indeed work out a good exit plan. Get paperwork together. Understand what your DH is earning. Understand what you would entitled to as and when you leave. What he would pay in maintenance. WA can help with all of that. You are not a failure. You will only be a failure if you stay and keep putting up with this and keep putting your DC in this toxic environment. You know now. You can start to face and understand it. Then you can leave.