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Is it abuse.....

(15 Posts)
babyoven32 Sun 05-Nov-17 15:40:12

Is it abuse if I'm walking around on eggshells?

I feel like I can't say or do anything right. I wonder if it's me? It's so hard to explain my circumstances. I don't know even how to explain the way he behaves and then makes me feel.
Take today for example. Our son and I have been living away from my partner and the house for 3 weeks because we are having work done and it's been pretty uninhabitable for a 2 year old. Yesterday he took him to his friends daughters party and back to the house for the night, as I requested a break (I'm 14 weeks pregnant and doing all the childcare). We don't really see him all week. As soon as I arrive at the house today, it takes all of 20 minutes for him to go quiet on me and I don't have a clue why?! We suggested going out, we were getting ready, discussing the house as we were and all of a sudden he sits down and just stops communicating with me. I ask what's wrong and get nothing back. He then says he needs to go for a walk. I ask what's wrong and get told "nothing". I ask if we are still going out and he says he doesn't want to anymore. Says this is "no life" and walks out.

This kind of thing happens all the time. He gets in a mood with me and gives me the silent treatment and I can never work out why? Later on when the mood has passed he just dismisses it as being tired/stressed/insert excuse here. I feel like I can't say or ask any questions about the house - he's doing the work, it's been going on for over a year and anytime I say anything I get dismissed or told I'm 'inexperienced' in these things. He shows no care or compassion towards me. He treats me like I'm worthless much of the time. He seems uninterested in my pregnancy and just moans about how hard he works. I work too and do all majority of the childcare. He is doing our house, but it's taking so long because he doesn't lift a finger towards it from one week to the next, but constantly says how busy and stressed he is. I just don't get it.

I just don't know how to explain his mood to anyone. It sounds so insignificant when I try and put it into words, but I just never know what mood he's going to be in and I just feel like I can't do anything right and like I'm trying so hard to avoid another mood/episode/silent treatment.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 05-Nov-17 15:56:04

What do you get out of this relationship now?. Better to be apart than to be so badly accompanied.

What you describe here is his abusive treatment of you and in turn any children who are also unfortunate enough to be caught up in his private war against you. He is certainly not a good role model for your son to emulate either.

Walking on eggshells too is to my mind at least code for living in fear and being hyper vigilant and or changing behaviours to try and avoid another outburst (nigh on impossible) is another behaviour that people on the receiving end of abusive behaviours do.

Silent treatment is never about silence, its another form of emotional abuse. It is designed to (1) place the abuser in a position of control; (2) silence the target’s attempts at assertion; (3) avoid conflict resolution/personal responsibility/compromise; or (4) punish the target for a perceivedegoslight. Often, the result of the silent treatment is exactly what the person with narcissism wishes to create: a reaction from the target and a sense of control.

Womens Aid are well worth contacting in your particular circumstances as is the Rights of Women organisation. This is no life for you or for your kids to be honest with you. Do not accept this as your lot in life.

fc301 Sun 05-Nov-17 16:36:29

Emotional abuse? I would say so.
Sometimes it’s helpful to ask yourself which behaviours are NOT there as that is just as revealing.
This does not sound like a happy, caring partnership. A team of two focussed on building a home and family together? It sounds like he’s using the house project to control the situation and belittle you.

FinallyHere Sun 05-Nov-17 16:51:47

The only sensible approach to someone who tries to control you with the silent treatment, is to stop caring about placating him. Let the CMS sort it out. Enjoy the rest of your life without having to tiptoe around someone who cannot have an adult conversation about things that upset him.

Maelstrop Sun 05-Nov-17 17:00:20

Is he depressed? Do you have the money to get the house finished by a contractor?

babyoven32 Sun 05-Nov-17 20:48:58

He claims to be depressed. He drinks a lot and definitely hides it from me too. Says he's been unhappy for years in these 'moods' but later retracts these comments and puts them down to tiredness and stress.

If I try to approach the situation I either get mocked, criticised, told I'm manipulative or coercive or apologised to. I never know which it will be. I've tried every different way possible of trying to handle/resolve, but of course they are all the wrong way and I'm always the bad guy/the problem/I've made him this way.

I'm exhausted. Living away from him and I don't miss him. I'm miserable in his company much of the time. I wish it was different but I'm finally realising I can't do anything to change him. I just feel trapped. We can't sell the house in the state it's in. Not if we don't want to lose out financially. We can't afford a contractor, but until the house is in a state to sell, I feel trapped. I can't get my share out and I fear he'll drag this out as long as possible.

Winterskye Sun 05-Nov-17 21:10:24

This is a quote from an article I have read in trying to understand why silent treatments.

“Many of our victims find the implementation of a silent treatment one of the most troubling and upsetting manipulations that is applied. In part, it is its sheer simplicity that has such an effect. We do not have to expend much energy, we can implement it in an instant and it is something which is used by all three schools of narcissist, though of course it is the calling card of the passive aggressive Mid-Range narcissist. This oft used tactic of ours leaves people bewildered, hurt and upset. Whether it is a present silent treatment where we act as if you are invisible even though we are in the same room as you or an absent silent treatment where we disappear without notice and to who knows where, you are left trying to contact us, worried, angry and frustrated.” -HG Tudor

There is so much more that explains the why and how the excert control through this form of emotional abuse

babyoven32 Sun 05-Nov-17 21:14:10

He does both. Ignores me when I'm trying to communicate when he's in the room and I've lost count how many times he disappears for extended periods, uncontactable often to return as if nothing is wrong, as if I'm imagining it all.

Italiangreyhound Sun 05-Nov-17 21:34:41

I think you need to speak to a solicitor and see how you can get out of this marriage.

If he is depressed, he needs to see his GP and ask for help.

If he has a drink problem he needs to explore ways to come through this.

If he has problems at work, he needs to speak to his line manager/boss.

These are the correct responses for an adult who is partially responsible for other people's needs as well as their own.

His behaviour is what a small child may do. Most unappealing in an adult.

Could a solicitor force the sale of the home? Could you set up a home elsewhere with your share?

I think you need to get your ducks in a row. Speak to women's aid a.s.a.p.

Sorry, it sounds a horrible environment.


babyoven32 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:47:19

After writing this post a week ago, I ended up leaving the house in tears. He was vile towards me, mimicking anything I said and taunting me every time I tried to speak.

We've not spoken since. He sent me his usual 'sorry, I'm a bit stressed' text the following evening and I said sorry wasn't good enough anymore and that he's spent years excusing his hurtful behaviour and actions on tiredness and stress and it had to stop. I said a text just wasn't enough. He text again 2 days later saying he hoped our son and I were okay, but that's it. Nothing else. I'm always the one to call first, try and resolve things, but this time I'm not doing it.

I've spoken to his mum. She blames his mental health and reliance on drinking. She tells me to be patient but it's been like this (up and down) for years.

Do I give in and make the first move? Or do I sit and wait to see if he will? Should I even care? I just find it incredibly sad that he hasn't asked to see our son. I know his parents are mortified by this.

What would you do?

jeaux90 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:55:07

I'd plan to see a solicitor and get a divorce. He's been behaving life this for years.

I left my abusive partner with a 1 year old dd and didn't look back.

He won't change, they never do. I say never I have never known anyone to change, never heard of anyone changing. I know someone who has been in therapy for years, been going through CBT and they haven't changed.

My advice is to not contact him until you have had legal advice then tell him you want a divorce.

jeaux90 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:57:04

Oh and his mum has no right to ask you to sacrifice even more of your life on this man. You've tried. It's failed, he failed.

pog100 Sat 11-Nov-17 22:13:33

you owe him nothing, please extract yourself, now. It sounds like you are in a good, or at least better, position to do so.

Good luck!

WhoWants2Know Sat 11-Nov-17 22:26:22

I can’t see any plus side to staying, based on what you’ve described.

OnTheRise Sun 12-Nov-17 09:58:00

I agree with the advice to find out your options before contacting him again. Speak to a solicitor. Find out what you'd be entitled to if you did divorce, find out how best to proceed to make sure you and your children are protected. And only contact him once you know what you're doing.

It does sound as if you and your children would be better off without this man in your lives. He's making you all miserable. It's no way to live.

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